4. Rizal, Leipzig, 2 October l886

  Tagalog version of Schiller's drama - Works of Meyer in Bibliotheca Philippina - "Everything referring to my native country interests me greatly." - On the Igorrotes of Dr. Hans Meyer - In order to learn the secret of German verbs - "To sit once at your table is enough honor for me."

  Leipzig, 2 October 1886
  My dear Sir,

I beg you to pardon me for not having answered on time your letter, which for me is as kind as all the rest; but I was and am still very busy with an urgent work which my compatriots have entrusted to me. They have asked me for Tagalog versions of the works of Schiller. You can easily imagine how difficult this kind of work is for me, especially knowing as you do the peculiarities of our language whose mode of speech is so different from the German. I have to understand and study first each phrase and then look for the corresponding Tagalog expression, avoiding carefully circumlocutions and Germanisms. However, I am consoled by the thought that I shall have the honor of interpreting the great Schiller in Tagalog to the Filipinos.

I hope likewise to be able to go to Dresden towards the end of the present month. Dr. A. B. Meier(1), privy councilor, has excited my curiosity very much with his works which you mention in your Bibliotheca Philippina. Everything referring to my native country interests me greatly. Recently, the amiable Dr. Hans Meier complimented me with a copy of his book dealing with the Igorots. We also spoke about you.

I should like to stay one more year in Germany (also in Austria) because my German is still defective and I have not yet understood the secret of the difficult German verbs. Those that end with the syllables ver, er, an, be, etc. are used frequently and they seem to me very strange. So I believe I shall spend fourteen days of next spring in Leitmeritz. According to the map, the p ace seems to be near the mountains, which gladdens me, for thus I can also study Bohemian life there. I thank you in advance for your invitation and I should like to return your kind hospitality some day in the Philippines. In case I spend there the coming year, I cannot accept your kind offer of lodging in your house. It is enough honor for me to sit once at your table to have a remembrance of your culinary art. For that reason: claro y bzlena letra; no abusar.

I did not know that you were married. Had I known it, long ago I would have sent my respectful greetings to your distinguished wife. But Mas vale tarde que nunca, a Spanish proverb says, and now I wish to mend my fault by requesting you to please transmit to her my respects and very affectionate greetings.

My letter will resemble the table of the poor: The entrée and the dessert are composed of potatoes. I beg you also to excuse my terrible German, for during this whole month I have not opened a grammar.

May you fare well. I will write you as soon as I have some important subject to treat. In the meantime, I am

   

  Very respectfully yours,
José Rizal

 
(1) Or, Dr. A. B. Meyer.

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created: July 30, 1996
updated: March 20, 1998
APSIS Editor Johann Stockinger