Literature · Portuguese Literature

Um pouco de ternura

A BIT OF KINDNESS
by Baptista-Bastos

Kindness dwelled in her eyes. A sweet smile soothed her lips and her face reflected the inner serenity of one who had never been punished by disregard nor injured by resentment. She was still young: standing in the shallow line that slightly divided people’s age between mature and old. Where did she come from? How old was she? Nobody knew. Sometimes she would apply lipstick on her withered lips. At times, she would display open necklines and sleeveless designs, showing the lustful outline of her breasts or her plump, opulent and sensual arms. She was tall, almost imposing; however, while walking up the steep street, with her feet almost not touching the ground, she seemed winged.

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Literature · Portuguese Literature

O Mandarim

O MANDARIM
Excerpt from Chapter 1
by Eça de Queiroz

I rested on Sundays: I would then settle in the dining room’s couch, with a smoking pipe clinched between my teeth. I would gaze admiring Dona Augusta who, on Holly-days, used to clean out Lieutenant Couceiro’s dandruff with the use of egg white. This hour was always delightful, especially on Summer:  through the half-closed windows drifted in the noon’s warmth along with the distant chiming of the bells of Conceição Nova, the local church, and the cooing of the turtle doves on the veranda while the monotonous buzzing of the flies hovered over/above the old cambric cloth, Madam Marques’ former nuptial veil, which now covered the plate of pointed cherries on the sideboard; little by little, the Lieutenant, wrapped in a sheet like an idol in his cloak, would fall asleep under the gentle friction of Dona Augusta’s loving hands; and while perking up her plump white little finger, she would furrow the Lieutenant’s glossy thinning hair with the fine-toothed lice comb…

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Source: O Mandarim by Eça de Queiroz