Dom Casmurro Chapter 51


At twilight everything needs to be as brief as the moment itself. Nor did our leave-taking last long; we made the best of it there in her house, in the living-room, before the candles were lit. There it was we said our goodbyes. We swore again that we should marry, and it was not just with our hands that we plighted our troth, as in the yard, but with the joining of our tender lips … Perhaps I’ll cut this out when it comes to printing if I haven’t changed my mind by then; if not it can stay. It can stay in any case because the truth is, it is our justification. The divine commandment says we shall not take the name of the Lord in vain. I was not going to the seminary under false pretences since I took with me a contract registered in the archives of heaven itself. As for the seal, as God gave us clean hands so He also gave us clean lips, and if you see any evil it’s in your own perverse mind, not in those two adolescent children … Oh, sweet companion of my childhood, I was pure, pure I remained, and pure I was when I entered the gates of São José seeking, to all appearances, my investiture as a priest and before that my vocation. But my vocation was you; my investiture was you.