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credit of belonging to it, or to see and to be seen, rather than to study, he used to call “ University tulips,” who only made a temporary gaudy appearance, but were good for nothing. Soon after he had taken the degree of M. A. being invited in the vacation into the country, to the house of a relation who was a knight, his curiosity led him to observe the falconer, while he was feeding his hawk, and he began to praise the bird, by saying, “what a brave sharp bill she has 1” “Bill?” said the falconer, “it is a beak, sir.” By and by he added, “what noble claws she has “Claws, sir f" said he, “they are pounces.” Afterwards he commended her fine feathers. “Feathers, sir? they are plumes.” Lastly, he praised her beautiful tail. “Tail, sir? it is a train.” Mr. Mede felt a little mortified at being thus schooled on account of his mistakes about the terms of art, and believing that the falconer would expose him for his ignorance before his fellow servants, contrived the plan of a good humoured retort upon him. The falconer, he observed, was accustomed to wait at table ; and therefore taking his opportunity three or four days afterwards, when he thought
that the lecturing which he had received was .
quite forgotten, he engaged the company in proposing and solving riddles. While they were exercising their ingenuity, turning suddenly round to the falconer, he asked him, “Friend, what kind of bird is that which has neither bill, nor claws, nor feather, nor tail 2" Perceiving that the man was puzzled, and incapable of giving answer: “why then,” said Mr. Mede, “I will tell you. It is your hawk; that hath no bill, but beak; no claws, but pounces; no feathers, but plumes; no tail, but a train.” “There was I even with him,” would he triumphantly say. During his lifetime, besides his “Clavis” and “Commentarius” already noticed, Mr. Mede published only a treatise, entitled, “ Churches: or, appropriate Places for God's Worship ever since the Apostles Time,” 1638, quarto; and another, entitled, “the Name Altar, or, OTXIAXTHPION, anciently given to the holy Table,” 1637, quarto. After his death, several pieces were separately published from his MSS. ; and a collection of the whole of his works was given by Dr. Worthington, in 1677, in two volumes folio, entitled, “the Works of the pious and profoundly learned Joseph Mede, B. D. some time Fellow of Christ's-college in Cambridge,” with a general preface, and the author's life, with an appendix. This collection is divided into five books: the first containing fifty
discourses on various texts of scripture; and the second several discourses and treatises of churches, and the worship of God therein. The third book contains his Clavis et Commentiones Apocalypticæ ; Opuscula nonulla ad rem apocalypticam spectantia; a paraphrase and exposition of St. Peter II. 3 ; the apostacy of the latter times; and Daniel's weeks, with two other tracts upon Daniel. The fourth book consists of epistles, being answers to divers letters of learned men; and the fifth contains fragmenta sacra, or miscellanies of divi- . nity. In his observations on demons and demoniacs, Mr. Mede will be found to have led the way to the sentiments advanced by Lardner, Sykes, and Farmer, on those subjects. Life prefixed to the author's works. Big. Britan. Gen. Dict. Brit. Biog.—M. MEDICI, Cosmo DE', an illustrious citizen of Florence, was born in that city in 1398. He was the eldest son of John de' Medici, who had acquired vast wealth by his commercial concerns, and been honoured with the highest offices in the republic, which he filled with exemplary virtue and patriotism. Cosmo from his youth engaged in the commerce established by his house, and greatly increased its property; and on the death of John in 1428, he succeeded to the influence possessed by him as head of that powerful family, which rendered him the first citizen of the state, though without any superiority of rank or title. Notwithstanding the great prudence and moderation of his public conduct, the discontent of the Florentines with the bad success of the war against Lucca gave occasion to the preponderance of a party headed by Rinaldo de’ Albizi, which, in 1433, after filling the magistracies with their own creatures, seized the person of Cosmo, and proceeded judicially against him, on no other charge than that his influence was hazardous to the state. On the news of his danger several of the princes and states of Italy interfered in his behalf; and in conclusion, he was banished to Padua for ten years, and several other members and friends of the Medici family underwent a similar punishment. He was received with great respect by the Venetian government, and having obtained permission to reside in any part of its territories, he took up his abode at Venice. After his retreat, the reviving affection of the people towards him and his house rendered the situation of Rinaldo very difficult and insecure; and within a year from the banishment of Cosmo, his rival was obliged to quit Florence, and he returned amidst the acclamations of his fellow-citizens.
