Chapter 59: - Page 4 of 11

Patriotism and Private Interests

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

But you didn’t tell me anything, Capitan Tinong dared to answer tearfully.  On the contrary, you told me that I was doing well to frequent Capitan Tiago’s house and cultivate friendship with him, because he’s rich—and you told me—

What! What did I tell you? I didn’t tell you that, I didn’t tell you anything! Ay, if you had only listened to me!

Now you’re throwing the blame on me, he replied bitterly, slapping the arm of his chair.  Didn’t you tell me that I had done well to invite him to dine with us, because he was wealthy? Didn’t you say that we ought to have friends only among the wealthy? Abá!

It’s true that I told you so, because—because there wasn’t anything else for me to do.  You did nothing but sing his praises: Don Ibarra here, Don Ibarra there, Don Ibarra everywhere.  Abá! But I didn’t advise you to hunt him up and talk to him at that reception! You can’t deny that!

Did I know that he was to be there, perhaps?

But you ought to have known it!

How so, if I didn’t even know him?

But you ought to have known him!

But, Tinchang, it was the first time that I ever saw him, that I ever heard him spoken of!

Well then, you ought to have known him before and heard him spoken of.  That’s what you’re a man for and wear trousers and read El Diario de Manila, [6] answered his unterrified spouse, casting on him a terrible look.

To this Capitan Tinong did not know what to reply. Capitana Tinchang, however, was not satisfied with this victory, but wished to silence him completely. So she approached him with clenched fists.  Is this what I’ve worked for, year after year, toiling and saving, that you by your stupidity may throw away the fruits of my labor? she scolded.  Now they’ll come to deport you, they’ll take away all our property, just as they did from the wife of—Oh, if I were a man, if I were a man!

[6] The oldest and most conservative newspaper in Manila at the time this work was written.—TR.

Learn this Filipino word:

kumákalám ang tiyán