Andrea Palladio on Vitruvius*

    "Guided by a natural inclination, I gave myself up in my most early years to the Study of architecture: and as it was always my opinion, that the antient Romans, as in many other things, so in building well, vastly excelled all those who have been since their time, I proposed to myself Vitruvius for my master and guide, who is the only antient writer of this art, and set myself to search into the reliques of all the antient edifices, that, in spight of time and the cruelty of the Barbarians, yet remain; and finding them much more worthy of observation, than at first I had imagined, I began very minutely with the utmost diligence to measure every one of their parts; of which I grew at last so sollicitous an examiner, (not finding any thing which was not done with reason and beautiful proportion), that I have very requently not only travelled in different parts of Italy, but also out of it, that I might intirely, from them, comprehend what the whole had been, and reduce it into design."

*From the "Author's Preface to the Reader" in Isaac Ware's 1738 edition of The Four Books of Andrea Palladio's Architecture