Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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CXLIII - The Last Superlative

It was not the last superlative of Jose Dias. Others had it not worth writing here, until he saw the last one, the best of them, the sweetest, which made him a death piece of life. I used to live with him; although my mother left him a small memory, he came to tell me that, with or without a legacy, he would not leave me. Maybe his hope was to bury me. He corresponded with Capitú, to whom he asked to send him the portrait of Ezekiel; but Capitú was postponing the mail-to-mail despatch until he asked for nothing but the young student's heart; he also asked him not to cease to speak to Ezekiel in the old friend of the father and grandfather, "destined for heaven to love the same blood." This was how he prepared the care of the third generation; but death came before Ezekiel. The disease was rapid. I sent for a homeopathic doctor.

"No, Bentinho," he said. an allopatha is enough; in every school one dies. Again, it was the ideas of youth, which time took; I become the faith of my parents. Allopathia is the Catholicism of medicine ... He died peacefully after a short agony. Shortly before he heard that the sky was beautiful, he asked us to open the window.

"No, the air could do you harm."

"How bad?" Air is life.

We open the window. Actually, there was a clear blue sky. Jose Dias stood up and looked at him; after a few moments, he dropped his head, murmuring: Lindissimo! It was the last word he uttered in this world. Poor José Dias! Why should I deny that I cried for him?


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