Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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LXIV - An Idea and a Scruple

Rereading the last chapter, give me an idea and a scruple. The scrupulous is precisely to write the idea, not being more banal in the earth, than of that banality of the sun and the moon, which the sky gives us every day and every month. I left the manuscript, and looked at the walls. You know that this house of Engenho Novo, in dimensions, dispositions and paintings, is a reproduction of my old house in Matacavallos. Especially, as I told you in Chapter II, my end in imitating the other was to connect the two ends of life, which I have not attained. For it was the dream of the seminary, however much it tried to sleep and sleep. From which I conclude that one of the offices of the man is to close and squeeze his eyes a lot, to see if it continues in the old night the truncated dream of the young night. Such is the banal and new idea that I did not intend to put here, and only provisionally write it.

Before concluding this chapter, I went to the window to inquire into the night why the dreams must be so faint that they will be broken at the slightest opening of eyes or coming back from the body, and they will not continue. The night did not answer me soon. She was deliciously beautiful, the hills paled with moonlight, and the space died of silence. As I insisted, he told me that the dreams no longer belong to his jurisdiction. When they lived on the island Luciano gave them, where she had her palace, and where she made them leave with their faces in varying ways, she would give me possible explanations. But times have changed everything. The old dreams have been retired, and the modern ones live in the person's brain. These, though they might imitate others, could not do it; the island of dreams, like the island of love, like all the islands of all seas, are now the object of the ambition and rivalry of Europe and the United States.

It was an allusion to the Fillipinas. Because I do not love politics, and even less international politics, I closed the window and came to finish this chapter to go to sleep. I do not ask now for Luciano's dreams, nor for others, children of memory or digestion; just a quiet, muted sound. In the morning, with the fresh, I will tell the story of my story and its people.


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