Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

CXVII - Close Friends

Even then, Escobar had left Andarahy and bought a house in Flamengo, a house I had still seen there for days, when I had the desire to try whether the old sensations were dead or only slept; I can not say it well, because somnios, when they are heavy, confuse living and deceased, except breathing. I was breathing a little, but it might have been from the sea, a little agitated. At last I passed, I lit a cigar, and found myself on the Cattete; had climbed the street of the Princeza, an old street ... O ancient streets! O old houses! O old legs! We were all old, and needless to say that in the wrong sense, in the sense of old and finished.

Old is the house, but it did not change anything. I do not know if it still has the same number. I do not say what number they are so they will not go and dig up the story. It is not that Escobar lives there or even lives; died shortly after, by a way that I will tell. While he lived, since we were so close, we had a single house, I lived in it, and in it, and the piece of beach between Gloria and Flamengo was like a path of private and private use. It made me think of the two houses of Matacavallos, with their wall of permeation.

A historian of our language, I believe that Joao de Barros, puts in the mouth of a barbarian king some soft words, when the Portuguese proposed to establish there at the foot a fortress; said the king that good friends should stay away from each other, not near, so as not to be angry like the waters of the sea that beat raging in the rock that they saw dalli. Let the shadow of the writer forgive me, if I doubt that the king would say such a word, or that it be true. It was probably the same writer who invented it to adorn the text, and did no harm, because it is beautiful; really, it's beautiful. I believe that the sea then struck the stone, as it has been her custom, since Ullysses and before. Now that the comparison is true, it is not. Surely there are contiguous enemies, but there are also close friends and the chest. And the writer forgot (except if it was not his time) he forgot the adage: far from the eyes, far from the heart. We could not have our hearts now closer. Our women lived in each other's house, we spent the night here or there talking, playing or watching the sea. The two little ones spent days, now in Flamengo, now in Gloria.

As I observed that what could happen to them had happened between me and Capitú, they found all that they did, and Sancha added that they were already appearing. I explained:

-No; it is because Ezekiel imitates the gestures of others.

Escobar agreed with me, and insinuated that some of the grown-ups are very often end up looking like one another. I nodded, as it succeded in matters I did not know good or bad. Everything could be. The truth is that they loved each other very much, and could get married, but they did not get married.


Return to the Dom Casmurro Summary Return to the Machado de Assis Library

© 2022