Personal letters from the 1850s

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Personal letters from the 1850s

Postby Markneth » 18 Jun 2003, 00:50

I wonder if anyone could help me with 2 personal letters by one of my ancestors, sent to Italy in the 1850 to (I think) some professors or ex-university friends(?) he had to get some money from. The 3rd letter is the answer and I think he got the money 8)

I made some high resolution scans and put them on my website; see
http://www.wagenbuur.nl/letters.htm

I could read the answer better than the handwriting of my own ancestor, so what I think it says (in Italian) is on the site too.

I would be very grateful if anyone could help me. I hope there are some nice details in these letters.

Thank you

Mark Wagenbuur, Netherlands
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Postby Maurizio » 20 Jun 2003, 13:18

Hello Mark,
When I first sow the letter I was going to give up, since I haven't enough free time for a complete transcription of that terrible handwriting; then I took a look at your website (very nice: a good job, indeed), I found the transcriptions of yours... and I couldn't resist in correcting them. So, here are the correct transcription of the two letters: let me know if you have problem in translating.
Ciao, Maurizio

----------------------------------------------------------

S(igno)r Professore Stimat(issi)mo
Mi consolò d’una parte di ricevere la car(issi)ma Sua (lettera) da Pavia del 13 corr(ent)e, per avere sue novelle e di sua rispet(tabil)e famiglia di Novara; ma dall’altra (parte) mi rattristò di vederci di nuovo delusi nel nostro affare di Venezia, e li nuovi contrasti nati, onde ritardarsi di nuovo il pagamento del piccolo capitale residente a Venezia; il tutto ci travaglia contro. Ma ci vuole pazienza; a Dio piaccia che Ella resti in stato di poter dirigere l’affare fino alla fine, essendo ella il meglio i[n]struito di quell’affare; senza di che, se l’Altissimo mettesse fine ai suoi giorni, temo che io non perverrei più a riscuotere un centesimo di tutte la somma; Infine, cerchi tanto che sia in suo potere di so(l)lecitare l’affare, e che noi ne veniamo una volta al possesso di quanto ci appartiene; e non mancherò, subito che ella mi manderà la modula della nuova procura, senza perdita di tempo di fare mettere in ordine per il notaio che fece l’anteriore, e di subito rispedircela.
Per la sud(dett)a Sua (lettera) ho inteso con dolore lo Stato di lei, e dei Suoi Sig(no)ri fratelli, ma mi congratulo nel[la] med(esim)o tempo d’intendere che ambi siano di nuove rimessi in discreta salute: che Dio li conservi tutti ancora lungo tempo; perla med(esim)a Sua vedo pure quanto la rispe[t]tabile di Lei famiglia è numerosa in nipoti e pronipoti; stante che la mia non conta fino a quest’ora che mia moglie, tre figlie e un figlio, ma la maggiore delle figlie che è maritata tiene pure una piccola figliola, così che sono di già “Grand-papaâ€
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Postby Markneth » 20 Jun 2003, 13:26

Hi Maurizio!

Thank you so much for your work! I'm glad I did some preparation ;-)

I think I might find out the meaning now. I do have an Italian-Dutch dictionary, but if you don't know what it should be in Italian it is hard to look. Now I might find the meaning. But as you may have guessed I don't speak a word of Italian. I did kind of understand that second letter, but for one sentence. I'll try to translate the first myself and if I have a clear single question I might just ask you, that way it will cost you not so much time I hope.

Thanks again, and I will let you know how things go!

Mark
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Postby Maurizio » 20 Jun 2003, 13:50

We are in a mirror-like condition: you can't speak Italian and I can't say a word in Dutch (well, I really did know one single word: a dutch friend of mine once taught me to say "fly-sh**" or something: it's curious, but the first words one learns in a new language are often swearwords, isn't it?).
Anyway, if and when I have time, I'll post here a summary of the letters.
Ciao, Maurizio
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Postby Markneth » 21 Jun 2003, 10:41

