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credit of belonging to it, or to see and to be discourses on various texts of scripture; and seen, rather than to study, he used to call the second several discourses and treatises of “ University tulips," who only made a tem- churches, and the worship of God therein. porary gaudy appearance, but were good for The third book contains his Clavis et Commennothing. Soon after he had taken the degree of tiones Apocalypticæ ; Opuscula nonulla ad rem M. A. being invited in the vacation into the apocalypticam spectantia ; a paraphrase and country, to the house of a relation who was a exposition of St. Peter II. 3 ; the
apostacy of knight, his curiosity led him to observe the the latter times; and Daniel's weeks, with two falconer, while he was feeding his hawk, and other tracts upon Daniel. The fourth book he began to praise the bird, by saying," what consists of epistles, being answers to divers a brave sharp bill she has !” “ Bill ?" said the letters of learned men; and the fifth confalconer, “it is a beak, sir.” By and by he tains fragmenta sacra, or miscellanies of diviadded, “what noble claws she has ! “Claws, nity. In his observations on demons and sir ?" said he, “ they are pounces.” After
After- demoniacs, Mr. Mede will be found to have wards he commended her fine feathers. led the way to the sentiments advanced by “ Feathers, sir ? they are plumes.” Lastly, he Lardner, Sykes, and Farmer, on those subjects. praised her beautiful tail. “ Tail, sir ? it is a Life prefixed to the author's works. Bing. Britan. train.” Mr. Mede felt á little mortified at Gen. Dict. Brit. Biog.-M. being thus schooled on account of his mistakes MEDICI, COSMO DE', an illustrious citizen about the terms of art, and believing that the of Florence, was born in that city in 1398. falconer would expose him for his ignorance He was the eldest son of John de' Medici, who before his fellow servants, contrived the plan hadacquired vast wealth by his commercial conof a good humoured retort upon him. The cerns, and been honoured with the highest of. falconer, he observed, was accustomed to wait fices in the republic, which he filled with exat table; and therefore taking his opportunity emplary virtue and patriotism. Cosmo from three or four days afterwards, when he thought his youth engaged in the commerce established that the lecturing which he had received was by his house, and greatly increased its property; quite forgotten, he engaged the company in and on the death of John in 1428, he s!icceedproposing and solving riddles. While they ed to the influence possessed by him as head of were exercising their ingenuity, turning sud. that powerful family, which rendered him the denly round to the falconer, he asked him, first citizen of the state, though without any “ Friend, what kind of bird is that which has superiority of rank or title. Notwithstanding neither bill, nor claws, nor feather, nor tail ?” the great prudence and moderation of his pubPerceiving that the man was puzzled, and in- lic conduct, the discontent of the Florentines capable of giving answer: "why then,” said with the bad success of the war against Lucca Mr. Mede, I will tell you. It is your hawk; gave occasion to the preponderance of a party that hath no bill, but beak; no claws, but headed by Rinaldo de' Albizi, which, in 1433, pounces; no feathers, but plumes; no tail, after filling the magistracies with their own but a train." “ There was I even with him,” creatures, seized the person of Cosmo, and would he triumphantly say. During his life. proceeded judicially against him, on no other time, besides his “ Clavis” and “ Commenta- charge than that his influence was hazardous rius” already noticed, Mr. Mede published only to the state. On the news of his danger sea treatise, entitled, “ Churches: or, appro- veral of the princes and states of Italy interpriate Places for God's Worship ever since the fered in his behalf; and in conclusion, he was Apostles Time,” 1638, quarto ; and another, banished to Padua for ten years, and several entitled, “the Name Altar, or, OTSIAETHPION, other members and friends of the Medici anciently given to the holy Table,” 1637, family underwent a similar punishment. He quarto. After his death, several pieces were was received with great respect by the Veneseparately published from his MS$. ; and a tian government, and having obtained permiscollection of the whole of his works was given sion to reside in any part of its territories, he by Dr. Worthington, in 1677, in two volumes took up his abode at Venice. After his retreat, folio, entitled, “ the Works of the pious and the reviving affection of the people towards profoundly learned Joseph Mede, B. D. him and his house rendered the situation of some time Fellow of Christ's-college in Cam- Rinaldo very difficult and insecure; and within bridge,” with a general preface, and the author's a year from the banishment of Cosmo, his rival life, with an appendix. This collection is di- was obliged to quit Florence, and he returned vided into five books: the first containing fifty amidst the acclamations of his fellow-citizens... Though inclined by principle and disposition appearance and demeanour assumed a state to lenity, he was obliged to offer some victims beyond that of a citizen in a republic, and to his future security ; and the gonfalonier who avoided every open exertion of authority which had
