For having lived in Westminster - how many years now? over twenty, - one feels even in the midst of the traffic, or waking at night, Clarissa was positive, a particular hush, or solemnity; and indescribable pause; a suspense before Big Ben strikes. There! Out it boomed. First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air... In people's eyes, in the swing, tramp and trudge; in the bellow and the uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, Harcourt, Brace and World Inc., New York, 1925, p. 4.
PLACE: Westminster, London, England.
TIME: early 1920's.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Description of street sounds around district of Westminster, London.
A patter like the patter of leaves in a wood came from behind, and with it a rustling, regular thudding sound, which as it overtook him drummed his thoughts, strict in step, up Whitehall, without his doing. Boys in uniform, carrying guns, marched with their eyes ahead...
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, Harcourt, Brace and World Inc., New York, 1925, p. 76.
PLACE: Whitehall, London
CIRCUMSTANCE: describes a parade of soldiers.
Ah, said St. Margaret's, like a hostess who comes into her drawingroom on the very stroke of the hour and finds her guests there already. I am not late. No, it is precisely half-past eleven, she says. Yet, though she is perfectly right, her voice, being the voice of the hostess, is reluctant to inflict its individuality. Some grief for the past holds it back; some concern for the present. It is half-past eleven, she says, and the sound of St. Margaret's glides into the recesses of the heart and buries itself, in ring after ring of sound...
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, Harcourt, Brace and World Inc., New York, 1925, p. 74.
PLACE: London, England
CIRCUMSTANCE: description of St. Margaret's Church clock
...Peter Walsh as he stepped down the street, speaking to himself rhythmically, in time with the flow of the sound, the direct downright sound of Big Ben striking the half-hour. (The leaden circles dissolved in the air)
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, Harcourt, Brace and World Inc., New York, 1925, p. 72.
PLACE: London, England
The sound of Big Ben striking the half-hour struck out between them with extraordinary vigour, as if a young man, strong, indifferent, inconsiderate, were swinging dumb-bells this way and that.
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, Harcourt, Brace and World Inc. New York, 1925, p. 71.