Letter from CHARLES ELIOT NORTON to CAROLINE CRANE MARSH, dated January 2, 1882.
My dear Mrs. Marsh
Let me begin my letter with good wishes to you for this new year,--and with the old words, May it be a happy new year to you!
I thank you once more for a very kind letter, and for what you have done for us in
the troublesome business of the copying of the Benvenuto
comment. Professor Villari's arrangement with
Sig Bencini is in all respects
satisfactory, and I have written to him to thank him for the pains he has taken for us. I send also, today, to Sig Bencini a draft for 700 francs. And so ends so far as we are concerned our endeavor to make a worthy contribution from America to the study of the Divine Poet.
Mr. Longfellow desires me to express to you his special thanks for all that you have
done to forward our design, and wishes me to give to you and Mr. Marsh his kindest regards and best wishes. I am sorry to say that he is still far from well. He is not confined to the house, but he suffers from lack of strength and from neuralgic pains, and from inability to use his head for any continuous effort. He is indomitably patient and cheerful.
The winter thus far has been a mild one. Last night
we had our first considerable fall of snow, and this morn we have one of those supremely glittering & brilliant days which are so characteristic of a New England winter.
I enclose two circulars which may interest you, as showing another of the scholarly interests of the time.
With my best respects to Mr. Marsh and to you, and most cordial remembrances, I am Faithfully YoursC. E. Norton
References in this letter:
Benvenuto Rambaldi da Imola's commentary in Latin on the Divine Comedy was one of the earliest and most valuable discussions of Dante's great work.
Pasquale Villari (1827-1917) was a noted historian, statesman, and educator, many of whose works are in Marsh's library. He had verified the accuracy of Signor Bencini's transcription of Benvenuto Rambaldi da Imola's commentary in the Laurentian library in Florence.