pronounced his sentence, with a few others could lead the Florentines to suspect that they of that party, suffered death. The exiles were had lost their liberties. He married his two numerous, though Cosmo recalled several, of sons, John and Peter, into the families of rewhose peaceable conduct he was assured. putable citizens. He conversed freely with all Measures were taken to restrict the choice of orders of men, and there was scarcely a citizen magistrates to the partisans of the Medici; and whom he had not some time obliged by loans alliances were formed with the neighbouring of money of which he never expected the repowers for the purpose of supporting and per- payment. His immense wealth was not invipetuating the system by which Florence was dious, because he chiefly expended it upon the thenceforth to be governed. Various attemp public, so that it was a kind of common fund were made by the exiles to force their return, in which all had an interest. His command of but they only served to confirm the authority money was, indeed, on various occasions of of Cosmo and his house. The manner in great service to the state, as it enabled him to which he employed his prosperity has conferred defeat the schemes of hostile powers by interthe greatest honour on his memory. The cepting their resources. richest private citizen in Europe, he surpassed After the death of Neri di Capponi, a man many sovereign princes in the munificence of great abilities, who acted in perfect union with which he patronised literature and the with Cosmo, the political state of Florence fine arts. He assembled round him some of became disordered, and parties were formed the most learned men of the age, who had hostile to the predominance of the Medici. begun to cultivate the Grecian philosophy and The popularity of Cosmo, however, was not to letters. He established, at Florence, an aca- be shaken, and while he withdrew from public demy expressly for the elucidation of the Pla- business, he retained the influence, of his benetonic philosophy, at the head of which he fits and virtues. He had lost his second son, placed the celebrated Marsilio Ficino. He on whom he had chiefly depended for continucollected from all parts, by means of his foreign ing the authority of his family, as his eldest, correspondences, manuscripts of the Greek, Piero, laboured under various bodily infirmiLatin, and oriental languages, wirich were the ties. Under the impression of melancholy foundation of the Laurentian library. To the views of futurity, as he was carried through the arts of painting, sculpture and architecture, apartments of his palace a short time before his which were then beginning to revive in the death, he could not forbear exclaiming, “ This is pure taste of antiquity, he gave great encou- too great a house for so small a family !” His ragement by the vast sums he expended in the latter days were, however, cheered by the honourpublic edifices of the city, as well as in his pri- able testimony to his merit afforded by his fellowvate palaces, which last however did not sur- citizens in a public decree, conferring upon him pass in magnificence the measure of a wealthy the noble title of Father of his country, which was citizen. He also collected the valuable remains inscribed on his tomb, and has ever since adhered of ancient art in statues, vases, gems, and to his name. Yet his own ideas of the duty of medals; and all his treasures were made libe- a citizen to his country, and of a man to his rally accessible to the curious. He himself species, went even beyond his performances; for cultivated in advanced age the studies which he was never known to express regret but
upon the avocations of his youth had not permitted two accounts—that he had not done all the him to pursue; and found letters and philo- good to mankind that he had wished-and that sophy the best companions of his hours of he had not sufficiently aggrandised his country. retirement. This attachment to the sentiments He died in 1464, in the sixty-sixth year of his of antiquity did not render him indifferent to age. Mod. Univers. Hist.-Roscoe's Life of the religion of his country; and he displayed Lorenzo de' Medici.-A. his piety according to the fashion of the age by MEDICI, LORENZO DE', surnamed the numerous religious foundations munificently Magnificent, grandson of the preceding, and endowed. He even erected a noble hospital son of Piero de' Medici, by his wife Lucretia at Jerusalem for the relief of distressed pil- Tornabuoni, was born on January 1, 1448. grims.
