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I trust that by these considerations I have demonstrated that neither did I found a society for revolutionary purposes, nor have I taken part since in others, nor have I been concerned in the rebellion, but that on the contrary I have been opposed to it, as the making public of a private conversation has proven.

Fort Santiago, Dec. 26, 1896.



The remarks about the rebellion are from a photographic copy of the pencil notes used by Rizal for his brief speech. The manuscript is now in the possession of Sr. Eduardo Lete, of Saragossa, Spain.

I had no notice at all of what was being planned until the first or second of July, in 1896, when Pio Valenzuela came to see me, saying that an uprising was being arranged. I told him that it was absurd, etc., etc. and he answered me that they could bear no more. I advised him that they should have patience, etc., etc. He added then that he had been sent because they had compassion of my life and that probably it would compromise me. I replied that they should have patience and that if anything happened to me I would then prove my innocence. "Besides, said I, don't consider me but our country which is the one that will suffer." I went on to show how absurd was the movement.--This later Pio Valenzuela testified.--He did not tell me that my name was being used, neither did he suggest that I was its chief, nor anything of that sort.

Those who testify that I am the chief (which I do not know nor do I know of having ever treated with them), what proofs do they present of my having accepted this chiefship or that I was in relations with them or with their society? Either they have made use of my name for their own purposes or they have been deceived by others who have. Where is the chief who dictates no order nor makes any arrangement, who is not consulted in any way about so important an enterprise until the last moment, and then, when he decides against it, is disobeyed? Since the seventh of July of 1892 I have entirely ceased political activity. It seems some have wished to avail themselves of my name for their own ends.

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!"

From "Mi Piden Versos" (1882), verses from Madrid for his mother.

One by one they have passed on, All I loved and moved among; Dead or married--from me gone, For all I place my heart upon By fate adverse are stung.

Go thou too, O Muse, depart; Other regions fairer find; For my land but offers art For the laurel, chains that bind, For a temple, prisons blind.

But before thou leavest me, speak; Tell me with thy voice sublime, Thou couldst ever from me seek A song of sorrow for the weak, Defiance to the tyrant's crime.

From "A Mi Musa" (1884), requested by a young lady of Madrid.


[1] An encomendero was a Spanish soldier who as a reward for faithful service was set over a district with power to collect tribute and the duty of providing the people with legal protection and religious instruction. This arrangement is memorable in early Philippine annals chiefly for the flagrant abuses that appear to have characterized it.

[2] No official was allowed to leave the Islands at the expiration of his term of office until his successor or a council appointed by the sovereign inquired into all the acts of his administration and approved them. (This residencia was a fertile source of recrimination and retaliation, so the author quite aptly refers to it a little further on as "the ancient show of justice."

[3] The penal code was promulgated in the Islands by Royal Order of September 4, 1884.

[4] Cervantes' "Don Quijote," Part II, chapter 47.

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