Chapter 7: - Page 4 of 8


(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

A gross error! rejoined Simoun.  You are letting yourselves be deceived by big words and never go to the bottom of things to examine the results in their final analysis.  Spanish will never be the general language of the country, the people will never talk it, because the conceptions of their brains and the feelings of their hearts cannot be expressed in that language—each people has its own tongue, as it has its own way of thinking! What are you going to do with Castilian, the few of you who will speak it? Kill off your own originality, subordinate your thoughts to other brains, and instead of freeing yourselves, make yourselves slaves indeed! Nine-tenths of those of you who pretend to be enlightened are renegades to your country! He among you who talks that language neglects his own in such a way that he neither writes nor understands it, and how many have I not seen who pretended not to know a single word of it! But fortunately, you have an imbecile government! While Russia enslaves Poland by forcing the Russian language upon it, while Germany prohibits French in the conquered provinces, your government strives to preserve yours, and you in return, a remarkable people under an incredible government, you are trying to despoil yourselves of your own nationality! One and all you forget that while a people preserves its language, it preserves the marks of its liberty, as a man preserves his independence while he holds to his own way of thinking. Language is the thought of the peoples.  Luckily, your independence is assured; human passions are looking out for that!

Simoun paused and rubbed his hand over his forehead.  The waning moon was rising and sent its faint light down through the branches of the trees, and with his white locks and severe features, illuminated from below by the lantern, the jeweler appeared to be the fateful spirit of the wood planning some evil.

Basilio was silent before such bitter reproaches and listened with bowed head, while Simoun resumed: I saw this movement started and have passed whole nights of anguish, because I understood that among those youths there were exceptional minds and hearts, sacrificing themselves for what they thought to be a good cause, when in reality they were working against their own country.  How many times have I wished to speak to you young men, to reveal myself and undeceive you! But in view of the reputation I enjoy, my words would have been wrongly interpreted and would perhaps have had a counter effect.  How many times have I not longed to approach your Makaraig, your Isagani! Sometimes I thought of their death, I wished to destroy them—

Simoun checked himself.

Learn this Filipino word:

matimtimang birhen