Continuity of the Renaissance . 456

The Cinquecento not really a poetical age . 457

Petrarchianism. Bembo. An age of verse . 458

Berni and Bernesque verse. Oapitoli 459

Folengo. Ariosto . 460

Boiardo and Ariosto. The ottava rima . 461

Castiglione : II Cortegiano . 462

Machiavelli: II Principe . 464

The Inquisition and the Index . 465

Execution of Carnesecchi. Speroni . 466

Cinthio and other novelists . 467

Didactic poetry: Alamanni . 468

Rise of Academies . 469

The Accademia della Grusca. The Italian language perfected. . 470

Translations. Bernardo Tasso . 471

Torquato Tasso . 472

The Gerusalemme Liberata. Vasari's Lives of the Painters. . 473

History ; biography ; letters . 474



THE period, or movement, which has in comparatively recent times come to be termed "the Renaissance," must of course in many senses be said not to have reached its end to this day; nor does it seem as if anything short of a new inroad of the barbarians could check or reverse the impulses which many causes combined to stimulate in the fifteenth century, or could arrest the development of thought, in all its branches, ethical, political, social, religious, scientific, along the lines then traced out-the lines, namely, of free and fearless enquiry, untrammelled by à priori conceptions or implicit deference to authority. If we consider the matter from the most obvious point of view, that of the revival of classical study, we find that the most modern scholar has done no more than enlarge the boundaries of the territory first acquired for learning by such men as Filelfo and Valla; while speculation and enquiry, which then first in modern times claimed the right to roam freely over the whole domain of possible knowledge (and sometimes beyond it), are still as unfettered as ever in western Europe.

Local and temporary reactions, however, there have doubtless been ; and of these Italy affords the most conspicuous example. It was safer in 1500 to teach that the soul was mortal, than it was in 1550 to maintain the doctrine of justification by faith. Dante, with his ideal of a universal monarch ruling in righteousness, under whom each man should be free to develop his own faculties in the way he deemed best, might even have regarded Machiavelli's possibly more practicable conception of a State, in which, whether one man or a majority ruled, expediency should be the only motive and force the sole method, as a sad reaction towards the barbaric community.

Yet, though the seeds of political and moral decay were abundant in Italy when the sixteenth century opened, to outward appearance all was brilliant enough. This century, known to Italians as the Cinque-cento, is regarded by them as the golden age of their literature. It is dangerous for foreigners to criticise this estimate; and, if quantity

of production and wide diffusion of literary culture alone be regarded, there is perhaps no reason against accepting it. If, again, we consider vernacular prose, an age which produced writers of the rank of Machia-velli, Castiglione, Guicciardini, Paruta, Ammirato, Vasari, can hold its own with any ; when, however, the claim is made on the ground of its poetical production there is more difficulty in admitting it. Paradoxical as it may seem to say so of an age that gave birth to the two works which have placed Ariosto and Tasso third and fourth on the list of Italian poets, and even given them a conspicuous position among the poets of the world, the Cinquecento was not a poetical period. It turned out an immense quantity of verse, often of excellent quality : but of the poetry which stirs the nobler passions and emotions, which deals, as Dante puts it, with love (other than the merely animal), with courage, and with right conduct, we find, save in a sonnet or an ode here and there, few specimens. Always inclined to sensuality rather than to sentiment, to envy rather than to worship, to criticism rather than to admiration, cynical yet not reticent, the Italian genius had received stimulus more than chastening from the revival of letters in the previous century Cleverness was abundant ; character was lacking ; and cleverness without character, while it may produce admirably finished verses, polished raillery, and even charming descriptions of beauty, is not a soil in which the highest poetry will thrive. Serious and cleanly-living men there were, no doubt, both clerical and lay. Among the former may be mentioned Giberti, Bishop of Verona, and Cardinals Contarini and Morone ; among the latter the critic Ludovico Castelvetro, the scholar Aonio Paleario, and the artist Michelangelo Buonarotti. But the churchmen were preoccupied with the problem of reforming the Church without rending Christendom asunder; and the laymen, with the exception of the last-named (whom Wordsworth has, not without reason, coupled with Dante), had no very great poetic gift. Even in him it manifested itself but sparingly ; it was there, however ; and enough of his work remains to justify the momentary lapse into seriousness of the usually flippant and mocking Berni, when he calls him *' at once a new Apollo and a new Apelles " and bids the commonplaces of elegant verse hold their peace for evermore-"He utters things, the rest of you mere words."

One great merit must be conceded to the men of the Cinquecento, the restoration-for Italy, it may almost be said, the introduction-of the vernacular to its rightful place in literature. Two hundred years before, Dante had both by precept and by example made an effort in this direction ; but the flood of Humanism had quickly swept it out of sight, and even Petrarch based his hopes of fame far more on his Latin writings than on the vernacular poetry by which alone he is remembered, but which forms hardly more than an infinitesimal portion of his entire work. The tradition of Italian prose was indeed kept alive almost

