Pagina:Baretti - Prefazioni e polemiche.djvu/149



Shakespear and Corneille, and his knowledge of passions not inferior to his invention.

Though his Works are now known to every foreign lover of Italian, yet for the convenience of those that are not possessed of them, I choose to transcribe two short lyric pieces out of them.

A HYMN TO VENUS

Scendi propizia col tuo splendore, ecc.

LA LIBERTA

A NlCE

Grazie agl’inganni tuoi alfin respiro, o Nice, ecc.

Giancarlo Passeroni is the author of a poem of the epic kind intitled Vita di Marco Tullio Cicerone ( The life of Marctis Tulliiis Cicero) .

But let not the reader expect that the poem will come up to its titie. Cicero is scarcely mentioned in the greatest part of the cantos and the author, rather hinting than describing the severa! accidents of Cicero ’s life (which are also imaginary for the greatest part), generally carries on his work with digressions tending to reform the present manners of his countrymen. From the good qualities he attributes to Cicero ’s father, mother, preceptor and attendants, he takes occasion to satirize the modem bad fathers, mothers, preceptors and attendants; and Cicero ’s juvenile studies, exercises and amusements, afford the poet as many opportunities as he pleases to expatiate on the modem virtues and vices, and approve, blame or rectify the notions of mankind about literature, manners, employments, expectations and A^ews.

This praise must I bestow on my honest friend Passeroni, that none of our poets, either ancient or modem, has like him kept dose to the horatian rule of mixing the useful with the delightful. A multitude of moral precepts has he spread in his