Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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XCVI - A Substitute

It expounds to Capitú the idea of ​​Jose Dias. He listened intently, and turned sad.

"You go," she said, "forget me entirely.


-Forgets. Europe is said to be so beautiful, and to Italy mainly. Is not that where the singers come from? You forget me, Bentinho. And there will be no other way? D. Gloria is dead for you to leave the seminary.

"Yes, but you think you're stuck with the promise."

Capitú did not think of another idea, nor did he adopt it. On the way, he asked me that if he went to Rome, he would swear that at the end of six months he would be back.


-For God?

"For God, for everything. I swear that at the end of six months I will be back.

"But if the pope has not yet released you?"

-I mean to say that.

"What if you lie?"

This word hurt me a lot, and I did not think I would reply. Capitú got into business loudly, laughing and calling me in disguise. Then he declared that I should take the oath, but he did not consent; I was going to see if there was no other thing, and that I should see it by my side.

When I returned to the seminary, I told my friend Escobar, who listened to me with equal attention and ended the same sadness of the other. The eyes, usually fleeting, almost ate me with contemplation. Suddenly I saw a flash of light in his face, a reflection of an idea. And I heard him say with volubility:

"No, Bentinho, you do not need that. There is better, I do not say better, because the Holy Father is always worth more than everything, but there is something that produces the same effect.

-What is?

"Your mother made God's promise to give her a priest, would not she?" Well, give him a priest, who is not you. She could well take some good orphan, make him order at his expense, a priest is given to the altar, without you ...

"I see, I understand, that's right.

-Do not you think? he continued. Ask about the prothonotary; he will tell you if it is not the same thing, or I even consult you, if you will; and if he hesitates, the bishop is told.

I, reflecting:

"Yes, it seems that it is; indeed, the promise is fulfilled, not losing the priest.

Escobar observed that, on the economic side, the question was easy; my mother would spend the same as me, and an orphan would not need great comforts. He quoted the sum of the rents of the houses, 1: 070 $ 000, besides the slaves ...

"There is no other thing," I said.

"And we went out together."

-You too?

-Me too. I will improve my Latin and I will leave; nor do I give theology. Latin is not precise; for what in the trade?

"In hoc signo vinces," I said, laughing.

I felt pilherous. Oh! as hope rejoices all. Escobar smiled, seeming to like the answer. Then we were taking care of ourselves, each with their lost eyes, probably. The delle were thus, when I came from afar, and I thanked again the plan remembered; could not havel-the better. Escobar listened to me very contentiously.

"Yet once," he said gravely, "religion and liberty make good company.

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