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Biarritz Vacation and Romance with Nelly Boustead (1891)
To seek solace for his disappointments in Madrid, Rizal took a vacation in the resort city of Biarritz on the fabulous French Riviera. He was a guest of the rich Boustead family at its winter residence – Villa Eliada. He had befriended Mr. Eduard Boustead and his wife and two charming daughters (Adelina and Nellie) in Paris in 1889-90. He used to fence with the Boustead sisters at the studio of Juan Luna and to attend parties at the Boustead Parisian home. It was in Biarritz where he had a serious romance with Nellie and finished the last chapter of his second novel, El Filibusterismo. With the Bousteads in Biarritz. When Rizal arrived in Biarritz at the beginning of February, 1891, he was warmly welcomed by the Bousteads, particularly Mr. Boustead who had taken a great liking for him because of his remarkable talents. As a family guest, he was treated with friendliness and hospitality by Mrs. Boustead, Adelina, Nellie, and Aunt Isabel (Mrs. Boustead's sister). The one month vacation in Biarritz worked wonders for Rizal. The scenic beaches filled with tourists from all parts of the world, the refreshing breezes of the Atlantic Ocean, and the festive
” Romance with Nellie Boustead. As early as on February 4. and morally upright. the prettier and the younger daughter of his host. her very beautiful moral and physical qualities. 1891. M. Several times here since last year I have been told about this young woman who. vivacious in temperament. is an ideal setting for romance. His sorrowing heart began to sing once more with joy and his health improved with remarkable swiftness. Biarritz. with its romantic gardens. of his love for Nellie. he said: "I have put on much weight since I arrived here. They told me that she is highly commendable for her very thorough education. He wrote to his intimate friends. Rizal having lost his beloved Leonor. Five days later. highly intelligent. in addition. which means Noli to Nelly. except Professor Blumentritt.atmosphere of the city cheered his despondent spirit and made him forget the bitter memories of Madrid. On this occasion and all the time you are there exposed to the warmth of . delightful villas. He found her to be a real Filipina. my cheeks are no longer shrunken as before for the reason that I go to bed early and I have to no cares. Tomas Arejola told Rizal: In your letter you talk repeatedly of Boustead who can be a madame or a mademoiselle. del Pilar teased him about changing the “o” in Noli to an “e”. and. 1891. Writing from Biarritz to Mariano Ponce on February 11. and panoramic beauties. is also a Filipino. came to entertain considerable affection for Nellie.H. On an emotional rebounce. for being a Filipino. and his intention to propose to marriage to her. also called Nelly. according to your letter.
My word of honor. she is naturally endowed with qualities admirable in a young woman and I believe that she will bring happiness not only to you but to any other man who is worthy of her… I congratulate you as one congratulates a friend. I like her because I knew how worthy she was. I think there is nothing between us more than one of those friendships enlivened by being fellow countrymen. Congratulations! With the encouragement of his close friends.. On the other hand. court here. I fear that instead of happiness. “With respect to Nelly. yourself. Unfortunately. Antonio Luna. we wrote to each other. your permanence in our country is not advisable. may I take the liberty of making the following reflections. And what is the remedy? . Consequently. encouraged Rizal to woo and marry her. frankly. See if Mademoiselle Boustead suits you. who had previously loved and lost Nelly. by marrying there.the treatment and attentions of that family. saying. and marry here.. I had been her fiancé. and we are here to applaud such a good act. It seems to me that there is nothing more. She is good. and even if it were so. Rizal courted Nelly who in turn. he wrote to Rizal. Through you. but circumstances beyond our control made all the happiness one cherished evaporate.. reciprocated his affection. their romance beneath the lovely Biarritz moon did not have a happy fairy tale finale. Rizal’s marriage proposal failed for two reasons: (1) he refused to give up his . while conditions there are not altered. I know that you are now free from your engagement in the Philippines. From Madrid. they would never leave you in peace at your home. you would only find bitterness and trouble.
had I held religion as a matter of convenience or an art of getting along in this life. he refuted Father Pablo Castell’s accusation that he was a Protestant as follows: “As to being a Protestant. If Your Reverence knew what I had lost for not accepting Protestantism. you would not say such a thing. had no wish to entrust her daughter’s happiness to a man who poor in material things. Although he became a Mason. the faith of his clan. and may you learn to . a physician without a paying clientele.Catholic faith and be converted to Protestantism.. wanted Rizal to espouse Protestantism before their marriage. being a man of firm conviction. being a good Protestant.. and (2) Nelly’s mother did not like Rizal as son-in-law. and a reformer who was persecuted by the friars and government officials in his own country. as Nelly demanded. Had I not always respected the religious idea. a writer who earned nothing from his pen. saying: "now that you are leaving I wish you a happy trip and may you triumph in your undertakings. he remained loyal to the Catholic religion. instead of being a poor exile. may the Lord look down on you with favor and guide your way giving you much blessing. Although they could not get married. and above all. while he was living in exile in Dapitan. I would now be a rich man. Nelly Boustead. refused. Rizal. Rizal and Nelly parted as good friends. When she learned that Rizal was leaving Europe. like the mother of Leonor Rivera. she sent him a farewell letter.” Nelly’s mother. free. and covered with honors. Years later.
while wooing Nellie and enjoying so "many magnificent moonlight nights" with her.enjoy! My remembrance will accompany you as also my prayers'' El Filibusterismo finished in Biarritz. in Hongkong. he finished the manuscript of El Filibusterismo. no. He stayed at the home of his friend. he wrote his friend. Writing to blumentritt on that date. On March 29. I have not written in it my idea of revenge against my enemies but only what is good of those who are suffering. Evidently. Jose Ma. From Paris. and from there I don’t know where I am going. he said: "I have finished my book! Oh. Basa. As he had written to Blumentritt. for the rights of the Tagalog race. 1891 and proceeded to Paris by train. the eve of his departure from Biarritz to Paris. Frustrated in romance. Rizal found consolation in writing. 1891. on 4 Rue de Chateaudum. Rizal bade farewell to the hospitable and friendly Bousteads (parents and daughters) on March 30. on April 4. I will leave tomorrow for Paris. though brown and may not have good features! Surely. expressing his desire to go to that British colony and practice ophthalmology in order to earn his living. he kept working on his second novel which he began to write in Calamba in 1887. . To Paris and Back to Brussels. Valentin Ventura.
