May 28th, 2004


1 January 18841

I have a nominal value of 617.15 pesetas.

Last night we gathered at the Restaurant de Madrid: The three Paternos, the two Esquivels, Figueroa, Villanueva, Jugo, Graciano (Lopez Jaena), J. Llorente, Ev. Aguirre, Laserna, Lete, Ventura, Yriarte, Vidal, and I. All toasted except Villanueva, who left ahead. The most outstanding toasts were those of Laserna, A. Paterno, Graciano Lopez, P. Paterno, and Valentin. I had the honor of bidding goodbye to '83 and greeting '84. I didn't toast, but after them, I made a resumé of such brilliant speeches. Laserna read a precious sonnet. We dined at 12:15 and we finished at 3:00. The day passed without almost any incident. At night Lete went to the house of E.P. where Villanueva and Figueroa spent the day. I'm reading at present Bug-Jargal2. On Lobo Street there was a discussion about the police; I decided not to argue.

1Rizal's diary from 1 January to 1 November 1884 is found in W.E. Retana's work, Vida y Escritos del Dr. Jose Rizal, Madrid, 1907, pp. 79-91. He obtained the original manuscript from the Filipino historian Clemente J. Zulueta as a gift and then he sold it to the North American bibliophile Mr. E. B. Ayer. (Austin Craig, Los errores de Retana, Manila, 1910).

2An 1826 novel by Victor Hugo "about a slave uprising in San Domingo...inspired by stories of Toussaint Louverture and the liberation of Haiti." Read a summary of the original French edition here and download an English translation here.

2 January

Today there was a meeting at the house of the Paternos. The same ones who were at the Cafe de Madrid, except Iriarte, Villanueva, and Vidal, met there. They took up the revival of the Circulo. They named a committee to speak with the old members and Mr. Atayde. The committee was composed of Messrs. Paterno, Lopez, Laserna, J. Esquivel, and Aguirre. My proposal concerning the book was unanimously accepted; but afterwards they offered me difficulties and obstacles that seemed to me somewhat singular following which several gentlemen rose up without wishing to talk any more about it. In view of this, I decided not to propose it again, considering it impossible to count on the support of the majority, and only later, together with Messrs. Lete and Figueroa did we decide to go ahead. For this purpose, we shall write Messrs. Luna, Resurreccion, and Regidor.