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In Tasso ’s life-time so few advantageous additions were made to our language by his contemporary wits, that I can as well pass them over in silence. I could almost do the same with those that flourished in the next half century, were not Chiabrera, Bracciolini, Tassoni and Lippi amongst them.
Gabriel Chiabrera attempted in his earlier youth to obtain the epic laurei, but perceiving that his countrymen could not be brought to bestow any great encomiums on his Amadeide , turned his steps to the lyric track, and abandoning the road traced some centuries before by Petrarch and his followers, took Pindar and Anacreon for his models and acquired much reputation both with his fervid and his soft measures.
Francesco Bracciolini, amongst other things, writ two epic poems, one sacred entitied La croce racquistata, the other burlesque entitied Lo scherno degli dèi, which gave him a right to be numbered amongst the enlargers, but not the embellishers of our language.
Alessandro Tassoni is known throughout Europe for his burlesque epic poem entitied La secchia rapita, in which there are some very good poetical passages, and our language has received some additional beauty by it.
Lorenzo Lippi wrote a burlesque epic poem intitled Malmantile, in which he collected a vast number of the proverbs and vulgar sayings most common amongst the low people of Tuscany. Tho’ his performance be very ingenious if we have regard to the invention of it, yet it is more so if we consider that he had the art of bringing together numberless proverbs on every purpose without ever falling into affectation or swerving from his subject.
I transcribe no part of Bracciolini ’s, Tassoni ’s and Lippi ’s poems, because I have them not amongst my books; but the following anacreontical song shall serve for a specimen of Chiabrera ’s poetry and language:
Del mio sol son ricciutegli i capegli, non biondetti tna brunetti, ecc.