any creature is so deluded as to think that a vote does him or her any good, let him have it. He'll soon learn better."
"You're not a politician, I see," she smiled.
"Goodness, no," said Ridley.
"I'm afraid your husband won't approve of me," said Dalloway aside, to Mrs. Ambrose. She suddenly recollected that he had been in Parliament.
"Don't you ever find it rather dull?" she asked, not knowing exactly what to say.
Richard spread his hands before him, as if inscriptions bearing on what she asked him were to be read in the palms of them.
"If you ask me whether I ever find it rather dull," he said, "I am bound to say yes; on the other hand, if you ask me what career do you consider on the whole, taking the good with the bad, the most enjoyable and enviable, not to speak of its more serious side, of all careers, for a man, I am bound to say, 'The Politician's.'"
"The Bar or politics, I agree," said Willoughby. "You get more run for your money."
"All one's faculties have their play," said Richard. "I may be treading on dangerous ground; but what I feel about poets and artists in general is this: on your own lines, you can't be beaten—granted; but off your own lines—puff—one has to make allowances. Now, I shouldn't like to think that any one had to make allowances for me."
"I don't quite agree, Richard," said Mrs. Dalloway. "Think of Shelley. I feel that there's almost everything one wants in 'Adonais.'"
"Read 'Adonais' by all means," Richard conceded. "But whenever I hear of Shelley I repeat to myself the words of Matthew Arnold, 'What a set! What a set!'"
This roused Ridley's attention. "Matthew Arnold? A detestable prig!" he snapped.
"A prig—granted," said Richard; "but, I think, a man of the world. That's where my point comes in. We politicians doubtless seem to you" (he had grasped somehow that Helen was the representative of the arts) "a gross commonplace set of people; but we see both sides; we may be clumsy, but we