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infinite research all that Latin, Greek, and Hebrew authors have written on this subject; and for the completion of which work, I have the happiness to say, he has chosen the solitude of our monastery at Fiesole! To behold him, to listen to him, is the height of felicity !"

But the high expectations of the best and most learned men, respecting this phænomenon, were suddenly cut off; for being at Florence, he was attacked by a fever, which carried him off in 1494, aged only 33.


THIS very learned man, whom we have had occasion to mention in the preceding memoir, was born in 1454, at

Monte Pulciano, in Tuscany; and from the name of this town, in Latin, Mons Politianus, he derived his His father was a doctor of


the civil law, whose name was Benedictus de Ambroginis.

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Politian had the advantage of Landino's instructions in the Latin language, and his preceptor in the Greek was Andronicus of Thessalonica. He also had the best masters in other branches of learning and philosophy; but in the early part of his life he devoted his attention chiefly to the muses, and preferred the gay and pleasing study of poesy to the discipline of the philosophical schools. The means of his education were furnished almost from his childhood by the illustrious family of the Medici at Florence, and he recommended him

self to the public notice, and the esteem of his patrons, by his poem entitled, "The Stanze," written in his fourteenth year. It is an unfinished performance; but though abandoned to neglect, and perhaps considered by him as a mere playful effort of childish genius, unworthy of subsequent revsial or completion, it has notwithstanding perpetuated the author's fame. The best Italian writers constantly speak of it in terms of the highest praise; and one of the most distinguished critics ranks this poem, unfinished as it is, amongst the most elegant compositions which Italian poesy can boast. As a refiner and improver of his vernacular tongue, the juvenile efforts of Politian appear to have resembled those of our own celebrated poet, Pope; and perhaps

all circumstances considered, his success was not inferior. "It is matter of real astonishment," says an ingenious writer, "that at a time when those who had been longest exercised in the practice of versification, could not divest themselves of their antiquated rusticity, a youthful poct, who had scarcely begun to touch the lyre, should be able to leave them far behind."

On this occasion, Politian, writing in his native language, and expatiating in terms familiar to him, gives an unrestrained scope to his genius, which here stands displayed in all the rich, unpruned wildness of juvenile luxuriancy. A more convincing proof could scarcely have been given, either of an exuberant imagination, and a fancy, by nature


romantically poetical, or of a mind stored, by observation, with a wonderful variety of adventitious and classical imagery. Richardson, in his celebrated work on painting, asserts that Politian's genius was of special assistance to the famous artist Raphael de Urbino in many of the exquisite productions of his sublime pencil.

At the age of eighteen, Politian produced his tragedy entitled "Orfeo," which was composed in the short space of two days, and amidst the tumultuous festivities of a court, for the entertainment of the Cardinal Gonzaga, and his train, before whom it was represented.

This piece is generally allowed to be the earliest effort towards a regular dramatic composition in the Italian language.

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