89. Rizal, London, 25 December 1888

  Data on Ituy in the Annotations to Morga - Two busts modeled by Rizal: Caesar Augustus for Blumentritt and Julius Caesar for Dr. Czepelack - Ponce, Canon, and López Jaena, and Rizal chat about Blumentritt - Personification of kindliness - Christmas eve - Evokes the Grand Genius who preached Truth and Love - He suffered for his mission - But for his sufferings "the world has become better, if not saved."

  37 Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill, N.W.
London, 25 December 1888
  Dear Friend,

Only last night at eight o'clock, I returned here from a trip to Spain for a period of twelve days. I left so suddenly that I had no time to write you. Last night I received many letters, but I will answer yours first.

Under your name I shall make use of your data on Ituy in order to enrich my annotations to Morga. Certainly I could write to the Philippines to ask some gentlemen there about the matter but I am sure they will not reply ....

I shall answer Dr. Meyer's questions day after tomorrow because today the Museum is closed. I made the trip to Spain so suddenly that I had no time to answer him. When I asked for The Travels of Ibn Batuta, (1) they answered me that the book had been lost.

On account of this trip I was not able to send a letter with the package. I am afraid the transport agency charged you for the freight, for it has not sent me any invoice during iny absence. In case they have collected from you, pardon me and tell me for the love of God how much they charged you and in what condition the box arrived. The package contains two busts, copies of those in the British Museum. The Augustus (2) is for you and the Julius(3) is for Dr. Czepelack. The Augustus gave me more work than the Julius. I modeled the Augustus during ten days from 9 to 4, but it is for you. I wanted to have it baked here but I had no time and Doulton did not want to be responsible for it. Maybe you have there an adequate oven for baking bricks and clay objects. Accept it as a remembrance from me. When they have been baked, they will then be like stones, maybe as hard as marble. Write me if they have arrived in good condition. I insured the statues for ten pounds.

In Barcelona I visited the Filipino colony - Ponce, Cánon, Graciano, and others were very amiable towards me. We certainly talked a great deal about you. You are the personification of kindliness to my countrymen. It is wonderful for us to know a European like you. Also we have a banquet in honor of Quiroga Ballesteros.

The Multatuli is unobtainable. May God keep it! It was so beautiful!

I am going to order it in Dutch, for you also understand this language and in case it cannot be obtained, I shall write to Paris as there might be a translation of this book there. Be patient!

Today is Christmas Eve. This is the feast that I like to celebrate best. It reminds me of the many happy days not only of my childhood but also of history. Whether Christ was born or not excactly on this day, I don't know; but chronological accuracy has nothing to do with tonight's event. A grand genius had been born who preached truth and love; who suffered because of his mission, but on account of his sufferings, the world has become better, if not saved. Only it gives me nausea to see how some persons abuse his name to commit numerous crimes. If he is in heaven, he will certainly protest! Consequently, Merry Christmas! Let us celebrate the anniversary of the birth of a Divine Man!

Let Augustus be my Christmas gift to you! Christ was born in his time and under his empire.

I shall write you again.

Greet your beloved and good lady - the best wife - in my behalf. As I have just arrived, I have nothing for my little friends - the little Blumentritt.

I embrace you.


(1) An intrepid Malayan traveler who wrote about his travel from Maldive Islands to the marvelous Pacific island that he called Tawalisi. According to Rizal, Tawalisi is the Philippines; to Yule, it is Célebes or Sulú; to Sanguinetti, Borneo or Tungkin.
(2) Octavius Caesar, called Augustus of the Roman emperors, under whose rule Christ, the Founder of the Religion of Love and Truth, died. Caesar Augustus formed the second triumvirate with Marc Anthony and Lepidus.
(3) Julius Caesar, Roman emperor, conqueror of Gaul, before Octavius. He formed the first triumvirate with Caesar, Crassus and Pompey.

[Rizal-Blumentritt Correspondence] [Culture and History]
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created: July 30, 1996
updated: March 10, 1998
APSIS Editor Johann Stockinger