|Maria Antónia do Amaral
Dictated letter from Maria Antónia do Amaral to a friend of hers.
The author gives her friend some news from her family and her godchildren.
This letter is not directly involved in the facts that are relevant for this process, but is included in it because it is one of those that D. Maria Antónia has dictated to her godson. This godson, who is educated, has played a crucial role in identifying the calligraphy of Luís António de Abreu, a priest of the same parish as the defendant, on a handwritten paper used in the witchcraft acts that she reported. According to her, the author of these acts is Manuel Martins, who allegedly tried to kill Diogo Ferreira Cabral.
«My friend and lady of my heart. May the Holy Spirit bring you happy and merry celebrations, with a lot of His divine love, along with that life and health that my sisters and I wish for you, as well as my Madam Teresa Maria, in the company of the Doctor. With all those good dispatches, I'm sure you'll receive good news in your party and my sisters hope for the same and are at your service, and they miss you a lot. My sister Ana hasn't been very well of an eye for two weeks, and Ms. Joana complains a lot. If I don't write more is because I haven't got enough space and I have too much on my mind; however, if you were here, I would be more relieved to have you and Ms. Arcângela Maurícia, and Ms. Teresa Clara would find all the comfort in you company. I don't expect to find any comfort in this life though, because those who lack a mother can not be comforted in this world. That is the reason why I can't write yet, I'm tormented by melancholy. These ladies of mine find comfort in your company, may the Holy Spirit allow it to help and live in your heart, so that there is nothing in it but a lot of love from God. I have given news from you, on your behalf and on my sisters', to those who have asked me for it, and I've been also asked to send you regards from my cousins, who are nuns, Jerónima Ribeira, Josefa Maria, from Rua da Sapateira, has her man as Judge Councillor. My goddaughter Joana is feeling better from her sickness, she's at your feet and of all those ladies, and the same does Caetana, and the mother Isabel is at your feet and of those of Ms. Arcângela and Ms. Teresa, and she misses them a lot. The brides of my godfather, Jerónimo de Almeida, have already been received. You have told me to ask what had happened to my godson António and to his prayer. I'm not sure whether he will do it or not, because I sent him to study to be a clergyman, but he didn't show any interest in learning, so I have sent him to be a merchant. Now I have at home another godson, who is the one that writes these letters for me. This one has no other vocation but to be a priest, for he learns for this purpose. Send regards to Feliciana da Cunha, to Cardosa and to Maria Eugénia, Maria de Quadegatos came from Prior do Carvalho. And Amen, may God be praised and may He keep you for many years. Today, 25 May, 1730. Your servant, Maria Antónia do Amaral»
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