“So Richard’s mind, recovering from its lethargy, set now on his wife, Clarissa, whom Peter Walsh had loved so passionately; and Richard had had a sudden vision of her there at luncheon; of himself and Clarissa; of their life together; and he drew the tray of old jewels towards him, and taking up first the brooch then that ring,” (Woolf 111).
Woolf, V. Mrs. Dalloway, ed. Bonnie Kime Scott (2005).
Reflection on his relationship with his wife overcomes him as he learns that her old love has returned to London. It seems that out of fear and disappointment in his past actions, Richard, wants to apologize by giving Clarissa a gift.