Dom Casmurro Chapter 91


Obviously these reflections were not made then on my way back to the seminary but now in my study, here in Engenho Novo. At the time I made virtually none, except this: that I had for a moment brought comfort to my neighbour Manduca. Today, looking at it more closely, I think I not only brought him comfort but actually gave him happiness. And this consideration is a consolation to me, for I shall never forget that I gave two or three months’ happiness to a poor devil, helping him to forget his infirmity and all the rest. It is something positive when my life’s account is added up. If there is any reward in the next world for unintentional good deeds, this should pay for one or two of my many sins. As for Manduca, I don’t think it was a sin to side against Russia, but, if it was, then for the last forty years he will have been expiating the happiness he achieved in two or three months – from which he will conclude (too late) that it would have been better just to have suffered, without expressing any opinion whatever.