entirely by the work of one man of universal genius, Leon Battista Albert! (1407-72); but verse practically disappears during the first two-thirds of the century, reviving towards its close in the vigorous, if rugged, romance of Boiardo and the burlesque of Luigi Pulci. The influence of these two writers on Ariosto marks their importance as pioneers in the revival of Italian literature. No man of their contemporaries, however, had more of the true poetic spirit than Lorenzo de' Medici (1448-92). His sonnets and odes (canzoni) are of finer quality than any similar verse since the death of Petrarch; and one seems to catch in them at times an echo of the less highly finished but also less self-conscious work of the pre-Petrarchian age, the dolce stil nuovo of the expiring thirteenth century. Both he and his friend Politian had felt something of the invigorating influence of the racy Florentine folk-songs; and, if Lorenzo had lived free from the entanglements of politics and statecraft, the course of Cinquecento poetry might have taken another turn. Unfortunately the fashion was left to be set by the courtly poets. Cariteo of Naples (1450-1510), a Catalan by birth, imbued with the artificial manner of the later Provencals, and a student of Petrarch, was the coryphaeus of the school. He was seconded by Tebaldeo of Ferrara (1460 C.-1537), the Court poet to the accomplished Marchioness of Mantua, Isabella of Este, and by two other Neapolitans, Serafino of Aquila (1466-1500) and Sannazaro (1458-1530). These, as a somewhat later writer observes, were cast into the shade by Pietro Bembo (1470-1547), the arbiter of letters for his age, who forms a kind of link between Humanists and Cinquecentists. By him, as much as by any man, Italian poetry was directed into the attractive but dangerous path of Petrarchianism, whence a straight track led downwards to the depths of seicentismo, with its conceits, its false taste, its insincere sentiment, and general lack of all masculine quality.

We need only glance at any of the numerous anthologies compiled towards the middle of the sixteenth century, to be assured that the faculty of producing verses, more especially sonnets, for the most part faultless in form, was then enjoyed by almost every cultivated person. Now and again one comes across verses bearing the stamp of sincerity, as in the case of Michelangelo (who however was not a favourite with the anthologists, and whose poems had to be "re-made" in order to win any popularity), and his friend Vittoria Colonna, Marchioness of Pescara (1492-1545); but such are rare, and rather than in these, or even in the lyrics generally, the true spirit of the age is to be found in the so-called capitoli, or burlesque essays in verse on every sort of subject, mostly trivial and frequently indecent, though more perhaps in the way of allusion and double meaning than in outspoken obscenity. That the metre in which these jocosities were composed was the terza rima, invented (as it would seem) by Dante for his sacred poem, and used by Petrarch for his Triumphs, possibly added to their piquancy.

This metre, which, save for a metrical chronicle or two, seems to have almost dropped out of use in the fifteenth century (Boccaccio's ottava rvma being found more available for long narrative poems), had towards the close of it been revived by Lorenzo de' Medici for short, religious meditations, as well as for idylls in the classical style, and by the Venetian Antonio Vinciguerra for satires more or less after the manner of the Romans, in which kind it was presently used by Ariosto, Alamanni, and others. From the Horatian satire to the capitolo, at least in its more respectable form, is no very long step ; and it is perhaps not surprising that this form of poetic recreation should have attained the popularity that it did.

For a time everybody wrote capitoli-prelates, artists, scholars, poets. The most notable exponent of the art was perhaps Francesco Berni (1497-1536), who has given his name to the spirit embodied in this class of literature. Berni is one of the most curious figures of the time, and in some respects typical of the forces at work during the later Renaissance, which, combined with the political conditions, were to bring about the change noticeable after the middle of the century. For the Petrar-chians he had little respect. Unlike his contemporary Molza, who could turn out with equal facility an amatory sonnet and an indecent capitolo, Berni as a rule avoided any display of sentiment, whether real or fictitious. Even when he is serious the reader is never certain that he will not at any moment fly off into a tissue of whimsicalities. His capitolo "In Praise of Aristotle,"" containing much sane and sensible eulogy of the philosopher, is addressed to a cardinal's French cook, and ends with burlesque regrets that Aristotle had not left a treatise on " roast and boiled, lean and fat." Yet Berni was more than a flippant cynic. His sincere attachment to such men as Gian Matteo Giberti, the reforming Bishop of Verona, to whom he for a time acted as secretary, or the grave and pious Pietro Carnesecchi, shows that he could appreciate goodness ; while the scathing sonnet, couched in a tone of unwonted ferocity, which he hurled at Pietro Aretino, at a time when that infamous personage was in high favour with powerful princes, proves that in the matter of cynicism he was prepared to draw a line. His words on Michelangelo, already quoted (which, curiously enough, he uses also of Aristotle), are evidence that he could respect seriousness in others ; and he had a vein of it in himself. For the work by which he is perhaps, or for long was, best known, the rifacimento, or recasting, of Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato into a style more congenial to the fastidious taste of the Cinquecento, he wrote (about 1530) some stanzas, couched, in spite of a few outbreaks of his usual mirthfulness, in what seems a tone of genuine piety. Though we cannot, with Vergerio, regard the lines as evidence of anything in the nature of "conversion" on Berni's part, or, in spite of the phrase "Lutheran means good Christian," of any definite adhesion to Protestant views, they show that

he had moods in which he regretted the lack of practical religion in Italy, and hoped for better things. Berni died in 1535, not yet forty years old. Had he lived a few years longer he might have shared, at the hands of the papal authority, the doom of his friend Carnesecchi.

Another writer of this period, who has received perhaps less attention than he deserves, is Teofilo Folengo, of Mantua (1492-1543). The mocking spirit which was as powerful in him as in Berni, but manifested itself in a somewhat cruder form, led him to make sport both of the romances of chivalry, long popular in northern Italy, which Boiardo and Pulci had lately brought back into the realm of literature, and of the classical revival, if, as seems probable, the "Macaronic" style, of which he was, though not the inventor, the most conspicuous exponent, was intended to burlesque the achievements of the fourteenth century scholars. Folengo, who began and after an intervening period of reckless and vagabond living ended his career as a Benedictine monk, also had his moods of spiritual perplexity. He has given an allegorical account of his own aberrations, moral and speculative, and of his subsequent conversion (which, as with Dante, appears to have come about at the age of thirty-five) to the right way, in the curious and highly enigmatical work called Chaos del Triperuno-a strange farrago of prose and verse, Latin, Italian, and Macaronic, abounding in anagrams and other fanciful devices, with passages of remarkable beauty interspersed here and there, justifying the author's claim that his verses, if not Tuscan, are sonorous and terse. Folengo had written his Macaronic poems under the name of Merlino Cocaio, and later a burlesque Italian epic, the Orlandino, under that of Limerno Pitocco. In the Chaos he introduces Merlino and Limerno debating the question of Latin versus the vernacular, and makes it clear that his sympathy is with the latter. Yet he could turn out a good Latin verse, and was well read in the Classics. The Macaronea, or romance of Baldus, has the credit of having given suggestions to Rabelais, and perhaps for that reason has alone preserved the fame of its author; but the Chaos is far better worth perusal by anyone who desires to understand a remarkable phase of later Renaissance thought. In the Orlandino the author had ventured upon some plain-spoken criticism of the Church and the Orders, such as was safe enough in the early years of Clement VII ; in the Chaos the censure is repeated, though more covertly, and "evangelical" theology is favourably contrasted with " peripatetic."

