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in Florence to quit the pow governor
It was this good disposition of the senate towards him, which prevailed with Guicciardini to remain in the government after the death of Clement. He foresaw that the people would no longer submit to his commands, and therefore had resolved to quit the government; but the senate, considering that many disorders might happen, if they were left without a governor in the time of the vacant see, begged him to continue, promising that he should have all the assistance requisite. To this he at last consented; and, with true magnanimity and firmness of mind, despising the danger that threatened him, remained in the city, till he understood that a new governor was appointed, when he resolved to quit the place. Some time after his árrival in Florence, upon the death of the duke, he had influence enough in the senate to procure the election of Cosmo, son of John de Medici, to succeed in the sovereignty. But, though he had interested himself so much in the election, yet he soon quitted the court, and meddled in public affairs no farther than by giving his advice occasionally, when required. He was now past fifty, an age when business becomes disgusting to persons of a reflecting turn. His chief wish was, that he might live long enough, in a quiet recess, to finish his history. In this resolution be retired to his delightful country-seat at Emma, where he gave himself up entirely to the work; nor could he be drawn from it by all the intreaties and advantageous offers that were made him by pope Paul III. who, in the midst of bis retirement, passing from Nice to Florence, earnestly solicited our historian, first in person, then by letters, and at last by the mediation of cardinal Ducci, to come to Rome. But he was proof against all solicitations, and, excusing himself in a handsome manner to his holiness, adhered closely to his great design; so that, though he enjoyed this happy tranquillity a few years only, yet in that time he brought his history to a conclusion; and had re. vised the whole, except the four last books *, when he was seized with a fever, May 27, 1540, of which he died. · As to the productions of his pen, bis history claims the first place. It would be tedious to produce all the encomiums bestowed upon it by persons of the first character: Bolingbroke calls him “ The admirable historian;" and says, he “ should not scruple to prefer him to Thucydides in every respect.” In him are found all the transactions of that æra, in which the study of history ought to begin ; as he wrote in that point of time when those events and revolutions began, that have produced so vast a change in the manners, customs, and interests, of particular na. tions; and in the policy, ecclesiastical and civil, of those parts of the world. And, as Guicciardini lived in those days, and was employed both in the field and cabinet, he had all opportunities of furnishing himself with materials for his history: in particular, he relates, at length the various causes, which brought about the great change in religion by the reformation; shews by what accidents, the . French kings were enabled to become masters at home, and to extend themselves abroad; discovers the origin of the splendor of Spain in the fifteenth century, by the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella; the total expulsion of the Moors, and the discovery of the West-Indies. Lastly, in respect to the empire, he gives an account of that change which produced the rivalship between the two great powers of France and Austria; whence arose the notion of a balance of power, the preservation whereof has been the principal care of all the wise councils of Europe, and is so to this day. Of this history sir William Jones says, “ It is the most authentic I believe (may I add, I fear) that ever was composed. : I believe it, because the historian was an actor in his terrible drama, and personally knew the principal performers in it; and I fear it, because it exhibits the woeful picture of society in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.” · Guicciardini has, however, some defects. He is accused of being tedious and particular, and that he now and then indulges reflections, and retards the events which, in history, should be ever hastening towards the catastrophe. Yet although fastidious or indolent readers may complain of this, there is throughout the whole work, especially in the first five books, a preparation of incidents, that, instead of being prolix, the reader can scarce lay down the book without an ardent desire of knowing what follows next; and the worst that can be said of his speeches is, that they are fine political harangues, improperly placed. Another objection, however, has been thought to have more weight, if indeed it be not as sir William Jones fears a correct picture of society at that time, namely, that he represents all the actions of his personages as arising from
* This is the reason why we see no more than 16 books in all the farst editions of bis history, published by his nephew,
bad motives, and the persons who figure most iņ his drama are almost all knaves or fools, politic betrayers, or blustering ideots. Upon the whole; however, Guicciardini mụst be allowed the first of the bistorians of Italy, a country which has produced Machiavelli and Dayila, Nani and Muratori. ..Of this history there have been various editions, and it has been translated into various languages, particularly into English, by the chevalier Austin Parke Goddard, 10 vols. 8vo, 1754, &c. The original was first published by Guicciardini's nephew Agnolo, at Florence in 1561, folio. But this edition comprehends only the first sixteen books, as we have remarked, and is besides defective by the omission of several passages of importance. The four additional books were published by Seth Viotti at Parma ip 1564, and the passages omitted have been published separately in the work entitled “Thuanus restitutus, sive sylloge, Stč. cum Francisci Guicciardini paralipomenis,” Amst. 16,63. It was afterwards often re-printed complete,, but in 1775, appeared an edition at Friburg, in 4 vols. 4to, professedly printed from the manuscript, reviewed and corrected by the author, which is, or was, in the library of Magliabecchi at Florence. This, of course, seems entitled to the preference.
