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Letters of Maria Celeste:

9 December 1633

Most Beloved Lord Father

Signor Francesco Lupi, the brother-in-law of our Suor Maria Vincenzia, passing through Siena en route to his home in Rome, offered to carry this letter to you, Sire, or anything else I wished to send; wherefore I, accepting the courtesy, offer you this box containing 13 citron candy morsels, for just these many and not one more turned out well from the 6 citrons that Signor Rinuccini sent me, as all of the fruits were small and blemished on one side: their taste I believe will prove excellent, but as for their appearance they could be a bit more beautiful, and would be except that the extremely damp weather obliged me to dry them by the fire. Here, too, is a rose of sugar so that you may see if you would like to have several flowers of this sort to adorn the upside-down cake that we will make for that wedding celebration, Sire, but with flowers much smaller and more delicate than this one.

I received from Master Agostino the box containing the 6 apricots, and I thank you together with those nuns who shared them, who are our usual friends.

I understand that in Florence everyone is saying you will soon be here; but until I have this from your lips, all I will believe is that your dear friends are allowing their affections and desires to give themselves voice. Meanwhile I greatly enjoy hearing that you have such a vibrant complexion, as Master Agostino tells me and further affirms he has never seen you with better color. Everyone can recognize how you have benefited, after the help of blessed God, from the extremely sweet conversation you continue to enjoy with that most illustrious Monsignor Archbishop, as well as from not being careless of your health nor going to extremes as you sometimes do in your own home. Everlasting thanks be offered to the Lord God, for it is He who keeps you in His grace.

From San Matteo in Arcetri, the 9th day of December 1633.

Your most affectionate daughter,
S. M. Celeste

1995 Al Van Helden
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