Though inclined by principle and disposition to lenity, he was obliged to offer some victims to his future security; and the gonfalonier who had pronounced his sentence, with a few others of that party, suffered death. The exiles were numerous, though Cosmo recalled several, of whose peaceable conduct he was assured. Measures were taken to restrict the choice of magistrates to the partisans of the Medici; and alliances were formed with the neighbouring powers for the purpose of supporting and perpetuating the system by which Florence was thenceforth to be governed. Various attempts were made by the exiles to force their return, but they only served to confirm the authority of Cosmo and his house. The manner in which he employed his prosperity has conferred the greatest honour on his memory. The richest private citizen in Europe, he surpassed many sovereign princes in the munificence with which he patronised literature and the fine arts. He assembled round him some of the most learned men of the age, who had begun to cultivate the Grecian philosophy and letters. He established, at Florence, an academy expressly for the elucidation of the Platonic philosophy, at the head of which he placed the celebrated Marsilio Ficino. He collected from all parts, by means of his foreign correspondences, manuscripts of the Greek, Latin, and oriental languages, which were the foundation of the Laurentian library. To the arts of painting, sculpture and architecture, which were then beginning to revive in the pure taste of antiquity, he gave great encouragement by the vast sums he expended in the public edifices of the city, as well as in his private palaces, which last however did not surpass in magnificence the measure of a wealthy citizen. He also collected the valuable remains of ancient art in statues, vases, gems, and medals; and all his treasures were made liberally accessible to the curious. He himself cultivated in advanced age the studies which the avocations of his youth had not permitted him to pursue; and found letters and philosophy the best companions of his hours of retirement. This attachment to the sentiments of antiquity did not render him indifferent to the religion of his country; and he displayed his piety according to the fashion of the age by numerous religious foundations munificently endowed. He even erected a noble hospital at Jerusalem for the relief of distressed pil
The spirit of his government was mildness and moderation. He never in his personal
appearance and demeanour assumed a state beyond that of a citizen in a republic, and avoided every open exertion of authority which could lead the Florentines to suspect that they had lost their liberties. He married his two sons, John and Peter, into the families of reputable citizens. He conversed freely with all orders of men, and there was scarcely a citizen whom he had not some time obliged by loans of money of which he never expected the repayment. His immense wealth was not invidious, because he chiefly expended it upon the public, so that it was a kind of common fund in which all had an interest. His command of money was, indeed, on various occasions of great service to the state, as it enabled him to defeat the schemes of hostile powers by intercepting their resources. After the death of Neri di Capponi, a man of great abilities, who acted in perfect union with Cosmo, the political state of Florence became disordered, and parties were formed hostile to the predominance of the Medici. The popularity of Cosmo, however, was not to be shaken, and while he withdrew from public business, he retained the influence, of his benefits and virtues. He had lost his second son, on whom he had chiefly depended for continuing the authority of his family, as his eldest, Piero, laboured under various bodily infirmities. Under the impression of melancholy views of futurity, as he was carried through the
apartments of his palace a short time before his
death, he could not forbear exclaiming, “This is too great a house for so small a family s” His latter days were, however, cheered by the honourable testimony to his merit afforded by his fellowcitizens in a public decree, conferring upon him the noble title of Father of his country, which was inscribed on his tomb, and has ever since adhered to his name... Yet his own ideas of the duty of a citizen to his country, and of a man to his species, went even beyond his performances; for he was never known to express regret but upon two accounts—that he had not done all the good to mankind that he had wished—and that he had not sufficiently aggrandised his country. He died in 1464, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. Mod. Univers. Hist.—Roscoe's Life of Lorenzo de' Medici.