No spiritual difficulties disturbed the mind of the one poet of that age whose name is known outside the circle of the closer students of its literature. Ludovico Ariosto, the son of a Ferrarese nobleman, was born in 1474 at Reggio, where his father was governor of the citadel. His natural bent towards letters was not encouraged by his father, a somewhat arbitrary person, who made him study law; and he was twenty before he had a chance of learning at all events classical Latin,

in which he presently composed with elegance and facility. He seems, however, at no time to have come under the influence of the Humanistic fashion, which probably took less root at Ferrara than in most of the other literary centres of Italy. Ferrara was rather the headquarters of the epic based on the medieval chivalric romances. The House of Este could boast by far the oldest pedigree of any of the ruling Italian families, and had a fancy, as it would seem, to claim descent from one of the legendary heroes. Matteo Maria Boiardo, Count of Scandiano (1434-94!), the author of the Orlando Innamorato, which may be said to be the parent of not only the Furioso, but a long line of similar but less conspicuous works, was himself in the service of Dukes Borso and Ercole, and like the elder Ariosto was at one time governor of B-eggio. Another citizen of the same State, Francesco Bello, known as the Blind Man of Ferrara, about the same time composed, it would seem, for the Marquis of Mantua, the Mambriano, another poem of the same cycle. Ariosto therefore grew up in the atmosphere of the narrative romantic school ; and though he could on occasion Petrarchise with the most proficient follower of that style, and indeed acquired a reputation by his early essays in the lyrical line, his slightly cynical genius was not likely to find its expression in that direction. He was twenty years old when Boiardo died, and the Innamorato was in every man's mouth-quite a sufficient stimulus for a young man conscious of poetical talent.

The ottava rima, which had become the recognised medium for the romance of chivalry, was just the vehicle suited to an intellect like his : humorous, sensible, devoid alike of enthusiasm and of rancour. In this metre it is impossible to be pathetic, or even serious, for more than a very few lines together ; the periodical recurrence at short intervals of the sudden interruption to the flow of the verse caused by the rhyming couplet with which each stanza concludes, by cutting the sense into lengths produces a monotony which would be intolerable, did not the same structure lend itself so readily to epigram, or to some quip in the form of a calculated piece of bathos. Of its admirable adaptability to avowed burlesque, Pulci in the last generation had given some evidence, and Tassoni a century later was to give full proof. The oblivion into which, in spite of the efforts of scholars to resuscitate it, Boiardo's really great poem has fallen, is not improbably due to the fact that he took himself too seriously ; its best chance of surviving was probably due to Berni's treatment. Apart from the fluency of his diction and the felicity of his phrase, Ariosto lives, because (if the term may be allowed) he kept his tongue in his cheek. From his agreeable Satires, to a modern taste perhaps the most readable of all his works, we learn more about the character and circumstances of Ariosto than we know of any great poet since Horace, whom in some respects he resembles. He reveals himself as a sensible, tolerant, ironical man of the world ; studious of his own comfort, though without any taste for luxury ; devoid of ambition or enthusiasm ;

excellent in his family relations ; in matters of religion and morals conforming to the rather lax standard of the age, but not falling below it. His patron, Cardinal Ippolito of Este, has incurred much obloquy for a remark alleged to have been made by him to the poet on the appearance of his great work. Yet it is not difficult to believe that to Ariosto himself a considerable part of the machinery of his poem, a good many of the wondrous feats performed by heroes with enchanted arms and preposterous names, would appear most aptly described by the rude and unquotable term which the prelate thought fit to apply to them. Nor does it seem probable that the highly artificial and sophisticated society of an Italian Court can have been deeply moved by the recital of simple, not to say savage, motives, the elementary passions of an age which every reader knew to be mythical. Except in very primitive stages of civilisation fairy tales do not greatly move adults. Ariosto's vogue was no doubt mainly due, partly to the delicate flavour of burlesque which is never absent for many stanzas together, even in passages where one feels that he is really trying to be pathetic (for instance, the death of Brandimarte with the truncated name of his mistress on his lips), and partly to the episodical novelle, mostly licentious, but told with admirable wit, rather of the Bernesque order, however, than of the Boccaccesque. The chivalry of Ariosto is obviously as self-conscious and artificial as the Platonic love philosophy of Bembo or the pastoral raptures of Sannazaro.

