First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

A narration of the historical events transpiring throughout Germany and Europe under Emperor Frederick III, together with a description of the places, written by the most worthy in God, Aeneas Piccolomini, cardinal of St. Sabine, to Cardinal Antonio of Hilerda.

To Antonio, priest of the holy Roman Church, Cardinal of Hilerda, his most beloved father, Aeneas, Cardinal of Sienna, of the same order though not as worthy, wishes much happiness. The other night, although suffering from gout and rheumatism, I was at work as is my custom; and a German book dealer or collector submitted to me a booklet, giving the names and histories of the Roman emperors, as well as certain customs, up to the time of Wenceslaus, son of Charles IV. And as in this same booklet four emperors were omitted because Benevenustus Himolensis, the author of the booklet, died under Wenceslaus, the German asked me to extend the work by supplying what it lacked. Not wishing to disappoint the man, I completed the emperors down to our own time, following the abbreviated style of my predecessor. But when I realized how many great historical events occurred among the Christians from the time of the Roman rule of Emperor Frederick down to our own day, I determined to write a separate book, briefly preserving for posterity certain memorable things that occurred in this period. And so I have written a short history, and have inscribed it to you. And as you too are laboring, though subject to the same ailment as I, I hope that while you are down with the gout you will leisurely read and judge my writing. It would have been more fitting, I admit, to have written a history of events from the beginning of our time to the present, a task which I of ten felt inclined to undertake, but it did not appear possible, in view of my gout, and particularly because of the forty days’ fast and the approaching nightly vigils. The gout loves our houses. It frequently disappears, and often reappears. Yet it may prove serviceable to this undertaking. Fare you well, and if you find that I have written anything provocative, or too severe, against any one, you may attribute it to my nature and the pangs of the gout, and with your pen delete what is incorrect, improper, and incongruous. From Rome, March 29, A.D. 1458.