Letters of Maria Celeste:
28 July 1633
Most Beloved Lord Father
I am astonished that a courier has left you without any letters from me, as I have not failed to write them and forward them to Signor Geri, and this past week I wrote you two, Sire, one Saturday and one Monday: but perhaps by this time they have both reached you, and you are scrupulously informed of every household detail, as you wish.
The sole unfinished business involves the wine, which, tasted by Signor Rondinelli, was decanted on his advice into another cask in order to remove it from the sediment: it will sit under watch for a few days, and, if it does not improve, then something else must be done before it spoils altogether: this concerns only the cask I had already warned you was beginning to suffer, as the other for the time being maintains its good condition.
I have not neglected to prepare the aloe for you, Sire, and thus far I have poured the rose juice over it seven times; but because it is not yet dry enough to begin working into pill form, I send you for now a sample of those pills we produce for our apothecary shop, which contain the pure aloe washed only once with rose juice; nonetheless I do not believe that taking a single dose will do you any harm, even though the recipe has been altered somewhat.
As for how sorrowfully poor Landucci grieves over the death of his wife, I have no way of knowing, nor do I have any word of him except for what Giuseppe told me the day he went with Signor Rondinelli to deliver the 6 scudi, which was the 18th of this month; and he said that he set the money on the front steps and that he had only a glimpse of Vincenzio there inside the house quite far from the doorway, and that he looked sorely afflicted with an expression more of the grave than of life, and with him were the two little children, a boy and a girl, who are all that he has left of his family.
I am happy to hear that you keep your good health, Sire, and I pray you to endeavor to continue this way, by governing yourself well particularly with regard to the drinking that is so hurtful to you, for I fear that the intense heat and your social obligations to your host afford you ample opportunity for indulging with great risk of getting sick, which would only further postpone your ever so eagerly awaited return to us.
Our Lady Giulia, teacher of Suor Luisa and sister of Signor Corso, has in recent days locked arms with death, and although she is an old woman of 85 years, she has won out against all expectations, having been so seriously ill that we were on the verge of administering the last rites: now she is so far out of danger that she has not a trace of fever, and she sends a thousand regards to you, Sire, and all our friends do the same. May the Lord grant you His holy grace.
From San Matteo, the 28th day of July 1633.
Most affectionate daughter,
©1995 Al Van Helden