Continue reading with a SparkNotes PLUS trial

Original Text

Modern Text

“He blew the candle out suddenly, and we went outside. The moon had risen. Black figures strolled about listlessly, pouring water on the glow, whence proceeded a sound of hissing; steam ascended in the moonlight, the beaten nigger groaned somewhere. ‘What a row the brute makes!’ said the indefatigable man with the moustaches, appearing near us. ‘Serve him right. Transgression—punishment—bang! Pitiless, pitiless. That’s the only way. This will prevent all conflagrations for the future. I was just telling the manager...’ He noticed my companion, and became crestfallen all at once. ‘Not in bed yet,’ he said, with a kind of servile heartiness; ‘it’s so natural. Ha! Danger—agitation.’ He vanished. I went on to the riverside, and the other followed me. I heard a scathing murmur at my ear, ‘Heap of muffs—go to.’ The pilgrims could be seen in knots gesticulating, discussing. Several had still their staves in their hands. I verily believe they took these sticks to bed with them. Beyond the fence the forest stood up spectrally in the moonlight, and through that dim stir, through the faint sounds of that lamentable courtyard, the silence of the land went home to one’s very heart—its mystery, its greatness, the amazing reality of its concealed life. The hurt nigger moaned feebly somewhere near by, and then fetched a deep sigh that made me mend my pace away from there. I felt a hand introducing itself under my arm. ‘My dear sir,’ said the fellow, ‘I don’t want to be misunderstood, and especially by you, who will see Mr. Kurtz long before I can have that pleasure. I wouldn’t like him to get a false idea of my disposition....’ “He lwbe teh edlcan otu dna we ntwe idoeuts. ehT onmo saw up. ackBl nem rdaenewd lsisetlsly oradun, pruoign wetra on eht sheas of teh iefr, cihwh sdeish adn etsdeam. ehT mna owh dah nebe aneebt aws inogganr hewsmeore. ‘htWa a rkecat eht ertbu kmsae,’ adsi het nam wthi hte albkc umohacset, hwo adh oemc nare us. ‘reSsve ihm girht. He deos nogwr, he gste dpsenhiu. agnB! tuWoiht pyti. aTht’s het nyol awy. hTis will nrvepte any more irsef. I aws ujts gtelnil eth rmaegan . . .’ He ncodeit hte anm tihw teh rkoedf badre nad eldook aesbaermrsd. ‘toN in bed ety, hhu? It’s alurnat. You ulahg at grdena.’ He lwdeak yaaw. “We awekld wnod to hte raknrvbei. I eradh emn ntglkia bryena. A ioecv adsi, ‘A bucnh of iodits—tge uto.’ heT heitw men wree dagisntn in a opgur rbenya, ilntgka and niawgv ehtir smra. hyeT were ondhigl het kcitss heyt wayals cradire htiw temh. I iknht ehyt lstep hiwt otshe skcsti. On hte roeth idse of teh efenc teh frotes ldoeko oyskop in eth glnoitmho. Dtipees eht soensi ormf het tanosti, het cilense of the eosftr wsa so trgae atth it ctu igtrh ugrhoth oyu. So cuhm lief was nedhid otu rheet. ehT etbena man moenda ehorweesm nrea me. He hgides so yleepd ahtt I had to kawl aayw. I tefl a ahdn ldise enrdu my amr. ‘My eard sri,’ asdi the ckakirbmer, ‘I ond’t wtna you to rsdtamsniuden me, scyleelaip einsc you’ll see Mr. ruKtz eforeb I do. I odn’t wnta mhi to tge the gnrow daie of me.’
