Chapter 7: - Page 7 of 8

Simoun

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

What do you want me to do? he asked angrily.

Without means, without social position, how may I bring their murderers to justice? I would merely be another victim, shattered like a piece of glass hurled against a rock.  Ah, you do ill to recall this to me, since it is wantonly reopening a wound!

But what if I should offer you my aid?

Basilio shook his head and remained pensive.  All the tardy vindications of justice, all the revenge in the world, will not restore a single hair of my mother’s head, or recall a smile to my brother’s lips.  Let them rest in peace—what should I gain now by avenging them?

Prevent others from suffering what you have suffered, that in the future there be no brothers murdered or mothers driven to madness.  Resignation is not always a virtue; it is a crime when it encourages tyrants: there are no despots where there are no slaves! Man is in his own nature so wicked that he always abuses complaisance.  I thought as you do, and you know what my fate was.  Those who caused your misfortunes are watching you day and night, they suspect that you are only biding your time, they take your eagerness to learn, your love of study, your very complaisance, for burning desires for revenge.  The day they can get rid of you they will do with you as they did with me, and they will not let you grow to manhood, because they fear and hate you!

Hate me? Still hate me after the wrong they have done me? asked the youth in surprise.

Simoun burst into a laugh.  ‘It is natural for man to hate those whom he has wronged,’ said Tacitus, confirming the quos laeserunt et oderunt of Seneca.  When you wish to gauge the evil or the good that one people has done to another, you have only to observe whether it hates or loves.  Thus is explained the reason why many who have enriched themselves here in the high offices they have filled, on their return to the Peninsula relieve themselves by slanders and insults against those who have been their victims.  Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quern laeseris!

But if the world is large, if one leaves them to the peaceful enjoyment of power, if I ask only to be allowed to work, to live—

Learn this Filipino word:

kagandahang-loób