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Full text of "Reminiscences of Rizal's stay in Europe"

'iv^sj.; 









CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 





Cornell University 
Library 



The original of tiiis bool< is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924023255874 



REMINISONCES OF RIZAL'S STAY IN EUHDPE 




liAVE just visited the place in Paris vrfiere Dr. Jose RLzal, 
the greatest Filipino genius, lived in 1889, where he com- 
posed several essays in French, where he wrote several 
chapters of his second novel "El Filibusterismo", and 
w4tere he spent sleepless nights reading books in the French 
language, and on French literature, history and government. 
It is a small hotel called "Hotel de Paris. " In the French 
ce^ital there are four hotels having this name, but the one 
A«iiere our martyred hero resided is located at No. 37, rue 
Maubeuge. If, as Victor Hugo says, "houses are like the human 
beings that inhabit them", the hotel were RLzal lived in Paris 
may be said to reflect the modest appearance of the then unknown 
young man of scarcely twenty-eight years who outwardly give 
little indication that some day he would become the idol of his 
country. The hotel has the same unassuming facade as that 
of the house in Manila on Calle Espeleta where the hero spent 
his holidays vhoiever free from the Ateneo lifwicipal, where he 
was thai studying. 

Rizal knew that much that is best in modem civilization has 
its home in the City of Light and Gaiety. Like the intellec- 
tuals of other countries of the world, he cane to Paris to 
behold the resplendent beauties of the city and to pay homage 
to French literature, art, exact science and philosophic 
thought. 

Dr. ; Felix E>ardo de Tavera 

Tbe great patriot was enthusiastically welcomed by the 
metifcers of the small Filipino Colony in the French capital. 
Here he met a number of brilliant young men who, like him, 
were also striving to win hwiors for their country and were 
busy promoting her progress and development. One of the best 
and most intimate friends of Dr. Jose Rizal was Dr. ;Felix ParJo 
de Tavera. One day I was invited to the house of this famous 
physician, and had an oppwtunity to know him personally. 

Dr. Felix Pardo de Tavera recei'ved me very kindly and his 
whole family showed me their characteristic hospitality. My 



FRANCISCO VILLANOEVA, JR. 



conversation with the old friend of EUzal lasted for several 
hours. Though Don Felix is already advanced in years, yet his 
reminiscaices of the hero are still as bri^t as when he was a 
young man of thirty going with the author of "Noli Me Tangere" 
to the studio of Juan Luna or to the apartments of the Taveras, 
the Ramirezes or the Venturas, vidch Rizal and he were accus- 
tomed to visit together and >»iiere they sometimes took their 
meals. 

"How did you become so intimately acquainted with Rizal?" 
I asked Don Felix. 

(SiilAiood Friends 

"We are classmate in the Ateneo Municipal ", relied the doc- 
tor. "We are good friends since our childhood in Manila, and 
afterwards whai Rizal came to Paris, he met me here and we were 
always boon companiois and pals". Dr. Felix Pardo de Tavera is 
the yotmger brother of the late Dr. Trinidad H. . Pardo de Tavera, 
well-kno^wi in the Riilippines as sdiolar, politician and histo- 
rian, and as having been a menter of the Philippine Conmission 
and director of the Philippine Library and Museum. Dbc tor Felix 
has been absent from Manila since 1874. He is a physician, 
painter and sculptor. From Manila he came to Paris and stayed 
here for many years. Later he transferred to Buenos Aires, the 
capital of the Argentine republic, where he has been practi- 
cing medicine. He came tiack to Paris this year, accompanied by 
his family, for a holiday, but plans to return to Bueios Aires, 
now his home. He is the designer of the famous statue of Gene- 
ral San Martin that stands in the Plaza de Mayo in the Argen- 
tine capital. He is also the winner of several prizes at dif- 
ferent international artistic expositions. During Rizal's time 
Doctor Felix was the only Filipino sculptor in Europe. He was 
also one of those patriots Wio co<^erated with Rizal in his pa- 
triotic work for the improvement of political and social condi- 
tions in the Philippines; 

During my visit, Don Felix told memany interesting anec- 
dotes concerning the life of Dr. Jose Rizal in Paris. 



nmFLW 



REMINISCENCES OF RIZAL'S STAY IN EUHOPE 



RIZAL POSINQ AS SIKATUNA 

The intimate friend of the hero was happy to bring to mind 
many reminiscences of the past. He began his talk narrating an 
anecdote referring t» the role that Rizal played posing as mo- 
del for one of the most famous tableaux of Jiian Luna. Ihe stu- 
dio of the celebrated Filipino painter in the Boulevard Pereire 
was the "rendezvous" of the Filipino students and artists vho 
used to take their meals there very often. One day Luna wanted 
to paint a tableau to be called "Pacto de Sangre" (Blood Com- 
pact), vhere L^aspi aid Sikatuna were to be represented drink- 
ing their blood, in the presence of their followers. •The great 
artist asked all the boys to pose for the frame. So they did. 
Luna needed two men to act as Legaspi and Sikatuna. Fie made a 
careful canvass. None of the Filipino boys satisfied him for 
the role of Legaspi, and so he called a Spaniard who looked 
like die Spanish warrior. Then he made another canvass for the 
role of Sikatina.'/Vnong the boys he selected Rizal who, because 
of his sturdy physique and his being of Malayan type, mostly 
resemble the Re^ah. 

"If you look now at the picture Pacto de Sangre (Blood 
Compact)", conmented Dr. Felix Pardo ife Tavera, "you will no- 
tice that all the muscles of the arms and other parts of the 
body of Sikatuna are those of Rizal himself, because the young 
hero was a very strong man. In Lima's masteipiece Sikatuna is 
standing with the face hidden. Oh, it was very interesting to 
see EUzal and the other >oung men donning their costumes and 
mailing themselves ready for the brush of Juan Luna"! 

TAVERA' S NEDDING AND lUZAL' S (SFTS 

When Dr. Felix Pardo de Tavera was married in 1889, one of 
those who sent him gifts was his friend Rizal, The gifts con- 
sistel of a ppctetrbook and a cigar-holder. 

The memory of the happy days of his youth had' brightened 
the face of the old friend of our hero. 

"Rizal came to my wedding and brou^t me those two gifts 



FRANCISCO VILLANUEVA, JR. 



persoially. I appreciate them very much. 

"Wiere are the souvenirs now"? 

"They are in the hands of my son Victor, who practices as a 
dentist in Buenos Aires." 

The wedding of Don Felix, a very brilliant social affair, 
took place in Paris. A merry smile played on the lips of the 
good doctor as he recalled the event. 

"Did Rizal act as your best man?" I aidted. 

"No, because Rizal was very moilest. He merely attended." 

Ihe two souvenirs at present in the hands of one of the sons 
of Dr. Tavera aire very valuable in the eyes of the numberless 
ad-nirers of the great genius because, as the Roman poetOvid 
says, "the gift derives its value from the rank of the giver. " 

DiNNEit IN mtmt OP m. jagor 

Don Felix also spoke about a dinner which the Tavera family 
gave in honor of the German traveler. Dr. Jagor. Rizal was one 
of those invited and he cone to the apartmait of the Taveras 
eager to meet a famous forei^ personality whose books he had 
read. During the dinner the German celebrity became talkative. 
While the courses: were being served, Rizal, noting that the 
German scientist was beccming very loquacious and really indul- 
ging in a monologue, \«hispered in Dr. Tavera' s ear: "It seems 
that this gentleman inta^ds to monopolize the conversation at 
the table." 

"TABLEAU VIVANT IN LUTJA'S STTODIO 

Dr. Tavera pronised to send me several pictures he has in 
Buenos Aires, representing groups of Filipinos among whom Dr. 
Rizal is included. He plena, on his return to the Argentine ca- 
pital, to look for them among his files. 

Dbn Felix told me that one of these pictures is a tableau vi- 
vant. One afternoon in the studio of Juan Luna, one of the Fi- 
lipino young men suggested making a tableau vivant and have it 



REMINISCENCES OF RIZAL' S STAY IN EUROPE 



appear in a photograph as though it were set in a real frame. 
The idea ^«aa cheered by all present and carried immediately in:; 
to practice. Ihe boys donned costumes and stood before a cur- 
tain. Then a photograph was taken. "In the picture the tableau 
vivant looks like a real painting", commented Dr. Tavera. "This 
photograph still exists in my album in Buenos yVtres". 

RIZAL'S RESERVED GHARCCIER 

Speaking about the character of Rizal, Dr. Felix Pardo de 
Tavera said: t - _ 

"Rizal was always serious. He had his guidebooks and maps, 
and knew Paris irery well. He usj^ally made his promoiades a- 
lone. " 

"Vthat was the nature of Rizal' d conversation?" I inquired. 

Rizal talked very little, but he was i«ally a very good 
conversationalist. : He talked about genereil matters, about vhat 
he thought others would ^oy, but never about himself. Vtb ne- 
ver knew what he was doing and vi^ere he was going. He was ex- 
tremely reserved and wanted to do thih*^ by himself without any 
assistance. Rizal was one of the most reserv^ characters among 
those vho have achieved a place insmkaen hisi^y. 



RIZAL mm OP pii£^if«i;|p(il^ 



Don Felix said that Rizal used to go to the apartxneits of^the 
Taveras at No. 47, those of the Ramirez family at No^ ;43^ and 
of the Venturas at No. 45, in the same rue Maub^i^ge where the 
hotel ^^he^e Ftizal lived is still found. "He was very fond of 
Philippine dishes, notwithst aiding. his long absence .; from the 
Philippines, " comnented the gsod doctor. "He was frequently in- 
vited to dine in. the homes of several Filipim> families." 

In Rizal 's time there were no Chinese restaurailts in Paris, 
aid the only way to find some well cocked • irice was to go to the 
house of some Filipino family where Philippine cooking was doney 
At present there are six Chinese restaurants in the city, and 
the Filipino traveler vho wants to eat rice, fish or meat cooked 



8 FRANQSCD VILLANOEVA, 38R. 

almost in the Philippine fashion, goes to these places dnnjbfg 
his sojourn in the French capital. 

Wien Dr. Rizal cane to Paris from Spain, in 1889 - Aen a 
youth of tventy eigjit years - he had already publiAed the "Wo- 
li Me Tangere", his first novel. 

Dr. Felix Pardo de Tavera says that vhile Rizal was in I^aris 
he wrote many articles for La Solidaridad. Dr. Tavera also 
thinks that Rizal wrote several chef>ters of El Filibusterismo 
in his room in the Hotel de Paris, No. 37, Rue Maubeuge. 

HIS PARIS SCBOOLING 

"Did Rizal study at any French university or college?" I 
asked. The good doctor relied: 

"I do not think so. Bit I positively know that he attended 
the lectures given at several educational institutions and 
visited the French hospitals and public libraries. I r^nember 
that once my brother, Trinidad, invited him to attend the 
classes of the Sducl of Ori^ital Languages of the Thiversity of 
Parik, where my brother was studying, and both RLzal and Trini*- 
dad went together to the school to attend the lectures. " 

Before the physical exercise called "jiu-jitisu" was intro- 
duced in Europe and became the craze in Eurq>ean sporting cir- 
cles, some Filipinos already had an idea of the Japanese sys- 
tem of physical defense. Dr. Tavera told me that for some time 
after Rizal came to Paris he was fond of showing to his com- 
patriots some interesting stunts of the Japanese style of 
wrestling and physical culture. Ihese Rizal had learned in Tok- 
yo. - 

Bon Raincn Ramirez, son of Don Jose Hamirez, confirms \dt,at 
Dr. Tavera says. On one occasion previous to my interview with 
Dr. Tavera, Ocm Ramon told me: "I was a lad of eighteen yeaxs 
\t4ien T saw Rizal coming to our house. He told my father: "Looik 
at me, Ebn Jose. Hold me and I! will try to esce^e. As a matter 
of fact, my father held Rizal, but through 'jiu-jitsu' Rizal 
very easily freed himself from my father's grip. 



REMNISCENCES OF RIZAL'S STAY IN EUROPE 



EXPERICNCB IN TOKYO 

A year later, in 1890, the Europeans were eager to learn 
"jiu-jitsii" and many Je^anese professors were brought to France 
and other Western countries to teach it. 

Dr. Tavera also recollects an anecdote narrated to him by 
Rizal himself. One afternoon !>. Tavera and Bizal were con- 
versing about travel abroad, and the former asked his old class- 
mate whether he had been in Tokyo. 

"CSi, yes", answered Iti.zal. "And I am going to tell you of 
an incident. " 

TTien our hero proceeded to narrate this anecdote. He was 
promoiading in one of the streets of Tokyo near a park (Dr. 
Tavera does not remember the name of this park but it is prob- 
able the "ffibiya Park") when he heard that the Tokyo band was 
playing several classical works of Straus. After listaiing 
a vthile Rizal thought: "How admirably played? I wonder how 
these Japanese pe(^le have assimilated modetn European educatioi 
to the extent of playing so well the most beautiful musical 
masterpieces of the ^eat European oorr^josers! " Ihe band stopped 
playing. Htien the musicians alighted from the bandstaid and 
walked around for a rest, lUzal endeavored to get near some of 
them to hear their conversation. He knew Japanese and was ex- 
pecting that the members of the band would begin talking that 
language. But imagine his surpise when he heard several of 
them talking in Tagalog. Rizal could ix>t control his curiosity, 
and he immediately spoke to the musicians, also in Tagalog, 
asking "Taga saan po kayo?" Ilie musicians replied that they 
were Filipinos and that the principal instruments in die band 
were played by Filipinos. The Japanese musicians were playing 
cnly the secondary instnimencs. ' 

FILIPim ilUSICIANS AQDOAD 

Even in these days there are still some Filipinos Wio are 
members of the musical bands in different cities of Japan. 

