Chapter 53 : - Page 2 of 5

Il Buon Dí Si Conosce Da Mattina

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

You alone, nothing; but with the rest, much.  You should have taken advantage of this opportunity to set an example to the other towns. Above the ridiculous authority of the gobernadorcillo are the rights of the people.  It was the beginning of a good lesson and you have neglected it.

But what could I have done against the representative of the interests? Here you have Señor Ibarra, he has bowed before the beliefs of the crowd.  Do you think that he believes in excommunications?

You are not in the same fix.  Señor Ibarra is trying to sow the good seed, and to do so he must bend himself and make what use he can of the material at hand.  Your mission was to stir things up, and for that purpose initiative and force are required.  Besides, the fight should not be considered as merely against the gobernadorcillo.  The principle ought to be, against him who makes wrong use of his authority, against him who disturbs the public peace, against him who fails in his duty.  You would not have been alone, for the country is not the same now that it was twenty years ago.

Do you think so? asked Don Filipo.

Don’t you feel it? rejoined the old man, sitting up in his bed.  Ah, that is because you haven’t seen the past, you haven’t studied the effect of European immigration, of the coming of new books, and of the movement of our youth to Europe.  Examine and compare these facts.  It is true that the Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, with its most sapient faculty, still exists and that some intelligences are yet exercised in formulating distinctions and in penetrating the subtleties of scholasticism; but where will you now find the metaphysical youth of our days, with their archaic education, who tortured their brains and died in full pursuit of sophistries in some corner of the provinces, without ever having succeeded in understanding the attributes of being, or solving the problem of essence and existence, those lofty concepts that made us forget what was essential,—our own existence and our own individuality? Look at the youth of today! Full of enthusiasm at the view of a wider horizon, they study history, mathematics, geography, literature, physical sciences, languages—all subjects that in our times we heard mentioned with horror, as though they were heresies.  The greatest free-thinker of my day declared them inferior to the classifications of Aristotle and the laws of the syllogism.  

Learn this Filipino word:

parang nátukâ ng ahas