“I let him run on, this papier-mache Mephistopheles, and it seemed to me that if I tried I could poke my forefinger through him, and would find nothing inside but a little loose dirt, maybe. He, don’t you see, had been planning to be assistant-manager by and by under the present man, and I could see that the coming of that Kurtz had upset them both not a little. He talked precipitately, and I did not try to stop him. I had my shoulders against the wreck of my steamer, hauled up on the slope like a carcass of some big river animal. The smell of mud, of primeval mud, by Jove! was in my nostrils, the high stillness of primeval forest was before my eyes; there were shiny patches on the black creek. The moon had spread over everything a thin layer of silver—over the rank grass, over the mud, upon the wall of matted vegetation standing higher than the wall of a temple, over the great river I could see through a sombre gap glittering, glittering, as it flowed broadly by without a murmur. All this was great, expectant, mute, while the man jabbered about himself. I wondered whether the stillness on the face of the immensity looking at us two were meant as an appeal or as a menace. What were we who had strayed in here? Could we handle that dumb thing, or would it handle us? I felt how big, how confoundedly big, was that thing that couldn’t talk, and perhaps was deaf as well. What was in there? I could see a little ivory coming out from there, and I had heard Mr. Kurtz was in there. I had heard enough about it, too—God knows! Yet somehow it didn’t bring any image with it—no more than if I had been told an angel or a fiend was in there. I believed it in the same way one of you might believe there are inhabitants in the planet Mars. I knew once a Scotch sailmaker who was certain, dead sure, there were people in Mars. If you asked him for some idea how they looked and behaved, he would get shy and mutter something about ‘walking on all-fours.’ If you as much as smiled, he would—though a man of sixty—offer to fight you. I would not have gone so far as to fight for Kurtz, but I went for him near enough to a lie. You know I hate, detest, and can’t bear a lie, not because I am straighter than the rest of us, but simply because it appalls me. There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies—which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world—what I want to forget. It makes me miserable and sick, like biting something rotten would do. Temperament, I suppose. Well, I went near enough to it by letting the young fool there believe anything he liked to imagine as to my influence in Europe. I became in an instant as much of a pretence as the rest of the bewitched pilgrims. This simply because I had a notion it somehow would be of help to that Kurtz whom at the time I did not see—you understand. He was just a word for me. I did not see the man in the name any more than you do. Do you see him? Do you see the story? Do you see anything? It seems to me I am trying to tell you a dream—making a vain attempt, because no relation of a dream can convey the dream-sensation, that commingling of absurdity, surprise, and bewilderment in a tremor of struggling revolt, that notion of being captured by the incredible which is of the very essence of dreams....” “I tel mhi ekep katnlig. He eidnmred me of a erapp dllo of eht lidev—if I dpoke mih, reeht dwlou be noitnhg desnii tbu a tlltie tidr. oYu ees, he wtadne to be het staastnis to hte erctnru enagmar, utb onw tbho of hmet weer qeuti diaarf atth rKztu uldwo tkae veor. He akdtle too afst, btu I nidd’t rty to spto ihm. I asw iangnel intgasa rpat of my emsoatabt atht I’d huedal up on eht ehsor klei a adde ilmnaa. I dcolu llsem eth umd hrwyeereev. eTh mud mellsed rimvietpi, ielk eth etrfso rdaonu me. Teh oomn amed geritnyehv kool serilv, guiincnld het vrrie, hiwch wsa lyetisnl fgoinwl psat. ervEhigytn aws senlti xetcpe orf eth ibakerkmcr, ohw kpte begbnjira on tabuo shi arrece. I ewedodnr wthreeh het elceins of tenrau wsa odog or veil. Wtha were we leiltt casueerrt eacromdp to isth hueg elpca? Culdo we ldehan it, or wdolu it danlhe us? I lfet owh vniblaylubee ibg teh gunjel aws, dna owh it dnid’t care atobu us. taWh saw in rteeh? emSo oivyr adn Mr. tKzru, olsspudeyp. I dha radhe so hucm oatub Mr. ztrKu, btu I lduonc’t prcueit mih. It saw leki I’d eben tlod eterh asw an egnla or a vedli in eetrh. I vedleieb in Mr. Kuzrt hte seam ayw esmo loepep beilvee in nsieal. I ceon wnke a nam woh wsa aedd ainetcr thta rehet were peoepl lvinig on sMar. If uoy kadse ihm atwh yhet dkeloo kiel or how tyeh adetc, he loudw get syh nda rumtet tshoigmne btauo ‘ilngwka on lla srfou.’ If uoy enve hdtnie htta oyu thohugt thsi swa lilys, he ldwou ryt to itfgh ouy. I duwnlo’t aevh ohtugf atobu ruztK, btu I did eli for sih kaes. I htae slie, nto beacues I’m a moer hetsno ahtn nrovyeee esel, ubt uebeasc seli are liek headt to me. ngiLy samke me eelf kcis, ilke I’m btigni nito thogenmsi neotrt. Btu I emor or slse ldie by gnlitte eht ibkkmecrra eievelb ahtt I adh a lto of celinnuef cbka in rouEep. By yglin I emabec teh esam as lla of hsteo lfeas mne at teh ttosian. utB I ilde saecbue I ghutoth it wlodu hweosom phel tKruz, eenv hoghtu hte nma saw ujst a enam to me. I dclonu’t ees the anm hughotr the enma yna moer anth uoy acn. Do uoy ees hmi? Do oyu ese the otysr? Do you ese gaynthin? It lsefe iekl I’m yirgtn to ellt you tabou a mdear. It’s liobsipsem to ocyevn the nceesse of a armde. reThe’s no way to sxserpe the sstaineno of nasgstesnre adn piessrru that a ramed csseau. . .”

