|C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the Worlds Best Literature.|
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.
|Multatulis Last Words to the Reader|
|By Eduard Douwes Dekker (Multatuli) (18201887)|
|YES, I, Multatuli, who have suffered much,I take the pen. I do not make any excuses for the form of my book,that form was thought proper to obtain my object
. I will be read! Yes, I will be read. I will be read by statesmen who are obliged to pay attention to the signs of the times; by men of letters, who must also look into the book of which so many bad things are said; by merchants, who have an interest in the coffee auctions; by ladys-maids, who read me for a few farthings; by governors-general in retirement; by ministers who have something to do; by the lackeys of these Excellencies; by mutes, who, more majorum, will say that I attack God Almighty, when I attack only the god which they made according to their own image; by the members of the representative chambers, who must know what happens in the extensive possessions over the sea which belong to Holland
| Ay, I shall be read!|| 2|
| When I obtain this I shall be content, for I did not intend to write well
. I wished to write so as to be heard; and as one who cries Stop thief! does not care about the style of his impromptu address to the public, I too am indifferent to criticism of the manner in which I cried my Stop thief!|| 3|
| The book is a medley; there is no order, nothing but a desire to make a sensation. The style is bad; the author is inexperienced; no talent, no method.|| 4|
| Good! good!
all very well!
but the Javanese are ill-treated. For the merit of my book is this: that refutation of its main features is impossible. And the greater the disapprobation of my book the better I shall be pleased, for the chance of being heard will be so much the greater;and that is what I desire.|| 5|
| But you whom I dare to interrupt in your business or in your retirement,ye ministers and governors-general,do not calculate too much upon the inexperience of my pen. I could exercise it, and perhaps by dint of some exertion, attain to that skill which would make the truth heard by the people. Then I should ask of that people a place in the representative chambers, were it only to protest against the certificates which are given vice versa by Indian functionaries.|| 6|
| To protest against the endless expeditions sent, and heroic deeds performed against poor miserable creatures, whose ill treatment has driven them to revolt.|| 7|
| To protest against the cowardice of general orders, that brand the honor of the nation by invoking public charity on behalf of the victims of inveterate piracy.|| 8|
| It is true those rebels were reduced by starvation to skeletons, while those pirates could defend themselves.|| 9|
| And if that place were refused me,
if I were still disbelieved,
then I should translate my book into the few languages that I know, and the many that I yet can learn, to put that question to Europe which I have in vain put to Holland.|| 10|
| And in every capital such a refrain as this would be heard: There is a band of robbers between Germany and the Scheldt!|| 11|
| And if this were of no avail,
then I should translate my book into Malay, Javanese, Soudanese, Alfoer, Boegi, and Battah.|| 12|
| And I should sharpen Klewangs, the scimitars and the sabres, by rousing with warlike songs the minds of those martyrs whom I have promised to helpI, Multatuli, would do this!|| 13|
| Yes! delivery and help, lawfully if possible;lawfully with violence if need be.|| 14|
| And that would be very pernicious to the COFFEE AUCTIONS OF THE DUTCH TRADING COMPANY!|| 15|
| For I am no fly-rescuing poet, no rapt dreamer like the down-trodden Havelaar, who did his duty with the courage of a lion, and endured starvation with the patience of a marmot in winter.|| 16|
| This book is an introduction
| I shall increase in strength and sharpness of weapons, according as it may be necessary.|| 18|
| Heaven grant that it may not be necessary!
| No, it will not be necessary! For it is to thee I dedicate my book: WILLIAM THE THIRD, King, Grand Duke, Prince,
more than Prince, Grand Duke, and King,
EMPEROR of the magnificent empire of INSULIND, which winds about the equator like a garland of emeralds!
| I ask THEE if it be thine IMPERIAL will that the Havelaars should be bespattered with the mud of Slymerings and Drystubbles; and that thy more than thirty millions of SUBJECTS far away should be ill treated and should suffer extortion in THY name!|| 21|