Saturday, March 24, 2012
an unexpected barque
I thought you might like to see the first of the Tall Ships to arrive in Halifax Harbour this year. It's the Simón Bolívar, a naval training barque from Venezuela. We just happened to see her parked (oops, moored) next to the Murphy's Restaurant when one of our infrequent walks downtown took us to the commercial waterfront. Best of all was being welcomed aboard at no charge and without having to wait in a long line of the tourists and visitors who'll surely be here when the main fleet arrives in mid-July. It really is a beautiful ship and I only wish we'd been at our favorite beach park when she sailed in a few days ago. Next time I'll be paying more attention to the arrivals.
Meanwhile, I read some fascinating quotes by Simón Bolívar himself, the man who is beloved by South America as the liberator from Spanish rule:
"A state too expensive in itself, or by virtue of its dependencies, ultimately falls into decay; its free government is transformed into a tyranny; it disregards the principles which it should preserve, and finally degenerates into despotism. The distinguishing characteristic of small republics is stability: the character of large republics is mutability. "
"Among the popular and representative systems of government I do not approve of the federal system: it is too perfect; and it requires virtues and political talents much superior to our own. "
"Nations will march towards the apex of their greatness at the same pace as their education. Nations will soar if their education soars; they will regress if it regresses. Nations will fall and sink in darkness if education is corrupted or completely abandoned "
"The Ignorance the people live in leads them to commit mistakes against their own happiness "
"The United States appear to be destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty."
"To do something right it must be done twice. The first time instructs the second. "
It's easy to see why he's still well liked.