199. Rizal, Dapitan, 15 January 1895

  Mrs. Teodora Alonso returns to Manila - Rizal losing hope of getting out of his exile - Ma-yi is more interesting to Rizal because he lives in Ka-ma-yen - He does not approve the geographical names - If Mr. Hirth had given the Chinese characters in which the names of the towns were written, Rizal could deciplier them with the aid of the local Chinese - Enlarging his Studies on the Tagalog Language - Laudatory opinion on the Blumentritt children - Recollections of happy days in Leitmeritz.

  Dapitan, 15 January 1895
  My Brother,

Yesterday was a holiday for us, poor inhabitants of Talisay. Talisay is the proper name of the piece of land I have bought. Your letter and post card were read and reread, shown around, and admired. My pupils cannot understand how a German who has never been in Spain can write so well in Spanish. My dear and good mother, who is separating from me now, was deeply moved. She is going to Manila on the mail boat, for my father who feels weaker and weaker every day, wishes to see her. Your letter, like a distant voice of friendship, gave us courage for sometime; we forget our preoccupations, thinking only of you, the good and unforgettable friends.

My aged father believes he is nearing death. He has become much weaker than before. Whether he is going to die without our seeing each other, I don't know. My exile lasts so long that I am beginning to lose hope of ever seeing myself free again some day. Everybody agrees with me that I do not deserve this fate, but here they keep me! Habent sua fata ... (1) Where are conscience and political conviction.

I have read the copy of the Ma-yi that I asked from you, the translation and some notes, and I thank you most sincerely. Each time I find it more interesting, especially now that I live in Ka-ma-yen. The notes are very interesting and instructive, but pardon me for not being entirely in accord with the georaphical names. Now that I know enough of Bisayanismo, I can add some explanations. If you permit me then, I shall correct some. It is a pity that Mr. Hirth has not given the Chinese characters in which the names of the towns and islands were written, for I could decipher them here with the aid of some Chinese.

I am overwhelmed with patients and I cannot finish many works I have begun. I am enlarging my Studies on the Tagalog Language and I cannot finish it. I lack reference books, for here I have no library. My patients are so numerous that I have to turn away some for not being able to attend to them.

I heartily felicitate Fritz. It seems to me that he will have the same talent and the same love for study as his father, though in another line. But my most ardent desire is that he may have the same warm, faithful, and sane heart as his father has. In the natural science field, my country can offer him treasures yet undiscovered. There are here many species still unknown in zoology and botany, judging by the discoveries that are being made. If he will ever come here as a naturalist, his name will be his passport in this country withnut hotels and my family would consider itself very happy to have him and to be able to repay the hospitality I have received from his father. Kurt perhaps has inherited from his father his literary ability; hence his liveliness, that fire, that ardor so characteristic of the polemical works of Pisaflores. Loleng is a German through and through; when she signs, she signs in German. She remains faithful to her German nationality, the better! The German woman does not need to copy from anyone.

When in this hut of mine I think of Leitmeritz and of its very ancient houses, I remember that dinner we had in an old hall with Mr. Klutschack. I see the sun, the old cabinets, the old porcelain and dishes, and I ask now: Was that not a dream? I think of Professor Langer who had so many troubles in 1870 receiving us very kindly at his college. I see again the garden-island on the Elbe with the distant view of a bank similar to a bank of the Pasig. I think of my stroll in the park holding Loleng by the hand, and it appears to me that everything is just a dream. It was so beautiful, so divinely beautiful!

Friend Viola is already married and I saw him in Manila days before my imprisonment. He is always the same to me always kind, affectionate, lively gay. He has not aged.

We are now going to build a water-tank on my land. I have 14 boys whom I teach languages, mathematics, and how to work, and as we have no work I have decided to construct a dike of stone, brick, and mortar so that they may learn.

My mother and sisters send you the most affectionate greetings for this year.

I wish you the same soul and the same heart always.

  Ever yours,
José Rizal

(1) They have their destinies....

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