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Wednesday, 12-02-1997
I saw the programme on BBC1. You are completely on my line love. Completely! By confirming my letter to the Secretary of Justice the payment of the government can be realized and I will be able to pay her a second salary as one of the new managers of the organization. This will also be the case with Peter. He is a fighter and I think he understands this message very well. Peter, Elizabeth and me are the nucleous of the so called 'Delta network', surrounded in former days by members of criminal organizations. Now these people have to face their own responsibilities in our society. Not only the children of Angola are to have a future. Our children as well. As far as I can see you have made great progress already in finishing with the excess lumber in your life. I followed the television programme of yesterday with great attention and interest. You started to work a new job helping to change this world already. You showed the Mirror to the world. They can look in it. You started creating happiness in the hearts of the people of Angola.
The 25th of January I showed your photograph to the Angolan boys in Utrecht and inmediately they started to sing, make music and dance and they could not stop. That's what you did! I also heard the reactions of politicians. Of course you are not a loose cannon. As the mother of the King you have nothing to do with party politics. I can not understand that politicians in your country involve themselves in what you are doing. They have to take their own responsibilities. You set an extremely important example however to highlight the problem. Indeed these children are to have a future. Like any other child. As a matter of fact my special wish is to do the same work as you are doing. Put the ideas of Cervantes into practice as expressed by don Quijote according to the text of the speech I prepared last year in occasion of the visit of King Juan Carlos to our country on the 11th of May last year. I sent the text in Dutch and Spanish to the secretary of the Roosevelt Foundation, who was responsible for the organization of the Four Freedoms Award. The translation is as follows:

Majesty,

Concerning the relationship between Heydanus, Erasmus and Cervantes I have the honour to tell You the following story. During many ages the people of the Iberian continent has been fighting a long struggle of more than seven centuries against the representatives of a culture who had occupied the actual Spanish territory. From the small areas of León and Old Castile the authentical inhabitants started the combat to reconquest their right to express themselves freely and to be able to live according to the norms of their own faith.

Also from our regions representatives of the noble families rushed into their defense. I can limitate myself by mentionning the names of Charles Martel and Charles the Great, but there were more who remain relatively hidden in history of European society.

At this historical moment we find ourselves on a historical place that evoques the thought of the existance of the powerful noble families of the Heydenrijk, the Western European civilization of the sixth and seventh century. In this town Middelburg we remind for example a descendant of that civilization, Man of State Gaspar van der Heyden, also called Heydanus.

During the government of Emperor Charles V Gaspar van der Heyden was born in 1530 in Mechelen, between Antwerp and BRUSSELS, as the son of the noble family of Hainault. Just like the christians from Your country were convinced of the truth of the norms of their faith Gaspar must have felt dat convictions are a product of the cultures giving us our right of existance. From the first confrontation with the spiritual values of the roman church until his death in 1586 Heydanus dedicated his whole life on the defense of the convictions of the inhabitants of our low countries and became the founder of the Reformed Church of the Netherlands.

Perhaps superfluous to mention that his initiatives caused the Dutch-Spanish conflict of 1568 till 1648. From 1566 till 1578 Heydanus had his residence here in Middelburg. He was a good friend of Prince William of Orange and Marnix of Saint Aldegonde, the writer of our national anthem. On the 12th of June 1575 Gaspar was a witness at the marriage of Prince William and Princess Charlotte de Bourbon.

A spiritual ancestor of Gaspar van der Heyden was Erasmus of ROTTERDAM (1465-1536). He had a very good relationship with Spain. He ever said: "I owe more to Spain than to my allies and which other nation however". The proclamation at that time of the Unity of Religion by the Catholic King and Queen although caused the rejection of his books. Erasmus had manifested himself as the advocate of a dared ideal of religious freedom: he preached an internalized christianity that should abandon dogmas, ceremonies and rules.

