'What brought you here to the South Seas?' he asked presently.

'Many things,' said Attwater. 'Youth, curiosity, romance, the love of the sea, and (it will surprise you to hear) an interest in missions. That has a good deal declined, which will surprise you less. They go the wrong way to work; they are too parsonish, too much of the old wife, and even the old apple wife. CLOTHES, CLOTHES, are their idea; but clothes are not Christianity, any more than they are the sun in heaven, or could take the place of it! They think a parsonage with roses, and church bells, and nice old women bobbing in the lanes, are part and parcel of religion. But religion is a savage thing, like the universe it illuminates; savage, cold, and bare, but infinitely strong.'

Robert Louis Stevenson, The Ebb-Tide, Chapter 8.

The Ebb-Tide is a most excellent novella thematically similar to Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

Back to Anesi's Book of Unfamiliar Quotations

©Copyright 1995-2006 Chuck Anesi all rights reserved