I think I got the first letter now, sort of. Using translationsite in combination with my (better) dictionary. Thanks again Maurizio for the Italian words. I am not sure with Dutch curseword you meant but perhaps that is better so. :lol: Almost done with the second letter too. May be able to post it tonight. If you see a very dumb mistake you'll let me know, won't you... thanks! Mark

honoured Mr. Professor
I was consoled in part to receive your very kind letter from Pavia of the 13th of this month, for it contained novelties of you and of your respectable family of Novara; but from the other part I was saddened to see a new disappointment in our transaction at Venice, and now a new quarrel has arisen, I understood there are new waves of delay in the payment of the small capital residing in Venice; we all suffer from this. But we have to be patient; God willing you will remain to be able to direct this affaire to an end, you being the one best instructed of this affaire; without that, and if the almighty would stop to interfere, I fear that I would not get to collect a cent of the whole sum at all; Finally, I also think that it is in His power to speed up this affaire, and that we will some day be able to possess how much belongs to us; and I will not fail, as soon as you will send me the module of the new power of attorney, without loss of time, I will put it in order for the notary public who made the previous, and immediately send it to you.

As for your aforesaid letter, I have learned with pain of your being, and that of your Gentlemen siblings, but at the same time, I wish you luck with hope that both will return to be in good health: that God will save you for a long time again; it is also with great joy that I see how numerous your respectable family is in grandsons and granddaughters; seeing that at the time, mine does only count my wife, three daughters and a son, but the eldest of my fine daughters, who is married, has one small girl, therefore I already am a “Grand-Papaâ€
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Postby Maurizio » 23 Jun 2003, 12:36

Hi Mark.
Here is your corrected translation. I only made some little corrections, but the general meaning of the message is what you could already pick up with your attempt. Which was very very good, since you say you can't speak Italian.
Ciao, Maurizio


honoured Mr. Professor
I was consoled on one hand to receive your very kind letter from Pavia of the 13th of this month, for it contained news of you and of your respectable family of Novara; but, on the other hand, I was saddened to see a new disappointment in our transaction at Venice and the new problems arisen, which delayed once again the payment of the small capital residing in Venice; all works against us.
But we have to be patient; May God grant you to remain in condition to direct this affaire till its conclusion, you being the one best instructed of this affaire; without that, if the Almighty should put an end to your days, I’m afraid that I would not get to collect a single cent of the whole sum at all; Finally, try for what it’s in your power to speed up this affaire, so we may finally come into possession of what belongs to us; and as soon as you will send me the module of the new power of attorney, without loss of time I will not fail to make it put in order by the same notary public who made the previous, and immediately send it back to you.

By your aforesaid letter, I have learned with pain of the health condition of yours, and of your Gentlemen brothers; but at the same time, I‘m happy to know they both returned in good health: may God preserve them all for a long time; By your same letter, I see how numerous your respectable family is in grandsons and granddaughters; whereas mine does only count my wife, three daughters and one son; but the eldest of my fine daughters, who is married, has one small girl, therefore I already am a “Grand-Papaâ€
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Postby Markneth » 23 Jun 2003, 21:28

Molto Grazie! Maurizio. :D

That is about all the Italian I speak. But that doesn't mean that I don't understand more. I speak Dutch, German, English and a bit of French. And I picked up some Latin on the side. So I treat Italian as a puzzle. Most words seem like words of one of the before mentioned languages. So that's how I try to understand Italian.

But as you have seen. It works for the general story, not for the details. So thank you very much for correcting them.

The answer letter I already translated once before, but directly in Dutch so I did it again and now in English. I did also get an e-mail from a very friendly lady who also tried a translation in English, but her English was not so good, so unfortunatly I didn't understand all of her translation. So below it is a mix of all those attempts. :? We are all kept very busy with those letters aren't we. Hope it gives you as much fun as it gives me.

I only wished we could find out what the money was about. Perhaps I should try and tackle that middle letter too...

to be continued.

Thanks for all your help and here is my answer text.


Most valuable Mr. Pozzi

From dear Mr. Professore Giuseppe Prina I had order to replace them (you?) the equivalent of 1250 Milanese Liras.

For how much I have tried a note over Amsterdam I myself have not been in any way able to recover it, not having here any relationships connected to that one place (?); and in order to make it to slip purposely from a banker who would be tempted to make me endure a strong loss from the change therefore, than I have not believed of its interest to seize me this decision. (?)

Here in the enveloppe I replace to you therefore in order to balance the said sum, one check in the name of the gentleman A. Marquart of Paris for Francs 845,70, fall due the 15th of the current month, because in Utrecht as well as in Amsterdam you must undoubtedly be able to find, introducing this to a banker, or entrusting it to some stockbroker, ways to obtain the most favorable change.

