Mascardi, Augustin

, a distinguished person in the republic of letters, was born at Sarzana, in the state of Genoa, in 1591. He spent the early partofhis life among the Jesuits, and afterwards became chamberlain to pope Urban VIII. He vvas naturally so eloquent, that this same pope, merely to exercise his talent, founded a professorship of rhetoric for him, in the college de la Sapienza, in 1628, and settled upon him for life a pension of 500 crowns. Mascardi filled the chair with great reputation; but his love of letters made him neglect the management of his affairs, and he was always poor, and always in debt. He is described in “Erytbrsei Pinacotheca/‘ as never being able to supply his own wants, but by borrowing from others, and removing from place to place, without a fixed habitation. He wrote a great many compositions in verse and prose, the principal of which is entitled,” Dell’ arte historica.“Of this he printed so large an edition at his own expence, that he would have been a considerable loser by it, if a great number of copies had not been sold at Paria by the influence of cardinal Mazarine. He had some literary contests with several authors. In his” History of the Con* spiracy of the Compte de Fiesco" he has very frequently attacked the religion of Hubert Folietta; and in his other books he used some writers in the same way, which occasioned him to be attacked in his turn. The objections which* were made to him, together with his answers, were added to the second edition of the history just mentioned. H& died at Sarzana, in 1640, in his forty-ninth year. 2


Niceron, vol. XXVII. Gen. Dict. —Moreri. —Tiraboschi.