What is life worth if one cannot jabber to one heart's con- tent? If one cannot expose one's maimed thoughts at the gate of some cemetery or some palace; and from the dis- gusted compassion of the virtuous extract the precious pen- ny? The unexpected always happens. And if there is no room for one in this world, there is I suspect a place for everyone in the shadowy spaces of the next.
They will not bein any case wasted: for they have awakened feelings, stirred up sentiments, caused 1 An effort to obtain Conrad a "command" of a ship. Caused pleasure, called out hope, gratitude doubt; shaped uncertainty into amusing outlines and touched the heart. So, I apprehend, as work of art they are complete and successful and no mere failure in securing their ends can destroy the fact of a higher success. I shall turn up on Tuesday at the concert. There's nothing i desire more than to be made known to Mrs Garnett oi whom I am unable as yet to think otherwise than as the incomparable translator of an incomparable novelist.
I am, dear encourager, Yours ever J. Please let me know where to find you. I do not know youi Rwy station. Also let me know about what time we ma? If you spoke as a friend I listened in the same manner listened and was only a little, a very little dis- mayed. If one looks at life in its true aspect then everything loses much of its unpleasant importance and the atmosphere becomes cleared of what are only unimportant mists that drift past in imposing shapes.
When once the truth is grasped that one's own personality is only a ridiculous and aimless masquerade of something hopelessly unknown the attain- ment of serenity is not very far off.
Then there remains nothing but the surrender to one's impulses, the fidelity to passing emotions which is perhaps a nearer approach to truth than any other philosophy of life. And why not? If we are "ever becoming never being" then I would be a fool if I tried to become this thing rather than that; for I know well that I never will be anything. I would rather grasp the solid satisfaction of my wrong-headedness and shake my fist at the idiotic mystery of Heaven. So much for trifles.
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As to that other kind of foolishness : my work, 1 there you have driven home the conviction and I shall write the sea-story at once 12 months. It will be on the lines indicated to you. I surrender to the infamous spirit which you have awakened within me and as I want my abasement to be very complete I am looking for a sen- sational title. You had better help O Gentle and Murderous Spirit! You have killed my cherished aspiration and now must come along and help to bury the corpse decently. A Tale of Narrow Waters. My dear Garnett you are a perfect nuisance!
Here I sit with ever so many things to do and chatter to you in- stead of being up and doing and what's worse I have no inclination to leave off.
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Surrender to impulses you see. If I was not afraid of your enigmatical but slightly venom- ous smile I would be tempted to say with Lingard: "I am an old fooll" But I don't want to give you an opportunity for one of your beastly hearty approvals. So I won't say that, I will say: "I am a wise old man of the sea" to you. Tell Mrs. Garnett with my most respectful and friendly regards how grateful I am to her for the kind reception of myself and Jessie. I commend myself to her kind remem- brance and look forward to my next visit to your hermitage, with pleasure unalloyed by the fear of boring her to death.
I have the utmost confidence in her indulgence and the goodness of her heart will come to the rescue in the distress of her mind. As to you I of course do not care what happens to you. If you expire on your own hearthstone out of sheer "ennui" and weariness of spirit it will only serve you right. Goodbye my dear friend.
I am Yours ever J. Conrad chez Mme Coadon. The above rigmarole is my address for the next six months. I am thirsty and hungry for news from you. Not for any- thing long you know but just for a few lines. Just be for once immorally charitable and drop me a line quick. Have you got our portraits? Jess has been somewhat un- well for three days but is now all right.
She is a very good comrade and no bother at all. As a matter of fact I like to have her with me. We have got a small house all kitchen downstairs and all bedroom upstairs on as rocky and barren island as the heart of right thinking man would wish to have. And the peo- ple' They are dirty and delightful and very Catholic.
And most of them are women. The men fish in Iceland, on the Great banks of Newfoundland and devil knows where else. Only a few old old fellows forgotten by the capricious death that dwells upon the sea shuffle about amongst the stones of this sterile land and seem to wonder peevishly at having been left so long alive.
More inland the country is charming and picturesque and unexpected I like it much I Tell me what do you think of the title and matter of the story. Have you seen any no- 1 The Rescuer signed as a novel  2 Originally designed as a novel, which I criticized adversely, and Conrad laid aside Letters from Joseph Conrad ices of the "Outcast" How do they strike you?
I had some. They struck me all of a heap so to speak. Ought I to wish nyself dead? Or only insane? Or what?
Do tell me. By same mail I write to the Patron?
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Is he very sick at he very thought of me? Or cocky? Or rampagious? Or ishyti icyty, dummyli indifferent? Does he exist at all? Do you all fellows really exist? Is Lon- lon a myth? We both send our love to you both and to the hope of ,he House of Garnett. I have written 15 pages of the dullest trash 1. But I must let you see it. I am so afraid of myself, of my likes and dislikes, of my thought and of my expression that I must fly to you for relief or condemnation for any- thing to kill doubt with.
For with doubt I cannot live at least not for long. Is the thing tolerable?