Letters of Maria Celeste:
12 March 1631
Most Beloved Lord Father
I thank you, Sire, for your most welcome loving attention to us, since this year of hardships causes us to pass the present lenten season so meagerly supplied, although, when one has one's health, everything else is more easily tolerated.
We are all eagerly awaiting your arrival, Sire, along with the little Galileo, just as soon as you can possibly come. Meanwhile I cheer myself with the news that you are faring reasonably well, even though I regret anew the obstacle that prevented me from helping Virginia and pleasing you: I trust nonetheless that blessed God will provide for her in some other manner.
If Vincenzio remains suspicious of your possible contagion, Sire, that will be to your advantage, since no one takes money from a person infected with the plague; and thus he, who has such great fear of the disease, will demand no funds from you, Sire, to whom I send my loving greetings. God bless you.
From San Matteo, the 12th day of March 1630.*
Your most affectionate daughter,
*On the Florentione calendar the new yead began on 25 March
©1995 Al Van Helden