Chapter 62: - Page 2 of 4

Padre Damaso Explains

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Don’t cry so, little girl. Your tears hurt me.  Tell me your troubles, and you’ll see how your godfather loves you!

Maria Clara approached him slowly, fell upon her knees, and raising her tear-stained face toward his asked in a low, scarcely audible tone, Do you still love me?

Child!

Then, protect my father and break off my marriage! Here the maiden told of her last interview with Ibarra, concealing only her knowledge of the secret of her birth.  Padre Damaso could scarcely credit his ears.

While he lived, the girl continued, I thought of struggling, I was hoping, trusting! I wanted to live so that I might hear of him, but now that they have killed him, now there is no reason why I should live and suffer.  She spoke in low, measured tones, calmly, tearlessly.

But, foolish girl, isn’t Linares a thousand times better than—

While he lived, I could have married—I thought of running away afterwards—my father wants only the relationship! But now that he is dead, no other man shall call me wife! While he was alive I could debase myself, for there would have remained the consolation that he lived and perhaps thought of me, but now that he is dead—the nunnery or the tomb!

The girl’s voice had a ring of firmness in it such that Padre Damaso lost his merry air and became very thoughtful.

Did you love him as much as that? he stammered.

Maria Clara did not answer.  Padre Damaso dropped his head on his chest and remained silent for a long time.

Learn this Filipino word:

maluáng ang butas ng tainga