Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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CXXV - A Comparison

Priamo judges himself the most unfortunate of men, for kissing the hand of the one who killed his son. Homer reports this, and is a good author, nevertheless he contales it in verse, but there are exact narrations in verse, and even bad verse. Compare you to Priamo's situation with mine; I had just praised the virtues of the man who had received those eyes.... It is impossible that some Homer should not take away from my situation much better, or at least, as such. Do not say that we lack Homeros, for the cause pointed out in Camões; no, sir, they're missing, that's right, but it's because the Prias seek shadow and silence. The tears, if they are, are wiped off the door, so that the faces appear clean and serene; the speeches are rather joy than melancholy, and everything passes as if Achilles did not kill Hector.


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