Pallavicino, Ferrante

, one of the wits of Italy, the son of Jerome Pallavicino, was born at Placentia about 1615, or from that to 1620. Less from inclination, than from some family reasons, he entered the congregation of the regular canons of Latran, and took the habit, with the name of Mark Anthony, in their house at Milan. After commencing his studies here with much success, he went to Padua for further proficiency. He then settled at Venice, where he was chosen a member of the academy of the Incogniti. Here he became captivated by a courtezan, whoso charms proved irresistible; and, in order to have the lull enjoyment of them without restraint, he obtained leave from his general to make the tour of France, but in fact continued privately at Venice, while he had the art to impose upon his friends, by sending them frequently, in letters, feigned accounts of his travels through France. He afterwards went to Germany, about 1639, with duke Amalfi in the character of his chaplain. During this residence in Germany, which lasted about sixteen months, he addicted himself to every species of debauchery; and having a turn for satire, employed his pen in repeated attacks on the court of Rome in general, and on the Barbarini family in particular. The chief vehicle of his satire was a publication called “The Courier robbed of his mail,” and this as well as his other works contained so many just censures of the abuses of the court of Rome, that he might have been ranked among those honourable men who had contributed to enlighten his countrymen, had he not been as remarkable for his indecencies, which were so gross that many of his works were obliged to be published under concealed names. His personal attacks on the pope, and the Barbarini family, naturally roused their indignation; and after much search for him, one Charles Morfu, a Frenchman of a vile character, engaged to ensnare him, and | having insinuated himself into his friendship, at length exhorted him to go with him to France. He flattered him with the extraordinary encouragement which was given to men of letters by cardinal Richelieu; and, to deceive him the more, even produced feigned letters from the cardinal, inviting our author to France, and expressing a desire he had to establish in Paris an academy for the Italian tongue, under the direction of Pallavicino. Pallavicino, young, thoughtless, and desperate, and now fascinated by the prospect of gain, left Venice much against the advice of his friends, and went first to Bergamo, where he spent a few days with some of his relations, who entertained his betrayer. They then set out for Geneva, to the great satisfaction of our author, who proposed to get some of his works printed there, which he had not been able to do in Italy. But Morfu, instead of conducting him to Paris, took the road to Avignon; where, crossing the bridge of Soraces, in the county of Venaissin (in the pope’s territories), they were seized by officers on pretence of carrying contraband goods, and confined. Morfu was soon discharged, and liberally rewarded; but Pallavicini, being carried to Avignon, was thrown into prison; and, after being kept there for some months, was brought to trial, and was beheaded in 1643 or 1644. Those who are desirous of farther information respecting this young man’s unfortunate history, may be amply gratified in the prolix: articles drawn up by Bayle, and particularly Marclmnd. His works were first published collectively at Venice, in 1655, 4 vols. 12mo. This edition, according to Marchand, contains only such of his works as had been permitted to beprinted in his life-time. Those which had been prohibited were afterwards printed in 2 vols. 12 mo, at Villafranca, a fictitious name for Geneva, 1660. Among these is a piece called “II divortio Celeste,” which some deny to be his. It is a very coarse satire on the abuses of the Romish church, and was translated and published in English in 1679, under the title of “Ciirist divorced from the church of Rome because of their lewdness,” Lond. 8vo. 1