Chapter 7: - Page 8 of 8

Simoun

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

And to rear meek-natured sons to send them afterwards to submit to the yoke, continued Simoun, cruelly mimicking Basilio’s tone.  A fine future you prepare for them, and they have to thank you for a life of humiliation and suffering! Good enough, young man! When a body is inert, it is useless to galvanize it.  Twenty years of continuous slavery, of systematic humiliation, of constant prostration, finally create in the mind a twist that cannot be straightened by the labor of a day.  Good and evil instincts are inherited and transmitted from father to son.  Then let your idylic ideas live, your dreams of a slave who asks only for a bandage to wrap the chain so that it may rattle less and not ulcerate his skin! You hope for a little home and some ease, a wife and a handful of rice—here is your ideal man of the Philippines! Well, if they give it to you, consider yourself fortunate.

Basilio, accustomed to obey and bear with the caprices and humors of Capitan Tiago was now dominated by Simoun, who appeared to him terrible and sinister on a background bathed in tears and blood.  He tried to explain himself by saying that he did not consider himself fit to mix in politics, that he had no political opinions because he had never studied the question, but that he was always ready to lend his services the day they might be needed, that for the moment he saw only one need, the enlightenment of the people.

Simoun stopped him with a gesture, and, as the dawn was coming, said to him: Young man, I am not warning you to keep my secret, because I know that discretion is one of your good qualities, and even though you might wish to sell me, the jeweler Simoun, the friend of the authorities and of the religious corporations, will always be given more credit than the student Basilio, already suspected of filibusterism, and, being a native, so much the more marked and watched, and because in the profession you are entering upon you will encounter powerful rivals.  After all, even though you have not corresponded to my hopes, the day on which you change your mind, look me up at my house in the Escolta, and I’ll be glad to help you.

Basilio thanked him briefly and went away.

Have I really made a mistake? mused Simoun, when he found himself alone.  Is it that he doubts me and meditates his plan of revenge so secretly that he fears to tell it even in the solitude of the night? Or can it be that the years of servitude have extinguished in his heart every human sentiment and there remain only the animal desires to live and reproduce? In that case the type is deformed and will have to be cast over again.  Then the hecatomb is preparing: let the unfit perish and only the strongest survive!

Then he added sadly, as if apostrophizing some one: Have patience, you who left me a name and a home, have patience! I have lost all—country, future, prosperity, your very tomb, but have patience! And thou, noble spirit, great soul, generous heart, who didst live with only one thought and didst sacrifice thy life without asking the gratitude or applause of any one, have patience, have patience! The methods that I use may perhaps not be thine, but they are the most direct.  The day is coming, and when it brightens I myself will come to announce it to you who are now indifferent.  Have patience!  

Learn this Filipino word:

mainit ang kamáy