Chapter 14: - Page 4 of 8

Tasio: Lunatic or Sage

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

You know very well that I was one of the six who accompanied the body, and it was I who appealed to the Captain-General when I saw that no one, not even the authorities, said anything about such an outrage, although I always prefer to honor a good man in life rather than to worship him after his death.

Well?

But, madam, I am not a believer in hereditary monarchy.  By reason of the Chinese blood which I have received from my mother I believe a little like the Chinese: I honor the father on account of the son and not the son on account of the father.  I believe that each one should receive the reward or punishment for his own deeds, not for those of another.

Did you order a mass said for your dead wife, as I advised you yesterday? asked the young woman, changing the subject of conversation.

No, answered the old man with a smile.

What a pity! she exclaimed with unfeigned regret.

They say that until ten o’clock tomorrow the souls will wander at liberty, awaiting the prayers of the living, and that during these days one mass is equivalent to five on other days of the year, or even to six, as the curate said this morning.

What! Does that mean that we have a period without paying, which we should take advantage of?

But, Doray, interrupted Don Filipo, you know that Don Anastasio doesn’t believe in purgatory.

I don’t believe in purgatory! protested the old man, partly rising from his seat.  Even when I know something of its history!

The history of purgatory! exclaimed the couple, full of surprise.  Come, relate it to us.

You don’t know it and yet you order masses and talk about its torments? Well, as it has begun to rain and threatens to continue, we shall have time to relieve the monotony, replied Tasio, falling into a thoughtful mood.

Don Filipo closed the book which he held in his hand and Doray sat down at his side determined not to believe anything that the old man was about to say.

The latter began in the following manner: Purgatory existed long before Our Lord came into the world and must have been located in the center of the earth, according to Padre Astete; or somewhere near Cluny, according to the monk of whom Padre Girard tells us.  But the location is of least importance here.  Now then, who were scorching in those fires that had been burning from the beginning of the world? Its very ancient existence is proved by Christian philosophy, which teaches that God has created nothing new since he rested.

Learn this Filipino word:

maitím na binábalak