By Joseph Conrad
The memoirs of the well-known Polish-British novelist Joseph Conrad.
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Extra resources for A Personal Record
The fidelity to a special tradition may last through the events of an unrelated existence, following faithfully, too, the traced way of an inexplicable impulse. It would take too long to explain the intimate alliance of contradictions in human nature which makes love itself wear at times the desperate shape of betrayal. And perhaps there is no possible explanation. Indulgence - as somebody said - is the most intelligent of all the virtues. I venture to think that it is one of the least common, if not the most uncommon of all.
I have learned something of it since. Not that I have been reduced to eat dog. I have fed on the emblematical animal, which, in the language of the volatile Gauls, is called la vache enragee; I have lived on ancient salt junk, I know the taste of shark, of trepang, of snake, of nondescript dishes containing things without a name - but of the Lithuanian village dog never! , who in his young days, had eaten the Lithuanian dog. I wish he had not. The childish horror of the deed clings absurdly to the grizzled man.
Lest some construction favourable to his valour should be put on the fact he condescended to explain how it came to pass. It seems that shortly after the 61 retreat began he was sent back to the town where some divisions of the French army (and among them the Polish corps of Prince Joseph Poniatowski), jammed hopelessly in the streets, were being simply exterminated by the troops of the Allied Powers. When asked what it was like in there, Mr. Nicholas B. " Having delivered his message to the Prince he hastened away at once to render an account of his mission to the superior who had sent him.
A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad