Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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LXVI - Intimacy

Capitú was now entering my mother's soul. They lived together most of the time, talking about me, about sun and rain, or about nothing; Capitú was going to sew in the mornings; I used to stay for dinner.

Prima Justina did not accompany the kinswoman in those delicacies, but she did not treat my friend with any harm. She was very sincere to say the evil she felt of someone, and felt no good of any person. Maybe her husband, but her husband was dead; in any case, there was no man capable of competing with him in affinity, in work and in honesty, in manners and wit. This opinion, according to Uncle Cosme, was posthuma, for in life they were in quarrels, and the last six months were separated. So much the better for her justice; the praise of the dead is a way of praying for them. I would like my mother too, or if some bad thought of her was between her and the pillow. It is understood that, as a matter of fact, he should give it due consideration. I do not think she aspired to any legacy; the persons thus disposed exceed the natural services, they become more smiling, more assiduous, multiply the care, precede the famulos. All this was contrary to the nature of cousin Justina, made of bitterness and impliedness. As she lived in the house, she explained that she did not neglect the owner and shut up her resentments, or only said evil of God and the devil.

If I had my mother's resentments, there was no more reason to dislike Capitú, nor did she need further reasons. The intimacy of Capitú, however, had borne the most annoyance to my kinswoman. If at first he did not treat her badly, in time he changed his ways and eventually fled. Capitú, attenta, since he had not seen her, he inquired of her and went to her. Prima Justina tolerated this care. Life is full of obligations that we fulfill, however much it may have to infringe them bluntly. In addition, Capitú used certain magic that captiva; Cousin Justina would smile, though sour, but alone with my mother she thought of some bad word to say about the girl.

As my mother was sick of a fever, which put her at the gates of death, she wished that she might serve as a nurse. Prima Justina, though it relieved her of painful care, did not pardon my friend for intervention. One day he asked her if she did not have to do it at home; The other day, laughing, he gave her this epigram: "You do not have to run so much; he who has to be his hands must go. "


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