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Letters of Maria Celeste:

22 March 1628

Most Beloved Lord Father

Here is the cinnamon water, which I fear may not be to your liking, as it is quite freshly made. If you have no more of the distilled, you can return the carafe via our steward so that I can send you the other; and if the cooked pear pleases you, only say so, and I will secure you another; but I doubt that, considering the season, they will be very good from now on. Please remember me to my Aunt and the whole household; I do not mention Vincenzio because I am uncertain whether he is still with you; I would very much like to hear his whereabouts and how he is faring. Be happy, Sire, in the knowledge that you will soon effect a complete cure, and be able to come and see us, fulfilling both our desire and your promise to us, and, if you think of anything you need, do tell us what it is. May Our Lord grant you His holy grace.

From San Matteo, the 22nd day of March 1627.*

Most affectionate daughter,
S. M. Celeste

*On the Florentine calendar the new year began on 25 March.

1995 Al Van Helden
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