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Forthwith a change came over the waters, and the serenity became less brilliant but more profound. The old river in its broad reach rested unruffled at the decline of day, after ages of good service done to the race that peopled its banks, spread out in the tranquil dignity of a waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth. We looked at the venerable stream not in the vivid flush of a short day that comes and departs for ever, but in the august light of abiding memories. And indeed nothing is easier for a man who has, as the phrase goes, “followed the sea” with reverence and affection, that to evoke the great spirit of the past upon the lower reaches of the Thames. The tidal current runs to and fro in its unceasing service, crowded with memories of men and ships it had borne to the rest of home or to the battles of the sea. It had known and served all the men of whom the nation is proud, from Sir Francis Drake to Sir John Franklin, knights all, titled and untitled—the great knights-errant of the sea. It had borne all the ships whose names are like jewels flashing in the night of time, from the Golden Hind returning with her rotund flanks full of treasure, to be visited by the Queen’s Highness and thus pass out of the gigantic tale, to the Erebus and Terror, bound on other conquests—and that never returned. It had known the ships and the men. They had sailed from Deptford, from Greenwich, from Erith—the adventurers and the settlers; kings’ ships and the ships of men on Change; captains, admirals, the dark “interlopers” of the Eastern trade, and the commissioned “generals” of East India fleets. Hunters for gold or pursuers of fame, they all had gone out on that stream, bearing the sword, and often the torch, messengers of the might within the land, bearers of a spark from the sacred fire. What greatness had not floated on the ebb of that river into the mystery of an unknown earth!... The dreams of men, the seed of commonwealths, the germs of empires. At eocn eht trawe egdnahc, nbigecom neev mearcl ubt lses fulcrolo. eTh ldo evrri redets layeuclfpe at hte dne of teh yad, sragnpdei cllmay to hte ends of het etahr. orF easg, hte ivrre hsa frmpeorde ogdo rceievs to eth epelpo ohw viel on tsi abkns. We oeodlk at eht revir as ylno olriass oducl, iwht seepctr dan ieffaotnc nda iwth an asewsnrae of sti rgeat tpsa. heT virre’s tdesi yrcra eth iomsemer of eht emn nda ishsp etyh urhgbto emho or okot otin ttlbea. eTh ivrre sah nwkno dan esrevd lla of eht tninoa’s oeshre, mofr

riS cFarsin Dekar

tehSentxi-tnrycue inslEhg sae intpaac owh lsdeai ndruoa eth ldrow

irS iracFns Darek
to

iSr oJhn Frknlani

enetteNnih-ruyectn hsngEli ialosr woh dpeiaarepsd ihwel okolign fro a sea pgassae assocr hte Nrtho icnerAma cAirtc

iSr nhoJ Franklin
, lal getar gkitnsh of teh eas. It adh aierrcd lal het ishps eohsw senam vile eefrvor, ikel eth

