Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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XI - A Promise

As soon as I saw the guest in the corridor disappear, I left the hiding place, and ran to the back porch. He did not want to know about tears or the cause that made them shed my mother. The cause was probably his ecclesiastical projects, and the occasion of these is what I am going to say, because it is already an old history; he was seventeen years old.

The projects came from the time I was conceived. When the first child was born to him, my mother took up his life with God, so that the second one might take revenge, if he were a man, he would take him to the church. Maybe he was expecting a girl. I said nothing to my father, neither before nor after giving birth to me; I would tell him when I went to school, but he was widowed before that. He saw, he was afraid to part with me; but she was so devout, so godly, that she sought witnesses of the obligation, trusting the promise to relatives and relatives. Only, in order to separate as late as possible, he made me take home the first letters, Latin and doctrine, by that Father Cabral, an old friend of Uncle Cosme, who was going to play there in the evenings.

Long terms are easy to subscribe; imagination makes them infinite. My mother waited for the years to come. However, I was liking the idea of ​​the church; earrings of growth, devout books, images of saints, house conversations, all converged on the altar. When we went to mass, he always told me that it was to apprender to be a priest, and that he noticed the priest, did not take the eyes of the priest. At home, I played at Mass, -a bit in secret, because my mother said that Mass was not a joke. We'd get an altar, Capitú and me. She served as a sacristan, and we altered the ritual, in the sense of dividing the host between us; the host was always sweet. In the time when we used to play like this, it was very common to hear my neighbor say: "Today is Mass?" I already knew what this meant, I would say affirmatively, and I would ask for a name for another. He would return with her, we would get the altar, we would swap the Latin and we would precipitate the ceremonies. Dominus, non sum dignus ... This, which I should say three times, I think I said only one, such was the golodice of the priest and the sacristan. We drank neither wine nor water; we did not have the first, and the second came to take away the taste of sacrifice.

Lately, they had not told me about the seminary, so much so that I supposed it to be an endless business. For fifteen years, when there was no vocation, they asked the seminary of the world rather than St. Joseph's. My mother would look at me as a lost soul for a long time, or take my hand, under the pretext of nothing, to open it much.


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