"it was simply a way of giving herself some relief, because actually they were joined 'till death by a bond that was more solid than love: a common prick of conscience. they were cousins. they had grown up together in the old village that both of their ancestors, with their work and their good habits, had transformed into one of the finest towns in the province. although their marriage was predicted from the time they had come into the world, when they expressed their desire to be married their own relatives tried to stop it. they were afraid that those two healthy products of two races that had interbred over the centuries would suffer the shame of breeding iguanas. there had already been a horrible precedent. an aunt of ursula's, married to an uncle of jose arcadio buendia, had a son who went through life wearing loose, baggy trousers and who bled to death after having lived forty-two years in the purest state of virginity, for he had been born and had grown up with a cartilaginous tail in the shape of a corkscrew and with a small tuft of hair on the tip. a pig's tail that was never allowed to be seen by any woman and that cost him his life when when a butcher friend did him the favor of chopping it off with his cleaver. jose arcadio buendia, with the whimsy of his nineteen years, resolved the problem with a single phrase: 'i don't care if i have piglets as long as they can talk.' so they were married amidst a festival of fireworks and a brass band that went on for three days. they would have been happy from then on if ursula's mother had not terrified her with all manner of sinister predictions about their offspring, even to the extreme of advising her to refuse to consummate the marriage. fearing that her stout and willful husband would rape her while she slept, ursula, before going to bed, would put on a rudimentary kind of drawers that her mother had made out of sailcloth and had reinforced with a system of crisscrossed leather straps and that was closed in the front by a thick iron buckle. that was how they lived for several months. during the day he would take care of his fighting cocks and she would do frame embroidery with her mother. at night they would wrestle for several hours in an anguished violence that seemed to be a substitute for the act of love, until popular intuition got a whiff of something irregular and the rumor spread that ursula was still a virgin a year after her marriage because her husband was impotent. jose arcadio buendia was the last one to hear the rumor.
'look at what people are going around saying, ursula,' he told his wife very calmly.
'let them talk,' she said. 'we know that it's not true.'
so the situation went on the same way for another six months until that tragic sunday when jose arcadio buendia won a cockfight from prudencio aguilar. furious, aroused by the blood of his bird, the loser backed away from jose arcadio buendia so that everyone in the cockpit could hear what he was going to tell him.
'congratulations!' he shouted. 'maybe that rooster of yours can do your wife a favor.'
jose arcadio buendia serenely picked up his rooster. 'i'll be right back,' he told everyone. and then to prudencio aguilar:
'you go home and get a weapon, because i'm going to kill you.'
ten minutes later he returned with the notched spear that had belonged to his grandfather. at the door to the cockpit, where half the town had gathered, prudencio aguilar was waiting for him. there was no time to defend himself. jose arcadio buendia's spear, thrown with the strength of a bull and with the same good aim with which the first aureliano buendia had exterminated the jaguars in the region, pierced his throat. that night, as they held a wake over the corpse in the cockpit, jose arcadio buendia went into the bedroom as his wife was putting on her chastity pants. pointing the spear at her, he ordered: 'take them off.' ursula had no doubt about her husband's decision. 'you'll be responsible for what happens,' she murmured. jose arcadio buendia stuck the spear into the dirt floor.
'if you bear iguanas, we'll raise iguanas,' he said. 'but there'll be no more killings in this town because of you.'
"he went everywhere begging alms with a copper dish. they gave him a large amount, but he wanted more, because the church had to have a bell that would raise the drowned up to the surface of the water."
"when ursula burst into the courtyard of headquarters, after having gone through the town shouting with shame and brandishing with rage a pitch-covered whip, arcadio himself was preparing to give the squad the command to fire.
'i dare you to, bastard!' ursula shouted.
before arcadio had time to react she let go with the first blow of the lash. 'i dare you to, murderer!' she shouted. 'and kill me too, son of an evil mother. that way i won't have the eyes to weep for the shame of having raised a monster.' whipping him without mercy, she chased him to the back of the courtyard, where arcadio curled up like a snail in its shell. don apolinar moscote was unconscious, tied to the post where previously they had had the scarecrow that had been cut to pieces by shots fired in fun. the boys in the squad scattered, fearful that ursula would go after them too. but she did not even look at them. she left arcadio with his uniform torn, roaring with pain and rage, and she untied don apolinar moscote and took him home. before leaving the headquarters she released the prisoners from the stocks."
"she reached twenty without knowing how to read or write, unable to use the silver at the table, wandering naked through the house because her nature rejected all manner of convention. when the young commander of the guard declared his love for her, she rejected him simply because his frivolity startled her. 'see how simple he is,' she told amaranta. 'he says that he's dying because of me, as if i were a bad case of colic.' when, indeed, they found him dead beside her window, remedios the beauty confirmed her first impression.
'you see,' she commented. 'he was a complete simpleton.'
it seemed as if some penetrating lucidity permitted her to see the reality of things beyond any formalism. that at least was the point of view of colonel aureliano buendia, for whom remedios the beauty was in no way mentally retarded, as was generally believed, but quite the opposite. 'it's as if she's come back from twenty years of war,' he would say. ursula, for her part, thanked god for having awarded the family with a creature of exceptional purity, but at the same time she was disturbed by her beauty, for it seemed a contradictory virtue to her, a diabolical trap at the center of her innocence."
"fernanda was wearing a white nightgown that reached down to her ankles, with long sleeves and with a large, round buttonhole, delicately trimmed, at the level of her lower stomach. aureliano segundo could not suppress an explosion of laughter.
'that's the most obscene thing i've ever seen in my life,' he shouted with a laugh that rang through the house. 'i married a sister of charity.' "
"one palm sunday they went into the bedroom while fernanda was in church and carried ursula out by the neck and ankles.
'poor great-great-grandmother,' amaranta ursula said. 'she died of old age.'
ursula was startled.
'i'm alive!' she said.
'you can see,' amaranta ursula said, suppressing her laughter, 'that she's not even breathing.'
'i'm talking!' ursula shouted.
'she can't even talk,' aureliano said. 'she died like a little cricket.'
then ursula gave in to the evidence. 'my god,' she exclaimed in a low voice. 'so this is what it's like to be dead.' "