Chapter 59: - Page 5 of 11

Patriotism and Private Interests

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Seeing that her husband bowed his head, she again fell to sobbing, but still repeating, Ay, if I were a man, if I were a man!

Well, if you were a man, the provoked husband at length asked, what would you do?

What would I do? Well—well—well, this very minute I’d go to the Captain-General and offer to fight against the rebels, this very minute!

But haven’t you seen what the Diario says? Read it: ‘The vile and infamous treason has been suppressed with energy, strength, and vigor, and soon the rebellious enemies of the Fatherland and their accomplices will feel all the weight and severity of the law.’  Don’t you see it? There isn’t any more rebellion.

That doesn’t matter! You ought to offer yourself as they did in ’72; [7] they saved themselves.

Yes, that’s what was done by Padre Burg—

But he was unable to finish this name, for his wife ran to him and slapped her hand over his mouth.  Shut up! Are you saying that name so that they may garrote you tomorrow on Bagumbayan? Don’t you know that to pronounce it is enough to get yourself condemned without trial? Keep quiet!

However Capitan Tinong may have felt about obeying her, he could hardly have done otherwise, for she had his mouth covered with both her hands, pressing his little head against the back of the chair, so that the poor fellow might have been smothered to death had not a new personage appeared on the scene.  This was their cousin, Don Primitivo, who had memorized the Amat, a man of some forty years, plump, big-paunched, and elegantly dressed.

Quid video? he exclaimed as he entered.  What’s happening? Quare? [8]

[7] Following closely upon the liberal administration of La Torre, there occurred in the Cavite arsenal in 1872 a mutiny which was construed as an incipient rebellion, and for alleged complicity in it three native priests, Padres Burgos, Gomez, and Zamora, were garroted, while a number of prominent Manilans were deported.—TR.

[8] What do I see? ... Wherefore?

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