"No doubt he was selfish too, but his selfishness had a higher origin, a more lofty aim. I discovered that, say what I would, he was eager to go through the ceremony of execution [...]." (13.15)
Jim's decision to stand trial is one that confuses and even angers people throughout the book, especially Brierly. Marlow, too, is fascinated by Jim's decision, of which he seems to both approve and disapprove. Why is everyone so torn about Jim's choice? Well, for one thing, it's a noble act for him to face up to his mistake. But it also does a disservice to the sailing profession. Such a public trial will make sailors everywhere look bad – not just Jim. Marlow calls Jim both "selfish" and "lofty" here, revealing just how much trouble he has making a decision about Jim's character.