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Letters of Maria Celeste:

23 May 1631

Most Beloved Lord Father

I have the utmost desire to enlist your aid, Sire, in giving a sign of gratitude and recognition for all my indebtedness to Suor Luisa, now that an appropriate occasion has arisen; since, as she finds herself in need of borrowing the sum of twenty-four scudi until the end of July, I would like to entreat you to do her this favor, if you could, as I imagine you can, Sire. And if it is true, as I know it to be absolutely true, that you want to give me every satisfaction and enjoyment, Sire, I assure you that this will be one of the greatest joys you could possibly provide me: and her nature is such that I do not doubt she will repay you fully, most likely well before the end of the prescribed term of two months, as soon as she receives the guaranteed allowance from her income; for honestly, if matters stood otherwise, I would not even try to involve you in some imbroglio, as took place in the past to my everlasting regret. I will not dwell on this any longer, assuming that it would be superfluous to extend myself in lengthy entreaties to someone whose desire to shower me with goodness exceeds my own desire for any particular favor; I shall simply wait to be completely contented in this matter. Meanwhile I tell you that I was extremely pleased that Monsignor Rinuccini was elected Archbishop, for your sake and ours, Sire, as we will discuss when the time is right. I still do not know whether the first or the second oximele I sent you was more to your liking, since you have not said anything about either: and because you have not yet sent the aloe and rhubarb for making your papal pills, here are two doses of ours, which you have taken previously, along with the promise to make you more of them whenever you like. The citrons are most beautiful and both Suor Luisa and I will try to make the candies taste as good as the fruit looks, so that he who gave them will be only too happy to give us more of them in the future. Meanwhile I thank you very much for these, Sire, as well as for the glass jars, for which I am so grateful; and praying Our Lord for your every true blessing, I greet you lovingly along with my usual companions, and especially Suor Arcangela, who is feeling rather weak.

From San Matteo, the 23rd day of May 1631.

Most affectionate daughter,
S. M. Celeste

1995 Al Van Helden
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