I do not know as I have found many difficulties to a similar operation the last time that I sent them of Paris. In any country of the world a check like the enclosed would be changed in the respective change of the day in local currency, and hard money.

It means that someone has tricked it; but in case you address it to some trader, or honourable stock broker, this will not be able to happen anymore.

I pray of wanting to accuse today received of my remittance to the prepraised one sig. University professor and I put myself with all esteem. . [these last two sentences puzzle me most!]

Of your most devout servant
Luigi Piraud
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Italian Text of the second letter

Postby Markneth » 24 Jun 2003, 00:11

Well I hope it's Italian. I dare not ask too much, but I put it on anyway.
Maybe someone can tell me if this is truely Italian?
Thanks!
Mark

see http://www.wagenbuur.nl/letters.htm for an image of this letter


Utrecht, 19 Luglio 1853

Stimat(issim)o Professore

In riscontro alla preg(...)me Sua 6 Giugno gligli
sono affrettalo tanto che ho saluto per far fare per mi notaio la
nuova proava di mandatomi e che ci spedit[e]o qui unita per lei servirtene e che valsero sperare questo sarà
sufficiente , e secondo il desiderio di qual s(igno)r Fraleris
{per ché} per poter {giungere} pervenire una volta alla fine di quel noto sa
affare. Mi rincresce di tutto recare di dace ergli
cagionare tanta pena e travaglio e fastidio ma
desidererei pure che quell’affare sì potestà fiuire
per lei medesimo piu[t]tosto che passare nella mani
d’un altro, essendo lei il meglio al fatta di tutta quella
istoria è ha il gia che tutt’altro conoscenza di tutto
l’affare; Ora mestare con molto impazienze attendere
il risultato, e mi sarà d’una della più grande gioja
quando potrò ricercare la favorevole novella che l’affare
è a compiuto.

E’a sperare che Maria di Cressogno migliorerà
un poco la situazione del sempre preg(...)nno sig(no)r Prevera
{Sua} di Lei fratello al quale lo prego valer presentargli
li micie o segui osi rispetti. Mi spedire pure d’intendere
la trista salu(t)azione del sig(no)r Prefetto, la raccomando pure nella
mie orazione per il Suo miglioramento.
Apprendo lo stato deplorabile dell’uva questa è una
grande pur azione quel nostro paese il a medesimo
caso l’al(l)iamo avuto noi qui calla raccolta de
parvi di terra durante quattro e cinque anni

vaglia aggredire di cuore limini cordiali e
os[s]equiose rispetti miti quelli di mia moglie,
e famiglia e con la salita stima reste
di lei …servitore
Carlo Pozzi
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Postby Maurizio » 30 Jun 2003, 14:40

Hello Mark.
Sorry if I had to delay this answer of mine, but I've been busy in last days.
Here are a corrected translation from Italian to English of the Piraud's letter, and a transcription of the letter Carlo Pozzi sent to Prof Prina (I guess it's a draft - that's why you have it, isn't it? -, what will explain so many corrections and overcorrected sentences).
I couldn't find the time to translate this last letter too: but if you'll do it yourself, I will take a look later on.
Ciao, Maurizio

-------------------------------------------------

Esteemed Mr. Pozzi

I had order by the dear Mr. Professor Giuseppe Prina to remit you the equivalent of 1250 Milanese Liras.

For how much I have looked for a contact in Amsterdam, I have not been able in any way to find it, since we don’t have here (in our agency or bank or what it was) any direct relationship with that marketplace; and if I ordered a banker to make it (i.e. the payment order) on purpose, you would have had such a heavy loss by the exchange rate that I believed it wasn’t your interest to chose this way.

Attached here I therefore send you, in order to balance the said sum, an order bill on the name of the gentlemen A. Marquart of Paris, for Francs 845,70, fall due the 15th of the current month, which in Utrecht as well as in Amsterdam you will undoubtedly be able to cash, simply presenting it to any banker, or entrusting it to a stockbroker in order to obtain the most favourable exchange-rate.

I can’t understand why you did find so many difficulties in a similar operation the last time that I sent you (money) from Paris. In any country of the world, a bill like the enclosed-one, simply updated to the daily exchange-rate of the local currency, it’s like ready money. It has to be happened that someone fooled you; but in case you address to an honourable trader or stock-broker, this won’t happen again.

