Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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LXXXVII - The Sege

I had reached the last step, and an idea entered my brain, as if waiting for me, between the bars of the cancella. I heard the words of Manduca's father asking me to go to the funeral the next day. I stopped on the step. I reflected for a moment; yes, I could go to the funeral, I would ask my mother to hire me a car ... Do not take it for granted that it was the desire to drive, no matter how keen to drive. As a child, he reminded me that I went to my mother with friends and for ceremonies, and it was raining at Mass. It was an old seige of my father, which she saved as much as she could. The coachman, who was our slave, as old as he was when he saw me, dressed, waiting for my mother, said to me with a laugh: -John is going to take nhonhô! And it was rare that I did not recommend him: -João, it takes the beasts very long; it goes slow "Gloria does not like it tomorrow." -But delay! It is understood that it was to savor the sege, not the vanity, because she did not allow to see the people that went inside. It was an old obsolete, two-wheeled, narrow and short section with two leather curtains in the front, which ran to the sides when it was necessary to enter or leave. Each curtain had a glass eye, which I liked to spy on. - Sit down, Bentinho! - Let me peek, Mom! And when he was younger, he would thrust his face into the glass, and saw the charioteer with his great boots, scattered on the mule on the left, and holding the net of the other; in his hand he carried the thick, long whip. All incommodo, the boots, the whip and the mules, but he liked it and so did I. On the other side of the street were the houses, shops or not, open or closed, with or without people, and on the street the people who came and went, or crossed before the seige, with big strides or small steps. When there was an impediment of people or animals, the sege stopped, and then the spectacle was particularly interesting; the people standing on the sidewalk or at the door of the houses, looking at the sege and talking to each other, naturally about who would go inside. When I grew up in age, I imagined they would guess and say: "It's that lady from the street of Matacavallos, who has a son, Bentinho ..." The sege went so much with the recondita life of my mother that when there was no other, we continued to walk in it, and was known in the street and in the neighborhood by the "old sege." After all, my mother consented to leave her, without selling it soon; only gave it up because the stagecoach forced her to do so. The reason for keeping it useless was exclusively sentimental; it was the memory of her husband. Everything that came from my father was preserved as a piece of him, a remnant of the person, the same integral and pure soul. But the use, this one was also carrancismo son that she confessed to the friendly. My mother expressed well the fidelity to old habits, old ways, old ideas, old fashions. She had her museum of relics, unused combs, a patch of headdress, copper coins dating from 1824 and 1825, and to make things old, she herself wanted to grow old; but I have already said that at this point I did not reach everything I wanted.


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