Between 1522 and 1525 Spanish erasmism was born. After having established Emperor Charles V in Valladolid in 1522 the Spanish philosophers Vergara, Gattinara and Valdés became strongly under the influence of Erasmus. In Spain particularly the erasmian ideas about the law of love and peace found a response. Erasmism reaped its most important triumphs in Alcalá de Henares. In 1525 the printer of Alcalá printed the most important works of Erasmus, like the Enquiridion or the Handbook for the Christian Knight. In 1508 Erasmus already wrote his Praise of Lunacy.

In the same city of Alcalá de Henares in the year 1547 the famous writer don Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra was born, just like Heydanus as the son of a noble family. Their will not be any doubt that the thoughts of Erasmus have considerably influenced the spirit of don Miguel.

From 1559 the Council of the Inquisition forbid the greatest part of the religious works of Erasmus and many erasmists were convicted to prison and even to the stake. In that atmosphere Cervantes - with his critical mind - evidently could not express his erasmian ideas in the open. Although Cervantes lived some time later the power of the Inquisition still remained considerable. Consequently it was very probable that Cervantes exposed his ideas in his Don Quijote under the cover of the lunacy of his main character. A similar idea we also find in the Praise of Lunacy of Erasmus. In this booklet lunacy talks and says:

"The truth is hated by kings. But with my lunes it is just so curious, that not only true observations, but even direct terms of abuse are heard at with pleasure; yes, the same declaration produced by the mouth of a wise man, that would have cost him his head, produces, heard from a lune, incredible pleasure." If the personalities that surrounded don Quijote not had held him for a lune, don Quijote would have landed in prison on the first occasion.

The erasmism of Cervantes can fairly well derive from a direct approach to and a thorough contemplation on the work of Erasmus, since Cervantes was a pupil of the Madrilan humanist Juan López de Hoyos, who quoted the name of Erasmus in 1569, ten years after the index of inquisitor Valdés.

The Praise of Lunacy dealt with universal madness. It was the satyre on the ideals and human illusions. In this booklet Erasmus ridiculized the noble ideals at the time and honoured lunacy. This way he expressed that passion leads to madness, that this madness causes a vital impulse, so much that this could contribute to the progress of the world. This social problem of the end of the fifteenth century we also see reflected in the don Quijote. The passion of don Quijote to read romances of chivalry made him mad and on a certain moment he took the decision, or: he received the vital impulse to travel around the world to attack every injustice, to put right what is wrong and to protect widows and orphans.

Cervantes introduced in the Quijote the duality of the most supreme and the ridiculous, that Erasmus had labelled as essential characteristic of lunacy. In the supreme illusion of the madness of don Quijote we find the highest possible ideals of christian humanism, such as charity and inner devotion and still much more which is to be found in the Enquiridion. The Enquiridion was translated in Castillian in 1524 and the success was so great that no other religious book ever had found its equal since the introduction of the art of printing in Spain. It appeared in 1526 with the inquisitorial approval of don Alonso Manrique.

In this book Erasmus invited everyone to let to be born in him or herself a new human being. The christian knight, whose ideal image he painted, had to go his way with invulnerable armour, shining in power and faith. He had to ride his horse with open vision and not paying attention on death. The most essential characteristic of christianity was according to Erasmus rule five of the Enquiridion, in which he stated 'that one should pay little attention to all visible matters and how good it is to direct ourselves always to the invisible things". According to Desiderius Erasmus one had to raise from the flesh to the spirit, from the visible to the understandable and to get into practice the ideas of the spirit. Thoughts that have not lost their actual value.

We find still more influences of Erasmus in the thoughts of don Miguel, like the pastoral ideal, the moral fantasy, the probability of the fantasies, popular wisdom, the ideal of simpleness and the ethics to be prepared to forgiveness and resignation. Cervantes designed an own vision of the world, based on expressions of people of all parts of society. Cervantes based his vision on the world on what him appeared to be and not on uniform objectivities. Cervantes and Erasmus strengthen themselves for the spontaneous right, a critical attitude against reality, traces of subjectivity, the autonomous use of sense, both concerning secular as sacral matters, the from individual virtue dependant honour and the free will.

