Manutius, Aldus

, the younger, son of the preceding, was born in 1547. His father paid the utmost attention to his education; and so extraordinary was the progress of the youth in learning, that he was enabled to give the world “A collection of elegant phrases in the Tuscan and Latin languages,” when he was only eleven years of age. Other juvenile works at different periods marked his advances in classical literature, and he soon became his lather’s assistant in his labours. When very young, he conducted the printing-business at Venice while | his father was engaged at Rome. In 1572 he married a lady of the Giunti family, so well known in the annals of typography; and on the death of his father in 1574, all the concerns of the Aldine press devolved upon him. He was, however, less calculated for the business of a printer than for the profession of an author. ' In 1577 he was appointed professor of the belles lettres in the school of the Venetian chancery, in which young men designed for public employments were educated. This office he held till 1585, when he was made professor of rhetoric at Bologna. In the same year he published the “Life of Cosmo de Medici,” which was so well received, that he was almost immediately invited to undertake the professorship of polite literature at Pisa, which he accepted, although he received an invitation at the same time to a professorship at Rome, which had been lately held by Muratus. During his stay at Pisa he received the degree of doctor of laws, and was admitted a member of the Florentine academy, on which occasion he delivered an eloquent oration “On the nature of Poetry.” He now paid a visit to Lucca in order to obtain materials for a “History of Castruccio Castracani,” which he afterwards published, and which is much applauded by Thuanus. The Roman professorship being reserved for him, he removed thither in 1588, and intending to spend his life there, he caused his whole library to be brought to Rome from Venice, at a very great expence. He was in high favour with Sixtus V. who gave him an apartment in the Vatican, and a table at the public expence. He was also patronized in various ways by Clement VIII. He died in the fifty-firstyear of his age, in October 1597. He left no posterity, and with him ended the glory of the Aldine press. His library, consisting of 8.0,000 volumes, collected by himself and his predecessors, was sold to pay his debts. He was author of many performances besides those already mentioned, but the most celebrated of his works were his “Commentaries on all the Works of Cicero,” in ten volumes. His “Familiar Letters,” published in 1592, were highly esteemed; but M. Renouard confesses, that were it not from his inheriting the Aldine offices, it might not have been remembered he bad ever been a printer; yet, though difference of taste gave his studies a different bent, his numerous writings, notwithstanding they were inferior to his father’s and grandfather’s, sufficiently prove his industry and learning, and | justify, to a certain point, the commendations bestowed on him by many to whom his merits were known. 1


Renouard. Dibdin’s Classics. and liibi. Spenceriana passim, for notices of all the Aldi.