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Letters of Maria Celeste:

5 March 1633

Most Beloved Lord Father

Signor Mario Guiducci yesterday morning sent me, by one of his servants, all the way up here, the letters he had received from you. I read with especial delight the one you wrote to Signor Mario himself, and I sent it back to him right away. The other I gave to the Father Confessor, who I am certain will send a reply. I take comfort, and ever again I thank blessed God, hearing that your affairs thus far proceed with such tranquility and silence, which bodes well for a happy and prosperous outcome, as I have always hoped would come with divine help and by the intercession of the most holy Blessed Virgin.

I believe that by now you will have received my last letter, Sire, and since then new tidings are the disbursement of the 6 scudi by Signor Francesco in your name to Vincenzio Landucci, who came in person to collect them; the good progress in recovery being achieved by Suor Luisa, she having been free of pain for several days now; Suor Arcangela's illness of the past ten days, which afflicts her with terrible soreness in her left shoulder and arm, even though, with the help of various pills and enemas, the symptoms are somewhat mitigated. And even Giuseppe suffers from his stomach and swollen spleen, so that he is constrained to break Lent, and Signor Rondinelli is taking special care of him.

More than that our Suor Maria Grazia, the organist who had been gravely ill, as I notified you, Sire, has died, at the age of 58 or 60 years, and all of us have felt grievously distressed.

La Piera is well, the vines in the garden are staked; the sale of lettuce to date has brought in half a scudo. Other details I have none to tell you, except that all day long I perform the office of Martha, without a single intermission, and thus I stay in reasonably good health, which condition I would most willingly share with you, Sire, or rather exchange my well-being for your indisposition, so that you could remain free of those ills that molest you. I am waiting for the order regarding other payments to the Landuccis for the present month, because I would not want to make any mistakes, nor have us incur expenses as we did this time in the Lire amounts of 6, 13 and 4, which sums appear on the bill I sent you. Please read my letter to her ladyship the Ambassadress before you seal and hand it to her. And ending here I give you all my loving greetings together with our usual friends.

From San Matteo, the 5th day of March 1632.*

Your most affectionate daughter,
S. M. Celeste

*On the Florentine calendar the new year began on 25 March.

1995 Al Van Helden
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