Letters of Maria Celeste:
14 March 1630
Most Beloved Lord Father
Just as I was quick to make requests of you, Sire, so in the same fashion I would surely not want to be tardy in thanking you for the loving gifts we have received, which were delivered here last Monday by my Sister-in-law, namely a parcel of treats and thirteen very beautiful and delicious biscuits. We are busy enjoying them along with the awareness of your thoughtfulness and talent, Sire, for always finding the means to please us in every way. There were also some small lengths of fabric that I assume must come from La Porzia.
Because I know you like to hear that I do not sit idle, Sire, I tell you that I am kept extremely busy (aside from my usual duties) by the Mother Abbess, who, every time she needs to write to highly placed personages, such as our Governor, the Pious Workers, and people of that ilk, defers this burden to me, which is truly no trifle, considering my other responsibilities, and as a result I have no hope of obtaining the rest I need now more than ever; wherefore, to ease my labor and improve my skill, Sire, I would greatly appreciate your procuring me some books on letter writing, as you once promised, and which I know you would already have provided, if only your memory had served you.
Vincenzio came to see us yesterday morning (for perhaps the space of one hour) together with my Sister-in-law and her mother, and from her we heard that you wanted to go to Rome, Sire, which put me into quite an agitated state. However, I calm myself with the thought that you would not undertake such a journey if you did not feel well enough to do so. I believe that before this comes to pass we will see each other again, and therefore I make no other comment here. Except that I send you loving regards with all my heart together with everyone in the room, and I pray the Lord to grant you His holy grace.
From San Matteo, the 14th day of March 1629.*
Your most affectionate daughter,
*On the Florentine calendar the new year began on 25 March
©1995 Al Van Helden