Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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XXXV - Apostolic Protonotary

Anyway, I picked up the books and ran the license. I did not run precisely; halfway there I stopped, warning that it must be very late, and they could read something in my countenance. I had the idea of ​​lying, a vertigo that would have laid me down; but the fright that would cause my mother made me reject her. I thought of promising a few dozen priests; but he had another promise open and another favor pending ... No, let's see; I walked, heard cheerful voices, talked carefully. When I entered the room, no one scolded me.

Father Cabral had received a message from the internship on the eve; went to meet him, and learned that by papal decree he had just been appointed apostolic protonotary. This distinction of the pope had given him great contentment and to all of us. Uncle Cosme and cousin Justina repeated the title with admiration; it was the first time he had sounded in our ears, accustomed to rabbits, monsignors, bishops, nuncios, and internuncios; but that he was apostolic protonotary? Father Cabral explained that it was not exactly the office of the curia, but the honors of him. Uncle Cosme saw himself exalting himself in the voltarete partner, and repeated:

-Protonotario apostolico!

And turning to me:

"Prepare yourself, Bentinho; you can become an apostolic protonotary.

Cabral listened with pleasure to the repetition of the title. He was standing, taking a few steps, smiling or drumming on the cover of his pussy. The size of the title as it bent his magnificence, since, to bind him to the name, it was too long; this second reflection was Uncle Cosme who made it. Father Cabral came to the conclusion that it was not necessary to tell him everything, it was enough that he was called the protonotary Cabral. It was understood as apostolic.

-Protonotario Cabral.

-Yes, you're right; Cabral protonotary.

"But, Mr. Protonotario," Cousin Justina said to get accustomed to the use of the title, "Is this obliging you to go to Rome?"

"No, Don Justina.

"No, it's just the honors," my mother remarked.

"It does not," said Cabral, who continued to reflect, "it does not prevent that in the cases of greater formality, public acts, letters of ceremony, etc., if we use the whole title: apostolic protonotary. In common use, protonotario enough.

"All right," they all nodded.

Jose Dias, who entered shortly after me, applauded the distinction, and recalled, by the way, the first political acts of Pius IX, great hopes of Italy; but no one took the matter; the principal of the hour and of the logar was my old master of Latin. I, returning to myself from the fear, understood that I ought to be of the same length, and this applause was no less to the heart than the others. He patted me on the cheek, and ended up giving me a vacation. It was too much happiness for an hour. A kiss and vacation! I think my face said this, because Uncle Cosme, shaking his belly, called me a cantaloupe; but Jose Dias corrected the joy:

"You do not have to celebrate the banter; Latin must always be accurate to him, even if he does not become a priest.

I met my man here. It was the first word, the seed thrown to the ground, just in passing, as if to accustom the ears of the family. My mother smiled at me, full of love and sadness, but she said,

"You must be a priest, and a handsome priest."

"Do not forget, sister Gloria, and protonotary too. Protonotario apostolico.

"The protonotario Santiago, accentuated Cabral.

If the intention of my Latin master was to get accustomed to the use of the title with the name, I do not know; what I do know is that when I heard my name linked to that title, I wanted to say a bad word. But the will here was rather an idea, an idea without a language, that was left quiet and silent, just like other ideas a little ... But they ask for a special chapter. Let us reiterate this by saying that the Latin master spoke some time of my ecclesiastical ordination, although without great interest. Elle was looking for something else to forget his own glory, but it was the one that dazzled him at the time. He was a slim, serene old man endowed with good qualities. Some flaws had; the most exalted of them was to be greedy, not properly gluttonous; he ate little, but he esteemed the fine and the rare, and our little flat, if it were simple, was less poor than the delle. So when my mother told her to come to dinner, in order to make her health, her eyes would be protonotary, but they were not apostolic. And to please my mother, she took me again, describing my ecclesiastical future, and she wanted to know if she was going to the seminary now, in the next year, and she offered to speak to the "bishop," all of it marquetry of the "protonotario Santiago.


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