From an early age he gave proof of great naThe spirit of his government was mildness tural talents, which were cultivated by a careand moderation. He never in his personal ful education. He had the advantage of the instructions of some of the most learned men on the part of the Florentine republic. On of the age in the languages and philosophy of this occasion he was invested with the office of antiquity, and the principles of polite litera- treasurer to the holy see; and he took the opture. To the latter he displayed a decided in- portunity of his abode at Rome to make valuclination by some early poetical compositions able additions to the remains of ancient art alin his native tongue ; but his tastes were by no ready collected by his family. One of the first means exclusive, and he seemed of that happy public occurrences after he conducted the helin composition which is formed for excelling in of government was a revolt of the inhabitants every thing that becomes an object of attention. of Volterra, on account of a dispute with the He was not less addicted to active sports and Florentine republic. A difference of opinion laborious exercises, than to the studies of the prevailed in the council of state concerning the closet; and was equally dextrous in the ma- plan to be pursued in suppressing it; and in opnagement of business and in the pursuits of arts position to the advice of Soderini, who recom. and science. At the death of his grandfather mended conciliatory measures, Lorenzo adopt. Cosmo he was about the age of sixteen; and ed the means of force, which terminated in the as his father's weak constitution rendered him sack of that unfortunate city-an event that little fitted for taking a lead in public affairs, appeared to give him much concern. His reit was thought proper immediately to initiate gard to literature, which never cea ed to be Lorenzo in political life. He was sent to visit the favourite recreation of his leisure, was the principal courts of Italy for the purpose of laudably displayed in 1472 by the lead he took forining a personal connection with the rulers, in the re-establishment of the academy of Pisa. and making observations on the circumstances He took up his residence for a considerable of each state. The disturbances which arose time in that city for the purpose of completing at Florence on account of the incapacity of the work, exerted himself in selecting the most Piero to preserve the ascendancy of his house, eminent professors, and contributed to it a and the ambitious views of his rival Luca large sum from his private fortune, in addition Pitti, soon found employment for the political to that granted by the state of Florence. talents of young Lorenzo. He strengthened less attached than his great ancestor Cosino to the interests of his family in an interview with the Platonic philosophy, he was a zealous faking Ferdinand at Naples, who was impressed vourer of the academy established for its prowith a high idea of his early wisdom; and the motion, and instituted an annual festival in prudence and vigour of his conduct at home honour of the memory of Plato, which was were materially instrumental in restoring the conducted with a singular literary splendour. superiority of the Medici. In 1469 Lorenzo He also composed an Italian poem on the married Clarice, the daughter of a member of doctrines of that philosopher, which did great the noble Roman family of Orsini; a match honour to his taste and genius. which his father negotiated for him without While he was thus advancing in a career of consulting his inclinations, but which was pro- prosperity and reputation, a tragical incident was ductive of harmony and mutual affection. In very near depriving his country of his future the same year Piero de' Medici died, leaving services. This was the conspiracy of the his two sons Lorenzo and Giuliano (the latter Pazzi, a numerous and distinguished family in five years younger than the former),the heirs of Florence, the natural rivals of the Medici, his power and property.
