Thursday, May 27, 2004
We are not the only people blessed with living in interesting times. As I'm pretty busy for the next few days, I'm going to offer up the words of a man who lived in interesting times and did his part to make them more interesting.
"No history is so hard to write as that of our own times. Few, if any, can free themselves from the fashion of thought and opinion which control the daily life of their neighbors, and every one inhales to some extent the vapors and miasms floating in the air he hourly breathes. The task is even more difficult if a man attempts to narrate events in which he has taken part. As the soldier, warmed by the heat of battle, dimly sees through the dust and smoke of a well-fought field, the large movements which decide the issue of the conflict, so he who has mingled in the struggles of parties or the contests of nations, may not be as well fitted as others to speak of facts moulded partially by his own will and hand. But if the memoir writer be fair and discreet, he may contribute materials for future use, and his very errors may instruct after ages. The author of the following narrative does not expect to attain perfect truth in all things; he merely asks the reader to give him credit for the desire to state facts accurately, and to reason justly about the circumstances attending the presence of the Americans in Nicaragua."
William Walker wrote the preceding passage for the preface to his book, "The War in Nicaragua," published in 1860, just a few months before he was executed by a firing squad in Honduras.
I'm not commenting on things today. Take it how you will.