Balducci, Francis

, a celebrated Italian poet of the seventeenth century, was distinguished in his youth for his attachment to polite literature, and some verses of acknowledged excellence. He was a native of Palermo, and on account of his talents, very early admitted into the academy of the Reaccensi, but his confined circumstances obliged him to leave his native country in pursuit of better fortune. He went first, for a short time, to Naples, and thence to Rome, where he entered into the army, and served in Hungary in the papal army under the command of John Francis Aldobrandini. He returned afterwards to Rome, and having resumed his studies, was received with great honour into the academy of the Humourists. Here his poetry, his anacreontics, and particularly the encomiastic verses he wrote on the distinguished persons of the court of pope Urban VIII. procured him fame, and might have enriched him, if he had not been deficient in the article of ceconomy, which some of his biographers ascribe to his extravagance, and others to his charity. It is certain, however, that he became poor, and was obliged to enter into the service of some gentlemen in the capacity of secretary, but either from feeling the miseries of dependarpce, or from an unsettled turn, he very frequently changed his masters. Erythraeus relates many stories of the manner in which he shifted for subsistence, which are not much to his credit, but the veracity of Erythneus on this as well as many other occasions, has been called in question by contemporary biographers of good authority, and whatever truth may be in his account, we do not find that Balducci lost the esteem of the learned at Rome. At length he took prders, and officiated as chaplain in the hospital of St. | Sixte, but having afterwards been attacked by an illness at the house of a nobleman, who had a high regard for him, and would have administered to all his wants, he caused himself to be removed to the hospital of St. John Latran, where he died in 1642, or according to Crescembini, either in 1645 or 1649. His works were, 1. “Tributo di Parnasso alia Maesta Cesareo di Ferdinando III. d' Austria,Rome, 1638, 4to. 2. “La Pace Urbana,Naples, 1632, 4to. 3. “Poesie degli Accademici Fantastici di Roma,Rome, 1637. 4. “Rime, parte prima,Rome, 1630, 1645, 12mo. 5. “Rime, parte seconda,Rome, 1646. All these were collected, and twice published at Venice, 1655 and 1663, 12mo. He also wrote some “Canzoni Siciliane,” and prefaces to part of the works of his friend Stigliani. 1

1 Chaufepie’s —Dict. Hist.orique.