Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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CXXXVI - The Coffee Bean

My plan was to wait for the coffee, to dissolve it in the drug and ingeril-a. Until then, having not forgotten all my Roman history, he reminded me that Cato, before he killed himself, read and reread a book by Plato. Plato did not have me; but a truncated tome of Plutarch, in which the life of the celebrated Roman was narrated, it was enough for me to occupy that little time, and, in order to imitate him, I stretched out on the couch. Nor was it only imitating him in this; he had need of instilling in me the courage of him, just as he needed the sentiments of the philosopher, intrepidly to die. One of the evils of ignorance is not having this remedy at the last minute. There are many people who kill without it, and it nobly expires; but I am sure that many more people would put an end to their days if they could find this kind of moral cocaine from good books. Meanwhile, wanting to escape any suspicion of imitation, it reminds me well that, in order not to be found the book of Plutarch at my feet, nor to be given the news in the gazettes with the color of the trousers that I then wore, -O again in your log, before drinking the poison.

The waiter brought the coffee. I got up, put away the book, and went to the table where the chicara had been. The house was already rumored; It was time to break up with me. My hand shook as I opened the wrapping paper. Still I had the courage to pour the substance into the chicha, and I began to stir the coffee, the vague eyes, the memory in innocent Desdemona; the spectacle of the evening had come to interfere with the reality of the morning. But the photograph of Escobar gave me the courage I lacked; there he was, with his hand on the back of the chair, looking away ...

"Let's get on with it, I thought.

When I went to drink, I wondered if it would not be better to wait for Capitú and his son to go to mass; he would drink later; it was better. So arranged, I went for a walk in the study. I heard the voice of Ezekiel in the hall, and I saw him come in and run to me, crying out,

-Papae! papae

Reader, here was a gesture that I do not describe as havel-o entirely forgotten, but believe it was beautiful and tragic. Effectively, the figure of the little one made me back down until I turned my back on the shelf. Ezequiel put his arms around my knees, stretched out on tiptoe, as if to climb up and give me the usual kiss; and he repeated, pulling me:

-Papae! papae


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