Grazzini, Antony Francis

, an Italian scholar and poet of considerable eminence, was born at Florence March 22, 1503, of a noble family, which can be traced as far as the thirteenth century, but was now decayed, as we find that Grazzini in his youth was brought up as an apothecary. He had, however, studied philosophy and the belles lettres, and from the timetliathe acquired some reputation in the literary world, gave up his medical business. In 1540 he became one of the founders of the academy of Florence, which was first called the academy of the Humides, and each member distinguishing himself by some appellation relative to the water, Grazzini adopting that of Lasca, which signifies a roach. From the first establishment of this academy, he was appointed chancellor, and when, some months after, the grand duke changed its name to that of the academy of Florence, he was chosen overseer, or superintendant, an office which he afterwards filled three times. As the number of members, however, increased, the juniors began to make new regulations without consulting the founders, and a schism broke out, attended with so many unpleasant circumstances, that Grazzini withdrew, and became the founder of a new academy, known still by the name of La Crusca. The object of this society was to polish the Italian language, to fix a standard for it, to point out such authors as might be always models | for those who chose to improve their style, to oppose the progress of false taste; and to sift the flour from the bran of literature, crusca signifying bran. Grazzini was well qualified to assist an academy instituted for these purposes. He hail enriched the language with several choice phrases and new modes of expression, and the academicians have very justly ranked him among those authors to whom they have been obliged for examples, in correcting their great vocabulary. In the mean time his growing fame induced his friend Leonard Salviati to endeavour his re-introduction into the academy of Florence, which was successfully accomplished in 1566, twenty years after he had left it; in return for which he procured admission for Salviati among the Cruscanti. Grazzini died at Florence in February 1583. He was a man of unquestionable genius, spirit, and humour, and wrote with great elegance, and although there are some indelicate passages in his poems, which was the vice of the times, he was a man of strict morals, and even, says his biographer, very religious. Many of his works are lost, and among these some prose tales, and many pieces of poetry. There remain, however, twentyone tales, six comedies, a great number of capitoli, or satirical chapters, and various poems, of which the best edition is that of Florence, 1741, 2 vols. 8vo. His Tales or Novels were printed at Paris, 1756, 8vo, from which some copies have been printed in 4to, under the title of London. An excellent French translation of them appeared in 1775, 2 vols. 8vo, in which nine histories wanting in the third evening are said to be inserted from an old French translation in ms. He wrote also “La guerra di Mostri, Poema giocoso,Florence, 1584, 4to. Grazzini published the 2d book of Berni, Florence, 1555, 8vo; and “Tutti i trionfi, carri, mascherate o canti carnasciaj^schi dal tempo di Lorenzo de Medici a questoanno 1559,” 8vo; 100 pages are frequently wanting in this work, page 297 being pasted upon page 398. These pages contained 51 canzoni, by John Baptist dell Ottomaio, which had been inserted without his consent, and which his brother, by authority from the magistrates, had cancelled. They were printed separately by the author, in a similar size, the year following, and must be added to the mutilated copies; but though they consist of 55 songs instead of 51, those found in the original collection are preferred, as the others have been altered. This collection was reprinted in | 1750, 2 vols. 8vo, Cosmopoli; but this impression is not valued. 1

1 Ginguene Elist. Lit, d’ltalie. —Tiraboschi.Dict. Hist.Moreri.