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cism and taste, compose such an illuf- ed the motives for his choice of subject, trious assemblage of luminous peints, the author presents us with a rapid as cannot fail of attracting for ages the sketch of the Medicean family, the litecuriofity and admiration of mankind.
rary and political character of Loren' A compleat history of thele times zo, and his undeserved fate as ftateshas long been a great defideratum in man and writer in the fuceceding ceo. literature, and whoever considers the tury; he then proceeds to a critical magnitude of the undertaking will not enumeration of the narratives composed think it likely to be foon fupplied. of his life, from the contemporary one Indeed, from the nature of the tranf. of Niccolo Valori, to ihe recent volumes actions that then took place, they can of Fabroni; the mass of whose valusonly be exhibited in deiail, and under ble documents, together with the comseparate and particular views. That munications of a learned friend admitted the author of the following pages has to the printed and Ms. treafure of the frequently turned his eye towards this Laurentian library, and the acquifition interesting period is true, but he has of a number of scarce tracts procured felt himselfrather dazzled than inform- from the sales of the Crevenna and Pic ed by the survey. A mind of greater nehli books arranged and concentrated compass, and the poffeffion of uninter. by indefatigable alliduity, he confiders rupted lilure, would be requisite to as the bafis on which he was enabled comprehend, to felect, and to arrange, to erect bis owe fyftem, and to fill up the immense variety of circumstances the chasm that had hitherto feparated which a full narrative of those times from legitimate hiftory, the period would involve; when almost every elapsed between the last Hage of decay city of Italy was a new Athens, and and final diffolation of the Byzantine that favoured country could boast its empire by Mohammed II, and the historians, its poets, its orators, and its brilliant epoch that rofe with the aeartifts, who may contend with the great cession of Charles the fifth to the Gernames of antiquity for the palm of men, man throne. tal excellence. When Venice, Milan, The firft chapter opens with FloRome, Florence, Bologna, Ferrara, rence, its origin, its tempeftucus though and several other places, vied with each not improfperous liberiy, during the other, not in arms, but in fcience, and political fcbism of its citizens into the in genius; and the splendour of a court iwo factions of Ghibelines and Guelphs, was estimated by the number, and ta- or Bianchi and Neri, fubfiding at length dents of learned men, who illustrated it under the levelling preponderance of by their presence ; each of whole lives, the Medicean family, whofe annals our and produclions, would in a work of author traces from the real or romantie this nature, merit a full and separate date of Charlemagne to the acceffion of discussion.
Colmo, emphatically decorated with From this full blaze of talents, the the appellation of Pater Patria, and author has turned towards a period, the height of its commercial and poliwhen its firit faint gleams afford a fub- tical influence. jeci, if not more interefting, at least • The authority,' obferres our aumore suited to his
powers. When af- thor, which Cofmo and his defcen. ter a night of unexpecied darkneís, danis exercised in Florence during the Florence again faw the fun break forth fifteenih century, was of a very peculiar with a lufire more permanent, though nature ; and confifted rather in a tacit perhaps not so bright. The days of influence on their part, and a voluntary Dante, of Boccacció, and of Petrarch, acquiescence on that oi the people, thao were indeed patt; but under the auf- in any prescribed or definite compact pices of the house of Medici, and parti between them. The form of governo cularly through the ardour and example of Lorer. 20; the empire of fcicace was directed by a council of een citie
ment was oftenfibly a republic
, and and tafte was again restored.'
