Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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CXXII - The Burial

The widow ... I spare you the tears of the widow, mine, those of other people. He leaves about eleven o'clock; Capitú and cousin Justina were waiting for me, one with the look of a low, stupid opinion, the other only annoyed.

"They'll keep poor Sanchinha company; I'm going to take care of the funeral.

This is how we did it. Perhaps the burial was pompous, and the affluence of the friends was numerous. Beach, streets, Plaza da Gloria, everything was cars, many of them private. The house, not being large, could not fit all there; many were on the beach talking about the disaster, pointing to the place where Escobar died, when he heard the arrival of the dead man. José Dias also heard about the deceased's business, diverting some in the valuation of assets, but there was an agreement that the liabilities should be small. They praised the qualities of Escobar. One or the other discussed the recent Rio Branco cabinet; it was March 1871. I never forgot the month or the year.

As I had decided to speak at the cemetery, I wrote a few lines and showed them at home to Jose Dias, who found them really worthy of the dead and me. He asked me for the paper, slowly recited the speech, weighing the words, and confirmed the first opinion; in Flamengo spread the news. Some acquaintances came to question me:

"Let's hear it, then?"

"Four words.

Few more would be. I had them written for fear that the emotion would stop me from improvising. In the Tilbury where I had been for an hour or two, I had merely recalled the time of the seminary, Escobar's relations, our sympathies, our friendship, begun, continued and never interrupted, until a toss of fortune separated forever two creatures that promise to stay together for a long time. From time to time he wiped his eyes. The coachman ventured two or three questions about my moral situation; not pulling me anything, continued his officio. Arriving home, I threw those emotions into the paper; such would be the discourse.


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