Two writers indeed of this age leave an impression of absolute sincerity. Baldassare Castiglionè (1478-1529) was one of the few men of his time of whom it can be said that all we know of him whether in public or in private life is wholly to his credit. As a young man he was for some years attached to the Court of Urbino, at that time, under Guidubaldo of Montefeltro and his Duchess Elizabeth Gonzaga, standing highest both in culture and in morals of any in Italy. There the best wits of the day, with Bembo at their head, met and debated questions of art, letters, ethics ; soldiers, scholars and poets, churchmen and laymen- not always perhaps very distinguishable from one another-were alike welcome. Guidubaldo died in 1508; and a little later (but certainly before the date usually assigned, 1516), Castiglionè, doubtless foreseeing that times were at hand which would end these cultivated recreations, set down his reminiscences of them in the form of a book, which he entitled II Cortegiano-"the Perfect Courtier." Purporting to be an answer to a request from one Alfonso Ariosto, a kinsman (it is said) of the poet, for some account of the qualifications required to form a perfect courtier, it professes to narrate a discussion on this subject held at Urbino in the spring of 1506. How far it is founded on anything that had really taken place is uncertain, and the author had selected a date for it when he himself was absent in England ; but we may safely assume that similar conversations were a common form of

diversion at the Feltrian Court, and that in many of these Castiglione had taken part. Reading it, one is transported into a world as remote on the one hand from the prurient indecencies of the capitoli as it is on the other from the treacheries and assassinations of which we have ample evidence elsewhere. A spirit of " sweet reasonableness " pervades the •whole discussion ; one might think that the cardinal virtues were taken for granted, and that the only question was how they could best be acquired. It is true that some of the jests and anecdotes used by way of illustration without disapproval on the part of either of the two eminently virtuous ladies who direct the conversation are somewhat freer than would now be permissible in a similar company; but they are open and above board. Nothing of the nature of innuendo or double meaning is to be found from one end to the other. The question as to the duty of a courtier in the case of his prince giving him an order to commit murder does once come to the front, and is, it must be said, fenced with ; but this dilemma, of which examples must have been familiar to all the company, is avowedly put as an extreme case. Ultimately, after touching on many topics, some sufficiently remote from the main subject, the dialogue comes round to the character of the prince himself; and the good prince is sketched, in terms such as the moralists of all ages and countries had made familiar. " God," we are told, " delights in, and is the protector of those princes who will imitate Him not in display of power and demand of adoration from men, but in striving to be like Him in goodness and wisdom ; whereby they may be His ministers, distributing for the good of mankind the gifts which they receive from Him." The good prince will give his subjects such laws as will enable them to live at ease, and enjoy what should be the end of all their actions, namely, peace. He will teach them the art of war, not out of lust for empire, but that they may defend themselves against a possible tyrant, succour the oppressed, or reduce to subjection, for their own better government, such as may deserve it. Penalties should be for amendment or prevention, not vindictive.

Castiglione's ideal of civil government is, it will be seen, not very unlike that expounded by Dante two hundred years before in the De Monarchia, and somewhat later sketched by Petrarch in his treatise addressed to Francesco da Carrara. Petrarch's maxims, "Nothing is more alien to the nobility of princedom than the wish to be feared," "Love, if you would be beloved," "Love your neighbour as yourself," are all implicitly contained in the idea which the interlocutors of the Cortegiaru) have formed of a good prince. The spirit of medieval chivalry (too seldom, it may be feared, exemplified in the practice even of the Middle Ages, but at any rate recognised and respected) pervades the whole book. The Cortegiano was privately circulated for many years before it was published. When it did appear in 1528 it was received with the applause of Christendom. Within a generation it had been

translated into all the principal European languages, and before the end of the century had been reprinted in one or another of them more than, a hundred times. Castiglione, as has been said, was beyond doubt absolutely sincere. In him, as Charles V observed when he died, the-world lost one of its best gentlemen, los mejores caballeros. He held that not the number but the goodness of his subjects makes the greatness. of a prince. Upon prince and people he enjoins le virtu-the virtues, as. generally understood, not virtu, " efficiency " ; and in the teeth, as it now seems to us, of all contemporary experience, he sincerely believes that in this way the prince might achieve security and his subjects tranquillity. The influence of the Cortegiano cannot be traced to any-great extent in subsequent history.

A very different destiny awaited another book written almost at the same moment. The Prince and its author have been fully dealt with in an earlier volume. Here it is only needful to recall that this work also, circulated for many years in manuscript before it was given to the press ;. that, though it was then reproduced with fair frequency, its popularity never came within a long distance of that enjoyed by the Courtier ; that it became at once the mark for a storm of criticism, and long before the century was out had made its author's name a by-word in Europe for all that was unscrupulous and dishonest in politics ; while its maxims are those which have governed the practice of statesmen in general for the last three hundred years. Machiavelli, it may be noted, knows nothing of chivalry, and even less of the Sermon on the Mount. Do to others, not as you would they should do to you, but as you suspect they would like to do to you, is his principle of government.

From the publication of the Prince more than from the Sack of Rome, or the religious troubles in Germany, or any other of the events to which it has been referred, the end of the Renaissance may be dated. Both on its weaker and its stronger side it was countered by such views of social and civil relations as those which Machiavelli formulated. It had depended largely on make-believe ; Machiavelli insisted on looking facts fairly in the face. It set a high value on a lettered and studious life, which Machiavelli, though enjoying it himself, held in small esteem. It encouraged individualism; and with individualism raison d'état, of which Machiavelli was the first great exponent, has never made any terms. The maxim, " It is expedient that one man die for the people," would have commanded his instant adhesion.

Machiavelli at any rate was in earnest ; Humanism had never been entirely so ; still less, as we have seen, the greatest writers in the revived vernacular. The Renaissance had eaten enough, drunk enough, and played enough; it was time for it to be gone. Italy, too, had now begun to reap the full fruit of the fatal policy begun by Urban IV, when he called in Charles of Anjou to make an end of the Hohenstaufen dynasty in Naples. For nearly three hundred years the rivalry had

continued. Hohenstaufen had passed its claim on to Aragon, Aragon to Habsburg; while that of Anjou was defended by the Crown of France. The Peace of Crépy finally awarded the prize to Spain; and, though Paul IV made one more attempt to revive the traditional policy of the Popes, and a French army appeared once more on Italian soil, the ruler of Spain was now ruler also of Flanders, and a battle in north-eastern France decided that the " Kingdom " was to remain under Spanish rule. Milan was in the like case ; the republic of Florence had fallen for the last time in 1530 ; Siena held out till 1555 ; but it may be said that from 1544 onwards Italy outside the republic of Venice was under the domination either of Spain directly, or of local despots, incapable, even if they had been so minded, of offering any resistance to Spain-a condition of things clearly unpropitious to the growth of original or vigorous literature.