Moreover. Rizal was back in Brussels. He desired to publish his second novel. His notification was contained in a letter addressed to Mr. as follows: Through the kindness of J. he expected to make a more vigorous campaign for his country's redemption. A. Rizal retired from the Propaganda Movement. where he was happily received by Marie and Suzanne Jacoby (his landladies) and. owning to the intrigues of his jealous compatriots. by Petite Suzanne (the Belgian girl who loved him). to practice his medical profession. I will establish . From Brussels. on May 1. such as the education of a young Filipino student in Europe. when he became financially independent. he notified the Propaganda authorities in Manila to cancel his monthly allowance and devote the money to some better cause. Lorena (pseudonym of Deodato Arellano). and later. A. Retirement from Propaganda Movement. above all. 1891. 1891. In order to avoid increasing its attentions I believe my retirement is necessary. in this letter.. L. By the middle of April. he requested Basa to advance him the amount for a first class steamer ticket frm Europe to Hongkong. or reform crusade. Since abdicating his leadership in Madrid in January. 1891. I received your letter of 13 February with a draft for P 100 that the Propaganda is sending me for the months of January and February and I thank you for such attention.
H. I shall be able to undertake a more vigorous and effective campaign than I have been doing until now. or Japan. I have asked friend Basa to furnish me with the funds for my return. If at last. after the end of a few years. 1891. because Europe seems to me a place of exile and I am hereby notifying the Propaganda of my intention so that it may make its decision. so that I can start earning a small fortune. On August 7. Simultaneous with his retirement from the Propaganda Movement. Many of his friends in Spain urged him to continue writing for the patriotic periodical. he wrote to Rizal begging forgiveness for any resentment and requesting him (Rizal) to resume writing for . I become financially independent. M. it is not enough for one who wishes to accomplish something and to carry out the plans that he may cherish. which is to defray the cost of the education of another young man who is not in the same situation as I am. Hong Kong. Rizal ceased writing articles for La Solidaridad. because his articles always attracted considerable attention in European countries. Though such an amount is sufficient to live on in any place in Europe.myself and earn my living. Rizal stopped writing for La Solidaridad. Consequently. My chosen place is either in the Philippines. deL Pilar himself realized the need for Rizal's collaboration in both the Propaganda Movement and in the La Solidaridad newspaper because the enthusiasm for the reform crusade in Spain was declining. With the P 50 that it send me monthly it could do something better.
and as you are already at the top and I also have my own ideas. the Philippines. Rizal wrote denying any resentment and explaining why he stopped writing for La Solidaridad as follows: I am extremely surprised at your letter. … I fight for the nation.We would much like that you resume writing for it. I considered it very important to the party that there be unity in the work. and reconciliations. etc. forgive me. and if it has existed. I am like an army corps who. . “if you have any resentment. 3rd. which is very necessary. This does not mean to say that I need not work and follow the course of your work. and it increases your prestige. I need time to work on my book. it ought to have evaporated in the past. inasmuch as men of prestige are needed in our country. Only I ask God to give me the means to do it.” he said in his letter. it was because of several reasons: 1st. I believe it is useless to talk about what does not exist. and this fault is pardonable. telling me about resentments. I think like you do. it is better to leave you alone to direct the policy such as you understand it and I do not meddle in it. . If I stopped writing for La Solidaridad. at the needed moment. if you consider me at fault. disagreements. not only would we strengthen La Solidaridad but we would defeat the friar intrigue in the Philippines. . This has two advantages: It leaves both of us free.the La Solidaridad.” In his reply to Del Pilar’s letter. I beg you to put it aside. “In short. I wanted other Filipinos to work also. that there being nothing one ought not to waste time talking about it. 2nd. you will see arriving to descend upon the flanks of the enemy before you.
I shall board a train on the following day when I receive you letter with the passagemoney. I will send it to you by the next mail. I cannot send it to you as yet. on June 13. Fili – Z. anything happens to me. On this date. but if my book is published I shall have to wait until it comes off the press. I am writing it with more ardor than the Noli and although it is not so cheerful. In case it is not published here. Only three chapters are left to be corrected. It will be finish before the 16 th of this month. Rizal worked day after day revising the finished manuscript of El Filibusterismo and readied it for printing. If by chance. If my Noli (sic.Revising the Fili for Publication. the first twenty chapters are already corrected and can be printed and I am recopying the rest. I leave its publication to Antonio Luna. It is longer than the Noli. the revision was mostly completed on May 30. I will be leaving this place and be with you. will you ask them to send me money for the printing of my book? If not.” ***** . Basa: "My book is now ready to go to press. first part." Two weeks later. Rizal informed Basa: "I am now negotiating with a printing firm and as I do not know if it will be printed here (Belgium) or in Spain. 1891. If I receive any money you will surely have it in July.) is not published. he wrote Jose Ma. Apparently. including its correction. In Brussels. at least it is more profound and more perfect… In case I do not receive money.
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