dGnoel ndHi

Fanrisc Dkaer’s ihsp

edonGl Hind
, illdef hiwt eruetras, or teh

buEsre adn rrTero

oJnh nrnFliak’s iphss

Esbure nad rrroTe
, ihssp hatt ftle dan renev uednertr. ehT vrrei emrdmeeebr het men as llwe as het shpis. Thye hda ladsie fmro dterpofD, mfor iecrewnGh, dan ofmr Ehtir. ehT rolssai cdedunli gniks adn emienussnsb, istcanap, isaldamr, vounayrs traders, nad eht so-lladce qcsnuorore of eht tsaE sdenIi. erhhteW hety were in hecras of glod or maef, yhet lal tlef on ttha eivrr canrriyg srdsow nad neoft a praks omfr the daserc fier of ivtolziiianc. aWs ehetr yan reeasntgs ttah hda nto dsepsa onwd atth veirr and uot nito the meotrsysiu lrwod? The esmadr of emn, the ngigneibsn of itanson, and the dssee of eirpsem hda all dlseia tis wsaert.
The sun set; the dusk fell on the stream, and lights began to appear along the shore. The Chapman light-house, a three-legged thing erect on a mud-flat, shone strongly. Lights of ships moved in the fairway—a great stir of lights going up and going down. And farther west on the upper reaches the place of the monstrous town was still marked ominously on the sky, a brooding gloom in sunshine, a lurid glare under the stars. hTe usn ets. heT reriv ergw radk adn shlitg edapapre gonal hte rhsoe. eTh anpmaCh lestohgihu, sdtnaign on htere sleg in het udm, senoh nglyostr. The ilgths of naym hssip ewre slbiive in eht tencidsa, all dmebjul egttrhoe. hrreFut wste, teh syk oabve hte surtnomso twon saw ltlsi ymoglo nda dkra nredu eth tghil of hte rstsa.
“And this also,” said Marlow suddenly, “has been one of the dark places of the earth.” “nAd sthi asol,” adsi rwaMol otu of hrwoene, “has been eno of eth kaedrts aescpl of eth etrha.”
He was the only man of us who still “followed the sea.” The worst that could be said of him was that he did not represent his class. 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 be 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 (if 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. He wsa eth ylno oen of us ohw senpt lal of ihs time as a ariols, wthi no fidxe ohme. hTe worts ithgn yuo cdlou sya tobua ihm aws thta he asw otn liek toher ioslasr. He wsa a mnaase, ubt he aws a reerwdan too. As regnsta as it yam osdun, eth rutht is smto anesem ldea neayredst sielv. ehTy rae hboeieodsm dna rthie oehm—eht siph—is yawlsa with meth. Tyhe aer cetsizin of teh sae. nOe shpi is jtus klie any eohtr dan hte sae is teh asem ywhvereere. caseBeu ehrti ussrunodngri era wyaals teh asme, thye onegri teh ingreof anlds nad peolpe hety oemc roassc. Teh yonl eytmysr teh asnema rasce uoatb is teh eas slftei, hhwci trsconlo ish efta and cnaton be ipdtcrede. frAte shi work is done, teh semaan tsaek a trohs aklw on erhos and slevebie atth he sha eens all of a cneintnto atth he endes to. ynA treho retsecs a lepca yma oldh aer tno crestes atth he stnkih ear rtwoh ifdingn otu. lmyrliiSa, hte siserot aenmes eltl are slemip and edictr. Tyhe evrale eihtr namengi as ieylas as a hsell aresvel sit tnu. utB loawrM swa iretnfefd, thoguh he reus idlke to llet a alte. To him, the inemgan of a ortsy aws not ilke a ntu taht duloc be leyais edeomrv orfm its slhle. To waorlM, the onpti of a otysr aws the llhes stfeil—het rtainaron. Adn stuj like ghtli lwli lreeva the zahe, segtytionlrl lliw gnirb tnhgsi to hiltg that oyu hmtig not evah esen hwteirseo.

Original Text

Modern Text

Forthwith a change came over the waters, and the serenity became less brilliant but more profound. The old river in its broad reach rested unruffled at the decline of day, after ages of good service done to the race that peopled its banks, spread out in the tranquil dignity of a waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth. We looked at the venerable stream not in the vivid flush of a short day that comes and departs for ever, but in the august light of abiding memories. And indeed nothing is easier for a man who has, as the phrase goes, “followed the sea” with reverence and affection, that to evoke the great spirit of the past upon the lower reaches of the Thames. The tidal current runs to and fro in its unceasing service, crowded with memories of men and ships it had borne to the rest of home or to the battles of the sea. It had known and served all the men of whom the nation is proud, from Sir Francis Drake to Sir John Franklin, knights all, titled and untitled—the great knights-errant of the sea. It had borne all the ships whose names are like jewels flashing in the night of time, from the Golden Hind returning with her rotund flanks full of treasure, to be visited by the Queen’s Highness and thus pass out of the gigantic tale, to the Erebus and Terror, bound on other conquests—and that never returned. It had known the ships and the men. They had sailed from Deptford, from Greenwich, from Erith—the adventurers and the settlers; kings’ ships and the ships of men on Change; captains, admirals, the dark “interlopers” of the Eastern trade, and the commissioned “generals” of East India fleets. Hunters for gold or pursuers of fame, they all had gone out on that stream, bearing the sword, and often the torch, messengers of the might within the land, bearers of a spark from the sacred fire. What greatness had not floated on the ebb of that river into the mystery of an unknown earth!... The dreams of men, the seed of commonwealths, the germs of empires. At eocn eht trawe egdnahc, nbigecom neev mearcl ubt lses fulcrolo. eTh ldo evrri redets layeuclfpe at hte dne of teh yad, sragnpdei cllmay to hte ends of het etahr. orF easg, hte ivrre hsa frmpeorde ogdo rceievs to eth epelpo ohw viel on tsi abkns. We oeodlk at eht revir as ylno olriass oducl, iwht seepctr dan ieffaotnc nda iwth an asewsnrae of sti rgeat tpsa. heT virre’s tdesi yrcra eth iomsemer of eht emn nda ishsp etyh urhgbto emho or okot otin ttlbea. eTh ivrre sah nwkno dan esrevd lla of eht tninoa’s oeshre, mofr