Other causes too were at work, arising doubtless more or less directly out of this. With the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis wars ceased for the time to be waged for the acquisition of territory. Such as were waged during the remainder of the century were fought in a cause which preeminently withdraws men's interest from all other topics-that of their right to hold their own opinions. A man of letters can go on comfortably enough with his work, so long as he knows that the defeat of his own side will merely mean that he will have to pay court and taxes to another Prince ; it is otherwise when it may involve the termination not of his literary labours only but of his life and liberty as well. Italy was indeed free from the actual war which in the course of the century devastated Germany, France, and the Netherlands ; men had not even the opportunity of fighting for their opinions. But the danger was none the less pressing. The Church, which presently condemned Machiavelir& writings, showed itself an adept in his methods. That the end justifies the means, and that the prudent ruler will seek to be feared rather than loved, were maxims in favour no less with the spiritual than with the temporal powers. The Inquisition, imported from Spain by Paul III in 1542, and its companion institution, the Index of Prohibited Books, were not compatible with an independent literature. " The study of the liberal arts is deserted, the young men wanton in idleness and wander about the public squares." Such is the observation of Aonio Paleario, a scholar who in later years had good reason to know all about the Holy Office. Paul IV, to whom, as Cardinal Caraffa, the inception of the new system had been due, wielded its weapons with fresh vigour. The publication of one heretical work rendered all books issued by the same publisher liable to prohibition. Nor was the use of this " poniard drawn against men of letters" confined to official initiative. To shout or, better, whisper " heretic " was an effective way of getting rid of a literary rival. It was in this way that Ludovico Castelvetro of Modena (1505-71), the most eminent critic of his day, was driven to fly for his life and seek

an asylum in the territories of the Grey Leagues, where the papal writ did not run. Nor was safety in all cases attained by abstinence from publishing. Carnesecchi, imprudently venturing back to his native Florence, in reliance on the personal friendship of Duke Cosimo, was there arrested, it is said at the dinner-table of his patron, by order of Pius V, taken to Rome, tried on a number of charges, of most of which he had already under a former Pope been acquitted, and after many months of imprisonment, not without torture, executed in 1567. Yet Carnesecchi had, so far as is known, published nothing. The accusations against him referred entirely to matters of opinion, as expressed in private correspondence and conversation. As an illustration of the methods introduced by the so-called Counter-Reformation, the case of Carnesecchi is perhaps more notable than the more often quoted one of Giordano Bruno. The latter, as an apostate monk, a loose liver, the wielder of an acrid and often scurrilous pen, had at least given provocation and caused something of scandal in several countries of Europe. Nothing of the sort could be charged against the gentle and decorous ex-protonotary of Clement VII, who, whatever may have been his speculative opinions, had never broken with the Church, and, so far as appears, had kept all its ordinances blameless. Carnesecchi's relations with the Catholic reformers have been referred to in an earlier volume. But he was not only the friend of Giulia Gonzaga, of Valdes, Flaminio, and Pole ; he was also on intimate and affectionate terms with the artists and men of letters who frequented Rome in the days of Clement VII. Friendly mention of him occurs in the capitoli of Berni, Mauro, Molza, and others ; Michelangelo, Sebastian del Piombo, Benvenuto Cellini, were among his acquaintances. He was somewhat under sixty years of age at the time of his death; his adult life coincides almost exactly with the period from the Sack of Rome to the promulgation of the decrees of Trent ; and a survey of his career and fate affords as striking an indication as could well be found of the distance which the world had travelled between those events.

By the middle of the century most of the more eminent names in the literature of its early years had disappeared. Ariosto, Berni, Molza, Machiavelli, Castiglione, had all been dead a longer or a shorter time. Bembo became a Cardinal in old age, and lingered till 1547. Among the veterans surviving was Giovanni délia Casa, now Archbishop of Benevento, who atoned for the laxity of his earlier life and writings by the zeal he displayed in the suppression of heretics. He had yet five years to live ; and it was three years longer before his most popular work, the Galatea, a manual of good manners, not devoid of humour, made its appearance. The long life of Sperone Speroni (1500-88) constitutes him a link between the age of Ariosto and that of Tasso, and perhaps accounts for the reputation which he enjoyed in his lifetime, but which posterity has not sustained. He received his education under Pomponazzo,

and lived to have his opinion sought by Ronsard and to receive a letter on the condition of Paris in 1582. The neglect into which his writings have fallen is perhaps scarcely deserved. He was an early champion of the vernacular against the claims made for Latin, and staunch in his admiration of Dante at a time when the academic taste of a decadent age affected to depreciate him. He also claimed to have made Italian a vehicle for philosophic discussion, for which Latin alone had hitherto been regarded as suitable. The dialogue was his favourite form of literary expression, and he managed it often with pleasing effect. His tragedy in the classical style, Canace, though now hardly readable, has a certain importance in the history of the drama. In it appears for the first time the irregular metre, composed chiefly of short, uneven lines, which was afterwards adopted by Tasso in the Aminta and by Guarini in the Pastor Fido ; and which we now associate mainly with opera. Another of its characteristics, the blending of rhymed and unrhymed lines, has a singularly unpleasing effect to a foreign ear, but seems never to have lost its attraction for Italians. The piece is however chiefly notable for the protracted literary controversy to which it gave rise ; of which to a modern reader the most curious feature is perhaps that it deals entirely with questions of literary form and dramatic structure.

