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Machado de Assis

“Then I said to myself, "If the centuries are going by, mine will come too, and will pass, and after a time the last century of all will come, and then I shall understand." And I fixed my eyes on the ages that were coming and passing on; now I was calm and resolute, maybe even happy. Each age brought its share of light and shade, of apathy and struggle, of truth and error, and its parade of systems, of new ideas, of new illusions; in each of them the verdure of spring burst forth, grew yellow with age, and then, young once more, burst forth again. While life thus moved with the regularity of a calendar, history and civilization developed; and man, at first naked and unarmed, clothed and armed himself, built hut and palace, villages and hundred-gated Thebes, created science that scrutinizes and art that elevates, made himself an orator, a mechanic, a philosopher, ran all over the face of the globe, went down into the earth and up to the clouds, performing the mysterious work through which he satisfied the necessities of life and tried to forget his loneliness. My tired eyes finally saw the present age go by end, after it, future ages. The present age, as it approached, was agile, skillful, vibrant, proud, a little verbose, audacious, learned, but in the end it was as miserable as the earlier ones. And so it passed, and so passed the others, with the same speed and monotony.”

Machado de Assis, Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas
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Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas by Machado de Assis
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