Chapter 33: - Page 2 of 6

La Ultima Razón

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

Simoun listened in silence, while Basilio continued; Four months ago you talked to me about your plans. I refused to take part in them, but I did wrong, you have been right.  Three months and a half ago the revolution was on the point of breaking out, but I did not then care to participate in it, and the movement failed.  In payment for my conduct I’ve been arrested and owe my liberty to your efforts only.  You are right and now I’ve come to say to you: put a weapon in my hand and let the revolution come! I am ready to serve you, along with all the rest of the unfortunates.

The cloud that had darkened Simoun’s brow suddenly disappeared, a ray of triumph darted from his eyes, and like one who has found what he sought he exclaimed: I’m right, yes, I’m right! Right and Justice are on my side, because my cause is that of the persecuted.  Thanks, young man, thanks! You’ve come to clear away my doubts, to end my hesitation.

He had risen and his face was beaming.  The zeal that had animated him when four months before he had explained his plans to Basilio in the wood of his ancestors reappeared in his countenance like a red sunset after a cloudy day.

Yes, he resumed, the movement failed and many have deserted me because they saw me disheartened and wavering at the supreme moment.  I still cherished something in my heart, I was not the master of all my feelings, I still loved! Now everything is dead in me, no longer is there even a corpse sacred enough for me to respect its sleep.  No longer will there be any vacillation, for you yourself, an idealistic youth, a gentle dove, understand the necessity and come to spur me to action.  Somewhat late you have opened your eyes, for between you and me together we might have executed marvelous plans, I above in the higher circles spreading death amid perfume and gold, brutalizing the vicious and corrupting or paralyzing the few good, and you below among the people, among the young men, stirring them to life amid blood and tears.  Our task, instead of being bloody and barbarous, would have been holy, perfect, artistic, and surely success would have crowned our efforts.  But no intelligence would support me, I encountered fear or effeminacy among the enlightened classes, selfishness among the rich, simplicity among the youth, and only in the mountains, in the waste places, among the outcasts, have I found my men.  But no matter now! If we can’t get a finished statue, rounded out in all its details, of the rough block we work upon let those to come take charge!

Seizing the arm of Basilio, who was listening without comprehending all he said, he led him to the laboratory where he kept his chemical mixtures.  Upon the table was placed a large case made of dark shagreen, similar to those that hold the silver plate exchanged as gifts among the rich and powerful.  Opening this, Simoun revealed to sight, upon a bottom of red satin, a lamp of very peculiar shape, It’s body was in the form of a pomegranate as large as a man’s head, with fissures in it exposing to view the seeds inside, which were fashioned of enormous carnelians.  The covering was of oxidized gold in exact imitation of the wrinkles on the fruit.

Learn this Filipino word:

batóng tuntungan