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DEDICATION

Ad Illustrissimum et excellentissimum Principem Caesarem Borgiam Aemyliae ac Valentiae Ducem etc et Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Vexilliferum Hieronymus Soncinus.

 

dedication to cesare borgiaGia sonno doi anni excellentissimo & invictissimo principe : che piacendone laere el sito & la fertilita de la tua devotissima cita de Fano : & la familiarita & ingegni delli habitanti in essa : deliberai in quella venire ad habitare, et l’arte impressoria de li libri exercitare.

Ove trovandose in quel tempo el R. legato apostolico Monsignor Cardinale de Sancta Balbina, gia optimo praeceptore de tua excellentia : hon veramente degno de tal dignita ; e de ciascuno virtuoso amatore & favtore : a sua S.R. me recomandai, & fecili intendere el mio pensiero esser totalmente disposto, a fare in dicta cita el mio perpetuo domicilio & ivi condurre intagliatori de littere, & impressori non vulgari et vili, ma dei tucti gli altri li piu excellenti.

Per el che essendo stato la Sua R.S. benigna mente exaudito ; ho voluto observare quanto da me era stato promesso. E per mia exhortatione non solo sonno venuti quivi li compositori tanto notabili, & sufficienti, quanto sia possibile a dire : ma anchora un nobillissimo sculptore de littere latine graece et hebraice chiamato M Francesco da Bologna l’ingeno del quale certamente credo che in tale exercitio non trove un altro equale. Perche non solo le usitate stampe perfectamente sa fare : ma etiam ha excogitato una nova forma de littera dicta cursiva , o vero cancellaresca de la quale non Aldo Romano, ne altri che astutamente hanno tentato de le altrui penne adornarse. Ma esso M. Francesco è stato primo inventore & designatore el quale e tucte le forme de littere che mai habbia stampato dicto Aldo ha intagliato, e la praesente forma con tanta gratia e venustate, quanta facilmente in essa se comprende. Et per che tutti semo humili & devoti vasalli de tua Excellentia : & alla nostra vera servitu se apertene sempre invocare el felice auspicio de te nostro Illustrissimo & clementissimo Principe : & a quello offerire le primitie de le nostre exigue lucubratione. Per tal respecto destinamo & dedicamo la praesente opera a tua Excellentia, non per cosa nova, ne conveniente a quella, dedita non a gli amorosi stipendi ma a la militar disciplina ; laquale con gli foi clari & admirandi gesti in questo nostro seculo sommamente amplifica, & adorna. Ma sollo per dar qualche cognitione a tua Excellentia de la nostra devotione & servitu verso quella & de questa nova & inusitata stampa. La quale si (come speramo) non gli sera ingrata : mediante el divino aiuto e la gratia de quella, ce sforzaremo ogni giorno a quella dedicare cose piu celebre & sublime a la celsitudine de la quale humilimamente ce recomandamo. In Fano Caesaris adi vii de Iulio. M. D. III.

 

 

To the Most Illustrious and Excellent Prince Cesare Borgia, Duke of Emilia and Valentinois

 

Most excellent and victorious prince, two years have passed since liking the air, the site and fertility of your devoted city of Fano, as well as the friendliness and superior culture of its inhabitants I determined to come, live and exercise the art of printing here.

At that time, the apostolic legate Monsignor Cardinal of Santa Balbina, best tutor of your Excellency and truly worthy of this dignity and of every love and support, being in the city, I recommended myself and made him understand my firm intention to establish myself permanently in the city and bring here letter engravers and printers not vile and vulgar, but of all others the most excellent.

As your excellency kindly gave me audience, I have wanted to keep my promise. At my invitation, not only the most notable and sufficient compositors have come but also a most noble engraver of Latin, Greek and Hebrew letters by name of Master Francesco da Bologna, whose skill in our profession I am certain has no equal. For not only does he know perfectly how to make the ordinary types, but he has devised a new form of letter called cursive or secretarial, which neither Aldus of Rome, nor others who have cunningly endeavored to adorn themselves with borrowed plumes, but M. Francesco himself first invented and designed; and he engraved all the forms of letters which the said Aldus has ever printed, as well as the present form, with that grace and beauty work which is so apparent in his work.

And since we are all humble and devoted vassals to your Excellency and since it belongs to our servitude to always invoke the happy auspices of our most Illustrious and clement prince, and to offer him the first result of our modest work: For this reason we devote and dedicate the present work to your Excellency, not as a novel thing or convenient to your Excellence, who is devoted not to amorous endeavors but to military discipline, which discipline your Excellency supremely adorns in the present century with clear and admirable actions. But only to give some knowledge to your Excellency of our devotion and service to the same, and of this new and unusual printing process. If this (as we hope) will not be unwelcome to your Excellency, with divine aid and your benevolence we shall attempt daily to dedicate more famous and sublime works to you, to whose Excellency we humbly recommend ourselves. In Fano Caesaris, 6 July 1503.

 

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