terça-feira, maio 19, 2009

"O Conde de Monte Cristo", por Alexandre Dumas

"O Conde de Monte Cristo" é daquelas histórias que conheci de filmes e séries com o grande desejo de um dia ler o livro, mas por alguma razão o projecto foi adiado até há poucos meses. Encontrei uma cópia em inglês, no Projecto Gutenberg, pelo que é a língua em que sou obrigada a ler, e em que transcrevo os excertos.
Algo me dizia que não estava a perder só mais uma história, e vejo agora que não me enganava.
Para começar, eis um pormenor que não puseram nos filmes, o Conde é um grande agarrado:

«"Oh, yes," returned Monte Cristo; "I make no secret of it. It is a mixture of excellent opium, which I fetched myself from Canton in order to have it pure, and the best hashish which grows in the East--that is, between the Tigris and the Euphrates. These two ingredients are mixed in equal proportions, and formed into pills. Ten minutes after one is taken, the effect is produced. Ask Baron Franz d'Epinay; I think he tasted them one day."»

Ainda falam da benza! Aqueles sim, eram os dias, em que se podia dar nela à força toda e ainda vir relatar a experiência na literatura. Politicamente correctos, os realizadores que transpuseram o livro para filme deixaram estes vícios de fora.

Do tabaco, diz-se:

«that mute revery, into which we always sink when smoking excellent tobacco, which seems to remove with its fume all the troubles of the mind, and to give the smoker in exchange all the visions of the soul»

Mas O Conde de Monte Cristo, aliás, Edmond Dantes, tem muitas razões para se perder na embriaguez.
Eis os seus pensamentos durante o cativeiro:

«The idea of suicide, which his friend had driven away and kept away by his cheerful presence, now hovered like a phantom over the abbe's dead body.
(...)
"Die? oh, no," he exclaimed--"not die now, after having lived and suffered so long and so much! Die? yes, had I died years ago; but now to die would be, indeed, to give way to the sarcasm of destiny.»

Mais alguns trechos de interesse:

«"What are you thinking of?" asked the abbe smilingly, imputing the deep abstraction in which his visitor was plunged to the excess of his awe and wonder.
"I was reflecting, in the first place," replied Dantes, "upon the enormous degree of intelligence and ability you must have employed to reach the high perfection to which you have attained. What would you not have accomplished if you had been free?"
"Possibly nothing at all; the overflow of my brain would probably, in a state of freedom, have evaporated in a thousand follies; misfortune is needed to bring to light the treasures of the human intellect. Compression is needed to explode gunpowder. Captivity has brought my mental faculties to a focus; and you are well aware that from the collision of clouds electricity is produced--from electricity, lightning, from lightning, illumination."»

«"You must teach me a small part of what you know," said Dantes, "if only to prevent your growing weary of me. I can well believe that so learned a person as yourself would prefer absolute solitude to being tormented with the company of one as ignorant and uninformed as myself. If you will only agree to my request, I promise you never to mention another word about escaping." The abbe smiled. "Alas, my boy," said he, "human knowledge is confined within very narrow limits; and when I have taught you mathematics, physics, history, and the three or four modern languages with which I am acquainted, you will know as much as I do myself. Now, it will scarcely require two years for me to communicate to you the stock of learning I possess."
"Two years!" exclaimed Dantes; "do you really believe I can acquire all these things in so short a time?"
"Not their application, certainly, but their principles you may; to learn is not to know; there are the learners and the learned. Memory makes the one, philosophy the other."
"But cannot one learn philosophy?"
"Philosophy cannot be taught; it is the application of the sciences to truth; it is like the golden cloud in which the Messiah went up into heaven."»

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