zens, and a chief executive officer callHaving thus with great modefty ftat- ed ebe Gonfaicnieri, or diandard bearer,
who was chosen every two months. power from the character of his son Under this establiment the citizens Piero, and that of his two grandsons imagined they enjoyed the full exercise Lorenzo and Juliano. The ample and of their liberties; but such was the varied detail of this assemblage of impower of the Medici, that they gene- portant subjects we leave, as prelimin. Tally either affumed to themselves the ary, to the curiosity of our readers, and firft offices of the state, or nominated baften to the second chapter; and the such persons as they thought proper to appearance of Lorenzo. those employments. In this, however, : Lorenzo de' Medici,' says Mr. R. they paid great respect to popular opi- ' was about fixteen years of age when nion. That opposition of interefts so Cosmo died, and had at that time given generally apparent between the people Ariking indications of extraordinary and their rulers, was at this cime scarce. talents. From his earlieft years he had ly perceived at Florence, where fupe. exhibited proofs of a retentive and vie. rior qualifications and industry were gorous mind, whish was cultivated, not the surest recommendations to public only by all the attention which his authority and favour. Convinced of father's infirmities would permit him to the benefits constantly received from beftow, but by a frequent intercourse this family, and satisfied that they with his venerable grandfather. He could at any time withdraw themselves owed also great obligations in this resfrom a connexion that exacted no en. pect to his mother Lucretia, who was gagements, and required only a tempo. one of the most accomplished women rary acquiescence, the Florentines con- of the age, and distinguitbed herself not fidered 'the Medici as the fathers, and only as a patroness of learning, but by not as the rulers of the republic. On her own writings. Of these tome spethe other hand the chiefs of this house, cimens yet remain, which are the more by appearing rather to decline than to entitled to approbation, as they were court the honours beftowed on them, produced at a time when poetry was at and.by a singular moderation in the its lowest ebb in Italy. The disposition use of ihem when obtained, were care. of Lorenzo which afterwards gave him ful to maintain the character of simple a peculiar claim to the title of magnicitizens of Florence, and servants of facent, was apparent in his childhood. the itate. An interchange of reciprocal Having received as a present, a horse good offices was the only, tie by which from Sicily, he fent the donor in return the Florentines and the Medici were a gift of much greater value, and on bound, and perhaps the long continu- being reproved for his profuleness, he ance of this connexion may be attributo remarked, that there was nothing more ed to the very circumitance, of its be• glorious chan to overcome others in acts ing in the power of either of the pat- of generofity. or his proficiency in ties, at any time, to bave dissolved it.'. classical learning, and the different
The temporary interruption of Cof- branches of that philosophy, which was mo's power by the successful struggle then in repute, he has left indisputable of an opposite party, headed by fami- proofs. Born to restore the luftre of lies eclipsed in his blaze,' his exile, and his native tongue, he had rendered his banishment to the Venetian fiate, himself conspicuous by his poetical tatended only, from the resignation and lents before he arrived at manhood. magnanimiiy of his conduct, to rivet at To these accomplishments he united his recal the voluntary chains of his fel- considerable share of frong natural low-citizens; and he continued the penetration and good sense, which enunrivalled arbiter of Florence and its a bled him amidst the many difficulties dependencies, the primary restorer of that he was involved in, to act with a Greek and Latio literature, and the most promptitude and decision which fura enlightened patron of ihe arts, to the prized those who were witnetles of his advanced
age of leventy five, and the conduct; whilt the endowments which hour of his death, gratified with the entilled him to admiration and respect, prospect of the continuation of family were accompanied by others that con
ciliated, in an eminent degree, the efo at his return, the conspiracy framed by teem and affcction of his fellow.citi. I uca Pirti againft his father Piero, and zens.
probably to frustrate the war, raised * In his person Lorenzo was tall and againk Florence by its exiles, without athletic, and had more the appearance the loss of much blood or treasure. of strength than of elegance. From his Delivered by these successes from exbirth he laboured under fome peculiar ternal and domestic ftrife, the Medici disadvantages-his fighe was weak, bis were at leisure again to attend to their voice harsh and unpleasing, and he was darling object, the promotion of learntotally deprived of the feole of smell. ing. Several literary characters are With all thele defects his countenance bere delineated, principally those of was dignified, and gave an idea of the Cristoforo Landino, and Leo Batista magnanimiiy of his character; and the Alberii, the Crichton of Italy, of whose effects of his eloquence were contpiche unlimited powers the greatelt was pero ous on many important occafions. In haps that, which he, if we believe Valahis youth he was much addicted to ac ri, poffefied over bis horse ; and our tive and laborious exercises, to hawk author proceeds to the gioftra or tour. ing, horsemanship, and country sports. nameni celebrated by Luca Pulci and Though born to support a military. Agnolo of Monte Pulciano, in which character, he gave sufficient proofs of his Lorenzo and Juliano appear to have courage, not only in public tournaments, been the principal actors, though the which were then not infrequent in Italy, candidates were cighteen in number. but also upon more trying occasions. • The feed upon which Lorenzo Such was the versatility of his talents, made his firft appearance, was presentthat it is difficult to discover any de- ed to him by Ferdinand king of Naples. partment of bufiness, or of amusement, That on which he relied in the combat, of art, or of science, to which they by Borso marquis of Ferrara. The were not at some time applied ; and duke of Milan had furnilhed him with in whatever he undertook, he arrived his fuit of armour. His motto was Le at a proficiency which would seem to tems revient. His device, the fleurs de bave required the labour of a life much lys, the privilege of ufing the arms of longer ihan that which he was per France having shortly before been conmitted to enjoy.'
