Dom Casmurro Chapter 40


Left on my own, I stopped to think for a while, and a fantastic idea came to me. You are already familiar with my fantasies. I told you about the Emperor’s visit and about my building this house in Engenho Novo as a copy of the one in Matacavalos. My imagination has been with me all my life, sometimes lively, restless and swift, at others timid and halting, but most of the time it has raced at will over the face of the earth. I think it was in Tacitus that I read that Iberian mares conceive from the wind; if it wasn’t him it was some other ancient writer who recorded this belief in books. In this respect my imagination was an enormous Iberian mare who at the slightest breeze conceived a foal, which later turned out to be Alexander’s horse. But let us forget these high-flown metaphors, which are unseemly for a fifteen-year-old boy. Let us put it more simply. My idea at that moment was to confess my love for Capitu to my mother so as to convince her that I had no vocation for the Church. All that conversation about vocation came back to me, and while it alarmed me it did seem to offer a means of escape. Yes, I told myself, I’ll say to my mother that I don’t have the vocation, and I’ll tell her about our love. If she doesn’t believe me I’ll tell her about the hairdressing and all the rest.