Lineage, Life and Labors of Jose Rizal, Philippine Patriot
Austin Craig

Part 2 out of 4

A leader in church work also, and several times "Hermano mayor" of
its charitable society, the Captain's name appears on a number of
lists that have come down from that time as a liberal contributor
to various public subscriptions. His wife was equally benevolent,
as the records show.

Mr. and Mrs. Mercado did not neglect their family, which was rather
numerous. Their children were Gavino, Potenciana (who never married),
Leoncio, Fausto, Barcelisa (who became the wife of Hermenegildo
Austria), Gabriel, Julian, Gregorio Fernando, Casimiro, Petrona
(who married Gregorio Neri), Tomasa (later Mrs. F. de Guzman), and
Cornelia, the belle of the family, who later lived in Batangas.

Young Francisco was only eight years old when his father died, but
his mother and sister Potenciana looked well after him. First he
attended a Biñan Latin school, and later he seems to have studied
Latin and philosophy in the College of San José in Manila.

A sister, Petrona, for some years had been a dressgoods merchant in
nearby Kalamba, on an estate that had recently come under the same
ownership as Biñan. There she later married, and shortly after was
widowed. Possibly upon their mother's death, Potenciana and Francisco
removed to Kalamba; though Petrona died not long after, her brother
and sister continued to make their home there.

Francisco, in spite of his youth, became a tenant of the estate as did
some others of his family, for their Biñan holdings were not large
enough to give farms to all Captain Juan's many sons. The landlords
early recognized the agricultural skill of the Mercados by further
allotments, as they could bring more land under cultivation. Sometimes
Francisco was able to buy the holdings of others who proved less
successful in their management and became discouraged.

The pioneer farming, clearing the miasmatic forests especially, was
dangerous work, and there were few families that did not buy their
land with the lives of some of its members. In 1847 the Mercados
had funerals, of brothers and nephews of Francisco, and, chief
among them, of that elder sister who had devoted her life to him,
Potenciana. She had always prompted and inspired the young man, and
Francisco's success in life was largely due to her wise counsels and
her devoted encouragement of his industry and ambition. Her thrifty
management of the home, too, was sadly missed.

A year after his sister Potenciana's death, Francisco Mercado married
Teodora Alonzo, a native of Manila, who for several years had been
residing with her mother at Kalamba. The history of the family of
Mrs. Mercado is unfortunately not so easily traced as is that of her
husband, and what is known is of less simplicity and perhaps of more
interest since the mother's influence is greater than the father's,
and she was the mother of José Rizal.

Her father, Lorenzo Alberto Alonzo (born 1790, died 1854), is said
to have been "very Chinese" in appearance. He had a brother who was
a priest, and a sister, Isabel, who was quite wealthy; he himself
was also well to do. Their mother, Maria Florentina (born 1771, died
1817), was, on her mother's side, of the famous Florentina family of
Chinese mestizos originating in Baliwag, Bulacan, and her father was
Captain Mariano Alejandro of Biñan.

Lorenzo Alberto was municipal captain of Biñan in 1824, as had been his
father, Captain Cipriano Alonzo (died 18O5), in 1797. The grandfather,
Captain Gregorio Alonzo (died 1794), was a native of Quiotan barrio,
and twice, in 1763 and again in 1768, at the head of the mestizos'
organization of the Santa Cruz district in Manila.

Captain Lorenzo was educated for a surveyor, and his engineering books,
some in English and others in French, were preserved in Biñan till,
upon the death of his son, the family belongings were scattered. He
was wealthy, and had invested a considerable sum of money with the
American Manila shipping firms of Peele, Hubbell & Co., and Russell,
Sturgis & Co.

The family story is that he became acquainted with Brigida de Quintos,
Mrs. Rizal's mother, while he was a student in Manila, and that she,
being unusually well educated for a girl of those days, helped him
with his mathematics. Their acquaintance apparently arose through
relationship, both being connected with the Reyes family. They had five
children: Narcisa (who married Santiago Muger), Teodora (Mrs. Francisco
Rizal Mercado), Gregorio, Manuel and José. All were born in Manila,
but lived in Kalamba, and they used the name Alonzo till that general
change of names in 1850 when, with their mother, they adopted the
name Realonda. This latter name has been said to be an allusion to
royal blood in the family, but other indications suggest that it
might have been a careless mistake made in writing by Rosa Realonda,
whose name sometimes appears written as Redonda. There is a family
Redondo (Redonda in its feminine form) Alonzo of Ilokano origin, the
same stock as their traditions give for Mrs. Rizal's father, some
of whose members were to be found in the neighborhood of Biñan and
Pasay. One member of this family was akin in spirit to José Rizal,
for he was fined twenty-five thousand pesos by the Supreme Court of
the Philippine Islands for "contempt of religion." It appears that he
put some original comparisons into a petition which sought to obtain
justice from an inferior tribunal where, by the omission of the word
"not" in copying, the clerk had reversed the court's decision but
the judge refused to change the record.

Brigida de Quintos's death record, in Kalamba (1856), speaks of her
as the daughter of Manuel de Quintos and Regina Ochoa.

The most obscure part of Rizal's family tree is the Ochoa branch, the
family of the maternal grandmother, for all the archives,--church,
land and court,--disappeared during the late disturbed conditions
of which Cavite was the center. So one can only repeat what has been
told by elderly people who have been found reliable in other accounts
where the clews they gave could be compared with existing records.

The first of the family is said to have been Policarpio Ochoa, an
employé of the Spanish customs house. Estanislao Manuel Ochoa was his
son, with the blood of old Castile mingling with Chinese and Tagalog
in his veins. He was part owner of the Hacienda of San Francisco de
Malabon. One story says that somewhere in this family was a Mariquita
Ochoa, of such beauty that she was known in Cavite, where was her home,
as the Sampaguita (jasmine) of the Parian, or Chinese, quarter.

There was a Spanish nobleman also in Cavite in her time who had
been deported for political reasons--probably for holding liberal
opinions and for being thought to be favorable to English ideas. It
is said that this particular "caja abierta" was a Marquis de Canete,
and if so there is ground for the claim that he was of royal blood;
at least some of his far-off ancestors had been related to a former
ruling family of Spain.

Mariquita's mother knew the exile, since, according to the custom
in Filipino families, she looked after the business interests of her
husband. Curious to see the belle of whom he had heard so much, the
Marquis made an excuse of doing business with the mother, and went to
her home on an occasion when he knew that the mother was away. No one
else was there to answer his knock and Mariquita, busied in making
candy, could not in her confusion find a coconut shell to dip water
for washing her hands from the large jar, and not to keep the visitor
waiting, she answered the door as she was. Not only did her appearance
realize the expectations of the Marquis, but the girl seemed equally
attractive for her self-possessed manners and lively mind. The nobleman
was charmed. On his way home he met a cart loaded with coconut dippers
and he bought the entire lot and sent it as his first present.

After this the exile invented numerous excuses to call, till
Mariquita's mother finally agreed to his union with her daughter. His
political disability made him out of favor with the State church,
the only place in which people could be married then, but Mariquita
became what in English would be called a common-law wife. One of their
children, José, had a tobacco factory and a slipper factory in Meisic,
Manila, and was the especial protector of his younger sister, Regina,
who became the wife of attorney Manuel de Quintos. A sister of Regina
was Diega de Castro, who with another sister, Luseria, sold "chorizos"
(sausages) or "tiratira" (taffy candy), the first at a store and
the second in their own home, but both in Cavite, according to the
variations of one narrative.

A different account varies the time and omits the noble ancestor by
saying that Regina was married unusually young to Manuel de Quintos to
escape the attentions of the Marquis. Another authority claims that
Regina was wedded to the lawyer in second marriage, being the widow
of Facundo de Layva, the captain of the ship Hernando Magallanes,
whose pilot, by the way, was Andrew Stewart, an Englishman.

It is certain that Regina Ochoa was of Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog
ancestry, and it is recorded that she was the wife of Manuel de
Quintos. Here we stop depending on memories, for in the restored
burial register of Kalamba church in the entry of the funeral of
Brigida de Quintos she is called "the daughter of Manuel de Quintos
and Regina Ochoa."

Manuel de Quintos was an attorney of Manila, graduated from Santo Tomás
University, whose family were Chinese mestizos of Pangasinan. The
lawyer's father, of the same name, had been municipal captain of
Lingayan, and an uncle was leader of the Chinese mestizos in a
protest they had made against the arbitrariness of their provincial
governor. This petition for redress of grievances is preserved in
the Supreme Court archives with "Joaquin de Quintos" well and boldly
written at the head of the complainants' names, evidence of a culture
and a courage that were equally uncommon in those days. Complaints
under Spanish rule, no matter how well founded, meant trouble for the
complainants; we must not forget that it was a vastly different thing
from signing petitions or adhering to resolutions nowadays. Then the
signers risked certainly great annoyance, sometimes imprisonment,
and not infrequently death.

The home of Quintos had been in San Pedro Macati at the time of Captain
Novales's uprising, the so-called "American revolt" in protest against
the Peninsulars sent out to supersede the Mexican officers who had
remained loyal to Spain when the colony of their birth separated
itself from the mother country. As little San Pedro Macati is charged
with having originated the conspiracy, it is unlikely that it was
concealed from the liberal lawyer, for attorneys were scarcer and
held in higher esteem in those days.

The conservative element then, as later, did not often let drop
any opportunity of purging the community of those who thought for
themselves, by condemning them for crime unheard and undefended,
whether they had been guilty of it or not.

All the branches of Mrs. Rizal's family were much richer than the
relatives of her husband; there were numerous lawyers and priests
among them--the old-time proof of social standing--and they were
influential in the country.

There are several names of these related families that belong among
the descendants of Lakandola, as traced by Mr. Luther Parker in
his study of the Pampangan migration, and color is thereby given,
so far as Rizal is concerned, to a proud boast that an old Pampangan
lady of this descent makes for her family. She, who is exceedingly
well posted upon her ancestry, ends the tracing of her lineage from
Lakandola's time by asserting that the blood of that chief flowed
in the veins of every Filipino who had the courage to stand forward
as the champion of his people from the earliest days to the close of
the Spanish régime. Lakandola, of course, belonged to the Mohammedan
Sumatrans who emigrated to the Philippines only a few generations
before Magellan's discovery.

To recall relatives of Mrs. Rizal who were in the professions may
help to an understanding of the prominence of the family. Felix
Florentino, an uncle, was the first clerk of the Nueva Segovia
(Vigan) court. A cousin-german, José Florentino, was a Philippine
deputy in the Spanish Cortes, and a lawyer of note, as was also
his brother, Manuel. Another relative, less near, was Clerk Reyes,
of the Court of First Instance in Manila. The priest of Rosario,
Vicar of Batangas Province, Father Leyva, was a half-blood relation,
and another priestly relative was Mrs. Rizal's paternal uncle,
Father Alonzo. These were in the earlier days when professional
men were scarcer. Father Almeida, of Santa Cruz Church, Manila,
and Father Agustin Mendoz, his predecessor in the same church, and
one of the sufferers in the Cavite trouble of '72--a deporté--were
most distantly connected with the Rizal family. Another relative,
of the Reyes connection, was in the Internal Revenue Service and had
charge of Kalamba during the latter part of the eighteenth century.

