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Above all, we must forgive the unhappy souls who have elected to make the pilgrimage on foot, who skirt the shore and look uncomprehendingly upon the horror of the struggle, the joy of victory, the profound hopelessness of the vanquished.
All a man can betray is his conscience.
All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward upon the miseries and credulities of mankind.
An artist is a man of action, whether he creates a personality, invents an expedient, or finds the issue of a complicated situation.
Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade, since it consists principally of dealing with men.
Exterminate all brutes.
For every age is fed on illusions, lest men should renounce life early, and the human race come to an end.
God is for men and religion is for women.
I can't imagine a human being so hard up for something to do as to quarrel with me.
It is to be remarked that a good many people are born curiously unfitted for the fate waiting them on this earth.
It occurred to me that my speech or my silence, indeed any action of mine, would be a mere futility.
Reality, as usual, beats fiction out of sight.
- in a letter [Reality]
The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much.
The last thing a woman will consent to discover in a man whom she loves, or on whom she simply depends, is want of courage.
The real significance of crime is in its being a breach of faith with the community of mankind.
To have his path made clear for him is the aspiration of every human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence.
Vanity plays lurid tricks with our memory.
Words, as is well known, are great foes of reality.
You shall judge of a man by his foes as well as by his friends.
The well-known shrill voice startled Almayer from his dream of splendid future into the unpleasant realities of the present hour.
- Almayer's Folly [Books (First Lines)]
When he stepped off the straight and narrow path of his peculiar honesty, it was with an inward assertion of unflinching resolve to fall back again into the monotonous but safe stride of virtue as soon as his little excursion into the wayside quagmires had produced the desired effect.
- An Outcast of the Islands
[Books (First Lines)]
It's only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose.
- An Outcast of the Islands (pt. 3, ch. 2)
Marlow ceased, and sat apart, indistinct and silent, in the pose of a meditating Buddha. Nobody moved for a time. "We have lost the first of the ebb," said the Director suddenly. I raised my head. The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky--seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.
- Heart of Darkness [Books (Last Lines)]
The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest. The flood had made, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound down the river, the only thing for it was to come to and wait for the turn of the tide.
- Heart of Darkness [Books (First Lines)]
We live, as we dream--alone.
- Heart of Darkness (ch. 1) [Loneliness]
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