09 April 2007

Adieu, adieu, all's vanity

In this passage from Heart of Darkness, the narrator is traveling down the river in his interminable voyage Kurtzward, and wondering about his fellow shipmates whom he believes to be cannibals:
Why in the name of all the gnawing devils of hunger they didn't go for us--they were thirty to five--and have a good tuck-in for once, amazes me now when I think of it. They were big powerful men, with not much capacity to weigh the consequences... And I saw that something restraining, one of those human secrets that baffle probability, had come into play there. I looked at them with a swift quickening of interest--not because it occurred to me I might be eaten by them before very long, though I own to you that just then I perceived--in a new light, as it were--how unwholesome the pilgrims looked, and I hoped, yes, I positively hoped, that my aspect was not so--what shall I say?--so--unappetizing: a touch of fantastic vanity which fitted well with the dream-sensation that pervaded all my days at that time.

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