Chapter 11: - Page 10 of 12

Los Baños

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

There’s also one Makaragui or Makarai—

Makaraig, Padre Irene joined in.  A very pleasant and agreeable young man.

Then he murmured into the General’s ear, He’s the one I’ve talked to you about, he’s very rich.  The Countess recommends him strongly.

Ah!

A medical student, one Basilio—

Of that Basilio, I’ll say nothing, observed Padre Irene, raising his hands and opening them, as if to say Dominus vobiscum.  He’s too deep for me. I’ve never succeeded in fathoming what he wants or what he is thinking about.  It’s a pity that Padre Salvi isn’t present to tell us something about his antecedents.  I believe that I’ve heard that when a boy he got into trouble with the Civil Guard.  His father was killed in—I don’t remember what disturbance.

Simoun smiled faintly, silently, showing his sharp white teeth.

Aha! Aha! said his Excellency nodding.  That’s the kind we have! Make a note of that name.

But, General, objected the high official, seeing that the matter was taking a bad turn, up to now nothing positive is known against these young men.  Their position is a very just one, and we have no right to deny it on the ground of mere conjectures.  My opinion is that the government, by exhibiting confidence in the people and in its own stability, should grant what is asked, then it could freely revoke the permission when it saw that its kindness was being abused—reasons and pretexts would not be wanting, we can watch them.  Why cause disaffection among some young men, who later on may feel resentment, when what they ask is commanded by royal decrees?  

Padre Irene, Don Custodio, and Padre Fernandez nodded in agreement.

But the Indians must not understand Castilian, you know, cried Padre Camorra. They mustn’t learn it, for then they’ll enter into arguments with us, and the Indians must not argue, but obey and pay.  They mustn’t try to interpret the meaning of the laws and the books, they’re so tricky and pettifogish! Just as soon as they learn Castilian they become enemies of God and of Spain.  Just read the Tandang Basio Macunat—that’s a book! It tells truths like this! And he held up his clenched fists.

Padre Sibyla rubbed his hand over his tonsure in sign of impatience.  One word, he began in the most conciliatory tone, though fuming with irritation, here we’re not dealing with the instruction in Castilian alone. Here there is an underhand fight between the students and the University of Santo Tomas.  If the students win this, our prestige will be trampled in the dirt, they will say that they’ve beaten us and will exult accordingly.  Then, good-by to moral strength, good-by to everything! The first dike broken down, who will restrain this youth? With our fall we do no more than signal your own.  After us, the government!

Learn this Filipino word:

nagbíbiláng ng bituin