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merit is derived from the acknowledgment of. CHAP. Sanazzaro, who is generally accused of having estimated the writings of his contemporaries A. D. 1518. with an invidious severity, but who on perus- A. Poat vi ing the Syphilis, confessed that Fracastoro had in this work, not only surpassed any of the writings of Pontano, but even the poem De partu Virginis, on which he had himself bestowed the labour of twenty years.(a)
The reputation of Fracastoro as a skilful physician, had, however, increased no less than his fame as an elegant poet; and besides being resorted to by great numbers for his assistance, he was frequently obliged to quit his retreat, for the purpose of attending on his particular friends among whom were many men of rank and eminence in different parts of Italy.(b) . By the desire of Paul III. he
(a) " Poeticam (artem) ita (Fracastorius) excoluit, ut " ad Virgilianam majestatem proxime accessisse eum fate“ rentur æmuli; et in iis Jacobus Sanazzarius, alioqui par
cus et amarulentus alienæ eruditionis laudator, qui visa “ ejus Syphilide, non solum Joannem Jovianum Pontanum, “ sed se quoque ipsum, in opere accurata viginti annorum “ lima perpolito, victum exclamavit.” Thuani, Histor. lib. xii. tom. i. p. 430. Ed. Buckley.
(6) Il De Thou was not misinformed, Fracastoro ex
A. Et, 48.
CHAP. attended also in his medical character at the
council of Trent, and it was principally by A. D. 1518. his advice that the session was removed from A. Pont. VI. that city to Bologna.(a) The fatigues of his
public life were, however, compensated by
ercised his profession without deriving from it a pecuniary reward : " Medicinam, ut honestissime ac citra lucrum, ita “ felicissime, fecit.” Ibid.
(a) Tirab. Storia della Lett. ltal. vol. 'vii. par. iii. þ. 291.
and his domestic concerns, are peculiarly in- CHAP. teresting, and place him both as a man and an author in the most advantageous light.(a) A. D. 1518. The detached pieces of a few lines, to each of A. Pont. VI. which he has given the title of Incidens, may
be regarded as so many miniature pictures, sketched with all the freedom of the Italian, and finished with all the correctness of the Flemish school. His sacred poem entitled Joseph, which he begun in his advanced years and did not live to terminate, is sufficiently characteristic of his talents ; although not considered as equal to the more vigorous productions of his youth. His specimens of Italian poetry are too few to add to his reputation, but will not derogate from the high character which he has by his various other labours so deservedly attained.
The death of Fracastoro was occasioned VOL. III.
(a) A translation of Fracastoro's description of his Caphian villa, in his beautiful epistle to Franc. Torriano, may be found in Mr. Greswell's account of some of the Latin poets of Italy in the sixteenth century; but perhaps the most exquisite production of Fracastoro is his epistle on the untimely death of his two sons, addressed to GiovanBattista Torriano, and which, in point of elegance, pathos, and true sublimity, may bear a comparison with any production of the kind, either in ancient or modern times,
A. Ær. 43.
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by an apoplexy, and occurred at his villa of
Incaffi, in the year 1553 ; he being then upA. D. 1518. wards of seventy years of age.(a) A splenAi Pont. vi. did monument was erected to his memory
in the cathedral of Verona ; besides which he was honoured, by a public decree of the city, with a statue, which was accordingly erected at the common expense. A similar testimony of respect was paid to his memory at Padua, where the statue of Fracastoro and another of Navagero were erected by their surviving friend Giovan-Battista Rannusio.(b) of the
(a) “ Sed maxime omnium funesta, quamvis non om66 nino immatura, mors fuit Hieronymi Fracastorii-qui « ad exactam philosophiæ et mathematicarum artium, ac s præcipue Astronomiæ, quam et doctissiinis scriptis illus“ travit, cognitionem, summum judicium et admirabile 66 ingenium attulit; quo multa ab antiquis aut ignorata aut secus accepta adinvenit et explicavit."
" Obiit in Caphiis 66 suis, villa amænissima ad Baldi montis radices sita, quo
sæpe ab urbe secedebat, septuagenario major, ex apoplexia, 166 viii. Eid. sextil.” Thuani, Histor. lib. xii. i. 430.
16) The motives of this are beautifully assigned by De Thou: Ut, qui arcta inter se necessitudine conjuncti " vixerant, et pulcherrimarum rerum scientias ac politiores " literas excoluerant, eodem in loco spectarentur, et a “juventute Patavina universoque Gymnasio quotidie salutarentur." Ibid.
prose compositions and scientific labours of CHAP. Fracastoro, a further account will occur in the sequel of the present work.
A, D. 1518. A. St. 4. A. Pont. VI.
Among the learned friends of Bembo and Fracastoro, who by their character and writings did honour to the age, no one held a higher rank than Andrea Navagero. He was born of a patrician family at Venice, in the year 1483,(a) and from his childhood
indications of that extraordinary proficiency to which he afterwards attained. So retentive
E É 2
of the numerous testimonies of respect to the memory of Fracastoro, by the scholars of the time, the following lines of Adam Fumani, prefixed to the Giuntine edition of the works of Fracastoro, Ven. 1574, 4to. may perhaps be considered as the most elegant :
" Longe vir unus omnium doctissimus,
" Ad tristem acerbæ mortis ejus nuntium,
(a) 7. 1. Vulpius in vitá Naugerii, esjud. op. præf. p. 10. Ed. Conino, 1718.