Tansillo, Lewis

, an Italian poet, whose works were once proscribed by the inquisition, and having become scarce, are therefore accounted valuable, was born at Nola about 1520. He passed a great part of his life attached to the service of don Pedro de Toledo, viceroy of Naples, and don Garcias de Toledo, commander of the gallies in the same kingdom. The period of his death is not precisely known, but he is said to have been judge of Gaieta in 1569; and, as he was then in a very bad state of health, is supposed to have died soon after. He had the reputation of a very good poet, and his productions, as far as they are now known, are these 1. “II Vendeminiatore,” the Vintager, a poem in which he described in too free a manner, the licence of the inhabitants in the vicinity of Nola, at the time of the vintages; Naples, 1534; Venice, 1549, 4to. On this account all his poems were put into the Index expurgatorius. Mortified at this rigour, he addressed an ode to the pope, asserting, that, though his poem | was licentious, his life had not been so; remonstrating against the inclusion of his innocent productions in the sentence with the culpable piece; and declaring that he was employed in a poem upon the tears of St. Peter, whose merits, he trusted, would atone for his offence, and procure him deserved honour. In consequence of this ode, when the next edition of the Index expurgatorius appeared, not only the innoxious poems, but the Vendemmiatore also, were omitted, as if the repentance of the poet had purified his poem! 2. “II Cavallarizzo,Vicenza, 8vo. 4. Sonnets, Songs, Stanzas, and some Comedies, Lastly, in 1767, professor Ranza published an inedited poem of Tansillo’s, entitled “Balia,” which has been elegantly translated into English by Mr. Roscoe, under the title “The Nurse,1798, 4to. 1


Tiraboschi.—Roscoe’s preface.