Meanwhile there is plenty for me to do here. Over the holiday I am going to Florence, which is forty miles away, but I will be returning here in three or four days. Meanwhile, trust that on my return from Florence my health may, praise God, be good and that I will have recovered from my wearisome journey, for I will return here beaten and exhausted. Take care not to let yourself be tormented by many vain worries over things which in the end you can do nothing about. You may be sure that as soon as my affairs here are settled, I will not tarry here one hour, but (God willing) may hope to be with you there even sooner than you and I now think. May dear God grant that hope soon and happily!
I am certainly distressed to hear about the long, grievous pestilence you are having. Others there have written to me that it has abated somewhat and that cold weather is on the doorstep. I hope to almighty God that it has not posed any further danger. Here we have had almost beautiful bright weather for five weeks. Many others would not say so, as at this time of the year it customarily mostly rains (presently the rain is steady) and many are surprised by the beautiful weather.
I had learned already before your letter from cousin Andreas Imhoff in Venice of the blessed departure from life of the good and pious Sebastian Imhoff in Lyon. Wilhelm Kress, who was with him in Lyon, suffered not a little with him. May the Almighty be to him as to all of us gracious and merciful and grant him after this life eternal life! Amen.
I had also learned before your letter that old Matthew Fetzer is a bridegroom. However, his bride, and the Rosina whom Dr. Wolff is marrying, are unknown to me.
Wilhelm Kress, whom I have put up here in good quarters, and brother Jörg both again send their sincere greetings and thank you kindly for thinking of them.
When you see Frau Lochner, indicate to her that I will do my best to get the crimson satin lining and the bicolored double taffeta. I had already ordered the lining before I got your letter.
Otherwise, apart from my work, I lead a truly boring life without any diversions whatsoever, save for a two-week visit here of players who performed every evening for four hours after sunset into the night. Among them was a woman who could (as one is accustomed to say) "speak and ride." I wish to God you could have seen her, for you would certainly have marveled. I passed some time watching the plays, but such things come to an end. After the Christmas holidays other players will come, but they are no match for the plays you have in St. Martha's and the Dominican cloister there. But I cannot sufficiently describe how eloquent and skillful the women in such plays here are, especially the one who was just here. If you have not seen it for yourself, you cannot believe it. Without doubt, they have studied many storybooks and must be well taught.
Among other things in your letter, you announce that I should not again wait so long to write to you: "who knows [you say] whether I shall find you alive because of the bad air there." By saying such a thing you have disturbed me not a little and raised all kinds of strange thoughts in my mind. If dear God cannot immediately reconcile us, I still trust he will spare us this time and help guide us joyfully back together again in our little chamber or flower garden. We are all in his hands, and if I do not place my entire hope in him, I must constantly worry that misfortune will befall me. I am hoping for the best from him and you should, too, in the end letting him rule.
Dearest and closest, I don't know what more to write you at this time. Only that I thank you most sincerely for the little flower you have sent me from our garden. I am carefully preserving it for your sake. May I kindly ask you to give my sincere greetings and best wishes to your brother Paul, your sister, and to Katherina Imhoff and Magdalena Held. And for you, dearest Magdale, many hundred thousand friendly and sincere greetings! I commend you in trust to the grace of the loving God.
Your true, loving bridegroom,
Balthasar Baumgartner the Younger