Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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III - The Complaint

I was about to enter the drawing-room when I heard my name and hid behind the door. The house was on the street of Matacavallos, the month of November, the year is somewhat remote, but I will not change dates in my life just to please people who do not love old stories; the year was 1857.

-D. Gloria, do you persist in the idea of ​​getting our Bentinho to the seminary? It is more than time, and now there may be a difficulty.

-What difficulty?

"A great difficulty.

My mother wanted to know what it was. José Dias, after a few moments of concentration, came to see if there was anyone in the hallway; did not find me, came back and, muffling his voice, said that the difficulty was in the house at the foot, the people of Padua.

"The people of Padua?"

"I've been telling you this for some time, but I did not dare. I do not think it's nice that our little Bentinho is in the corners with the Turtle's daughter, and this is the difficulty, because if they get a date, you will have a lot to fight to separate them.

-I do not think so. Metrics in the corners?

"It's a way of speaking." In secrets, always together. Bentinho almost does not leave there. The little one is a fool; the father does not see; he would have taken things in such a way, that ... Understanding his gesture; you do not believe in such calculations, it seems to you that everyone has a candida soul ...

"But, Mr. Jose Dias, I've seen the little ones play, and I've never seen anything that makes you suspicious." It is enough; Bentinho is barely fifteen years old. Capitú made fourteen last week; are two creançolas. Do not forget that they were raised together, since that great flood, ten years ago, when the Padova family lost so much; from there came our relations. For will I believe ...? Mano Cosme, what do you think?

Uncle Cosme replied with a "Ora!" Which, translated as vulgar, meant: "These are the imaginations of José Dias; the little ones amuse themselves, I am amused; Where's backgammon?

"Yes, I believe you are mistaken." "You can be, my lady. May they be right; but believe that I did not speak until after much examination ...

"In any case, it's been a while," interrupted my mother; I'll try to meet you at the seminar as soon as possible.

"Well, since you have not lost the idea of ​​making him a priest, you have gained the principal. Bentinho must satisfy his mother's wishes. And then the Brazilian church has high destinies. Let us not forget that a bishop presided over the Constituent Assembly, and that Father Feijó ruled the empire ...

-God like him! said Uncle Cosme, yielding to old political grudges.

"Excuse me, Doctor, I'm not defending anyone, I'm quoting. What I want to say is that the clergy still have a big role in Brazil.

"You want a cloak; Go, get the backgammon. As for the little one, if you have to be a priest, you'd better not start saying mass until after the doors. But look here, sister Gloria, do you really need to be the priest?

"It is a promise, it must be fulfilled."

"I know you made a promise ... but, a promise like that ... I do not know ... I think, well thought... What do you think, cousin Justina?"


"It is true that each one knows best of himself," continued Uncle Cosimo; God knows all. However, a promise of so many years ... But, what is it, mana Gloria? Is crying? Come on! Is this a thing of tears?

My mother blew without answering. Prima Justina, I believe, got up and went to meet her. There was a loud silence, during which I was in a hurry to enter the room, but another force, another emotion ... I could not hear the words Uncle Cosme said. Prima Justina exhorted: "Prima Gloria! Gloria! "Jose Dias excused himself:" If I had known, I would not have spoken, but I spoke of veneration, of esteem, of affection, of fulfilling a bitter duty, a most loving duty ... "


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