Chapter 21: - Page 6 of 9

Manila Types

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

In a group of spectators, Tadeo, he who was always taken ill the moment the professor appeared, was accompanied by a fellow townsman of his, the novice whom we saw suffer evil consequences from reading wrongly the Cartesian principle.  This novice was very inquisitive and addicted to tiresome questions, and Tadeo was taking advantage of his ingenuousness and inexperience to relate to him the most stupendous lies.  Every Spaniard that spoke to him, whether clerkling or underling, was presented as a leading merchant, a marquis, or a count, while on the other hand any one who passed him by was a greenhorn, a petty official, a nobody! When pedestrians failed him in keeping up the novice’s astonishment, he resorted to the resplendent carriages that came up.  Tadeo would bow politely, wave his hand in a friendly manner, and call out a familiar greeting.

Who’s he?

Bah! was the negligent reply.  The Civil Governor, the Vice-Governor, Judge ——, Señora ——, all friends of mine!

The novice marveled and listened in fascination, taking care to keep on the left.  Tadeo the friend of judges and governors!

Tadeo named all the persons who arrived, when he did not know them inventing titles, biographies, and interesting sketches.

You see that tall gentleman with dark whiskers, somewhat squint-eyed, dressed in black—he’s Judge A ——, an intimate friend of the wife of Colonel B ——.  One day if it hadn’t been for me they would have come to blows.  Hello, here comes that Colonel! What if they should fight?

The novice held his breath, but the colonel and the judge shook hands cordially, the soldier, an old bachelor, inquiring about the health of the judge’s family.

Ah, thank heaven! breathed Tadeo.  I’m the one who made them friends.  

What if they should invite us to go in? asked the novice timidly.

Get out, boy! I never accept favors! retorted Tadeo majestically.  I confer them, but disinterestedly.

The novice bit his lip and felt smaller than ever, while he placed a respectful distance between himself and his fellow townsman.

Tadeo resumed: That is the musician H——; that one, the lawyer J——, who delivered as his own a speech printed in all the books and was congratulated and admired for it; Doctor K——, that man just getting out of a hansom, is a specialist in diseases of children, so he’s called Herod; that’s the banker L——, who can talk only of his money and his hoards; the poet M——, who is always dealing with the stars and the beyond.  There goes the beautiful wife of N——, whom Padre Q——is accustomed to meet when he calls upon the absent husband; the Jewish merchant P——, who came to the islands with a thousand pesos and is now a millionaire.  That fellow with the long beard is the physician R——, who has become rich by making invalids more than by curing them.

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