Mrs. Rizal was baptized in Santa Cruz Church, Manila, November 18,
1827, as Teodora Morales Alonzo, her godmother being a relative by
marriage, Doña Maria Cristina. She was given an exceptionally good
fundamental education by her gifted mother, and completed her training
in Santa Rosa College, Manila, which was in the charge of Filipino
sisters. Especially did the religious influence of her schooling
manifest itself in her after life. Unfortunately there are no records
in the institution, because it is said all the members of the Order
who could read and write were needed for instruction and there was
no one competent who had time for clerical work.

Brigida de Quintos had removed to the property in Kalamba which Lorenzo
Alberto had transferred to her, and there as early as 1844 she is
first mentioned as Brigida de Quintos, then as Brigida de Alonzo,
and later as Brigida Realonda.


Rizal's Early Childhood

Francisco Engracio Rizal Mercado y Alejandro and his wife, Teodora
Morales Alonzo Realonda y Quintos, was born in Kalamba, June 19, 1861.

He was a typical Filipino, for few persons in this land of mixed
blood could boast a greater mixture than his. Practically all
the ethnic elements, perhaps even the Negrito in the far past,
combined in his blood. All his ancestors, except the doubtful
strain of the Negrito, had been immigrants to the Philippines, early
Malays, and later Sumatrans, Chinese of prehistoric times and the
refugees from the Tartar dominion, and Spaniards of old Castile and
Valencia--representatives of all the various peoples who have blended
to make the strength of the Philippine race.

Shortly before José's birth his family had built a pretentious new home
in the center of Kalamba on a lot which Francisco Mercado had inherited
from his brother. The house was destroyed before its usefulness had
ceased, by the vindictiveness of those who hated the man-child that
was born there. And later on the gratitude of a free people held the
same spot sacred because there began that life consecrated to the
Philippines and finally given for it, after preparing the way for the
union of the various disunited Chinese mestizos, Spanish mestizos,
and half a hundred dialectically distinguished "Indians" into the
united people of the Philippines.

José was christened in the nearby church when three days old, and as
two out-of-town bands happened to be in Kalamba for a local festival,
music was a feature of the event. His godfather was Father Pedro
Casañas, a Filipino priest of a Kalamba family, and the priest who
christened him was also a Filipino, Father Rufino Collantes. Following
is a translation of the record of Rizal's birth and baptism: "I, the
undersigned parish priest of the town of Calamba, certify that from
the investigation made with proper authority, for replacing the parish
books which were burned September 28, 1862, to be found in Docket No. 1
of Baptisms, page 49, it appears by the sworn testimony of competent
witnesses that JOSÉ RIZAL MERCADO is the legitimate son, and of lawful
wedlock, of Don Francisco Rizal Mercado and Doña Teodora Realonda,
having been baptized in this parish on the 22d day of June in the year
1861, by the parish preiset, Rev. Rufino Collantes, Rev. Pedro Casañas
being his god-father."--Witness my signature. (Signed) LEONCIO LOPEZ.

José Rizal's earliest training recalls the education of William
and Alexander von Humboldt, those two nineteenth century Germans
whose achievements for the prosperity of their fatherland and the
advancement of humanity have caused them to be spoken of as the most
remarkable pair of brothers that ever lived. He was not physically
a strong child, but the direction of his first studies was by an
unusually gifted mother, who succeeded, almost without the aid of
books, in laying a foundation upon which the man placed an amount
of well-mastered knowledge along many different lines that is truly
marvelous, and this was done in so short a time that its brevity
constitutes another wonder.

At three he learned his letters, having insisted upon being
taught to read and being allowed to share the lessons of an elder
sister. Immediately thereafter he was discovered with her story book,
spelling out its words by the aid of the syllabary or "caton" which
he had propped up before him and was using as one does a dictionary
in a foreign language.

The little boy spent also much of his time in the church, which was
conveniently near, but when the mother suggested that this might be
an indication of religious inclination, his prompt response was that
he liked to watch the people.

To how good purpose the small eyes and ears were used, the true-to-life
types of the characters in "Noli Me Tangere" and "El Filibusterismo"

Three uncles, brothers of the mother, concerned themselves with
the intellectual, artistic and physical training of this promising
nephew. The youngest, José, a teacher, looked after the regular
lessons. The giant Manuel developed the physique of the youngster,
until he had a supple body of silk and steel and was no longer a
sickly lad, though he did not entirely lose his somewhat delicate
looks. The more scholarly Gregorio saw that the child earned his candy
money--trying to instill the idea into his mind that it was not the
world's way that anything worth having should come without effort; he
taught him also the value of rapidity in work, to think for himself,
and to observe carefully and to picture what he saw.

Sometimes José would draw a bird flying without lifting pencil from the
paper till the picture was finished. At other times it would be a horse
running or a dog in chase, but it always must be something of which
he had thought himself and the idea must not be overworked; there was
no payment for what had been done often before. Thus he came to think
for himself, ideas were suggested to him indirectly, so he was never
a servile copyist, and he acquired the habit of speedy accomplishment.

Clay at first, then wax, was his favorite play material. From these he
modeled birds and butterflies that came ever nearer to the originals
in nature as the wise praise of the uncles called his attention to
possibilities of improvement and encouraged him to further effort. This
was the beginning of his nature study.

José had a pony and used to take long rides through all the surrounding
country, so rich in picturesque scenery. Besides these horseback
expeditions were excursions afoot; on the latter his companion was
his big black dog, Usman. His father pretended to be fearful of some
accident if dog and pony went together, so the boy had to choose
between these favorites, and alternated walking and riding, just as
Mr. Mercado had planned he should. The long pedestrian excursions
of his European life, though spoken of as German and English habits,
were merely continuations of this childhood custom. There were other
playmates besides the dog and the horse, especially doves that lived
in several houses about the Mercado home, and the lad was friend
and defender of all the animals, birds, and even insects in the
neighborhood. Had his childish sympathies been respected the family
would have been strictly vegetarian in their diet.

At times José was permitted to spend the night in one of the curious
little straw huts which La Laguna farmers put up during the harvest
season, and the myths and legends of the region which he then heard
interested him and were later made good use of in his writings.

Sleight-of-hand tricks were a favorite amusement, and he developed
a dexterity which mystified the simple folk of the country. This
diversion, and his proficiency in it, gave rise to that mysterious awe
with which he was regarded by the common people of his home region;
they ascribed to him supernatural powers, and refused to believe that
he was really dead even after the tragedy of Bagumbayan.

Entertainment of the neighbors with magic-lantern exhibitions was
another frequent amusement, an ordinary lamp throwing its light on
a common sheet serving as a screen. José's supple fingers twisted
themselves into fantastic shapes, the enlarged shadows of which on
the curtain bore resemblance to animals, and paper accessories were
worked in to vary and enlarge the repertoire of action figures. The
youthful showman was quite successful in catering to the public taste,
and the knowledge he then gained proved valuable later in enabling
him to approach his countrymen with books that held their attention
and gave him the opportunity to tell them of shortcomings which it
was necessary that they should correct.

Almost from babyhood he had a grown-up way about him, a sort of dignity
that seemed to make him realize and respect the rights of others and
unconsciously disposed his elders to reason with him, rather than scold
him for his slight offenses. This habit grew, as reprimands were needed
but once, and his grave promises of better behavior were faithfully
kept when the explanation of why his conduct was wrong was once made
clear to him. So the child came to be not an unwelcome companion even
for adults, for he respected their moods and was never troublesome. A
big influence in the formation of the child's character was his
association with the parish priest of Kalamba, Father Leoncio Lopez.

The Kalamba church and convento, which were located across the way
from the Rizal home, were constructed after the great earthquake of
1863, which demolished so many edifices throughout the central part
of the Philippines.

The curate of Kalamba had a strong personality and was notable
among the Filipino secular clergy of that day when responsibility
had developed many creditable figures. An English writer of long
residence in the Philippines, John Foreman, in his book on the
Philippine Islands, describes how his first meeting with this priest
impressed him, and tells us that subsequent acquaintance confirmed
the early favorable opinion of one whom he considered remarkable for
broad intelligence and sanity of view. Father Leoncío never deceived
himself and his judgment was sound and clear, even when against
the opinions and persons of whom he would have preferred to think
differently. Probably José, through the priest's fondness for children
and because he was well behaved and the son of friendly neighbors,
was at first tolerated about the convento, the Philippine name for
the priest's residence, but soon he became a welcome visitor for his
own sake.

He never disturbed the priest's meditations when the old clergyman
was studying out some difficult question, but was a keen observer,
apparently none the less curious for his respectful reserve. Father
Leoncío may have forgotten the age of his listener, or possibly was
only thinking aloud, but he spoke of those matters which interested
all thinking Filipinos and found a sympathetic, eager audience in
the little boy, who at least gave close heed if he had at first no
valuable comments to offer.

In time the child came to ask questions, and they were so sensible
that careful explanation was given, and questions were not dismissed
with the statement that these things were for grown-ups, a statement
which so often repels the childish zeal for knowledge. Not many
mature people in those days held so serious converse as the priest
and his child friend, for fear of being overheard and reported,
a danger which even then existed in the Philippines.

That the old Filipino priest of Rizal's novels owed something to the
author's recollections of Father Leoncío is suggested by a chapter in
"Noli Me Tangere." Ibarra, viewing Manila by moonlight on the first
night after his return from Europe, recalls old memories and makes
mention of the neighborhood of the Botanical Garden, just beyond
which the friend and mentor of his youth had died. Father Leoncio
Lopez died in Calle Concepción in that vicinity, which would seem to
identify him in connection with that scene in the book, rather than
numerous others whose names have been sometimes suggested.

Two writings of Rizal recall thoughts of his youthful days. Orie tells
how he used to wander down along the lake shore and, looking across
the waters, wonder about the people on the other side. Did they,
too, he questioned, suffer injustice as the people of his home town
did? Was the whip there used as freely, carelessly and unmercifully by
the authorities? Had men and women also to be servile and hypocrites
to live in peace over there? But among these thoughts, never once
did it occur to him that at no distant day the conditions would be
changed and, under a government that safeguarded the personal rights
of the humblest of its citizens, the region that evoked his childhood
wondering was to become part of a province bearing his own name in
honor of his labors toward banishing servility and hypocrisy from
the character of his countrymen.

The lake district of Central Luzon is one of the most historic regions
in the Islands, the May-i probably of the twelfth century Chinese
geographer. Here was the scene of the earliest Spanish missionary
activity. On the south shore is Kalamba, birthplace of Doctor Rizal,
with Biñan, the residence of his father's ancestors, to the northwest,
and on the north shore the land to which reference is made above. Today
this same region at the north bears the name of Rizal Province in
his honor.