In Tokyo, Yokohama, Shanghai, Hanoi, tfongkong and other 



10 FRWaSOD VrLLMEVA, JR 



iiUJortant cities of the Far East the Filipinos enjoy, as it 
is well knovffi, a hig^ repUtatic^ &s g}od musicians. ' 

In the reading book for primary school studoits in the public 
schools of the Philippines there appear reproduced Bizal's 
lir awing and story about the monkey and the turtle. Where was 
this drawing copied and how did it originate? These questions 
were answered by Dr. Felix Pardo de Taverai 

Rlzal' s Sketch-Book 

"My sister Pa*, wife of Juai Luna, had an albun ^^re almost 
all the Filipinos who lived or passed throu^ Paris where a 
piece, prose or verse, or drew a sketch:. Paz asked Rizal to 
contribute, anything he liked. At the time RLzal and I had a 
discussion as to u^iethier the fruit of the banana tree look up- 
ward or down^rard. Both of us had been away from the Philippine 
for many years. Rizal maintained that they look dowiward while 
I argued that they lode upward. ■ We were then at the house of 
Paz. When my si&tet asked Rizal to write something in the al- 
bum and handed the boc^ to him, RLzal ^ontaneously and almost 
instantly draw the sketches wherein the monkey and the turtle 
are shovn discussing. My nephew, i^dres Luna, vtho is in M^la 
practising his profession as an architect, has this al bom of 
his mother, u4iere the original of Rizal' s drawing can still be 
found. " 

Rizal came to Paris twice. The first visit he made to the 
French capital was in I889i \«hen he lived in the Ifistel de Paris 
at No. 37 rue Maubeuge. Several yeiars afterwards he returned 
to Paris. ' As to the place where he lived in Paris during his 
second visit neither Dr. Felix Pardo de Tavera nor Don Ramon 
Ramirez, whom I consulted, had en exact recollection. Both 
believe that on the second visit of Biz^l he lived in one of 
the houses near the Cai^refour de Qiateaudun, but they do not 
remember the number of the house.' 

It seems that the hou;^ where. Rizal lived in Chateaudun 
was an ^artment hotel, and that it was later transformed into 
a bigger building. 



REMINISCENCES OF RIZ.U-'S STAY IN EU!WPE 11 



Dr. ° Baldomero Roxas, well known physician and one of the 
friends of Rizal, told me that I^izal also liveil temporarily 
in the house of Don Valentin Ventura at No, 45 rue Maubeuge. 
He also remembers that I\izal used to accompany him and other 
Filipino boys younger than the hero to see the musicians and 
expositions of Paris because Bizal wanted to stimulate them. 
"Once Bizal accompanied us to the Threatre Francis to see 
"Hamlet, " says Dr. Boxas. We were Gregorio Aguilera, Lauro 
Oimayuga, Valentin Ventura and I. On a different occasion ve 
went also the circus of Buffalo Bill at Neuilly. Apropos of 
that circus we had organized and association called "Indios 
Bravos" to uphold the iii^^ity of the Filipinos who were then 
referred to as "Indios". T^e members of the association were 
seven! Rizal, Valeitin Ventura, Gregorio 'Aguilera, Lauro Dima- 
yuga, Andres and Jam Luna, end I. ' 

Discoverer of Qasilan 

During the interw.ew I had with Dr. Felix Pardo de Tavera 
the old friend of FUzal informed me that at the time of Bizal' s 
second \dsit to Paris, the Filipinos residing in the French 
capital had met a Frenchman called ^ialat who haii visited the 
Philippines and viho pretended to have discovere<l the island 
of Basilan. The supposed French explorer delisted in calling 
himself "Maiat de BasilEBi. " In his house he kept many souvenirs 
from Mindanao and other parts of the Philippines and he took 
pride in showing diem to his friends vho visited the collection. 

!4eet FrencSi Neispapennan 

I asked Don Felix v^ether he knew if RLzal, during the tame 
he was in Paris, had met some French writer or author. 

It must be remembered that in 1884 Victor Hugo was at the 
height of his popularity an»l fame in Europe. So was also ano- 
ther French geiius Anatole France. 

But Dr. Felix Pardo de Tavera made only the following 
comment: "RLzal met a French journalist called Mondepleutchut 



12 FRANCISOO VILLANUEVA, JR. 

who used to write in the daily newspaper Le Temps. This writer 
had published many articles about the Philippines, where he 
had resided for some time. Like Malat, he also had a collec- 
tion of Philippine souvenirs." 

The newspaper Le Tenps where Mondepleutchut worked as one 
of the meirfjers of its eilitoriai staff, still exists in Paris 
and is published daily. 

\Wiere Rizal personally knew such great writers as Victor 
Hugo or Anatole France it is not know, but the probabilities 
seem against it. 

Daughter of a Concierge 

Asked regarding EUzal' ^ artistic activities in Paris, Dr. 
Tavera said: "One day Rizal told me: "I" am going to show you 
a new method adopted by sculptors in Germany, Austria and 
other countries." Rizal was then living in one of the houses 
near the Cbrrefour de Chateaudun. It was an apartment hotel. 
Rizal saw a beautiful French girl of 17 years. Sie was the 
daughter of the concierge of the building. Rizal immediately 
took a piece of clay and made a bust of the girl. 

"\Wiere is this bust? What is the name of the girl?" I in- 
terrogated eagerly. 

"I do not know. It seems that nobody knows," was the doctor's 
reply. 

Oust of Dr. Felix 

Besides the bust of the concierge's daughter, Rizal also 
made a bust of his intimate friend. Dr. Felix Pardo de Tavera. 
He sent.it to the Palais de la Industrie, a building construct- 
ed in 1877 in connection with the Universal Exposition but 
which, in 1889, was still preserved and used as a permanent 
place for the holding of annual exhibitions of the works of 
painters and sculptors. 

"Did Rizal win any prize at the exhibition?" I questioned. 

"No," replied Dr. Tavera, "but had he oon tinned to send his 
v«rks I have no doubt that he would have gained recognition and 



REf.lINISCENCES OF RI2WL'S STAY IN EUROPE 13 



w>n some prize, because he was good sculptor. " 

"flhat became of your bust dwe by Rizal?" 

"I kept it as a very valuable souvenir in my home at Buenos 
Aires. But unfortunately one day it fell from the place where 
it was kept in my receiving hall, and was broken to pieces. I 
regret Ae incident very deeply. " 

How Rizal Knew EUumentritt 

Before Rizal knew Ferdinand Blumentritt, the old Austrian 
sage was already fond of writing books and articles about the 
Philippines. Dr. Tavera told me that even thou^ the Filipinos 
of Paris did not know Blumentritt personally, they, especially 
his brother, Trinidad, used to correspond with him. When Rizal 
w«it to Leitmeritz, Dr. Trinidad Pardo de Tavera gave him a 
letter of introduction to the great Austrian Philosopher and 
philogist. Rizal lived in ^stria atthe home of the Blumentritt 
family. 

TTie Austrian sage one of Rizal's best friends, v^om the 
hero did not forget even at the last moment of his life. A 
few days before his deat^ Rizal wrote a letter to Blumentritt 
advising him of his fate and sending him a book as a last sou- 
venir. • 

Rizal' B Oonnand of French 

Answering my question as to Rizal's knowledge of French 
grammar and literature, Don Felix rallied: 

"Rizal could speak Fr«»ch a^emarkably well, almost as well 
as he could %>anish and better, I.' think, then he could Germ^t. - 
However, he was fond of pronouncing French words with a Taga- 
log accent. He had a very wonderful memory arai a natural gift 
for langueige. " 

When Rizal was about to leave Paris on his way to Manila, 
he told his plan to his friend. Then Dr. Felix Pardo de Tavera 
asked him: 

"Before you depart, I want to paint your portrait." 

But Rizal declined the request, saying very modestly: "No, 



14 FRANCISOO VILLANUEVA, JR. 

wait till I become of importatce. " 

At the time, Dr. Tavera had the presentment that something 
tragic would happen to Rizal on his arrival in Manila. ; So he 
did not conceal his feelings and told Rizal in French: "On va 
te racourcir, " which means, "They will cut off your head." 

RLzal jokingly answered: "Then I shall sraid you my head by 
mail." 

Rizal' s finwiess of character is wellknovn. He decided not 
to pose on that occasion, and he did not. 

Never Returned 

After his departure Rizal never did return to Paris. That 
was his last day in the French cspital. Don Felix did not hear 
any more about Rizal until after the dark tragedy on Bagunbaysn 
field. 

"After Rizal' s deatJi, did you make any statue or picture 
of him? " I inquired. 

"Yes, Imade a bust of him and had a project of a monument 
representing Rizal dying and being recived in the arms of a 
woman symbolizing the Philippines, This prpject which was 
subnitted in the contest for the Rizal monument, can be found in 
the personal museum and library of my iafce brother Trinidad 
in Manila. " 

"Do you intend to make a new picture or statue of Rizal?" 
"Yes, v«hen I return to Buenos Aires where I have my studio." 
The recollection of the past tragedy had saddened the heart 
of Dr. Felix Pardo de Tavera. • I thougjit it was time to end my 
visit to the good friend of Rizal. "Don Felix, I will put in 
writing what you have told me in order that it shall not be for- 
gotten by future generations, " I assured him. 

Before my departure, Don Felix, in a voice filled with mingl- 
ed emotion and ©irfiusiasm exclaimed referring to Rizal: "I' have 
him clear in my raind» Even now, at my age, I feel as though 
I were looking at his face." 



REMINISCENCES QF RIZAL'S STAY IN EUROPE 15 



%zal, of coht^,, oould not send to Dt. ; Felix Pardo de Tave- 
ra nis nead as he nad jokingly promised, but several years 
after the dsatn of the neio, Dr; Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, who 
was tnen residing in .vlanila, sent to his brother in Paris 
a correct copy of ftizal's "iVli Ultimo Adios", which poem con- 
tains many of the most beautiful and patriotic thoughts con- 
ceived by that head wnose counterfeit Don Felix intended to 
make, the head of one who, before he died, requested of his 
dearly beloved mother country* "Pray for thyself that thou 
mayst see thy final reden^tion; " 



16 FRANCISCO VILLANUEVA. JR. 




EARLY 44 years ago, in the fall of 1886* a middle-sized 
active, light-sti^ping Filipino youth of twenty- five ar- 
rived in Berlin. He had a fair brown cotvplexion and frank 
features. He oould usually be seen in the early mornings 
crossing the streets of Qiarlottenburg, the center of art 
and science, on his way either to the state university, to the 
clinics or to tne public library; ; fie had oDme from ^ain where 
he had brilli^itly studied medicine and philosq>hy and letters; 

Too Ambitious 

He was emxious to study Geiman life md civilization and to 
extend his knowledge and e:q>erience in medical science; He 
wanted to specialize in ophthalmology in order to find some 
cure for his mother's eye;. He was very fond of literature; 
He was already nailed as a talented man of letters; He had won 
two prizes in tvo literary contests in the Philippines and had 
gained fame in Madrid for work he nad done in Greek. He was 
the principal leader in the propaganda in favor of the Filipino 
people. He found Germany a fine havai from which to carry on 
his labors as a propagandist and reforme):» for he was subject" 
ed neither to suspicion nor vigilance; 

Unbnom in Genoany 

Few persons in Germany knew who this youth waa;.]pGrhaps only 
his professors and a small nunber of friaids; He was living in 
an old pension in the students' quarter; In his strolls as 
well as in his work in the university, and in the clinics, he 
usually went alone, thinking perhaps that solitude is the 
mother of concentration, and concentration is the source of 
strength; This brilliant, ambitious, talaited, prqjossessing 
and soulful youth was Dr; Jose fiizal, the greatest genius, 
the most beloved patriot and the most worshiped here of the 
Filipino peoplei 

In Berlin Bizal used to devote his time to his medical 
studies and to doing literary work; TVo of nis most inportant 



HEMINISCENCES OF HIZAL'S STAY IN EUROPE 17 



tasks were the translation into Tagalog of some of the "Fairy 
Tales" written by the Danish writer, Hans Christian Andersen, 
and the finishing of the manuscript of his first novel Noli 
Me Tangere. The hero wanted to excel as an author, mainly 
as a novelist. 

During the month of November 1886, he completed the trans- 
lation of a great number of Andersen's folklore stories. He 
thought that the Filipino children, and even their elders, 
would be interested in reading these tales if translated into 
Tagalog. The original was in the Danish language, but since 
Rizal was not conversant with tliat language, he must have avail- 
ed himself of either the German or the %>anish translation of 
the Andersen collection. Even before Tizal went to Berlin he 
had a good vworking knowledge of the German language since he 
and other Filipinos in Madrid kad occasion to study this 
language there. 

