Tassoni, Alessandro

, an Italian poet of great fame, was born at Modeua, in 1565. He was early left an orphan, and exposed to many difficulties, yet he cultivated the knowledge of the learned languages with great assiduity, and, in 1597, entered into the service of cardinal Ascanio Colonna, as his secretary. With him he went into Spain; and, after the death of that patron, contrived to be introduced into the court of Charles Emanuel duke of Savoy. Not agreeing with the prince cardinal, son of the duke, he retired, after a time, and sought an asylum | with cardinal Ludovisio, who gave him a pension of 400 Iloman crowns, and apartments in his palace. After the death of this cardinal, he had recourse at length to his natural sovereign Francis I. d'Este, duke of Modena, from whom he received an honorary salary. He died in 1635, and was buried in N St. Peter’s. He was a member of the academy of the Umoristi. His character was lively and agreeable, notwithstanding his turn for satire.

His works are, 1. his “Secchia rapita,” or rape of the bucket, which the Italians in general consider as the first model of a mock-heroic poem that was given in their language. It seems, say the critics of that nation, that the graces clothed this poem with all their ornaments. A delicate burlesque, with the art of joining great things to small; an unaffected lightness, and consummate elegance, concurred in it to form a complete Italian model of an heroi-comic poem, which will in time be admired by strangers. The edition most valued is that of Ronciglione iti 1624. It was translated into French by Peter Perrault, 1678, in two vols. 12mo; and again by M. de Cedars, in 1759, in three volumes. 2. “Considerazione sopra il Petrarca.” He thought Petrarch, great as he was, too much imitated, and tried in this publication to lessen the rage for that kind of imitation. In that he succeeded. 3. He published also “Pensieri diversi,” which he made a very amusing book. His attack upon the imitators of Petrarch occasioned a contest between him and Gius. Aromatari; and that produced finally, 4. “La Tenda rossa, risposta di Girolamo Nomisenti (Alessandro Tassoni) ai dialoghi de Falcidio Melampodio,” (Giuseppe de gli Aromatori,) Francfort, 1613, 8vo. His will is also cited as a piece of humour, and there are some productions by him still remaining in manuscript; among the rest, one entitled “Esequie della monarchia di Spagna.” Many interesting particulars respecting Tassoni, accompanied with contemporary literary history, and much sound criticism, has just been given in “Memoirs of Aiessandro Tassoni, &c. By the late Joseph Cooper Walker, esq. M. R. I. A.1815, 8vo; edited by his brother, Sam. Walker, esq. No other reference can hereafter be wanting. 1


Memoirs by Walker.