Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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XLIV - The First Child

"Here, let me write something down."

Capitú looked at me, but in a way that reminded me of José Dias's definition, oblique and disguised; He looked up without looking up. The voice, somewhat numb, asked me:

"Tell me something, but tell me the truth, I do not want disguise; you must respond with your heart in your hand.

-What is? Say it.

"If you had to choose between me and your mother, who would you choose?"


He nodded yes.

"I chose ... but what choice?" Mom can not ask me that.

"Yes, yes, but I ask. Suppose you are in the seminary and you receive the news that I am going to die ...

-Do not say that!

-... Or that I miss myself, if you do not come soon, and your mother does not want you to come, tell me, are you coming?

-I come.

"Against your mother's order?"

"Against Mother's order."

"You leave seminary, leave your mother, leave everything, to see me die?

"Do not talk about dying, Capitú!"

Capitú had a disbelieving, disbelieving laugh, and with the taquara he wrote a word on the floor; I bowed and read: a liar.

It was so strange that I did not find an answer. He did not understand the reason for the writing, as he did not agree with the speaker's. If there was a great or small insult to me, it is possible that I wrote it too, with the same taquara, but I could not remember anything. His head was empty. At the same time I was afraid that someone could hear or read us. Who, if we were alone? Fortunata had once arrived at the door of the house, but he entered soon after. The solitude was complete. Reminds me that a swallow passed over the yard and went to the side of the hill of Santa Theresa; no one else. In the distance, vague and confused voices, in the street a troop of beasts, on the side of the house the chirping of the birds of Padova. Nothing more, or just this curious phenomenon, that the name written by her, not only peeped me off the floor, but it even seemed to affect the air. Then I had a bad idea; I told him that, after all, the life of a priest was not bad, and I could acceital it without much pain. It was puerile, as it turned out; but I felt the secret hope that I would throw myself into tears. Capitú merely widened his eyes, and ended by saying,

"Father is good, no doubt; better than priest only, because of the purple socks. Purple is very beautiful color. Come to think of it, it's a better congo.

"But you could not be a rabbit without first being a priest," I said, biting my lips.

-Good; start with the black stockings, then the purple ones will come. What I do not want to lose is your new Mass; let me know in time to make a fashionable dress, balloon skirt and big frills ... But maybe in that time the fashion is another. The church must be large, Carmo or S. Francisco.

-Or Candelaria.

-Candelaria too. Any sip, though I hear the new Mass. I'll make a big shot. A lot of people have to ask: "Who is that cheeky girl who is wearing such a beautiful dress there?" - "That is D. Capitolina, a girl who lived in the street of Matacavallos ..."

"Who lived?" Are you going to move?

"Who knows where he lives tomorrow?" she said with a slight tone of melancholy; but turning to sarcasm: And you at the altar, in the dawn, with the gold cloak on top, singing ... Pater noster ...

Ah! how I feel not to be a romantic poet to say that this was a duel of ironies! I would count my boats and the della, the grace of one and the promptitude of another, and the blood running, and the fury in the soul, until my final blow that was this:

"Yes, Captain, you will hear my new Mass, but on one condition.

To which she replied:

Your Reverend can speak.

"Do you play a thing?"

-What is?

- Say you promise.

"Not knowing what it is, do not promise.

"Two things, to tell the truth," I went on, because another idea had come to me.

"Two?" Tell them what they are.

"The first is that you must confess with me only to give you penance and absolution." The second is that ...

"The first is promised," she said, watching me hesitate, and added that she was expecting the second.

Word that cost me, and before I did not get out of the mouth; I would not listen to what I heard, I would not write a thing here that might be unbelieving.

"The second ... yes ... is that ... Promise me to be the priest who marries you?"

Let me get married She was a little touched.

Then he lowered his lips and shook his head.

"No, Bentinho," he said, "it would be a long time; you're not going to be a priest tomorrow, it takes many years ... Look, I promise something else; I promise you'll have to baptize my first child.


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