Prlntei "Noli fic Tangere" 

\Vhen Rizal finished the Tagalog .translation of some of 
.Andersen's tales, he found time available for the completion 
of his novel Noli Me Tangere. In five months he completed 
writing the remaining chapters of the book, ^rflich he had begun 
while he was in Spain. To defray the printing, e^q^enses, he 
and his roommate. Dr. Maximo Viola, fasted and became vege- 
tarians in order to save money out of the monthly allowances 
both of them received from their parents in Manila. 

Tlie printing of the Noli Me Tangere was finished about 
the end of March, 1887, nearly five months after Rizal' s first 
visit to the German capital. The hero gave the printer a list 
of the names and addresses of his friends to whom he wanted 
complimentary copies of his first book he sent. In this list 
were inclaied Ferdinand Blumentritt, Valentin Ventura, Juan 
Luna, Antonio Luna, Eduardo de Lete and many others. The compli- 
mentary copies were sent without. any inscription by the author. 
In a letter dated April 5, 1887, that Rizal sent to his 
friend Edbardo de Lete, he eiq^lains the matter saying' that the 
printer himself packed and sent the books without Rizal' s see- 
ing them. 



18 FRANCISCO VILLANUEVA, J a. 



Copies Sold In Germany 

The printer who brought out Rizal's Noli Me Tangera took 
charge not only of tha sending of the complimentary copies of 
the book to the author's friends, but also of the sale of the 
remaining copies of the first edition in different parts of 
Germany, %)ain and France. 

I met in Paris recently Dr. Ednundo fteyes, a yaung Filipino 
pnysician who had been studying in Germany for some years. ; This 
young doctor told me that one of his friends saw in Leipzig 
copies of the original edition of the Noli Me Tangere which 
were for sale in severed, books tor es. Dr. f^yes believes that 
copies of this first edition can still be found in some book- 
stores and in the public library of tliat learned Gemen city. 

It \nuld be interesting to read a copy of the Nbli's first 
edition and compare it with later editiona. Tnus one might 
discover the chaiiges introduced either by Ri::al himcelf or by 
the literary reader "of Maucci Hermanos, the Barcelona punlis- 
hers who re-edited Bizal's two novels, subdividing each of 
them into tvso volumes^ 

Wlian Rizal gave the printer the manuscript of the Noli, He 
considered having his picture printed on the cover of the book 
as many authors do, but his sense of modesty made him change 
his mind, and the book was printed without any picture on tho 
cover. Vet later on, when Maucci Hermanos reedited the Noli 
and El Filibusterismo, a Spanish painter painted drawings 
which were placed on the cover of each of the four volumes into 
which the two novels were subdivided. The Maucci editions, 
however, have no inside illustraticns. 

The original of both Noli Rfe Tangere and El Filibusterismo 
are at present kept in the Philippines National Library in 
Sfanila. If one examines the two manuscripts, he will imneJiate- 
ly notice that Dr. Jose Rizal was a very careful writer, both 
as to style and handwriting. As a stylist few writers in his 
own field can excel him. The easy, graceful, unfaltering can- 
mand of the l^anish language that marked his middle and later 



REMINISCENCES OF aiZAL'S STAY IN EUHDPE 19 



years was the result of a long apprcnticesi^ip and assiduous 
practice in the art and craft of writing. 

Mentally Well Endowed 

Even during his boyhood, while he was a student in the 
Ateneo de Ulanila, he had already sho\m himself gifted with the 
ability to carve, such beautiful phrases as the one he applied 
to the Filipino youth, "fair hope of my fatherlmd. " Tn Rizal's 
poems there is an easiness of charm, a propriety of expression 
that makes them melodious to the ear and easy to the tongue. 
The mind catches the charm, and without stress or strain me- 
mory retains the words. 

Honest nriter 

nizal's literary scrupulousness vas marked. He was in Berlin 
when he received several numbers of the periodical Eq:>ana en 
Filipinas printed in Madrid. He read them, and when he saw an 
article v^erein the Pasig was called "fantasma bianco dorroido 
dulcemente" (^«^ite ^ost sweetly asleep) he immediately wrote 
a letter to the editor of the paper ^o happened to be his 
friend, Mr. Ethardo de Lete, protesting against this literary 
absurdity, against the use of such bombastic metaphor in 
describing die celebrated Manila river. 

Style is the dress of thou^t, Ihe more beautiful the style, 
the more attractive the idea. • Demosthenes would have made 
little inf)ression on the Athenians but for his style; Cicero 
won his case in the Roman Forum thanks to his style; it was 
the style of Burke that carried his words across the channel 
to France and across the ocean to ^erica. Bancroft said that 
"style is the gossamer on which the seeds of truth float 
throu^ the world" while Woodrow Wilson, one of the greatest 
modem political writers, declared that the ear of the world 
must be "tickled in order to be attracted, -that clearness, 
force and beauty of style are absolutely necessary to aie who 
would draw men to his way of thinking; nay, to anyone \iAo would 
induce the great mass of mankind to give so much as passing 
to what he has to say. " 



20 Francisco villanueva, jr. 



In Rizal's great efforts to produce ^Mo^k with a beautifiil 
and magnificent style he had in mind two principal purposes: 
he inten<ied to attract the attention of the world in favor of 
the cause of his mother country and he wanted to prove that the 
theory of the intellectual inferiority of the Filipino race 
was false because he, a Filipino, could produce works of such 
merit. Happily he succeeded in his two noble aims. 

In the private library of Rizal-which is now kept in the 
Philippine National Library in Manila-there are many books writ- 
ten by German writers. During the hero's stay in Berlin he 
attended presentations of the best German dramas, especially 
tragedies. 

With German Setting 

German environment exerted some influence on Rizal's wri- 
tings in his middle and later years. In his poems, especially 
El Canto iJel Viajero and Mi Retiro, one feels some of the feel- 
ings of sadness that permeates the lieders of Henry Heine and 
the pages of Goethe's Werther. If one reails Rizal' s two novels, 
he will see that both of them have tragic endings. 

Rizal could talk and write the German language with con- 
siderable facility. He wrote his letters to Ferdinand Blumoi- 
tritt and to his professors in the Universities of Berlin, 
Heidelberg and Leipzig in Germant 

When Rizal went to Berlin for the first time, in the autum 
of 188 6f he had already made up his mind not to many and had 
decided to remain a bachelor all his life, thus being better 
able to oOTisecrate all his energies and efforts to the campaign 
of reforms he was chanpioning for the Philippines. 

In Madrid he once said an article in which he said: "You 
who have been disappointed in your loves and who have seen 
your illusions falling one by one like the leaves of the trees 
in the autimn, and vho think that you have no longer anything 
that you can love. .;There you have the mother country! Love 
her, love her' " 

In his second novel El Filibusterismo, Rizal repeated his 



REMINISCENCES OF BIZAL'S STAY IN EUROPE 21 



idea of ronaining bachelor better to consecrate himself to the 
cause of the fatJierland without getting married. This passage 
occurs in a conversation between Attorney Pasta and Isagani. 
The lawyer had advised the young student not to meddle in po- 
litics, but an the contrary to marry and practice his profession 
and live peacefully and quietly and make money. Isagani, v^o 
was voicing Rizal's ovn convictions, replied to the old man's 
advice: "When I have gray hairs like those (Pasta' s) , sir, and 
turn my gaze back over my past and see that I have worked 
only for myself, without having done vhat I plainly could and 
should have done for the country that has given me everything, 
for the citizens that have helped me to live- then, sir, every 
gray hair will be a thorn, and instead of rejoicing, they will 
shane me' " 

After several months' stay in Berlin, during vi^ch he spent 
the Christmas holidays of 1886 in the German capital, Rizal 
gave a full account of his activities in Germany. In a letter 
that he sent from Berlin to his sister, Saturnina Rizal, and 
his brother-in-law, Manuel Hidalgo, he says: "As you should 
know, I am here in Germany, going from city to city, from town 
to to\«, visiting all the centers of learning, the tovn schools, 
parishes, churches, and often, after hearing a catholic sermon, 
I go to a Protestant church to hear preaching; and sometimes, 
too, to die synagogue of the Jews." 

A Careful Observer 

Rizal wa? a veyy good observer of foreign customs. Acconl- 
ing to '"he celebrated writer, Watts, *nothing tends so much 
to enlarge the mind as traveling. ' Rizal knew this and he al- 
ways tqok advantage of his travels to increase his knowledge 
and experience. He used to compare foreign customs with Phil- 
ippine customs.- In his letter to Mr. and Mrs. HidalyD he wrote: 
"Everything that couid teach me something and might be intro- 
duced into the Philippines, I observe here. T^ere are some 
good and beautiful customs, as for example, those practised 
on Christinas eve, which T wish to describe here, for they do 
not exist in S^ain and you can not find them ^^esc^ibed in Spa- 
nish books. " 



22 FRANaSOO VILLANUEVA, JR. 

There was a Filipino custom at Christmas during Spanish 
times that Rizai wanted to change. In many Philippine prov- 
inces it was a custom among old Filipinos to give money as 
Christmas gift to their childroi, relatives end friends. Long 
before the advent of Christmas the father and the mother would 
begin saving money, and when that holy day come, .they distri- 
buted the savings as aguinaldos to the children. 

Itie flerroan Custom 

When Rizal went to Europe, he carefully observed the 
Christmas customs in different countries such as S^ain, F^anoe 
and &tgland. The Christmas customs that had most appealed 
to him was the German custan for Christmas eve, and he wanted 
to have itintroduced into the Philippines in order to eradicate 
the old custom of giving money which cheapiened the spirit 
of the most glorious day of the year. That is why in his letter 
to Mr. and Mrs. Hidalgo he took pains to describe all the de- 
tails of the German custom. 

"On Christmas eve, " the hero wrote, "the people take from 
the bushes a pine tree, selecting one >*jiich must not only be 
straight, but also must have leaves that do not fall in spring; 
I mean that dry leaves are not leaws at all in this particular 
case, but are a kind of small needle. It is adorned with lai- 
tems, papers, li^^ts, dolls, candies, fruit etc.; and shown 
at night to the diildren (who had not seen it being prepared). 
Arounti this tree is made the family cdbservance. " 

This Christmast.custora, which Rizal saw in Geimany and which 
he was the first to describe, and boost in the Philippines, has 
been widely adcq)ted many Filipino homes in Manila and in prov- 
incial capitals. The Geiman Christmas custom that the hero saw, 
is not, however, exclusively German, since it also exist in 
many European and Anerican cities, differing only in very minor 
details. 

Mother interesting custom that Rizal had observed in Ger- 
many is the rule of the first advance in social gatherings. 
In the Teutonic code of etiquette, self-introduction is a 



REMINISCENCES OF REAL' S STAY IN HjnOPE 23 



necessity when one meets a crowd of persons. In Qermany, es- 
pecially in high social and professional circles, the stranger 
bows his head and introduces himself and shakes hands with 
everybody at the festive scene without any previous introduction 
by a third person. It «oulvl be bad manners for him to remain 
aloof, and wait for a third person to make the introduction.' 

When Rizal wrote the first chapters of his: first novel, 
Noli Me Tangere, he did not forget this custom. Crisostomo 
Ibarra, invited to a social gathering in the house of Capitan 
Tiago, introduces himself to all the persons in the fiesta, 
saying that by doing so he is observing a custan that he "he 
seal in Europe." Rizal was undoubtedly referring to Germany, 
since the custom of self- introduction in a social gathering as 
a oorrpulsory rule of etiquette does not exist in other count- 
ries of Europe. 

Rizal' s Poem 

Heidelberg is one of tiie many cities of Gennany which Rizal 
visited, frequently strolling through the old university city. 
CXiring one of his walks through the shady gardens that overlook 
the river, the poetic soul of the hero was awakened, he im- 
bibed inspiration and write that beautiful poem "A las Flores 
de Heidelberg" <"To the Flowers of Heidelberg". ) 

Gonmenting upon RLzal's poem, a young Filipino physician. 
Dr. "Mariano Mercado, w(ho had been studying in Gennany for seve- 
ral years, told me on a certain occasicoi: "I think the word 
flowers -used by Rizal is a metaphor, meaning loomen. This poem 
is a tribute of admiration to the beauty and charm of the Ger- 
man women". Dr. Mercado' s novel interpretation of Rizal' s poem 
will undoubtedly give rise to much discussion and strong oppo- 
sition on the part of those who maintain that Rizal' s words 
should be given their literal meaning. 

Rizal was never elected by popular vote. 'He never held a 
government position either in the Philippines or in %)ain. ;He 
was simply an ordinary citizen, without any weapon at his com- 
mand other than his pen u^ich he used courageously and ^illnat- 



24 FFWJCISOO VILLANUEVA, JR. 



ly. Aid yet he became the foremost and most powerful leader of 
his peqple, who accepted his leader^ip, attracted by the sound- 
ness and strength of his thoughts, by the greatness of his love 
of his mother country and by the consistency and nobility of 
his acts in public and private life. • 

Before Rizal went to Europe, many Filipinos had preceded 
him - men of wealth, men of power, men of influaice. But it was 
only Wien Rizal - the man of brains - arrived in Spain and 
visited several European countries and began to write and pu- 
blic his articles in European papers, that something practical 
and beneficial to the Philippines was accomplished, Wictor 
Hugo's [Arase "les mots heutent le front corame I'eau ie recif 
( "the words hurt the head as the water the reef") can properly 
be spplied to the effect of Rizal' s campaign against the poli- 
tical and. social cuiditions vhich prevailed in the islands. 

