Full text: Mrs. Dalloway

MRS. DALLOWAY 
“Herbert has it now,” she said. “I never go there 
now,” she said. 
Then, just as happens on a terrace in the moonlight, 
when one person begins to feel ashamed that he is 
already bored, and yet as the other sits silent, very 
quiet, sadly looking at the moon, does not like to speak, 
moves his foot, clears his throat, notices some iron scroll 
on a table leg, stirs a leaf, but says nothing—so Peter 
Walsh did now. For why go back like this to the past? 
he thought. Why make him think of it again? Why 
make him suffer, when she had tortured him so in- 
fernally? Why? 
“Do you remember the lake?” she said, in an abrupt 
voice, under the pressure of an emotion which caught 
her heart, made the muscles of her throat stiff, and 
contracted her lips in a spasm as she said “lake”. For 
she was a child throwing bread to the ducks, between 
her parents, and at the same time a grown woman 
coming to her parents who stood by the lake, holding 
her life in her arms which, as she neared them, grew 
larger and larger in her arms, until it became a whole 
life, a complete life, which she put down by them and 
said, “This is what I have made of it! This!” And 
what had she made of it? What, indeed? sitting there 
sewing this morning with Peter. 
She looked at Peter Walsh; her look, passing through 
all that time and that emotion, reached him doubt- 
fully; settled on him tearfully; and rose and fluttered 
away, as a bird touches a branch and rises and flutters 
away. Quite simply she wiped her eyes. 
“Yes,” said Peter. “Yes, yes, yes,” he said, as if she 
drew up to the surface something which positively hurt 
him as it rose. Stop! Stop! he wanted to cry. For he 
was not old; his life was not over; not by any means. 
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