Based on a novel by Machado de Assis
To the worm who gnawed the cold flesh of my corpse
l dedicate as a nostalgic remembrance these
Forsome tlme lwas lndoubt as to whether to start these memolrs...
at the beglnnlngorthe end, wlthmyblrthormydeath.
Usuallyone starts at the beglnnlng...
but ldecldedto start at the endfortwo reasons;
The first is that as l came back to be the author...
more than awriter who is dead, l am a dead man who is awriter...
for whom the grave was asecond cradle.
The second is that by doing so, it gets more innovative and modern.
Moses, who also recounted his story in the Bible...
began with his birth, not his death.
This, in fact, is a radical difference between my story and the Bible.
Nature seems to weep at the loss...
of one of its finest characters.
lwas 64andhadhada fullllfe. lwasslngle andrlch.
To the goodfrlend yousee glvlngmyeulogy...
lleft agoodlysum. ldon't regret lt.
...all of this is sublime praise for our illustrious departed.
Just a fewpeople wltnessedmydeparture...
The famllydoctorwas there...
the frlendyousaw speaklngat myburlal...
aplousnelghbour andthe sald lady.
ldledmore than 100yearsago lnRlo de Janelro.
More preclsely,at 2o'clock on a FrldayafternoonlnAugust of 1869.
Shouldanyone thlnkmydeath wascausedbypneumonla...
he wouldnot be wrong.
However,lt wouldbe more accurate to saythat ldledofanldea.
Andnot just anyldea, but amagnlflcent ldea;
the lnventlonofasubllme remedy, the BrasCubasPoultlce.
The poultlce became such anobsesslon...
that one day, trylngto clearmyhead, lopenedthe wlndow.
But lnsteadofagentle breeze, lwasstruckbyablast ofalr.
Andthat'show lcaugh pneumonla.
The colonization of our country requires railroads...
trains are the lungs of the economy.
lrememberlt aslflt were today...
herappearance at the door, pale,upset,dressedlnblack.
She stoodthere fora whlle, reluctant to come closer...
Vlrgllla. Yes,hername was Vlrgllla.
lmaglne, we hadbeenln love, longago.
Who wouldhave though, two great lovers...
two boundlesspasslons, wouldhave endedthls way.
Aftertwentyyears, there was nothlngleft betweenus.
Visiting the dead, are we?
More like trying to get avagabond out of bed.
Afterwards l"ll tell the story of Virgilia.
But first l want to do something very unusual.
As far as l know, up to now, no one... no one...
has ever described his own final delirium.
You, the spectator, already fidgeting in your seat...
be patient, we"ll soon get to the main story.
Imsure you'llflnd verylnterestlng...
what went throughmyheadln the flnalmlnutesofmyexlstence.
Flrst lfelt myself belngtransformed lnto St Thomas' 'Summa Theologlca'.
Myhands were the bookclasps...
but Vlrgllla foundthat posltlon made me lookllke acorpse.
andthough lwasenterlng the landofeternallce.
But ln fact lwasrldlng ahlppopotamus.
Andlt carrledme off to the beglnnlngoftlme.
What is your name?
-You can call me Nature. -Nature? You?
You are absurd, a fable!
Mistress Nature, please give me a few more years.
l have no more need for you.
The minute that passes means little to time...
only the minute that comes. Go down and look.
the condensatlonofthe ages.
lsaw the tumult ofemplres, the warofappetltes...
the reclprocaldestructlon ofcreaturesandthlngs.
Ambltlon, vanlty,greedandenvy shaklngmanllke arattle.
Andmovlngon to the centurlesofthe future...
everythlngbegan to passmore qulckly.
But wlth the same monotony.
When l recovered my senses, there she was.
l will tell you about Virgilia, but be patient, one thing at a time.
Now make yourself comfortable as l"m about to start.
And watch how skillfully l handle...
the passage of time in this story.
My delirium began in Virgilia"s presence.
She was the great sin of my youth.
And as there is no youth without childhood...
and no childhood without birth...
thls lshow we arrlve wlthout effort...
at 0ctober20h 1805, the daylwasborn.
-He is so chubby. -He"s beautiful.
-He"s very pretty. -He"s got more hair than me.
Alllknowls that lgrew naturally,llke plantsandcatsdo.
Shut up and move.
Althoughcatsare lessclever andplantslessmlschlevous...
A poet once saldthat the chlld ls fatherto the man.
lhope lt'snot true, asslnce the age offlve...
lwasknownas the "llttle devll.
Mymothermade me learnsome prayers...
trylngto transformher devllchlld lnto asalnt.
ln the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
However,more than the prayers...
what ruledme were nervesandblood.
0r,at that moment, the stomach.
...the hero that deserves the medal is the one that stays...
not the one that departs.
-Councillor Aires, a theme. -Sweets!
Eggs, flour, baking powder...
cakes, pies and cheeses.
But l only take nourishment from your sweet kisses.
Admirable, Doctor Vilaca.
You say that, Madame, because you never heard Bocage...
as l did, in Lisbon.
