Chapter 14: - Page 4 of 9

In the House of the Students

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

Sandoval did not relish the dialectic and jesting turn of the conversation; along that path could rise no speech worth the while.  Don’t make a joke of things! he exclaimed.  This is a serious matter.

The Lord deliver me from joking when there are friars concerned!

But, on what do you base—

On the fact that, the hours for the classes having to come at night, continued Pecson in the same tone, as if he were quoting known and recognized formulas, there may be invoked as an obstacle the immorality of the thing, as was done in the case of the school at Malolos.

Another! But don’t the classes of the Academy of Drawing, and the novenaries and the processions, cover themselves with the mantle of night?

The scheme affects the dignity of the University, went on the chubby youth, taking no notice of the question.

Affects nothing! The University has to accommodate itself to the needs of the students.  And granting that, what is a university then? Is it an institution to discourage study? Have a few men banded themselves together in the name of learning and instruction in order to prevent others from becoming enlightened?

The fact is that movements initiated from below are regarded as discontent—

What about projects that come from above? interpolated one of the students.  There’s the School of Arts and Trades!

Slowly, slowly, gentlemen, protested Sandoval.  I’m not a friar-lover, my liberal views being well known, but render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.  Of that School of Arts and Trades, of which I have been the most enthusiastic supporter and the realization of which I shall greet as the first streak of dawn for these fortunate islands, of that School of Arts and Trades the friars have taken charge—

Or the cat of the canary, which amounts to the same thing, added Pecson, in his turn interrupting the speech.

Get out! cried Sandoval, enraged at the interruption, which had caused him to lose the thread of his long, well-rounded sentence.  As long as we hear nothing bad, let’s not be pessimists, let’s not be unjust, doubting the liberty and independence of the government.

Here he entered upon a defense in beautiful phraseology of the government and its good intentions, a subject that Pecson dared not break in upon.

Learn this Filipino word:

waláng balón ng salapî