A propósito de Boyacá / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

Regarding Boyacá

     War is labor and the profession of the empirical, according to the calm verdict of Maurice de Saxe. The student of camps and combat easily breaks the wings of the ordinary and pedantic technician. Chance presides the hostilities, praises the conjecture, mocks the calculation.
     The campaign presents surprising and diverse situations that succeed each other. Thus it requires instant cunning, brusque originality at each step. It defeats the preconceived theory, the lofty and meticulous erudition.
     Events seek out and reveal the leader. In the course of prolonged struggles arise captains in young and arrogant flocks to diminish established renowns. The general often germinates in the meager and dreamy young man.
     Enthusiasm brings forth the apt and intrepid conductors with the same certainty as calamitous time or the alternate course of long conflicts. This occurs when extraordinary circumstances overturn and spread the energy of a certain people, until that moment stuck in a ditch and hidden.
     Enthusiasm resists knowledge and seizes victory in intricate and uncertain disputes. It incorporates nations and arms popular agitations that in the end submerge the Napoleonic powers. It rigorously demonstrates the insurmountable strength of the spirit, secret sediment of the world.
     Otherwise there would be no way to explain the rough tenacity, the finally victorious resolve of the Venezuelan ancestor committed in the joust with the king’s party. The generals of youthful daring, the soldiers of coarse energy learned the never-written art of conquering in the school of afflicted campaigns, by means of the council of enthusiasm, as if by a deity.
     The previous ability that any of them might have attained in the service of the rudimentary colonial militia wouldn’t have much value nor would the backward theory learned in dealings with peninsular leaders, if these are compared to refined practice amid the extermination, in the alternative of victory and disaster.
     Anzoátegui is an honorable example in the ambitious, inexperienced and beardless phalanx. A lean young man with dreams who perceived the electrified effluvium of Europe, who consecrated all at once an entire life to great actions, in a vote of classic invoice. Days later, wrathful and frail soldier, immune to dejection in the campaign ten times begun. Eventually, inspired and youthful general, marked by struggle and by advice, who attends the disaster, takes charge of the retreat, hurries the results of victory. Stamped with melancholy by nearby death, he decides Boyacá with an archangel’s flaming sword.
     Bolívar laments his death with proud and tearful words. He thankfully recalls the subaltern’s submission and the citizen’s probity. He would not exercise the prodigal indulgence nor the clement oblivion to honor him. He had effortlessly taken advantage of the abundance of that docile energy. He had seduced from the beginning the will of the ill-fated hero for important aims. He had gathered and harmonized, without hurting himself, that character with several others for the single endeavor. With the same object of driving back the night, the sagacious peasant combines the different virtues of the trees, when he breaks off their branches for a single torch.

La torre de Timón (1925)

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

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