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A. D. 1518.
production, Augurelli obtained great credit ; and it has been justly said, that his verses contain a richer ore than that which he pretends to teach his readers to make.(a) It has also A. Pont. VI. been observed, that he displayed a singular propriety in dedicating his work to Leo X. who stood in need of such a resource to enable him to supply his expenditure, and to repay himself for the immense sums which he disbursed in rewarding men of talents, and in magnificent feasts and spectacles.(b) The compensation which Leo bestowed on Augurelli was not, however, less appropriate; he having, as it has frequently been related presented him with a large and handsome, but empty purse, observing, that to a man who could make gold nothing but a purse was wanting.(c) An emi
la). Recte aurum ipse doces fieri, sed rectius aurum
"Efficis auratis tu modo carminibus."
(b) “L'indirizzò a Papa Leone ch'era d'ogni ricchezza aperto disprezzatore; acciochè sua Beatitudine, la quale “ prodigamente usava l'oro nel sostentare i belli ingegni, e
" nelle spese continove, festivoli, e regali, senza ingiuria . degli uomini sapesse onde ampiamente cavare ricchezze
6 infinite." Jov. Iscrill, lib. i. p. 129.
(0) " Ego quidem auro te donarem, sed cum tu ejus
CHAR nent modern critic is of opinion that Augurelli
was not serious in his composition of this poem, A. D. 1518. and that he employed himself in better purA. Pont, vl. suits than the study of alchemy:(a) but it may
be observed in reply, that such a poem could only have been written by a person who had paid great attention to the subject, and that the work has been received as canonical by the professors of the mysterious art.(b) Augurelli
" efficiendi certam scientiam polliceare, sat erit si habeas "6 ubi aurum abs te confectum reponas.' Fabron. vita Leon. X. p. 220. Mazzuch, in 'art. Augurelli. This incident is also alluded to in the following lines of* Latomus. op. Mazzuch. ut sup.
“Ut quod minus collegit e carbonibus,
(a) Tiraboschi, Storia della Lett. Ilal. vol. vi. par. ii. p. 231. Ed. Modena, 1776. Where he observes, that Augurelli himself professes in his poem to write in jest, and to make no account of this pretended art. If, however, we except a few lines at the end, the whole piece appears to have been very seriously written; and even in these he professes to have mingled the lessons of wisdom with the festivity of wit :
doctos salibus sermones spargere puris " Tentavi.”
16) It has been printed in various collections of writers on alchemy, particularly in the Bibliotheca Chemiaa Curiosa of Mangetus, vol. ii. p. 371, Geneve, 1702. fo.
lived to an advanced age, and at length died CHAP. suddenly in the year 1524, whilst he was dis puting in the shop of a bookseller at Trevigi; A. B: 1518. in which city he was buried and where an epi- A. Pont. VI. taph written by himself was inscribed on his tomb.(a)
Besides his Chrysopoeia and another Latin poem entitled Geronticon, or on old age, there remains of Augurelli a volume of poems
under the names of lambici, Sermones, and Carmina, which has frequently been reprinted. The merits of these poems have been variously appreciated by succeeding critics, but they undoubtedly display an easy and natural vein of poetry, a great acquaintance with the writings of the ancients, and a purity and correctness of style, to which few authors of that early period had attained.(b) On this account a learned Italian, himself no inelegant poet, after having fully considered the sentiments of preceding
AURELII AUGURELLI IMAGO EST, QUAM VIDES, “ UNI VACANTIS LITERARUM SERIO
STUDIO ET JOCOSO, DISPARI CURA TAMEN ;
HOC UT VEGETIOR SIC FIERET AD SERIA, " ILLO UT JOCOSIS UTERETUR FIRMIOR."
16) The poems of Augurelli were published by Aldo, in a beautiful volume in 89. Ven. 1505.
CHAP. writers and particularly the unfavourable opi
nion of Julius Cæsar Scaliger on this subject, A. D. 1518. scruples not to assert, that on a question of this A. Pont. Vi. nature Scaliger was incapable of forming a pro
per judgment, and that the writings of Augurelli are worthy of immortality.(a)
The Latin writings of Sanazzaro are entiings of Sa. tled to more particular consideration, and al
though not voluminous, most probably afforded him occupation for the chief part of his life. They consist of his piscatory eclogues ; two books of elegies; three of epigrams, or short copies of verses, and his celebrated
poem De partu Virginis. Of these the eclogues possess the merit of having exhibited a novel species of composition, in having adapted the language of poetry to the characters and
occupations of fishermen ;(b) and this task he has executed with a degree of fancy, variety, and even of elegance, which perhaps no other person could have excelled; yet it may be doubted
(a) Giammateo Toscano, Peplus Ital. No. Ixv. p. 40. Ed. Par. 1578.
16) Perhaps the merit of originality in this species of composition may be thought rather to belong to Theocritus, or the writer of the piscatory eclogue placed among his idylliums.
whether these subjects, and the long details of CHAP. no very pleasing nature to which they give rise, are well adapted for a professed series of A. D. 1518. poems; the varied aspects of mountains, vales, A. Pout. Vļ. and forests, and the innocuous occupations, and diversified amusements of pastoral life are ill exchanged for the uniformity of the watery element, and the miserable and savage employment of dragging from its depths its unfortunate inhabitants.
The elegies of Sanazzaro are, however, much more highly to be esteemed ; as well for their innumerable poetical beauties and the expressive simplicity and elegance of their style, as for the many interesting circumstances which they have preserved to us respecting the times in which he lived. But the work to which Sanazzaro devoted the greatest part of his time and on which he chiefly relied for his poetical immortality, was his poem in three books, De partu Virginis, which after the labour of twenty years and the emendations derived from the suggestions of his learned friends, was at length brought to a termination. That Leo X. would have thought himself honoured by the patonage of this poem, there is sufficient reason to believe; but Sanazzaro had. from political motives long