Chapter 39: - Page 7 of 8


(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

Señor Simoun, when our people is unprepared, when it enters the fight through fraud and force, without a clear understanding of what it is doing, the wisest attempts will fail, and better that they do fail, since why commit the wife to the husband if he does not sufficiently love her, if he is not ready to die for her?

Padre Florentino felt the sick man catch and press his hand, so he became silent, hoping that the other might speak, but he merely felt a stronger pressure of the hand, heard a sigh, and then profound silence reigned in the room.  Only the sea, whose waves were rippled by the night breeze, as though awaking from the heat of the day, sent its hoarse roar, its eternal chant, as it rolled against the jagged rocks.  The moon, now free from the sun’s rivalry, peacefully commanded the sky, and the trees of the forest bent down toward one another, telling their ancient legends in mysterious murmurs borne on the wings of the wind.

The sick man said nothing, so Padre Florentino, deeply thoughtful, murmured: Where are the youth who will consecrate their golden hours, their illusions, and their enthusiasm to the welfare of their native land? Where are the youth who will generously pour out their blood to wash away so much shame, so much crime, so much abomination? Pure and spotless must the victim be that the sacrifice may be acceptable! Where are you, youth, who will embody in yourselves the vigor of life that has left our veins, the purity of ideas that has been contaminated in our brains, the fire of enthusiasm that has been quenched in our hearts? We await you, O youth! Come, for we await you!

Feeling his eyes moisten he withdrew his hand from that of the sick man, arose, and went to the window to gaze out upon the wide surface of the sea.  He was drawn from his meditation by gentle raps at the door. It was the servant asking if he should bring a light.

When the priest returned to the sick man and looked at him in the light of the lamp, motionless, his eyes closed, the hand that had pressed his lying open and extended along the edge of the bed, he thought for a moment that he was sleeping, but noticing that he was not breathing touched him gently, and then realized that he was dead.  His body had already commenced to turn cold.  The priest fell upon his knees and prayed.

When he arose and contemplated the corpse, in whose features were depicted the deepest grief, the tragedy of a whole wasted life which he was carrying over there beyond death, the old man shuddered and murmured, God have mercy on those who turned him from the straight path!

While the servants summoned by him fell upon their knees and prayed for the dead man, curious and bewildered as they gazed toward the bed, reciting requiem after requiem, Padre Florentino took from a cabinet the celebrated steel chest that contained Simoun’s fabulous wealth.  He hesitated for a moment, then resolutely descended the stairs and made his way to the cliff where Isagani was accustomed to sit and gaze into the depths of the sea.

Learn this Filipino word:

magaán ang kamáy