68. Rizal, London, 23 June 1888

  Paciano Rizal is Philosopher Tasio - The only man, according to the lieutenant of the civil guard - General Salamanca asks for the punishment of Filipino reformists - The Spanish Senate is indifferent - "We pay taxes, we shed our blood for Spain, and when we raise a petition, punishment is our reward!" - The simile of the old cocotte - "Fight for truth : Raise us or knock us down!" - Fame for the defense of the weak - The Filipinos have lost faith in Spain - The second edition of the Noli, not very different from the first.

  37 Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill, N.W.
London, 23 June 1888
  My dear Friend,

Today I received your second letter. I address you familiarly - - because you insist on it; but God knows that I regret it because it seems that I am addressing my father familiarly! Let your will be done!

I was going to answer your first letter, but I was awaiting a letter from Spain in order to write you somoething about our problem. The letter did not come and I don't await it any more.

I am glad that you, your family, and good Dr. Czepelack have accepted my gifts. Despite my enemies, I am in good humor and I feel happy when I can give joy to somebody.

My father will be very much pleased when he shall read your letter. I am surprised that you have not reeeivecd until now my letter from the Philippines, either from my friends or my family. I don't know why I forgot to introduce you to my brother. You who wish to know good men will find in him the most noble of the Filipinos. My friend Taviel de Andrade said that he was the only man in the Philippines - the young Philosopher Tasio. (1). When I think of him, though an Indio, more generous and noble than all the present-day Spaniards put together. Perhaps you already know waht happend to the Senate. General Salamanca gave proofs of military valor when he asked for the punishment of those Filipinos who, with due respect, submitted their petitions to the Government. The whole Senate did not find a word of excuse for the Filipinos, no compassion. We pay our taxes, we shed our blodd for the glory of Spain, tolerating her ignorance, and when we dare to express our desires, then they cry for an "exemplary punishment for us". And we are not slaves and it was the Government that encouraged this petition of the Filipinos and certainly it had provoked it! I did not know anything about this. I learned about this inhuman action through Hong Kong newspapers. With all our ignorance and savagery, we are more nobel than the Senate, the Government, and all the Spaniards put together. We have defended the Spaniards against all their adversaries and we still defend them. We offer them hospitality. And even though my brother knows the hatred and sufferings of the people, nevertheless he has defended the Spaniards against the vengeance of some gravely wronged compatriots. Your smile of the old cocotte is magnificent - that she had been beautiful and young once she still believes that she is and she wishes to break the mirror that tells her the truth. There are some Spaniards who have good intentions, but they keep quiet and do not dare express their noble and lofty sentiments.

You say that you are fighting for me and my fellow countrymen. I thank you for it. But I beg you not to fight for me and my countrymen but for truth, because, after all, my countrymen and I will soon perish, and you ought to work for the imperishable. Morever, we can do you later much harm because, being human, we have many defects. But you will gain the fame of having had the boldness to defend the weak and the defenseless, which is very infrequent. Keep yourself always impartial as until now: Raise us or knock us down, as we may deserve. Forget that you are my friend, because I would be very sorry if you would suffer anything for our cause. I believe that it is already late; the majority of the Filipinos have lsot already the hope they have pinned on Spain! Now we await our fate from God and from ourselves, but never any more from any Government!

I share your sufferings and may your family soon enjoy better health, because we ought not to suffer at the same time, physically and spiritually; for that reason, I do the best I can so that at least you would not suffer bodily.

I will surely visit Dr. Theumer, whom I greet cordially, if I go to Germany. In truth, before leaving Europe forever, I will dedicate my last farewell to Germany. I owe Germany my best rememberances; I mean to say, Germany and Austria.

I am plannning to make the second edition of Noli not very different from the first. It seems to me that literary creations suffer much when alterations are made in them, for the public will ask "In which is the author sincere, in the first or in the second edition?" If I should make changes, I am afraid they may be very bitter and sour. I shall only correct typographical errors and shall correct the erroneous citation of Shakespeare in place of that of Schiller. Let the first flower of my youth walk about with all its errors and defects and let it be a proof that formerly I believed in the government and in its good will! Dr. Jurado is now in Paris. When he came over, he was glad to hear that you remember him; he spoke of you with respect and admiration. He told me that before his exile he was Hispanophile and anti-Filipino. At Mariana he realized that he had been ungrateful and disloyal to his native country. God has cured him of his error.

I send you the Correo de España so that you may see if I am right or wrong. If you already have this issue, please return it to me. I should like to keep it as a rememberance. It will write also to good Dr. Czepaleck.

I live here with an English family who esteem me. I don't believe that its esteem is due to the two pounds weekly. That would be humiliating for your friend Rizal and would be ill-considered. At times when I receive news from Spain, it seems to me that I ought to hate all Europeans, but then I believe I shall got to Austria to live there if I cannot live in the Philippines, because Austria has no colonies and for being an Austrian he who has done so much for my country and loves her greatly.

I am going to end my letter here in order not to bore you and only now I have an idea. You will forgive me.

Your Rizal embraces you, greets the old ones, and kisses the children.

  Faithfully yours,
Rizal

 


(1) A character in Rizal's Noli me tangere

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created: July 30, 1996
updated: March 10, 1998
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