THE CULTIVATION OF HISTORY by Hewlett Edwards - The Fig Tree 1954
There is a saying among the south sea islanders: Know the roots and you will know the tree.
Know the tree and behold! It will answer to your cultivation.
History is the endless record of experiments; a series that cannot be broken and of which there is never complete specification nor adequate separation from a multiplicity of similar operations.
The movement of events cannot be arrested for examination and analysis, history shows and must show approximation upon approximation. Within itself each event appears to be complete and completed, it cannot be undone; but, as a part of a series which is one whole, what is so indeterminate as an isolated event? It seems conclusive, yet it is always moving on to fresh conclusions.
It is in this difficult complexity that policy is crystallised and becomes history in which men of
understanding as well as of action have erected signposts for the use of their successors.
To illuminate one of these is to select that particular incident or aspect as being of a significance exceeding that of a thousand other happenings which might have been chosen.
He who writes history, chooses history.
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