Mandar-lhe-ei, pelo primeiro meio, o que me resta ainda de si. De tudo isso encarreguei D. Mas tanta franqueza lhe tenho mostrado que nunca acreditaria que eu fosse capaz de chegar a tal extremo. Mas, com tantos motivos, consegue-se sempre o que se deseja. Detesto a sua franqueza.

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And if Christina Rossetti was a horny, god-fearing English spinster, Mariana Alcoforado was a horny, god-gearing Portuguese nun. But both were great writers. How good was Alcoforado? Here she made his lover remember their first time: "It will be a year in a few days since I gave myself to you without reserve, your passion seemed to me very ardent and sincere and I never would have thought that my favors would so annoy you as to force you to travel five hundred leagues and that you would rather encounter shipwrecks only to flee from me; I did not deserve such treatment.

You can remember my modesty, my shame, and my confusion, but you do not remember what made you love me in spite of yourself. She tells him here what she could have done for him: " I would have followed you, and I would have assuredly served you with more heart.

I wish for nothing in this world but to see you. At least remember me. I am content if you remember me, but I dare not be sure even of this, I did not restrict my hopes to you remembering me when I saw you everyday. But you have taught me well that I must be subject to your will.

Yet, I do not repent having adored you. I am glad you seduced me. Your cruel absence, and possibly eternal, does not abate the passion of my love! I want for all the world to know it; I do not make a mystery of it, and I am happy to have done all I have done for you against all sense of propriety. My honor and religion is now in loving you fervently all my life, since I have begun loving you. She blames herself for it: "Will I not learn that a loving heart once affected never forgets the one who quickened emotions unknown and unattainable till then?

That all its impulses belongs to its first love. That its first thoughts, its first wounds cannot be cured or blotted. That all these passions that offer help and that take pains to renew and content, promise feelings the heart can no longer experience?

That all the pleasures it seeks with no real wish to find them, only serve to show that nothing is more dear to it than the remembrance of its pain? If only the nuns were pretty here in the Philippines.


Cartas Portuguesas



Mariana Alcoforado


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