Edited by Iana Araújo
Translated by Vanessa Guedes
Copyedited by Natalle Moura
Proofread by Lucas Rafael Ferraz
Cato regretted going by sea a couple of times when he could have gone by land. The virtuous Roman was right. Amphitrite’s affections are violent, sometimes even dreadful. The deeds on the sea doubled in value because of this circumstance. And it is also because of it that placid souls avoid sailing or, to speak more adequately, those of prudent and safe spirits.
But to explain the proverb that says: the work rises underneath the feet — going by land is not absolutely safer than by sea, and the story of the iron tracks, however small, tells more than a few sad episodes.
Absorbed in these and other reflections was my friend Titus, poet at twenty, no money and no moustache, seated at the rotten work desk where a candle glowed silently.
I must move forward to the physical and moral portrait of my friend Titus.
Titus is not tall or short, which means that he is of medium height. Frankly, such height could be called elegant in my opinion. Having an angelic face, sweet and deep eyes, his nose a direct and legit descendant of Alcibiades, a gracious mouth, and wide forehead as the lair of thoughts, Titus could serve as a model to the arts and as a beloved object to the fifteen or even twenty-year-old sweethearts.
Like medals, and like all things in this world of balance, Titus has another side. Oh! Such a sad thing is the other side of the medals! Being a model to the arts from the waist up, Titus is a pitiful person when it comes to the rest. Wonderfully crooked feet, bowlegged, such are the cons that my friend’s person offers to those who are thrilled by the magnificent pros of the face and the head. It seems that nature had divided itself to give Titus the best and the worst of it and put him in the miserable and disconsolate plight of the peacock, who adorns itself and contemplates radiantly, but whose pride is knocked down and fades away when it looks at its legs and feet.
In his morals, Titus presents the same doubled aspect from the physical. He has no addictions but possesses weaknesses of character which somewhat break the virtues that otherwise dignified him. He is good and has the evangelical virtue of charity; he knows, like the divine Master, to break the bread of subsistence and feed the hungry with the true joy of conscience and heart. Moreover, it is not reported that he would ever harm the most impertinent animal, or the most insolent man, two identical things, in the short days of his life. On the contrary, it is said that his pity and good instincts once led him to be almost crushed while trying to save a mongrel who was sleeping in the street and almost got run over by a car. The mongrel saved by Titus became so fond of him that she never left his side. At the moment we are seeing him absorbed in vague thoughts, she is lying on the table, serious and severe, contemplating him.
Do you want to keep reading?
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, born on 21 July 1839, is arguably the most important Brazilian author of all times. He is considered by North-American critic Harold Bloom as the most important black author of all times. He penned the romances The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas and Dom Casmurro, works that figure amongst the most important and influential of Brazilian literature. During his career, Machado wrote several short stories, and in many of them he flirted with fantastic elements, being one of the earliest Brazilian authors to explore the genre.
The Land of Chimeras is one of such stories, full of magic and fantastic beings. It was first released on November 1st, 1862 and Eita! is proud to present its first version in English.