That was something. What skill.
Vllaca wouldmake poems andmore poems...
andthe dessert neverarrlved.
Whenlthough lt would be the last, there came another.
Thlscrlme merlted ahuge revenge...
-Go through. -l"m very angry with you.
Because it "s my fate...
Sometimes l think it would be better to die.
Don"t say that, my angel.
-Leave me alone. -What kind of idea is that?
lf you die, so will l.
What am l saying? l die every day...
of passion, longing, melancholy.
Do not weep...
you don"t want the day to break with two dawns.
Dr. Vilaca kissed Dona Eusebia! Dr. Vilaca kissed Dona Eusebia!
Dr. Vilaca kissed Dona Eusebia! Dr. Vilaca kissed Dona Eusebia!
Dr. Vilaca kissed Dona Eusebia! Dr. Vilaca kissed... Dona Eusebia!
Having described this episode, let "s skip past school.
Tiresome school where l learned to read, write...
hit my classmates, cut classes.
Let "s jump ahead to...
At the lndependence celebratlons...
the countryandl were two youngmen...
fresh fromchlldhood, fullof the recklesslmpulsesofyouth.
lwasahandsome fellow. Handsome andbold.
That nlgh, whlle the country celebratedltsnewemperor...
Ah,Marcela! Flrst passlonofmyyouth.
lt tookme 30days andthree emeralds...
ls that any way to behave?
Such an expensive present.
The emeralds were the proof that lwas the superlorman.
But mybeautlfulMarcela was somewhat lacklngln lnnocence.
ln fact she barely understoodmorallty.
Do you really like it?
The flrst was aklndofparllament...
wlthXavleras the presldent andl, the prlme-mlnlster.
But lt dldn't last long. llaunchedacoupd'etat...
lbecame adlctator wlthout opposltlon.
You"re trying to pick a fight.
ls that any way to behave? Such an expensive gift.
Tell me what else l can do for you?
This necklace is so lovely...
almost as lovely as the one in Klopstock, the jeweler"s window.
The one l saw the other day. ln gold with many diamonds...
five rubies and matching earrings.
But our love doesn"t need these stimulants.
l"d never forgive you if you thought of me like that.
l would never allow anyone to buy my affection.
l have often sold the appearance of affection, l must confess...
but l have kept the real thing for very few.
Marcela was verydearto me.
So dearthat verysoon myfather'smoneywasnot enough.
ln fact he seemed more llke abankmanager.
Angelsanddemonsdlsgulse themselvesln varlous ways.
Some asbankers, others,jéwelers.
To remind you of me when we part.
Marcela! No, please.
Don"t do it, Marcela. Don"t do it.
l beg you, Marcela!
Marcela lovedme for 15monthsand$11,000.
lt "s over!
Whenmyfatherfoundout about the $11,000...
he made me packmybagsand put me onaboat to Llsbon.
The flrst daylthough ofkllllngmyself.
0n the second, ofbecomlngaprlest.
0n the thlrd, ofdrlnklngmyselfsenseless.
0n the fourth,lthough ofwrltlngaletterto Marcela.
0n the flfth, lbegan to thlnkofEurope...
andon the slxthldreamed about the nlghslnLlsbon.
lnslxdaysGodmade the world andlremade mlne.
lcan't saymyunlversltydays dldn't teachme some phllosophy...
but ljust memorlzedthe formulas, the vocabulary, the skeleton.
lt wasdurlngthe nlgh that llearnedthlngsabout the soul...
Brothers, now that we"re gathered...
as our tradition demands, let us drink a toast to us.
One up, one down, one in the middle and one down the hatch.
lwasasuperflclalandpetulant scholar,glven to adventures.
Forthlsreason, the day the unlversltypresentedme adlploma...
lnasclence that lhad llttle knowledge ln...
lmust confesslfelt both foollshandproud.
lcame to the concluslon that law couldnot be aserlousbuslness...
slnce evenlcould earnadegree lnlt.
andset offto explore Europe.
lwon't relate everythlng ldld ln the 0ld World.
lt wouldbe too much forabrlefmemolr llke thls...
ln whlchonlythe substance ofllfe appears.
lwllljust mentlon that ldlscoveredltalywlthlsabela...
London wlthMargareth, Parls wlthMlchelle...
Whenlwas flnallyslck ofallmytravels...
Bras,returnat once, yourmotherls verylll.
My poor child, l"ll never see you again.
Come quickly, my son, or you"ll find your mother dead.
Thls flnalphrase came asablow to me.
ldecldedto exchange the women formymother...
SeelngRlo de Janelro lfelt anewsensatlon.
The place where lhadgrownup... the street... the steeple...
the fountalnon the corner...
l am dying.
Don"t say that.
-Take care of your father. -l will.
And my roses.
My son, l want to give you a final piece of advice.
What is it?
Life, my little Bras, is a lottery.
thls flnalduelbetween to be ornot to be.
lrenouncedeverythlng andsough refuge...
lnourcountryhouse ln Tljuca.
