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essentially tended to complete the very partial publication of them by Henri de L'Epinois, in 1867. In 1877 M. de L'Epinois and the present writer were permitted to resuscitate the famous volume, which again lay buried among the secret papal archives; that is, to inspect it at leisure and to publish the contents in full. It was, however, not only of the greatest importance to become acquainted with the Vatican MS. as a whole, and by an exact publication of it to make it the common property of historical research ; it was at least of equal moment to make a most careful examination of the material form and external appearance of the Acts. For the threefold system of paging had led some historians to make the boldest conjectures, and respecting one document in particular,—the famous note of 26th February, 1616,there was an apparently well-founded suspicion that there had been a later falsification of the papers.
While, on the one hand, the knowledge gained of the entire contents of the Vatican MS., for the purpose of my own publication of it, only confirmed, in many respects, my previous opinions on the memorable trial; on the other hand, a minute and repeated examination of the material evidence afforded by the suspicious document, which, up to that time, had been considered by myself and many other authors to be a forgery of a later date, convinced me, contrary to all expectation, that it indisputably originated in 1616.
This newly acquired experience, and the appearance of many valuable critical writings on the trial of Galileo since the year 1876, rendered therefore a partial revision and correction of the German edition of this work, for the English and an Italian translation, absolutely necessary. All the
1“ Die Acten des Gallileischen Processes, nach der Vaticanischen Handschrift, von Karl von Gebler.” Cotta, Stuttgard, 1877.
needful emendations have accordingly been made, with constant reference to the literature relating to the subject published between the spring of 1876 and the spring of 1878. I have also consulted several older works which had escaped my attention when the book was first written.
May the work then, in its to some extent new form, make its
way in the British Isles, and meet with as friendly a reception there as the German edition has met with in Austria and Germany.
To you, Madam, I offer my warm thanks for the care with which you have executed the difficult and laborious task of translation,
Accept, Madam, the assurance of my sincere esteem.
KARL VON GEBLER.1
MERAN, 1st April, 1878.
1 The above letter is adapted from a draft of one addressed to the Italian Translator, the letter to myself not having, unfortunately, been sent before the Author's death, nor found among his papers afterwards. He had written but a few weeks before that he would send it shortly, and as it would probably have been almost exactly similar to the above, I have availed myself of it, the Author's father having sent me a copy with the necessary alterations and authorised its use.—TR.
NOTE BY THE TRANSLATOR.
THE Vatican Manuscript alluded to in the foregoing letter, and constantly referred to in the text, was published by the author in the autumn of 1877, under the title of “Die Acten des Gallileischen Processes, nach der Vaticanischen Handschrift, von Karl von Gebler.” Cotta, Stuttgard. This, with some introductory chapters, was intended to supersede the Appendix to the original work, and to form a second volume, when a new German edition should be called for. It did not, however, appear to me that any purpose would be served by reprinting all the Latin and Italian documents of the Vatican MS. in this country, as students who wish to consult them can easily procure them as published in the original languages in Germany, and I hope for a wider circle of readers than that composed exclusively of students. I therefore proposed to Herr von Gebler to give the History, Description, and Estimate of the Vat. MS., etc., in an Appendix, together with a few of the more important documents; to this, with some suggestions, as for instance, that some of the shorter documents should be given as notes to the text, he fully agreed, with the remark that I must know best what would suit my countrymen. The Appendix, therefore, differs somewhat both from the original Appendix and from the introductory portions of the new volume, for these also were revised for the Translation.
The translations from Latin and Italian documents have been made from the originals by a competent scholar, and all the more important letters and extracts from letters of Galileo have been compared with the Italian. The Table of Contents, headings to and titles of the chapters, and Index, none of which exist in the original, have been added by myself.
SYDENHAM, November, 1878.