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Letters of Maria Celeste:

Late December 1628

Most Beloved Lord Father

The unexpected news delivered here by our Vincenzio regarding the finalization of his wedding plans, and marrying into that esteemed family, has brought me such happiness that I would not know how better to express it, save to say that, as great as is the love I bear you, Sire, equally great is the delight I derive from your every joy, which I imagine in this instance to be immense; and therefore I come now to rejoice with you, and pray our Lord to protect you for a very long time, so that you can savor those satisfactions that seem guaranteed to you by the good qualities of your son and my brother, for whom my affection grows stronger every day, as he appears to me to be a calm and wise young man.

I would much rather have celebrated with you in person, Sire, but if you would be so kind, I implore you to at least tell me by letter how you plan to arrange your visit with Vincenzio's betrothed: meaning whether it may be well to meet in Prato when Vincenzio goes there, or better to wait until she is in Florence, since this is the usual formality among us sisters, and surely, given her experience of having been in a convent, she will know these customs. I await your resolution. And in the meanwhile I bid you adieu from my heart.

Your most affectionate daughter,
S. M. Celeste

1995 Al Van Helden
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