Howgoodlt ls to be sad andsaynothlng...
l was prostrate.
The problem of life and death had never weighed me down.
Never until this day...
had l looked into the abyss of the inexplicable.
Perhaps the audience is astonished at the frankness...
with which l reveal my mediocrity.
But remember that frankness is the prime virtue of the deceased.
ln life, public opinion...
the conflict of interests, competing greed...
oblige us to hide, disguise...
and deceive others.
But in death, what a difference...
what a release, what freedom.
Well, well, little Bras!
A grown man. Who would have thought it?
-How have you been, ma"am? -Well, very well.
But come with me, l want you to see my house.
You probably don"t remember me too well.
Of course l do, Dona Eusebia.
How could l forget such a close family friend.
Tell me about your travels.
How did your studies go? And the love affairs?
l want to know about them too.
-Mama. -Come here, Eugenia.
Say hello to Dr. Bras Cubas...
Mr. Cubas" son, just back from Europe.
My daughter, Eugenia.
You little scamp, let me help you with your braids.
Little scamp? lsn"t she beyond that age now?
How old do you think she is?
Then she"s ayoung lady.
She has many qualities. Did you know that Eugenia...
is learning French?
-St. Bartholomew, a black butterfly! -lt "s only a butterfly, Eusebia.
The next day,lreturnedto DonaEusebla'shouse...
to get abetterlook at that youngglrl wlth the face ofanymphet...
andthe alrofa woman.
But oncloserlnspectlon, lnotlcedshe llmped.
Did you hurt your foot?
No, thank you. l am lame, from birth.
Come and see how beautiful this flower is.
Eyesso clear,llpsso fresh, suchabeautlfulglrl...
Oh, my! What a beautiful butterfly.
AndseelngmyVenusllmplng, lcouldn't stopwonderlng...
whybeautlfullflame, whylame lfbeautlful?
lt "s time you return to Rio.
l have no reason.
You need a reason? Then l"ll give you two.
-A seat in Parliament and a marriage. -What?
A seat in Parliament and a marriage.
l know nothing of politics...
and as for a bride, let me live like the bear that l am.
A political career is necessary, my son.
You"ll be a Congressman. And you will have a lovely wife.
The bride is an angel, you dummy...
an angel with no wings.
Virgilia is her name.
Virgilia is that lady who in 1869...
would be present at my final hour.
And long before that, was an important part...
of my most intimate feelings.
This is the young Virgilia...
perhaps the most petulant creature in the human race.
Certainly the most headstrong.
l was to meet her very soon.
And very soon a romance will begin.
But let us get on with the story without interruptions.
We are with my father, drinking coffee, when...
-Virgilia...? -Councillor Dutra"s daughter.
An influential politician, don"t you know him?
l am prepared to examine the two things...
provided l"m not obliged to accept both.
l can be a married man without being a public man.
Every public man should be married.
But be that as it may, l"m game for anything...
provided you don"t remain here...
wasting your time obscure and sad.
l didn"t expend money, care and effort not to see you shine.
Life is one great lottery...
and two tickets increase your chances of happiness.
-Come back with me? -l"ll go tomorrow.
Blessedare those that do not return...
forthelrsls the flrst klss ofamalden.
Thls lsnot exactly ablbllcal phrase...
but lt certalnly ls fullofwlsdom.
Andslnce we are talklng about the Blble...
lalso workedout 3 commandments forrecelvlngamalden'sklss.
The flrst stepls to brlngflowers...
the secondls to touchher llghlyon the arm...
the thlrdls to lookat her wlth tenderlovlngeyes...
andonlythenshouldthe lover slowlydrawclose wlthhls llps.
Andso lt was wlthEugenla's flrst klss.
Eugenia! Are you there?
Are you there?
Ah,Eugenla,suchcleareyes, such freshllps...
Among you there must be asensitive soul...
trembling at the thought that l simply used Eugenia...
to forget my mother"s death.
Perhaps you"re calling me a cynic. Me, a cynic?
l swear to God, l even thought of marrying her.
She was beautiful, but... lame.
So ldecldedto follow the words ofthe HolyScrlptures whlchsay;
"Arlse andgo lnto the clty." Acts 9, 6.
l have to go back to the city. l want you so much.
Don"t you believe me?
l believe you"re doing the right thing.
What do you mean?
You"re right not to marry me.
Suchare the hurdlesofllfe.
lleft Tljucaemblttered but pleased.
lkept thlnklngthat lhaddone the best thlng...
that ls wasrlgh to obeymyfather.
lrememberedthe lmportance ofapolltlcalcareer...
mybrlde to be, the Constltutlon, myhat,myhorse,myboots.
Tlgh boots,bythe way, are one ofman'sgreatest joys.
Yes,because havlngmade one's feet hurt...
theyglve one enormouspleasure onbelngremoved.
Torture yourfeet andthenrelease them...
andthere youhave lnexpenslve joy.
lfelt the same oflove;
lknew that myheart would soon take offltsboots...
andput onsome sllppers.
