2. Magdalena to Balthasar
December 9, 1591, in Nuremberg
Honest, friendly, dear Paumgartner:
I cannot stop writing to you every week, even though you give me no reason to do so. It is now three weeks since I last heard from you and there may be no letter again this Saturday, which will leave me quite dejected. I cannot help thinking of the old proverb: "Out of sight, out of mind." Your brother tells me that you are preoccupied with a great many business letters, for which I think I am being made to suffer. Your not writing has made me wonder whether you are well, but Jörg gives me to understand that you are doing a great deal of writing. I pointedly reminded him that in the end I have simply to believe that there is no other reason for your not writing to me than that you have so much to do. He says that he understands from your letter [to him] that you will be departing Lucca before the fair. Confirmation of this I eagerly await with all my heart in your letter on Saturday; such news from you also makes me happy. We are, praise and thank God, still as we were, in good health; may God continue to keep us both so. Amen.
Dear Paumgartner, I am writing this letter because of the boy, who constantly admonishes me when I write to ask you to bring him a suit of clothes. So I am sending along with this letter a measure of the length and width of the jacket, also the length of the sleeves and the pants, all of which I have taken liberally from his old velvet suit, which still fits him properly, and I have also measured him. Choose only something black, for he already has two colored suits. Of course, in this matter it is yours to do as you please.
Old Bair is the same as a week ago; one still believes he cannot last more than three or four days. Every day some rotted flesh is cut away from his wound. However, he feels no pain and he no longer asks for anyone. He speaks only when he is thirsty or wants something to eat. He has lost interest in everything. May the Lord God end it soon for him.
Frau Tobias Kastner sends warm greetings to you. She is now living here with her mother on the third floor in Frau Lienhart's manor house. She had traveled around for three days with her mother before arriving. Blood has begun to flow from her mouth, and she is so weak that I do not know if she will last long. I visit her often, for she was earlier going to put up with us. She has now been sick here for three weeks. I worry that she will not last long when she goes back home [to Engelthal]. May God help us all!
Dear treasure, I ask you not to forget about my Italian coat, one like the one Wilhelm Imhoff brought his wife from Venice, which is worn as a fur. Do not think ill of me because I always try to wheedle something out of you in every letter. I especially ask that you bring some red and saffron-colored satin, if you can find an inexpensive measure or two. Brother-in-law Jörg says a package is coming to me in a trunk; I hope the material for the vest is what is on the way; I very much need it.
Later today I must be a dinner guest of old Frau Kleewein, who is entertaining the girl, her new daughter-in-law, who is going to stay with her for a while. In a week, God willing, we will celebrate brother Paul's betrothal. Would to God that you could also be here.
May Almighty God bring us together again in joy after this tedious separation that we all want to forget with his help!
Kind, dear treasure, I have nothing more to write at this time, only to send many friendly and warm greetings to your loyal heart. May the Lord God keep you in his grace. Many, many others, all of whom I cannot list, send greetings to you—Frau Gröser, Frau Scheurl, Herr [Hieronymus] Paumgartner—yesterday I gave him a note at an engagement party, he has been to see us and greets you—Frau Lochner, Frau Roemer, Wilhelm Imhoff, Plauen, [both] he and she—the list is just too long. So many danced with me this week at the Pfinzings' wedding [December 6]. They wished you the best and asked me when I last had a letter from you. I dissembled and said, "Last week," when it has already been three weeks! This for now!
Magdalena Balthasar Baumgartner,
your loving housewife