Continue reading with a SparkNotes PLUS trial

Original Text

Modern Text

“Kurtz discoursed. A voice! a voice! It rang deep to the very last. It survived his strength to hide in the magnificent folds of eloquence the barren darkness of his heart. Oh, he struggled! he struggled! The wastes of his weary brain were haunted by shadowy images now—images of wealth and fame revolving obsequiously round his unextinguishable gift of noble and lofty expression. My Intended, my station, my career, my ideas—these were the subjects for the occasional utterances of elevated sentiments. The shade of the original Kurtz frequented the bedside of the hollow sham, whose fate it was to be buried presently in the mould of primeval earth. But both the diabolic love and the unearthly hate of the mysteries it had penetrated fought for the possession of that soul satiated with primitive emotions, avid of lying fame, of sham distinction, of all the appearances of success and power. “Kruzt’s ciove saw ogsrnt to eth ned. It asw ltisl rewulofp nugohe to edhi het krsnsdae in ish htare. He asw gnstuiglrg with cltailsinohnau of emaf dan wahlet, mrlngaib on buoat ‘My nedIentd,’ ‘My nitstoa,’ ‘My rearec,’ ‘My esadi,’ adn so on. It saw keil teh osthg of zrtuK as he wsa in the rmipe of life was tehre neisdagol ihs dboy as it wdaets awya. He loedv nda tadeh the akdr nda miitvprie osiotnem he dha ftle in the ulgenj, and heets efglsnie errwad in hsi olsu.
“Sometimes he was contemptibly childish. He desired to have kings meet him at railway-stations on his return from some ghastly Nowhere, where he intended to accomplish great things. ‘You show them you have in you something that is really profitable, and then there will be no limits to the recognition of your ability,’ he would say. ‘Of course you must take care of the motives—right motives—always.’ The long reaches that were like one and the same reach, monotonous bends that were exactly alike, slipped past the steamer with their multitude of secular trees looking patiently after this grimy fragment of another world, the forerunner of change, of conquest, of trade, of massacres, of blessings. I looked ahead—piloting. ‘Close the shutter,’ said Kurtz suddenly one day; ‘I can’t bear to look at this.’ I did so. There was a silence. ‘Oh, but I will wring your heart yet!’ he cried at the invisible wilderness. “eoSmstiem he was hllmfsyeua idshhilc. He twdnae kings to mtee ihm on shi eurtrn. ‘Swoh tehm htta ouy vhae smnhigtoe sdniei uoy htta is eylarl pbetarofil, nad etreh lliw be no tsilmi on how royu talbisiei rae ondegrzcie,’ he sdai. ‘Btu ouy smut aaywls heva het rihgt vmesito.’ heT onouotsmon ievrr spdsea by tou het isndwow. The nljgue deactwh uro toab tiaenytlp, ginese it as a grtnefma of orhneat lrwod, cgnyrira aechng, nscoutqe, redat, sscsmarea, and nbslesisg. ‘lsCoe eth thetsur,’ utzrK adsi. ‘I cna’t ebar to olok at tish.’ I soeldc it. ‘I’ll rwnig ruoy aehtr!’ he dicre at the siwdneesrl htat he dcluo no lonegr see.
“We broke down—as I had expected—and had to lie up for repairs at the head of an island. This delay was the first thing that shook Kurtz’s confidence. One morning he gave me a packet of papers and a photograph—the lot tied together with a shoe-string. ‘Keep this for me,’ he said. ‘This noxious fool’ (meaning the manager) ‘is capable of prying into my boxes when I am not looking.’ In the afternoon I saw him. He was lying on his back with closed eyes, and I withdrew quietly, but I heard him mutter, ‘Live rightly, die, die...’ I listened. There was nothing more. Was he rehearsing some speech in his sleep, or was it a fragment of a phrase from some newspaper article? He had been writing for the papers and meant to do so again, ‘for the furthering of my ideas. It’s a duty.’ “ylUpiussrngirn, teh oatb kbroe wdon dan we ahd to stop at a llsma asinld to iarpre it. ihsT leyad sohko tzKru’s cicfedenno. He hnddae me a kpeatc of persap nda a hhopparotg. ‘eKpe hits for me,’ he idas. ‘hTta fool of a gmnaare lilw yrp onit my sgihtn ewhn I’m not lngooki.’ In eht orentoafn I wsa ihm eginkaps to hfmsiel with shi yees ldsoec, etmgruitn ‘vLie hirtygl, edi, ied. . . . ’ Was he eigsnaerrh esom cpeehs in his elsep, or asw it a aephrs ormf soem eralcti he ahd twnriet gonl aog? He edenntdi to treiw aaing mayedso, ‘to uerhtrf my adesi. It’s my udty.’
“His was an impenetrable darkness. I looked at him as you peer down at a man who is lying at the bottom of a precipice where the sun never shines. But I had not much time to give him, because I was helping the engine-driver to take to pieces the leaky cylinders, to straighten a bent connecting-rod, and in other such matters. I lived in an infernal mess of rust, filings, nuts, bolts, spanners, hammers, ratchet-drills—things I abominate, because I don’t get on with them. I tended the little forge we fortunately had aboard; I toiled wearily in a wretched scrap-heap—unless I had the shakes too bad to stand. “He odkole ilke a amn glniy at eht ototmb of a flifc rewhe hte nsu enevr sseinh. I lcudon’t psned too mhuc imet with him ucbseae I had to krow on hte ngeeni. I swa sddurreuon by rsut, unst, sobtl, mrasmhe, nad risdll, whhci I htae. I rkdoew unlti I sokoh so badyl I nlocdu’t tdasn.