Good afternoon, Councillor.
l would like to introduce my son...
l have heard such high praise of you, ma"am.
l don"t understand.
My father holds you in high esteem.
What "s that?
Bras speaks of you highly.
Vlrgllla wasbeautlful, fresh...
amlracle ofnature, fullof that eternalenchantment...
that passes fromone to another...
forthe secret purposes ofprocreatlon.
My wife hears nothing at all.
l think that "s why we never fight. lt "s the old saying, dear Bento.
What the ears don"t hear the heart doesn"t feel.
-At least she must read a lot. -Not a bit of it!
Her eyes are none too good either.
lt lsnot worthrecountlng how we came together.
Illjust saythat wlth Vlrgllla there wasno needforflowers...
oreven to llghly touchherarm.
We went stralgh to tenderlooks.
Whlle waltlngforthe tlme ofmy dallyencounterwlth Vlrgllla...
Tlme passedslowly. Secondsseemedllke mlnutes...
mlnutesllke hours, hoursllke days.
lt wasaslf mywatch wasbroken.
May l help you?
How are you, Bras?
You wanted to talk to me?
l thought it was awatchmaker"s shop.
l wanted to get my watch repaired.
Let me see.
l"m in a hurry.
Forgive me. l"ll go somewhere else.
Did you marry?
My life has changed a lot, Bras...
You made me shed many tears...
l miss those days.
Yes, me too.
l have to go.
l"ll return soon, Marcela.
Mystoryseemedto be headlng forahappyendlng.
aman who wasno more handsome, norelegant...
betterread or charmlngthanl.
Yet lt washe who snatchedVlrgllla andthe candldacyawayfromme.
lt is sad but true that my whole family suffers from heart problems.
At times, for no reason it starts pounding over nothing.
The truth is my whole family has an unsteady heart.
lt must be just a murmur.
-More like ashriek, l"d say. -Just a murmur, Councillor...
nothing more than a murmur.
Promise you"ll make me a Baroness?
A Marchioness, for l shall be a Marquis.
How could this happen to a Cubas?
A Cubas! A Cubas!
Aslwasnot yet ln love wlth Vlrgllla...
the eplsode forme wasjust aplnprlck. Howevermyfather...
lovedthe ldeaofseelng me marrledandaCongressman.
Forhlm,lt wasllke asword throughhlsheart.
A Cubas! A Cubas!
He mlgh not have dledexactly because ofthe Vlrgllladlsaster...
but that lt compllcated hls flnaldayslsbeyonddoubt.
lcouldtalknowofthe sobs, the blackvelvet, the coffln...
But lpreferto talk about the nose.
Has the audlence ever medltated on the functlonofthe nose...
ln the destlnyofmanklnd?
No otherorganlsso lmportant. Not the eyes that weep...
orthe hands that glve condolences...
orthe arms that carrythe coffln.
There lsapopulartheory that the nose wascreated...
forthe wearlng ofspectacles...
llke the head forwearlngahat.
Fora whlle, thlsexplanatlon seemeddeflnltlve to me.
But a little knowledge of Orientalism was all it took...
to radically change my point of view.
An Oriental spends long hours looking at the tip of his nose...
with the sole purpose of seeing the celestial light.
When he fixes his eyes on the tip of his nose...
he loses his sense of external things...
he ponders the invisible...
grasps the intangible, detaches himself from the world...
becomes dissolved, etherized...
leaves his own body.
From thlsllearned anlmportant lesson.
There are two baslc forces;Love whlchmultlplles the specles...
andthe nose whlch subordlnateslt to the lndlvldual.
The nose lsequlllbrlum.
Forsome tlme lllved asarecluse, wrltlngpolltlcs...
lwrote alongessayon the nose's functlonlnmanklnd'sdestlny.
Then threwlt away.
Everyonce anda whlle, lremembered that Lobo NevesandVlrgllla...
hadmarrled andgone to Sao Paulo.
lalso rememberedthat he wasalreadyaCongressman.
Not that lt botheredme verymuch...
but wheneverlaskedmyself whylwouldn't be...
abetterCongressmanand Marquls thanLobo Neves...
Durlngthat tlme lwrote phrasesofgreat wlsdom.
Forexample;Endure wlth patlence thynelghbour'sblle.
Also;Belleve lnyourself but do not alwaysdoubt others.
Betterto be knockeddownby a featherthanacarrlage...
lsone ofthe most lmportant.
But myfavorlte ls; We kllltlme but tlme burlesus.
Andso the years passed untll 1842...
whenlsaw ln the dlstance, asplendldwoman.
Untllthenldldn't knowshe hadreturnedfromSao Paulo.
lonlyrecognlzedVlrgllla whenshe wasa fewstepsaway.
She wasso dlfferent...
Nature andart hadcomblned to create perfectlon.
A weeklaterwe met at aball.
l thought you"d never return.
How are you?
Political duties, you know, my dear Cubas.
Anyway, you"re back to the court.
l couldn"t wait to return.
Shall we dance this waltz?
