Memoirs of the Life and Peregrinations of the Florentine: Philip Mazzei, 1730-1816

Memoirs of the Life and Peregrinations of the Florentine: Philip Mazzei, 1730-1816

Memoirs of the Life and Peregrinations of the Florentine: Philip Mazzei, 1730-1816

Memoirs of the Life and Peregrinations of the Florentine: Philip Mazzei, 1730-1816

Excerpt

Pisa, August 12, 1810.

Dearly beloved and respected Friend,

You have asked me more than once to write the story of my life. I have always pointed out that this would be a most arduous task for one who is almost eighty years of age. And furthermore, I do lack material concerning the most interesting period, that is, from 1772 to the middle of 1792. During these years I was very active, first in the state of Virginia, as a worthy citizen of my adopted country, then as envoy from that state to Europe, still later as envoy from King Stanislaus of Poland, and finally as chargé d'affaires from that King and his Republic to the Court of France. I left the data relative to the first part of this period in Virginia in 1785, intending to return there within a year; I left that relative to the second part in Warsaw in July, 1792.

But since you continue to press me, I shall oblige you anyway. However, I must warn you at the outset that the clear and positive recollections of my life may be summed up more or less as a record of insolent acts in my childhood, irregularity and extravagance during my youth, and a few weaknesses which developed with age. Wherefore I enclose, especially for you, your letter of 1809 (although you dated it 1808), so that whenever you find yourself bored, as you read these Memoirs, you may say, mea culpa.

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