It was towards the end of April that I had been given these papers to sort out by Dr. Robertson: and it came suddenly back upon my mind that they were thus prepared for a Spanish historian, or a man calling himself such, who had come with high recommendations to the Principal, on a mission of inquiry as to the dispersion of the great Armada. Putting one thing with another, I fancied that the visitor ‘with the gold rings upon his fingers’ might be the same with Dr. Robertson’s historian from Madrid. If that were so, he would be more likely after treasure for himself than information for a learned society. I made up my mind, I should lose no time over my undertaking; and if the ship lay sunk in Sandag Bay, as perhaps both he and I supposed, it should not be for the advantage of this ringed adventurer, but for Mary and myself, and for the good, old, honest, kindly family of the Darnaways.
He pushed wearily away from the dark water and flew toward the land, grateful for what he had learned about work- saving low-altitude flying.
The theme of Nostromo is the domination 91of the silver of the Sulaco mine over the bodies and souls of the human beings who live near it. The light of the silver shines over the book. It is typified by "the white head of Iliguerota rising majestically upon the blue." Conrad, then, in choosing his theme, has selected the most romantic possible, the spirit of silver treasure luring men on desperately to adventure and to death. His atmosphere, therefore, is, in its highest lights, romantic, even until that last vision of all of "the bright line of the horizon, overhung by a big white cloud shining like a mass of solid silver." Sulaco burns with colour. We can see, as though we had been there yesterday, those streets with the coaches, "great family arks swayed on high leathern springs full of pretty powdered faces in which the eyes looked intensely alive and black," the houses, "in the early sunshine, delicate primrose, pale pink, pale blue," or, after dark, from Mrs Gould's balcony "towards the plaza end of the street the glowing coals in the hazeros of the market women cooking their 92evening meal glowed red along the edge of the pavement. A man appeared without a sound in the light of a street lamp, showing the coloured inverted triangle of his broidered poncho, square on his shoulders, hanging to a point below his knees. From the harbour end of the Calle a horseman walked his soft-stepping mount, gleaming silver-grey abreast each lamp under the dark shape of the rider." Later there is that sinister glimpse of the plaza, "where a patrol of cavalry rode round and round without penetrating into the streets which resounded with shouts and the strumming of guitars issuing from the open doors of pulperias... and above the roofs, next to the perpendicular lines of the cathedral towers the snowy curve of Higuerota blocked a large space of darkening blue sky before the windows of the Intendencia." In its final created beauty Sulaco is as romantic, as coloured as one of those cloud-topped, many-towered towns under whose gates we watch Grimm's princes and princesses passing—but the detail of it is 93built with careful realism demanded by the "architecture of Manchester or Birmingham." We wonder, as Sulaco grows familiar to us, as we realise its cathedral, its squares and streets and houses, its slums, its wharves, its sea, its hills and forests, why it is that other novelists have not created towns for us.详情 ➢
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