* Academy papers
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In July, 1816, Mezzofanti read at the Academy an essay " on the Language of the Sette Communi at Vicenza," which has been spoken of with much praise. This singular community—descended from those strag¬glers of the invading army of Cimbri and Teutones which crossed the Alps in the year of Rome, 640, who escaped amid the almost complete extermination of their companions under Marius, and took refuge in the neighbouring mountains—presents, (LIKE the similar Roman colony on the Transylvanian border,) the strange phenomenon of a foreign race and language preserved unmixed in the midst of another people and another tongue for a space of nearly two thousand years. They occupy seven parishes in the vicinity of Vicenza, Note 1whence their name is derived ; and they still retain not only the tradition of their origin, but the substance, and even the leading forms of the Teutonic language; insomuch that Frederic IV., of Denmark, who visited them in the beginning of the last century, (1708,) discoursed with them in Danish, and found their idiom perfectly intelligible."
This was a theme peculiarly suited to Mezzofanti's powers. His essay excited considerable interest at the time, but unfortunately was never printed.
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