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The Life of William Roscoe
William Roscoe to Count Luigi Bossi, [1816]

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
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“I have had the pleasure of receiving your letter, accompanying the three first volumes of the translation into Italian of the ‘Life of Leo X.;’ and I assure you I am fully sensible of the honour done to my work in its being thought worthy of being adopted into the language of that country to which it more particularly relates. This satisfaction is greatly increased by the consideration that those literary studies and pursuits, that have been so long repressed by the calamitous state of public affairs, are again reviving, as well in Italy as in other parts of Europe, and that we may hope once more to enjoy that friendly intercourse which extends the family of mankind, and is indispensable to their improvement and happiness.

“For the favourable manner in which you have spoken of my work, and for the attention you have paid in giving a faithful version of it, I feel myself much indebted, and can add with pleasure that, as far as I have examined it, I find it rendered with sufficient accuracy:—of the propriety of dividing the chapters into sections I entertain some doubt. But if, on the one hand, it interrupts the thread of the narrative, on the other, it may, perhaps, tend to assist the recollection of the reader, which in a very long
chapter is not unlikely to be wearied; and in this view I feel reconciled to the alteration.

“The disadvantages incurred by your having commenced your work from a French translation is a subject of much greater regret, as some of the passages omitted are essential to the course of the narrative, or consist of those reflections which naturally result from it. The omission of those passages by the French translator would be unpardonable, were there not some excuse from the wretched state of subjugation to which the press has been reduced in France by the jealousy of her rulers. You have, however, done all that was in your power to repair this defect; and in case your work should be reprinted will, I doubt not, take care that these passages are properly restored, so that the work may be, as you express it, genuina ed intiera in tutte le sue parti.

“I should have been happy to have marked my approbation of your labours, by complying with your request of furnishing you, with such additional documents as have come to my hands since the publication of my last edition; but my opportunities of collecting additional information since the publication of my work have not been great; and I am more likely to be indebted to those who have done me the honour of translating them, particularly into the German and Italian languages, than they are to
be assisted by me. Allow me, then, to recommend to your attention, whenever you may have an opportunity of consulting them, the translations of the ‘
Life of Lorenzo de’ Medici’ by M. Sprengel; and that of ‘Leo X.’ by Professor Glaser, with the annotations of the late M. Henke. In the prefaces, dissertations, and notes on these works, you will find considerable information, and many questions candidly discussed. A taste for illustrating the literary history of Italy has of late made a considerable progress in Germany as well as in England; and I trust this taste will be still further extended, inasmuch as it is certainly to the labours of your distinguished countrymen, whose lives and works are thus commemorated, that Europe is chiefly indebted for the improvement and eminence she at this day enjoys.

“As a testimony of my respect, and of the sense I feel of the honour you have done me, may I beg your acceptance of a copy on large paper of the ‘Life of Leo,’ which I have ordered to be delivered to M. Vittore Lanetti, to be forwarded to you at Milan.”