Dom Casmurro Chapter 46


We make peace in the same way as we do war – quickly. If I were seeking personal glory in this book I would say that the first overtures came from me; but it was she who initiated them. Moments later, as I sat hanging my head in misery, she lowered her head, too, but raised her eyes in order to look into mine. I was not to be moved; instead I wanted to stand up and walk away. But I didn’t stand up, neither did I walk away. Capitu gazed at me so tenderly, her eyes were so appealing, that I stayed where I was. I slipped my arm round her waist; she took hold of the tips of my fingers, and …

Once again Dona Fortunata appeared at the doorway; I don’t know why because even before I had time to remove my arm she had disappeared again. Perhaps she was just satisfying her conscience, performing a ceremony, like saying one’s prayers automatically, out of duty, not with devotion. Unless it was that she wanted to confirm with her own eyes the truth that she already knew in her heart.

Whatever it was, my arm continued to squeeze her daughter’s waist, and in this way we made up our quarrel. Best of all was that we each took the blame on ourselves, and each begged forgiveness of the other. Capitu blamed her insomnia, her headache, her low spirits and finally her ‘bad temper’. I, who was quite a cry-baby at that time, felt my eyes filled with tears … It was my love for her, my pity for what she was suffering, the sweetness of our reconciliation.