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"In the street – I don’t know why – a queer feeling came to me that I was an imposter. Odd thing that I, who used to clear out for any part of the world at a twenty-four hours’ notice, with less thought than most men give to the crossing of a street, had a moment – I won’t say of hesitation, but of startled pause, before this commonplace affair. The best way I can explain it to you is by saying that, for a second or two, I felt as though, instead of going to the centre of a continent, I were about to set off for the centre of the earth." (1.30)
Marlow feels a nervous anticipation about starting his journey, as though Fate believes he is not capable.
"But as I stood on this hillside, I foresaw that in the blinding sunshine of that land I would become acquainted with a flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil of a rapacious and pitiless folly. How insidious he could be, too, I was only to find out several months later and a thousand miles farther. For a moment I stood appalled, as though by a warning." (1.37)
Fate allows Marlow to see what horrors lie in store for him, specifically a new kind of devil which Marlow is not familiar with. For one brief moment, he has doubts about whether or not he should go on after perceiving Fate’s warning. But he allows this doubt to rule him only for an instant.
[The accountant]: "'Oh, he [Kurtz] will go far, very far,' he began again. 'He will be a somebody in the Administration before long. They, above – the Council in Europe, you know - mean him to be.'" (1.47)
Kurtz is presented as a man destined for great things.