Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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XXVI - The Laws are Beautiful

José Dias's face was similar to the reflection of an idea, an idea that rejoiced him extraordinarily. He paused a moment; I had my eyes on him, he had returned to the side of the bar. How he insisted:

"It's late," he said. but to prove to you that there is no lack of will, I will speak to your mother. Do not promise to win but to fight; I will work with soul. Devéras, do not you want to be a priest? The laws are beautiful, my dear ... You can go to S. Paulo, to Pernambuco, or even further. There are good universities around the world. Go to the laws, if such is your vocation. I'll tell D. Gloria, but do not count on me alone; Tell your uncle too.

-I have to talk.

"Go with God, too-with God and the Blessed Virgin," he concluded, pointing to the sky.

The sky was a bit crushed. In the air, near the beach, great black birds made turns, flying or hovering, and came down to rub their feet in the water, and rose again to descend again. But neither the shadows of the sky nor the fantastic dances of the birds diverted me from the spirit of my interlocutor. After I answered yes, I asked myself:

"God will do what you want."

"Do not blaspheme. God owns everything; He alone is the earth and the sky, the past, the present, and the future. Ask him for your happiness, that I do not do anything else ... Since you can not be a priest, and prefer the laws ... The laws are beautiful, without undoing in theology, which is better than everything, as the ecclesiastical life is the holiest ... Why should not you study law from here? Better to go to some university soon, and at the same time study, travel. We can go together; we will see the foreign lands, we will hear English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and even Swedish. D. Gloria probably will not be able to accompany you; even if you can and will, you will not want to guide business, paperwork, tuition, and take care of hostels, and walk with you from side to side ... Oh! the laws are beautiful!

"Is it said, you ask my mother not to put me in the seminary?"

"Ask, I ask, but asking is not reaching. Angel of my heart, if the will to serve is power to command, we are here, we are on board. There! you do not know what Europe is; oh! the Europe...

He lifted his leg and pirouetted. One of his ambitions was to return to Europe, to speak of her many times, without ever trying my mother or Uncle Cosme, no matter how she praised the air and the beauties ... I did not count on this possibility of going with me, and staying there during the eternity of my studies.

"We're on board, Bentinho, we're on board!"


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