Dom Casmurro Chapter 125


Priam judged himself the most wretched of men for kissing the hand of the man who killed his son. It is Homer who tells us this, and Homer is a great author, despite writing in verse – there are exact narrations in verse, even in bad verse. Compare Priam’s situation with mine. I had just praised the virtues of the man who, in death, had won that look … It is impossible that some Homer should fail to produce a much stronger or at least an equal effect from my situation. Don’t say that we lack Homers for the reason given by Camões; no, senhor, we lack them for sure, but only because our Priams seek the shade and silence. Their tears, if they shed any, are dried behind doors so that their faces may appear fresh and serene; their speech is rather gay than melancholic, and everything is as if Achilles had never killed Hector.