Letters of Maria Celeste:
18 February 1631
Most Illustrious and Beloved Lord Father
The disturbance you have suffered over my indisposition shall have to be annulled, Sire, for at this moment I tell you that I feel reasonably well rid of the illness that recently came over me; as far as my long-standing blockage, however, I believe that will require an effective cure at a better time. Meanwhile I will go on taking good care of myself, as you urge me to do. In truth I would desire you to heed some of the same advice you offer me, by not immersing yourself so deeply in your studies that you jeopardize your health too markedly; for if your poor body is to serve as an instrument in proportion with your will to understand and investigate new things with great zeal, it is well that you grant it some needed rest, lest it become so depleted as to render even your powerful intellect unable to enjoy that nourishment it takes in with such relish.
I will thank you not only for the two scudi and other loving tokens you sent me, Sire, but also for the readiness and generosity by which you show yourself ever more willing to help me, as needy as I am of being helped. I am delighted to hear of the good health of our little Galileino, and in this coming period of Lent, when better times arrive, I will dearly love to see him again. I also yearn to share your belief that Vincenzio is all right, although I am not at all pleased with the way you come to this conclusion, namely without knowing anything for certain about him; but these are the fruits of a thankless world. I am confused as to why you say you save my letters, and I suspect that the great love you bear me makes them seem more accomplished than they really are. But be that as it may, it is enough for me that you find satisfaction in them. With that I commend you to God, that He may be with you always, and I send you my usual loving greetings.
From San Matteo, the 18th day of February 1630.*
Most affectionate daughter,
*On the Florentione calendar the new yead began on 25 March
©1995 Al Van Helden