The subject is a large one, and the founts of information are many and various. I have tasted at many springs and drunk from many wells — and my subject-matter has been drawn from the following sources — (i) Manuscripts — Twelfth to Sixteenth centuries (2) Printed matter — Books and Periodicals; (3) Letters from Authorities and Friends; (4) Personal Knowledge of Florence and the Florentines. In the study of Manuscripts I have entered largely into the labours of such experts as Emily Baxter, Guido Biagi, R. Davidssohn, Lewis Einstein, F. T. Perrens, J. A. Symonds, and Pasquale Villari, and I have freely used their readings. This I have done because of initial difficulties of time and emolument for original research. The early Constitutions and Statutes of many of the Guilds were written in an almost insolvable mixture of abbreviated Latin and vernacular Tuscan — the deciphering of which would easily consume any man's natural life-time. When I sought for some student to undertake, even a superficial survey, I was met with the crushing but prae tical reply the game is not worth the candle l.