Chapter 26: - Page 4 of 5

Pasquinades

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

It’s the truth, isn’t it? Look, you’re a witness: I’ve always been opposed—you’re a witness, don’t forget it!

Yes, man, but what’s going on?

Listen, you’re a witness! I’ve never had anything to do with the members of the association, except to give them advice.  You’re not going to deny it now. Be careful, won’t you?

No, no, I won’t deny it, but for goodness’ sake, what has happened?

But Juanito was already far away.  He had caught a glimpse of a guard approaching and feared arrest.

Basilio then went on toward the University to see if perhaps the secretary’s office might be open and if he could glean any further news.  The office was closed, but there was an extraordinary commotion in the building.  Hurrying up and down the stairways were friars, army officers, private persons, old lawyers and doctors, there doubtless to offer their services to the endangered cause.

At a distance he saw his friend Isagani, pale and agitated, but radiant with youthful ardor, haranguing some fellow students with his voice raised as though he cared little that he be heard by everybody.

It seems preposterous, gentlemen, it seems unreal, that an incident so insignificant should scatter us and send us into flight like sparrows at whom a scarecrow has been shaken! But is this the first time that students have gone to prison for the sake of liberty? Where are those who have died, those who have been shot? Would you apostatize now?

But who can the fool be that wrote such pasquinades? demanded an indignant listener.

What does that matter to us? rejoined Isagani. We don’t have to find out, let them find out! Before we know how they are drawn up, we have no need to make any show of agreement at a time like this.  There where the danger is, there must we hasten, because honor is there! If what the pasquinades say is compatible with our dignity and our feelings, be he who he may that wrote them, he has done well, and we ought to be grateful to him and hasten to add our signatures to his! If they are unworthy of us, our conduct and our consciences will in themselves protest and defend us from every accusation!  

Upon hearing such talk, Basilio, although he liked Isagani very much, turned and left.  He had to go to Makaraig’s house to see about the loan.

Near the house of the wealthy student he observed whisperings and mysterious signals among the neighbors, but not comprehending what they meant, continued serenely on his way and entered the doorway.  Two guards advanced and asked him what he wanted.  Basilio realized that he had made a bad move, but he could not now retreat.

I’ve come to see my friend Makaraig, he replied calmly.

Learn this Filipino word:

likaw ng bituka