Wouldn"t you like to dance with Mr. Bras?
Afterthree dances, the waltz lost us.
lstartedto frequent the home ofVlrglllaandLobo Neves...
andsoonbecame anlntlmate frlend.
Nurturedwlthlooksandsmlles, ourlove wasllke aplant...
that sproutsqulckly andunexpectedly.
ldo not rememberhowmanydays the plant tookto grow...
but lt wasso fullofsap that lt soonbecame...
the most exuberant ln the forest.
Andln the sprlng lt blossomed...
0rlfyouprefer, we klssed.
A klss that she gave me, trembllng.
Trembllngwlth fear,poorthlng, because we were at the front gate.
A klssasbrlefas the moment, but ardent aslove.
A prologue to allfe of dellghs,horror,remorse...
pleasures that endedlnpaln.
Yes, we were ln love.
Now that everythlngstoodln ourway,now we were ln love.
-Do you have the courage? -For what?
For running away.
Somewhere more comfortable.
A small house, a big house...
in the country, in the city, in Europe.
Wherever you wish.
Where there"s no danger.
Let "s run away, Virgilia.
Sooner or later he will discover something and then you"ll be lost.
Dead. And he too, because l would kill him.
-l swear it. -We"d never escape.
He"d find and kill me just the same.
The world is huge, Virgilia. l have the means to live...
wherever we want. Somewhere...
with pure air and lots of sunshine.
He"d never find us.
Only great passions are capable of great actions.
He doesn"t love you enough to go in search of you.
He loves me very much.
Perhaps he does.
My dear Bras, you honor us with your visit.
Do not worry, my dear audience...
l shall not stain this story with blood.
l felt like strangling Lobo Neves...
but that "s a far cry from actually doing it.
My dear Bras, you honor us with your visit.
Lobo, my friend, you took your time.
Let "s move on with our story. Let "s arrange a little house.
This one here.
This was our little love nest.
How sweet it was to see Virgilia arriving in the early days...
all shy and trembling.
Thlngs went well durlngthat tlme.
Vlrgllla lovedme, the blrds sang, the sunshone.
leven though ofdolng somethlngwlthmyllfe...
llke belngamlnlster, forexample.
lt "s an idea.
l bet you don"t know me. Mr... er... Doctor Cubas.
-No, l don"t remember you. -l"m Quincas Borba.
No need to tell you anything, you can guess it all.
A life of misery, tribulations and struggles.
Remember our parties where l played the king?
What a comedown, to end up a beggar.
Come and see me, l might be able to do something for you.
You"re not the first to promise me something...
and l dare say you won"t be the last to do nothing for me.
l ask for nothing, except money.
One needs it to eat.
-Look, l haven"t lunched yet. -No?
No, l left home very early. You know where l live?
On the steps of Sao Francisco Church...
the third one on the right as you go up.
Well, l left early and still haven"t eaten.
Forgive my joy. lt "s a long time since l saw one of these.
lt "s in your hands to see many others.
-l must go. -No! No! Don"t go.
lf we meet again, give me another one of these.
And now, farewell. l can see you"re getting impatient.
My watch! He stole my watch!
QulncasBorba was the past. ldecldedto forget hlm...
and take refuge ln the present whlch was Vlrgllla.
But thenLobo Nevesstarted to talkabout the future.
l have news.
l learned today...
that l might be made president of a province in the north.
What splendid news.
Your efforts have finally been rewarded.
lt is still not certain, but likely.
And what did Virgilia think about the news?
None too pleased with the idea...
particularly because we have to go to the north.
But l have an idea.
A great idea.
How would you like to go to the north?
You"re rich, no need of the paltry salary.
But if you"d care to do me a favor...
you would come with us to the north...
and be my Secretary.
To accept suchanlnvltatlon wouldbe sheerlmprudence.
But lhadllttle cholce.
l would like to offer a toast to Mr. Bras Cubas...
who has done me the honor of accepting my invitation.
l would like to announce that he will be...
the Secretary in my government.
To mydlstress, we were appolntedshortlyafterwards.
Lobo Nevesandl, Presldent andSecretary...
ofthe provlnce ofMaranhao.
l can"t accept it.
-But we are not going any more. -What do you mean?
Lobo Neves is going to refuse the appointment.
The decree is number 13 and dated the 13th.
This gives the mournful memories.
My father died on the 13th at 13:OO hours...
13 days after a dinner with 13 people.
My mother died giving birth to her 13th child...
in a house which was number 13...
and this child died at 13.
Aftersuchclose shave wlthdanger, one llvesllfe wlthnewlntenslty.
lstartedto love Vlrglllaeven more afteralmost loslngher.
Andthe same happenedto her.
lthlnkthls was the hlghest polnt lnourlove.
The mountalnsummlt from where, forsome tlme...
we lookedout upon the valleys to the east andthe west.
Then we began to descendthe mountaln.
Down we came. Down,down...
down to the verybottom.
Andnowamystery; whydldVlrgllla falnt?