The offensiveness of the subject does not appear to have struck the author (who, it must in justice be said, has treated it as decently as was possible) or his critics, as in any way unsuited to dramatic representation. This however is but characteristic of the period. The tragedies of Giovanbattista Giraldi, called Cinthio (1504-73), as well as his novels, afford constant testimony to the appetite of the contemporary public for sanguinary and horrible fiction. It would seem as if the taste of the age, seared by the horrors which it saw around it in actual life, required something very drastic to secure the purging of the passions which, its trusted authority had told it, was the aim of tragedy. One who had lived through the Sack of Rome would hardly obtain from the most revolting situations of the Orbecche or the Selene anything more than an agreeable shudder. For anything like true pathos or real insight into the human heart the reader of these productions will seek in vain. The artificiality which taints the whole imaginative literature of the time is here also conspicuous ; and the heroes and heroines of tragedy are as conventional and as unlike the human beings whom we know as the shepherds and nymphs of the pastorals. Even the novels, in which the Italian genius is perhaps seen to most advantage, are full of "common form " and often wearisome from mannerism. Besides Cinthio, the most noted writers in this line were Matteo Bandello (1490-1561), a Dominican who became Bishop of Agen, and is judged by Italian critics to be the most successful imitator of Boccaccio ; Anton Francesco Grazzini, called II Lasca, who was also a copious writer of capitoli in the Bernesque style, and who, living from 1503 to 1584, forms another link between the days of

Leo X and those of Pius V, Sebastiane Erizzo, Gianfrancesco Straparola of Caravaggio, in some ways the most original of all, and Girolamo Parabosco. With the exception of Grazzini, whose stories did not see the light till the middle of the eighteenth century, all these published their collections of tales between 1550 and 1567.

This remarkable output of fiction points to a certain stagnation in speculative and other serious modes of literary activity. But the fiction itself illustrates the change that had come over society. From Boccaccio to Firenzuola every novelist had drawn much of his most popular and most scandalous material from the alleged doings of the clergy, both regular and secular. This had now become too risky a source of entertainment; and of the writers just named (with one exception in the case of Parabosco), only Bandello, who when his stories were published was safe in his French see, and Grazzini, who, as has been said, did not entrust his to the press, have ventured to avail themselves of it. In point of morals they are in no way better than their predecessors; and the taste for horrors already referred to is conspicuous, especially in the case of Cinthio, whose work, by the way, passed no less formidable a scrutiny than that of Cardinal Michèle Ghislieri, the future Pope Pius V ; but the Church is left alone. The principle was carried to its furthest point when a few years later the Decameron of Boccaccio was twice "reformed" by the substitution of lay for clerical personages throughout; the incidents, even the most indecent, remaining otherwise unchanged. Some outward improvement in morals probably did take place in the latter half of the century; it may be imputed as a merit to Pius V that he hung Niccolo Franco, once the friend, in later days the enemy, always the rival in obscenity, of Pietro Aretino ; but the reputation which, as is proved by contemporary memoirs and letters, Italians enjoyed in a country so far from strait-laced as France, is enough to show that little-real amendment of morals had been brought about.

Didactic poetry, so far as the modern languages are concerned, may be said to have been an invention of this period. Among the earliest of the didactic poets is the Florentine Luigi Alamanni (1495-1556), who in early years took a part in the heated politics of his native city, which led to his exile. He took refuge in France, where he spent the latter half of his life, and enjoyed the favour of two Kings. Here he published in 1546 his poem, La Coltivazione, which, though the Apl of Rucellai-had preceded it by a few years, may be regarded as practically the first example in this kind. For Rucellai's poem belongs more properly to another class, which was to become increasingly popular, as direct imitation of the classical authors in their own tongue went out of fashion-that is to say, the rendering of their works into the vernacular. Le Api, though expanded, it may be said diluted, by additions of the author's, is in substance, a translation of the Fourth Géorgie. Alamanni, on the other hand, while borrowing freely from Virgil wherever his

matter afforded an opening, has introduced so much that is his own, both in the handling of the theme proper and in the more ornamental parts, that his work may fairly be called original. The influence of the classical tradition is plainly seen in the invocations of pagan deities with which every book opens, and generally in the exclusive employment of the pagan pantheon, as well as in the adulatory passages addressed to Francis I and other members of the French royal House. Something of the didactic spirit pervades Alamanni's chivalric romance, Giron il Cortege. In this curious poem the author attempts to adapt to the taste of a generation which had shed the last remnant of medievalism and had almost ceased to understand banter, a form of poetry which a large admixture of the humorous element had made acceptable to its fathers. He eschews all the supernatural business of wizard and fairy; and the narrative is constructed solely with the view of exhibiting the merits of its hero, and demonstrating by his example the beauties of the virtue which he illustrates. Alamanni keeps, it has been said, a school of courtesy open to all comers, and gives a complete course on the subject. In spite of the somewhat eccentric judgment of Varchi, who to the scandal of later Italian critics is said to have preferred it to the Furioso, the Giron is now forgotten ; but the Coltwazione can still be read with pleasure by those upon whom the languid cadence of Italian blank verse (a recent, and perhaps not very fortunate introduction of Giovan Giorgio Trissino) does not pall. It has also a special claim on our regard as the first notable essay in a class of poetry for which the English genius has shown itself specially adapted. In a sense the Coltwazione may be said to be the spiritual progenitor of the Seasons, the Task, and the Excursion.

