Dom Casmurro Chapter 92


I never forgot Manduca. Others, too, I have never forgotten, though they did not move me in the same way: his case was especially affecting for the reason I have already stated. It was with a certain regret that I recalled my first experience of polemics, the pleasure with which he received my arguments and prepared to refute them, not to mention the pleasure of the coach … But time soon eradicated all these recollections and fond memories. And not time alone: two people came to his assistance – Capitu, whose image slept with me that night, and another, about whom I shall write in the next chapter. The remainder of this chapter is merely a request that, should anyone read my book with more attention than is required by the price he paid for his copy, he should not fail to draw the conclusion that the Devil is not so black as he is painted. What I mean …

What I mean is that my neighbour in Matacavalos tempered the corruption of his flesh with his anti-Russian opinions, producing a spiritual balm that acted as a consolation. There are of course better consolations, one of the best being not to suffer from this or any other disease, but the divinity of nature is such that she delights in these contrasts, greeting the foulest and most oppressive with a flower. And perhaps because of this the flower appears more beautiful. My gardener assures me that in order for violets to acquire a superior perfume they need to have pig manure. I have never investigated, but it must be true.