Letters of Maria Celeste:
27 August 1633
Most Beloved Lord Father
I live with the hope that the favor you are seeking to obtain, Sire, (under those conditions you wrote about) will be granted to you; and it seems to me to be taking a thousand years to hear what answer will be handed down, so that I beseech you to notify me immediately of the outcome even if it runs contrary to our wishes; though I surely do not want to believe anything else could go wrong.
I have news for you of how, through the death of Signor Benedetto Parenti, which occurred last Wednesday, our Monastery has inherited a farm at Ambrogiana, and our procurator went that very same night to take possession of it. Several people have estimated its value at more than five thousand scudi, and they also say that this year's harvest will yield 16 moggia [about 290 bushels] of wheat along with 50 barrels of wine and 70 sacks of millet and other grains, so that my convent will be greatly relieved.
The day before I received the letter from you, Sire, Master Ceseri borrowed the little mule to go to Fiesole, and Geppo told me how that evening he brought her back to the house completely unshod and badly handled, so that I have enjoined Geppo, in the event Master Ceseri may return to request her again, to refuse him politely, alleging the orneriness of the little beast along with your desire, Sire, that she not be flayed alive.
For the past several weeks La Piera has had no needlework to do in the house, and if it is true what I hear that very good quality linen can be had where you are, Sire, you might see about buying a small quantity of it; for if it is indeed fine, it will be the best thing for making handkerchiefs, pillowcases and similar items: and I want you to procure me a bit of saffron for the apothecary, since it is called for in the formulation of the papal pills, as you will have noticed. I am not feeling entirely well, and this accounts for my writing so disjointedly. I commend you to God, may He be the One to give you every consolation.
From San Matteo, the 27th day of August 1633.
Your most affectionate daughter,
©1995 Al Van Helden