Leon Battista Alberti,
On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Literature (Part IV)
“Thus, bestowing some effort upon my own habit and the entreaties of my friends, I have published this little treatise on the advantages and disadvantages of literature. Which, to be sure, my brother, I will suppose to be pleasing to you, because I have both kept up the custom of my friends, but also because I have seized upon material which is neither common nor explained before this time. I am well versed in the study of literature, in which I have spent my whole life up until yesterday – I know what its advantages and disadvantages are. But you (to use a word from your Ephebes) my brother, read my little book over again, correct it, and change it according to your judgment. Make it so that my little contrivance here is more pleasing and more worthy by the grace of your emendation.”
Itaque consuetudini nostre et meorum petitionibus operam impertiens hoc de commodis litterarum atque incommodis edidi opusculum. Quod quidem, mi frater, tum quod meis morem gesserim, tum etiam quod fuerim materiam nactus non vulgarem neque satis ante hoc tempus explicitam gratum tibi futurum arbitrabor. Et novi studia litterarum, quibus ad hunc usque diem superiorem etatem omnem traduxi meam, quam sint commoda atque incommoda. Tu vero (ut tuo in Ephebis utar dicto), mi frater, relege hunc nostrum libellum, corrige, immuta tuo quidem arbitratu, emendationeque tua inventionem nostram effice gratiorem ac digniorem.