The other recollection of Rizal's youth is of his first reading
lesson. He did not know Spanish and made bad work of the story of the
"Foolish Butterfly," which his mother had selected, stumbling over the
words and grouping them without regard to the sense. Finally Mrs. Rizal
took the book from her son and read it herself, translating the tale
into the familiar Tagalog used in their home. The moral is supposed
to be obedience, and the young butterfly was burned and died because
it disregarded the parental warning not to venture too close to the
alluring flame. The reading lesson was in the evening and by the
light of a coconut-oil lamp, and some moths were very appropriately
fluttering about its cheerful blaze. The little boy watched them as
his mother read and he missed the moral, for as the insects singed
their wings and fluttered to their death in the flame he forgot
their disobedience and found no warning in it for him. Rather he
envied their fate and considered that the light was so fine a thing
that it was worth dying for. Thus early did the notion that there
are things worth more than life enter his head, though he could not
foresee that he was to be himself a martyr and that the day of his
death would before long be commemorated in his country to recall to
his countrymen lessons as important to their national existence as
his mother's precept was for his childish welfare.

When he was four the mystery of life's ending had been brought home to
him by the death of a favorite little sister, and he shed the first
tears of real sorrow, for until then he had only wept as children do
when disappointed in getting their own way. It was the first of many
griefs, but he quickly realized that life is a constant struggle and
he learned to meet disappointments and sorrows with the tears in the
heart and a smile on the lips, as he once advised a nephew to do.

At seven José made his first real journey; the family went to Antipolo
with the host of pilgrims who in May visit the mountain shrine of Our
Lady of Peace and Safe Travel. In the early Spanish days in Mexico
she was the special patroness of voyages to America, especially while
the galleon trade lasted; the statue was brought to Antipolo in 1672.

A print of the Virgin, a souvenir of this pilgrimage, was, according
to the custom of those times, pasted inside José's wooden chest when
he left home for school; later on it was preserved in an album and
went with him in all his travels. Afterwards it faced Bougereau's
splendid conception of the Christ-mother, as one who had herself
thus suffered, consoling another mother grieving over the loss of a
son. Many years afterwards Doctor Rizal was charged with having fallen
away from religion, but he seems really rather to have experienced a
deepening of the religious spirit which made the essentials of charity
and kindness more important in his eyes than forms and ceremonies.

Yet Rizal practiced those forms prescribed for the individual even
when debarred from church privileges. The lad doubtless got his
idea of distinguishing between the sign and the substance from a
well-worn book of explanations of the church ritual and symbolism
"intended for the use of parish priests." It was found in his library,
with Mrs. Rizal's name on the flyleaf. Much did he owe his mother,
and his grateful recognition appears in his appreciative portrayal
of maternal affection in his novels.

His parents were both religious, but in a different way. The father's
religion was manifested in his charities; he used to keep on hand
a fund, of which his wife had no account, for contributions to the
necessitous and loans to the irresponsible. Mrs. Rizal attended to
the business affairs and was more careful in her handling of money,
though quite as charitably disposed. Her early training in Santa
Rosa had taught her the habit of frequent prayer and she began early
in the morning and continued till late in the evening, with frequent
attendance in the church. Mr. Rizal did not forget his church duties,
but was far from being so assiduous in his practice of them, and the
discussions in the home frequently turned on the comparative value of
words and deeds, discussions that were often given a humorous twist
by the husband when he contrasted his wife's liberality in prayers
with her more careful dispensing of money aid.

Not many homes in Kalamba were so well posted on events of the outside
world, and the children constantly heard discussions of questions
which other households either ignored or treated rather reservedly, for
espionage was rampant even then in the Islands. Mrs. Rizal's literary
training had given her an acquaintance with the better Spanish writers
which benefited her children; she told them the classic tales in style
adapted to their childish comprehension, so that when they grew older
they found that many noted authors were old acquaintances. The Bible,
too, played a large part in the home. Mrs. Rizal's copy was a Spanish
translation of the Latin Vulgate, the version authorized by her Church
but not common in the Islands then. Rizal's frequent references to
Biblical personages and incidents are not paralleled in the writings
of any contemporary Filipino author.

The frequent visitors to their home, the church, civil and military
authorities, who found the spacious Rizal mansion a convenient resting
place on their way to the health resort at Los Baños, brought something
of the city, and a something not found by many residents even there, to
the people of this village household. Oftentimes the house was filled,
and the family would not turn away a guest of less rank for the sake of
one of higher distinction, though that unsocial practice was frequently
followed by persons who forgot their self-respect in toadying to rank.

Little José did not know Spanish very well, so far as conversational
usage was concerned, but his mother tried to impress on him the beauty
of the Spanish poets and encouraged him in essays at rhyming which
finally grew into quite respectable poetical compositions. One of
these was a drama in Tagalog which so pleased a municipal captain of
the neighboring village of Paete, who happened to hear it while on
a visit to Kalamba, that the youthful author was paid two pesos for
the production. This was as much money as a field laborer in those
days would have earned in half a month; although the family did not
need the coin, the incident impressed them with the desirability of
cultivating the boy's talent.

José was nine years old when he was sent to study in Biñan. His master
there, Justiniano Aquino Cruz, was of the old school and Rizal has left
a record of some of his maxims, such as "Spare the rod and spoil the
child," "The letter enters with blood," and other similar indications
of his heroic treatment of the unfortunates under his care. However,
if he was a strict disciplinarian, Master Justiniano was also a
conscientious instructor, and the boy had been only a few months
under his care when the pupil was told that he knew as much as his
master, and had better go to Manila to school. Truthful José repeated
this conversation without the modification which modesty might have
suggested, and his father responded rather vigorously to the idea
and it was intimated that in the father's childhood pupils were not
accustomed to say that they knew as much as their teachers. However,
Master Justiniano corroborated the child's statement, so that
preparations for José's going to Manila began to be made. This was
in the Christmas vacation of 1871.

Biñan had been a valuable experience for young Rizal. There he had
met a host of relatives and from them heard much of the past of his
father's family. His maternal grandfather's great house was there, now
inhabited by his mother's half-brother, a most interesting personage.

This uncle, José Alberto, had been educated in British India, spending
eleven years in a Calcutta missionary school. This was the result of
an acquaintance which his father had made with an English naval officer
who visited the Philippines about 1820, the author of "An Englishman's
Visit to the Philippines." Lorenzo Alberto, the grandfather, himself
spoke English and had English associations. He had also liberal ideas
and preferred the system under which the Philippines were represented
in the Cortes and were treated not as a colony but as part of the
homeland and its people were considered Spaniards.

The great Biñan bridge had been built under Lorenzo Alberto's
supervision, and for services to the Spanish nation during the
expedition to Cochin-China--probably liberal contributions of money--he
had been granted the title of Knight of the American Order of Isabel
the Catholic, but by the time this recognition reached him he had died,
and the patent was made out to his son.

An episode well known in the village--its chief event, if one might
judge from the conversation of the inhabitants--was a visit which
a governor of Hongkong had made there when he was a guest in the
home of Alberto. Many were the tales told of this distinguished
Englishman, who was Sir John Bowring, the notable polyglot and
translator into English of poetry in practically every one of the
dialects of Europe. His achievements along this line had put him
second or third among the linguists of the century. He was also
interested in history, and mentioned in his Biñan visit that the
Hakluyt Society, of which he was a Director, was then preparing to
publish an exceedingly interesting account of the early Philippines
that did more justice to its inhabitants than the regular Spanish
historians. Here Rizal first heard of Morga, the historian, whose
book he in after years made accessible to his countrymen. A desire
to know other languages than his own also possessed him and he was
eager to rival the achievements of Sir John Bowring.

In his book entitled "A Visit to the Philippine Islands," which was
translated into Spanish by Mr. José del Pan, a liberal editor of
Manila, Sir John Bowring gives the following account of his visit to
Rizal's uncle:

"We reached Biñan before sunset .... First we passed between
files of youths, then of maidens; and through a triumphal
arch we reached the handsome dwelling of a rich mestizo, whom
we found decorated with a Spanish order, which had been granted
to his father before him. He spoke English, having been educated
at Calcutta, and his house--a very large one--gave abundant
evidence that he had not studied in vain the arts of domestic
civilization. The furniture, the beds, the table, the cookery, were
all in good taste, and the obvious sincerity of the kind reception
added to its agreeableness. Great crowds were gathered together
in the square which fronts the house of Don José Alberto."

The Philippines had just had a liberal governor, De la Torte, but even
during this period of apparent liberalness there existed a confidential
government order directing that all letters from Filipinos suspected
of progressive ideas were to be opened in the post. This violation
of the mails furnished the list of those who later suffered in the
convenient insurrection of '72.

An agrarian trouble, the old disagreement between landlords and
tenants, had culminated in an active outbreak which the government
was unable to put down, and so it made terms by which, among other
things, the leader of the insurrection was established as chief
of a new civil guard for the purpose of keeping order. Here again
was another preparation for '72, for at that time the agreement
was forgotten and the officer suffered punishment, in spite of the
immunity he had been promised.

Religious troubles, too, were rife. The Jesuits had returned from
exile shortly before, and were restricted to teaching work in those
parishes in the missionary district where collections were few and
danger was great. To make room for those whom they displaced the better
parishes in the more thickly settled regions were taken from Filipino
priests and turned over to members of the religious Orders. Naturally
there was discontent. A confidential communication from the secular
archbishop, Doctor Martinez, shows that he considered the Filipinos had
ground for complaint, for he states that if the Filipinos were under a
non-Catholic government like that of England they would receive fairer
treatment than they were getting from their Spanish co-religionaries,
and warns the home government that trouble will inevitably result if
the discrimination against the natives of the country is continued.

The Jesuit method of education in their newly established "Ateneo
Municipal" was a change from that in the former schools. It treated the
Filipino as a Spaniard and made no distinctions between the races in
the school dormitory. In the older institutions of Manila the Spanish
students lived in the Spanish way and spoke their own language, but
Filipinos were required to talk Latin, sleep on floor mats and eat
with their hands from low tables. These Filipino customs obtained in
the hamlets, but did not appeal to city lads who had become used to
Spanish ways in their own homes and objected to departing from them in
school. The disaffection thus created was among the educated class,
who were best fitted to be leaders of their people in any dangerous
insurrection against the government.

However, a change had to take place to meet the Jesuit competition,
and in the rearrangement Filipino professors were given a larger
share in the management of the schools. Notable among these was
Father Burgos. He had earned his doctor's degree in two separate
courses, was among the best educated in the capital and by far the
most public-spirited and valiant of the Filipino priests.

He enlisted the interest of many of the older Filipino clergy and
through their contributions subsidized a paper, E1 Eco Filipino,
which spoke from the Filipino standpoint and answered the reflections
which were the stock in trade of the conservative organ, for the
reactionaries had an abusive journal just as they had had in 1821
and were to have in the later days.

Such were the conditions when José Rizal got ready to leave home for
school in Manila, a departure which was delayed by the misfortunes of
his mother. His only, and elder, brother, Paciano, had been a student
in San José College in Manila for some years, and had regularly failed
in passing his examinations because of his outspokenness against
the evils of the country. Paciano was a great favorite with Doctor
Burgos, in whose home he lived and for whom he acted as messenger
and go-between in the delicate negotiations of the propaganda which
the doctor was carrying on.