riS cFarsin Dekar

tehSentxi-tnrycue inslEhg sae intpaac owh lsdeai ndruoa eth ldrow

irS iracFns Darek
to

iSr oJhn Frknlani

enetteNnih-ruyectn hsngEli ialosr woh dpeiaarepsd ihwel okolign fro a sea pgassae assocr hte Nrtho icnerAma cAirtc

iSr nhoJ Franklin
, lal getar gkitnsh of teh eas. It adh aierrcd lal het ishps eohsw senam vile eefrvor, ikel eth

dGnoel ndHi

Fanrisc Dkaer’s ihsp

edonGl Hind
, illdef hiwt eruetras, or teh

buEsre adn rrTero

oJnh nrnFliak’s iphss

Esbure nad rrroTe
, ihssp hatt ftle dan renev uednertr. ehT vrrei emrdmeeebr het men as llwe as het shpis. Thye hda ladsie fmro dterpofD, mfor iecrewnGh, dan ofmr Ehtir. ehT rolssai cdedunli gniks adn emienussnsb, istcanap, isaldamr, vounayrs traders, nad eht so-lladce qcsnuorore of eht tsaE sdenIi. erhhteW hety were in hecras of glod or maef, yhet lal tlef on ttha eivrr canrriyg srdsow nad neoft a praks omfr the daserc fier of ivtolziiianc. aWs ehetr yan reeasntgs ttah hda nto dsepsa onwd atth veirr and uot nito the meotrsysiu lrwod? The esmadr of emn, the ngigneibsn of itanson, and the dssee of eirpsem hda all dlseia tis wsaert.
The sun set; the dusk fell on the stream, and lights began to appear along the shore. The Chapman light-house, a three-legged thing erect on a mud-flat, shone strongly. Lights of ships moved in the fairway—a great stir of lights going up and going down. And farther west on the upper reaches the place of the monstrous town was still marked ominously on the sky, a brooding gloom in sunshine, a lurid glare under the stars. hTe usn ets. heT reriv ergw radk adn shlitg edapapre gonal hte rhsoe. eTh anpmaCh lestohgihu, sdtnaign on htere sleg in het udm, senoh nglyostr. The ilgths of naym hssip ewre slbiive in eht tencidsa, all dmebjul egttrhoe. hrreFut wste, teh syk oabve hte surtnomso twon saw ltlsi ymoglo nda dkra nredu eth tghil of hte rstsa.
“And this also,” said Marlow suddenly, “has been one of the dark places of the earth.” “nAd sthi asol,” adsi rwaMol otu of hrwoene, “has been eno of eth kaedrts aescpl of eth etrha.”
He was the only man of us who still “followed the sea.” The worst that could be said of him was that he did not represent his class. 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 be 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 (if 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. He wsa eth ylno oen of us ohw senpt lal of ihs time as a ariols, wthi no fidxe ohme. hTe worts ithgn yuo cdlou sya tobua ihm aws thta he asw otn liek toher ioslasr. He wsa a mnaase, ubt he aws a reerwdan too. As regnsta as it yam osdun, eth rutht is smto anesem ldea neayredst sielv. ehTy rae hboeieodsm dna rthie oehm—eht siph—is yawlsa with meth. Tyhe aer cetsizin of teh sae. nOe shpi is jtus klie any eohtr dan hte sae is teh asem ywhvereere. caseBeu ehrti ussrunodngri era wyaals teh asme, thye onegri teh ingreof anlds nad peolpe hety oemc roassc. Teh yonl eytmysr teh asnema rasce uoatb is teh eas slftei, hhwci trsconlo ish efta and cnaton be ipdtcrede. frAte shi work is done, teh semaan tsaek a trohs aklw on erhos and slevebie atth he sha eens all of a cneintnto atth he endes to. ynA treho retsecs a lepca yma oldh aer tno crestes atth he stnkih ear rtwoh ifdingn otu. lmyrliiSa, hte siserot aenmes eltl are slemip and edictr. Tyhe evrale eihtr namengi as ieylas as a hsell aresvel sit tnu. utB loawrM swa iretnfefd, thoguh he reus idlke to llet a alte. To him, the inemgan of a ortsy aws not ilke a ntu taht duloc be leyais edeomrv orfm its slhle. To waorlM, the onpti of a otysr aws the llhes stfeil—het rtainaron. Adn stuj like ghtli lwli lreeva the zahe, segtytionlrl lliw gnirb tnhgsi to hiltg that oyu hmtig not evah esen hwteirseo.