Whoeverguessedshe was pregnant,guessedrlgh.
What are you going to be when you grow up, my son?
l will have a law degree, father...
and will make speeches in the Congress that will fill you with pride.
Do you hear?
Do you hear?
ls mama angry with you, father?
No, mama is tired.
What did you say, Bras?
l"m just exchanging a few words with our son.
Talk to me, little baby. Talk to me.
lcouldn't thlnkofanythlngelse. lfelt llke aGod...
andonlywantedto talk to myllttle Adam.
But myson waslost at that polnt where the embryo...
stlllseemsmore llke a tortolse.
Dr. Cubas, Mr. Damasceno and his daughter, Miss Eulalia.
Miss Lolo. At home simply called Nha Lolo.
Nha Lolo, how charming.
Mr. Damasceno knew your father when you were still in Europe.
Your father was an extraordinary man.
Excuse me, make yourselves comfortable.
Afterloslngourson,nothlng lnterestedme anymore.
lonlythough ofhavlng achlldwlth Vlrgllla.
At partles,lwould lookaround but see nothlng.
At the theatre, lwould llstenbut not hear.
lhadreachedthe age offortyand wasnelthera fathernormlnlster.
To medltate alone ls tradltlonal.
lpreferredto medltate ln the mldst ofacrowd.
Whlle people though lwas just walklngaround...
lthough Lobo Neves mlgh no longerlove hls wlfe.
Perhapshe wasready to separate fromher...
but soclalformalltles wouldnot allowlt.
lalso though about othertypes offormalltles,llke clothlng.
llookedat NhaLolo andsaw howbeautlfulshe was.
Perhapslt washerbeautlful lowcut dress.
lt waspreclselyat thlsmoment, lmaglnlnghumannakedness...
that lmade the purest phllosophlcaldlscovery;
Habltualnudltywouldtendto dullthe senses...
The result ofthls ls that the very survlvalofthe humanspecles...
wouldbe threatened lflt were not forclothlng.
Clothlng, that ls aslmple matterofformallty...
hasa fundamentalrollln the development ofthe humanbelng.
One hour, Bras, one hour.
it "s my memory.
lt seems that you want nothing more to do with me.
l said that you want nothing to do with me and you don"t reply?
What "s there to reply? lt seems that you"ve grown weary...
that you"re bored with me, that you want to end it.
Dona Placida, go and see if l can leave.
Not even my husband answers me in such away.
ln fact, he is the very model of courtesy and affection.
Lobo Neves is an honorable man, much more than you.
All right, come here...
l said nothing to her.
She stood there tapping her foot impatiently on the floor.
Arms folded and tense.
l drew closer and kissed her on the forehead.
She recoiled as if she had been kissed by a corpse.
ThenDonaPlaclda, Vlrgllla's formerservant...
reallzedthat what wasgolng badlycouldget even worse.
-Holy Mother of God! -What is it?
Here comes your husband.
Dona Placida, go and stand at the door. Come here.
Forabrlefmoment,lthough ofconfrontlngLobo Neves.
Such an honor for an old lady.
Please come in.
Guess who"s here?
No need to guess, that "s why you"re here...
What are you doing here?
l was just passing by...
l saw Dona Placida at the door...
and decided to say hello.
Thank you for coming.
You know my little angel here never forgets her old Placida.
But please sit down, sir.
-l can"t stay. -Are you going home?
-We can go together. -l am.
Let me have my hat, Dona Placida.
Shall we go?
Goodbye, Dona Placida. Don"t forget to visit me.
You can come out now, Dr. Bras.
lhadreachedthe polnt ofnot knowlng...
whetherto challenge Lobo Neves to abloodyduel...
orto seekapeacefulmarrlage to apure,chaste andaustere woman.
Then we'dllve ln abeautlfulcountryhome...
surroundedbytrees and abubbllngbrook...
llstenlngto the blrdsslng...
andthe sweet crylng ofmybaby.
But before lmade upmymlnd, anextraordlnaryletterarrlved.
Some tlme ago ln the Passelo Publlco lborroweda watch fromyou.
lt glvesme muchsatlsfactlon to returnlt wlth thls letter.
The onlydlfference ls that lt lsnot the same watch...
but another. lshallnot sayabetterone...
but at least equalto the flrst.
Manythlngshave happened slnce ourlast meetlng.
lshallrelate themlndetall lfyou don't slam the doorlnmyface.
Idllke you to know lno longerwearshabbyboots...
lhave vacatedmyspot on the Sao Franclsco Churchsteps...
lfthe bodyofaman were hlsclothlng...
thensurelythlscouldnot be the same Qulncas who stole mywatch...
Hlschest wasa flne frockcoat andhls legs...
Not to mentlonhls feet, whlchnow were Frenchboots.
Thls whole transformatlon...
was because he hadlnherlted a tldysum fromaklndlyuncle.
The deathofone canbe another'sgoodfortune.
Look, the first night l spent on the Sao Francisco steps...
as if it were the softest down.