In February of '72 all the dreams of a brighter and freer Philippines
were crushed out in that enormous injustice which made the mutiny of a
few soldiers and arsenal employés in Cavite the excuse for deporting,
imprisoning, and even shooting those whose correspondence, opened
during the previous year, had shown them to be discontented with the
backward conditions in the Philippines.

Doctor Burgos, just as he had been nominated to a higher post in the
Church, was the chief victim. Father Gomez, an old man, noted for
charity, was another, and the third was Father Zamora. A reference
in a letter of his to "powder," which was his way of saying money,
was distorted into a dangerous significance, in spite of the fact
that the letter was merely an invitation to a gambling game. The
trial was a farce, the informer was garroted just when he was on
the point of complaining that he was not receiving the pardon and
payment which he had been promised for his services in convicting
the others. The whole affair had an ugly look, and the way it was
hushed up did not add to the confidence of the people in the justice
of the proceedings. The Islands were then placed under military law
and remained so for many years.

Father Burgos's dying advice to Filipinos was for them to be educated
abroad, preferably outside of Spain, but if they could do no better,
at least go to the Peninsula. He urged that through education only
could progress be hoped for. In one of his speeches he had warned the
Spanish government that continued oppressive measures would drive the
Filipinos from their allegiance and make them wish to become subjects
of a freer power, suggesting England, whose possessions surrounded
the Islands.

Doctor Burgos's idea of England as a hope for the Philippines was
borne out by the interest which the British newspapers of Hongkong
took in Philippine affairs. They gave accounts of the troubles and
picked flaws in the garbled reports which the officials sent abroad.

Some zealous but unthinking reactionary at this time conceived the idea
of publishing a book somewhat similar to that which had been gotten
out against the Constitution of Cadiz. "Captain Juan" was its name;
it was in catechism form, and told of an old municipal captain who
deserved to be honored because he was so submissively subservient to
all constituted authority. He tries to distinguish between different
kinds of liberty, and the especial attention which he devotes to
America shows how live a topic the great republic was at that time in
the Islands. This interest is explained by the fact that an American
company had just then received a grant of the northern part of Borneo,
later British North Borneo, for a trading company. It was believed that
the United States had designs on the Archipelago because of treaties
which had been negotiated with the Sultan of Sulu and certain American
commercial interests in the Far East, which were then rather important.

Americans, too, had become known in the Philippines through a soldier
of fortune who had helped out the Chinese government in suppressing
the rebellion in the neighborhood of Shanghai. "General" F. T. Ward,
from Massachusetts, organized an army of deserters from European ships,
but their lack of discipline made them undesirable soldiers, and so
he disbanded the force. He then gathered a regiment of Manila men,
as the Filipinos usually found as quartermasters on all ships sailing
in the East were then called. With the aid of some other Americans
these troops were disciplined and drilled into such efficiency that the
men came to have the title among the Chinese of the "Ever-Victorious"
army, because of the almost unbroken series of successes which they
had experienced. A partial explanation, possibly, of their fighting
so well is that they were paid only when they won.

The high praise given the Filipinos at this time was in contrast to the
disparagement made of their efforts in Indo-China, where in reality
they had done the fighting rather than their Spanish officers. When
a Spaniard in the Philippines quoted of the Filipino their customary
saying, "Poor soldier, worse sacristan," the Filipinos dared make
no open reply, but they consoled themselves with remembering the
flattering comments of "General" Ward and the favorable opinion of
Archbishop Martinez.

References to Filipino military capacity were banned by the censors and
the archbishop's communication had been confidential, but both became
known, for despotisms drive its victims to stealth and to methods
which would not be considered creditable under freer conditions.


Jagor's Prophecy

RIZAL'S first home in Manila was in a nipa house with Manuel
Hidalgo, later to be his brother-in-law, in Calle Espeleta, a street
named for a former Filipino priest who had risen to be bishop and
governor-general. This spot is now marked with a tablet which gives
the date of his coming as the latter part of February, 1872.

Rizal's own recollections speak of June as being the date of the
formal beginning of his studies in Manila. First he went to San Juan
de Letran and took an examination in the Catechism. Then he went back
to Kalamba and in July passed into the Ateneo, possibly because of
the more favorable conditions under which the pupils were admitted,
receiving credit for work in arithmetic, which in the other school,
it is said, he would have had to restudy. This perhaps accounts for
the credit shown in the scholastic year 1871-72. Until his fourth
year Rizal was an externe, as those residing outside of the school
dormitory were then called. The Ateneo was very popular and so great
was the eagerness to enter it that the waiting list was long and two
or three years' delay was not at all uncommon.

There is a little uncertainty about this period; some writers have
gone so far as to give recollections of childhood incidents of which
Rizal was the hero while he lived in the house of Doctor Burgos,
but the family deny that he was ever in this home, and say that he
has been confused with his brother Paciano.

The greatest influence upon Rizal during this period was the sense of
Spanish judicial injustice in the legal persecutions of his mother,
who, though innocent, for two years was treated as a criminal and
held in prison.

Much of the story is not necessary for this narrative, but the mother's
troubles had their beginning in the attempted revenge of a lieutenant
of the Civil Guard, one of a body of Spaniards who were no credit
to the mother country and whom Rizal never lost opportunity in his
writings of painting in their true colors. This official had been in
the habit of having his horse fed at the Mercado home when he visited
their town from his station in Biñan, but once there was a scarcity
of fodder and Mr. Mercado insisted that his own stock was entitled
to care before he could extend hospitality to strangers. This the
official bitterly resented. His opportunity for revenge soon came, and
was not overlooked. A disagreement between José Alberto, the mother's
brother in Biñan, and his wife, also his cousin, to whom he had been
married when they were both quite young, led to sensational charges
which a discreet officer would have investigated and would assuredly
have then realized to be unfounded. Instead the lieutenant accepted
the most ridiculous statements, brought charges of attempted murder
against Alberto and his sister, Mrs. Rizal, and evidently figured
that he would be able to extort money from the rich man and gratify
his revenge at the same time.

Now comes a disgruntled judge, who had not received the attention at
the Mercado home which he thought his dignity demanded. Out of revenge
he ordered Mrs. Rizal to be conducted at once to the provincial prison,
not in the usual way by boat, but, to cause her greater annoyance,
afoot around the lake. It was a long journey from Kalamba to Santa
Cruz, and the first evening the guard and his prisoner came to
a village where there was a festival in progress. Mrs. Rizal was
well known and was welcomed in the home of one of the prominent
families. The festivities were at their height when the judge, who
had been on horseback and so had reached the town earlier, heard that
the prisoner, instead of being in the village calaboose, was a guest
of honor and apparently not suffering the annoyance to which he had
intended to subject her. He strode to the house, and, not content to
knock, broke in the door, splintered his cane on the poor constable's
head, and then exhausted himself beating the owner of the house.

These proceedings were revealed in a charge of prejudice which
Mrs. Rizal's lawyers urged against the judge who at the same time
was the one who decided the case and also the prosecutor. The Supreme
Court agreed that her contention was correct and directed that she be
discharged from custody. To this order the judge paid due respect and
ordered her release, but he said that the accusation of unfairness
against him was contempt of court, and gave her a longer sentence
under this charge than the previous one from which she had just been
absolved. After some delay the Supreme Court heard of this affair and
decided that the judge was right. But, because Mrs. Rizal had been
longer in prison awaiting trial than the sentence, they dated back
her imprisonment, and again ordered her release. Here the record
gets a little confused because it is concerned with a story that
her brother had sixteen thousand pesos concealed in his cell, and
everybody, from the Supreme Court down, seemed interested in trying
to locate the money.

While the officials were looking for his sack of gold, Alberto
gave a power of attorney to an overintelligent lawyer who worded
his authority so that it gave him the right to do everything
which his principal himself could have done "personally, legally
and ecclesiastically." From some source outside, but not from the
brother, the attorney heard that Mrs. Rizal had had money belonging
to Alberto, for in the extensive sugar-purchasing business which she
carried on she handled large sums and frequently borrowed as much as
five thousand pesos from this brother. Anxious to get his hands on
money, he instituted a charge of theft against her, under his power of
attorney and acting in the name of his principal. Mrs. Rizal's attorney
demurred to such a charge being made without the man who had lent the
money being at all consulted, and held that a power of attorney did
not warrant such an action. In time the intelligent Supreme Court
heard this case and decided that it should go to trial; but later,
when the attorney, acting for his principal, wanted to testify for him
under the power of attorney, they seem to have reached their limit,
for they disapproved of that proposal.

Anyone who cares to know just how ridiculous and inconsistent the
judicial system of the Philippines then was would do well to try to
unravel the mixed details of the half dozen charges, ranging from
cruelty through theft to murder, which were made against Mrs. Rizal
without a shadow of evidence. One case was trumped up as soon as
another was finished, and possibly the affair would have dragged on
till the end of the Spanish administration had not her little daughter
danced before the Governor-General once when he was traveling through
the country, won his approval, and when he asked what favor he could do
for her, presented a petition for her mother's release. In this way,
which recalls the customs of primitive nations, Mrs. Rizal finally
was enabled to return to her home.

Doctor Rizal tells us that it was then that he first began to lose
confidence in mankind. A story of a school companion, that when
Rizal recalled this incident the red came into his eyes, probably
has about the same foundation as the frequent stories of his weeping
with emotion upon other people's shoulders when advised of momentous
changes in his life. Doctor Rizal did not have these Spanish ways,
and the narrators are merely speaking of what other Spaniards would
have done, for self-restraint and freedom from exhibitions of emotion
were among his most prominent characteristics.

Some time during Rizal's early years of school came his first success
in painting. It was the occasion of a festival in Kalamba; just at
the last moment an important banner was accidentally damaged and there
was not time to send to Manila for another. A hasty consultation was
held among the village authorities, and one councilman suggested that
José Rizal had shown considerable skill with the brush and possibly he
could paint something that would pass. The gobernadorcillo proceeded to
the lad's home and explained the need. Rizal promptly went to work,
under the official's direction, and speedily produced a painting
which the delighted municipal executive declared was better than the
expensive banner bought in Manila. The achievement was explained to
all the participants in the festival and young José was the hero of
the occasion.

During intervals of school work Rizal found time to continue his
modeling in clay which he procured from the brickyard of a cousin at
San Pedro Macati.

Rizal's uncle, José Alberto, had played a considerable part in his
political education. He was influential with the Regency in Spain,
which succeeded Queen Isabel when that sovereign became too malodorous
to be longer tolerated, and he was the personal friend of the Regent,
General Prim, whose motto, "More liberal today than yesterday, more
liberal tomorrow than today," he was fond of quoting. He was present in
Madrid at the time of General Prim's assassination and often told of
how this wise patriot, recognizing the unpreparedness of the Spanish
people for a republic, opposed the efforts for what would, he knew,
result in as disastrous a failure as had been France's first effort,
and how he lost his life through his desire to follow the safer
course of proceeding gradually through the preparatory stage of a
constitutional monarchy. Alberto was made by him a Knight of the Order
of Carlos III, and, after Prim's death, was created by King Amadeo a
Knight Commander, the step higher in the Order of Isabel the Catholic.

