Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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CXIV - The Explanation

Before going to the embargoes, let us explain a point that has already been explained, but not well explained. You see, I asked a professor of music from São Paulo to write me the song of that sweet pastry from Matacavallos. In itself, matter is chocha, and not worth of a chapter, the more two; but there are subjects that bring interesting, if not agreeable, teachings. Let's explain the explanation.

Capitú and I had vowed not to forget that prisoner; it was in a moment of great tenderness, and the divine tabellion knows the things that are swear at such times, he who registers them in the eternal books.

-You swear?

"I swear," she said, tragically extending her arm.

I took the gesture to kiss his hand; I was still at the seminary. When I went to Sao Paulo, wanting one day to remember the toada, I saw that I was losing it entirely; I managed to remember it and ran to the teacher, who gave me the gift of writing it on the piece of paper. It was not to be without oath that I did this. But do you think that when I ran to the old papers on that night of Glory, I also did not remember the toada or the text? I made my oath punctual, and this was my sin; Forget, any forget.

To be sure, no one knows whether or not to keep an oath. Future things! Therefore, our political constitution, transferring the oath to simple affirmation, is deeply moral. It ended with a terrible sin. Failure to compromise is always unfaithful, but to someone who has more fear of God than men would not mind lying, one time or another, as long as he does not put his soul into purgatory. Do not confuse purgatory with hell, which is the eternal shipwreck. Purgatorio is a pawnshop, which lends on all virtues, high interest and short term. But the deadlines renew themselves, until one day one or two medium virtues pay for all the big and small sins.


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