A Conscientious Leader 

Rizal was conscious of his leadership. He was in Berlin 
when he wrote that significant thought to be found in one of 
the pages of the Noli Me Tangere: "Tou should strike the hard 
stone in order to produce sparks," The acceptance of his 
leadership by the Filipinos abroad and the Filipinos at home 
was very cordial and enthusiastic, Antonio Luna, one of the 
regular contributors to La Solidaridad and later on one of the 
greatest generals of the Philippine Army, described the at- 
titude of the members of the Filipino Colony in Spain. He said 
that \/^ile Rizal was away in France and Germany, he and other 
Filipinos waited with great anxiety for articles and poems 
coming from the pen of the hero, and whenever one of his writ- 
ing arrived in Spain, they read and re-read it many times. 

In one of the letters which Rizal sent to one of his friends. 
Eduardo de Lete, after having already printed the Noli Me 
Tangere he said: "We cannot e3q)ect that all shall have courage 
and abnegation; in his life there must always be actors, 
spectators and also claque. " 

Rizal meant by actors those persons interested in public 
affairs, who had convictions aid ideas of their own, who had the 



REMINISCENCES OF RIZAL' S STAY IN EUHOPE 25 

civic courage to denounce abuses and injustices, v^o placed 
the interests of the mother country above their own, viio knew 
how to select as their leaders abroad and at home the best 
men of the country, wlio worked for an efficient, honest and 
wise govemmoit. 

The Applauders 

By "spectators" he meant persons not concerned with the 
affairs of the country, indifferent to any public movonent, 
interested in making money and in their own private affairs, 
who tolerated abuses and injustices for the salte of their own 
comfort and benefit, who were contait to let things drift. 

3y claque he referred to those people vho constituted the 
bunch of followers, leaners, parasites or suckers, the conmon 
sheep without convictions and idea of their own, who knew 
only how to say "yes" "no" according to their orders, who 
clapped and cheered isiien they were told to clap and cheer and 
were silent vlhen they were told to be. 

In 1887 Rizal left Germany and returned to Manila. He 
stayed in the Philippines about six months. In February of 
the succeeding year; 1888, he returned to %>ain, his first 
stop being Barcelona. In this city he had an oH>ortunity to 
meet again his friends and admirers whom he used to visit 
during his student days in Madrid. Anong than were Graciano 
Lopez Jaena, editor of LaSolidaridad, ,%itonio Luna and others. 

Rizal also knew personally two other young men vrfio later on 
became his co-workers in the campaign for reform vihich he was 
championing. These two youths were Marcelo Hilario del Pilar, 
a 3ulacan lawyer, who arrived in Barcelona one month earlier, 
on New Year's Day in 1888, and Jose Maria Panganiban, a Bicol 
medical student, vdio came four months after Rizal' s arrival. 
The meeting of Rizal, Lopez Jaena, Del gilar and Panganiban 
was indeed epoc-making, because each was destined to play an 
inportant part in the history of his country. With only tJieir 
pens for weapons, and without ftny financial resources excepting 
the meager monthly allowances which they received from their 
families in Manila, they obtained the ends they sou^t. Once 



26 FRANCISCO VILLANUEVA, JR. ; 

again is evidenced the truth; of the-principle that in any 
vrorthy t^ampaign brains count nost. • . 

rUzal stayed in ^^ain several months, and then went to Paris 
and later on, to Berlin. Durin;^ his second visit to Osmany he 
continued to viork on his second novel, El Filibusterismo,\ihich 
he had begun writing in Spain and in Paris. At this time Rizal 
was thinking of writing a book which would constitute a real 
gospel of pure Filipino naticKiali sm. In El Filibuster! smo we 
again find traces of the strong, honest and consistent leader- 
ship of the hero when, throu^ the lips of tiie principal cha- 
racter Simoun, he says: "It is useless to live a life not con- 
secrated to a great ideal. It is like a stone wasted on a 
field without becoming part of any edifice..; The just and the 
worthy sliould suffer so that their thoughts and ideas may bear 
fruit... Pure and ^^otless must the victim be that the sacri- 
fice may be acceptable. " 

A Man "Par Excellence" 

"Diougli it would be inaccurate and incorrect to say that 
EUzal's character was German-made-because he always preserved 
the essential characteristics of the Filipino race- yet it can- 
not be denied that Germany exerted certain influences on the 
formation of his character. Not only Germany but also %ain, 
France and England contributed to form the beautiful and excel- 
lent traits of the hero's mind and soul. 

His excessive courtesy and politeness that obliged him to 
use "usted" when talking to everyone; the austerity of his 
character and his love of solitude; his consistency in his 
plans; his military accuracy in all the details of his life; 
his well-disciplined mind; his willingness to make sacrifices 
for the sake of an ideal, as wiien he fasted to raise money for 
'the printing of his first book; his chivalry, that chivalry 
which even the l^anish authorities had admired because having 
two opportunities to escape the first time during his exile in 
Dapi tan when Dr.Pio Valenzuela, in the naine of Andres Bonifacio, 
tried to rescue him, and the second time when he arrived in 
Singapore in 1896 and habeas corpus proceedings in his favor 
were filed in the local British courts-he refused to esc^e,. 



REMINISCENCES OF RIZAL'S STAY IN EUHMJE 27 



because he ^tented to keep his word; the fiimness of his deci- 
sion v^ich were better evidenced \^en he decided to return to 
the Philippines in ^ite of the advice of his friends like Dr. 
Felix Pardo de Tavera and Dr. Pereira, vho warned him he mi^t 
be arrested and killed on his arrival in Manila; his loyalty 
to his principles and ideals and his boundless love of his 
mother country; tiiose are the traits which made Rizal great and 
they are the traits of the great men of all the countries ^ich 
influ^iced him. 




REMINISCENCES OF RIZAL'S STAY IN EUHOPE 



FTEH visiting the Exposition of Barcelona and seeing the 
beauties of the "Ciudad Condal", the interest of the 
Filipino tourist who goes to the capital of Catalonia 
turns itimediately to some reminiscences of Dr. Jose Rizal, 
who spent a big part of his youth in Barcelona and Madrid. 

Street with Rlzal's Name 

Seaching for memories, the Filipino traveler will soon 
find in one of the districts of the "Ciudad Condal" a street 
bearing Rizeil' s name. It must be remembered that Barcelona was 
one of the numerous Spanish cities i^ich paid tribute to the 
memory of Rizal after his death. Then Wenceslao Retana, the 
historian, delivered a lecture on Rizal before a crowd of 
a<inirers in one of the most popular public halls. 

Ihdoubtedly the Filipino traveler will also look for the 
old pension house where Rizal and other Filipinos lived. But 
he will not find it because in the place of the old pension 
house buildings there stand today beautiful modem construc- 
tions. 

The famouse magazine La Solidaridad was first printed in 
Barcelona where Graciano Lopez Jaena, the editor, resided for 
a long time. Rizal used to go to the city calling occasionally 
on the Filipino community. ,Vnong the Filipinos there he had 
many friends and admirers. Later on the offices of La Soli- 
daridad were moved from Barcelona to f4adrid. 

Rlzal's Cells In Montjuich 

In 1896 «hen Rizal returned to Europe for the third time, 
and landed in Barcelona, he was arrested and taken to the 
prison in Montjuich chateau where he was kept for several 
weeks. 

Many Filipinos have visited the cell viiich Rizal occupied. 
Anong them are the Tuason brothers. Juan Tuazon gave me the 
following description of his visit to the prison. "I have seen 
FUzal's cell. It is still in the same condition ee when Rizal 
occupied it. It produced on me a very sad inpression. : Iii that- 
place Rizal was detained for a number of weeks until he was 
sent back to Manila. " 



30 FT.ANCIsa} VILLANUEVA, JR. 

Rlzal' s Writing Table 

Promenading on the Rarnblas, if the Filipino traveler visits 
the offices of a certain information agency, he will see the 
writing table ^idch Rizal used during his sojourn in Barcelona. 
I happened to leam of the existence of this table when F. Theo 
Rogers, business manager of the Free Press, came to Paris last 
May. I told him that I had seen in Paris the hotel in which 
Rizal lived for a time in 1889. Mr. Rogers expressed a desire 
also to see the place and one morning I accompanied him to the 
Hotel de Paris. Wien he saw the hotel, he immediately remem- 
bered his visit to the offices of a certain infoimation agency 
on the Baoblas in Barcelona, where he found the writing table 
which lizal used wldle penning his articles for La Solidaricb.d 
\^iie he was in 3arcelc»a. It is a goieral custom in many Span- 
ish cities to have public offices u^ere tables, ink and paper 
are available for the public. In Barcelona liizal used to go to 
one of these public offices and hire a writing table. Describ- 
ing his experience, Mr. Rogers said: It is very curious. People 
\^o knew Rizal personally assure me that the table is actually 
the s£ime one that he used. It is made of wood, and appears in 
very good condition. If it could be provai beyond doubt that 
the table is authentic, it might be worthy of a place in our 
museum in Manila, vrfiere there is now quite a collection of in- 
teresting relics of Rizal.'' 

Wien Rizal came to Madrid he had just passed the examination 
in the second year course of the College of Medicine of the 
Ihuversity of Santo Tomas, and had come to Spain to finish here 
his studies in the Ihiversity Central. Besides medicine, he 
also took courses in philosor^y and letters. 

Dr. Qal''loniero Eloxas, nizak' s Prieni 

Among the friends of Rizal who are still living, is Dr. 
Baldomero Roxas, the well knowi physician of Manila, professor 
of the College of Medicine of the thiversity of the Philippines. 
He is one of the patriots who cooperated with Rizal in his cam- 
paign in ^-)u^ope. !>. Roxas is now in Europe and visited Spain 
recently, 'flhen he became acquainted with Rizal, Dr. Roxas 
was still young man of eighteen, vrfiile Rizal was already a full- 



REMINISCENCES OF RIZAL'S ST^VY IN HJFOPE 31 

fledged doctor of Medicine, and had published his first novel 
"Noli Me Tangere. " 

Headquarters of "Indies Bravos" 

"Wlien did you first get to know Rizal?" I asked Dr. Roxas. 

"I first met him in Paris and Madrid, " he answered. "In 
Paris we organized an association called "Indios Bravos, " 
coRposed of Rizal as chief and Valentin Ventura, Antonio and 
Juan Luna, Lauro Dimayuga, Gregorio Aguilera and myself, as 
members. Mien Rizal went to Spain we followed him and v.'e moved 
the headquarters of tlie association from Paris to Madrid. Rizal 
lived in Calle Principe Number One, Giatro Corrientes. He used 
to gather all the Filipinos in his room almost every night 
and give them lectures or tell thera anecdotes and stories. " 

Slizol's Diploma as PSiyeisiar! 

Speaking of the way Rizal received his diploma as doctor of 
medicine from the Ihiversity Giutral de Madrid, Dr. Roxas said: 
"When Rizal returned to Manila, I v/as studying in Madrid. Hie 
Uhiversidad Central sent to Rizal in Manila the original of his 
Diploma, but the authorities in Manila did not deliver it to 
him. Later on Rizal went to Hongkong, intending to practise 
medicine there. But the Hongkong authorities required as 
prerequisites to his practice the production of a diploma. Rizal 
wrote me asking me to send him a duplicate. I went to the 
Secretary of die Ihiversity of Madrid and told him what Rizal 
wanted. Tlie secretary issued the duplicate but we did not send 
the diploma to Manila. We decided to sent it directly to the 
^anish consul in Hongkong who was good enou^ to deliver it 
to Rizal. Thus Rizal was enabled to secure permission from the 
Hongkong government to practise his profession as a physician 
in die British colony. " 

Fasting to Publish Booli 

Doctor Raxas also remembers that in one of the nightly re- 
unions of the Filipinos in the room of Rizal in Calle Principe 
Number one, he spoke to them of the sacrifices that he and Dr. 
Maximo Viola had made in Berlin to raise money to print the 



32 FRANCISOO VILLANUEVA, JR. 



Noli Me Tangere. For many weeks both lived on the most meager 
rations in order to save part of the monthly allowances they 
received from their parents in Manila, and raise money for the 
purpose of printing tliat novel. They even became vegetarians, 
finding such diet cheapest. 

First Order for Forty Copies 

Finally a crisis came in the life of the two friends. One 
day they found themselves without a single Gent. Happily, just 
in the nick of time, they received a letter from Madrid, 
giving them hope and encouragement. It was the first order 
for forty copies of the novel, accompanied by money to cover 
the cost of the order. 

Thoidit of Suming Book 

Before sliding the novel Noli f>fe Tangere to the press Rizal 
thought of burning the manuscript. Ihis gesture is peculiar 
to genius. Virgil, the greatest Roman poet, also thought of 
burning the Aeneid after having spent many years writing and 
rewriting the poem, which still stands as one of the mater- 
pieces of ancient literature. 