ceded to the Medici by Louis XI, by The native energy and versatility of a solemn ae. His first confia was his character were invigorated by a with Carlo Borromei; his next with Suitable education : to the notions of Braccio de' Medici, who attacked him piety, imbibed from Gentile d'Urbino, with such strength and courage, that if and perhaps from his mother, he add- the stroke. had taken place, Orlando ed the accomplishments of a scholat, himself, as the poet afsures us, could under the tuition of Landino, and re not have withilood the shock. Lorenzo ceived the elements of the Ariftotelian took Ipeedy vengeance, but his fpear and Platonic philofophy from Argy. breaking into a hundred pieces, liis adTopylus and Ficino: but that exqui. verfary was preferved from
a total file tale in poetry, in mufic, and in overthrow. He then affailed Carlo da every department of the fine arts, which forme, whole helmet he split, and enabled him to contribute to powerfully whom he nearly unhorfed. Lorenzo toward their restoration, was an en then changing his steed, made a violent dowment of nature, the want of which attack upon Benedetto Salutati, who no education could have fupplied.' had juli couched his lance ready for
Such were the qualifications with the combar.' which Lorenzo entered on the flage of Some fpecimens of the two panegypublic life, and which enabled him, rics, with ihe plan of that composed by with the political experience he hard Poliviano, are annexed and tranflated acquired on his travelsihrough the most with our author's own felicity. powerful faces of Italy, and the con The philofoptical amurements of nexions ho had then formed, to debear, the two brothers follow next in a per
tinent defcant on the disputationes ca- Certain however it is, that in the month maldulenses of Landino, and aiter these of December, 1468, he was betrothed to Lorenzo is presented to us as a lover. a person whom it was probable he had The materials are furnished by his own never feen, and the marriage ceremony sonnets, and the comment he composed on was performed on the fourth day of them, and tho' the dead and the lurviv- June, 14€9*. That the heart of Loing beauties he celebrates are left name. renzo bad little fare in this engageleis, there is reason to fuppofe, that ment is marked by a striking circumthey were Simonetta the deceased mil- ftance. In adverting to his marriage tress of his brother, and Lucretia in his Ricordi, he bluntly remarks that Donati.
he took this lady to wife, or rather, says • The fonnets of Lorenzo, rise and he, she was given to me on the day beforefall through every degree of the ther. mentioned. Not withstanding this apmometer of love; he exults and he parent indifference, it appears from despairs-he freezes and he burnsehe indisputable documents, that a real fings of raptures 100 great for mortal affection fubfifted between them; and sense, and be applauds a feverity of vir- there is reason to presume ihat Lorenzo tue that no folicitations can move. From always treated her with particular resuch contradictory teftimony what are fpect and kindness. Their nuptials we to conclude? Lorenzo has himself were celebrared with great splendor. presented us with the key that unlocks Two military spectacles were exhibited, this mystery. From the relation which one of which represented a field batile he has before given, we find that Lu- of horsemen, and the other the attack cretia was the mistress of the poet, and and storming of a fortified citadel.' not of the man. Lorenzo fought for an Lorenzo's second journey to Milan, object to concentrate his ideas, to give and the death of his father Piero, take bem frength, and effect, and he found up the remainder of this chapter. n Lucrecia a subject that suited his The variety of the materials that purpose, and deferved his praise. But compose the third chapter, which opens having so far realized his mistress, he with the political state of Italy at the as dressed and ornamented her ac. time of Lorenzo's succession to the di. ording to his own imagination. Every rection of the Republic, is too great, Aion of her person, every emotion of perhaps the incidents too minute, and er mind, is subject to his control. The transition from event to event, too he smiles, or she frowns; the refuses, rapid, to admit of extracts. The riches r relents ; she is absent, or present; of the Medici, their commercial conbe intrudes upon his folitude by day, cerns, and other sources of revenue I visits him in his nightly dreams, just the character of Giuliana de' Medicis his preliding fancy directs. In the that of Angelo Politiano-the league idt of these delightful visions Loren- between the duke of Milan, the Veneo was called upon to attend to the 'tians, and the Florentines the eltaull sealities of life. He had now at- blithment of the academy of Pisa-an ined his twenty first year, and his account of Lorenzo's poem, entitled ther conceived that it was time for him
N OT E. enter into the conjugal ftate. To « * Bayle is mistaken in fuppofing is end he had negociated a marriage that the marriage of Lorenzo took place etween Lorenzo and Clarice, the in 1471. Speaking of Machiavelli, he aughter of Giacopo Orfini, of the noble says: " Il ne marque pas l'annee de ce nd powerfulRoman family of that name mariage ce qui est un grand defaut hich had so long contended for fupe- dans un ecrivain d'histoire, mais on oring with that of the Colonna. Whe- peut recueillir de la narration que ce er Lorenzo delpaired of succeis in fut l'an 1471." Diet. Hif. Art. Politien. s youthful passion, or whether he lub- In correciing Bayle, Menckenius falls sed his feelings at the voice of parental into a greater error, and places this event thority, is left to conjecture only. in 1472. menck, in vila Pol. p. 48.'
