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The Medici Prince writes to a friend about the actions of a Cardinal to some Jesuit priests, and about the interesting young scientist who have been visiting, signs name in black ink
Autograph letter signed: "The Prince Leopoldo" in black ink. 3 pages, 7¾x11 folded. Florence, Tuscany, Italy. 1666 April 27. Translated from Italian, in full: "I give you the welcome in that great city and Imperial Court, I am glad that you all arrived in good health. I am more and more convinced that there is nothing better to health than traveling with due comfort and not instead of others. Very dear to me the advices of [illegible], and really I have always considered him as competent and kind literary man, and if you affirmed to him that here at any time he would be welcome and esteemed, you do not need to ask penance for a lie. You were ill accustomed to those countries of the French ladies, so much lovers of your Beauty, as anywhere you go I see you believe it lacking of amusements, and to leave his mind towards the drinking glasses is a bad signs, and I besides to the common example I feel it powerfully in me, because with theses and with the [illegible] of our country we must pass the time formidably. We have had [illegible] of two persons passing by here, about whom I think I have already written to you, who are Mr. Stenone, Danish anatomist, you of age but remarkable in his business, [illegible] moreover with every sort of erudition, and good geometrist which much helps him in his business, and the true type of modesty. The other is Mr. J. Estelott, a French man, also him very modest and prudent, of Italian nature. The latter is a true living pleasure of every erudition, and he knows everything by heart, and he is very familiar with all the oriental languages. I say much but I tell the truth. In part in the [illegible] I found myself obliged to make the handwritten toast [illegible] his intimate friend. If you are friend of Mr. d'Esbeloti, who is of every erudition the formilary and all by hearts known as a great vocabulary of the Ancient Academy of Nembrose, tempt him so that every [illegible] language imposes a large glass of Nectar of Ascenti. These two have captured the souls, not only ours, but also of all the nobility of Florence and are always in the rooms of the Granduke or in ours. The Jesuits have also called here a Polish father & read Astronomic Geometry and other similar sciences, who is the first meetings appeared modest competent, and friend of the truth, and we like him because we will be a starting stimulus to many young men to hear these sciences. These good Fathers are very happy on account of the inheritance left to them by our Cervierin which will amount, not, for them, I think more than 12,000 ecu, and if they think they will settle with it all their affairs. But there were nice scenes before the death of Cervieri, and the famous Cardinal Souistovi, marketed himself with the misfortune of his servant to go ups, under some pretext, to the dying Cervien' and scold him for the foolishness he was doing in leaving (the estate) to the Jesuits, but he was discovered in the hall and was not allowed to pan. After the holidays the academy was reopened and Tappada made the speech. This is all I can tell you of my news, and I wish you every happiness". Prince Leopoldo de'Medici (1617-1675) was an Italian cardinal, scholar, art patron and Governor of Siena, as well as the younger brother of Ferdinando II de'Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Leopoldo was known as a disciple of Galileo, and took a great interest in science and technology; he founded the Accademia Platonia and the Accademia del Cimento to promote observation of nature through the Galilean Method, and served as a member of the Accademia della Crusa, for which he edited the entries regarding art for the 3rd edition of the Crusca Dictionary (1691). He was a collector of rare books, paintings, drawings, statues, coins and self-portraits, also leaving behind a wide correspondence with artists and art collectors of his time; he furthermore experimented with telescopic lenses and all manner of scientific instruments, commissioning the thermometers, calorimeters, hydrometers, quadrants, etc. that are still on display at the Medici's Pitti Palace. Leopoldo was named a Cardinal in 1667 by Pope Clement IX, and he began making frequent trips to Rome, pursuing his artistic interests. Ink show through. Lightly worn, nicked edges. Erased pencil notes at upper blank margin. Lightly rippled. Folds, not at signature.

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Born: November 6, 1617 in Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Died: November 16, 1675 in Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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