though connected with them by affinity. The Immediately after the death of his father, Lo- instigators of the conspiracy, of which the object renzo was waited upon by a deputation of the was the assassination of Lorenzo and his broprincipal inhabitants of Florence, who request- ther, and the destruction of their friends, were ed him to take upon himself that post of head pope Sixtus IV. and his nephew Riario ; and of the republic which Cosmo and Piero had the archbishop of Pisa, Salviati, was the prinoccupied." Notwithstanding his youth, he did cipal agent in the black design. Giacopo de' not hesitate to assume that important trust; Pazzi, the head of that family, gave his name and at the same time he paid due attention to and assistance, and several persons of desperate the continuance of those extensive commercial character undertook to aid in the execution. concerns to which his family had been indebt- Nothing could exceed the atrocity of the plan, ed for their wealth. Upon the accession of which was to assassinate the two brothers in a Sixtus IV. to the papacy, Lorenzo was deputed church at the instant of the elevation of the with other eminent citizens to congratulate him host. In the month of April 1478, the young
cardinal Riario, apostolic legate, a guest in the was dubious. He therefore, in the close of palace of Lorenzo, proceeded to the church of 1479, took the bold resolution of paying a visit the Reparata, where the two intended victims to the king of Naples, and without any prewere present. At the signal agreed upon, one vious security, trusting his life and liberty to a Bandini plunged his dagger into the breast of declared enemy. He embarked at Pisa, and Giuliano, who fell, and was immediately dis- on landing at Naples was received with great patched. A priest, who with his companion honour by the king, who, though of a severe had undertaken to do the same office for Lo- character, could not but be struck with such renzo, missed his stroke, and gave him only a an instance of heroic confidence. In his conslight wound. He drew his sword and repel- versations with that monarch he was able so led the assailants, who fled. Bandini came up well to plead his cause, that a treaty of mutual with his dagger streaming with the blood of friendship and defence was agreed upon beGiuliano, but was laid dead by a servant of tween them; and at the end of three months the Medici. Meantime the friends of Lorenzo Lorenzo re-embarked for Pisa. Immediately assembled round him, and conducted him home after he had sailed, Ferdinand, who had rein safety. · An attack upon the palace of go- ceived fresh overtures from the pope, dispatchvernment where the magistrates were sitting, ed messengers to urge him to return; but by other conspirators, failed of success; and Lorenzo, well satisfied with having once esthe people, attached to the Medici, collecting caped the danger, did not choose to incur a new in crowds, put to death or apprehended the hazard. Sixtus persevered in the war, till a assassins, whose designs were thus entirely descent upon the coast of Italy by Mahomet frustrated, with the exception of the death of II. excited such an alarm, that he consented to Giuliano. Instant justice was inflicted on the a peace upon the humble submission of the criminals. The archbishop of Pisa was hung Florentine deputies to his pontifical repriout of the palace window in his sacerdotal mands. Tobes, and Giacopo de' Pazzi, with one of his A domestic danger soon after succeeded. nephews, suffered the same fate. Lorenzo Lorenzo's inveterate enemy Riario engaged one did himself honour by his efforts to restrain Frescobaldi, a Florentine exile, to assassinate the fury of the populace, and induce them to him in a church in the month of May, 1481; commit to the magistrates the further pursuit but the plot was discovered, and the agent and of the guilty. The name and arms of the his accomplices were seized and executed. Pazzi family were suppressed, its members From that time he generally appeared in public were banished, and Lorenzo rose still higher in surrounded with friends as a guard, a circunthe esteem and affection of his fellow-citizens. stance which has been represented by his ene
A storm was, however, impending. The mies as a symptom of tyranny. His political pope, inflamed to rage by the defeat and ex- conduct as head of the Florentine republic was posure of his treachery and the ignominious chiefly directed to the preservation of the punishment of the ecclesiastics concerned, balance of power among the Italian states. breathed nothing but vengeance.
He excom. Thus he undertook the defence of the duke of municated Lorenzo, and the magistrates of Ferrara against the pope and the Venetians. Florence, laid an interdict upon the whole The death of Sixtus IV. freed him from an adterritory, and forming a league with the king versary who never ceased to bear him ill-will; of Naples, prepared to invade the Florentine and he was able to secure himself a friend in dominions. Lorenzo was not deficient in ac- his successor Innocent VIII. of the family of tivity to guard against the coming dangers. Cibo. The capture of Pietra-Santa, and the reHe appealed to all the surrounding potentates covery of Sarzana from the Genoese, were sucfor the justice of his cause; and he was affec- cesses that displayed the vigour of his administionately supported by his fellow-citizens, who tration, while the protection he afforded to the rejected with indignation the persuasions of smaller states in the vicinity indicated his mothe king of Naples to deliver up or banish him. deration and love of peace.' In fine, he conHostilities began, and were carried on with va- ducted the republic of Florence to a degree of rious success in two campaigns. But though tranquillity and prosperity which it had scarcethe Florentines kept their enemies at a distance, ly ever before known; and by procuring the Lorenzo could not but be uneasy at the conti- institution of a deliberative body of the nature of nuance of a burthensome war of which he was a senate, he corrected the too democratical plan personally the object, and of which the event of its constitution.
