Get it here.
I have developed quite a taste for Conrad recently. Many of his works are complex and highly symbolic, but this, by contrast, is a simple story of a young man setting out on his first sea voyage to the East, as remembered and narrated by his older self. Or is it quite so simple?
At the beginning he hints that the story is intended to describe a moral. In my opinion, it is this: The virtue of young men is that they see all problems as on opportunity to be a hero, born from the joy of testing ones strength. The tragedy of older men is that when they are old enough to see real problems to solve, and have the experience to solve them, they lack the strength and resolution to attempt anything heroic. That by the time you realise the virtue of youth, you have lost it.
Speaking as an older(ish) man looking back on a youth of tilting at windmills, I feel this is a wise observation. Now, if I just had the strength and resolution to do something about it...
I recorded this one, so at least I can prove beyond doubt that I have read it.