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been usual to present these pieces as votive CHAP. gifts at the altar of S. Anna, but the offerings became so numerous that Corycius was at length obliged to close the doors of his chapel, and to terminate this more than half idolatrous worship.(a)
A. D. 1518. A. tt. 43. A. Pont. VI.
Poem of Arsilli
The collection of the Coryciana is terminated by a poem of Francesco Arsilli, entitled Francesco De Poetis Urbanis, which celebrates the names, titled De and characterizes the works of a great number Poetis Ur
O grant him still with jest and song
The blissful hours of life to pass ;
And crown with wine his festive glass;
You lead him to your seats divine,
And into nectar change his wine,
(a) This circumstance is alluded to in the following lines of Fabius Vigil.
“ Tandem, Jane, oculis aufer Miracula Divum,
66 Nam decet arcanis sacra latere locis.
Quot Persarum iniere agmina Thermopylas.
“ Bissenæ adversus sat fuerint tabulæ,” &c.
CHAP. of Latin poets resident at Rome in the time
of Leo X. Its author was a native of SiniA. D.1518. gaglia and was of a respectable family, his A. Pont. VI. brother Paolo having been deputed by his
countrymen to congratulate Lorenzo de' Medi-
After having finished his studies at
(a) Tiraboschi, Storia della Lett. Ital. vii. par. iii. Þ. 200, where it appears that Arsilli returned to Sinigaglia, in the year 1527, not richer than he left it, and lived there till 1540; several other works of this author yet remain in MS. among which Tiraboschi enumerates, Amorum, libri iji. Pirmillieidos, lib. iii. Piscatio. Helvetiados, lib. i. Predictionum, lib. iii. Onorato Fascitelli has celebrated the memory of Arsilli in the following lines.
In obitu Arsilli, Medici, el Poeta.
" Ergo videmus lumine hoc spirabili
66 Cassum jacere te quoque ; “ Ut plebe quivis unus e vili jacet,
" ARSILLE, magno Apollini " Novemque Musis care? Sive poculis
66 Præsentibus morbi graves " Essent levandi, sive dulci carmine 5 Dicenda mater aurea
have been favourable to the pontiff, nor to CHAP. have obtained his friendship; as a reason for which, it has been said that he was too fond A. D. 1518. of his own liberty to attend on the court, and A. Pont. VI. that the court therefore neglected or forgot him.(a) Hence Arsilli was one of the few instances which these times afforded of unrewarded merit; and his dissatisfaction is pointedly expressed in the commencement of his poem, addressed to Paulus Jovius, where he enters into the following comparison between the patronage afforded to the poets of antiquity, and to those of his own days:
A. St. 43,
Long have I, Jovius, in my mind revolv'd
“ Cupidinum, lususque furtorum leves.
66 O vota nostra inania!
“ I, da lyram mihi, puer,
" Nunc sunt Lyæi munera,
66 Cinxisse flore tempora.
" Fortasse cras silebimus."
(a) “ Natura enim frugi, et auræ libertatis custos, " Vaticanam aulam, et potentium limina, contumaci qua" dam superbia devitabat." Jov. in Elog. Arsilli, ciii.
С НА Р.
A. D. 1518.
A. Pont. VI.
-But sure the muses in those better days
- But when I note this avaricious age,
O that the shepherd would, with timely care,
A. t. 43.
To these querulous effusions, the nume- CHAP. rous instances of the liberality of the pontiff to the professors of every department of litera- A. D. 1518 ture and the general testimony of his contem- A. Pont. VI. poraries, would afford a sufficient reply;(a) but for this purpose it is not necessary to resort further than to the poem itself, which exhibits in a striking point of view the astonishing proficiency which, in the course of a very few years, had taken place in the city of Rome. This proficiency the author, it is true, affects to consider as the spontaneous result of the genius, the talents, and the virtues of those whom he has celebrated; but he might as well have informed us, that in those days the
(a) Even Jovius, to whom the poein of Arsilli is addressed, attributes the sudden improvement of polite literature to the liberality of Leo X. “ Scripsit (Arsillus) lepi“dum libellum de Poetis Urbanis, mihi, tanquam veteri " sodali, dedicatum; quum Leone ingeniis liberaliter ar“ ridente, multi undique poetæ illustres, nequaquam ad " inanes spes in Urbem confluxissent, et pulcherrimo quo• dam certamine à singulis in una tantùm statuæ materia « scriberetur, qua carminum farragine Corytius, homo Tre66 vir, humani juris libellis præpositus, uti perhumanus
poetarum hospes, ac admirator inclaruit; ea scilicet, " statua insigni marmorea, Aureliano in templo dedicata, " invitatisque vatibus, ut tria numina Christi Dei, et Ma“ tris, ac Aviæ uno in signo celebrarent.” Jov, in Arsilli Elog. ciii,