|LIFE OF CARDINAL MEZZOFANTI|
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Looking back over the narrative of Cardinal Mezzofanti's life, we can trace a tolerably regular progress in the number of languages ascribed to him through its several stages. In 1805, according to Father Caronni, " he was commonly reported to be master of more than twenty-four languages." Giordani's account of him in 1812, seems, although it does not specify any number, to indicate a greater total than this. Stewart Rose, in 1817, speaks of him as "reading twenty languages, and conversing in eighteen." Baron von Zach, in 1820, brings the number of the languages spoken by him up to thirty-two. Lady Morgan states, that by the public report of Bologna he was reputed to be master of forty. He himself, in 1836, stated to M. Mazzinghi that he knew forty-five ; and before 1839, he used to say that he knew " fifty, and Bolognese." In reply to the request of M. Mouravieff, a little later, that he would give him a list of the languages that he knew, he sent him a sheet containing the name of God in fifty-six languages. In the year 1846 he told Father Bresciani that he knew seventy-eight languages and dialects ;* and a list communicated to me by his nephew, Dr. Gaetano Minarelli, by whom it has been compiled after a diligent examination of his deceased uncle's books and papers, reaches the astounding total of one hundred and fourteen!
It is clear, however,'that these, and the similar statements which have been current, require considerable examination and explanation. It is much to be regretted that the Cardinal did not, with his own hand, draw up, as he had often been requested, and as he certainly intended, a complete catalogue of the languages known by him, distinguishing, as in the similar statement left by Sir William Jones, the degrees of his knowledge of the several languages which it comprised. In none of the statements on the subject
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