A Armando Teixeira Rebelo

Hotel Brito, Portalegre.
August 24th 1907.


Venerable portion of earthly existence!

In a few moments of concatenated mental activity, not unassisted by the carnal fumes of the alcoholic beverage - no more and no less than wine - not exclusive to this locality, my soul felt, like a mental sigh, the necessity of giving expression to its present state and tendencies to a friendly brain such as yours.

Lonely and silent in my transitory place of existence in the hotel mentioned in the heading of this explosive epistle of an over-burdened soul, feeling the world around me morally cold and materially warm - below zero towards my soul and not far from 40 in relation to my body - in these distressing and inspiring circumstances the though has come upon me that perhaps the indicting of this epistolary composition may be subjectively conductive to an alleviation of my earthly lot at this moment, may be the " balm in Gilead", dream of Poe, to my unsistered spirit.

Hence this letter.

Portalegre is a place where all a stranger can do is get tired of doing nothing. Its component qualities seem to me ( upon deep and cautions analysis) to contain, in uncertain relative quantities, heat, cold, semi-Spanishdom and nothingness. The wine is good ( though not from here, I think), but it is decidely alcoholic, especially when the water-pitcher is at the other end of the table and you ( that is I) forget to ask for it. The style of this letter may be "terminal" proof thereof. I shall register it that so brilliant and offspring of my mind may not be lost in the post.

The taking-to-pieces and packing of the printing office is taking a damned long time - poetically speaking of course.

_ Nevertheless, the men have worked quickly enough and I have looked on ( and off) with the greatest energy.

I sincerely believe that, if I were to remain here a month, I would have to go to Lisbon, afterwards to Bombarda Hotel. You can hardly imagine the hyperboredom, the ultra-get-tired-of-everythingness, the absolute what-the-blooming hell-is-a-chap-to-do- hereability that reigns in my spirit! I found a book to read, but was unable to muster energy to read it. I am anxious to get back to Lisbon; yet I think I will have to stay here yet three days more.

Alentejo seen from the train

Nothing with nothing around it
And a few trees in between
None of which very clearly green,
Where no river of flower pays a visit.
If there be a hell, I've found it,
For if it ain' here, where the Devil is it?

Fare thee well.

F. Nogueira Pessôa

P.S. Don't write to Portalegre, I may not be here. Wait till I get to Lisbon! We will converse there.

Notas explicativas carta nº 5
A carta é dirigida a Armando Teixeira Rebelo, um dos primeiros amigos que Pessoa teve em Lisboa. Seu condiscípulo no Curso Superior de Letras e, mais tarde, seu compadre ( Pessoa foi padrinho da filha de Teixeira Rebelo, Signa, com quem manteve também relações até o fim da vida), o destinatário acompanhou-o sempre na sua amizade. O fato de ter tido também uma formação anglo-saxônica ( fora educado em Pretória) muito deve ter contribuído para a aproximação entre os dois. Conforme testemunha D. Signa Osório Teixeira Rebelo, o pai, a mãe (Beatriz Osório, que fora igualmente condiscípula dos dois amigos no Curso Superior de Letras) e Fernando Pessoa conversavam os três sempre em inglês.

  A ida a Portalegre e as diligências aí feitas por Pessoa prendem-se com a compra de máquinas para a Tipografia Íbis, que o poeta resolvera instalar em Lisboa e na qual investiu o dinheiro da herança da sua avó Dionísia.

Transcrevemos a tradução que acompanha a publicação do original inglês por João Gaspar Simões. Fernando Pessoa - Correspondência 1905-1922 - Editora Companhia das Letras