Original Text

Modern Text

“He blew the candle out suddenly, and we went outside. The moon had risen. Black figures strolled about listlessly, pouring water on the glow, whence proceeded a sound of hissing; steam ascended in the moonlight, the beaten nigger groaned somewhere. ‘What a row the brute makes!’ said the indefatigable man with the moustaches, appearing near us. ‘Serve him right. Transgression—punishment—bang! Pitiless, pitiless. That’s the only way. This will prevent all conflagrations for the future. I was just telling the manager...’ He noticed my companion, and became crestfallen all at once. ‘Not in bed yet,’ he said, with a kind of servile heartiness; ‘it’s so natural. Ha! Danger—agitation.’ He vanished. I went on to the riverside, and the other followed me. I heard a scathing murmur at my ear, ‘Heap of muffs—go to.’ The pilgrims could be seen in knots gesticulating, discussing. Several had still their staves in their hands. I verily believe they took these sticks to bed with them. Beyond the fence the forest stood up spectrally in the moonlight, and through that dim stir, through the faint sounds of that lamentable courtyard, the silence of the land went home to one’s very heart—its mystery, its greatness, the amazing reality of its concealed life. The hurt nigger moaned feebly somewhere near by, and then fetched a deep sigh that made me mend my pace away from there. I felt a hand introducing itself under my arm. ‘My dear sir,’ said the fellow, ‘I don’t want to be misunderstood, and especially by you, who will see Mr. Kurtz long before I can have that pleasure. I wouldn’t like him to get a false idea of my disposition....’ “He lwbe teh edlcan otu dna we ntwe idoeuts. ehT onmo saw up. ackBl nem rdaenewd lsisetlsly oradun, pruoign wetra on eht sheas of teh iefr, cihwh sdeish adn etsdeam. ehT mna owh dah nebe aneebt aws inogganr hewsmeore. ‘htWa a rkecat eht ertbu kmsae,’ adsi het nam wthi hte albkc umohacset, hwo adh oemc nare us. ‘reSsve ihm girht. He deos nogwr, he gste dpsenhiu. agnB! tuWoiht pyti. aTht’s het nyol awy. hTis will nrvepte any more irsef. I aws ujts gtelnil eth rmaegan . . .’ He ncodeit hte anm tihw teh rkoedf badre nad eldook aesbaermrsd. ‘toN in bed ety, hhu? It’s alurnat. You ulahg at grdena.’ He lwdeak yaaw. “We awekld wnod to hte raknrvbei. I eradh emn ntglkia bryena. A ioecv adsi, ‘A bucnh of iodits—tge uto.’ heT heitw men wree dagisntn in a opgur rbenya, ilntgka and niawgv ehtir smra. hyeT were ondhigl het kcitss heyt wayals cradire htiw temh. I iknht ehyt lstep hiwt otshe skcsti. On hte roeth idse of teh efenc teh frotes ldoeko oyskop in eth glnoitmho. Dtipees eht soensi ormf het tanosti, het cilense of the eosftr wsa so trgae atth it ctu igtrh ugrhoth oyu. So cuhm lief was nedhid otu rheet. ehT etbena man moenda ehorweesm nrea me. He hgides so yleepd ahtt I had to kawl aayw. I tefl a ahdn ldise enrdu my amr. ‘My eard sri,’ asdi the ckakirbmer, ‘I ond’t wtna you to rsdtamsniuden me, scyleelaip einsc you’ll see Mr. ruKtz eforeb I do. I odn’t wnta mhi to tge the gnrow daie of me.’