I pray you to acknowledge receipt of today’s remittance of mine to the above praised mr. Professor (Prina), and (deserving you) all my esteem I profess myself

your most devoted servant
Luigi Piraud

----------------------------------------------------------------

Stimat(issim)o Professore

In riscontro alla preg(iatissi)ma Sua 6 Giugno, mi sono affrettato tanto che ho poluto per far fare per notaio la nuova procura dimandatomi e che ci spedisco qui unita per lei servirsene e che voglio sperare questo sarà sufficiente, e secondo il desiderio di qual s(igno)r Fraleris {per ché} per poter {giungere} pervenire una volta alla fine di quel noioso affare. Mi rincresce di tutto cuore recare di dovergli cagionare tanta pena e travaglio e fastidio ma desidererei pure che quell’affare si potesse finire per lei medesimo piuttosto che passare nella mani d’un altro, essendo lei il meglio alfabeto di tutta quella istoria è ha il più che tutt’altro conoscenza di tutto l’affare; Ora ne starò con molta impazienza attenderne il risultato, e mi sarà {d’una} della più grande gioia quando potrò ricevere la favorevole novella che l’affare è accompiuto.

E’ a sperare che l’aria di Cressogno migliorerà un poco la situazione del sempre preg(iatissi)mo sig(no)r Prevosto {Sua} di Lei fratello, al quale lo prego voler presentargli li miei ossequiosi rispetti. Mi spiace pure d’intendere la trista situazione del sig(no)r Prefetto, lo raccomando pure nelle mie orazioni per il Suo miglioramento.
Apprendo lo stato deplorabile dell’uva questa è una grande punizione pel nostro paese, il medesimo caso l’abbiamo avuto noi qui nella raccolta de’ pomi di terra durante quattro o cinque anni.

Voglia aggredire di cuore li miei cordiali e ossequioso rispetti, uniti a quelli di mia moglie e famiglia, e con la solita stima resto
L’ufficiale e di lei dev(otissimo) Ser(vitor)e
Carlo Pozzi
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thanks again!

Postby Markneth » 02 Jul 2003, 00:02

Hi Maurizio,

There's really no need for you to apologize that you took some time! You can't imagine how grateful I am that you helped me out with these three letters in the first place. They have made more clear than I could have imagined. Especially this last letter contains some details that tell stories. Well they do to me. My gggggrandfather speaks of Cressogno here, that is his village of birth. His parents didn't even live there anymore 20 years before, but I now know that he still had contacts there, over 30 years after he left. It is a small village at Lake Lugano. And he speaks of grapes (!) which is interesting, for I found a man around that time with the name of his father who was a wine trader... on the Internet. Would that be him? .... It is a shame we don't learn what this transaction was all about. But I think it might be the inheritance of his parents. They married around 1795, so at the time this letter was written, they would have been around the age of 80-85 and they could have died. But that is a wild guess.

You have guessed that I would try to translate this last letter too. And I did, as you must have gathered from above.

Below is my best try ;-)

If you could also correct this last letter I would be even more in debt. If ever you need a translation from Dutch or German, think of me!


Mark

ps I have put a thank you and your name on my (temporary) website with these letters. I hope you appreciate that. http://www.wagenbuur.nl/letters.htm

-----------

Utrecht, 19 July 1853

Honoured professor

In reply to Your esteemed (letter) of 6 June, I have hurried myself a lot, in order to have made by notary public the new power of attorney that was asked me and enclosed I send it for You to use. And I would hope this will be sufficient, and in accordance with the desire of Mr Fraleris so he will be able to at last reach the end of that boring transaction.

I feel sorry with all my heart that I am having to cause much pain and suffering and annoyance, but I would also wish that this transaction could be ended by you all the same, rather than to pass it in the hands of someone else, as you have the better foundations than all of this story, and have on the contrary more knowledge of this whole transaction; Now I will be in a state of much eagerness awaiting the result, and it will be of the greatest joy to me when I will be able to receive the favourable news that this transaction was accomplished.

And I hope that the air of Cressogno will improve a little the situation of the always esteemed mr. Pastor of your brother. To which I pray You will want to present my humble respects.

I also regret to learn of the sad situation of mr. Prefect, for his improvement I will also recommend him in my prayers.

