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Letters of Maria Celeste:

Autumn 1623

Most Beloved Lord Father

The fruits you sent were most gratefully welcomed, Sire, and as it is always Lent for us Franciscans, Suor Arcangela judged them the equal of caviar; and we thank you for them.

Vincenzio stands in desperate want of more collars, even though he may not think so, as it suits him well enough to have an old one bleached every time the need arises; but we are finding it a very great effort to accommodate him in this, especially as the collars are really quite old, and therefore I would like to sew him four new ones with lace trim and matching cuffs; but, since I have neither time nor money to cover all of their fabrication, I would like you, Sire, to assist me with the shortfall by sending me a yard of fine cambric and 18 or 20 lire, at least, to buy the lace, which my Lady Ortensia can make for me most beautifully. Given that the collars in fashion nowadays are quite large, a lot of lace goes into trimming them; moreover, since Vincenzio has been so obedient to you, Sire, in always wearing his cuffs, I maintain, for that reason, he deserves to have beautiful ones; and therefore you should not be astonished that I ask for this much money. Right now I will say no more, except that I send you both my love, together with Suor Arcangela. May the Lord bless you.

Your most affectionate daughter,
S. M. Celeste

1995 Al Van Helden
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