Dr. Roxas says that one night while most of the Filipino 
boys were in the room of Rizal, the latter told them of an 
incident in Berlin in connection with the publication of the 
book. Rizal had alrPady finished the manuscript and had 
the money necessary to pay the printers. Seated on a chair 
near the fireplace, he was pondering over the consequences of 
publication. \Wiile thus engaged, he was seized with a violent 
fit of coughing, w^ich persisted for several minutes. It alarm- 
ed him and he thought that possibly it was the forerunner of 
tuberculosis. Outside, the winter winds were blowing hard 
against the windows. The snow was covering the streets, the 
walls and the roofs of the houses. Then Rizal thou^t: "If I 
am going to die, I prefer to die for the freedom, tlie welfare 
and the happiness of my country and my people. " Immediately 
he made up his mind to print the book. The next raoming he 
went to the printer and delivered the manuscript. Several weeks 



REMINISCENCES OF MZAL'S STAY IN EUHOPE 33 



afterward all the Filipinos in Germany, ^ain and France became 
aware tliat the most promising champion of the ideals of their 
country had produced a work that would stand as the bulwark 
of the ri^ts and liberties of the Filipino people. 

Rizal Pen as Clarion 

If Rizal had burnt the Noli Me Tangere, he probably would 
never haw <] written El Filibusterismo, the sequel to the former. 
What would have happened had Rizal burnt the ?^li Me Tangere? 
Would the Philippines have undergone tho political and social 
changes brou^t about by Rizal 's bold and clear denunciation, 
in those two novels, of the errors coramited by the Spanish 
government in his country? TKe question invites interesting 
speculation. 

Rizal thought of writing seven novels, but two sufficed 
to arouse and awaken the conscience of his fellow countrymen, 
to make the foreign rulers realize their mistake, and to effect 
a complete change in the system of government of his country. 
Present local conditions are simply a testimony to the tria-nph 
of Rizal' s political ideas. Vicente Blasco Ibanez inhis address 
before the Philippine Normal School several years ago said, 
referring to Rizal' s great vrork: "Vihen Rizal intended to correct 
the evils of the government and improve his people, he did 
not delivered speeches or write a treatise, he simply wrote 
a novel. " 

In the hands of Rizal, repeating Longfellow's phrase, "the 
pen became a clarion", and the hero's countrymen soon rallied 
to answer the call to freedom, progress and civilization. 



nSVUNISCENCES OF UIZAL'S STAY IN ElTOPE 35 




i*^-^*^' as other talented and gifted >ouths of other countries, 
who with the wings of their genius fluttering, were not satis- 
fied to read viiat others had writtai or to hear what others 
told then, but who wanted to verify the truth of writings and 
sayings and desired to see and observe things and personalities 
with their own eyes. Before Rizal came to London he had al- 
ready been to Paris. He had already stepped on that nursing 
ground of modern tliought. There he still could overtake the 
existing- reactions of Europe ^^ich two centuries before his 
arrival had begun to feel her way towards elementary ideas 
of comfort and gaod living. Then nations were beginning to 
sort themselves out from among the numerous principalities 
^^ich had kept the continent in a fernent for sevai centuries 
and which were to endure for another twD hbndred years before 
tliey were sacrificed on the altar of ooramon sense. 

Ilizal carae to Qigland to study the Anglo-SasoDn civilization, 
vjiose cradle was to be found in London. 

The youth from the Philippines had an opportunity to admire 
the verile characteristics of the English people, their hi^ 
standards of living, their liberal forms of government, their 
alert public opinion, their efficient business methods and 
their higji culture and progress. 

Several days after his arrival in London, after he had 
already visited some interesting places like the Westminister 
.^bbey, the London 3ri-lge, the St. Paul's Cathedral, the Tower 
of London, the National Portrait Gallery, and other beautiful 
si^ts, he went to do research work in the British Museum. 
There he found a book written by Antonio de Morga describing 
the life and customs of the Filipinos before the arrival 
of Ferdinand Magellan, the discoverer of the islands and the 
first circumnavigator of the warld. Morga based his narrative 
on data obtained from the chronicles of Pigafetta and other 
historians «iio preceded him. Reading the book of Morga, Rizal 
discovered many mistakes, and inaccuracies, and he soon set to 
the task of writing another book which was a sort of ainota- 



36 FRANCISCO VILLANUEVAJ JR. i 

tions to the history writtai by Morga.. 

Before reading Morg^ ' s book, Bizal had already read another 
history of the Pre-'^agellanic era written by a Portuguese in 
the Italian language. This book differs from that of Morga in 
several respects. 

Among the many inaccuracies found by Rizal is the statement 
that the first settlers of the Philippines were the aetas or 
negritos. Hizal explains in his annotations to Morga' s book 
that the first settlers of the Philippines or the aborigines are 
the Malays and that the present Filipinos are their direct 
descendants. If there had been aetas or negritos in the Pre- 
I'^agellanic times, they should have come with the Malays at the 
same time, but not before. The Malays had settled in the low 
lands in' the islands, u^ile the aetas or negritos in every 
small numbers had occupied very distant and remote mountains. 

A Proposed Filipino Oolony in British Borneo 

In order to avoid the persecution of the l^anish authori- 
ties, Rizal thought at the time of his stay in this city of 
the possibility of establishing in British Borneo a Filipino 
colony. He believed in the idea of inviting Filipino farmers 
to work freely and peacefully on farms there. 

He had also an economic plan which he finally carried out 
vhen he organized in Hon^ong several months after he left Lon- 
don an association called "Liga Filipina" whose constitution 
and by-laws were written by him. His early death prevented 
him from leading this body to become a powerful and progressive 
force in the economic development of his beloved mother country. 

The Future of the English language 

As all great men, Rizal had the sense of foresight. He knew 
that some day the Hiilippines would be under the influence of 
the Anglo-Saxon civilization and that the Filipinos wsuld have 
to learn the English language. He himself studied it, and not 
satisfied with this book study went to London to improve and 
perfect his pronounciation. 

Ihrou^ RLzal advocated that the Filipinos should preserve 



REMINISCENCES OF RIZAL'S STAY IN EUHDPE 37 



and speak their own dialects because the "vernacular tongue 
is the thought of a people", yet he also reconmended that the 
Filipinos should study the Spanish and the English language 
so that they could be on the level with other nations and know 
the world's progress and civilization. 

In modern times English is the universal language of the 
world. It is spoken in the fiva continents and on the seven 
by Britons. Anericans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, 
South Africans, Hindus, Mohammedans, South Sea Islanders, 
Maltese, Soudanese and Singallese. It is the language spoken 
by the majority of the Filipinos. It represents the mind and 
thought of the progressive world and the modern age. The best 
books on science, art and other branches of human knowledge 
are writtai in this language. 

One of the greatest blessings of the American administra- 
tion in the Philippines is that they have taught the Filipino 
people the English language. If Rizal were alive today, he 
would be the first to give credit to the Americans for this 
wonderful achievenent. Now that France, Italy, Switzerland, 
Germany, Poland, Japan, China, Szecho- Slovakia, Greece, and 
other countries of the world are just beginning to study the 
English language, realizing its importance and benefits, the 
Filipinos can proudly say that they ar-s already: iPar advanced in 
the mastery of this language. 

Rizal, even in the last days of his life, did not forget his 
English, A few hours before his death, he wrote on a copy of 
Kempis "Imitation of Christ", a dedication written in that 
language. 

RizaPs Dreams 

Vilhen Rizal came to London, there was another youth, already 
fanous, whom the British used to call a dreamer. He was Sir 
Cecil Rhodes. The greatest statesman and man of letters once 
replied of his critics. "It's the dreamers that move the 
world. Practical men are so busy being practical that they 
can't see beyond their own life- time. Dreamers and visionaries 
made civilizations. It's trying to do the thing that can't 



38 FRANaSCD VILIjWUEVA, JR.} 



be done that makes life worthy vdiile. And the dream of to-day 
been no dream, there would have been no common custom of ci- 
vilization and we would still be living in caxes and clubbing 
each other to death for a mouthful of food". 

Like Sir Cecil FBiodes, Rizal was also called a dreamer. Ik 
feld flattered at this word. 

Rizal' s dreams were great. That ch^ter on "Dreams" of his 
second novel "El Filibusteriano" must have be«i written either 
vdiile he was in London, or after Rizal had already visited 
the British capital. It is a real program of political and 
economical theories "common customs of civilization"- according 
to the words of Sir Cecil Hiodes, 

Rizal may now rest in his grave happy that the Anericans, 
with the cordial cooperation of the Filipinos, had fulfill and 
are still fulfilling almost literally his political program 
as out- lined by him in the chapter on "Dreams" of "El Fili- 
busterismo", in his other books, essays, manifestos, letters, 
lectures, newsp^er articles, and po^ns. 

In London Rizal had an opportunity to attend some per- 
fonnances of the dramas of the great English dramatist Shake- 
speare. 

The great Filipino patriot was fond of attending lectures 
and oonfer^ces which were held in lecture halls. 

Rizal admired the customs and virtues of the British, their 
efficiency, self-reliance, accusacy, ambition, love of silence. 
He also admired the liberalism of British laws. In one of 
the chapters of his novel "El Filibusterismo", under the title 
"Dreams", Rizal puts "in the. lips of Isagani, the following 
words: "Free from the system of exploitation, without spite 
nor distrust the people will work because then work will cease 
to be infamous, it will cease to be servile, as an imposition 
on the slave; then the Spaniard will not embitter his character 
with ridiculous despotic pretentions and, with sincere look, 
with robust heart, we will shake each others hands, and comnerce, 
industry, agriculture, science will be developed under the 
protection of liberty and of wise and equitable laws as in 



REMINISCENCES OF RIZAL'S STAY IN EURDPE 39 



prosperous England. ..." 

Rizal praised the British people in his novel because he 
himself had an opportunity to eiyoy the blessings of Biglish 
liberalism. While Rizal was in Hongkong the British authori- 
ties did not interfere with the handling to him of a second ocpy 
of his diploma as a physician sent by the Central Uiiversity 
of Madrid, while the first copy was confiscated in Manila by 
the %}anish authorities. He was allowed to practice medicine 
in Hon^ong. During his trip to Europe, he was allowed to 
go freely and unmolested in the English ports of Singapore, 
Colombo and Port Said and diile he was in London, the British 
authorities afforded him facilities to do in the British 
Museum his research work on Philippine history. His idea of 
establishing a Filipino colony in Borneo was welcomed and sup- 
ported by some of his British friends. 

In Rizal' s days the general idea in the Far East, especially 
in Japan and China, \it\o had copied the British parliamentary 
system, was that the laws of England were very liberal. 

However, if RLzal were ali-ie- to-day and he could see the pre- 
sent democratic and liberal system of government existing in 
the Philippines, he wil be the first to recognize and 
appreciate the altruism and generosity of the American people 
who have been guiding the Filipinos in the path of freedom 
and progress for nearly four decades now. 

Rizal' s Idea of Philippine NeatrBliiar 

It was also during Rizal 's stay in London that he made up 
his mind about the possible neutrality of the Philippines and 
the future attitude vrfiich other Rations will observe towards her 
after independence. After his trip to Ehgland the hero wrote 
a book entitled "THE PHILIPPINES A CENTURY HENCE" where he 
says: 

"If the Philippines secure their independence after heroic 
and stubborn conflicts, they can rest assured that neither 
Ehgland nor Germany, nor France, and still less Holand, will 
dare to take up what Spain has been unable to hold. Within 



40 FRiWaSCD VILLANUEVA, < JR. 



a few years Africa will completely absorb the attention of the 
Europeans, and there is no sensible nation which, in order 
to secure a group of poor and hostile islands, will neglect 
the innense territory offered by the Dark Gantinent, untouched, 
undeveloped, and almost undefended. England he s enough colo- 
nies in the Orient and is not going to risk losing her balance. 
She is not going to sacrifice her Indian Empire for the poor 
Riilippine Islands - if she had entertained such and intention, 
she would not have restored Manila in 1763, but would have 
kept some point in the Philippines, whence she mi^t gradually 
expand. . . It is probable that England will look favorably 
upon the independence of the Philippines, for it will open 
thier ports to her and afford greater freedom to her commerce. 

"China will consider herself fortunate if she succeeds in 
keeping herself intact and is not dismembered or partitioned 
among the European powers that are colonizing the continent 
of Asia. 

"The same is true of Japan. On the north she has Russia, 
vho envies and watches her; on the south, England, with whom 
he is in accord. She is, moreover, under such diplomatic pres- 
sure from Europe that she cannot think of outside affairs 
until she is freed from it, which will not be ,-ji ea^ Esatter. 
True it is that she has an excess of population, but Korea 
attracts her more than the Philippines, and is also easier 
to seize," 

It was thus the conviction of Rizal that should the Philip- 
pines become free and independent no ather nation will inter- 
fere with her freedom. 

Rizal lived in the East Bid of London among the student 
and the humble people of the city. 

