Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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CXXXV - Othello

I had dinner. At night I went to the theater. It was Othello, whom I had neither seen nor ever read; I only knew the subject, and I esteemed the coincidence. I saw the great rages of the Moor, because of a handkerchief, -a simple handkerchief! -and here I give substance to the psychologists of this and other continents, for I could not steal from the observation that a handkerchief sufficed to inflame the jealousies of Othello and compose the most sublime tragedy of this world. The handkerchiefs were lost, today their own sheets are needed; There are not even any ha, and they're only worth the shirts. These were the ideas that passed through my head, vague and murky, as the Moor rolled convulsively, and Iago distilled his slander. I did not get up from the chair in the intervallos; I did not want to expose myself to finding someone I knew. The ladies stayed almost all in the cabins, while the men went smoking. Then I wondered if any of them would not have loved someone who was now in the cemetery, and there were other inconsistencies, until the cloth went up and continued the play. The last act showed me that not I, but Capitú should die. I heard Desdemona's supplications, her pure and amorous words, and the fury of the Moor, and the death he gave her in the midst of the public applause.

And she was innocent, I was coming down the street, what would the public do, if she were guilty, as guilty as Capitú? And what death would the Moor give him? A pillow would not suffice; it took blood and fire, an intense and vast fire, that consumed everything, and reduced it to dust, and the dust would be thrown into the wind, like an eternal extinction ...

I wandered the streets the rest of the night. Geez, that's right, a quasi nothing, but enough to go until morning. I saw the last hours of the night and the first of the day, I saw the last walkers and the first sweepers, the first carts, the first noises, the first dawns, one day after another and I would see myself never to return. The streets that I walked like that ran away on their own. He would never again contemplate the Sea of ​​Glory, nor the mountain of the Organs, nor the fortress of Santa Cruz and the others. The people who passed were not so much, as in the ordinary days of the week, but she was already numerous and went to some work, which she would repeat later; I would not repeat anything else.

I got home, opened the door slowly, climbed to my feet, and went into the study; It was going to take six hours. I took the venom out of my pocket, got into my shirt sleeves, and wrote a letter, the last, addressed to Capitú. None of the others was for her; I felt the need to tell him a word in which I should feel the remorse of my death. I wrote two texts. The first one I burned it for being long and diffuse. The second contained only the necessary, clear and brief. It reminded him of our past, neither of the struggles, nor of any joy; he told him only of Escobar and the need to die.


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