Events proved Prim's wisdom, as Alberto was careful to observe, for
King Amadeo was soon convinced of the unfitness of his people for even
a constitutional monarchy, told them so, resigned his throne, and bade
them farewell. Then came a republic marked by excesses such as even
the worst monarch had not committed; among them the dreadful massacre
of the members of the filibustering party on the steamer Virginius
in Cuba, which would have caused war with the United States had not
the Americans been deluded into the idea that they were dealing with
a sister republic. America and Switzerland had been the only nations
which had recognized Spain's new form of government. Prim sought an
alliance with America, for he claimed that Spain should be linked
with a country which would buy Spanish goods and to which Spain could
send her products. France, with whom the Bourbons wished to be allied,
was a competitor along Spain's own lines.

During the earlier disturbances in Spain a party of Carlists were
sent to the Philippine Islands; they were welcomed by the reactionary
Spaniards, for devotion to King Carlos had been their characteristic
ever since the days when Queen Isabel had taken the throne that in
their opinion belonged to the heir in the male line. Rizal frequently
makes mention of this disloyalty to the ruler of Spain on the part
of those who claimed to be most devoted Spaniards.

Along with the stories of these troubles which Rizal heard during his
school days in Manila were reports of how these exiles had established
themselves in foreign cities, Basa in Hongkong, Regidor in London,
and Tavera in Paris. At their homes in these cities they gave a warm
welcome to such Filipinos as traveled abroad and they were always ready
to act as guardians for Filipino students who wished to study in their
cities, Many availed themselves of these opportunities and it came to
be an ambition among those in the Islands to get an education which
they believed was better than that which Spain afforded. There was some
ground for such a belief, because many of the most prominent successful
men of Spanish and Philippine birth were men whose education had been
foreign. A well-known instance in Manila was the architect Roxas,
father of the present Alcalde of Manila, who learned his profession
in England and was almost the only notable builder in Manila during
his lifetime.

Paciano Rizal, José's elder brother, had retired from Manila on the
death of Doctor Burgos and devoted himself to farming; in some ways,
perhaps, his career suggested the character of Tasio, the philosopher
of "Noli Me Tangere." He was careful to see that his younger brother
was familiar with the liberal literature with which he had become
acquainted through Doctor Burgos.

The first foreign book read by Rizal, in a Spanish translation,
was Dumas's great novel, "The Count of Monte Cristo," and the story
of the wrongs suffered by the prisoner of the Château d'If recalled
the injustice done his mother. Then came the book which had greatest
influence upon the young man's career; this was a Spanish translation
of Jagor's "Travels in the Philippines," the observations of a German
naturalist who had visited the Islands some fifteen years before. This
latter book, among other comments, suggested that it was the fate of
the North American republic to develop and bring to their highest
prosperity the lands which Spain had conquered and Christianized
with sword and cross. Sooner or later, this German writer believed,
the Philippine Islands could no more escape this American influence
than had the countries on the mainland, and expressed the hope that
one day the Philippines would succumb to the same influence; he felt,
however, that it was desirable first for the Islanders to become better
able to meet the strong competition of the vigorous young people of the
New World, for under Spain the Philippines had dreamed away its past.

The exact title of the book is "Travels | in the | Philippines. |
By F. Jagor. | With numerous illustrations and a Map | London: |
Chapman and Hall, 193, Piccadilly. | 1875." The title of the Spanish
translation reads, "Viajes | por | Filipinas | de F. Jagor | Traducidos
del Alemán | por S. Vidal y Soler | Ingeniero de Montes | Edición
illustrada con numerosos grabados | Madrid: Imprenta, Estereopidea
y Galvanoplastia de Ariban y Ca. | (Sucesores de Rivadencyra) |
Impresores de Camara de S. M. | Calle del Duque de Osuna, núm 3. 1875,"
The following extract from the book will show how marvelously the
author anticipated events that have now become history:

"With the altered condition of things, however, all this has
disappeared. The colony can no longer be kept secluded from the
world. Every facility afforded for commercial intercourse is a blow
to the old system, and a great step made in the direction of broad
and liberal reforms. The more foreign capital and foreign ideas and
customs are introduced, increasing the prosperity, enlightenment,
and self-esteem of the population, the more impatiently will the
existing evils be endured.

England can and does open her possessions unconcernedly to the
world. The British colonies are united to the mother country by
the bond of mutual advantage, viz., the produce of raw material by
means of English capital, and the exchange of the same for English
manufactures. The wealth of England is so great, the organization of
her commerce with the world so complete, that nearly all the foreigners
even in the British possessions are for the most part agents for
English business houses, which would scarcely be affected, at least
to any marked extent, by a political dismemberment. It is entirely
different with Spain, which possesses the colony as an inherited
property, and without the power of turning it to any useful account.

Government monopolies rigorously maintained, insolent disregard and
neglect of the half-castes and powerful creoles, and the example
of the United States, were the chief reasons of the downfall of the
American possessions. The same causes threaten ruin to the Philippines;
but of the monopolies I have said enough.

Half-castes and creoles, it is true are not, as they formerly were
in America, excluded from all orificial appointments; but they feel
deeply hurt and injured through the crowds of place-hunters which
the frequent changes of Ministers send to Manilla. The influence,
also, of the American element is at least visible on the horizon,
and will be more noticeable when the relations increase between the
two countries. At present they are very slender. The trade in the
meantime follows in its old channels to England and to the Atlantic
ports of the United States. Nevertheless, whoever desires to form an
opinion upon the future history of the Philippines, must not consider
simply their relations to Spain, but must have regard to the prodigious
changes which a few decades produce on either side of our planet.

For the first time in the history of the world the mighty powers
on both sides of the ocean have commenced to enter upon a direct
intercourse with one another--Russia, which alone is larger than
any two other parts of the earth; China, which contains within its
own boundaries a third of the population of the world; and America,
with ground under cultivation nearly sufficient to feed treble the
total population of the earth. Russia's further rôle in the Pacific
Ocean is not to be estimated at present.

The trade between the two other great powers will therefore be
presumably all the heavier, as the rectification of the pressing need
of human labour on the one side, and of the corresponding overplus
on the other, will fall to them.

"The world of the ancients was confined to the shores of the
Mediterranean; and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans sufficed at one
time for our traffic. When first the shores of the Pacific re-echoed
with the sounds of active commerce, the trade of the world and
the history of the world may be really said to have begun. A start
in that direction has been made; whereas not so very long ago the
immense ocean was one wide waste of waters, traversed from both points
only once a year. From 1603 to 1769 scarcely a ship had ever visited
California, that wonderful country which, twenty-five years ago, with
the exception of a few places on the coast, was an unknown wilderness,
but which is now covered with flourishing and prosperous towns and
cities, divided from sea to sea by a railway, and its capital already
ranking the third of the seaports of the Union; even at this early
stage of its existence a central point of the world's commerce, and
apparently destined, by the proposed junction of the great oceans,
to play a most important part in the future.

In proportion as the navigation of the west coast of America
extends the influence of the American element over the South Sea,
the captivating, magic power which the great republic exercises over
the Spanish colonies[1] will not fail to make itself felt also in the
Philippines. The Americans are evidently destined to bring to a full
development the germs originated by the Spaniards. As conquerors of
modern times, they pursue their road to victory with the assistance
of the pioneer's axe and plough, representing an age of peace and
commercial prosperity in contrast to that bygone and chivalrous age
whose champions were upheld by the cross and protected by the sword.

A considerable portion of Spanish America already belongs to the
United States, and has since attained an importance which could not
possibly have been anticipated either under the Spanish Government
or during the anarchy which followed. With regard to permanence,
the Spanish system cannot for a moment be compared with that of
America. While each of the colonies, in order to favour a privileged
class by immediate gains, exhausted still more the already enfeebled
population of the metropolis by the withdrawal of the best of its
ability, America, on the contrary, has attracted to itself from all
countries the most energetic element, which, once on its soil and,
freed from all fetters, restlessly progressing, has extended its power
and influence still further and further. The Philippines will escape
the action of the two great neighbouring powers all the less for the
fact that neither they nor their metropolis find their condition of
a stable and well-balanced nature.

It seems to be desirable for the natives that the above-mentioned
views should not speedily become accomplished facts, because their
education and training hitherto have not been of a nature to prepare
them successfully to compete with either of the other two energetic,
creative, and progressive nations. They have, in truth, dreamed away
their best days."

This prophecy of Jagor's made a deep impression upon Rizal and
seems to furnish the explanation of his life work. Henceforth it was
his ambition to arouse his countrymen to prepare themselves for a
freer state. He dedicated himself to the work which Doctor Jagor had
indicated as necessary. It seems beyond question that Doctor Rizal,
as early as 1876, believed that America would sometime come to the
Philippines, and wished to prepare his countrymen for the changed
conditions that would then have to be met. Many little incidents
in his later life confirm this view: his eagerness to buy expensive
books on the United States, such as his early purchase in Barcelona
of two different "Lives of the Presidents of the United States"; his
study of the country in his travel across it from San Francisco to
New York; the reference in "The Philippines in a Hundred Years"; and
the studies of the English Revolution and other Anglo-Saxon influences
which culminated in the foundation of the United States of America.

Besides the interest he took in clay modeling, to which reference
has already been made, Rizal was expert in carving. When first
in the Ateneo he had carved an image of the Virgin of such grace
and beauty that one of the Fathers asked him to try an image of the
Sacred Heart. Rizal complied, and produced the carving that played so
important a part in his future life. The Jesuit Father had intended to
take the image with him to Spain, but in some way it was left behind
and the schoolboys put it up on the door of their dormitory. There it
remained for nearly twenty years, constantly reminding the many lads
who passed in and out of the one who teachers and pupils alike agreed
was the greatest of all their number, for Rizal during these years was
the schoolboy hero of the Ateneo, and from the Ateneo came the men who
were most largely concerned in making the New Philippines. The image
itself is of batikulin, an easily carved wood, and shows considerable
skill when one remembers that an ordinary pocketknife was the simple
instrument used in its manufacture. It was recalled to Rizal's memory
when he visited the Ateneo upon his first return from Spain and was
forbidden the house by the Jesuits because of his alleged apostasy,
and again in the chapel of Fort Santiago, where it played an important
part in what was called his conversion.

The proficiency he attained in the art of clay modeling is evidenced by
many of the examples illustrated in this volume. They not only indicate
an astonishing versatility, but they reveal his very characteristic
method of working--a characteristic based on his constant desire
to adapt the best things he found abroad to the conditions of his
own country. The same characteristic appears also in most of his
literary work, and in it there is no servile imitation; it is careful
and studied selection, adaptation and combination. For example, the
composition of a steel engraving in a French art journal suggested
his model in clay of a Philippine wild boar; the head of the subject
in a painting in the Luxembourg Gallery and the rest of a figure in
an engraving in a newspaper are combined in a statuette he modeled
in Brussels and sent, in May, 1890, to Valentina Ventura in place
of a letter; a clipping from a newspaper cut is also adapted for
his model of "The Vengeance of the Harem"; and as evidence of his
facility of expressing himself in this medium, his clay modeling of
a Dapitan woman may be cited. One day while in exile he saw a native
woman clearing up the street in front of her home preparatory to
a festival; the movements and the attitudes of the figure were so
thoroughly typical and so impressed themselves on his mind that he
worked out this statuette from memory.

