December 12, 2014 For God’s sake learn Italian as fast as you can, if it be only to read Ariosto. There is more good poetry in Italian than in all other languages that I understand put together. In prose, too, it is a very fine language. Make haste and read all these things, that you may be fit to talk to Christians. — Charles James Fox, letter to Richard Fitzpatrick (September 22, 1767).