Jose Rizal had taken cheap lodging in one of those huge modern German apartment-houses, in the complex depths of which he could bury himself, press on with his work, and be as remote as Tahaiti. To a European publisher the subject would seem too unconventional and outlandish; and as for the Philippines, not a printer there would venture on his life to so much as look at it. The type was set in a small job-office not far from Rizal's lodging. Long experimentation with the surviving methods of the Inquisition had made the Government expert in the matters. It issued at once a decree excluding from the pious Islands a work of such sacrilege and ordered diligent search to be made for any copies that might have slipped in to corrupt virtue and overthrow the king. He was next an artist in sculpture and painting; a poet; a master of terse and nervous prose in Spanish.