Something has already been said of the tendency shown by literature in the days of its greatest vigour and brilliancy to centre itself in the Courts of the various Italian Princes. To the Courts the custom was no doubt beneficial, humanising and refining a society which otherwise might not improbably have found its sole recreation in the coarser forms of animal enjoyment; but to letters it was not an unmixed advantage. The desire to please and amuse a patron, or to earn the immediate applause of a coterie, does not conduce to the production of the highest and most durable class of work. When the change in the political circumstances of Italy had shorn the Courts of their brilliancy, and at the same time rendered independent thinking dangerous, the tendency to fall back on the coterie for encouragement becomes more conspicuous ; and it is from this time that we may date the widespread development of Academies in Italy. The idea was of course not new. Soon after the middle of the fifteenth century a number of humanists had founded an academy at Rome for the purpose of research and learned intercourse. For one or another reason, however, this had fallen under suspicion, and its members were severely treated by Paul II. It revived again in the

palmy days of Leo X, to be finally broken up by the Sack of Rome, which scattered its members, or such as escaped with their lives, abroad throughout Italy-many in a state of indigence, most with the loss of books and all portable property. The Platonic Academy, founded at Florence by Cosimo de' Medici, fostered by Lorenzo, and continued, perhaps in a somewhat more social and less learned form by the famous meetings in the gardens of Bernardo Rucellai, survived till 1522, when a conspiracy, in which several of its members were involved, against Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, then governing Florence, caused the execution of some, and the exile of others, among the latter being Alamanni. The Neapolitan Academy, which numbered among its earliest members the humanist Beccadelli, called Panormita, and Pontanus, lasted long enough to include Sannazaro, but seems soon after the beginning of the century to have broken up into a number of smaller societies. These, as often happened, came under suspicion as centres of heterodox opinions, and perhaps also of political disaffection ; and the Viceroy, Don Pedro de Toledo, who had been baffled by the united opposition of the nobles and the commons in an attempt to introduce the Inquisition, found it expedient to dissolve them. In the place of these older institutions, founded for the most part in the interest of serious learning, there sprang up all over Italy a host of bodies, bearing fantastic names, and partaking largely of the character of mutual admiration societies. At best they occupied themselves with polite literature, laying down rules for composition and the use of words, or debating trivial points of taste. Among the best known were the Umidi of Florence (afterwards the Florentine Academy), the Infiammatï of Padua, and the Intronati of Siena. The most famous of all, and the only one that has survived till the present day, was the Accademia dtlla Crusca, founded in 1572 by Grazzini and other members of the Florentine Academy. Their great vocabulary of the language, though belonging to the prescientific era of philology, was the earliest attempt made to produce a full record of a modern language, and is still of great service. It was constantly reprinted with improvements between 1612 and 1738, and is at present under revision. One not unimportant result of this close attention to style and structure was that Italian, having been the latest of the European tongues to come into existence as a literary language, was the earliest of them to complete the process and emerge in the form which has practically continued till our own day. Before the end of the sixteenth century, at a time when French to some extent, English and German still more, retained traces of archaism, Italian was being written to all intents and purposes, both in prose and verse, as the best writers write it now. This early perfecting of the instrument of expression, by making the thing to be said of less importance than the mode of saying it, doubtless contributed to the dethronement of Italian literature from the position which up till about the middle of that century it had held in Europe.

It is significant that among the host of translations from Italian into English which were made during the reigns of Elizabeth and James I, a very small proportion consists of works published after 1560. On the other hand, translations from ancient authors into Italian become increasingly popular. Anguillara's Metamorphoses, Annibale Caro's jEneid, Davanzati's Tacitus, have done as much for the fame of those translators as all their other works ; while Francesco Strozzi's Thucydldes, the architect Andrea Palladio's Cœsar, and Lorenzo Vendramin's translations from Cicero are examples of the same kind of work by less known writers. Even the Latin works of Italian authors began to appear in a vernacular dress. Thus Sansovino made a new version of the treatise of Peter Crescentius on agriculture, stating in his dedication to Duke Guidubaldo of Urbino that, though the Duke knew plenty of Greek and Latin, he was sure that he preferred "this most sweet and most honoured tongue," and reedited Acciaiuoli's translation of Leonardo Bruni's History of Florence, the Latin original being yet unprinted. A similar fate befell Dante's treatise De Vulgari Eloquentia, a translation of which by Giovan Giorgio Trissino appeared in 1529, while the original had to wait yet half a century for publication. The revenge of the vernacular may be said to have been complete.

The change which passed over literature in the period under consideration is perhaps nowhere better illustrated than in the careers of Bernardo and Torquato Tasso, father and son. Their joint lives almost exactly coincide with the century, extending from 1493 to 1595. Bernardo, the father, lost his own parents early, but showing literary promise was educated at the cost of his uncle, a bishop. Following the usual practice of men of letters, he attached himself in course of time to various persons of rank. In 1528 he was with the Duchess Renée of Ferrara, and was thus at that Court during the later years of Ariosto's residence in the city. Afterwards he was for many years attached to Ferrante Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno, with whom, or in his service, he went at various times to Tunis, Spain, Flanders, and Germany. At forty-six he married, and began to set seriously to work on the romantic epic which was the ultimate ambition of every poet at that time-more than sixty works of the kind are said to have appeared in the course of the century. He had already a reputation as a writer of the fashionable pastorals and sonnets. He had also experimented not unsuccessfully with various forms of stanza, shorter than those of the old canzone, including the Spanish guintillas. For the theme of his great work, at the instance of certain Spanish nobles, he adopted the tale of Amadis de Gaula, which in both Spanish and French versions had achieved such a popularity that the sage La Noue a little later felt obliged to inveigh against it as the type of the romances on which in his view his countrymen wasted their time. Its influence on the career of Don Quixote will also be remembered. Much of Bernardo Tasso's Amadigi was composed under

difficulties. His patron fell into disgrace as having taken a prominent part in the opposition to the Viceroy's scheme of introducing the Inquisition, and transferred to the French interest such support as after banishment and confiscation it remained in his power to give. Tasso, involved in the same condemnation, lost all his property. His wife died; and he with difficulty obtained the custody of his son Torquato, a boy of twelve. Finally he found hospitality at the Court of Urbino. Here the poem was completed, not without much consultation of Speroni (whose advice to write in blank verse Tasso had happily disregarded), Varchi, Giraldi, and many other eminent critics. Here we see the academic system in full operation. Rather than rely on their own judgment and face criticism, writers had come to prefer forestalling it, by shaping their work in accordance with the taste of all potential critics. The natural result followed. The Amadigi, published at Venice in 1560, was received with general applause, and has ever since sunk deeper and deeper into oblivion, in spite of the admitted beauty of its versification and the skill of its construction.

