4 Mayo 1884

Anoche hablando de ser feliz dijo Lete que él no lo era. –Yo creí que sí–le dije.

–No–me contestó–la felicidad es planta de estufa que requiere mano hábil que la mantenga en una temperatura suave, igual y duradera, como la de nuestro país, plácida y de ensueño.

–¿No has hallado acaso esa mano?–le dijo Rizal.–¿No crea tu frente de poeta cálido ambiente de ventura que irradían negros ojos de jardinera incomparable?

¡Ya ves que me siento inspirado! . . .

–Tu eres un soñador, y no me extraña; tus ojos ven matices, tus oídos perciben modulaciones que pasan desapercibidas para los demás. Por eso tal vez me crees felíz . . .

–¡Que ingrato!–dijo Rizal a mi oído. Gana y se queja ¡Ah! ¡si yo ganara como él! (jugábamos entonces)

Nada contesté. ¿Que había de decir? Pero su acento vivo e insinuante me dijo mucho, tal vez todo lo que él en su infortunio me quiso decir.

Last night, speaking of happiness, Lete said that he was not.

‘I believe that it’s true,” I said to him.

“No,” he replied, “happiness is a hot-house plant that needs a skilled hand to keep it in a gentle, even, and lasting temperature, like that of our country, placid and fantastic.”

“Haven’t you perchance found that hand?” Rizal said to him. “Doesn’t your poet’s brow create a warm atmosphere of fortune irradiated by the black eyes of an incomparable gardener? . . . So you see I feel inspired!”

“You’re a dreamer, and I wonder; your eyes see shades of color, your ears perceive modulations that escape others. Hence perhaps you believe me happy. . . .”

“How ungrateful!” said Rizal to my ear. “He wins and he complains. Ah, if I should win like him!” (We were then playing cards.)

I didn’t reply. What could I say? But his lively and insinuating accent told me a great deal, perhaps everything that he, in his misfortune, wanted to tell me.

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