Allercatione, with specimens and tranf. minion of the papal fee. The princia Jacions, constitute the most prominent agent engaged in the undertaking a features of the chapter.
Francesco Salviati, archbishop of P The fourth chapter, whether we con- to which rank he had lately been pro fader the importance of the events moted by Sixtus, in opposition to it related, or the perfpicuity and energy Medici, who had for some time en: with which they are developed and deavoured to prevent him from exer told, contains, in our opinion, ihe most cising his epifcopal fundtions. If it be incercating period in the line of Loren- allowed that the unfavourable charada 20, the annals of Florence, and the given of him by Politiano is exaggeralgeneral history of that time. The ed, it is generally agreed that his qu» conspiracy of the Pazzi, says our au- lities were the reverle of those who thor, was “a transaction in which a ought to have been the recommende pope, a cardinal, an archbishop, and tions to such high preferment. The several other ecclefiaftics, asiociated other confpirators were, Giacopo Sa. themselves with a band of rufiians, to viati, brother of the archbilhop, Giacorpo destroy two men who were an honour Poggio, one of the fons of the celebrar to their age and country; and purpofed Poggio Bracciolini, and who, like a to perpetrate their crime at a season the other fons of ihai eminent schola of hospitaliiy, in the sanctuary of a had obtained no small share of liceran chrißian church, and at the very mo- reputation ; Bernardo Bandini, a dr. meat of the elevation of the host, when ing libertine, rendered defperate by ube the audience howed down before it, consequences of his excesses; Giovaa and the assassins were presumed to be in Battista Monteficco, who had difirthe immediate prelence of their God.' guilhed himself by his military talesa
Having traced the origin of the con as one of the condottieri of the armies Spiracy to Rome, and the ambition and of the pope; Antonio Maffei, a pried inveterate enmity of Sixtus the fourth of Volterra, and Siefano de Bagnole and his nephew count Girolamo Riario, one of the apostolic scribes, with leite 10 Lorenzo, Mr. R. proceeds to their ral others of inferior note. Florentine accomplices, the family of 'In the arrangement of their pla, the Pagzi, uhom, though allied by in- which appears to have been concertante termarriages to that of the Medici, en- with great precaution and fecres, te vs, intolerance of superioriiy, penury, conspirators foon discovered, that ta and profiigacy, had rendered their irre. dargers which they had to encounter concileable enemies. The young car were not so likely to arise from the c dinal Riario our author considers more ficulty of the attempı, as from the subas an instrument in the hands of his fequent resentiment oribe Florentines, : uncle Girolamo than as an accomplice great majurity of whom were ftrong! in the fcheme; and proceeds :
attached to the Medici. Hence it bra This conspiracy, of which Sixtus came neceffary 10 provide a military and his nephew were ide real infti- force, the alistance of which mighet galors, was first agitated at Rome, equally requifise whether the enterpria where the intercourse between the count proved abortive or successful. By Girolamo Riario and Francesco de influence of the pope, the king of Pazzi, in confequence of the office held Naples, who was then in alliance win by the latter, afforded them an oppor. him, and on one of whose fons be bad se tunity of communicating to each other cently beflowed a cardinal's hat, was a Eheir mutual jealouty of the power of induced to countenance the attempt. the Medici, and their design of deprive • Thefe preliminaries being adjuled ing them of their influence in Florence; Girolamo wrote to his nephes cardinal in which event it is highly probable, Riario, then a. Pita, ordering him to that the Pazzi were to have exercited obey whatever directions he might the chief authority in the city, under the ceive from the archbishop.' A body e' patronage, if not under the avowed do- twe chouland men were defined 10 2