155. Blumentritt, Leitmeritz, 29 September 1890

  Desengaños does not deserve a reply with the pen but with the rattan - The Spaniard is impressed only by valor and might - It is good for the Philippine cause that the friars have only intriguers at their services and not men of talent - God helps he who helps himself - The artistic sense of the Tagalogs - The statuette Triumph of Death over Life admired by two German artists.

  29 September 1890
 

PROF. F. BLUMENTRITT
IN
LEITMERITZ, BOHEMIA
AUSTRIA

My Brother:

Today I have a little time to write you. I have had much to do this month, so that I had very few wasted moments. To begin with, I have not failed to devote every free moment to the Philippines. In the first place I answered Desengaños. It is true he does not deserve to be answered with the pen but with the rattan for being such an admirer of the Englishman's stick. But in Spain one cannot remain silent if he is attacked by a bandit writer; a Spaniard is impressed only by valor and might. Quiet enemies are oppressed and maltreated. It is lucky for the Philippine cause that the friars have only intriguers at their service and not men of talent. All that the friars have written until now are worthless. Their voluminous publications, instead of being useful to them, only hurt them. We should not lose courage; God helps only he who helps himself.

The last sentence in your article on Indolencia(1) is magnificent and no man with sane brains can deny the sureness of your logic.

I eagerly hope that next year you will be here, as you have written, and not only you, but also Serrano and other Filipino friends.

I'm at present gathering the prospectuses of the different colleges and schools in Austria and Germany so that the Filipinos can find out from them which institutions are suitable to their aims and plans. In the meanwhile, they should study German assiduously, so that they can understand the lectures. I will also gather complete information about admission requirements and expenses.

The cost of living is always higher for students who live in private rooms and eat at the restaurant than for those who eat at the boardinghouse. If they live as a republic, as they say in Manila, the cost is less. Like the Italians here who are not fond of the taverns, the Filipinos who do not drink will find the cost of living low. I'm going to prepare comlete tables about it.

Tell Serrano that I do not cease admiring the things sent by him and Viola. A few days ago, a young Viennese painter, one of my former students who came to see me, expressed admiration for the highly, developed artistic sense of the Tagalogs and said that, after all, we should be ashamed of being Europeans.

He as well as Mr. Moll of Berlin.- two artists of opposite viewpoints, the Berliner being a cold realist and the Viennese who is really from Leitmeritz and a Slav, an idealist of sensitive feelings - admire your statuettes. They are both agreed in the sublimity of the conception and execution of the statuette representing the triumph of death over life.

I'll write Serrano tomorrow or after tomorrow. Tell me what books are necessary for the teaching of German to the Filipinos; I'm going to send them to you.

With affectionate greetings from all of us to you and yours

  Your brother
Blumentritt

 
(1) La indolencia de los filipinos (The Indolence of the Filipinos), Rizal's powerful essay was published in La Solidaridad in instalments.

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created: July 30, 1996
updated: March 10, 1998
APSIS Editor Johann Stockinger