Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

LVI - A Seminarian

All I was repeating the devil of the opusculo, with his old letters and Latin quotations. I have seen many leaves of seminarians come out of the leaves, the Albuquerques brothers, for example, one of whom is a congo in Bahia, while the other followed medicine and said to have discovered a specific one against yellow fever. I saw Bastos, a magricella, who is a vicar at Meia-Ponte, if he has not already died; Luiz Borges, in spite of being a priest, became a politician, and he became a senator of the empire ... How many other faces looked at me from the cold pages of the Panegyrico! No, they were not cold; brought the heat of the nascent youth, the heat of the past, my own heat. He wanted to read them again, and he could understand some text, as fresh as on the first day, but shorter. It was lovely to go for him; sometimes, unconsciously, he folded the sheet as if he were actually reading; I believe it was when my eyes fell on the word at the bottom of the page, and the hand, accustomed to helping them, did their job ... Here is another seminarian. His name was Ezequiel de Souza Escobar. He was a slender boy, clear eyes, a little fugitive, like his hands, like his feet, like speech, like everything. Anyone who was not accustomed to him might feel ill, not knowing where to get him. He did not look at his face, he did not speak clearly or often; the hands did not squeeze the others, nor did they let themselves be squeezed, because the fingers, being thin and short, when we took care of them among theirs, had nothing. The same I say of the feet, that they were so quickly here as there. This difficulty in landing was the greatest obstacle he had to take to the seminary customs. The smile was instantaneous, but it laughed, too. One thing would not be as fugitive as the rest, the reflection; We were going to find him, too, with his eyes fixed on himself, wondering. He answered-nus whenever he meditated on some spiritual point, or that he remembered the license of the evening. When he entered my intimacy he often asked me for explanations and small repetitions, and he had memory to guard them all, even the words. Perhaps this faculty harmed some other.

He was older than I was three years old, the son of a lawyer from Corityba, who was related to a merchant from Rio de Janeiro, who served as correspondent to the father. He was a man of strong Catholic sentiment. Escobar had a sister, who was an angel, he said.

"It is not only in beauty that he is an angel, but also in kindness. Can not imagine what a good creature she is. Write me a lot, I'll show you her letters.

In fact, they were simple and affectionate, full of caresses and advice. Escobar would tell me stories of it, interesting, all that came to give in the goodness and the spirit of that creature; These were the ones that would make me able to end up marrying her, if it was not for Capitú. He died shortly thereafter. I, seduced by his words, almost immediately told him my story. At first I was shy, but he got himself into my confidence. These fugitive ways ceased when he wanted, and the middle and the time made them more rested. Escobar came and opened his whole soul from the front door to the back of the yard. The soul of the people, as you know, and a house so arranged, not infrequently with windows on all sides, much light and fresh air. It has also been closed and dark, without windows, or with few and barred, like convents the prisons. Otrosim, capellas and bazaars, simple porches or sumptuous palaces.

I do not know what mine was. I was not yet casmurro, nor dom boom; the fear was that I was being frank, but since the doors had no keys or locks, I simply pushed them, and Escobar pushed them out and entered. I found it inside, stayed here, until ...


Return to the Dom Casmurro Summary Return to the Machado de Assis Library

© 2022