Gran Simulacro: Dedication
From the Manuscript
To the Most Serene Signore Don Francesco Maria Feltrio della Rovere, sixth Duke of Urbino.
Every father (Most Serene Signor Duke), in order that his children should acquire reputation, procures for them some place in some noble court, and of some protection, to provide for them the best that he can. Thus do I, which, finding the present book on the instruction of fencing born of the better part of me, attempt to place in court, and because more dear to me than any other are the progeny of my intellect, I plead with Your Highness to grant them some place in your court, which, being a perfect compendium of the world, considered perfect, shown in and of itself of so much beauty and goodness as is found in the world, the same is dedicated to the Most Serene Don Federigo, your son, recommending it to his protection, although a lad*1 in child’s gowns, and in jests, and gay dances, it appears nonetheless that there are enfolded in his hands triumphs and spoils, and as young Alcide*2 with infantile hand, not yet equal to the purpose, menaces the Hydra, slays the serpents, then in the generous shining of his aspect is seen the greatness of his ancestors, the magnanimity, the valor, and the innumerable other virtues, which have exhausted the greatest and most famous historians, and which will render him above every Prince, and named and illustrious; would they not prove sufficient to confer such eminence, in truth only the virtues of Your Excellency being in number and quality so great, that it rightly could come to be called a diligent imitator of the perfection of GOD? It is not to be marveled at, therefore, by Your Highness, if I long to introduce into your Most Serene House, and place under the protection of the Most Serene Prince, your son, this book of mine; but considering the singular graciousness, very characteristic of Your Highness and of his Most Serene Blood, I cannot but strongly hope that Your Highnesses, without regarding the baseness of the subject, will favor it fully with your most powerful favor. But whereas indeed it may not be proper for Your Highnesses to receive such baseness with such grace, consent at least (as I humbly beseech you) that it can stand alone in the public hall of your Royal Palace, and in the other public places of your ample Dominion, as much glory moreover will arise merely from the authority of having a place among those who are humbly dedicated to serving and revering Your Highnesses, for whom I pray to the Lord God for complete and perpetual happiness.
From Siena on the 8th of April, 1610. Your Most Serene Highness’s Most Humble Subject, and Most Devoted Servant, Ridolfo Capoferro of Cagli.
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