Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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XXII - Feelings from Others

I did not get anything else, and to the end I regretted the request: I should have followed Capitú's advice. Then, as I wanted to go inside, Cousin Justina kept me a few minutes, talking about the heat and the next feast of the Conception, my old oratorios, and finally of Capitú. He said no evil; on the contrary, he insinuated that I might become a pretty girl. I, who thought she was so beautiful, would cry out that she was the most beautiful creature in the world, if I were not afraid to be discreet. However, as cousin Justina would commend herself to him for the manners, gravity, customs, working for his own, the love of my mother, all this accentuated me to the point of praising her too. When it was not with words, it was with the gesture of approbation I gave to each one of the other's assertions, and certainly with the happiness that should illumine my face. I did not notice that this confirmed the denunciation of Jose Dias, heard by her, in the afternoon, in the parlor, if she did not already suspect it. I just thought about that in bed. Only then did I feel that the eyes of cousin Justina, when I spoke, seemed to touch me, to hear me, to smell me, to like me, to make the officio of all the senses. Ciumes could not be; between a brat of my age and a forty-year-old widow there was no place for jealousy. It is certain that, after a while, he modified the accolades to Capitú, and even made some criticisms to him, he told me that it was a little trefega and looked under; but still, I do not think they were jealous. I believe before ... yes ... yes, I believe this. I believe that Cousin Justina found in the spectacle of the sensations of others a vague resurrection of her own. It is also enjoyed by influence of the lips that narrate.


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