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XVII.

A. D. 1518.
A. t. 43.

CHAP. evinced a kind of habitual hostility to the

Roman see, and some circumstances are said

to have occurred between him and Leo X. A. Pont. VI. which are supposed to have increased, rather

than diminished his antipathy, and to have induced him to express his resentment in a sarcastic copy of Latin verses, in which the family descent and personal defects of the pontiff are, from want as it would seem of other causes of reprehension, the chief objects of his satire.(a) Whether, however,

this

(a) It appears that Alfonso Castriotta, marquis of Tripalda, had formed a marriage contract with Cassandra Marchese, a Neapolitan lady, who enjoyed, in an eminent degree, the esteem and friendship of Sanazzaro, but that having repented of his engagement, he applied to the Roman court for a dispensation, to release him from its effects. To the granting this dispensation Sanazzaro opposed all his influence, and engaged his friend Bembo to prevent, if possible, the issuing of the bull; but the rank and opulence of the marquis were suffered to prevail against the efforts of the lady and her friends, and the tenor of his own promise. The lines attributed to Sanazzaro on this occasion are as follow:

In Leonem X. 66 Sumere maternis títulos cum posset ab ursis

66 Cæculus hic noster, maluit esse Leo. " Quid tibi cum magno commune est, Talpa, Leone ? 6 Non cadit in turpes nobilis ira feras.

XVII.

A. D. 1518,
A. Et. 48.

this alleged misunderstanding ever occurred CHAP. or not; and whether the verses referred to be the production of Sanazzaro or of some one who assumed his name, as has not with- A. Pont. VI. out reason been asserted,(a) certain it is that Leo was so far from manifesting any displeasure against the poet, that on being informed of the completion of his great work, he addressed to him a letter, commending in the highest terms of approbation his talents and his piety, entreating him to publish his poem without further delay, and assuring him of the protection and favour of the holy see.(b) Induced by these representations Sanazzaro immediately prepared to lay his performance before the public, with a dedication in Latin

verse

" Ipse licet cupias animos simulare Leonis ;

" Non Lupus hoc genitor, non sinit Ursa parens. “ Ergo aliud tibi prorsus habendum est, Cæcule, nomen;

“ Nam cuncta ut possis, non potes esse Leo.”

(a) This, and other epigrams of Sanazzaro against the Roman pontiffs, printed in several editions of his works, are considered by Fontanini as scandalous libels, published by the heretical authors of the pasquillades, in the name of Sanazzaro, and incautiously admitted by subsequent editors into the collections of his works. v. Fontanini, Biblioth, Ital. i. 453.

16) This letter, so honourable both to the pontiff and the poet, is given in the Appendix, No. CLXVI.

СНАР.
XVII,

verse to Leo X. but the death of that pontiff,

which occurred only a few months after the A. D. 1518, date of his letter, prevented Sanazzaro from A. Pont. VI. carrying his intentions into effect, and the

testimony of respect intended for Leo X. was reserved by its author for Clement VII. to whom he inscribed his poem in a few elegant lines, which bear, however, strong internal evidence that they were originally intended for his more accomplished predecessor.(a)

On

!a) “ Clementi Septimo PONTIFICI MAXIMO

66 ACTIVS SYNCERUS.

" Magne Parens, Custosque hominum, cui jus datur uni

" Claudere cælestes, et reserare fores;
66 Occurrent si qua in nostris male firma libellis,

" Deleat errores æqua litura meos.
" Imperiis, Venerande, tuis submittimus illos;

6 Nam sine te recta non licet ire via.
“ Ipse manu sacrisque potens Podalyrius herbis

66 Ulcera Pæonia nostra levabis ope.
Quippe mihi toto nullus te præter in orbe

66 Triste salutifera leniet arte malum.
" Rarus honos, Summo se Præside posse tueri;

“ Rarior, a Summo Præside posse legi."

Sanazzaro had written the concluding stanza,

" Rarus honos tanto se Principe posse tueri

" Rarior a Summo Præside posse legis"

but

On receiving the work from the hands of the CHAP. cardinal Girolamo Seripando, (a) Clement, who was no less ambitious of the honour of A. D. 1518. being considered as a patron of letters than A. Pont. VI. Leo X. requested the cardinal to thank Sanazzaro in his name for his beautiful poem, to assure him of his favour, and to request that he might see him at Rome as early as might be convenient to him. Not satisfied, however, with this verbal expression of his approbation, he addressed a letter to the poet, in which he expresses high satisfaction in having his name united to a poem which is destined to survive and to be read through all future times ; at the same time justifying the love of that fame which is the result of commendable labours, which he considers as the image or reflection of the immortality promised by the religion of Christ.(b) This obligation the pontiff expresses himself ready to repay to the utmost of his power; and

XVII.

A. Et, 4.

from

but the advice of his friend Puderico induced him to adopt the improved reading.

(a) Crispo, vita del Sanazzaro, p. 26. in fronte alle sue Opere. Ed. Ven. 1752. 8vo.

(b) v. Appendix No. CLXVII.

XVII.

A. St. 48.

CHAP. from these assurances Sanazzaro is supposed

to have entertained hopes of being admitted A. D. 1518. into the sacred college.(a) That he would A. Pont. VI. have received some distinguished mark of the

approbation of the pontiff, is not improbable, had not the calamitous events of the times, and particularly the dreadful sacking of the city of Rome, called the attention of Clement VII. to objects more immediately connected with his own safety. Sanazzaro had, however, the satisfaction of receiving a letter from Egidio, cardinal of Viterbo, to whom he had also transmitted a copy of his poem, containing the highest commendations both of the work and its author ;(b) and as praise is the natural and proper reward of poetry, Sa

nazzaro

(a) Crispo, vita del Sanazzaro, p. 26. et nota 68.

16) In this letter, the cardinal applies to Sanazzaro the Homeric lines :

• ο δ' άλβιος όντινα Μύσαι * Φιλεύνται, γλυκερή οι από σόματος ρέει αυδή.“ Mmporixov åpáginua," exclaims Vulpius, “ cum He.; 66 siodum dicere debuerat; hæc enim leguntur in Hesiodi " Theogonia.” v. 96.

But the cardinal probably found these lines in the fragment of the hymn to Apollo and the Muses, attributed to

Homer;

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