It is not known whether he had also visited Ireland, but 
he was vfery familiar with Irish witticism which seorcs to 
have impregnated some paragraphs of his novels. Then nobpdy 
had though that an Irish woman would become in later years 
the wife of Dr. Jose Rizal, the greatest genius die Malayan 
race has ever produced, the glorious Patriot vkio showed to his 
fellow-countrymen the way to freedom and progress. 




REMINISCENCES OF RIZAL' S STAY IN EUHDPE 43 



LNDST every Filipino citizen has read, or at least heard, 
about the Noli Me Tangere, the first novel writtai by Dr. 
Jose Rizal, the greatest Filipino hero and foremost man 
of letters. Yet very few know the circumstances under viuch 
this famous book was written by its author. 

Wieai Dr. Rizal left Manila for !^ain in 1883, he already had 
the idea of writing a novel. As most men of letters, he had 
the ambition of producing a book some day. At the time of his 
departure he had already won a reputation as a poet, having 
been awarded first prize in an international literary contest 
held in Manila. His poem was entitled to the Filipino Youth. 
He had also shown some ability as a playwright, having written 
and produced on the stage of the Ateneo Municipal a play 
entitled Beside the Pasig. ' 

Classmates and Frimds 

He carried with him to l^ain copies of documents and other 
data which later on served him in the writing of his famous 
first novel. Wiile in Spain, he increase the bulk of his ma- 
terial, either from information obtained in private circles, or 
frran letters received by him from his relatives and friends in 
the Philippines. 

In 1885 the Filipinos colony of Madrid was ccmiposed of a 
small group of Filipino students, including Jose Rizal, Benito 
Valdez, Biuardo de Lete, Graciano Lopez Jaena, Haymundo Melli- 
za, Julio Llorente, Maximo Viola, Calixto Tiano, Alberto Figue- 
roa, Rnilio Villanueva, and the Paterno brothers, Pedro, Maxi- 
mino and Antonio. 

Anong this groip Rizal had several classmates and intimate 
friends. One of than was Dr. Benito Valdez, who has just re- 
turned to f^ila from a trip around the world. Dr. Valdez is 
one of the few Filipinos intimately acquainted with the circums- 
tances under which Rizal wrote Noli il/e Tangere, having lived 
with him in the same boarding house in Madrid. 

I met Dr. Valdez in Paris and he narrated to me in detail 
many anecdotes about the manner in \«*iich Rizal prepared the 
draft of the book later to constitute the foundation of his 



44 FRAVaSOO VILLANUEVA, JR. 



fame es a novelist and a„p.atriQt. 

Dr. Valdez told me that he met Rizal for the first time 
Tirfiile he was in Barcelona in 1884. The hero was on his way to 
Madrid and stayed in Barcelona only three days, living in 
the house of Don Tomas Cabangis on Calle Selenque. In 1885 
after Dr. Valdez finished his studies in the Hiiversity of 
Barcelona and took his degree of "Licenciado en Medicina" he 
weit to Madrid to talte his doctor' s work. 

His first meeting with Rizal in the %)anish capital was in- 
teresting. Valdez was promenading in one of the streets of Ma- 
drid when he heard somebody calling in Tagalog. He turned 
his head and saw nobody. He proceeded on his way and again 
he heard the same call. He then went toward the place from 
where the shouting carae and he saw Rizal hidden in one of the 
corners of the street. After that Valdez and Rizal became 
good friends. 

"Un Cuademo cth ReglEis" 

They lived in the same boarding house on Calle Pizarro, 
thou^ in different rooms. They were also classmates in the 
Central Uiiversity of Madrid, since Rizal was also finishing 
his studies as Doctor of Medicine. 

Dr. Valdez says that Bizal completed writing the entire ma- 
nuscript of the Noli Me Tangere in Madrid. What he did in 
Berlin was to revise the book and give it its final touches. 
The draft of the book, according to Dr. Valdez, who saw it, 
was "un cuademo con reglas" (a notebook with lines). 

In the same boarding house on Calle Pizarro where Rizal 
and Valdez were living in 1885, Eduardo de Lete, Julio Llorente, 
Calixto Tianco, Geferino de Leon and Maximo Viola also lived. 

Rizal went to the trouble of giving Valdez and Tianco 
lessons in French grammar and diction. When the pupils were 
tired of their French lessons Rizal used to open his notebook 
and read them interesting chapters of the book which he was 
writing. 

True Pacts 

One night Rizal was reading the chapter which described 



REMINI SCENCES OF RI ZAL ' S STAY EUROPE 45 



the sorrows of Sisa and the torturfes suffered by her children, 
Basilic and Crispin, and the fire in the church tower. Dr. 
Benito Valdez was so moved by the pathetic description that 
with all astonishment he asked Rizal, "Pero es cierto todo 
eso?" (But is that all true?) Rizal answered, "Ya lo creo". 
{T am sure.) 

(One year afterwards, when the Noli Me Tangere was already 
published, Rizal sent one of his friends a copy of the book 
together with a letter in French in nhich he said. ". . . The 
facts i\hich I havr narrated are all true and have happened; I 
can produce evidence. That my book will have defects from 
the artistic point of view, from the esthetic point of view, 
I cannot deny, but that which cannot be questioned is the 
impartiality of my narrative...") 

When Rizal said that the facts of his first novel were all 
true he probably wanted to emphasize the truth of the sub- 
stance. As to development, detail?, and other incidents of 
the plot, it is- believed that there is some fiction. Rizal 
knew full well that a novel is a work of art. One of the most 
famous Spanish novelist who was still alive while Rizal was 
in Madrid, had described a novel as "a portrait, not a 
photograph." In order to produce an artistic work, besides 
truth there must be always bits of fiction, of imagination 

His Om\ Convictions 

Many believe that the Noli Me Tangere is a sort of autobio- 
graphy of Rizal. This is not completely true. The life of 
Crisostomo Ibarra, the hero, is not exactly that of Rizal, 
though many of the words uttered by Ibarra were Rizal' s own 
convictions and principles. 

Since the days of the Homeric syndicate it has been a li- 
terary custom to mingle actual events with fiction, and the 
historical novel has long been considered a respectable branch 
of authorship. Taking as a hero a figure from the not too 
ronote past or from the present, the author weaves around him 
a biographical fantasia in which, for the stimulation of the 
reader's interest, a neat arrangement of fact is slipped into 



46 FRANCISCO VILLANUEVA, JR. 



the form of a novel and a liberal amount of the author's ima- 
gination embroidered into the tissue of actual history. 

Following the fashion of the time and treading in the tracks 
of other great novelists, Rizal intended also to write a his- 
torical novel. 

Ohe of the most interesting characters of the Noli Me Tcngere 
is that of the philosopher Tasio, Dr. Benito Valdez told me 
that one evening Rizal read to him and his other companion 
a chapter of his book describing the character of the philoso- 
pher Tasio. As usual Dr. Valdez began again to ask if that 
type also existed, and Rizal emphatically answered: "Yes, this 
type lives, and viien you return to Manila, you can look for 
him and you will find him. " 

Finis Tasio 

Dr. Valdez said that when he returned to Manila after his 
graduation, he look for such a man as the "philosopher Tasio" 
and really found him. 

Thou^ Dr. Valdez did not tell me who that man was, from 
other sources I learned that he was the famous sculptor Don 
Romualdo T. de Jesus, who had a workshop in Quiapo. He used 
to gather notes and date for posterity. In Rizal's novel 
Philosopher Tasio said, \^en asked why he indulged in making 
criticisms: "I want to show that not everybody was sleeping in 
the ni^t of our gran(]^arents. " 

MJien Rizal wrote the Noli he probably never thought that 
this old wise man years later would be among those to transfer 
his body from the place of his martyrdom, Bagumbayan, to the 
Paco cemetery, where they buried Rizal and placed on his grave 
the inverted initi£ils "R.P.J. !" 

niiy a Mestizo 

On another occasion after the manuscript of the novel had 
been firi.shed, Rizal read to Dr. Valdez and other Filipino 
students several chapters about Crisostomo Ibeu:ra. When one of 
the boys, vlho was of mestizo parents, heard that the hero of 



REMINISCENCES OF RIZAL'S STAY IN EUROPE 



47 



the novel was a mestizo, he immediately internqjted Rizal and 
told him: "Pepe, vAiy do you create the character of a mestizo as 
a hero? Don't you know that by creating that character as a 
mestizo, the Spanish government will kill all of us mestizos?" 
Then RLzal replied: "Because otherwise the people will not 
believe me. " 

A Special Character 

RLzal was trying to portray the conditions in the HuLlippines 
in the early ei^ties. Then the mestizo type was considered 
by the masses as the most enlightened. Everything that a mes- 
tizo did or said was believed to be authoritative. 

Rizal, on the other hand, did not want to encourage the di- 
vision of the Filipinos between mestizos and non-mestizos. As 
a matter of fact several we^s after the publication of his 
novel in Berlin, he sent a letter to Muardo de Lete, \irfio was 
in Madrid, in which he condemned any intention to divide the 
Filipinos, 

Rizal said: l^a Guardia gives us a good exanple, especially 
to some of your contributors: he calls all insular l^aniards 
Filipinos: I in my book only say "Filipinos" when I speak for 
myself. Some of your contributors still use the classifications 
of "indios' , 'mestizos,' etc.i etc. Of these words I only, make 
use for irony or sarcasm or mockery. Could you strive that 
this may disf^pear and we form a nation as Blumentritt calls 
us?" 

Dr. Benito Valdez also told me that Rizal, in order to re- 
present the common man, the worker of the field, created a spe- 
cial character, Elias"4iie seller' of zacate. ; The rioVel reaches 
its viain climax 'wfapn .Crisostomo Ibarra, persecuted by his ene» 
mies, is carried' by .Elias in his banca across the Pasig river. 
Ibarra is kept hidden in the zacate. 

Anxious to save Ibarra, viiose leadership and life were more 
valuable than his own, Elias, noticing that they are discovered 
by the "guardia civiles, " jumps into the river, and is shot by 
the persecutors, \«^o believe that he is Ibarra. Elias reaches 
the border of the other side of the river and then dies. Before 
his death, he utters these words wiiich have come down to us 



48 FRANCISCO VILLANUEVA, JR. 



ringing through the years: "I die without seeing the dawn (of 
liberty) shining over my mother country. You who will see it, 
salute it, and do not forget those vtio have fallen during the 
ni^t." 

A Beautiful Song 

One of the most beautiful poems written by Rizal is the 
song of Maria Qara, inserted in one of the chapters of the 
Noli. 

%uile Rizal was in Madrid, the Spanish capital was teeming 
with famous Spanish song writers. Jose Zorilla, Antonio de 
Truefaa. Ramon de Campoamor, Caspar Nunez de Arce, Federico 
Balart, and Ventura Ruiz Aguilera are some of the most famous 
names, with whose works Rizal was fully acquainted. The 
roraanticisim and sentimentality of these song writers must 
have pervaded Rizal 's character when he wrote his beautiful 
song. 

Af uer the Noli was printed in Berlin, Rizal sent msmy com- 
plimentary copies of the book to his intimate friends and to 
his enemies and persecutors. He also sent copies to all those 
persons who, directly or indirectly, were criticized in the 
book. He even sent ;opies to the Spanish Archbishop Fray 
Miguel de Nozaleda and to the Sp&nish Captain General of the 
Philippines, General Blanco, who later on became one of the 
admirers of Rizal 's ranarkable character. 

According to Dr. Benito Valdei, among the Filipinos to 
whom Rizal gave copies of his first novel were Graciano Lope?, 
Jaena and himself. When Lopez Jaena, the great journalist and 
orator, received the book he wrote in "La Solidaridad" an 
article in which he said: "There goes Rizal, he will teach us 
how freemen are made, he being our teacher in the path to 
liberty. Do for Rizal everything you can. Try to sell his 
works at a reasonable price. Read them. And follow the advice 
they contain. " 



RBilNlSCENOSS OF RIZAL'S STAY IN EUROPE 49 




NE of the personal reminiscences of Rizal was about the 
injustices he had suffered v^ile he was studying medicine 
at the Ikiversity of Santo Tomas, where he stayed until 
the second year. There was at the time a feud between 
the pupils of Dominicans and those of the Jesuits, the 
rivalry between these two religious orders having been very 
keen. Santo Tomas was controlled by the Dominican order and 
the Dominican professors naturally favored and synpathized with 
those pupils who came from colleges directed by Dominican 
friars like the San Juan de Letran College. 

RLzal was a pet student of the Jesuit Fathers who admired 
and praised his talent and ability. When he entered Santo 
Tomas to study medicine, philosophy and letters, some of the 
professors, Dominican friars, knowing that he was not a Letra- 
nense but an Ateneista, minimized his talent and genius by 
ridiculing him at times and hindering his progress in his 
studies. Rizal did not forget this. He recorded it in El 
Filibusterismo, where he exposes the memory system followed 
at Santo Tomas. Rizal created the diaracter of Placido Peni- 
tente, a student, v^o was forced to memorize things he did not 
understand. 