In a literary way Rizal's first pretentious effort was a melodrama in
one act and in verse, entitled "Junta al Pasig" (Beside the Pasig),
a play in honor of the Virgin, which was given in the Ateneo to the
great edification of a considerable audience, who were enthusiastic
in their praise and hearty in their applause, but the young author
neither saw the play nor paid any attention to the manner of its
reception, for he was downstairs, intent on his own diversions and
heedless of what was going on above.

Thursday was the school holiday in those days, and Rizal usually spent
the time at the Convent of La Concordia, where his youngest sister,
Soledad, was a boarder. He was a great friend of the little one
and a welcome visitor in the Convent; he used to draw pictures for
her edification, sometimes teasing her by making her own portrait,
to which he gave exaggerated ears to indicate her curiosity. Then he
wrote short satirical skits, such as the following, which in English
doggerel quite matches its Spanish original:

"The girls of Concordia College
Go dressed in the latest of styles--
Bangs high on their foreheads for knowledge--
But hungry their grins and their smiles!"

Some of these girls made an impression upon José, and one of his diary
entries of this time tells of his rude awakening when a girl, some
years his elder, who had laughingly accepted his boyish adoration,
informed him that she was to marry a relative of his, and he speaks
of the heart-pang with which he watched the carromata that carried
her from his sight to her wedding.

José was a great reader, and the newspapers were giving much attention
to the World's Fair in Philadelphia which commemorated the first
centennial of American independence, and published numerous cuts
illustrating various interesting phases of American life. Possibly
as a reaction from the former disparagement of things American, the
sentiment in the Philippines was then very friendly. There was one
long account of the presentation of a Spanish banner to a Spanish
commission in Philadelphia, and the newspapers, in speaking of the
wonderful progress which the United States had made, recalled the
early Spanish alliance and referred to the fact that, had it not been
for the discoveries of the Spaniards, their new land would not have
been known to Europe.

Rizal during his last two years in the Ateneo was a boarder. Throughout
his entire course he had been the winner of most of the prizes. Upon
receiving his Bachelor of Arts diploma he entered the University of
Santo Tomás; in the first year he studied the course in philosophy
and in the second year began to specialize in medicine.

The Ateneo course of study was a good deal like that of our present
high school, though not so thorough nor so advanced. Still, the method
of instruction which has made Jesuit education notable in all parts
of the world carried on the good work which the mother's training
had begun. The system required the explanation of the morrow's
lesson, questioning on the lesson of the day and a review of the
previous day's work. This, with the attention given to the classics,
developed and quickened faculties which gave Rizal a remarkable power
of assimilating knowledge of all kinds for future use.

The story is told that Rizal was undecided as to his career, and wrote
to the rector of the Ateneo for advice; but the Jesuit was then in
the interior of Mindanao, and by the time the answer, suggesting that
he should devote himself to agriculture, was received, he had already
made his choice. However, Rizal did continue the study of agriculture,
besides specializing in medicine, carrying on double work as he took
the course in the Ateneo which led to the degree of land surveyor and
agricultural expert. This work was completed before he had reached
the age fixed by law, so that he could not then receive his diploma,
which was not delivered to him until he had attained the age of
twenty-one years.

In the "Life" of Rizal published in Barcelona after his death a
brilliant picture is painted of how Rizal might have followed the
advice of the rector of the Atenco, and have lived a long, useful
and honorable life as a farmer and gobernadorcillo of his home town,
respected by the Spaniards, looked up to by his countrymen and filling
an humble but safe lot in life. Today one can hardly feel that such
a career would have been suited to the man or regret that events took
the course they did.

Poetry was highly esteemed in the Ateneo, and Rizal frequently made
essays in verse, often carrying his compositions to Kalamba for his
mother's criticisms and suggestions. The writings of the Spanish poet
Zorilla were making a deep impression upon him at this time, and while
his schoolmates seemed to have been more interested in their warlike
features, José appears to have gained from them an understanding of how
Zorilla sought to restore the Spanish people to their former dignity,
rousing their pride through recalling the heroic events in their past
history. Some of the passages in the melodrama, "Junta al Pasig,"
already described, were evidently influenced by his study of Zorilla;
the fierce denunciation of Spain which is there put in the mouth of
Satan expresses, no doubt, the real sentiments of Rizal.

In 1877 a society known as the Liceo Literario-Artistica (Lyceum of
Art and Literature) offered a prize for the best poem by a native. The
winner was Rizal with the following verses, "Al Juventud Filipino"
(To the Philippine Youth). The prize was a silver pen, feather-shaped
and with a gold ribbon running through it.

To the Philippine Youth

Theme: "Growth"

(Translation by Charles Derbyshire)

Hold high the brow serene,
O youth, where now you stand;
Let the bright sheen
Of your grace be seen,
Fair hope of my fatherland!

Come now, thou genius grand,
And bring down inspriation;
With thy mighty hand,
Swifter than the wind's volation,
Raise the eager mind to highter station.

Come down with pleasing light
Of art and science to the fight,
O youth, and there untie
The chains that heavy lie,
Your spirit free to blight.

See how in flaming zone
Amid the shadows thrown,
The Spaniard's holy hand
A crown's resplendent band
Proffers to this Indian land.

Thou, who now wouldst rise
On wings of rich emprise,
Seeking from Olympian skies
Songs of sweetest strain,
Softer than ambrosial rain;

Thou, whose voice divine
Rivals Philomel's refrain,
And with varied line
Through the night benign
Frees mortality from pain;

Thou, who by sharp strife
Wakest thy mind to life;
And the memory bright
Of thy genius' light
Makest immortal in its strength;

And thou, in accents clear
of Phoebus, to Apells dear;
Or by the brush's magic art
Takest from nature's store a part,
To fix it on the simple canvas' length;

Go forth, and then the sacred fire
Of thy genius to the laurel may aspire;
To spread around the fame,
And in victory acclaim,
Through wider spheres the human name.

Day, O happy day,
Fair Filipinas, for thy land!
So bless the Power today
That places in thy way
This favor and this fortune grand.

The next competition at the Licco was in honor of the fourth centennial
of the death of Cervantes; it was open to both Filipinos and Spaniards,
and there was a dispute as to the winner of the prize. It is hard
to figure out just what really happened; the newspapers speak of
Rizal as winning the first prize, but his certificate says second,
and there seems to have been some sort of compromise by which a
Spaniard who was second was put at the head. Newspapers, of course,
were then closely censored, but the liberal La Oceania contains a
number of veiled allusions to medical poets, suggesting that for the
good of humanity they should not be permitted to waste their time in
verse-making. One reference quotes the title of Rizal's first poem in
saying that it was giving a word of advice "To the Philippine Youth,"
and there are other indications that for some considerable time the
outcome of this contest was a very live topic in the city of Manila.

Rizal's poem was an allegory, "The Council of the Gods"--"El consejo de
los Dioses." It was an exceedingly artistic appreciation of the chief
figure in Spanish literature. The rector of the Ateneo had assisted
his former student by securing for him needed books, and though
Rizal was at that time a student in Santo Tomás, the rivalries were
such that he was still ranked with the pupils of the Jesuits and his
success was a corresponding source of elation to the Ateneo pupils and
alumni. Some people have stated that Father Evaristo Arias, a notably
brilliant writer of the Dominicans, was a competitor, a version I once
published, but investigation shows that this was a mistake. However,
sentiment in the University against Rizal grew, until matters became
so unpleasant that he felt it time to follow the advice of Father
Burgos and continue his education outside of the Islands.

Just before this incident Rizal had been the victim of a brutal assault
in Kalamba; one night when he was passing the barracks of the Civil
Guard he noted in the darkness a large body, but did not recognize
who it was, and passed without any attention to it. It turned out
that the large body was a lieutenant of the Civil Guard, and, without
warning or word of any kind, he drew his sword and wounded Rizal in the
back. Rizal complained of this outrage to the authorities and tried
several times, without success, to see the Governor-General. Finally
he had to recognize that there was no redress for him. By May of 1882
Rizal had made up his mind to set sail for Europe, and his brother,
Paciano, equipped him with seven hundred pesos for the journey, while
his sister, Saturnina, intrusted to him a valuable diamond ring which
might prove a resource in time of emergency.

José had gone to Kalamba to attend a festival there, when Mr. Hidalgo,
from Manila, notified him that his boat was ready to sail. The
telegram, asking his immediate return to the city, was couched in
the form of advice of the condition of a patient, and the name of
the steamer, Salvadora, by a play on words, was used in the sense of
"May save her life." Rizal had previously requested of Mr. Ramirez,
of the Puerta del Sol store, letters of introduction to an Englishman,
formerly in the Philippines, who was then living in Paris. He said
nothing more of his intentions, but on his last night in the city,
with his younger sister as companion, he drove all through the walled
city and its suburbs, changing horses twice in the five hours of
his farewell. The next morning he embarked on the steamer, and there
yet remains the sketch which he made of his last view of the city,
showing its waterfront as it appeared from the departing steamer. To
leave town it was necessary to have a passport; his was in the name
of José Mercado, and had been secured by a distant relative of his
who lived in the Santa Cruz district.

After five days' journey the little steamer reached the English colony
of Singapore. There Rizal saw a modern city for the first time. He was
intensely interested in the improvements. Especially did the assured
position of the natives, confident in their rights and not fearful of
the authorities, arouse his admiration. Great was the contrast between
the fear of their rulers shown by the Filipinos and the confidence
which the natives of Singapore seemed to have in their government.

At Singapore, Rizal transferred to a French mail Steamer and seems to
have had an interesting time making himself understood on board. He
had studied some French in his Ateneo course, writing an ode which
gained honors, but when he attempted to speak the language he was
not successful in making Frenchmen understand him. So he resorted to
a mixed system of his own, sometimes using Latin words and making
the changes which regularly would have occurred, and when words
failed, making signs, and in extreme cases drawing pictures of what
he wanted. This versatility with the pencil, for many of his offhand
sketches had humorous touches that almost carried them into the cartoon
class, interested officers and passengers, so that the young student
had the freedom of the ship and a voyage far from tedious.

The passage of the Suez Canal, a glimpse of Egypt, Aden, where East and
West meet, and the Italian city of Naples, with its historic castle,
were the features of the trip which most impressed him.


The Period of Preparation

Rizal disembarked at Marseilles, saw a little of that famous port, and
then went by rail to Barcelona, crossing the Pyrenees, the desolate
ruggedness of which contrasted with the picturesque luxuriance
of his tropical home, and remained a day at the frontier town of
Port-Bou. The customary Spanish disregard of tourists compared very
unfavorably with the courteous attention which he had remarked on his
arrival at Marseilles, for the custom house officers on the Spanish
frontier rather reminded him of the class of employes found in Manila.

