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Letters of Maria Celeste:

25 April 1631

Most Illustrious and Beloved Lord Father

Because I heard from La Piera the other day that you had grown very listless again, Sire, and unable to eat anything, I went in search of whatever I might be able to send you to help you recover your appetite; and because I have heard the doctors recommend the Oxilacchara for this problem, I made a small amount for you to experiment with, as it is something that cannot do you any harm: the ingredients include nothing but sugar, strong pomegranate wine, and a little vinegar. It is very true that my preparation of it turned out a bit more concentrated than required, Sire, but you may take two or three teaspoons of it in the morning, and to mitigate its bitterness, add to it some cinnamon water, which, if you need more, I will send to you, provided you return the vial I used the last time. The little candies are from all the citrons you sent me, and I believe they are very good; and if I knew of something else that would hit the mark by being to your liking, I would not fail to make every effort to provide it, not only to please you, Sire, but also myself; since serving you makes me extremely happy. I beseech you, if you think of anything, to not deprive me of this contentment, and also to let me know how you feel now: with that, praying Our Lord for your every benefit, I send you regards with all my love together with our friends.

From San Matteo, the 25th day of April 1631.

Most affectionate daughter,
S. M. Celeste

     
1995 Al Van Helden
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