Dom Casmurro Chapter 131


It happened that my life once again became calm and pleasant: my lawyer’s office was doing well, Capitu was ever more beautiful, and Ezequiel was growing. It was the beginning of 1872.

‘Have you noticed how Ezequiel has a funny expression in his eyes?’ asked Capitu. ‘I’ve only seen two people like that – a friend of Papa’s and poor Escobar. Look, Ezequiel. Look straight at me. That’s right. Now look towards Papa. You don’t need to roll your eyes. That’s it. That’s it.’

It was after dinner. We were still at table and Capitu was playing with her son, or he with her, or one with the other, because they loved each other very much, though it is a fact that he loved me best of all. I looked closely at Ezequiel and saw that Capitu was right: he had Escobar’s eyes, though I didn’t find them funny on account of that. After all, there aren’t more than half-a-dozen expressions in the world, and many likenesses can have a perfectly natural cause.

Ezequiel, who understood nothing, looked at each of us in surprise, then jumped on my lap. ‘Shall we go for a walk, Papa?’

‘In a little while, my son.’

Capitu, who was no longer attending to us, was looking across the table, but when I told her that as for beauty Ezequiel’s eyes were those of his mother she smiled and shook her head in that way of hers that I have never seen in any other woman, probably because I have never loved any other so much. A person’s worth is gauged by the affection he inspires in others, hence the popular adage that the ugliest lovers are beautiful to each other. Capitu had half-a-dozen such gestures that were peculiar to her. This one was one of her most endearing. Which explains why I ran to my wife and friend and smothered her with kisses. But the incident is not absolutely essential for an understanding of the previous chapter or of those to follow. Let’s keep to Ezequiel’s eyes.