When they are not consumed by fire, old papers sometimes wake from their slumber to bring news from the past.
This is how sometimes people find out something new about a celebrated historical figure, like the writer Machado de Assis.
For instance, you probably didn't know that the Rio de Janeiro writer, who died in 1908, wrote lyrics for the Brazilian national anthem in 1867. And there was no way of knowing because the verses were completely unknown to the general public. That is, until today.
The lyrics were recently discovered in an old newspaper from FlorianÃ³polis, in the state of Santa Catarina by independent researcher Felipe Rissato, whom also recently made other several discoveries about Machado de Assis and Euclydes da Cunha, including previously unknown images and writings.
"In the forests where I dwell/I sing a manly song/For the honor and glory of Pedro/ The giant of Brazil", the hymn begins. The lyrics are composed of seven stanzas, each composed of seven-syllable verses. The beginning also serves as the chorus.
The aforementioned Pedro is Emperor Pedro 2Âº. Machado de Assis wrote the lyrics for the monarch's 42nd birthday, on Dec. 2nd of the same year. The anthem was supposed to be have been presented that day at the municipal theater of Desterro, which is how FlorianÃ³polis was known back then.
"My research has shown that there are many works [by Machado de Assis] known to be lost, like plays, and several others that nobody knew existed, like an anonymous essay that I recently discovered," says Rissatto.
Translated by NATASHA MADOV