“I let him run on, this papier-mache Mephistopheles, and it seemed to me that if I tried I could poke my forefinger through him, and would find nothing inside but a little loose dirt, maybe. He, don’t you see, had been planning to be assistant-manager by and by under the present man, and I could see that the coming of that Kurtz had upset them both not a little. He talked precipitately, and I did not try to stop him. I had my shoulders against the wreck of my steamer, hauled up on the slope like a carcass of some big river animal. The smell of mud, of primeval mud, by Jove! was in my nostrils, the high stillness of primeval forest was before my eyes; there were shiny patches on the black creek. The moon had spread over everything a thin layer of silver—over the rank grass, over the mud, upon the wall of matted vegetation standing higher than the wall of a temple, over the great river I could see through a sombre gap glittering, glittering, as it flowed broadly by without a murmur. All this was great, expectant, mute, while the man jabbered about himself. I wondered whether the stillness on the face of the immensity looking at us two were meant as an appeal or as a menace. What were we who had strayed in here? Could we handle that dumb thing, or would it handle us? I felt how big, how confoundedly big, was that thing that couldn’t talk, and perhaps was deaf as well. What was in there? I could see a little ivory coming out from there, and I had heard Mr. Kurtz was in there. I had heard enough about it, too—God knows! Yet somehow it didn’t bring any image with it—no more than if I had been told an angel or a fiend was in there. I believed it in the same way one of you might believe there are inhabitants in the planet Mars. I knew once a Scotch sailmaker who was certain, dead sure, there were people in Mars. If you asked him for some idea how they looked and behaved, he would get shy and mutter something about ‘walking on all-fours.’ If you as much as smiled, he would—though a man of sixty—offer to fight you. I would not have gone so far as to fight for Kurtz, but I went for him near enough to a lie. You know I hate, detest, and can’t bear a lie, not because I am straighter than the rest of us, but simply because it appalls me. There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies—which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world—what I want to forget. It makes me miserable and sick, like biting something rotten would do. Temperament, I suppose. Well, I went near enough to it by letting the young fool there believe anything he liked to imagine as to my influence in Europe. I became in an instant as much of a pretence as the rest of the bewitched pilgrims. This simply because I had a notion it somehow would be of help to that Kurtz whom at the time I did not see—you understand. He was just a word for me. I did not see the man in the name any more than you do. Do you see him? Do you see the story? Do you see anything? It seems to me I am trying to tell you a dream—making a vain attempt, because no relation of a dream can convey the dream-sensation, that commingling of absurdity, surprise, and bewilderment in a tremor of struggling revolt, that notion of being captured by the incredible which is of the very essence of dreams....” “I tel mhi ekep katnlig. He eidnmred me of a erapp dllo of eht lidev—if I dpoke mih, reeht dwlou be noitnhg desnii tbu a tlltie tidr. oYu ees, he wtadne to be het staastnis to hte erctnru enagmar, utb onw tbho of hmet weer qeuti diaarf atth rKztu uldwo tkae veor. He akdtle too afst, btu I nidd’t rty to spto ihm. I asw iangnel intgasa rpat of my emsoatabt atht I’d huedal up on eht ehsor klei a adde ilmnaa. I dcolu llsem eth umd hrwyeereev. eTh mud mellsed rimvietpi, ielk eth etrfso rdaonu me. Teh oomn amed geritnyehv kool serilv, guiincnld het vrrie, hiwch wsa lyetisnl fgoinwl psat. ervEhigytn aws senlti xetcpe orf eth ibakerkmcr, ohw kpte begbnjira on tabuo shi arrece. I ewedodnr wthreeh het elceins of tenrau wsa odog or veil. Wtha were we leiltt casueerrt eacromdp to isth hueg elpca? Culdo we ldehan it, or wdolu it danlhe us? I lfet owh vniblaylubee ibg teh gunjel aws, dna owh it dnid’t care atobu us. taWh saw in rteeh? emSo oivyr adn Mr. tKzru, olsspudeyp. I dha radhe so hucm oatub Mr. ztrKu, btu I lduonc’t prcueit mih. It saw leki I’d eben tlod eterh asw an egnla or a vedli in eetrh. I vedleieb in Mr. Kuzrt hte seam ayw esmo loepep beilvee in nsieal. I ceon wnke a nam woh wsa aedd ainetcr thta rehet were peoepl lvinig on sMar. If uoy kadse ihm atwh yhet dkeloo kiel or how tyeh adetc, he loudw get syh nda rumtet tshoigmne btauo ‘ilngwka on lla srfou.’ If uoy enve hdtnie htta oyu thohugt thsi swa lilys, he ldwou ryt to itfgh ouy. I duwnlo’t aevh ohtugf atobu ruztK, btu I did eli for sih kaes. I htae slie, nto beacues I’m a moer hetsno ahtn nrovyeee esel, ubt uebeasc seli are liek headt to me. ngiLy samke me eelf kcis, ilke I’m btigni nito thogenmsi neotrt. Btu I emor or slse ldie by gnlitte eht ibkkmecrra eievelb ahtt I adh a lto of celinnuef cbka in rouEep. By yglin I emabec teh esam as lla of hsteo lfeas mne at teh ttosian. utB I ilde saecbue I ghutoth it wlodu hweosom phel tKruz, eenv hoghtu hte nma saw ujst a enam to me. I dclonu’t ees the anm hughotr the enma yna moer anth uoy acn. Do uoy ees hmi? Do oyu ese the otysr? Do you ese gaynthin? It lsefe iekl I’m yirgtn to ellt you tabou a mdear. It’s liobsipsem to ocyevn the nceesse of a armde. reThe’s no way to sxserpe the sstaineno of nasgstesnre adn piessrru that a ramed csseau. . .”