At Barcelona he met many who had been his schoolmates in the Ateneo
and others to whom he was known by name. It was the custom of the
Filipino students there to hold reunions every other Sunday at the
café, for their limited resources did not permit the daily visits
which were the Spanish custom. In honor of the new arrival a special
gathering occurred in a favorite café in Plaza de Catalonia. The
characteristics of the Spaniards and the features of Barcelona were
all described for Rizal's benefit, and he had to answer a host of
questions about the changes which had occurred in Manila. Most of his
answers were to the effect that old defects had not yet been remedied
nor incompetent officials supplanted, and he gave a rather hopeless
view of the future of their country. Somewhat in this gloomy mood,
he wrote home for a newly established Tagalog newspaper of Manila,
his views of "Love of country," an article not so optimistic as most
of his later writings.

In Barcelona he remained but a short time, long enough, however, to
see the historic sights around that city, which was established by
Hannibal, had numbered many noted Romans among its residents, and in
later days was the scene of the return of Columbus from his voyages in
the New World, bringing with him samples of Redskins, birds and other
novel products of the unknown country. Then there were the magnificent
boulevards, the handsome dwellings, the interest which the citizens
took in adorning their city and the pride in the results, and above
all, the disgust at all things Spanish and the loyalty to Catalonia,
rather than to the "mother-fatherland."

The Catalan was the most progressive type in Spain, but he had no
love for his compatriots, was ever complaining of their "mañana"
habits and of the evils that were bound to exist in a country where
Church and State were so inextricably intermingled. Many Catalans were
avowedly republicans. Signs might be seen on the outside of buildings
telling of the location of republican clubs, unpopular officials
were hooted in the streets, the newspapers were intemperate in their
criticism of the government, and a campaign was carried on openly
which aimed at changing from a monarchy to a democracy, without any
apparent molestation from the authorities. All these things impressed
the lad who had seen in his own country the most respectfully worded
complaints of unquestionable abuses treated as treason, bringing not
merely punishment, but opprobrium as well.

He, himself, in order to obtain a better education, had had to leave
his country stealthily like a fugitive from justice, and his family, to
save themselves from persecution, were compelled to profess ignorance
of his plans and movements. His name was entered in Santo Tomás at the
opening of the new term, with the fees paid, and Paciano had gone to
Manila pretending to be looking for this brother whom he had assisted
out of the country.

Early in the fall Rizal removed to Madrid and entered the Central
University there. His short residence in Barcelona was possibly for
the purpose of correcting the irregularity in his passport, for in
that town it would be easier to obtain a cedula, and with this his
way in the national University would be made smoother. He enrolled in
two courses, medicine, and literature and philosophy; besides these
he studied sculpture, drawing and art in San Carlos, and took private
lessons in languages from Mr. Hughes, a well-known instructor of the
city. With all these labors it is not strange that he did not mingle
largely in social life, and lack of funds and want of clothes, which
have been suggested as reasons for this, seem hardly adequate. José had
left Manila with some seven hundred pesos and a diamond ring. Besides,
he received funds from his father monthly, which were sent through
his cousin, Antonio Rivera, of Manila, for fear that the landlords
might revenge themselves upon their tenant for the slight which his
son had cast upon their university in deserting it for a Peninsular
institution. It was no easy task in those days for a lad from the
provinces to get out of the Islands for study abroad.

Rizal frequently attended the theater, choosing especially the higher
class dramas, occasionally went to a masked ball, played the lotteries
in small amounts but regularly, and for the rest devoted most of
his money to the purchase of books. The greater part of these were
second-hand, but he bought several standard works in good editions,
many with bindings de luxe. Among the books first purchased figure
a Spanish translation of the "Lives of the Presidents of the United
States," from Washington to Johnson, morocco bound, gilt-edged,
and illustrated with steel engravings--certainly an expensive book;
a "History of the English Revolution;" a comparison of the Romans
and the Teutons, and several other books which indicated interest in
the freer system of the Anglo-Saxons. Later, another "History of the
Presidents," to Cleveland, was added to his library.

The following lines, said to be addressed to his mother, were written
about this time, evidently during an attack of homesickness:

"You Ask Me for Verses"

(Translated by Charles Derbyshire)

You bid me now to strike the lyre,
That mute and torn so long has lain;
And yet I cannot wake the strain,
Nor will the Muse one note inspire!
Coldly it shakes in accents dire,
As if my soul itself to wring,
And when its sound seems but to fling
A jest at its own low lament;
So in sad isolation pent,
My soul can neither feel nor sing.

There was a time--ah, 'tis too true--
But that time long ago has past--
When upon me the Muse had cast
Indulgent smile and friendship's due;
But of that age now all too few
The thoughts that with me yet will stay;
As from the hours of festive play
There linger on mysterious notes,
And in our minds the memory floats
Of minstrelsy and music gay.

A plant I am, that scarcely grown,
Was torn from out its Eastern bed,
Where all around perfume is shed,
And life but as a dream is known;
The land that I can call my own,

By me forgotten ne'er to be,
Where trilling birds their song taught me,
And cascades with their ceaseless roar,
And all along the spreading shore
The murmurs of the sounding sea.

While yet in childhood's happy day,
I learned upon its sun to smile,
And in my breast there seemed the while
Seething volcanic fires to play.
A bard I was, and my wish alway
To call upon the fleeting wind,
With all the force of verse and mind:
"Go forth, and spread around its fame,
From zone to zone with glad acclaim,
And earth to heaven together bind!"

But it I left, and now no more--
Like a tree that is broken and sere--
My natal gods bring the echo clear
Of songs that in past times they bore;
Wide seas I cross'd to foreign shore,
With hope of change and other fate;
My folly was made clear too late,
For in the place of good I sought
The seas reveal'd unto me naught,
But made death's specter on me wait.

All these fond fancies that were mine,
All love, all feeling, all emprise,
Were left beneath the sunny skies,
Which o'er that flowery region shine;
So press no more that plea of thine,

For songs of love from out a heart
That coldly lies a thing apart;
Since now with tortur'd soul I haste
Unresting o'er the desert waste,
And lifeless gone is all my art.

In Madrid a number of young Filipinos were intense enthusiasts over
political agitation, and with the recklessness of youth, were careless
of what they said or how they said it, so long as it brought no danger
to them. A sort of Philippine social club had been organized by older
Filipinos and Spaniards interested in the Philippines, with the idea
of quietly assisting toward improved insular conditions, but it became
so radical under the influence of this younger majority, that its
conservative members were compelled to drop out and the club broke
up. The young men were constantly holding meetings to revive it, but
never arrived at any effective conclusions. Rizal was present at some
of these meetings and suggested that a good means of propaganda would
be a book telling the truth about Philippine conditions and illustrated
by Filipino artists. At first the project was severely criticised;
later a few conformed to the plan, and Rizal believed that his scheme
was in a fair way of accomplishment. At the meeting to discuss the
details, however, each member of the company wanted to write upon the
Filipino woman, and therest of the subjects scarcely interested any of
them. Rizal was disgusted with this trifling and dropped the affair,
nor did he ever again seem to take any very enthusiastic interest in
such popular movements. His more mature mind put him out of sympathy
with the younger men. Their admiration gave him great prestige, but
his popularity did not arise from comradeship, as he had but very
few intimates.

Early in his stay in Madrid, Rizal had come across a second-hand
copy, in two volumes, of a French novel, which he bought to improve
his knowledge of that language. It was Eugene Sue's "The Wandering
Jew," that work which transformed the France of the nineteenth
century. However one may agree or disagree with its teachings and
concede or dispute its literary merits, it cannot be denied that it
was the most powerful book in its effects on the century, surpassing
even Mrs. Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin," which is usually credited
with having hurried on the American Civil War and brought about
the termination of African slavery in the United States. The book,
he writes in his diary, affected him powerfully, not to tears, but
with a tremendous sympathy for the unfortunates that made him willing
to risk everything in their behalf. It seemed to him that such a
presentation of Philippine conditions would certainly arouse Spain,
but his modesty forbade his saying that he was going to write a book
like the French masterpiece. Still, from this time his recollections
of his youth and the stories which he could get from his companions
were written down and revised, till finally the half had been prepared
of what was finally the novel "Noli Me Tangere."

Through Spaniards who still remembered José's uncle, he joined a
lodge of Masons called the "Acacia." At this time few Filipinos in
Spain had joined the institution, and those were mostly men much more
mature than himself. Thus he met leaders of Spanish national life who
were men of state affairs and much more sedate, men with broader views
and more settled opinions than the irresponsible class with whom his
school companions were accustomed to associate. A distinction must
be made between the Masonry of this time and the much more popular
institution in which Filipinos later figured so largely when Professor
Miguel Morayta became head of the Grand Lodge which for a time was
a rival of that to which the "Acacia" owed allegiance, and finally
triumphed over it.

In 1884 Rizal had begun his studies in English; he had been studying
French during and since his voyage to Spain; Italian was acquired
apparently at a time when the exposition of Genoa had attracted Spanish
interest toward Italy, and largely through the reading of Italian
translations of works which he knew in other languages. German, too,
he had started to study, but had not advanced far with it. Thus Rizal
was preparing himself for the travels through Europe which he had
intended to make from the time when he first left his home, for he
well knew that it was only by knowing the language of a country that
it would be possible for him to study the people, see in what way
they differed from his own, and find out which of their customs and
what lessons from their history might be of advantage to the Filipinos.

A feature in Rizal's social life was a weekly visit to the home of
Don Pablo Ortigas y Reyes, a liberal Spaniard who had been Civil
Governor of Manila in General de La Torre's time. Here Filipino
students gathered, and were entertained by the charming daughter of
the home, Consuelo, who was the person to whom were dedicated the
verses of Rizal usually entitled "á la Senorita C. O. y R."

In Rizal's later days he found a regular relaxation in playing chess,
in which he was skilled, with the venerable ex-president of the
short-lived Spanish republic, Pi y Margal. This statesman was accused
of German tendencies because of his inclination toward Anglo-Saxon
safeguards for liberty, and was a champion of general education as
a preparation for a freer Spain.

Rizal usually was present on public occasions in Fillpino circles
and took a leading part in them, as, for example, when he delivered
the principal address at the banquet given by the Madrid Filipino
colony in honor of their artist countrymen, after Luna and Hidalgo
had won prizes in the Madrid National exposition. He was also at the
New Year's banquet when the students gathered in the restaurant to
bid farewell to the old and usher in the new year, and his was the
chief speech, summarizing the remarks of the others.

In 1885, having completed the second of his two courses, with his
credentials of licentiate in medicine and also in philosophy and
literature, Rizal made a trip through the country provinces to
study the Spanish peasant, for the rural people, he thought, being
agriculturists, would be most like the farmer folk of his native
land. Surely the Filipinos did not suffer in the comparison, for the
Spanish peasants had not greatly changed from the day when they were
so masterfully described by Cervantes. It seemed to Rizal almost like
being in Don Quixote's land, so many were the figures who might have
been the characters in the book.