Guicciardini wrote several other pieces, as.“ The Sacking of Rome;" “ Considerations on State-Affairs ;”“ Coun. cils and Admonitions," and there are extant several of his “ Law-Cases,” with his opinion, preserved in the famous library of Signior Carlo Tomaso Strozzi; and an epistle in verse, which has given him a place among the Tuscan poets, in the account of them by Crescimbeni. It were to We wished, that we could look into his correspondence; but all his letters, by fatal negligence, have perished; our curiosity in that point can only be satisfied by some written to hip: part of these are from cardinal Pietro Bembo, secretary to pope Leo X. and are to be seen in his printed letters; and chers from Barnardo Tasso. Bembo's letters shew, that his correspondent possessed the agreeable art of winning the affections both of private persons and princes. Guicciardini was survived by his wife (who lived till 1559) and three daughters. Two married into the family of Cap, poni, and the third into that of Ducci.!
| Life prefixed to Goddard's Translation.--Gen. Dict.-Niceron, vol. XVII. Tiraboschi.-- Roscoe's Leo.---Saxii Onomast. VOL. XVI,
of the accuracy The Affairs of Europe - Remar
* GUICCIARDINI (Lewis), nephew of the preceding, - was born at Florence in 1-521, and was educated with a * view to general science, in the pursuit of which he gave
the preference to 'mathematics, geography, and history. 5. About 1550 he took up his residence in the Low Countries,
where he continued till his death, March 22,1589. He - Was author of many works, of which the principal is". A
Description of the Low Countries,” which is in great esteem for the accuracy of its relations. His other works *are .« Commentaries on the Affairs of 'Europe, particularly - in the Low Countries, from 1529 to 1560.49 i Remarka
ble words and actions of Princes," &c. Hours of Amuse- ment;" and a collection of the precepts and maxims of his J:illustrious relation. He was buried in the cathedral of
Antwerp, where an honourable inscription is placed to his memory.' · GUICHENON (SAMUEL), an ingenious and=judicious · French historian in the seventeenth century, was a native , of Mâcon, and advocate at Bourg-en-Brasse. He distin
guished himself by his works, and was loaded with favours from the duke of Savoy for his excellent " Hist. Genealó-gique de la Maison Royale de Savoie," 1660, 2 vols.
fol. He died September 8, 1664, aged 57, after having em- braced the Catholic religion ; and left, besides the work -above-mentioned, " Une Suite Chronologique des Eveques "- de Belley," 4to. * Hist. de Brasse et de Bugev," 1650,
fol. much esteemed, and “ Hist. de la Principauté de Dombes," never printed; also a collection of the most remarkable acts and titles of the Province of Brasse and Bugey, entitled “ Bibliotheca Sebusiana," 1666, 4to." .
GUIDI (ALEXANDER), an Italian poet, was born at Pavia, in Milan, 1650, and sent to Parına at sixteen years of age. His uncommon talents for poetry recommended him so powerfully at court, that he received great encouragement from the duke. He composed some pieces at that time, which, though they. savoured of the bad taste then prevailing, yet shewed genius, and a capacity for better things. He had afterwards a desire to see Rome, and, in 1683, going thither by the permission of the duke of Parma, and being already known by his poems, found no difficulty in being introduced to persons.of the first distinc:
" Niceron, vol. XVIl-Foppen Bibl. Belg--Saxii Onomast.
Hon. Among others, Christina queen of Sweden wished : to see him ; and was so pleased with a poem, which he composed at her request, that she had a great desire to re.tain him at her court. The term allowed him by the duke' being expired, he returned to Parma; but the queen hava' ing signified her desire to that prince's resident at Rome,' and the duke being acquainted with it, Guidi was sent back to Rome in May 1685. .
His abode in this city was highly advantageous to him; for, being received into the academy which was held at the queen of Sweden's, 'he became acquainted with several of the learned who were members of it. He began then to read the poems of Dante, Petrarch, and Chiabrara ; which reformed the bad taste he had contracted. The reading of these and other good authors entirely changed his manner of writing; and the pieces he wrote afterwards were of quite a different style and taste. Though the queen of Sweden was very kind to him, and obtained a good benefice for him from Innocent XI. yet he did not cease to feel the esteem of his master the duke of Parma, but received from him a pension, which was paid very punctually. The death of his royal patroness happened in 1689, but he did not leave Rome; for the duke of Parma gave him an apartment in his palace there, and his loss was abundantly recompensed by the liberality of many persons of quality. In July 1691, he was made a member of the academy of Arcadi at Rome, under the name of Erilo Cleoneó, nine months after its foundation, and was one of its chief ornaments. Clement XI. who knew him well, and did him kind offices while he was a cardinal, continued his favours to him after he was raised to the pontificate... i
In 1709, he took a journey to 'his own country, to settle some private affairs. He was there when the emperot made a new regulation for the state of Milan, which was : very grievous to it; and having political talents, was em: ployed to represent to prince Eugene of Savoy the inconó veniences and burden of this regulation, prince Eugene being then governor of the country, and deputed by the emperor to manage the affair. For this purpose Guidi drew up a memorial, which was thought so just and argumentative, that the new regulation was immediately revoked. The service he did his country, in this respect, procured him a mark of distinction from the council of Pavia; who, in 1710, enrolled him in the list of nobles