With all I conceived it very proper to express these conceits by way of Dialogue, which, as not being bound up to the riggid observance of Mathematical Laws, gives place also to Digressions that are sometimes no less curious than the principal Argument.
I chanced to be several years since, at several times, in the Stupendious Citty of Venice, where I conversed with Signore Giovan Francesco Sagredo of a Noble Extraction, and piercing wit. There came thither from Florence at the same time Signore Filippo Salviati, whose least glory was the Eminence of his Blood, and Magnificence of his Estate: a sublime Wit that fed not more hungerly upon any pleasure than on elevated Speculations. In the company of these two I often discoursed of these matters before a certain Peripatetick Philosopher who seemed to have no geater obstacle in understanding of the Truth, than the Fame he had acquired by Aristotelical Interpretations.
Now, seeing that inexorable Death hath deprived Venice and Florence of those two great Lights in the very Meridian of their years, I did resolve, as far as my poor ability would permit, to perpetuate their lives to their honour in these leaves, bringing them in as Interlocutors in the present Controversy. Nor shall the Honest Peripatetick want his place, to whom for his excessive affection to wards the Commentaries of Simplicius, I thought fit, without mentioning his own Name, to leave that of the Author he so much respected. Let those two great Souls, ever venerable to my heart, please to accept this publick Monument of my never dying Love; and let the remembr ance of their Eloquence assist me in delivering to Posterity the Consider ations that I have promised.
There casually happened (as was usuall) several discourses at times between these Gentlemen, the which had rather inflamed than satisfied in their wits the thirst they had to be learning; whereupon they took a discreet resolution to meet together for certain dayes, in which all other business set aside, they might betake themselves more methodically to contemplate the Wonders of God in Heaven, and in the Earth: the place appointed for their meeting being in the Palace of the Noble Sagredo, after the due, but very short complements; Signore Salviati began in this manner.