The fall of '85 found Rizal in Paris, studying art, visiting the
various museums and associating with the Lunas, the Taveras and
other Filipino residents of the French capital, for there had been
a considerable colony in that city ever since the troubles of 1872
had driven the Tavera family into exile and they had made their home
in that city. In Paris a fourth of "Noli Me Tangere" was written,
and Rizal specialized in ophthalmology, devoting his attention to
those eye troubles that were most prevalent in the Philippines and
least understood. His mother's growing blindness made him covet the
skill which might enable him to restore her sight. So successfully
did he study that he became the favorite pupil of Doctor L. de
Weckert, the leading authority among the oculists of France, and
author of a three-volume standard work. Rizal next went to Germany,
having continued his studies in its language in the French capital,
and was present at Heidelberg on the five hundredth anniversary of
the foundation of the University.

Because he had no passport he could only attend lectures, but could
not regularly matriculate. He lived in one of the student boarding
houses, with a number of law students, and when he was proposed for
membership in the Chess Club he was registered in the Club books as
being a student of law like the men who proposed him. These Chess
Club gatherings were quite a feature of the town, being held in the
large saloons with several hundred people present, and the contests
of skill were eagerly watched by shrewd and competent judges. Rizal
was a clever player, and left something of a record among the experts.

The following lines were written by Rizal in a letter home while he
was a student in Germany:

To the Flowers of Heidelberg

(translation by Charles Derbyshire)

Go to my native land, go, foreign flowers,
Sown by the traveler on his way;
And there beneath its azure sky,
Where all of my affections lie;
There from the weary pilgrim say,
What faith is his in that land of ours!

Go there and tell how when the dawn,
Her early light diffusing,
Your petals first flung open wide;
His steps beside chill Neckar drawn,
You see him silent by your side,
Upon its Spring perennial musing.

Saw how when morning's light,
All your fragrance stealing,
Whispers to you as in mirth
Playful songs of love's delight,
He, too, murmurs his love's feeling
In the tongue he learned at birth.

That when the sun on Koenigstuhl's height
Pours out its golden flood,
And with its slowly warming light
Gives life vale and grove and wood,
He greets that sun, here only upraising,
Which in his native land is at its zenith blazing.

And tell there of that day he stood,
Near to a ruin'd castle gray,
By Neckar's banks, or shady wood,
And pluck'd you from beside the way;
Tell, too, the tale to you addressed,
And how with tender care,
Your bending leaves he press'd
'Twixt pages of some volume rare.

Bear then, O flowers, love's message bear;
My love to all the lov'd ones there,
Peace to my country--fruitful land--
Faith whereon its sons may stand,
And virtue for its daughters' care;
All those belovéd creatures greet,
That still around home's altar meet.

And when you come unto its shore,
This kiss I now on you bestow,
Fling where the winged breezes blow;
That borne on them it may hover o'er
All that I love, esteem, and adore.

But though, O flowers, you come unto that land,
And still perchance your colors hold;
So far from this heroic strand,
Whose soil first bade your life unfold,
Still here your fragrance will expand;
Your soul that never quits the earth
Whose light smiled on you at your birth.

From Heidelberg he went to Leipzig, then famous for the new studies
in psychology which were making the science of the mind almost as
exact as that of the body, and became interested in the comparison
of race characteristics as influenced by environment, history and
language. This probably accounts for the advanced views held by Rizal,
who was thoroughly abreast of the new psychology. These ideas were
since popularized in America largely through Professor Hugo Munsterberg
of Harvard University, who was a fellow-student of Rizal at Heidelberg
and also had been at Leipzig.

A little later Rizal went to Berlin and there became acquainted with
a number of men who had studied the Philippines and knew it as none
whom he had ever met previously. Chief among these was Doctor Jagor,
the author of the book which ten years before had inspired in him his
life purpose of preparing his people for the time when America should
come to the Philippines. Then there was Doctor Rudolf Virchow, head of
the Anthropological Society and one of the greatest scientists in the
world. Virchow was of intensely democratic ideals, he was a statesman
as well as a scientist, and the interest of the young student in the
history of his country and in everything else which concerned it,
and his sincere earnestness, so intelligently directed toward helping
his country, made Rizal at once a prime favorite. Under Virchow's
sponsorship he became a member of the Berlin Anthropological Society.

Rizal lived in the third floor of a corner lodging house not very
far from the University; in this room he spent much of his time,
putting the finishing touches to what he had previously written of
his novel, and there he wrote the latter half of "Noli Me Tangere"
The German influence, and absence from the Philippines for so long a
time, had modified his early radical views, and the book had now become
less an effort to arouse the Spanish sense of justice than a means of
education for Filipinos by pointing out their shortcomings. Perhaps a
Spanish school history which he had read in Madrid deserves a part of
the credit for this changed point of view, since in that the author,
treating of Spain's early misfortunes, brings out the fact that
misgovernment may be due quite as much to the hypocrisy, servility
and undeserving character of the people as it is to the corruption,
tyranny and cruelty of the rulers.

The printer of "Noli Me Tangere" lived in a neighboring street, and,
like most printers in Germany, worked for a very moderate compensation,
so that the volume of over four hundred pages cost less than a fourth
of what it would have done in England, or one half of what it would
cost in economical Spain. Yet even at so modest a price, Rizal was
delayed in the publication until one fortunate morning he received a
visit from a countryman, Doctor Maximo Viola, who invited him to take a
pedestrian trip. Rizal responded that his interests kept him in Berlin
at that time as he was awaiting funds from home with which to publish
a book he had just completed, and showed him the manuscript. Doctor
Viola was much interested and offered to use the money he had put
aside for the trip to help pay the publisher. So the work went ahead,
and when the delayed remittance from his family arrived, Rizal repaid
the obligation. Then the two sallied forth on their trip.

After a considerable tour of the historic spots and scenic places
in Germany, they arrived at Dresden, where Doctor Rizal was warmly
greeted by Doctor A. B. Meyer, the Director of the Royal Saxony
Ethnographical Institute. He was an authority upon Philippine matters,
for some years before he had visited the Islands to make a study of
the people. With a countryman resident in the Philippines, Doctor
Meyer made careful and thorough scientific investigations, and his
conclusions were more favorable to the Filipinos than the published
views of many of the unscientific Spanish observers.

In the Museum of Art at Dresden, Rizal saw a painting of "Prometheus
Bound," which recalled to him a representation of the same idea
in a French gallery, and from memory he modeled this figure, which
especially appealed to him as being typical of his country.

In Austrian territory he first visited Doctor Ferdinand Blumentritt,
whom Rizal had known by reputation for many years and with whom he had
long corresponded. The two friends stayed at the Hotel Roderkrebs,
but were guests at the table of the Austrian professor, whose wife
gave them appetizing demonstrations of the characteristic cookery
of Hungary. During Rizal's stay he was very much interested in a
gathering of tourists, arranged to make known the beauties of that
picturesque region, sometimes called the Austrian Switzerland, and
he delivered an address upon this occasion. It is noteworthy that
the present interest in attracting tourists to the Philippines, as
an economic benefit to the country, was anticipated by Doctor Rizal
and that he was always looking up methods used in foreign countries
for building up tourists' travel.

One day, while the visitors were discussing Philippine matters with
their host, Doctor Rizal made an off hand sketch of Doctor Blumentritt,
on a scrap of paper which happened to be at hand, so characteristic
that it serves as an excellent portrait, and it has been preserved
among the Rizal relics which Doctor Blumentritt had treasured of the
friend for whom he had so much respect and affection.

With a letter of introduction to a friend of Doctor Blumentritt in
Vienna, Nordenfels, the greatest of Austrian novelists, Doctor Viola
and Doctor Rizal went on to the capital, where they were entertained
by the Concordia Club. So favorable was the impression that Rizal
made upon Mr. Nordenfels that an answer was written to the note of
introduction, thanking the professor for having brought to his notice
a person whom he had found so companionable and whose genius he so
much admired. Nordenfels had been interested in Spanish subjects,
and was able to discuss intelligently the peculiar development of
Castilian civilization and the politics of the Spanish metropolis as
they affected the overseas possessions.

After having seen Rome and a little more of Italy, they embarked for
the Philippines, again on the French mail, from Marseilles, coming
by way of Saigon, where a rice steamer was taken for Manila.


The Period of Propaganda

The city had not altered much during Rizal's seven years of
absence. The condition of the Binondo pavement, with the same holes
in the road which Rizal claimed he remembered as a schoolboy, was
unchanged, and this recalls the experience of Ybarra in "Noli Me
Tangere" on his homecoming after a like period of absence.

Doctor Rizal at once went to his home in Kalamba. His first operation
in the Philippines relieved the blindness of his mother, by the removal
of a double cataract, and thus the object of his special study in
Paris was accomplished. This and other like successes gave the young
oculist a fame which brought patients from all parts of Luzon; and,
though his charges were moderate, during his seven months' stay
in the Islands Doctor Rizal accumulated over five thousand pesos,
besides a number of diamonds which he had bought as a secure way of
carrying funds, mindful of the help that the ring had been with which
he had first started from the Philippines.

Shortly after his arrival, Governor-General Terrero summoned Rizal by
telegraph to Malacañan from Kalamba. The interview proved to be due
to the interest in the author of "Noli Me Tangere" and a curiosity
to read the novel, arising from the copious extracts with which the
Manila censors had submitted an unfavorable opinion when asking for
the prohibition of the book. The recommendation of the censor was
disregarded, and General Terrero, fearful that Rizal might be molested
by some of the many persons who would feel themselves aggrieved by his
plain picturing of undesirable classes in the Philippines, gave him for
a bodyguard a young Spanish lieutenant, José Taviel de Andrade. The
young men soon became fast friends, as they had artistic and other
tastes in common. Once they climbed Mr. Makiling, near Kalamba,
and placed there, after the European custom, a flag to show that
they had reached the summit. This act was at first misrepresented by
the enemies of Rizal as planting a German banner, for they started
a story that he had taken possession of the Islands in the name of
the country where he was educated, which was just then in unfriendly
relations with Spain over the question of the ill treatment of the
Protestant missionaries in the Caroline Islands. This same story was
repeated after the American occupation with the variation that Rizal,
as the supreme chief and originator of the ideas of the Katipunan
(which in fact he was not--he was even opposed to the society as it
existed in his time), had placed there a Filipino banner, in token
that the Islands intended to reassume the independent condition of
which the Spanish had dispossessed them.

"Noli Me Tangere" circulated first among Doctor Rizal's relatives;
on one occasion a cousin made a special trip to Kalamba and took
the author to task for having caricatured her in the character of
Doña Victorina. Rizal made no denial, but merely suggested that the
book was a mirror of Philippine life, with types that unquestionably
existed in the country, and that if anybody recognized one of the
characters as picturing himself or herself, that person would do well
to correct the faults which therein appeared ridiculous.

A somewhat liberal administration was now governing the Philippines,
and efforts were being made to correct the more glaring abuses in
the social conditions. One of these reforms proposed that the larger
estates should bear their share of the taxes, which it was believed
they were then escaping to a great extent. Requests were made of the
municipal government of Kalamba, among other towns, for a statement
of the relation that the big Dominican hacienda bore to the town,
what increase or decrease there might have been in the income of the
estate, and what taxes the proprietors were paying compared with the
revenue their place afforded.

Rizal interested the people of the community to gather reliable


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