Gonzaga, Lucretia

, a lady of the sixteenth century, remarkable for her wit and high birth, is chiefly known, and that very imperfectly, from a collection of her letters, printed at Venice in 1552. By these she appears to have been learned, and somewhat of a criticin Aristotle and yEschylus. All the wits of her time are full of their encomiums on her: and Hortensio Landi, besides singing her praises most zealously, dedicated to her a piece, “Upon moderating the passions of the soul,” written in Italian. If, however, it be true that this Horatio Landi wrote the whole of the letters attributed to Lucretia, it is difficult to know what to believe of the history of the latter. Her marriage at the age of fourteen with John Paul Manfroni was unhappy, He engaged in a conspiracy against the duke of Ferrara; was detected and imprisoned by him; but, though condemned, not put to death. Lucretia, in this emergency, applied to all the powers in Europe to intercede for him; and even solicited the grand signior to make himself master of the castle, where her husband was kept. During this time, although she was not permitted to visit him, they could write to each other. But all her endeavours were vain; for he died in prison in 1552, having shewn such an impatience under his misfortunes as made it imagined he lost his senses. She never would listen afterwards to any proposals of marriage, though several were made her. Of four children, which she had, there were but two daughters left, whom she placed in nunneries. All that came from her pen was so much esteemed, that a collection was made e^-en of the notes she wrote to her servants: several of which are to be met witli in the above-mentioned edition of her letters. She died at Mantua in 1576. 1


Gen. Dict. —Tiraboschi.Moreri,