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The interval comprehended between the dawn of learning after a long night of ignorance and barbarism, and the time when it attained its meridian splendour, forms a period highly interesting, no less to the philosophical than the classical enquirer. Its importance has already been fully recognized; and the splendid productions * of two classic pens, have recently served rather to stimulate than to allay the curiosity of the public.

Those distinguished scholars who form the subjects of the following pages, are justly numbered among the brightest luminaries of the fifteenth and sirteenth centuries ; and the restoration of letters, which was attended with effects so beneficial to society, is in some degree to be attributed to their efforts and example. It is scarcely necessary to observe, that

the

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* Mr. Roscoe’s “Life of Lorenzo de' Medici :” and “Memoirs of the House of Medici, &c, translated from the French of Mr. Tenhove, with notes and observations by Sir Richard Clayton, Bart.” The author had not the gratification of perusing Mr. Tenhove's work before the last sheet of this little volume was in the press, consequently no reference

to it occurs in the following pages.

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