Letters of Maria Celeste:
6 August 1633
Most Beloved Lord Father
Signor Geri was here yesterday morning for a parley with me to settle the business of the little house; and, as far as I was able to understand, he has no other interest beyond Vincenzio's advantage and benefit, which would be considerably advanced by this purchase, enabling him to increase the value and size of his own house, which may well seem to be closing in on him, in the event Vincenzio enlarges his family; moreover he says no one can live in the room over the cistern because it is unhealthy: and as for the question I raised as to whether Signor Geri had any thought of living there with Vincenzio, he answered that, while he might like to do so, he could not, as he needs to find more convenient lodgings closer to the Palace, for his sake as well as for those who come looking for him all day long, because this one on the Costa is too unsuitable and out of the way. As he stood firm on this point, I conclude that Signor Geri had wanted you to pay the full cost of the little house, which should not exceed 300
scudi, by his estimation: I repeated to him that it seemed neither possible nor appropriate for you, Sire, to take on this entire expense, as you understandably were short of money, having been confronted with expenses far beyond the ordinary, so I suggested to him that one might propose and pray you to contribute half the cost, if this were convenient for you, and then too, since he also says he will do his utmost to give the couple every possible advantage, providing the other half of the money would enable Signor Geri to help establish Vincenzio, until such time as he is able to repay the loan; to which Signor Geri yielded very promptly and politely, telling me that, although during your absence he has advanced other sums to Vincenzio, nevertheless he would have deprived himself if need be in order to lend him also these 150 scudi, to prevent this excellent opportunity from slipping through his fingers. This is how it transpired that a proposal comes before you, Sire, in the form I present to you now: it is up to you to decide, since you know far better than I how much you can afford to pay; I will only add that it has seemed incumbent upon me to involve myself in this business, which has been quite mortifying for me, primarily because I would not want in the slightest way to disturb the peace that you tell me you are enjoying; which I fear may follow in any case, as you do not seem enthusiastically inclined to make this purchase. On the other hand, to entirely reject Signor Geri, who was appealing to you on behalf of your own son, and who shows such affection for you and for all our family, does not seem to me a laudable act. Please Sire, by giving me an answer as soon as possible, free me from my uneasy state; and also let me know what effect the pills may have had, and whether you would like me to send you some more of the same type, as I have not yet been able to work with the aloe I prepared for formulating the new ones.
Suor Giulia returns your good wishes, and is eagerly awaiting, not the flask of white wine which you promised her, Sire, but rather you yourself; and the same for Signor Rondinelli, with whom I never fail to share the letters you write me, Sire, when I deem it permissible to do so; and here I give you my love, and pray your happiness from the Lord God.
From San Matteo, the 6th day of August 1633.
Most affectionate daughter,
©1995 Al Van Helden