In his El Filibusterismo Rizal paraded before the eyes of 
his readers, as in a museum of wax figures, all the types Much 
flourished in Philippine society during his own time. Among 
them were young men \^o, lacking in mental attainment, thought 
only of wearing gaudy clothes, shirts and neckties, and wasting 
their time in leisure and gaiety; ladies who made themselves 
ridiculous by copying foreign customs, personified by Rizal in 
Dona Victorina de De Espadana; stupid old men who, having lack- 
ed in their youth the energy to study and attain academic train- 
ing, aspired to become leaders though not <jialified for leader- 
ship. Rizal' a novel is a real museua of ridiculous types, 
sorr» of them still existing. 

Value of Leaders 

He ridiculed in the same work the theory of unjust taxes 



50 FBANCISOO VILLANUEVA, JR. ; 

by comparing the landlorcls tx> "boayas" (crocodiles) whose num- 
ber and stomachs were becoming bigger and bigger each year. 

A good physician for the diseases of the body, Rizal was a 
better physician for the ills of his country. He had studied 
the history of the world, and from its pages he had learned 
that nations had progressed and flourished or had fallen into 
decay, according as they selected for their leaders and re- 
presentatives their geniuses or their own clowns and ignora- 
muses. From history he learned that many governments are the 
images of the conditions and customs of a nation at a certain 
period of its history. 

Rizal had seen that a nation attained its greatest progress 
and happiness v^en it followed the guidance and leadership of 
its ablest men and leaders. So he did not hesitate to make 
clear in El Filibusterismo this lesson from history: "Cada 
pueblo tiene el gobiemo que se merece" (each people has the 
government ti deserves), "tal pudalo tal gobiemo" (such people, 
sudi government). 

When he said this he wanted to emphasize for the Filipino 
people the need of using a more discriminating eye in selecting 
their leaders and representatives at home and abroad, men vAo 
would carry out the policies that would bring happiness, ptov 
gress and freedom to the Philippines, 

His manner of expressing his views frankly and courageously 
was admirable. Many of ther problems and ideals which he dis- 
cussed in his novels still exist today and will continue com- 
manding the attention of future generations. 

Novel's Climax 

When he wrote El Filibusterismo, Bizal thought of the two 
forces working for the freedom of the Hiilippines. One advo- 
cated legal and peaceful means; the other, the use of physical 
violence. Posing as a philosopher or historian, he explains 
the real situation in the main climax of the novel. Simoun, 
the revolutionary leader, prepared a revolution and invited 
all the most distinguished men in Manila to a dinner in the 
house of the Chinese plutocrat Quiroga. He brought to the 



RBIINISCENCES OF RIZAL' S STAY IN EUHOPE 51 



dinner table a larq) charged with dynanite to start the cry of 
revolt. His plan was to light the lanp, and since Quiroga' s 
house was mined with powder, the house wauld soon burn out and 
with it all the guests who constituted the rotten elements 
in the country. 

From different places of Manila other leaders were to hplp 
Simoun. Thus the revolt ^nould become general and successful, 
Simoun's theory was to destroy a rotten society so that a pure 
and cleaner one could arise from the embers of the dead body, 
"Iron and fire to the cancer and let the instrument be destroy- 
ed if it is bad", Simoun said. 

He passed among the diners a card showing vho he really was- 
the formerly prosecuted Crisostomo Ibarra - with the fatidical 
words which Belshazzar saw on the wall of his place in Ba- 
bylon: "MANE, THECEL, PHARES". But this plan was soon frus- 
trated. Basilio told Isagani not to s^proach the house \»^ere 
his former sweetheart, Paulita Gomez, was to be married to 
another man, Juanito Pelaez, and disclosed to him the secret. 
Isagani, however, instead of letting his former sweetheart die 
with the rest of his critics and oiemies, wanted to play the 
role of a gentleman, a noble hero, rfoved by pity and love, he 
saved his sweetheart and the other guests by jumping into the 
table through the window and taking the lamp and throwing it 
into the river. 

Against Violence 

Before Rizal wrote this climax, he must have pondered long. 

He must have struggled between his feelings of vengeance and 

hatred toward the enemies of his country and his feelings 

of pity and love of so many Filipinos, most of them innocent 

women and children who mi^t be sacrified should there be a 

revolution. . . 

Writing to Marcelo H. del Pilar from h>s house in Pans 

at No. 4 bis Hue de Chateaudun, on October 13, 1891, Rizal 
explained why he frustrated Simoun's plan and wrote such a cli- 
max to El Filibusterisrao. "I know", he said, "that you will 
find it strongly written. I have done it so that the purposes 



52 FRANCISCO VILLANUEVA, jR. 

viiich 'La Solidaridad' plans to carry out be manifested without 
appearing too red. I did not think it necessary to give you 
these e^lanations, but this vdll furnish you the key. Thus I 
decided that it was ev^i proper for you to attack it. lliat is 
wiiy I say I work parallel with 'La Solidaridad. ' Beflect bet- 
ter on it. . . " 

Though Bizal was opposed to drastic measures, he advocated 
that the Filipinos should have civic courage to express their 
convictions and to daxounce abuses and injustices. He believed 
in the use of peaceful methods, and favored the redemption of 
his country through the education of the masses. 

Catholic to the Did 

Many chapters of El Filibusterismo are real appeals to the 
Filipino youth. Rizal, vrfio was also a young man, felt that 
his leadership would be better understood and welcomed by the 
younger generation that by the old, though finally both the 
old and the young bowed to his great genius and accepted his 
ideals, principles, and doctrines. 

Bom a Catholic, Bizal died a Catholic. He did not forget 
his Catholic faith when he wrote El Filibusterismo. He creat- 
ed the character of a Catholic priest. Father Florentino, a 
virtuous, wise, and good adviser of Isagani and Simoun. One 
of the greatest messages Rizal gave to the Filipino people 
(throu^ the lips of Father Florentino) was to have faith in 
God. Even in his Last Farewell, the hero did not forget to 
make of his fellow countrymen two very important requests. In 
one stanza he said: "And in the serene evenings when somebody 
prays for me, pray also, Fatherland, To God for my rest. " 
In another stanza his request was more emphatic: "Pray for 
thyself that thou may see the Hnal redemption. " 



REMINISCENCES OF RIZAL'S STAY IN EUROPE 

APPENDIX "A" 
"PALM SUNDAY" 

(Translated fmra Rlzal' s hook in French "cllnlca Me- 

dica" pp. 804-307. The "Dimanche ies 

Rameaux" or Palm Sunday) 



5S 




ALM Sunday, wiiich the Catholic church celebrates in com- 
memoration of the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jeru- 
salem, inspires many curious thoughts. 

This entrance of the messenger of God to Jerusalem 
in the midst of an enthusiastic populace who saluted and 
acclaimed him; this entrance of the just and the cciapassiorjate 
bearer of the sorrows of mankind amid cries of joy and songs, 
amid the waving of olives and of palms by the crowd who has- 
tened to hail Him who had blessed the poor, consoled the humble 
and the miserable-this event, we believe, decided the future 
and destiny of humanity for centuries. Perhaps, if Jesus had 
not entered Jerusalem triumphantly and been acclaimed by the 
coimion people, his Passion wjuld not have taken place and conse- 
quently Christianity would not be what it has become. This 
entrance decided the fate of the priests, the pharisees, 
and all those who believed themselves the only ones who had 
the right to speak in the name of God, and hence would not 
acknowledge the truth when uttered by others, Ihat triumph, 
those hosannas, those flowers and those bou^s of palms and 
olives were not for Jesus alone; they were the songs of victory 
of the new law. They were the hymns which celebrated the 
digni f ication of man and his liberty. They were the first fatal 
strokes directed against such hierarchical despotism and 
slavery. Jesus, riding on a donkey and saluted by the people, 
offended the pride of those who saw in him a threat to their 
kingdom, their power, and their fortune. Palm Sonday was the 
beginning of an epoch. 

If Jesus had not been crucified, if he had not been a 
martyr to his own doctrine, perhaps his cause, divine as it 
was, would have renained in the heart of Judea, misrepresented 



56 FRANQSGO VILLANUEVA, JR. 



among some unfortunate families who would not have had the 
courage to support it, as in the case of Peter, who was the 
first to deny his master and in all the disciples vrfio disap- 
peared as soon as events became menacing. Tliis religion would 
have been lost with the Jewish nationality. We would hear it 
discussed only as are Brahmanism and Buddhism, and have it 
studied only as historical curiosity. Perhaps had such a 
religion reached our country it would have been misrepresented, 
mutilated, and prostituted like all other absurdities which 
we know and which we redicule. Instead of adoring Jesus we 
would have taken him for a fool, as we consider Zoroaster, 
Buddha, and Mannoi.. Instead of embracing his doctrines we 
would have disputed them with the sarcastic smiles of the 
jester. 

It was the poor who first accepted Christianity. Yes, it 
was they who, not seeing the mission of God any longer in their 
priests, became despondent and acclaimed Jesus, the son of 
God, to whom misery was not a social stain-acclaimed him as 
one vho could deliver them from their misfortunes. It was the 
poor, \Ao were among the least contented with their lot and 
were looking for something which would alleviate their suffer- 
ings, that first accepted his doctrines. It was they who wel- 
comed every innovation in the desire to change their sal stats.. 
It is tlie poor vA\o see nothing in their fate but tears in tlieir 
eyes and privations in their future, who seize everything 
whether it be a burning flame, a sharp blade, or a pointed 
sword. 

The poor gave Christianity its power because it was their 
friend, their religion. The mighty, the rich, and the kinds 
accepted it only after compulsion. There were some who were 
simply dragged to it; others, for political reasons embraced 
Christianity, first, in order not to be crushed by it, and 
later, in order to be its master and to use it as their in- 
strumoit for subjugating other peoples. 

Why, then, in our times is Christianity no longer the reli- 
gion of the poor and of the unfortunate? Why are the richest 
and the most powerful its mosts devoted followers? Has it 



REMINISCENCES OF RIZAL'S STAY IN EUnOPE 



57 




ceased to promote the happiness of those who suffer"? Is Oiris- 
tianxty now an ally of those who reign and dominate? 

APPENDIX "B" 

TRAVEL 

(Translated from an Article in Spanish 
published in "La Soliiaridad") 

HO is he that has not traveled? Viho does not love travel - 
the drean of youth viien consciousness of life first avralces, 
the book of middle age viien the desire for knowledge fills 
the mind, and finally the last farewell of the aged when 
the world is left behind to start upon the most mysteri- 
ous of all journeys? 

Travel is the caprice of childliood, the passion of youth, 
the need of manhood and the fond recollection of age. 

Do not read Robinson Crusoe or Gulliver to children, un- 
less you have them startle you with questions about those coun- 
tries whose charms have impressed their imaginations; do not 
picture to them the ^notions, scenes and events in foreign 
and unknown lands. Take from before their eyes Jules Verne 
and Mayne Beid, because you will make their nights unquiet, 
and add to their already vehement aad growing desires still 
another that will make them feel their subjection and the 
humbleness of their fortune. So great attractiveness is there 
in the unknown wonders; so great fascination in the contenpla- 
tion of nature. 

The desire to travel is as innate in man as knowledge, and 
sea-ns to have been implanted in each of us by providence solely 
that we may be spourred on the study and admire its works, 
that we vho are separated by distance may communicate and fra- 
ternize with one another, and united form a single family, 
the aspiration of all thinkers. 

For this it has made man cosmopolitan, it has created the 



58 FRANCISCO VILLANUEVA, JR 



seas that the ships may glide over their shifting billows, 
the winds to impel and drive them forward, the stars to guide 
them even in the darkest night, the river that traverses 
different regions. It has opened passes and roads among the 
rocks, built bridges, given to the .^rab the camel for his vast 
deserts, and to the dweller of the polar regions the reindeer 
and the dog to draw his sledges. 

All the advancement of modem society is due almost entirely 
to travel. And, truly, in remote antiquity men traveled in 
search of knowledge, as though it were writte'i on the billows 
of the sea, on the leaves of trees, on the stones of the road, 
on the monuments and tombs. 

The Greeks went to Egypt to seek instruction from her 
priests, they read the papyri, they were overwhelmed by the 
contenplation of those gigantic monunents, grim symbols of the 
national idea. They drew inspiration from their funeral 
grandeur, as do at tJie present time the savants of Europe 
from their hieroglyphics, and they returned from there philo- 
phers like Pythagoras, historians like Herodotus, legislators 
like Lycurgus and Solon, poets like Orpheus and Homer. So 
religion and civilization, learning, laws and customs came 
then from Egypt, only that as they approached the smiling 
shores of Helios they were divested of their mystic garments 
to grid themselves in the simple and graceful costume of the 
daugjiters of Greece. 

Later, from the furrow opend by a plow, sprang a people 
virile, progressive, grand, proud and sublime. From its Capi- 
told the world was spread before its gaze, fit booty for and 
undounded cupidity, to excite its desires. It sent forth its 
eagles, and its legions to return with all nations bound to its 
chariot, Greece, an stem absorbed into that victorious mass, 
did to some what Egypt had done to her: instructed its sons 
how to adorn its streets and squares with the works of artists^ 
and thus all learning philosophy, fine arts and literature 
passed over to Rome, thereby losing some of their grace and 
beauty, but in exchange acquring grandeur and majesty, re- 



REMINISCENCES OF RIZA.' S STAY IN EUBOPE 



59 



fleeting the spirit of that proud people. Then happened in 
Rome what is now going on in the Gallicization among civilized 
peoples: Hellenism was everywhere introduced, its language 
and poetry spread into all parts, its customs and its philo- 
sophy were imitated and practiced. So the patrimony of the 
Orient, following in the natural course of the stars, made 
their way into the Occident, only to arrive at the heart of 
the world and pause there to instruct all nations and races. 
Then !^ain, France, Germany, Britain and even Africa sent their 
sons to the city, the seat of power, learning and wealth, 
to see, adnire and study within the wide precincts of her walls 
all that up to that time the mind of man had conceived. 

