Letters of Maria Celeste:
16 April 1633
Most Beloved Lord Father
Two letters from you this week inform me of the good progress of your affair: in this I rejoice as much as you can possibly imagine, Sire, and I thank God for it. Yesterday evening here there was a great outburst of cheer and merriment, celebrating the successful intercession of Her Most Excellent Ladyship the Ambassadress, to whom I write the few lines enclosed herewith, which barely begin to thank her for all the many blessings I draw from her. I do as much as I can, though not nearly as much as I think I should. I wrote to Sig. Giovanni Rinuccini to request a bill for his services, as you asked me to do, Sire, and he answered that for now there is no need to speak of this business, but that, when the time comes, he will advise me.
I understand there are several cases of the evil pestilence in Florence, but not nearly as many as reports where you are would have you believe. I hear that there are buboes, but that more people die of rashes and lung disease. As for how this affects your return, as urgently as I desire it, I would advise you to leave it imminent for a while yet, awaiting other advice from your friends, and also to carry out the idea you had when you left here, of visiting the House of the Virgin Mary in Loreto.
Our Vincenzio wrote to us this week, and sent us as a gift a piece of ham; I would be curious to know how often he visits you, Sire, with his letters. Giuseppe is so greatly improved that he has left the Hospital, and is staying for several days at the home of his uncle in Florence. La Piera fares well and tends to her spinning. She picked a few small lemons that were hanging from the low branches, before they could be carried off by thieves. The rest I hear are coming along very beautifully, and the same may be said for the broad beans, which are beginning to produce a great yield. How I hope that you will be back in your garden to pick them yourself, Sire, when they are perfectly ripe.
I send you loving greetings on behalf of everyone here, as well as from Signor Rondinelli and Signor Orsi; and from the Lord God I pray for every genuine goodness to be yours.
From San Matteo, the 16th day of April 1633.
Your most affectionate daughter,
©1995 Al Van Helden