Chapter 33: - Page 4 of 6

La Ultima Razón

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

So my assistance is not needed, observed the young man.

No, you have another mission to fulfill, replied Simoun thoughtfully.  At nine the mechanism will have exploded and the report will have been heard in the country round, in the mountains, in the caves.  The uprising that I had arranged with the artillerymen was a failure from lack of plan and timeliness, but this time it won’t be so.  Upon hearing the explosion, the wretched and the oppressed, those who wander about pursued by force, will sally forth armed to join Cabesang Tales in Santa Mesa, whence they will fall upon the city,[1] while the soldiers, whom I have made to believe that the General is shamming an insurrection in order to remain, will issue from their barracks ready to fire upon whomsoever I may designate.  Meanwhile, the cowed populace, thinking that the hour of massacre has come, will rush out prepared to kill or be killed, and as they have neither arms nor organization, you with some others will put yourself at their head and direct them to the warehouses of Quiroga, where I keep my rifles.  Cabesang Tales and I will join one another in the city and take possession of it, while you in the suburbs will seize the bridges and throw up barricades, and then be ready to come to our aid to butcher not only those opposing the revolution but also every man who refuses to take up arms and join us.

All? stammered Basilio in a choking voice.

All! repeated Simoun in a sinister tone.  All—Indians, mestizos, Chinese, Spaniards, all who are found to be without courage, without energy.  The race must be renewed! Cowardly fathers will only breed slavish sons, and it wouldn’t be worth while to destroy and then try to rebuild with rotten materials.  What, do you shudder? Do you tremble, do you fear to scatter death? What is death? What does a hecatomb of twenty thousand wretches signify? Twenty thousand miseries less, and millions of wretches saved from birth! The most timid ruler does not hesitate to dictate a law that produces misery and lingering death for thousands and thousands of prosperous and industrious subjects, happy perchance, merely to satisfy a caprice, a whim, his pride, and yet you shudder because in one night are to be ended forever the mental tortures of many helots, because a vitiated and paralytic people has to die to give place to another, young, active, full of energy!

[1] Curiously enough, and by what must have been more than a mere coincidence, this route through Santa Mesa from San Juan del Monte was the one taken by an armed party in their attempt to enter the city at the outbreak of the Katipunan rebellion on the morning of August 30, 1896. (Foreman’s The Philippine Islands, Chapter XXVI.)

It was also on the bridge connecting these two places that the first shot in the insurrection against American sovereignty was fired on the night of February 4, 1899.—Tr.

Learn this Filipino word:

batóng tuntungan