In the encouragement of literature and the not less conspicuous than those which he renarts, Lorenzo distinguished himself beyond any dered to letters. It has already been mentioned of his predecessors, as might have been ex- in the life of Cosmo, that the collection of the pected from the superior elegance and culti- most valuable remains of ancient taste and vation of his own genius. His proficiency in skill was an object of that great man's attenItalian poetry would have conferred distinction tion. His treasures were greatly augmented even upon one who had no other merit to boast by Lorenzo, who, with a spirit infinitely suof. The productions of Lorenzo de' Medici (says perior to that of an ordinary collector, proposed Mr. Roscoe) are distinguished by a vigour of
vigour of to himself the improvement of modern art as imagination, an accuracy of judgment, and an the principal end of his magnificence in this elegance of style, which afforded the first great point. He accordingly appropriated his garexample of improvement, and entitle him, al- dens in Florence to the establishment of an most exclusively, to the honourable appellation academy for the study of the antique, which “ of the restorer of Italian literature." This is he furnished with a profusion of statues, busts, said with reference to the singular degradation and other relics of art, the most perfect in their into which it had fallen from the period of kind that he could procure. This he freely Dante, Petrarcha, and Boccaccio. His compo- opened to promising pupils of all conditions ; sitions are sonnets, canzoni, sestine, and other and the success with which his liberal plan lyric pieces, some longer works in stanzas, was attended, it is sufficient to say that it was some comic satires and jocose carnival songs, the school of Michael-Angelo. The art of and various sacred poems under the title of architecture he encouraged by the numerous orazioni and laude, the latter not the less se- buildings public and private which he erected, rious on account of the licentiousness of some or induced others to erect, in Florence and its of the former. This incongruous mixture is vicinity, after designs furnished by the ablest however so far from being peculiar to the age artists. By these exertions he directly preor the author, that we find it in many modern pared the way for those wonders, which have poets of our own country. Some of these rendered the age denominated from his son pieces, epecially of the lighter kind, in which Leo X. one of the most splendid in the records, he imitated the rustic dialect, became extreme- of mankind for the creations of genius. ly popular.
In his domestic life Lorenzo deserves consi. His regard to literature in general was tes- derable but not unmixed praise.
The variety tified by the extraordinary attention he paid to of his knowledge and versatility of his disposition the augmentation of the Laurentian library, rendered his conversation highly interesting; for which purpose he employed the services of and he was equally happy in the sallies of conlearned men in different parts of Italy, and es- vivial pleasantry, and the acuteness of learned pecially of his most intimate literary friend disputation. The licentiousness which chaand companion Angelo Politiano, who took racterises several of his poems is said to have several journeys in order to discover and pur- tainted his manners with respect to the female chase the valuable remains of antiquity. “I sex, though no particular proofs of this prowish,” said Lorenzo once to him," that the dili- pensity are related by his contemporaries, and gence of Pico and yourself would afford me the harmony of his conjugal connection apsuch opportunities of purchasing books, that I pears to have been uninterrupted. He was a should be obliged even to pledge my furniture very affectionate and attentive father, solicitous to possess them.”, On the discovery of the for the instruction of his children, whom he invaluable art of printing, no one was more placed under the particular care of Politiano, solicitous than Lorenzo to avail himself of it in and was fond of partaking in their sports and procuring editions of the best works of anti- amusements. He seems to have been more quity corrected by the ablest scholars, whose attached to a country than a town life, and labours were rewarded by his munificence. circumstances favoured this disposition. The When the capture of Constantinople by the exigencies of the republic in consequence of Turks caused the dispersion of many learned its wars had obliged him in his own name to Greeks, he made advantage of the circum- borrow large sums, which the negligence or stance to promote the study of the Greek lan- infidelity of his commercial agents and correguage in Italy, and established an academy for spondents rendered it difficult for him to rethat purpose at Florence.
pay; and a decree for the discharge of his His services to the fine arts were certainly debts out of the public treasury was necessary