Crónica / José Antonio Ramos Sucre


     The king listens unhappily from his rank to the reprimands of a relative exempt from duplicity and privileged by old age and by the sign of death.

     The censures uttered amidst agony attain the value of a threat. The old man laments the subjection of the kingdom under foreign rule and its confiscation of the Lombard speculator. The pirates, subjects of a child king, exterminate the ships and step on the flag similar, in the song of the bards, to a meteor from the storm.

     The old man addresses the discontent of the nobles, their malignant withdrawal and their projects arranged in whispers. The villagers and citizens, ignorant of idleness and other advantages brought about by commerce, wait in their vile wooden houses for the sign of sedition. Wealth persuades one to meekness.

     The king suffers from the will and endures the warning. He returns to the palace and gathers in his chamber to breed valiant thoughts under the suggestion of a bronze eagle.

     Faithful messengers successively appear with news of gathering the seditious ones. They mistrust the king’s composure and look at him as vanquished and subject to dishonor.

     The authors of the disturbance enter the chamber tearing apart the doors and windows with the effort of their shoulders and hands dressed in iron gloves. They print on the wooden floor the arrogant foot, wearing a fierce spur, to second the excess of a hirsute face and sing-song voice. In moments of anger they pull their thorny beards. They order the king’s captivity in a subterranean passage, a type of dungeon or quagmire, and they execute in that instant and in a unanimous manner the brave gesture of adjusting the hand to the waist.

     The king is a widower and has only one child. The disloyal tutor entertains himself by carefully cutting the prince’s eyelids with surgical scissors.

     The name of the king can be read on a lead engraving adhered to a coffin.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

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

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