1st January 1883
Night, I don't know what vague melancholy, an indefinable loneliness, smothers my soul. It is similar to the profound sadness that cities manifest after a tumultuous rejoicing, to a city after the happiest celebration. Two nights ago, that is, 30 December, I had a frightful nightmare when I almost died.1 I dreamed that, imitating an actor dying on the stage, I felt vividly that my breath was failing and I was rapidly losing my strength. Then my vision became dim and dense darkness enveloped me -- they were the pangs of death. I wanted to shout and ask for help from Antonio Paterno, feeling that I was about to die. I awoke weak and breathless.
The last day of the year I spent at the home of Mr. Pablo Ortiga.2 I was gay; I don't know why I joked a lot and lost.3 We went home at five o'clock and Pat., Cal., Per., and Let.4 slept at home. We spent the day together and went to Elvira's house...lottery and I lost. I went home at night and wrote.
1From Noli Me Tangere (Makati City: Bookmark, 1996), pp. 557-559:
The night of light and happiness for so many children, who in the warm bosoms of the family celebrate the feast of the sweetest memories, the feast that commemorates the first glance of love sent by heaven to earth; that night when all the Christian families eat, drink, dance, sing, laugh, play, love, kiss each other...this night, which in cold countries is magic for children with its traditional pine tree loaded with lights, dolls, sweetmeats and tinsel, whose round eyes reflecting innocence look dazzled; that night had nothing to offer Basilio more than orphancy...
The stranger turned his face towards the east and murmured as though praying: "I die without seeing the dawn break on my country...You who are about to see it, greet her...do not forget those who have fallen during the night!"
He raised his eyes to heaven, his lips moved as if murmuring a prayer, then he lowered his head and fell gradually to the ground...
From Leon Ma. Guerrero, The First Filipino: A Biography of Jose Rizal (Manila: Guerrero Publishing, 1998 ), pp. 443-448:
He found time for a special note to his father.
6 a.m. 30th December 1896
My most beloved father:
Forgive me the sorrow with which I repay the anxieties and toil you underwent to give me an education. I did not want this nor expected it. Farewell, father, farewell!
For his mother words seem to have failed him. "To my much beloved mother, Sra. Da. Teodora Alonso, at six o'clock in the morning of the 30th of December 1896."
Both notes are signed rather formally with his full name...
He took his stand facing the bay, his back to the rising sun. The drums rolled, the shout of command was given, and the Remigntons of the 70th fired. With one last convulsive effort of the will Rizal twisted his body rightward as he fell, his last sight being perhaps the hard empty eyes of the professional soldiers, companions in arms of those who had impassively lowered Tarsilo down the well and hunted down Elias as he swam in his own blood.
He was facing the dawn now, but this he was not to see. "Viva Espana!" screamed Dona Victorina in her elegant carriage.
"Viva Espana!" shouted Father Damaso, and added, shaking his fist, "Y mueran los traidores"
"Long live Spain and death to traitors!" But as the last Spaniards gave their ragged cheer, and the band of the battalion of volunteers struck up, with unconscious irony, that hymn to human rights and constitutional liberties, the Marcha de Cádiz, the quiet crowd of Filipinos broke through the square, to make sure, said the Spanish correspondent, that the mythical, the godlike Rizal was really dead, or, according to others, to snatch away a relic and keepsake and dip their handkerchiefs in a hero's blood.
If he had seen them, the first Filipino would have known that he...