|Addressee(s)||José Anastácio da Cunha|
Love and news letter from Margarida, probably Margarida Lopes, to José Anastácio da Cunha.
In 1778, José Anastacio da Cunha, a poet, mathematician and military, was accused of being involved with British Protestants, of reading Voltaire, Rousseau, Hobbes and other dangerous authors, and of corrupting his young students. In this letter, some expressions that have to do with the Inquisition prosecution are written in the Masonic code. Those expressions are the Portuguese equivalents for 'Holy Office', 'religion', '(you) lived', and 'God-fearing'.
Barca, 12 December
My dear José.
I write you this one to know about your health, due to my obligation to you, as well as to know whether it is true that two or three men from your regiment went to the Holy Office accused of many things. And when I was told about this, you were also mentioned. I was asked if I knew about your way of life, since they had heard your religion was the same and that (...) you lived as you pleased. Suspecting this, and recalling the things I had been told, I said there couldn't be anyone more God-fearing than you. Therefore, my dear, I wish I knew the purpose of these things and whether what I tell you is for real. I'm in great anguish. Forgive me, for the love of God, for writing you this letter, but, if I didn't, I would consider myself the most unworthy person on Earth. I'm obliged to you and, furthermore, the (...) I cannot explain it to you by letter.
If you can, don't deprive me of an answer to this letter.