Because l had gone gradually from a bed to astraw mat...
from astraw mat to awooden board...
from my own bedroom to a police cell...
from a police cell to the street.
And this was the origin of my new philosophy...
the most supreme of all philosophies.
The winner takes the potatoes!
Let usmove on to the next lmportant event;
Lobo Neves' appolntment aspresldent ofaprovlnce.
lwashoplngthat the decree wouldcome agalndatedthe 13th...
orat least the number ofthe decree wouldbe 13.
But no, the date was the 31st.
The slmple change ofnumber from 13to 31...
ellmlnated the dlabollc substance.
0ne andthree, three andone...
two oddnumbers that separatedanoddcouple.
Yes, it "s tomorrow. Are you going to see us off?
Are you mad? lt "s impossible.
Don"t forget Dona Placida. Go and see her from time to time...
poor soul. She"s a good person, isn"t she?
She certainly is.
l"ll write to you.
-Goodbye now, until... -Perhaps two years.
He says it is only until they hold elections.
Yes, then l"ll see you soon.
Be careful, they are watching us.
-Who? -We"d better part.
-lt "s very hard for me. -For me too.
-l"m almost crying. -And me? l"m distraught.
We must be strong.
See you soon.
Whlle lwas thlnklngof Vlrgllla'sdeparture...
mylegs were transportlngme through the streets.
Asldldn't dellberately walkanywhere...
mylegs were movlng bythelrown volltlon.
Anduntllthat moment, lhaddesplsedyou.
But that event wasarayofllgh.
Youallowedmymlndto thlnk, asone legsaldto the other;
He has to go home, He's tlred,let's take hlm.
Mydearest legs,you fulfllled to the letteryourstatedgoal;
youcarrledme alongthe rlgh path wlthout trlpplngoverpeople...
ortreadlnglnpuddles. Thlsnoble gesture...
obllgesme to recognlze yourlmportance ln thlsstory.
lshouldsaythat lfelt somethlng that wasneltherpalnnorpleasure.
A mlxture ofrellef andlonglng.
ldldn't see herdepart...
but at the appolntedtlme lfelt that mylove wasdlsappearlng...
across the seaandlwasleft behlnd, fortyoddyearsold...
Herdeparture gave me a taste ofwhat lt'sllke to be a wldow.
The flrst fewdays lrereadold letters...
slept alot anddreamedllttle.
lwasamlxture ofambltlons, a fewmemorles...
a touchoftedlumand endlessdaydreamlng.
At tlmes, Qulncascame to vlslt me...
ln truth there is only one misfortune:
not to be born.
lmagine if l"d never been born.
l wouldn"t now have the pleasure of talking to you...
of eating this potato...
of going to the theatre...
To say it in asingle word: live.
Whynot admlt lt? lwaslmpressedwlthQulncas.
Hls ldeas were mature, hlsoplnlons fullofzest.
lsavoredthe clarlty ofthe exposltlon...
the loglc ofthe prlnclples, the rlgorofthe concluslons.
Pain, according to my philosophy of Humanitism, is pure illusion.
But anotherldea tookhold ofme;to have chlldren.
Forthlsreasonldrewcloser to Damasceno...
who wantedto marryoff hlsdaugherNhaLolo.
Damasceno, let "s go.
The ease wlth whlchherfather mlxedwlthgamblers...
lwaspreparedto pluck thls flowerfrom the swamp.
To hopfromabeach to acemetery ...
maybe reallstlc... maybe evencommonplace.
After all, what separates life from death?
A short bridge.
But if l skip this part, it might be disconcerting...
and spoil the whole story.
And as audiences only follow stories to escape life...
l need to give an explanation before jumping to Nha Lolo"s grave.
Eulalia Damasceno de Brito...
dead at the age of nineteen.
That says it all.
Says more than if l had recounted all the details of Nha Lolo"s illness.
The desperation of the family, the burial.
l"ll just say she died in the first yellow fever epidemic.
The orlglnofthat dlsease wasuncertaln.
Some though that the lmmlgrants were the cause .
0thers though the plgs were to blame .
Whlle othersput the blame on the slaves.
But the majorltythough the feverwasdlvlne retrlbutlon.
There wasno reason forGodto punlsh the goodsoulofNhaLolo.
Thenlreallzedthat death, too,lsalottery.
ln the followlngyears, the lotterycontlnued...
but lneverwonaprlze. lcontlnuedto llve...
The flrst tlme lsaw Vlrgllla agaln wasat aballln 1865.
She no longerhadthe fresh bloomofyouth...
but she wasstlllbeautlful...
anautumnalbeauty enhanced bythe nlgh.
lflhave not saldlt yet,lt's because you've alreadynotlced.
l had changed when this scene took place...
l was sixty years old. Therefore...
it was my life that was going down those stairs...
or at least the best part of it.
0ne canalreadynotlce that lamnot so nlmble...
but evenso ldanced.
ldancedandbecame lntoxlcated wlth the llghs, the flowers...
the chandellers, the prettyeyes andthe humofconversatlon.
Sixty years is the age of science and government.
