Letters of Maria Celeste:
25 June 1633
Most Beloved Lord Father
Thanks be to God that at last I hear you begin to speak of setting out on your journey home, which I have greatly desired for so long, not solely to see you again, but also for the final settlement of your affair, which must set your mind at ease and peace. Surely you have not been able to feel such calm for many months. But all the hardships you suffered may ultimately confer blessings if they come to as good a conclusion as you lead me to hope.
I am very pleased that you are going to Siena, Sire, partly because you will avoid contact with the contagion of the plague, which we understand, however, is somewhat alleviated this week, and also because, hearing how that archbishop invited you with such insistence and kindness, I feel certain that you will enjoy much pleasure and contentment there. Well I pray you to proceed at your own convenience, and to afford yourself every possible comfort, since you have now had to travel in two extremes of temperature, and also to give me news of yourself whenever you can, just as you have done the entire time you have been absent, for which I must thank you, this being the greatest happiness I could have received under the circumstances.
I wanted to send along a letter for Her Ladyship the Ambassadress (to whom, for love of you, Sire, I know myself much obliged), but because I suspect that, when this one arrives, you will already have left, I am resolved to wait until next week, or better, until you advise me when I should do it. Of the service you performed for our dear old friend, Sire, we will speak in person, if it pleases God, whom I pray to watch over you and protect you on this journey; and I greet you lovingly with our usual friends.
From San Matteo, the 25th day of June 1633.
Your most affectionate daughter,
©1995 Al Van Helden