Heart of Darkness

Text and Wordlist

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.

The sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us like the beginning of an interminable waterway. In the offing the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits. A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth.

The Director of Companies was our captain and our host. We four affectionately watched his back as he stood in the bows looking to seaward. On the whole river there was nothing that looked half so nautical. He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified. It was difficult to realize his work was not out there in the luminous estuary, but behind him, within the brooding gloom.

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns-and even convictions. The Lawyer-the best of old fellows-had, because of his many years and many virtues, the only cushion on deck, and was lying on the only rug. The Accountant had brought out already a box of dominoes, and was toying architecturally with the bones. [...]

anchor: boat holding device

flutter: flap wings, move unsteadily

waterway: river, stream, etc

sea-reach: (portata del mare)

in the offing: soon going to happen

to weld: to unite

barge: big, flat ship

to drift: to move

clusters: groups

canvas: strong cloth for paintings

gleams: shines

varnished: coated with clear paint

haze: fog

vanish: disappear

graves: places where bodies are buried

mournful: sad

gloom: sadness, darkness

brooding: sadly thinking

Belgian river station (Public Domain)
Belgian river station (Public Domain)

motionless: totally still

affectionately: sweetly

trustworthiness: (quality of deserving trust because of honesty, etc.)

personified: (existing as a perfect living example of something/created a living representation of something)

brooding: quiet and sad

gloom: sadness/darkness

virtues: good qualities/advantages

accountant: (expert at keeping track of money)

architecturally: (related to beautifully designing and constructing buildings)

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