Sunday, May 20, 2007

doubtful energies

Captain Palmer of the “Iroquois,” who was a friend of the young man’s uncle, Sydney Brooks, took him with the officers of the ship to make an evening call on Garibaldi, whom they found in the Senate House towards sunset, at supper with his picturesque and piratic staff, in the full noise and color of the Palermo revolution. As a spectacle, it belonged to Rossini and the Italian opera, or to Alexandre Dumas at the least, but the spectacle was not its educational side. Garibaldi left the table, and, sitting down at the window, had a few words of talk with Captain Palmer and young Adams. At that moment, in the summer of 1860, Garibaldi was certainly the most serious of the doubtful energies in the world; the most essential to gauge rightly. Even then society was dividing between banker and anarchist. One or the other, Garibaldi must serve. Himself a typical anarchist, sure to overshadow Europe and alarm empires bigger than Naples, his success depended on his mind; his energy was beyond doubt.

Adams had the chance to look this sphinx in the eyes, and, for five minutes, to watch him like a wild animal, at the moment of his greatest achievement and most splendid action. One saw a quiet-featured, quiet-voiced man in a red flannel shirt; absolutely impervious; a type of which Adams knew nothing. Sympathetic it was, and one felt that it was simple; one suspected even that it might be childlike, but could form no guess of its intelligence. ...

The lesson of Garibaldi, as education, seemed to teach the extreme complexity of extreme simplicity; but one could have learned this from a glow-worm. One did not need the vivid recollection of the low-voiced, simple-mannered, seafaring captain of Genoese adventurers and Sicilian brigands, supping in the July heat and Sicilian dirt and revolutionary clamor, among the barricaded streets of insurgent Palermo, merely in order to remember that simplicity is complex. #


Blogger Juke said...

Henry Adams quotes now is it?
Man, this internet thing is really something.

5/22/2007 2:35 AM  
Anonymous tom said...

Well, yes. There are days, tho, when guys like Hank, Daunte, and others, seem more present, more compellingly newsworthy, than the deliverables of most newsmachines.

More than a few.

5/22/2007 10:44 AM  
Anonymous tom said...

In the course of that last comment, I encountered three JSTOR articles I was not allowed to read.

5/22/2007 10:45 AM  
Blogger Juke said...

Think of it as anti-spam. Or near-anti-spam. Or denial-spam.
It's all porn-model access modalities.
Free tease bite hook and sell.
$10 the IT that got the paycheck for their set-up plus the originators of it as well got their minds made up slamming into paywalls pursuing dream images of clean-skinned seduction.

5/22/2007 9:32 PM  

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