Letters of Maria Celeste:
18 May 1631
Most Beloved Lord Father
As far as I have been able to determine, the priest of Monteripaldi has no jurisdiction over the villa of Signora Dianora Landi save for a single field. I understand, however, that the house was assigned as a dowry to a chapel of the Church of Santa Maria del Fiore, and this is the reason that our same Signora Dianora finds herself charged in a lawsuit. From the bearer of my letter, who is a very shrewd woman with acquaintances all over Florence, you will be able to discover, Sire, who is contesting this case, since she knows the man, and then from him you can find out more information about the sale. I have also learned that Mannelli's villa is not yet taken, but is available for rent. This is a very beautiful property, and people say its air is the best in the whole region. I do not believe that you will lack the opportunity to secure it, Sire, if events turn out as well as you and I so strongly desire; and perhaps from this same woman you can receive some guidance.
I had accepted your vinegar for the Oximele [another name for the Oxilacchara she made him as an appetite stimulant] because ours struck me as not being of the high quality I would have liked; now that you have been so kind as to send me the wine in exchange, Sire, I thank you for it and I am waiting to learn whether you are satisfied with the fruits of our labor, and when we will be allowed to do more for you, as this is the ardent wish of Suor Luisa and my other companions in the apothecary, all of whom, together with Suor Arcangela, send you their love. And I pray Our Lord for your every true happiness.
From San Matteo, the 18th day of May 1631.
Your most affectionate daughter,
©1995 Al Van Helden