Friday, July 23, 2021



Poggio Bracciolini, letter to Franciscus Marescalcus of Ferrara, 1436 (tr. Phyllis Walter Goodhart Gordan):
I have never made nor do I make a great deal of my writings, for I am never so conscious of how trifling is my ability to express myself as when I take pen in hand and settle my mind on the effort of writing. In this matter I am very often such a failure in my own eyes that I seem to myself ignorant and without talent in writing since sometimes not only matter but even words fail me, although I have spent a long time searching for what I should say.


Therefore read when you find time free from more important business and, if you are offended by anything in your reading, be generous either to my ignorance or to my wordiness.

Neque enim scripta mea unquam magni feci, neque facio, tunc maxime cognoscens quam parum dicendi facultate possim, quum sumpto calamo animum ad scribendi curam accommodavi. In quo persaepe ita mihi ipsi desum, ut rudis atque ingenii inops mihi videar in scribendo, quum non solum sententiae aliquando, sed etiam verba deficiant, licet diutius quid dicam investiganti.


Leges igitur, quum tempus vacuum nactus eris a majoribus negotiis, et si qua in re inter legendum offenderis, dabis veniam vel ignorantiae, vel verbositati.

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