Chapter 14: - Page 6 of 9

In the House of the Students

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

This question fell like a dash of cold water.  All turned to Sandoval, who was taken aback. Then— he stammered.

Then?

Then, he exclaimed in a burst of enthusiasm, still excited by the applause, seeing that in writing and in printing it boasts of desiring your enlightenment, and yet hinders and denies it when called upon to make it a reality—then, gentlemen, your efforts will not have been in vain, you will have accomplished what no one else has been able to do.  Make them drop the mask and fling down the gauntlet to you!

Bravo, bravo! cried several enthusiastically.

Good for Sandoval! Hurrah for the gauntlet! added others.

Let them fling down the gauntlet to us! repeated Pecson disdainfully. But afterwards?

Sandoval seemed to be cut short in his triumph, but with the vivacity peculiar to his race and his oratorical temperament he had an immediate reply.

Afterwards? he asked.  Afterwards, if none of the Filipinos dare to accept the challenge, then I, Sandoval, in the name of Spain, will take up the gauntlet, because such a policy would give the lie to the good intentions that she has always cherished toward her provinces, and because he who is thus faithless to the trust reposed in him and abuses his unlimited authority deserves neither the protection of the fatherland nor the support of any Spanish citizen!

The enthusiasm of his hearers broke all bounds.  Isagani embraced him, the others following his example. They talked of the fatherland, of union, of fraternity, of fidelity.  The Filipinos declared that if there were only Sandovals in Spain all would be Sandovals in the Philippines.  His eyes glistened, and it might well be believed that if at that moment any kind of gauntlet had been flung at him he would have leaped upon any kind of horse to ride to death for the Philippines.

The cold water alone replied: Good, that’s very good, Sandoval.  I could also say the same if I were a Peninsular, but not being one, if I should say one half of what you have, you yourself would take me for a filibuster.

Sandoval began a speech in protest, but was interrupted.

Rejoice, friends, rejoice! Victory! cried a youth who entered at that moment and began to embrace everybody.

Rejoice, friends! Long live the Castilian tongue!

An outburst of applause greeted this announcement.  They fell to embracing one another and their eyes filled with tears. Pecson alone preserved his skeptical smile.

Learn this Filipino word:

kapit-bayawak