Heart Of Darkness PDF By Joseph Conrad In English

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Heart Of Darkness

He was a seaman, but he was a wanderer too, while most seamen lead, if one may so express it, a sedentary life.

Their minds are of the stay-at-home order, and their home is always with them-the ship; and so is their country-the sea.

One ship is very much like another, and the sea is always the same.

In the immutability of their surroundings the foreign shores, the foreign faces, the changing immensity of life, glide past, veiled not by a sense of mystery but by a slightly disdainful ignorance;

for there is nothing mysterious to a seaman unless it is the sea itself, which is the mistress of his existence and as inscrutable as Destiny.

For the rest, after his hours of work, a casual stroll or a casual spree on shore suffices to unfold for him the secret of a whole continent, and generally, he finds the secret not worth knowing.

The yarns of seamen have a direct simplicity. the whole meaning of which lies within the shell of a cracked nut.

But Marlow was not typical Gif his propensity to spin yarns be excepted), and to him, the meaning of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside,

Enveloping the tale which brought it out only as a glow brings out a haze, in the likeness of one of these misty halos that sometimes are made visible by the spectral illumination of moonshine.

His remark did not seem at all surprising. It was just like Marlow. It was accepted in silence. No one took the trouble to grunt even; and presently he said, very slow “I was thinking of very old times,

when the Romans first came here, nineteen hundred years ago-the another day…. The light came out of this river since you say, Knights? Yes: but it is like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds.

“I had then, as you remember, just returned to London after a lot of Indian Ocean, Pacific, China Seas— a regular dose of the East— six years or so, and I was loafing about, hindering you fellows in your work and invading your homes, just as diough I had got a heavenly mission to civilize you.

It was very fine for a time, but after a bit I did get tired of resting.

Then I began to look for a ship— I should think the hardest work on eardi. But the ships wouldn’t even look at me. And I got tired of diat game too.

“Now when I was a little chap I had a passion for maps.

I would look for hours at South America, or Africa, or Australia, and lose myself in all die glories of exploration.

At that time there were many blank spaces on the earth, and when I saw one that looked particularly inviting on a map (but they all look that) I would put my finger on it and say, When I grow up I will go there.

The North Pole was one of these places, I remember.

Well, I haven’t been there yet, and shall not try now.

The glamour’s off. Other places were scattered about the Equator, and in ever}’ sort of latitude all over the two hemispheres.

I have been in some of them, and . . . well, we won’t talk about that. But there was one yet— die biggest, the most blank, so to speak— that I had a hankering after.

“True, by this time it was not a blank space any more.

It had got filled since my boyhood with rivers and lakes and names.

It had ceased to be a blank space of delightful mystery— a white patch for a boy to dream gloriously over. It had become a place of darkness.

But there was in it one river especially, a mighty big river, that you could see on die map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in die sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land.

And as I looked at the map of it in a shop-window, it fascinated me as a snake would a bird— a silly little bird.

Then I remembered there was a big concern, a Company for trade on that river.

Dash it all! I thought to myself, they can’t trade without using some kind of craft on that lot of fresh water— steamboats! Why shouldn’t I try to get charge of one

WriterJoseph Conrad
PDF Size0.5 MB

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