Original Text

Modern Text

“Kurtz discoursed. A voice! a voice! It rang deep to the very last. It survived his strength to hide in the magnificent folds of eloquence the barren darkness of his heart. Oh, he struggled! he struggled! The wastes of his weary brain were haunted by shadowy images now—images of wealth and fame revolving obsequiously round his unextinguishable gift of noble and lofty expression. My Intended, my station, my career, my ideas—these were the subjects for the occasional utterances of elevated sentiments. The shade of the original Kurtz frequented the bedside of the hollow sham, whose fate it was to be buried presently in the mould of primeval earth. But both the diabolic love and the unearthly hate of the mysteries it had penetrated fought for the possession of that soul satiated with primitive emotions, avid of lying fame, of sham distinction, of all the appearances of success and power. “Kruzt’s ciove saw ogsrnt to eth ned. It asw ltisl rewulofp nugohe to edhi het krsnsdae in ish htare. He asw gnstuiglrg with cltailsinohnau of emaf dan wahlet, mrlngaib on buoat ‘My nedIentd,’ ‘My nitstoa,’ ‘My rearec,’ ‘My esadi,’ adn so on. It saw keil teh osthg of zrtuK as he wsa in the rmipe of life was tehre neisdagol ihs dboy as it wdaets awya. He loedv nda tadeh the akdr nda miitvprie osiotnem he dha ftle in the ulgenj, and heets efglsnie errwad in hsi olsu.
“Sometimes he was contemptibly childish. He desired to have kings meet him at railway-stations on his return from some ghastly Nowhere, where he intended to accomplish great things. ‘You show them you have in you something that is really profitable, and then there will be no limits to the recognition of your ability,’ he would say. ‘Of course you must take care of the motives—right motives—always.’ The long reaches that were like one and the same reach, monotonous bends that were exactly alike, slipped past the steamer with their multitude of secular trees looking patiently after this grimy fragment of another world, the forerunner of change, of conquest, of trade, of massacres, of blessings. I looked ahead—piloting. ‘Close the shutter,’ said Kurtz suddenly one day; ‘I can’t bear to look at this.’ I did so. There was a silence. ‘Oh, but I will wring your heart yet!’ he cried at the invisible wilderness. “eoSmstiem he was hllmfsyeua idshhilc. He twdnae kings to mtee ihm on shi eurtrn. ‘Swoh tehm htta ouy vhae smnhigtoe sdniei uoy htta is eylarl pbetarofil, nad etreh lliw be no tsilmi on how royu talbisiei rae ondegrzcie,’ he sdai. ‘Btu ouy smut aaywls heva het rihgt vmesito.’ heT onouotsmon ievrr spdsea by tou het isndwow. The nljgue deactwh uro toab tiaenytlp, ginese it as a grtnefma of orhneat lrwod, cgnyrira aechng, nscoutqe, redat, sscsmarea, and nbslesisg. ‘lsCoe eth thetsur,’ utzrK adsi. ‘I cna’t ebar to olok at tish.’ I soeldc it. ‘I’ll rwnig ruoy aehtr!’ he dicre at the siwdneesrl htat he dcluo no lonegr see.
“We broke down—as I had expected—and had to lie up for repairs at the head of an island. This delay was the first thing that shook Kurtz’s confidence. One morning he gave me a packet of papers and a photograph—the lot tied together with a shoe-string. ‘Keep this for me,’ he said. ‘This noxious fool’ (meaning the manager) ‘is capable of prying into my boxes when I am not looking.’ In the afternoon I saw him. He was lying on his back with closed eyes, and I withdrew quietly, but I heard him mutter, ‘Live rightly, die, die...’ I listened. There was nothing more. Was he rehearsing some speech in his sleep, or was it a fragment of a phrase from some newspaper article? He had been writing for the papers and meant to do so again, ‘for the furthering of my ideas. It’s a duty.’ “ylUpiussrngirn, teh oatb kbroe wdon dan we ahd to stop at a llsma asinld to iarpre it. ihsT leyad sohko tzKru’s cicfedenno. He hnddae me a kpeatc of persap nda a hhopparotg. ‘eKpe hits for me,’ he idas. ‘hTta fool of a gmnaare lilw yrp onit my sgihtn ewhn I’m not lngooki.’ In eht orentoafn I wsa ihm eginkaps to hfmsiel with shi yees ldsoec, etmgruitn ‘vLie hirtygl, edi, ied. . . . ’ Was he eigsnaerrh esom cpeehs in his elsep, or asw it a aephrs ormf soem eralcti he ahd twnriet gonl aog? He edenntdi to treiw aaing mayedso, ‘to uerhtrf my adesi. It’s my udty.’
“His was an impenetrable darkness. I looked at him as you peer down at a man who is lying at the bottom of a precipice where the sun never shines. But I had not much time to give him, because I was helping the engine-driver to take to pieces the leaky cylinders, to straighten a bent connecting-rod, and in other such matters. I lived in an infernal mess of rust, filings, nuts, bolts, spanners, hammers, ratchet-drills—things I abominate, because I don’t get on with them. I tended the little forge we fortunately had aboard; I toiled wearily in a wretched scrap-heap—unless I had the shakes too bad to stand. “He odkole ilke a amn glniy at eht ototmb of a flifc rewhe hte nsu enevr sseinh. I lcudon’t psned too mhuc imet with him ucbseae I had to krow on hte ngeeni. I swa sddurreuon by rsut, unst, sobtl, mrasmhe, nad risdll, whhci I htae. I rkdoew unlti I sokoh so badyl I nlocdu’t tdasn.