Private letter from the the marquess Luisa de Cárdenas to Pompeo Amoroso, her agent in Rome.
The author thanks the addressee for his intervention on a court case that she has been fighting for years and seems to have no ending because of the power of her adversaries.
The Marquess Luisa de Cárdenas promised her agent, Pompeo Amoroso, a handsome compensation of 7000 "ducados" in recognition of his services to her. He had defended her case against the family of Este before the Council of Castile and had obtained, in Rome, the annulment of her marriage to the duke of Francávila. In order to prove how the marquess had actually promised him such compensation, he showed the Castile Council some correspondence between the two.
«I’ve received your letter of May 15, along with the other documents. I was quite sure that they [my opponents] would win the right to appeal. Although some [of us] were hoping for a sentence with this ordinary appeal, I knew it was impossible. Even though you bravely defended my side, my opponents are bad people. In order to confuse and harm [me], they have asked for the [new] appeal. It is a great thing that their side is shown and the court sentences keep going on. My jurists say that there could only be more inconveniences [to me] and more benefits to them if there was even more cheating and the lawsuit were immortal. Because that’s what they want: to put an end to my life. It’s a life so full of grief that it wouldn’t be that difficult. I don’t know what other proof this bad people can find because, in the past, there was no cook, coachman or tailor who wasn’t called. Therefore, I have no idea where these new witnesses came from. If they have them, it must be because they have bribed them. We must find whether or not [that happened]. Don’t forget to warn me as soon as they receive the remission letter and let me know to whom it is addressed, because the ordinary appeal was rejected, as you know. What I wanted the most was that they didn’t take advantage of it because, since I will not have another one like you, Pompeo, nothing else will seem good to me. With all this, I will postpone things until the time is right, in case we need to handle this issue. The documents have been seen by the court’s attorney who revealed them to me. And he said it seemed to him they wanted to relive the entire past. And it is a great cruelty, because I don’t know who will testify. May God put things right and save me from this hell.
With the upcoming ordinary appeal, I await the sentence. And, with this hope, I hold on to life. We will do everything we can to prevent Francavila from appealing again. He resembles so much his mother in his evilness that I feel little reassured while waiting for a happy end. He is now following the soldiers and is in Zamora with the prior Don Hernando, to then departure to wherever the army is told to go. Dráquez has already gone this Summer. And therefore, as soon as he comes back, he will come here to do what he is used to, which is to haunt me. Even far away, he succeeds in doing it. I was glad that the money has arrived. Well did Fuensalida, but I will pay him with my suffering, since I will have him here all Summer. I send you this paper so that you can see what he said to me; and I also send the letter that he wrote to you. Always do answer him. How funny you are, telling me that if he presents himself to the [academic] chair, it is […]. And it would be mine if […]. I will do nothing without your approval because, as soon as this is done, I will owe you everything. You proceeded well in giving me freedom, in defending my truth and justice, and in taking my stand. And therefore, until the end of it, I beg you, in the name of a single God, to continue serving me in everything as you did until now, as there is nothing as sure as I having you the same obligation due to a father. May God allow me to have some peace. I do know that I should give you a lot: I recognize that I owe you and I feel obliged because of it. I am not writing to Serafino to avoid making him tired. Give him my greetings. And to offer him something is was very well, as you say, and I will try to send something from here too, which I would have done if I had the right person to carry it. I will find someone and then I will let you know. I got that letter from Escudero and I sent it to you so that you can see how well he is doing. He is a true friend. May God allow me to see you both. I have Mota’s own documents, in order to make the inquiry with Alejandrino, who is the protector of the orders. In case he is not there, try to make it with whoever comes with you, so that it has the needed effect. And, more in particular, I write you this in a list that goes along with this letter. You follow it strictly, because I am in great care and tired of this house and so willing to leave it that never before have I had this resolution as now and as ready to be put in practice. And this way I wanted, in case I leave, to be able to go to the monasteries I mentioned in the list, because there they would treat me with justice, while, in this house, they don’t. It’s enough to say that there is more than Dona Francisca and that, if I didn’t care about my honour, I would have left already. And so, send me this message, because it is not a task that, for its content, can be favourable to my health or life. And send me all these messages, with duplicates, through Sebastián de Porras, and with his return address, so that he sends me the letters afterwards.
He is a great friend of mine and he is the safest and the fastest to return your letters to me and mine to you, since, until now, with all this, they have taken a long time. Mine was already handed in to Pedro de Guevara. The one that will be given by the Council of Cuenca, I cannot have it now, because I am in litigation with them. However, despite everything, a friend of mine will ask for it. I have been comforted by the peace of the convent. Now their coming must be arranged. There are two from that house who are returning, due to a felony committed by some canons in Cuenca, in one of Alborroces’ manors. You don’t imagine how I wanted to investigate it and seek for punishment. Such [punishment] will come because it is what such malicious people deserve. I will write to you a long letter on this matter. Erbias is not here with me. There is no excuse for all this going around the world. I do need that sentence to come through. May our single God send it and that will give me life and contentment. And the rest can happen, because I know my sorrows deserve it. I have endured them for eleven years, made today, San Juan’s day, without having a single hour of relief. Give it to me as I hope and let me know if you plan on leaving during the Rome holidays. Make sure it will be a place where you enjoy better health than a year ago, as my own health depends on yours, and with good reason, since I owe you so much. Consider visiting the countess of Olivares on my behalf because, although it doesn’t favour me, it will make me no harm, but grace instead, as she is a good person. I’m in debt towards her, although I have never met her. Visit my friends on my behalf and give them that letter.
About those relatives who have gained a seat in Parliament, we should be careful because you already know what they can do. However, I rely in God and in you that nothing will be enough to darken or postpone my justice, as I am sure I would die in a couple of hours if I had to stay here any longer. This is no despair but to be running out of patience, even more with the everyday events. I suffer while waiting for this mail, which will bring me my sentence. May God keep you as He can. Don Gutiérrez is taking away his belongings, as always, and he is playing. My sister is in Ocaña. I was pleased to know that the thirty-six escudos were paid.
Write me always and sometimes through the mail of […] Lyon of France as it will be more frequent, because I don’t have any other pleasure but your letters, since they will contain my remedy. I am also pleased to hear news from you, since I am very much obliged. And believe me, as I have told you, that I acknowledge it and I hope to thank you as I should. I haven’t been very well, I am all aches and pains. Tell don Félix that I kiss his hands. May God keep them as I wish and allow me to see them soon. From Madrid, San Juan’s day.