What is the significance of the situation for nowadays?
The free will and freedom of opinion form the basic conditions for the development of the European Union. A new European faith is necessary for our youth and new norms, based on ethics, integrity and human dignity. The Dutch Spanish conflict ended in 1648 with the Treaty of Munster. The contacts between our countries diminished, but many Dutch hispanists remained the contact with Your country and educated many Dutch speaking people to be a teacher in Spanish in the Netherlands, inclusive Belgium. Thanks to their contribution from 1998 Spanish will be accepted officially in the educational system of our country. Exactly 350 years after the Treaty of Munster. At the same time we need to open a labour market for our future pupils.

Majesty,
Your presence here, as the Sovereign who restored democracy in Spain, is a prove of the strong relationship we have, the coronation of the ideas of Cervantes, Erasmus and Heydanus and point of departure for a future fertile collaboration. I hope to meet You in the year 2000.
Thank you very much.

King Juan Carlos could not give me a place in the ceremony of the Four Freedoms Award. He had to choose for the traditional protocol, but I congratulate YOU on your first television programme about Angola in which I see reflected all the ideas expressed above. It gives me the conviction that We share the same ideas and that you and I are even so worried about intolorance as Erasmus, Cervantes and Heydanus and I even will add their English spiritual partner Thomas More.

Looking to myself. That is what I want. Travelling around the world. My highest wish is to do the same work as you do and doing it together. You express yourself perfectly in English. I can do it in Spanish. And of course stick to my core business: helping you with the education of your children. That will remain my ultimate goal. The price that I have to pay is that I must hand over the building of the Institute to other people. Of course I will not give up my rights, but the company can be run by good managers, starting by a good Commercial Manager Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, England and Wales, Elizabeth as the sub director England and Wales and Peter as the sub director Benelux, for example. George called this morning that his mother in law has been taken into hospital and our conversation of today has to be postponed. He calls back tomorrow. Nevertheless I will go to Schiphol this afternoon and discuss the issue with the management of Schiphol Airport. I am prepared to pay a price by leaving the management of the company to other people. But first of all someone else has to pay the price: the Dutch Government. I am not responsible for drugs trade and killing people in our country. THEY are. And so they have to pay the bill. Like you did for me. Now it is their turn.

13 FEBRUARY 1997 MEETING AT AMSTERDAM AIRPORT

INSTITUTO CERVANTES BENELUX is legally registered at the Benelux Trade Registrar under deposit numbers 0508277 and 843323 in class 41: education, trainings and courses and is a tradename of the Foundation Cervantes Benelux in Nijmegen, registered under number 41211928 of the Chamber of Commerce of Amsterdam (IBAN: NL91INGB0004729266 BIC: INGBNL2A). Instituto Cervantes Limited is registered for England and Wales under Company No. 3300636 at Companies House, Cardiff.

INSTITUTO CERVANTES BENELUX está legalmente depositado como marca comercial en el registro de marcas del Benelux-Bureau voor de Intellectuele Eigendom bajo los números de depósito 0508277 y 843323 en clase 41: educación, enseñanza y cursos y es un nombre comercial de la Fundación Stichting Cervantes Benelux en Nimega, inscrito bajo número 41211928 de la Cámara de Comercios en Amsterdam (IBAN: NL91INGB0004729266 BIC: INGBNL2A). Instituto Cervantes Limited is registered for England and Wales under Company No. 3300636 at Companies House Cardiff.

INSTITUTO CERVANTES BENELUX is als handelsmerk wettig gedeponeerd bij het Benelux Bureau voor de Intellectuele Eigendom onder depotnummers 0508277 en 843323 in klasse 41: onderwijs, opleidingen en cursussen en is een handelsnaam van de Stichting Cervantes Benelux te Nijmegen, ingeschreven onder nummer 41211928 van de Kamer van Koophandel te Amsterdam (IBAN: NL91INGB0004729266 BIC: INGBNL2A). Instituto Cervantes Limited is registered for England and Wales under Company No. 3300636 at Companies House, Cardiff.

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