Chapter 15: - Page 6 of 6

Señor Pasta

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

Here the old lawyer stroked his scanty white hair, as he smiled sadly and shook his head.

When I have gray hairs like those, sir, replied Isagani with equal sadness, and turn my gaze back over my past and see that I have worked only for myself, without having done what I plainly could and should have done for the country that has given me everything, for the citizens that have helped me to live—then, sir, every gray hair will be a thorn, and instead of rejoicing, they will shame me!

So saying, he took his leave with a profound bow.  The lawyer remained motionless in his place, with an amazed look on his face.  He listened to the footfalls that gradually died away, then resumed his seat.

Poor boy! he murmured, similar thoughts also crossed my mind once! What more could any one desire than to be able to say: ‘I have done this for the good of the fatherland, I have consecrated my life to the welfare of others!’ A crown of laurel, steeped in aloes, dry leaves that cover thorns and worms! That is not life, that does not get us our daily bread, nor does it bring us honors— the laurel would hardly serve for a salad, nor produce ease, nor aid us in winning lawsuits, but quite the reverse! Every country has its code of ethics, as it has its climate and its diseases, different from the climate and the diseases of other countries.

After a pause, he added: Poor boy! If all should think and act as he does, I don’t say but that—Poor boy! Poor Florentino!  

Learn this Filipino word:

kalatóg-pinggán