Chapter 58: - Page 3 of 3

The Accursed

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

May you be accursed! exclaimed an old man, running along beside him.  Accursed be the gold amassed by your family to disturb our peace! Accursed! Accursed!

May they hang you, heretic! cried a relative of Albino’s.  Unable to restrain himself, he caught up a stone and threw it at the youth.

This example was quickly followed, and a rain of dirt and stones fell on the wretched young man.  Without anger or complaint, impassively he bore the righteous vengeance of so many suffering hearts.  This was the parting, the farewell, offered to him by the people among whom were all his affections.  With bowed head, he was perhaps thinking of a man whipped through the streets of Manila, of an old woman falling dead at the sight of her son’s head; perhaps Elias’s history was passing before his eyes.

The alferez found it necessary to drive the crowd back, but the stone-throwing and the insults did not cease.  One mother alone did not wreak vengeance on him for her sorrows, Capitana Maria. Motionless, with lips contracted and eyes full of silent tears, she saw her two sons move away; her firmness, her dumb grief surpassed that of the fabled Niobe.

So the procession moved on.  Of the persons who appeared at the few open windows those who showed most pity for the youth were the indifferent and the curious.  All his friends had hidden themselves, even Capitan Basilio himself, who forbade his daughter Sinang to weep.

Ibarra saw the smoking ruins of his house—the home of his fathers, where he was born, where clustered the fondest recollections of his childhood and his youth.  Tears long repressed started into his eyes, and he bowed his head and wept without having the consolation of being able to hide his grief, tied as he was, nor of having any one in whom his sorrow awoke compassion.  Now he had neither country, nor home, nor love, nor friends, nor future!

From a slight elevation a man gazed upon the sad procession.  He was an old man, pale and emaciated, wrapped in a woolen blanket, supporting himself with difficulty on a staff.  It was the old Sage, Tasio, who, on hearing of the event, had left his bed to be present, but his strength had not been sufficient to carry him to the town hall.  The old man followed the cart with his gaze until it disappeared in the distance and then remained for some time afterward with his head bowed, deep in thought.  Then he stood up and laboriously made his way toward his house, pausing to rest at every step.  On the following day some herdsmen found him dead on the very threshold of his solitary home.

Learn this Filipino word: