Full text: Mrs. Dalloway

MRS. DALLOWAY 
to a bramble. But nothing is so strange when one is in 
love (and what was this except being in love?) as the 
complete indifference of other people. Aunt Helena 
just wandered off after dinner; Papa read the paper. 
Peter Walsh might have been there, and old Miss 
Cummings; Joseph Breitkopf certainly was, for he 
came every summer, poor old man, for weeks and 
weeks, and pretended to read German with her, but 
really played the piano and sang Brahms without any 
voice. 
All this was only a background for Sally. She stood 
by the fireplace talking, in that beautiful voice which 
made everything she said sound like a caress, to Papa, 
who had begun to be attracted rather against his will 
(he never got over lending her one of his books and 
finding it soaked on the terrace), when suddenly she said, 
“What a shame to sit indoors!” and they all went out on 
to the terrace and walked up and down. Peter Walsh 
and Joseph Breitkopf went on about Wagner. She and 
Sally fell a little behind. Then came the most exquisite 
moment of her whole life passing a stone urn with 
flowers in it. Sally stopped; picked a flower; kissed her 
on the lips. The whole world might have turned up- 
side down! The others disappeared; there she was 
alone with Sally. And she felt that she had been given a 
present, wrapped up, and told just to keep it, not to 
look at it—a diamond, something infinitely precious, 
wrapped up, which, as they walked (up and down, up 
and down), she uncovered, or the radiance burnt 
through, the revelation, the religious feeling!—when 
old Joseph and Peter faced them: 
“Star-gazing ?”’ said Peter. 
It was like running one’s face against a granite wall in 
the darkness! It was shocking; it was horrible! 
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