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Maarten Janssen, 2014-
Letter in code from José Guilherme, Captain of the Infantry Regiment 17, to Daniel, pseudonym of Agostinho Figueira, commissioner officer in Estremoz.
The author, apparently using a code, gives some instructions to the addressee.
After D. João VI died (April 1826), D. Pedro approved a Constitution that was opposed by many rebels, and there was a growing political and military turmoil: several rebellions took place in different parts of the country and a group of Spaniards even took action in Alentejo, with support from local Portuguese inhabitants. The expression «Spanish rebels» refers to these men that took action against the new law. In these proceedings, Agostinho Figueira, one Portuguese local, was accused of supporting these «Spanish rebels», together with two other Portuguese military. In the letters they wrote to each other, they used pseudonyms and a disguised calligraphy.
Illustrious Mr. João António dos Santos.
I wish you and my friend the best health, so that you can dispose of this well of crimes. And, in fact, it will cause you great surprise to see my handwriting. However, like other criminals and of greater crimes, it is not blocked to me in harmless matters .Here's the reason why I do it, begging you the favour of handing to the holder the bulb with which you used to do the enema, by removing the nozzle and putting the pipe inside, tying the mouth with a piece of rag, so that the pipe won't fall and, this way, preventing it from getting broken or lost. And I ask you to, having kindness, give him the best teapot. And through Paulo, carrier in Vila Viçosa, hand in to the father-in-law of B. Francisco de Milícias, José António Nunes, my pistols, putting inside the 2 iron hooks that were in one of the drawers, and 2 suitable stones that were there. The silk vest. And if you haven't made good use of those cheeses that were left there, send them too. However, if you did, you are free from the consignment. Here, [the cheese] is so bad that we cannot eat it. And I will never get rid of writing to my family!
Well, Daniel, these things should come in a bag that was left there. And any suit for the daily use that might have been left there, I give it to you for the Winter and you make good use of it if you decide so. Through Paulo, it wouldn't arrive safely. But he seems capable. Choose whoever seems better to you. Ask Mdm. a few roots and seeds of the season, to grow here, I wish they live in peace and with health, which is the greatest gift. Tell someone to empty the pallet and, if you ever leave, hand it in to someone you find suitable. Be familiar with the list. Send me 4 teaspoons and 2 of the others.
I will bother you no more. Send many regards to everyone at home, I'm at you service.
Me, 30th September, 1826
P.S. Send the teapot with the handle inside.
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