|Author(s)||Maria José de Miranda|
|Addressee(s)||José Caldeira Vieira de Andrade|
Family letter from Maria José de Miranda to her son, José Caldeira Vieira de Andrade, cadet.
For a second time, the author advises her son not to come back home.
The process of José Caldeira Vieira de Andrade, cadet in Elvas, accused of deserting the army, is contemporary with the liberal revolution in Portugal, during which liberal insurgents opposed the supporters of absolutism, led by the King D. Miguel. In reaction to this revolt, the forces of the regime persecuted and arrested people on the streets, simply based on common complaints and without further investigation.
«My dear José.
I've received your leter. I've answered all your letters and I've always told you what you should do and what your unfortunate circumstances are. As far as your leave on the 18th this month is concerned, it went back to Lisbon because it had already gone in the beginning of the month and it came back here again because you weren't at your cousins' house. You have done everything you wanted and you never think about your troubles. I've told you many times that you have been considered guilty in the inquest and, therefore, you shouldn't came back here nor show yourself, not even there, because they will certainly arrest you. And, here, every possible harm has been done. There is more and more disorder everyday, and everyday people are harmed more and more. Everyone they arrest is stoned and now they even stab them with a rapier. Even yesterday, they did so to a man called Manuel Joaquim [...], who was stabbed five times on his way from home to jail and who is now dying. The people and the crimes of this poor man were slander and lies, and for that reason he was considered guilty just like you and your father. Everything was faked and even the witnesses were bribed with money. Well, things you won't imagine. I've been very sick due to so much sorrow and distress and the great worries with you, because I see you're not afraid of the judgement and I'm going to go through the pain of seeing you in jail. I've been very glad to know that neither you nor your father have been here in this wicked land. You don't know the luck we had. Well, the rest I'll tell you personally, there's no room for that now. God may take care of us and may Him remember the unfortunate and give us peace now. Don't send a certificate to the Commander, because he is a captain, named o Damas, who came from Spain, and, therefore, do show some good sense. You must not want people to hear from you, because the Regiment has nothing to do with you anymore, since you are on leave, but, even if you weren't, it would be the same because, if you come here, you'll be greatly miserable, since, not only would you be arrested, but you would also suffer every fright we suffer here, it is the same as dying. This way, do nothing but what I tell you. I hope you have found people who have done you good, and, may God be served, I hope they are rewarded with a lot of health and happiness and I give them many thanks for all those favours. And you should behave as a good person and be patient, for the troubles were to men and nowadays the tormented are all the good people. Well, God, mainly Him, take care of us all. Accept yearnings from your sisters. From your mother,
Maria José de Miranda.
The letters must be addressed to Isabel Maria, widow, and yours will be addressed to Mr. António Luís de Aguiar. And don't send any messages because, here, some letters are opened to see what they contain and, in case there's some news, it becomes dangerous. As soon as you receive this one, tear it and all the others. Don't carry any papers with you.»