Click here to Download The Voyage Out PDF Book by Virginia Woolf Language English having PDF Size 1 MB and No of Pages 362.
At this point the cab stopped, for it was in danger of being crushed like an egg-shell. The wide Embankment which had had room for cannonballs and squadrons, had now shrunk to a cobbled lane steaming with smells of malt and oil and blocked by waggons. While her husband read the placards pasted on the brick announcing the hours at which certain ships would sail for Scotland.
The Voyage Out PDF Book by Virginia Woolf
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Mrs. Ambrose did her best to find information. From a world exclusively occupied in feeding waggons with sacks, half obliterated too in a fine yellow fog, they got neither help nor attention. It seemed a miracle when an old man approached, guessed their condition, and proposed to row them out to their ship in the little boat which he kept moored at the bottom of a flight of steps.
With some hesitation they trusted themselves to him, took their places, and were soon waving up and down upon the water, London having shrunk to two lines of buildings on either side of them, square buildings and oblong buildings placed in rows like a child’s avenue of bricks. They were now moving steadily down the river, passing the dark shapes of ships at anchor.
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And London was a swarm of lights with a pale yellow canopy drooping above it. There were the lights of the great theatres, the lights of the long streets, lights that indicated huge squares of domestic comfort, lights that hung high in air. No darkness would ever settle upon those lamps, as no darkness had settled upon them for hundreds of years.
It seemed dreadful that the town should blaze for ever in the same spot; dreadful at least to people going away to adventure upon the sea, and beholding it as a circumscribed mound, eternally burnt, eternally scarred. From the deck of the ship the great city appeared a crouched and cowardly figure, a sedentary miser.
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Leaning over the rail, side by side, Helen said, “Won’t you be cold?” Rachel replied, “No… . How beautiful!” she added a moment later. Very little was visible—a few masts, a shadow of land here, a line of brilliant windows there. They tried to make head against the wind. “It’s more like a landing than a room,” she said. Indeed it had nothing of the shut stationary character of a room on shore.
A table was rooted in the middle, and seats were stuck to the sides. Happily the tropical suns had bleached the tapestries to a faded blue-green colour, and the mirror with its frame of shells, the work of the steward’s love, when the time hung heavy in the southern seas, was quaint rather than ugly.
Twisted shells with red lips like unicorn’s horns ornamented the mantelpiece, which was draped by a pall of purple plush from which depended a certain number of balls. Two windows opened on to the deck, and the light beating through them when the ship was roasted on the Amazons had turned the prints on the opposite wall to a faint yellow colour. The Voyage Out PDF Book
So that “The Coliseum” was scarcely to be distinguished from Queen Alexandra playing with her Spaniels. A pair of wicker armchairs by the fireside invited one to warm one’s hands at a grate full of gilt shavings; a great lamp swung above the table—the kind of lamp which makes the light of civilisation across dark fields to one walking in the country.
Helen looked with a sigh at an envelope which lay upon her dressing-table. Yes, there lay Willoughby, curt, inexpressive, perpetually jocular, robbing a whole continent of mystery, enquiring after his daughter’s manners and morals—hoping she wasn’t a bore, and bidding them pack her off to him on board the very next ship if she were— and then grateful.
And affectionate with suppressed emotion, and then half a page about his own triumphs over wretched little natives who went on strike and refused to load his ships, until he roared English oaths at them, “popping my head out of the window just as I was, in my shirt sleeves. The beggars had the sense to scatter.” The Voyage Out PDF Book
“If Theresa married Willoughby,” she remarked, turning the page with a hairpin, “one doesn’t see what’s to prevent Rachel—” They had moved out into the garden, where the tea was laid under a tree, and Mrs. Flushing was helping herself to cherry jam. She had a peculiar jerking movement of the body when she spoke, which caused the canary-coloured plume on her hat to jerk too.
Her small but finely-cut and vigorous features, together with the deep red of lips and cheeks, pointed to many generations of well-trained and well-nourished ancestors behind her. “Nothin’ that’s more than twenty years old interests me,” she continued. “Mouldy old pictures, dirty old books, they stick ‘em in museums when they’re only fit for burnin’.” “I quite agree,” Helen laughed.
“But my husband spends his life in digging up manuscripts which nobody wants.” She was amused by Ridley’s expression of startled disapproval. “There’s a clever man in London called John who paints ever so much better than the old masters,” Mrs. Flushing continued. “His pictures excite me—nothin’ that’s old excites me.” “But even his pictures will become old,” Mrs. Thornbury intervened. The Voyage Out PDF Book
“Then I’ll have ‘em burnt, or I’ll put it in my will,” said Mrs. Flushing. “And Mrs. Flushing lived in one of the most beautiful old houses in England—Chillingley,” Mrs. Thornbury explained to the rest of them. I want people to like me, and they don’t. It’s partly my appearance, I expect,” he continued, “though it’s an absolute lie to say I’ve Jewish blood in me—as a matter of fact we’ve been in Norfolk.
