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another proof of disloyalty. It urged that they disband now, for they were unfitted for independence and should first educate and fit themselves before they attempted to separate from Spain. There was no cringing or denying of responsibility but neither was there any bravado. Rizal's additions to his defense were as clearly reasoned and dispassionate as tho he were debating with a friend and not on trial for his life.

No time was lost in convicting him nor in confirming the military court's decision but he was sentenced to be shot on December 30, 1896.

Just after Rizal became aware of his sentence to death but before his transfer to the chapel he wrote the poem now famous as "The Final Farewell." It was copied on a small sheet of notepaper, folded lengthwise into a narrow strip and then doubled and wedged inside the tank of a little alcohol lamp on which his cooking in the cell had been done. At the farewell to his sister Trinidad while in the chapel he said: "I have nothing to give you as a souvenir except the cooking lamp Mrs. Tavera gave me while I was in Paris." And then so the guard might not understand he said in a low tone, in English, "There is something inside." The lamp was taken with his other belongings from the fort and it was not until the night of the second day after his death that it was deemed safe to investigate. Then when the verses were found they were immediately copied and the copy without comment mailed to Hong Kong. There they were published. But Rizal had time to polish the poetry a little and thru another channel safely sent the revised poem so the morning after his death copies of it were found on the desks of prominent Filipino sympathizers.

He had been a prisoner in Fort Santiago, at first "incomunicado" in one of the dungeons and later in a cell on the ground floor. After his sentence he was removed to the fort chapel with troops on guard in the courtyard in front of it. The military chaplains offered services which

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[Begin] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [End]
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created: June 12, 1998
updated: June 12, 1998
APSIS Editor Johann Stockinger