Andreini, John Baptist

, the son of the two preceding, was born at Florence in 1578, and was also a comedian, and wrote several pieces for the theatre, and some poems. They once had a temporary reputation, but such as have survived to our times, are indebted to particular circumstances, independent of their merit. They are all in that bad style of Italian poetry, of the seventeenth century, peculiar to the school of Marino, and most of them, in the plot and conduct, are irregular and fantastic, and demonstrate a wretched taste in the public. The only piece worthy of our notice is his “Adamo,” a sacred drama in five acts, with chorusses, &c. Milan, 1613 and 1617, with prints designed by Carlo Antonio Proccachini, a celebrated landscape painter of his time, and of the school of the Carracci, but in a wretched style, paradise being represented as full of clipt hedges, square parterres, strait walks, &c. But what is more interesting, Voltaire, in his visit to England in 1727, suggested that Milton took his hint of the Paradise Lost from this drama. This obtained little credit at the time, and was contemptuously rejected by Dr. Johnson in his life of Milton. Mr. Hayley, however, has revived the question, and with considerable advantage to Voltaire’s supposition, and it seems now to be the opinion that the coincidence between Andreini’s plan and Milton’s is too great to be the effect of chance. We have no account of Andreini’s death. 2

2

Biographic Universelle. Hayley and Syuaruons’s Life of Milton, Warten’s Essay on Pope.