Sunday, September 15, 2013

La Oveja de Nathán (1922) - Segunda Parte

     Hernán González slowly closed the Bible. He looked around him and spoke:

    “Now, more than ever, our day of liberation is farthest. After the war, America has become excessively powerful. Like David, America is feared by its enemies, and respected by its friends. The battlefields of Europe sonorously affirmed the wholeness of its stature as a power of the first order, and now, in the intoxication of its triumph, it desires to confirm this personality even more, by exerting its power on those countries that, due to their weakness, cannot counter with arrogance, the arrogance of this great power. America now has everything, but is not satisfied. What cannot its power and wealth not attain? All nations are in its debt; while it owes nobody anything. All is found in the hands of America. Alexander the Great once dreamed of founding a universal empire, whose capital would be his kingdom of Macedonia; Caesar, Charlemagne, Charles V, Napoleon, all those great tyrants, also wanted to grasp the scepter of dominion overall the world But from Alexander the Great to Napoleon, all have failed. In turn, America, solely with its power based on its gold, has realized what no one of these captains of preceding centuries had attained, with the point of their steel. What more does America lack? Nothing. And yet, having everything, power, riches, all that a nation could desire to satisfy its vanity, America deprives a poor and weak small country of its liberty, that desires nothing more in its life than its own liberty. America has behaved in the same way as the rich man in the parable of Nathan, who, having a great number of oxen and sheep, when a stranger came to his house, fed him not with the sheep of his herd, but with the lone little sheep of his impoverished and weak neighbor, that creature whom ‘he cared for in his own home, among his children,’ and who was loved ‘as if it were his own daughter.’ Who will be the new Nathan Prophet, who would throw in the face of the modern David the ugliness of his conduct? Who will tell him that from his house, the sword of death will never part, warning him with heaven’s punishment, that always attracts injustice and tyranny? Nobody, Mariano, nobody! Juan de la Cruz is the poor of Nathan’s parable; Filipinas is the little sheep coveted by the rich man, his neighbor. America, wealthy, powerful, feared, and respected, wants to give a banquet for its friends, to affirm its power and prestige, and in this banquet, it would present to its guests a magnificent dish, concocted with the meat and juices of a little sheep, snatched from a defenseless neighbor —the richest dish of the Philippines, which is the beloved little lamb of the unhappy Juan de la Cruz.”

Antonio M. Abad

Translated by Lourdes Castrillo Brillantes