Sayfadaki görseller


A. Et.

[ocr errors]

“ nephews and relations, who must drink CHAP. 66 first; and afterwards those who have assiste " ed in investing him with the richest of all A. D. 1518. 66 mantles. When these are satisfied, he will a. Pont. VI. “ favour those who espoused his cause against " Soderini, on his return to Florence. One

person will say, I was with Piero in Casen“ tino and narrowly escaped being taken and 66 killed. I, cries Brandino, lent him money. " He lived, exclaims a third, a whole year at

my expense, whilst I furnished him with

arms, with clothes, with money, and with " horses. If I wait until all these are satisfied $ I shall certainly either perish with thirst or

see the well exhausted,"

That Ariosto however felt his disappointment, is evident from many other

in his satires, in which he adverts to his journey to Rome with equal vexation and pleasantry. Certain it is, that the munificence of the pontiff by no means corresponded with the kind and even affectionate reception which the poet experienced on his arrival. The granting him a pontifical privilege for securing to him the



some have supposed, but diminutives of affection, derived from the common names of Giovanni, Bartolommeo, Lancelotto, &c.


A. D. 1518.
A. St. 48.

CHAP. sole right of printing his great work, the bull

for which was, as he pointedly informs us,

expedited at his own expense,(a) was, assuredly, A. Pont. VI. no great effort of princely bounty. It is,

however, evident from the writings of Ariosto,
that he possessed a considerable share of that
impatience and irritability which are the usual
attendants of genius. After waiting a few
days at Rome, in the expectation that the
pope would have made a liberal provision for
one towards whom he had expressed such un-
common regard, he hastily took his departure,
with a firm resolution never more to return.(b)
There is, however, sufficient reason to be-


(a) " Di mezza quella Bolla anco cortese

" Mi fu, de la qual ora il mio Bibiena
"Espedito m'ha il resto, a le mie spese,"

Ariosio, Sat, iji.


Venne il dì che la Chiesa fu per moglie
« Data a Leone, ed a le nozze vidi

" A tanti amici miei rosse le spoglie.
4 Venne a Calende, e fuggi innanzi a gli Idi;

" Fin che me ne rimembre, esser non puote

Che di promessa altrui mai più mi fidi.
« La sciocca speme a le contrade ignote,

" Salì del ciel, quel dì che'l Pastor santo
La man mi strinse, e mi baciò le gote.

Ariost, Sal, vii.

[ocr errors]


A. Et. 48. A. Pont. VI.

lieve, that Ariosto experienced at different CHAP. times the liberality of the pontiff; and in particular that Leo presented him with several A. D. 1518. hundred crowns towards the expense of publishing his immortal poem.(a) It is certain also that the disappointment which he has described in such lively terms, did not excite in the generous breast of Ariosto

breast of Ariosto any lasting degree of animosity towards the pontiff; whom he has frequently mentioned in his subsequent writings, with the highest veneration and applause.(b)

On quitting Rome, Ariosto did not imme- Ariosto vie diately return to Ferrara, but paid a visit to


sits Flo, rence,

(a) The favours conferred by Leo on Ariosto arę alluded to by Gabriello Simeoni, in his Satira sopra l'Avarizia.

66 Successe a lui Lion poi lume e specchio

" Di cortesia, che fu la cagion prima

“ Che all'Ariosto ancor porgiamo orecchio." Which is explained by a marginal note; “ Leon X. 66 donò all'Ariosto per fornire il suo libro più centinaja di

V. Mazzuchelli, Scrittori d'Ital, in art. Ariost, ii. 1063,

66 scudi.”

(6) His attachment to the family of Medici in general, and to Leo X. in particular, appears in his beautiful canzone, on the death of Guiliano de' Medici, already given in the Appendix, No. CXXXVI.


[ocr errors]

CHAP. Florence, where he was present at the rejoic

ings which took place in that city on the eleA. D. 1518. vation of Leo X. He remained there at least A. Pont. VI. six months, and probably a much longer time;

attracted by the air and situation of the place, the beauty of the women, and the manners of the inhabitants; and on his departure, celebrated in an exquisite poem the opportunities of enjoyment which it afforded him, and which it seems were sufficient to banish all anxieties but those of love.(a) On his arrival at Ferrara he again attached himself to the service of the cardinal Ippolito; which, however, did not prevent his finishing the poem on which he had been so long employed, and which he published at Ferrara in the year 1515. If Ariosto was disappointed in the conduct of Leo X. he had much more reason to complain of the illiberality and insensibility of his great patron the cardinal, to whom he has inscribed his work in terms of such high commendation; but who, instead of affording him any recompense for his labours, inquired from him with the indifference of a stupid curiosity, where he had collected together such a number of


(a) “ Gentil Città, che con felici auguri."

Rime di Ariosto, p. 40. Ed. Vinegia, 1557.


[ocr errors]

absurdities.(a) This reproof, which was not CHAP. counterbalanced by any act of kindness on the part of the cardinal, greatly affected the poet; who in the second edition of his poem express- A. Pont VL ed his sense of it by an Impresa or device, in which he has represented a serpent, towards which a hand is stretched out attempting with a pair of shears to cut off its head, and surrounded by the motto Pro bono malum. This device,


(a) Dove, diavolo, Messer Lodorico, avele pigliate tante coglionerie. Mazzuchelli has altered, in some degree, the phraseology of the cardinal, who, according to his narrative, inquired from Ariosto, Donde mai avesse egli Irovate tante minchionerie. Scrittori d'Ital. ii. 1069; but there is reason to believe, that the anecdote is well-founded, and that the merits of Ariosto, like those of Milton, and of all others, whose genius has been superior to the character of the age, were not sufficiently acknowledged in his life-time. "Così 66 fa il mondo degli huomini; non gli conosce mai se non " quando gli ha perduti. Vedi come stava il povero Ari

osto, uomo excellente ; leggi i suoi scritti, e vedi, se il « mondo lo conosceva.

Se risuscitasse oggi, ogni principe " lo vorrebbe appresso, ogni persona l'onorerebbe." Doni, la Zucca, p. 105. ap. Mazzuch. Scrittori d'Ital. ii. 1069. P. Aretino, in a letter to Dolce relates, that an expression similar to that made use of by the cardinal, had been applied by one of his servants to the paraphrase of Aretino, of the seven penitential psalms. , " Un mio servitor, sen“ tendo leggere i miei salmi, disse, mi non so ù Diavolo il

padron si catti l'ante bagatelle.Nole, M. de la Mona noye. Baillet, Jugemens des Sçavans. iv, 48.

« ÖncekiDevam »