Letter to his son Giovanni,1484
You are not only the youngest cardinal in the college, but the youngest person that ever was raised to that rank. You will soon get a sufficient insight into the manners of your brethren. With those of less respectable character, converse not with too much intimacy—not merely on account of the circumstance in itself but for the sake of public opinion. Converse on general topics with all. On public occasions let your equipage and dress be rather below than above mediocrity. A handsome house and a well-ordered family will be preferable to a great retinue and a splendid residence. Your taste will be better shown in the acquisition of a few elegant remains of antiquity, or in the collecting of handsome books, and by your attendants being learned and well-bred rather than numerous. Invite others to your house oftener than you receive invitations. Practice neither too frequently. There is one rule which I would recommend to your attention in preference to all others: rise early in the morning. This will not only contribute to your health, but will enable you to arrange and expedite the business of the day. Another very necessary precaution, particularly on your entrance into public life, is to deliberate every evening on what you may have to perform the following day, that you may not be unprepared for whatever may happen. You will probably be desired to intercede for the favors of the pope on particular occasions. Be cautious, however, that you trouble him not too often, and if you should be obliged to request some kindness from him, let it be done with that modesty and humility which are so pleasing to his disposition. Farewell.