Don"t let yourself be overcome by these vapors, my dear Bras.
You"ve got to be a man, to be strong...
fight, dominate, influence...
Courage, Bras Cubas.
Don"t be an idiot.
andlwent aftermyobjéctlve whlch was to be amlnlster.
lbecame aCongressmanandbegan to address the Chamber.
The size of the shakos worn by the National Guard...
needs to be drastically reduced. Not only because they are...
Andso lt was that the seaof llfe hadbrough me once agaln...
to the same shore asLobo Neves.
...for risking his health and life...
and the future of the family.
And, consequently, the future of the nation... why not?
ldldn't seem to have muchsuccess...
ormytlme wasslmply not readyto understandme.
Whateverlt was, lsoongave uppolltlcs.
lt lsnot worthgolnglnto the detallsofthe matter.
What ls lmportant ls what happenednext.
ljolneda worthyorder where lheldvarlousposts.
But the oathltookpreventsme fromdlvulglngmydutles.
Forthlsreason,lwlllnot relate howlhelpedthe poor...
asslstedthe lnflrm, consoledthe despalrlng.
Not a wordwllllsay.
During that time, l visited more cemeteries, wakes, deceased...
than the spectator can imagine.
On one of these occasions, l met Virgilia.
lt was the tlme Lobo Nevesdled...
just aslt wasrumoredhe would become amlnlster.
This is my vehement proposal...
at least for the moment.
Perhaps the newsofhlsdeath had brough me a touchoftranqullllty...
rellefand amlnute ortwo ofpleasure.
And it was for pleasure that l went to Lobo Neves" wake.
lwent to the wake but dldn't feel muchllke approachlngthe casket.
Vlrgllla's tears were asgenulne...
asherlove forme hadonce been.
She, who betrayed her husband with sincerity...
with sincerity, now wept for him.
How can one explain it?
l myself took a long time to understand.
But the truthls,palncanbe derlvedasmuch fromgoodasevll.
lt seemedto me that thls wasasuperlorconcluslon...
worthyofbelngexamlnedby the best ofphllosophers...
he reappeareda fewdayslater. But greatlychanged.
l"ve burned all my annotations and theories of Humanitism...
my dear Bras.
l shall rewrite them.
But now l"m devoting myself to religion...
and the liturgical part of my philosophy.
There is gratitude for having been born...
which is the ritual that marks the beginning and end...
of the whole ceremony.
Andthlsrltuallscelebrated ln the followlngway.
He dledshortlyafterwards lnmyhouse...
swearlngrepeatedly that paln wasanllluslon.
the malnevent was the lnventlon ofthe "BrasCubasPoultlce".
lt wasanobsesslon. lwasgolngto lnvent aremedy...
deslgnedto ease the melanchollc sufferlngofhumanlty.
Those three words; BrasCubasPoultlce...
wouldmake me eternal.
From 1869, the poultlce wouldbe at the servlce ofman'shealth...
Slnce 1869 the Bras CubasPoultlce...
hasbeenat the servlce of man's healthandthe joyofnatlons.
Mysacredremedy wouldspan the years...
Great lnventlons wouldchange the worldbut the poultlce...
wouldremaln the same formore thanacentury.
survlvlngthe bloodlest wars andallpasslngfads.
Forheartburnormelancholy, use BrasCubas...
Whetheryou're oldoryoung, alwaysuse BrasCubas...
the dlvlne mlracle cure.
The onlygenulne poultlce, foralleternlty.
Today, wlthout exaggeratlng...
one has to conslder the BrasCubasPoultlce...
asone ofthe most strlklng marksofourclvlllzatlon.
The symbolofBrazlllangrandeur, the BrasCubasPoultlce...
ls the cure formanklnd's melanchollc sufferlng.
Whetheroldoryoung, use BrasCubas...
Dlvlne Poultlce,you wouldhave glvenme flrst place amongmen...
above sclence andwealth...
because you were the genulne lnsplratlonofheaven.
You wouldhave been the cure for manklnd'smelanchollc sufferlng.
Andlthough so muchofthe poultlce,lt became anobsesslon.
Suchanobsesslon that lhadto clearmyhead.
wasstruckbyablast ofalr, andcaugh pneumonla...
whlchpreventedme from lnventlngthe poultlce.
Andso we are backto the beglnnlngofthe story.
standlngthere, reluctant to come closer.
Visiting the dead, are we?
The dead? More like trying to get avagabond out of bed.
Asyouallknow, these were myflnalmoments.
But lwasstlllable to make abrlefassessment ofmyllfe...
and l concluded that l hadn"t achieved celebrity...
with the invention of the poultice, was not a minister, did not marry.
However, at the same time l had had the good fortune...
of not having to earn my bread by the sweat of my brow.
Taking a balance of the positive and negative...
one might think that there was neither asurplus nor a deficit...
that l was even with life on my departure.
l had asmall surplus...
l had no children.
l transmitted to no one the legacy of our misery.
ripeados por thor para foro.argenteam.com.ar
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