Dom Casmurro Chapter 102


Imagine a clock that has only a pendulum and no face, so that one cannot tell the time. The pendulum would swing from side to side but with nothing to show the passage of time. Such was the week we spent in Tijuca.

Now and again we would remember the past and amuse ourselves recalling former sorrows and tribulations, but this was another way of keeping ourselves to ourselves. We relived the long period of waiting as youthful lovers, our adolescent years, the accusation related in the first chapters, and laughed at José Dias, who had sought to separate us and ended up celebrating our union. Once or twice we talked about returning, but the mornings we agreed on were either rainy or sunny, and we were waiting for an overcast day, which persisted in never coming.

None the less I thought Capitu seemed somewhat impatient to return. She agreed to stay but talked so much of her father and my mother, of them wanting news of us, of one thing and another, that we almost quarrelled. I asked her if she was tired of me.


‘It seems like it.’

‘You’ll always be a child,’ she said, cupping my face in her hands and placing her eyes close to mine. ‘Do you think I waited all these years to be tired of you after a week? No, Bentinho, I meant what I said, because they must be longing to see us, perhaps imagining we are ill. And, I admit, I am anxious to see my father.’

‘Then we’ll go tomorrow.’

‘No, it must be an overcast day,’ she retorted with a laugh.

I agreed and laughed with her, but she continued impatient and we left in bright sunshine. The pleasure with which she put on her married woman’s hat, and the matrimonial air with which she gave me her hand to step in or out of the carriage or her arm for walking in the street, all this convinced me that the reason for Capitu’s impatience was the outward display of her new condition. It wasn’t enough to be married between four walls and one or two trees; she needed the rest of the world, too. And when I found myself back home, walking the streets with her, pausing, gazing, talking, I felt the same thing. I suggested outings so that I should be seen, recognized and envied. In the street many would look back at us with curiosity, others would stop, and some would ask, ‘Who are they?’ And one more knowledgeable would answer, ‘That’s Dr Santiago and Dona Capitolina. They were married a few days ago after being in love since they were children. They live in Glória and their families in Matacavalos.’ Then they would add, ‘She’s a strapping lass.’