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AN HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL ACCOUNT
LIVES AND WRITINGS
MOST EMINENT PERSONS
IN EVERY NATION;
PARTICULARLY THE BRITISH AND IRISH;
FROM THE EARLIEST ACCOUNTS TO THE PRESENT TIME.
A NEW EDITION,
ALEXANDER CHALMERS, F. S. A.
PRINTED FOR J. NICHOLS AND SON; F. C. AND J. RIVINGTON; T. PAYNE ;
OTRIDGE AND SON; G. AND W. NICOL; G. WILKIE ; J. WALKER; R. LEA ;
A NEW AND GENERAL
„," says Mr. Roslici to the splendharge given by the
M EDICI (COSMO DE), a celebrated citizen of Florence, born in that city in 1389, was the eldest son of John de Medici, the founder of his illustrious family. “The maxims,” says Mr. Roscoe, “ which, uniformly pursued, raised the house of Medici to the splendour which it afterwards enjoyed, are to be found in the charge given by this venerable old man on his death bed to his two sons : "I feel,' said John de Medici, that I have lived the time prescribed me. I die content ;-leaving you, my sons, in affluence and in health, and in such a station, that while you follow iny example, you may live in your native place honoured and respected. Nothing affords me more pleasure than the reflection that my conduct has not given offence to any one ; but that, on the contrary, I have endeavoured to serve all persons to the best of my abilities. I advise you to do the same. With respect to the honours of the state, if you would live with security, accept only such as are bestowed on you by the laws, and the favour of your fellow-citizens; for it is the exercise of that power which is obtained by violence, and not of that which is voluntarily .conferred, that occasions hatred and violence.” At the death of this venerable man, in 1428, Cosmo had already obtained distinction both in the political and commercial world. In 1414, when the pope, John XXIII., was summoned to attend the council of Constance, he chose. to be accompanied by Cosmo de Medici, among other men of eminence, whose high characters might countenance his cause. On the death of his father, Cosmo succeeded to the influence possessed by him as head of that powerful family, which rendered him the first citizen of the state,