Torquato Tasso (1544-95), when his father died, had already achieved some reputation by his Rinaldo, published, somewhat to his father's regret, when he was but eighteen. He was then in the service of Cardinal Ludovico of Este. For him, as for so many of his predecessors, the Court of Ferrara provided shelter and livelihood during the greater part of his troubled existence ; and, if his relations with its lord were less happy than those of earlier poets, there seems no reason to ascribe the fact to any intentional unkindness on the part of his patron, still less to any voluntary misbehaviour of his own. Tasso's life has been recorded more frequently and more minutely, perhaps, than that of any other poet ancient or modern ; while his character and conduct, his personal affairs generally, have given rise to an all but unparalleled amount of discussion. Tasso was a man of true poetical genius, of a singularly refined and sensitive nature. His early life, surrounded by domestic troubles, -and largely spent in wandering with his father from place to place, furnished the worst training possible for a nervous lad of precocious intellect. As he grew up, the prospect must, to a man of imagination, have been profoundly depressing. The only career open to ' a young man in Italy by which any fame could be earned was that of letters ; and even there the chances were not very promising, with the inquisitor on the one hand, and the pedant on the other, ready to pounce upon all that showed boldness of thought or originality of expression. From the latter we gather that Tasso suffered much ; of the Inquisition he had a constant, though causeless dread. In 1575, and again in 1579, we find him going out of his way to consult inquisitors as to some imagined heterodoxy which he fancied himself to have detected in his own opinions. Self-consciousness, the constant anxiety to know what people think of you, was the malady of the age; and Tasso

was its first and most illustrious victim. The sense of humour, which is, perhaps, its best antidote, had perished in Italy ; nor has it often revived since. From one end of the Gerusalemme to the other there is not a laugh. On the contrary, the fountain of laughter is a perilous snare, which good knights are bidden to shun with disdainful visage as something impious and soul-destroying. It was this fatal tendency to take life too seriously, that, more than the vivacity of his wit or the keenness and accuracy of his apprehension, brought Tasso, at the age of thirty-six, to the pitiful condition which moved Montaigne to anger even more than to pity. Tasso has been called "the heir of Dante, gone astray in mid-Renaissance." With Dante's faith and moral seriousness, however, he failed to combine Dante's power of defiance ; and the lack of it brought him to the madhouse. The possession of it, however, would probably have brought him to the halter and stake.

Montaigne praises Tasso for judgment and ingenuity. The former quality he showed very clearly in his selection of the theme for his great poem, and in his decision to adopt for its treatment the epic rather than the romantic manner. The Carolingian and Arthurian cycles had not perhaps possessed much "actuality," even for the generations which welcomed and enjoyed the Morgante and the two Orlandos; but they lent themselves admirably to the sub-flavour of burlesque, in which, as has been seen, those generations delighted. What could be made of them when treated seriously and with reverence the Amadigi was there to show ; and Tasso, dutiful son though he was, could not but be aware that such success as his father's poem had had was due less to its own interest than to the personal esteem in which the writer was held by some whose verdict would set the fashion, and that it was not likely to be repeated. The Crusades, on the other hand, were sufficiently remote to have become heroic, yet sufficiently recent to retain some vital interest, especially at a moment when the Muslim power was a real and pressing terror to Christendom. It was characteristic of the age, but perhaps a testimony to the enduring qualities of the poem, that a controversy, futile but none the less animated, at once arose as to its merits in comparison with the Furioso. It lasted for at least two hundred years ; by the end of which time critics began to see that the two were not in pari materia, and that personal preference was no fit canon of judgment.

If the Renaissance, with its materialism, its self-satisfaction, its reluctance to look facts in the face, had led to the decay of imaginative literature, it may claim, perhaps in virtue of these very qualities, to have cleared the ground in other directions, and made possible the development of other branches of literary composition, which in their modern form took their rise in the latter half of the century. Vasari's Lives of the Painters appeared in 1550, when its author had just entered on his fortieth year. Modern research may have detected blunders

in it ; but at any rate Vasari undertook his work, as his account of its inception shows, with a full consciousness of the value of accuracy, and we may suppose with an honest intention of achieving it. It marks the first stirring of the scientific spirit in history, the desire to get at facts first. Biography becomes increasingly common ; and, just as ordered history takes the place of the older chronicles, valuable in their way, and often charming in their artlessness, but for the most part devoid of criticism or arrangement, so the domestic records, which had been frequent in Italian families, pass into regular memoirs, like those of Benvenuto Cellini, the spiritual father it may be said of all who have written autobiography. The kindred art of letter-writing, not unsuccessfully cultivated by Berni, Casa, and others, reached, so far as the modern vernaculars are concerned, after the middle of the Cinquecento as high a stage as it ever held. The supremacy in this, as in memoir writing, subsequently passed to France ; but Italy holds her own at first with the elegant and copious correspondence of the younger Tasso, and the racy letters full of keen observation written to his friends at home by the Florentine merchant, Filippo Sassetti (1540-88), from Portugal and India, in 1580 and the following years. In reading these letters, which but for an occasional Florentinism, and a little more ceremony in address than is now common, might have been written in the last century, it is hard to realise that the writer might, so far as dates go, have received the episcopal benediction of Monsignore Bembo. The mere statement of the fact may serve to remind us that the real line of separation between the medieval and the modern world has to be sought, not in the fifteenth, still less in the fourteenth century, but about-rather after than before-the middle of the sixteenth.