A spectacle that humanity offers in all the ages, is his 
movement toward the li^t to illuminate the earth. It is a 
part of man' s nature, this tendency toward perfection, just as 
gravity is a property of physical bodies and the idea of li^t 
of concqjt of day. 

And as the peoples grow old and lose the life- currents that 
once nourished them, other younger ones arise to inherit their 
treasure, amassed by the human race at the cost of the tdrae 
and sacrifice. 

Vainly did the North loose its tempests to destroy the 
happy cities of the South, vainly did ignorance and barbarism 
plow over the tomb of the mistress of the world. Learning 
but fled fri^tened to fortify itself in the monasteries, and 
thaice to issue forth severe and rigid, guided by Christianity 
to enli^ten the barbarian hordes that sou^t to stifle it. 

The universities were founded, from all parts came crowds, 
on pilgrimage, doing what the Greeks had done in Egypt, the 
Romans in Greece and the whole world in Rome and Byzantium. 

In all times and all epochs of history travel has been the 
powerful lever of civilization, for by it alone are the mind 
and heart moulded, educated and enlightened, because only by 
it is all progress seen and studied: Geology. Geography, 
Politics. Ethnology. Language, f.feteorology, History, 3otany 
Zoology, Economics. Sculpture, Painting, and so on: all that 
m^es u^ human knowledge pass in review before the traveler s 
eyes. 



60 FRANCISQO VILLANUEVA, JR. 



He who only knows the surface of the earth, the topography 
of a country, from maps and drawings which he examines in his 
study will have an idea, I acinit, but an idea similar to «iiat 
one would get of an opera by Meyerboer or Rossini from reading 
the reviews in the newspapers. A sketch or picture of a whole 
region may be seen, but such an idea will be that of the 
artist v/tio succeeds in transferring to his canvas a ray of 
sunlight, the freshness of the sky, the verdure of the fields, 
the majesty of the torrents and the mountains, the people and 
animals, and even the movanent the soft fanning of the zephyr 
makes in the grass. All this, and more perhaps, can be done 
by the brush of a land-scape artist like Claude Lorrain, 
Be^hael or Calame, but what can never be reproduced from na* 
ture is that lively impression which she alone knows and can 
give, that movement, that life in the music of the birds and 
trees, that emanation of perfume peculiar to the place, that 
ineffable thing the traveler feels but cannot refine, which 
seans to awaken in him old memories of happy Jays, sorrows 
and joys that have gone never to return; forgotten love, a 
beloved image of his youth that has disappeared in the midst 
of the world's turmoil, creatures that no longer, exist, 
friendships, and the like, melancholy sensations produced 
by the expression, the features, the air of the country, or 
by its genius nymph or god, as the ancients would say. You 
may, for exan^jle, see painted the sea beating upon the shores 
of Italy on a lovely evening, when the sun gilds with its 
magic rays the white cottages that crown the cliffs wrapped 
with green garlands and festooned with flowers; the water 
and the foam that breaks in the hidden depths of the cliffs 
with all the idealistic realism of those sports, if the ex- 
pression may be permitted; but leave out the perfume, the 
life, the movement, the grandeur: you will not attain to 
those favored regions immortalized by so many poets, nor will 
you get the view of that pleasant and poetical scene like 
him vAo gazes frran a ship upon them carressed by the sea breeze 
that bellies the sails, as gently gliding as the wings of 
sleep over the brow of a child, as the first word of love on 



REMINISCENCES OF RIZAL'S STAY IN EUROPE 6 1 



a maiden' s lips, as the strains of distant nwsic in the silence 
of the ni^t. 

Wiat varied emotions and sensations agitate the heart 
at every step when we travels in a strange and unknown lEBid. 
Ihere everything is new: customs, language, people, and 
edifices, all worthy to be observed and pondered. 

Just as it has bem said that a man multipliies his personal- 
ity by the nvimber of languages he knows and speaks, so also 
his life is prolonged and renewed as he goes about visiting 
different countries. He lives more, because he sees, feels, 
enjoys, studies more than he who has only seen the same fields 
and the same sky, where yesterday, today and to-morrow were, 
are and ever will be the same, that is, where the first dawn 
and the first sunset may epitomize his whole existence; eill his 
past, his present and pierh£q;>s his future. 

What a revolution takes place in the ideas of him who for 
the first time leaves his native land and travels through 
different countries! A fledging that has only seen the , dry 
grass of its nest now gazes upon panoramas, wide seas, water- 
falls, rivers, mountains and woods, everything to fire a lively 
imagination. His ideas and opinions are corrected; many pre- 
judices disappear; he has before him to examine what formerly 
he judged without seeing, he now takes in new weights that 
suggest new thou^ts, he admires man in his greatness as in 
his misery he pities him. The old blind exclusiveness changes 
into universal and fraternal esteem for the rest of the world 
and at oice he ceases ta be an echo of the opinions of others 
in order to express his own, by direct observations and first- 
hand knowledge of people's ways; a certain poise and sound 
criterion in all actions deep reflection, practical knowledge 
in all the arts and sciences, if not profound and complete, 
yet at least sure and ineffaceable: such are the advantag:es 
and the thing learned. 

A book may describe the inhabitants, history, monuments, 
products, religion all that relates to a country, but this 
knowledge, while very useful and suitable, does not satisfy 
the skeptical reader ^o ever yearns t» see the things himselt. 



62 FRANaSOO VILLANUEVA, JR. 



Sooner or later the nations are forgotten, for they are not 
fixed in the memory as for him who travels, sees, touches and 
analyzes, thereby getting ideas \rfiich events impress in such a 
manner that it becomes impossible to forget them. 

fAjdern nations have realized the advantage to be gained 
from this kind of study and all their tendencies lean toward 
the multiplication of conmunication. 

By this means one traveler carries to his own country the 
good usuages he has seen and tries to ^^ly them there with the 
necessary modifications; another the wealth and products 
that his own lacks; another the religion, laws and customs; 
still another social theories and new reforms; thus intro- 
dicing all kinds of social, religions and political improve- 
ments. 

The perfect circulation of the blood throu^ all his veins 
is a sign of health in man; because without these channels 
no relations exist, without relations the bonds are not realiz- 
ed, without bonds there can be neither union nor strength, and 
without strength or union, will never be attained perfection, 
or ever progress. 

Hence is bom the zeal for laying out streets, tunnels and 
highways, for building bridges, steamers, locomotives and rail- 
ways, and as if earth were too anall for such great activity 
the air is encroached upon, so little \rfiile ago die exclusive 
kingdom of the birds and the clouds. 

Ihus travel, migrating and anigrating, in continuous move- 
ment, all the creatures of the earth, from the winged insect 
that wanders from plant to plant and from one field to another 
out into the world, this little traveler of infinite space, 
as does the swallow that seeks fairer climes, the seed wafted 
by the wind, the fish in the unknown abysses of the seas or 
man exploring and examining his vast dominions. 

India has thrown open her magnificient temples and exposes 
her idols to view, as China has thrown open the gates of her 
rare and wonderful products. Africa and the polar regions 
open up their great cbserts and will soon seat themselves at 
the banquet of progress, debtors to Livingstone, Stanley and 
Nordensakjold for their advancement and happiness. 



OEMINISCENCES OF RIZAL'S STAY IN EUROPE 6 3 



APPENDIX "C" 
Meaning of "Noll Me Tangere" 
(Translated from Rlzal's letter In French 
to a Friend) 

"My dear friend: 

"In your last letter you were complaining of my silence. 
You are right; forgetfulness is the death of friendship. I 
must only add that for true friendship forgetfulness does not 
exist at all and I shall prove it to you inmediately. 

"For a long time, ycu wanted to read a novel written by me. 
You told me that it was necessary to write something serious; 
to write no more articles which live and pass with the page 
of a newspaper. Well, then, as you wish, to your three letters 
I answer with my novel. Noli Me Tangere, a copy of which I am 
sending you by mail. 

"Noli Me Tangere, words taken from the go^el of Saint Luke 
signify touch me not. The book contains, the?, things of vkid\ 
nobody in our country has up to the present spoken, things, 
whidi are so delicate that tiiey did not allow anybody to tauch 
them. I tried to do what no one has wanted to do; I have had 
to answer to the calumnies which for centuries have been heap- 
ed on us and our country; I have described the social con- 
ditions, life, our beliefs, our hopes, our aspirations, our 
conplaints, our grievances; I have unmasked hypocrisy which, 
un<fer the cloak of Religion, came to our country to pauperize 
us, to brutalize us; I have distinguished the true religion 
from the false; from superstition, from that w^ich commercia- 
lizes the holy writ in order to draw money from it; in order 
to make us believe in the foolishness of which Catholicism 
would blush if ever it had a knowledge of it. I have unveiled 
what was hiddoi behind the misleading and brilliant words of 
our governments; I have told our compatriots of our mistakes, 
our vices, our sinful and cowardly complaisances with these 
miseries. Wiere I have found virtue, I said so enphatically 
in order to render homage to it; and if I have not wept in 



64 FRANaSOD VILLANUEVA, JR. 

speaking of our misfortunes, I have lauded at then for no one 
would like to weep with me at the misfortunes of our country 
and to lau^ is always good in order to hide one's sorrow. 

"The facts I narrate there are all true and have happened; 
I can prove them. My book will have its faults from an art- 
istic and esthetic point of view, that I do not daiy; but what 
no one can dilute is the inpartiality of my narrations. 

"Ihat is my answer to your three letters. I. hope that you 
will be satisfied and 'dill not blame me any more for my silence. 
It would be ray great pleasure to know that you like it; I do 
not believe that I have fallen in disgrace. You have always 
encouraged me by your aj^roval and your advice; encourage still 
your friend v^o appreciates so much your opinions and your 
censures. 

"I em waiting for your letters. As soon as you would have 
read my book, I hope that you will give me your severe judg- 
ment. I do not pretend any studied imodesty but I believe 
and I assure you that your opinion will be followed by me 
blindly. 

"A thousand remembrances to our friends. Come if you can 
in order that we may travel together. " 



REMINISCENCES OF RIZAL' S STAY IN EUHCPE 



65 



APPETflJIX "D" 



TOimi 



(Translated from lUzal' s letter in Spanish to 
Father Garcia) 

belong to the younger generation and we all are anxious 
to do something for our country. But we are unsettled 
oyer the prospect. We must come to our elders for ad- 
vice. They have seen much and studied more. Our years 
are frew and our knowledge scant beside their experience. 

We need their aicouragement and approval. We are like pygnies 

in a combat witli giants. 

"We are aithusiastic, for our youth makes us confident. Our 
dreams of the future are rose- colored. Still we may weaken 
at times if we think ourselves alone and abandoned. 

"Ours is a tremendous task. We young Filipinos are trying 
to make over a nation and must not halt in our onward march, 
but from time to time turn our gaxe v^n our elders. We shall 
wish to read in their countenances approval of our actions. 
We are anxious to learn of the Philippines' past which we need 
to understand in order to plan intelligently for the future. 
We want to know all that our ancestors knew, and then add our 
own studies to theirs. Tlius we shall progress the faster 
because we can go on from where they left off. 

"During the three centuries of Spanish influence the Fili- 
pinos, in my judgment, did not advance as they should have. 
Ihis was due to our talented men having died without leaving 
anything beside the renown of their names. They did not 
leave in writing the fruits of their experience. We have had 
our shade of great geniuses. There was the pioneer printer, 
Tomas Pinpin, viio was also a poet. Ihere was Professor Mariano 
Pilapil, inspirer of a pious and patriotic Tagaiog versions of 
"The Passion'. There was the eloquent Ibctor Pedro Pelaez who 
creditably filled a vacancy in the archbishop's position. There 



66 FRANCISQO VILLANUEVA, JR. 

was the venerable philanthropist and martyr, Father Mariano 
Gomez, and tliere have been others. 

"In my time we had Benedicto Luna, the devoted and success- 
ful school teacher. These men studied, learned and discovered 
a great deal but it all died with then. It ended because they 
left no writings. So in our study of Philippine life, we have 
to begin again at the very beginning. In the Philippines there 
has been plenty of personal progress, but there has been no na- 
tional progress. It is the individual that has improved, 
not the race. Some day we shall have to answer for our lives 
to a God vhose religic^ has declared all men equal. He hates 
tyranny and has made intelligence free. He will aslc vis, 'What 
have you done for the unhappy and oppressed? Have you done 
the utmost that your education and intelligence permit? Have 
you tried to ri^t injustice, to enlighten ignorance, to lift 
oppression and to relieve suffering about you? Our Saviour 
suffered bitter death to save mankind. He has a n^t to ask 
what we are doing for our brethren. '