the oil, soot, and refuse of steamers that care neither for the tide, the wind, nor the waves." Which simile is surely the exaggeration of a disillusioned romanticist.
But Conrad is a poet as well as a pessimist. No one but a poet could have written some of his passages of descriptive prose; being emotionally felt by the writer the scene is vividly realised by the reader. Some of the scenes he has described in this manner I shall not easily forget. Some of the incidents, for instance, in The Shadow Line, which I consider the best of all his stories. It is a prose epic of two men's struggles with a becalmed ship and a crew all stricken with malaria. The story is based on an adventure of the author's and, he says, is practically autobiography. This may or may not account for the simplicity of the diction and the directness of the narrative; the fact remains that The Shadow Line is the least marred by the faults which I have noted above. Most of his other stories are more or less spoilt by his digressional methods and too deliberately elaborate prose. ( 1924)
M. D. ZABEL
CONRAD'S TITLE PAGES always taxed his scruples as severely as any part of his manuscripts, not always to his own satisfaction or to ours in the titles he arrived at, but with notable success in the epigraphs he placed below them. These he used consistently. Mrs. Conrad has said that they were always chosen with extreme care, Conrad taking pains that these "quotations had always a close and direct relation to the contents of the book itself" and that they should express "the mood in which the work was written." Sometimes it is the mood whether of memory, pathos, irony,____________________