Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal, Chp. 34 “The Banquet”

Notes to think about:

  • p. 226 A priest quotes Voltaire

    “We have never spent time with such people solely in order to get rich and then calumniate them.”

    after talking about buying property and living in Spain

  • p. 226 People burst laughing thinking the governor had made a joke. They didn’t know that the Voltaire mentioned by the governor is the Voltaire that they curse. Why do they curse Voltaire? Answer: Voltaire was skeptical of religious institutions. Click the link to read more about this fascinating French philosopher.
  • p. 226 teleological arguments. Why did Rizal drop this phrase in? Teleology is the study of figuring out causes and effects especially in nature. It is a study that looks at why something is and supposes that there are purposes to things we find in nature. A teleological argument specifically inquires about the existence of God based on purposes and designs. More at Wikipedia
  • p. 227 Said the parent of one of the “indio” children

    “If your son is the Pope you can commit any sin you want.”

  • p. 227- 228 Haha. The conversation among parents of the peasant children. They were talking about how they hoped their children would become priests and popes one day. Brace yourselves.

    “Do you think that popes still use their hands? The priest, who is only a priest, only wors when he is at mass…by taking a little stroll! The archbishop doesn’t even walk around, he says the mass seated. So a pope probably does it in bed, with a fan.”

    Another parent said

    “It would be a good thing for him to be able to sell salacots and cigar cases so he won’t have to beg for alms, like the priest does every year in the name of the Pope. It makes me feel bad to see a poor holy man, so I give everything I’ve been able to save up.”

    Then it becomes an argument about which would be better: to be a doctor or a priest.

    “There is nothing like being a doctor…[he] earn a lot of money. And sick people venerate him.”

    “Please! A priest just has to take a little stroll, say deminos pabiscum, and eat God, and he gets his money. And everyone, even women, tell him their secrets!”

    “A doctor sees everything a woman has, and he takes the pulse of young girls…”

    “And a priest? I suppose a priest does not see everything your doctor sees? And even better! …the saying; fat hen and fair leg gets the best priest?”

    “Do doctors eat dried sardines? Do they ruin their fingers eating salt?”

    “Does a priest soil his hands the way a doctors does?”

    “And confession, cumare (tagalog for “friend”)? Isn’t that work?”

    “…the priest does nothing more than sit himself down, and they tell him everything. Sometimes he even falls asleep, but he drops two or three blessings and once again we’re the children of God!”

    “And preaching? Don’t tell me that isn’t work…if it isn’t why was the priest sweating so much this morning?”

    “Preaching work?…scolding and reproaching everyone, without anyone daring to respond, and getting money for it! I would like to be a priest for just one morning, when people who owe me are hearing mass…Even Father Damaso is getting fat from so much scolding and so many beatings!”

  • p. 229 – 231 Father Damaso insults Ibarra’s father. Ibarra gets angry and pulls out a knife. Father Damaso is on the ground kneeling, bent over. Maria Clara steps between the two men.
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