Happiness Is This

“The time comes when it can’t be said; one’s too shy to say it, he thought, pocketing his sixpence or two of change, setting off with his great bunch held against his body to Westminster, to say straight out in so many words (whatever she might think of him), holding out his flowers, “I love you.” Why not? […] Here he was walking across London to say to Clarissa in so many words that he loved her. Which one never does say, he thought. Partly one’s lazy; partly one’s shy. […] For he would say it in so many words, when he came into the room. Because it is a thousand pities never to say what one feels, he thought, crossing the Green Park and observing with pleasure how in the shade of the trees whole families, poor families were sprawling […] here he was in he prime of life, walking to his house in Westminster to tell Clarissa that he loved her. Happiness is this, he thought. […] He was holding out flowers – roses, red and white roses (but he could not bring himself to say he loved her; not in so many words). But how lovely, she said, taking his flowers. She understood; she understood without his speaking; His Clarissa. […] (But he could not tell her he loved her. He held her hand. Happiness is this, he thought) […] He had not said “I love you”; but he held her hand. Happiness is this, is this, he thought […] And there is a dignity in people; a solitude; even between husband and wife a gulf; and that one must respect, thought Clarissa, watching him open the door; for one would not part with oneself, or take it against his will, from one’s husband, without losing one’s independence, one’s self respect-something, after all, priceless.”

Virginia Woolf – Mrs Dalloway

P.S. Because some things cannot and should not be translated.


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