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Letters of Maria Celeste:


Most Beloved Lord Father

The citrons that you sent me, Sire, I will transform to your taste most willingly: and in order to make them into marmalade and candies, I think I will need about two pounds of sugar, and, if you enjoy the flavor, a little bit of must wine; all of this will be too expensive for me because I find myself so short of money: also if you want me to prepare you a preserve of rosemary flowers, which has been such a favorite of yours, then please send even more sugar. We did not have the saucer you are missing; but I do believe that you have a narrow-necked bottle of ours, and a little white dish.

I would rather you not preoccupy yourself so soon with concern for us; but rather attend to regaining and conserving your own health; and please, when you return home, I implore you to leave the garden to its own devices, at least until the weather improves, because I fear that this working outdoors has done you considerable harm: since I am in a hurry, I end here, and send you regards with all my heart. May the Lord grant you His blessing.

Your most affectionate daughter,
S. M. Celeste

I await the sugar as soon as possible, lest the citrons spoil, and if per chance another one should come into your hands, I would be most happy to have that, as well, to fill another need of mine, which I will tell you about in person, and I can hardly wait to do so.

1995 Al Van Helden
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