Chapter 53 : - Page 5 of 5

Il Buon Dí Si Conosce Da Mattina

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

You are thinking of how easily I may be mistaken, was the answer with a sad smile.  Today I am feverish, and I am not infallible: homo sum et nihil humani a me alienum puto,[4] said Terence, and if at any time one is allowed to dream, why not dream pleasantly in the last hours of life? And after all, I have lived only in dreams! You are right, it is a dream! Our youths think only of love affairs and dissipations; they expend more time and work harder to deceive and dishonor a maiden than in thinking about the welfare of their country; our women, in order to care for the house and family of God, neglect their own: our men are active only in vice and heroic only in shame; childhood develops amid ignorance and routine, youth lives its best years without ideals, and a sterile manhood serves only as an example for corrupting youth.  Gladly do I die! Claudite iam rivos, pueri! [5]

Don’t you want some medicine? asked Don Filipo in order to change the course of the conversation, which had darkened the old man’s face.

The dying need no medicines; you who remain need them.  Tell Don Crisostomo to come and see me tomorrow, for I have some important things to say to him.  In a few days I am going away. The Philippines is in darkness!

After a few moments more of talk, Don Filipo left the sick man’s house, grave and thoughtful.

[5] I am a man and nothing that concerns humanity do I consider foreign to me.

[6] A portion of the closing words of Virgil’s third eclogue, equivalent here to Let the curtain drop.—TR.

Learn this Filipino word:

tulóg na binatà