I learn of the deplorable state of the grapes which is one great punishment for our country, we have had the same case here in harvesting potatoes for four or five years.

I would like to ‘attack’ you from all my heart with my cordial and humble respect, combined with that of my wife and family, and with the usual esteem I remain the officer and your devout Servant
Carlo Pozzi

-------
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Postby Maurizio » 18 Jul 2003, 13:55

Hi Mark,
here is a slightl corrected translation in English of your letter. I change only a few details, in order to better and more properly render the bombastic prose of this nineteenth-century Italian language.
Bur you fully picked up the general meaning of the letter, except for the last sentence. My fault, because I made a clerical error in transcription:
It's not "Aggredire" (which you correctly translated "Attack", but with no sense in this context), but "aggradire", an archaic and obsolete form for the verb "gradire". The formal expression "voglia gradire" is not easily expressible in English ("Will/may you appreciate", or something), so I prefer translating it in the way you may see below.
Ciao, Maurizio



Honoured professor

In reply to Your esteemed (letter) of 6 June, I have hurried myself a lot, in order to have made by a notary public the new power of attorney that was asked me and that I’m sending enclosed to this letter so you may use it. And I will hope this to be enough, and in accordance with the desire of Mr Fraleri, in order to finally come to the end of that boring transaction.

I’m regretting with all my heart that I have to cause you so much pain and suffering and annoyance, but I would also wish that this transaction could be ended by you, rather than be passed to the hands of someone else, since you are the most aware person of all of this story, and you are more experienced than any other of this whole transaction; Now I will be in a state of much impatience awaiting for the result, and it will be of the greatest joy to me when I will receive the favourable news that the transaction was accomplished.

It is to hope that the air of Cressogno will improve a little the situation of the always esteemed mr. Pastor, your brother, to whom I’m begging you to present my respectful regards

I’m also sorry to learn of the sad situation of mr. Prefect: I will also recommend him in my prayers, for his improvement. I learned of the deplorable state of the grapes, which is a great punishment for our country: we have had the same case here in harvesting potatoes for four or five years.

Please, accept with all your heart my cordial and humble respects, together with those of my wife and family, and with the usual esteem I remain
the officer and your devout Servant
Carlo Pozzi
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Postby Markneth » 18 Jul 2003, 15:16

that’s odd. I posted a reply but then I got: “ invalid sessionâ€
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Italian Letters

Postby freilikl » 20 Jul 2003, 17:03

Mark,
Thank you for posting your Italian letters! I have about 25 letters from the early 1900's that were written by my ancestors in Asti, Italy. I tried some translating myself on my website and got, at least, the general ideas of the letters. I love the way you presented your letters - much better than I did. I hope you don't mind if I "borrow" your idea to show mine in a much better way.

Karen
My Italian families are on the "Freilino" and "Barisone" pages of my site:

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~freilikl/
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Postby Markneth » 21 Jul 2003, 13:17

Hi Karen,

Thanks for your compliment. I've been to your site now, which is very impressive. A fine tribute to all those families that were here before us. All those personal belongings make not only their personal history, but great events of that century (all those people emigrating) and what that meant to people, very clear.

I think you mean, you now feel you should add pictures of the original letters. I did see one on your website already, and that does indeed give a nicer feel of those letters than just the typed out text. More 'real'.
Presenting the original text and translation side by side makes it possible to check the two at the same time. I thought that was nice.

Any way your website is more of an inspiration to me than vice versa I would think. I only have one page ready of a life story. If you're interested http://www.wagenbuur.nl/jfwagenbuur-eng.htm nothing Italian about him, but be sure that I want to create such a page for my great-great-great-grandfather Carlo Pozzi as well! And I will use those letters on that one.

Mark
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Postby freilikl » 22 Aug 2003, 01:01

For you, or anyone who is looking for someone to translate Italian/English: I have just had about twenty letters translated from Italian to English at an extremely reasonable cost. My web page has the translated material and the first letter has a link to the Italian text and image of the letter (I got the idea for this from you - if you remember my prior email.)

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com ... risone.htm

I highly recommend the services of this person. (His email address is on the page.) As I said, extremely reasonable and trustworthy.

Karen

PS: I have no personal involvement with this person or his services. This is just a recommendation based on a positive experience.
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