Hirst of Hirstbourne Hall, for three centuries at least. It must be awfully soothing to be like you—every one liking one at once.” “I assure you they don’t,” Helen laughed. “They do,” said Hirst with conviction. “In the first place, you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen; in the second, you have an exceptionally nice nature.”
If Hirst had looked at her instead of looking intently at his teacup he would have seen Helen blush, partly with pleasure, partly with an impulse of affection towards the young man who had seemed, and would seem again, so ugly and so limited. She pitied him, for she suspected that he suffered, and she was interested in him, for many of the things he said seemed to her true. The Voyage Out PDF Book Download
She admired the morality of youth, and yet she felt imprisoned. As if her instinct were to escape to something brightly coloured and impersonal, which she could hold in her hands, she went into the house and returned with her embroidery. But he was not interested in her embroidery; he did not even look at it.
“About Miss Vinrace,” he began,—”oh, look here, do let’s be St. John and Helen, and Rachel and Terence— what’s she like? Does she reason, does she feel, or is she merely a kind of footstool?” Rachel lay down on her elbow, and parted the tall grasses which grew on the edge, so that she might have a clear view.
The water was very calm; rocking up and down at the base of the cliff, and so clear that one could see the red of the stones at the bottom of it. So it had been at the birth of the world, and so it had remained ever since. Probably no human being had ever broken that water with boat or with body. Obeying some impulse, she determined to mar that eternity of peace, and threw the largest pebble she could find. The Voyage Out PDF Book Download
It struck the water, and the ripples spread out and out. Hewet looked down too. “It’s wonderful,” he said, as they widened and ceased. The freshness and the newness seemed to him wonderful. He threw a pebble next. There was scarcely any sound. “But England,” Rachel murmured in the absorbed tone of one whose eyes are concentrated upon some sight.
“What d’you want with England?” “My friends chiefly,” he said, “and all the things one does.” He could look at Rachel without her noticing it. She was still absorbed in the water and the exquisitely pleasant sensations which a little depth of the sea washing over rocks suggests. He noticed that she was wearing a dress of deep blue colour, made of a soft thin cotton stuff, which clung to the shape of her body.
It was a body with the angles and hollows of a young woman’s body not yet developed, but in no way distorted, and thus interesting and even lovable. Raising his eyes Hewet observed her head; she had taken her hat off, and the face rested on her hand. Then there’s Blanche the maid, who snuffles because of her nose. We talk—oh yes, it’s Aunt Lucy’s afternoon at Walworth, so we’re rather quick over luncheon. The Voyage Out PDF Book Download
She goes off. She has a purple bag, and a black notebook. Aunt Clara has what they call a G.F.S. meeting in the drawing-room on Wednesday, so I take the dogs out. I go up Richmond Hill, along the terrace, into the park. It’s the 18th of April—the same day as it is here. It’s spring in England. The ground is rather damp.
However, I cross the road and get on to the grass and we walk along, and I sing as I always do when I’m alone, until we come to the open place where you can see the whole of London beneath you on a clear day. Hampstead Church spire there, Westminster Cathedral over there, and factory chimneys about here.
There’s generally a haze over the low parts of London; but it’s often blue over the park when London’s in a mist. It’s the open place that the balloons cross going over to Hurlingham. They’re pale yellow. Well, then, it smells very good, particularly if they happen to be burning wood in the keeper’s lodge which is there. The Voyage Out PDF Book Download
I could tell you now how to get from place to place, and exactly what trees you’d pass, and where you’d cross the roads. You see, I played there when I was small. Spring is good, but it’s best in the autumn when the deer are barking; then it gets dusky, and I go back through the streets, and you can’t see people properly.
They come past very quick, you just see their faces and then they’re gone—that’s what I like—and no one knows in the least what you’re doing—” “But you have to be back for tea, I suppose?” Hewet checked her. It seemed that Rachel herself had no suspicion that she was watched, or that there was anything in her manner likely to draw attention to her.
What had happened to her she did not know. Her mind was very much in the condition of the racing water to which Helen compared it. She wanted to see Terence; she was perpetually wishing to see him when he was not there; it was an agony to miss seeing him; agonies were strewn all about her day on account of him, but she never asked herself what this force driving through her life arose from. The Voyage Out PDF Book Free
She thought of no result any more than a tree perpetually pressed downwards by the wind considers the result of being pressed downwards by the wind. During the two or three weeks which had passed since their walk, half a dozen notes from him had accumulated in her drawer. She would read them, and spend the whole morning in a daze of happiness.
The sunny land outside the window being no less capable of analysing its own colour and heat than she was of analysing hers. In these moods she found it impossible to read or play the piano, even to move being beyond her inclination. The time passed without her noticing it. When it was dark she was drawn to the window by the lights of the hotel.
A light that went in and out was the light in Terence’s window: there he sat, reading perhaps, or now he was walking up and down pulling out one book after another; and now he was seated in his chair again, and she tried to imagine what he was thinking about. The steady lights marked the rooms where Terence sat with people moving round him. Every one who stayed in the hotel had a peculiar romance and interest about them. The Voyage Out PDF Book Free