Letters of Maria Celeste:
20 October 1623
Most Illustrious and Beloved Lord Father
I am returning the rest of your shirts that we have sewn, and the leather apron, too, mended as best I could. I am also sending back your letters, which are so beautifully written that they have only kindled my desire to see more examples of them. Now I am tending to the work on the linens, so that I hope you will be able to send me the trim for borders at the ends, and I remind you, Sire, that the trimmings needs to be wide, because the linens themselves are rather short.
I have just placed Suor Arcangela once more into the doctor's hands, to see, with God's help, if she can be relieved of her wearisome illness, which causes me no end of worry and work.
Salvadore [Galileo's servant] tells me that you want to pay us a visit soon, Sire, which is precisely what we so desire; though I must remind you that you are obliged to keep the promise you made us, that is, to spend an entire evening here, and to be able to have dinner in the convent parlor, because we deliver the excommunication to the tablecloth and not the meals thereon.
I enclose herewith a little composition, which, aside from expressing to you the extent of our need, will also give you the excuse to have a hearty laugh at the expense of my foolish writing; but because I have seen how good-naturedly you always encourage my meager intelligence, Sire, you have lent me the courage to attempt this essay. Indulge me then, Lord Father, and with your usual loving tenderness please help us. I thank you for the fish, and send you loving greetings along with Suor Arcangela. May our Lord grant you complete happiness.
From San Matteo, the 20th day of October 1623.
Most affectionate daughter,
©1995 Al Van Helden