Manutius, Paul

, the son of the preceding, was born at Venice in 1512. After his father’s death, he lived with his mother and her other children at Asola, at some distance from Venice, while the business of the printing esablishment at Venice was carried on, for the general benefit of the family, by his grandfather, Andrea D’Asola, and the Torresani, his maternal uncles. At Asola Paul made but small progress in letters; he was, however, removed when very young to Venice, where he had every advantage of instruction and encouragement to study; Bembo, Sadolet, Bonamicus, Reginald Pole, and especially Rambertus and Gasp. Contarinus, who had been his father’s friends, took a pleasure to excite and direct him in hi literary pursuits. Under their tuition he applied to his studies with such zeal and assiduity as even to | injure his health, but he suffered more from the disputes that took place respecting the partition of the estates of his father and hi; maternal grandfather, between himself and the other heirs. His uncles and himself could not agree in the management of the printing-house, and in 1529 it was shut up; but in 1533, having arrived at the age of twenty-one, he again opened it, and renewed the business in the names, and for the common benefit, of the heirs of Aldus, and Andrea D’Asola. In 1540, however, this partnership was dissolved and from this period, the business was continued in the names of the sons of Aldus only.

Paul became now indefatigable in the management of the printing establishment, and as the most valuable remains of Grecian literature were already in print, determined to give new editions of the best Latin authors. As his admiration had been principally directed to the style and eloquence of Cicero, the first work he printed was that author’s treatises on Oratory, which appeared from his press in 1533, and the same year he published Cicero’s Familiar Letters. He printed also at this time the fifth Decade of Livy, II Cortegiano, by Castiglione, II Petrarca, and Pontani Carolina, torn. I. In the following year the number of Italian and Latin books which he published was very considerable. His first Greek publication was Themistius, which was speedily followed by Isocrates and Aetius Amidenus. In these publications he availed himself of the literary assistance of various learned friends, whose attention and corrections gave that decided superiority to the Aldine editions which his father had endeavoured to establish.

In 1535 he accepted an invitation to Rome, upon the promise of an opulent and eligible situation; but, not being received with respect or attention, he returned to Venice, and resumed his studies and employment. Having, however, attained no degree of opulence, he engaged in the business of education, took twelve young men of family into his house, and superintended their education for three years. Of these, two were Matth. Senarega, who translated Cicero’s Letters to Atticus into Italian, and Paul Contarinus. In 1538 he went on an excursion to examine the manuscripts in certain old libraries, particularly the library of the Franciscans in Cesena, which contained some Mss. left to their convent by Malatesta Novellus; | and such was his reputation at this time, that he was invited to fill the chair of the professor of eloquence at Venice, and had the offer of a similar situation at Padua, vacant by the death of Bonamicus. But his ill heahh, and his predilection for his business, induced him to devote his whole time to the printing-house, from which a great number of the classics issued.

After a second journey to Rome, in 1546, he married Margarita, the daughter of Jerome Odonus. His eldest son, Aldus, the subject of our next article, was the firstfruit of this marriage: he had also two other sons, who died young, and a daughter, who is often mentioned in his letters, and was married in 1573. In 1556 an academy was established at Venice, in the house of Frederick Badoarus, one of the principal senators of the republic, which was composed of about an hundred members, who endeavoured to unite every species of literary and scientific excellence. Belonging to this academy was a printing-house, in which it was proposed to print good editions of all books and manuscripts already known to exist, as well as the original writings of the academicians. Over this establishment, Paul was appointed to preside, and it was completely furnished with new founts of his own types, and he had under him several other skilful printers, particularly Dominick Bevilacqua. In 1558 and 1559, fifteen different books were printed in this house, none very large, but intended as a prelude to greater undertakings, of which a catalogue was published both in Italian and Latin, and may be seen in Renouard’s “Annales de Plmprimerie des Aides,” vol. I. The books printed in this academy were all executed with admirable correctness and beauty, and are become exceeding scarce, and valuable. Paul was farther honoured with the professorship of eloquence in this academy, which, however, did not exist long. It was probably thought to have been an engine in Badoarus’s hands, by which he might have become dangerous to the state; or perhaps its expences might exceed his resources, and drive him to pecuniary shifts of the discreditable kind. In August 1562, however, the academy was dissolved by a public decree.

In 1561 Paul had been invited by Pius IV. upon terms of great honour and advantage, to repair to Rome, and engage in printing the Holy Scriptures and the works of the lathers of the church. He accordingly undertook this | journey, of which his holiness bore the expences, as well as of the removal of his printing-materials and of his family; and conditioned to allow him, from the time of his arrival, a yearly salary of at least 500 crowns. From this time, till the death of Pius, he continued to exercise his profession as a printer with great reputation at Rome, while he also kept open his printing-house at Venice. But at length dissatisfied with his situation, and in ill health, he left Rome in September 1570, and after visiting several distinguished places in Italy, returned to Venice in May 1572. From Venice, after a very short stay, he went back again to Rome, where he was cheered by the seasonable liberality of the pope, which was made more agreeable by being bestowed without any exaction of personal labour or attendance.

Much of his life appears to have been embittered by sickness, and in September 1573 his health began to decline very rapidly. Three months after, he thought himself better, but he had still an extreme weakness in his loins, with frequent and severe head-aches, and he received no benefit from medicines. On the 6th of April, 1574, he expired in the arms of his son, who had just arrived from Venice to attend him in his sickness. He had lived in general esteem; and his death was universally regretted. He left a variety of writings, which distinguish him as one of the most judicious critics, and one of the most elegant Latin writers that modern times have produced. Of these, the principal are his letters in Latin and Italian, his Commentaries on the works of his favourite Cicero, and his treatise “De Curia Rornana.” The productions of his presses are all of the highest value, for both accuracy and beauty. 1

1 Rerou.ud, &c.