|Autor(es)||Bernardo da Silva do Amaral|
|Destinatário(s)||Madalena Tomásia de Jesus|
Love letter from Bernardo da Silva do Amaral, a priest, to Madalena Tomásia de Jesus, the wife of a judge.
The author advises the addressee on her spiritual readings and agrees on how difficult to get proper food deliveries from far. He adds some encrypted lines on his physical desire for her.
Father Bernardo da Silva Amaral was a priest who lived in Pernambuco (Brazil), although he was born in Lisbon. He was arrested in Recife in 1772, when he was 46 years old, under the suspicion of having made heretic propositions and of abusing women ("solicitação"). Several women testified against him. They said he used to teach that neither kisses, hugs or caresses were sins, they were rather a way of serving God, so he kissed, hugged and caressed them. He was accused of going to bed with several of them, sometimes mother and daughter at the same time, and was also seen bathing with them. Most of the private letters used as exhibits against him were exchanged between this priest and the mother and daughter pair. The letters exchanged with the mother are partly in cipher, but the court could not force the defendant to explain how to decode them.
Deciphering for the Post Scriptum edition: Teresa Rebelo da Silva.
Code: o=a; 9=c; 8=d; +=e; R=f; ==g; /=h; -=i; 6=l; .=m; ..=n; ⁞=o; ::=p; …=q; x=r; 1=s; 2=t; 3=u; ǯ=v; 5=z
Tool for the decoding of mono-alphabetical simple cyphers, developed by João Salavisa: http://jsalavisa.ddns.net/
«Dear and beloved daughter,
I very much approve of your desire to read Lives of the Saints, but why do you look for chronicles, which are hard to find, instead of private lives of one saint or another? Those are better, because the chronicles only tackle the virtues and the lives are quite brief. My daughter, don’t tell me things about Araripe, because you don’t know how careless those people are. Look, I am already ashamed of what I have ordered for you, really. It never arrives. Not even the poultry. It has been the same for a year, to arrive a bottle of brandy in exchange for money to one of my confessants who is ill. I am always mentioning it and nothing. And they distil brandy almost all the time. My dear daughter, Jesus Christ wants you to have worries. Embrace them well, since you and I have given Him thousands of them some day with our faults. Oh, dear love, I also wish to tell you jests, my dear, because I tell you that I suffer deadly longings for you. If you allow me to speak to you in private, then let’s do it! You will discover the sweet little things I will give you. And I will have it all, as I am indeed in great need.
Tell Madam Tomásia to order to do the mortifications of the flesh and I want to see them later.»
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