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The air is full of empathetic good feeling; currents of brotherhood fly in every direction; generous souls are listening and, therefore, I do not fear for my humble person nor doubt your benevolence. Men of heart, you only seek hearts, and from the heights where noble emotions dwell, you single out nothing that is petty mean-spiritedness.
You see the whole, you judge the cause and hold out your hand to one such as myself, who wishes to join you in one single thought, one sole aspiration: the glory of genius, the splendor of the country. Good, very good; applause. In the history of nations there are names that by themselves signify an achievement, that bring to mind affections and greatness.
Names which, like magic formulas, evoke pleasant and smiling ideas; names which become something like a pact, a symbol of peace, a bond of love between nations. The names of Luna and Hidalgo belong among them - their glories illuminate two ends of the globe: the East and the West, Espaa and Filipinas.
Luna and Hidalgo are as much Spanish glories as they are Filipino. Just as they were born in the Philippines, they could have been born in Spain, because genius has no country, genius blossoms everywhere, genius is like the light, the air, it is the heritage of all - cosmopolitan 2 like space, like life and like God.
Applause "The patriarchal era of Filipinas is passing. The illustrious achievements of her children are no longer consummated within the home. The Oriental chrysalis is leaving the cocoon. The tomorrow of a long day is announced for those regions in brilliant tints and rosy dawns, and that race - lethargic during the historical night while the sun lit up other continents - awakens again, powerfully moved by the electric shock produced in it by contact with the Western peoples, and it clamors for light, life, the civilization that time once gave as its legacy, confirming in this way the eternal laws of continual evolution, of transformation, of periodicity, of progress.
To you Filipinas owes the beauty of the diamonds that stud her crown. She has given the stones, Europe has polished them. And we contemplate proudly, you your work, ours the flame, the breath, the materials provided. Nature sweet, tranquil and melancholy in her constant, static manifestation. Nature that leaves her imprint on everything she creates and produces. Her children take that imprint wherever they go.
If you do not believe me, examine their character, their work, and no matter how little you may know that nation, you will see them act in everything as forming their science, as the soul that presides over all, as the spring in the mechanism, as the substantial form, as the raw material. It is impossible not to reflect what is felt in oneself, it is impossible to be one thing and to do another; the contradictions are only apparent, they are only paradoxes.
In The Spoliarium, through that canvas which is not mute, one hears the noise of the crowd, the shouts of the slaves, the metallic clanking of the dead bodies' armor, the sobbing of orphans, the murmured prayers, with as much vigor and realism as one hears the deafening noise of thunder amid the crashing sound of a waterfall or the awesome, terrifying shaking of an earthquake. The same nature that births such phenomena also intervenes in those brushstrokes. In contrast, in Hidalgo's painting beats the purest sentiment, the ideal expression of mournfulness, beauty and vulnerability, the victims of brute force, and it is because Hidalgo was born beneath the brilliant azure of that sky, the lullaby of its sea breezes, amid the serenity of its lakes, the poetry of its valleys and the majestic harmony of its hills and mountains.
This is why Hidalgo is all light, color, harmony, sentiment, purity, as Filipinas is in her moonlit nights, in her quiet days, with her horizon that invites to meditation, cradle gently rocking the infinite. And both of them, despite being so different, at least in appearance, are the same in their substance, just as all our hearts are the same despite. Sickly wetnurses, corrupted and corrupting, who tend to snuff out all legitimate feeling and pervert the hearts of nations, sowing in them the seeds of discords such that later their fruit is harvested: wolfsbane.
The death of future generations. Peace to those dead, because dead are they - they have no breath, no soul, and the worms feed on them!
Let's not evoke their dismal memory; let's not breathe in their stench amid our joys! Fortunately the brothers exceed them in numbers; generosity and nobility are innate beneath the Spanish skies - you are all its clear proof. You have responded in one voice, you have assisted, and you would have done much more, had more been asked of you. Seated and participating in our reception and honoring the illustrious sons of Filipinas, you also honor Spain; because you know this well - the limits of Spain are neither the Atlantic, nor Cantabria, nor the Mediterranean; what meanness it would be were the sea a dike against her greatness, her thought.
Prolonged applause. You love them and we see in them generous aspirations, precious examples. The Filipino youth of Europe, always enthusiastic, and some other persons whose hearts remain youthful because of the disinterestedness and enthusiasm that mark their actions, offer a crown to Luna, a modest gift, small, yes, compared to our fervor, but it is the most spontaneously and freely offered gift of all the ones presented until now. I raise a toast to those who have given them assistance along the painful path of art!
I offer a toast that the Filipino youth, sacred hope of MY COUNTRY, may imitate such precious models and that Mother Spain, solicitous and attentive to the wellbeing of her provinces, may soon put into practice the reforms that she has long considered; for the furrow has been plowed and the earth is not barren! And finally, I offer a toast to the happiness of parents who, deprived of their sons' affection, from those distant regions follow them with tearful gaze and beating heart through the seas and the distance, sacrificing on the altar of the common good the sweet consolations that are so scarce in life's twilight - precious and solitary winter flowers blooming beside the tomb's snow mantled borders.
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Rizal's Brindis Speech Reaction
Jose Rizal’s Homage to Luna and Hidalgo
Gentlemen: In speaking before you I do not fear that you may listen to me with boredom, for you have come to share our enthusiasm with yours, that stimulus of youth, therefore you cannot help but be indulgent. Sympathetic currents pervade the air, bonds of fellowship radiate in all directions, kind souls listen and, therefore, I do not fear for my humble person, nor do I doubt your kindness. Men of goodwill, you seek goodwill, and from that height, where noble sentiments prevail, you give no heed to pettiness. You see the whole, and you judge the case and you extend your hand to someone who, like myself, desires to join you in one single thought, one single aspiration, the glory of genius and the splendor of the homeland. Good, very good; applause. Such is, indeed, the reason why we are gathered. In the history of nations there are names that are related to an event which bring love and greatness to mind; names which, like magic formulas, evoke agreeable and pleasant thoughts; names which somehow take on the meaning of an agreement, a symbol of peace, a bond of love among nations.
Brindis Speech of Jose Rizal
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