-A. MEDICI, Lorenzo DE', surnamed the Magnificent, grandson of the preceding, and son of Piero de' Medici, by his wife Lucretia Tornabuoni, was born on January 1, 1448. From an early age he gave proof of great natural talents, which were cultivated by a careful education. He had the advantage of the instructions of some of the most learned men of the age in the languages and philosophy of antiquity, and the principles of polite literature. To the latter he displayed a decided inclination by some early poetical compositions in his native tongue; but his tastes were by no means exclusive, and he seemed of that happy composition which is formed for excelling in every thing that becomes an object of attention. He was not less addicted to active sports and laborious exercises, than to the studies of the closet ; and was equally dextrous in the management of business and in the pursuits of arts and science. At the death of his grandfather Cosmo he was about the age of sixteen; and as his father's weak constitution rendered him little fitted for taking a lead in public affairs, it was thought proper immediately to initiate Lorenzo in political life. He was sent to visit the principal courts of Italy for the purpose of forming a personal connection with the rulers, and making observations on the circumstances of each state. at Florence on account of the incapacity of Piero to preserve the ascendancy of his house, and the ambitious views of his rival Luca Pitti, soon found employment for the political talents of young Lorenzo. He strengthened the interests of his family in an interview with king Ferdinand at Naples, who was impressed with a high idea of his early wisdom; and the prudence and vigour of his conduct at home were materially instrumental in restoring the superiority of the Medici. In 1469 Lorenzo married Clarice, the daughter of a member of the noble Roman family of Orsini; a match which his father negotiated for him without consulting his inclinations, but which was productive of harmony and mutual affection. In the same year Piero de' Medici died, leaving his two sons Lorenzo and Giuliano (the latter five years younger than the former),the heirs of his power and property. Immediately after the death of his father, Lorenzo was waited upon by a deputation of the principal inhabitants of Florence, who requested him to take upon himself that post of head of the republic which Cosmo and Piero had occupied. Notwithstanding his youth, he did not hesitate to assume that important trust; and at the same time he paid due attention to the continuance of those extensive commercial concerns to which his family had been indebted for their wealth. Upon the accession of Sixtus IV. to the papacy, Lorenzo was deputed with other eminent citizens to congratulate him WOL. VII.
The disturbances which arose.
on the part of the Florentine republic. On this occasion he was invested with the office of treasurer to the holy see; and he took the opportunity of his abode at Rome to make valuable additions to the remains of ancient art already collected by his family. One of the first public occurrences after he conducted the helm of government was a revolt of the inhabitants of Volterra, on account of a dispute with the Florentine republic. A difference of opinion prevailed in the council of state concerning the plan to be pursued in suppressing it; and in op- . position to the advice of Soderini, who recommended conciliatory theasures, Lorenzo adopted the means of force, which terminated in the sack of that unfortunate city—an event that appeared to give him much concern. His regard to literature, which never ceased to be the favourite recreation of his leisure, was laudably displayed in 1472 by the lead he took in the re-establishment of the academy of Pisa. He took up his residence for a considerable time in that city for the purpose of completing the work, exerted himself in selecting the most eminent professors, and contributed to it a large sum from his private fortune, in addition to that granted by the state of Florence. Not less attached than his great ancestor Cosmo to the Platonic philosophy, he was a zealous favourer of the academy established for its promotion, and instituted an annual festival in honour of the memory of Plato, which was conducted with a singular literary splendour. He also composed an Italian poem on the doctrines of that philosopher, which did great honour to his taste and genius. While he was thus advancing in a career of prosperity and reputation, a tragical incident was very near depriving his country of his future services. This was the conspiracy of the Pazzi, a numerous and distinguished family in Florence, the natural rivals of the Medici, though connected with them by affinity. The instigators of the conspiracy, of which the object was the assassination of Lorenzo and his brother, and the destruction of their friends, were pope Sixtus IV. and his nephew Riario ; and the archbishop of Pisa, Salviati, was the principal agent in the black design. Giacopo de' Pazzi, the head of that family, gave his name and assistance, and several persons of desperate character undertook to aid in the execution. Nothing could exceed the atrocity of the plan, which was to assassinate the two brothers in a church at the instant of the elevation of the host. In the month of April 1478, the young C
cardinal Riario, apostolic legate, a guest in the palace of Lorenzo, proceeded to the church of the Reparata, where the two intended victims wcre present. At the signal agreed upon, one Bandini plunged his dagger into the breast of Giuliano, who fell, and was immediately dispatched. A priest, who with his companion had undertaken to do the same office for Lorenzo, missed his stroke, and gave him only a
slight wound. He drew his sword and repel
led the assailants, who fled. Bandini came up with his dagger streaming with the blood of Giuliano, but was laid dead by a servant of the Medici. Meantime the friends of Lorenzo assembled round him, and conducted him home in safety. . An attack upon the palace of government where the magistrates were sitting, by other conspirators, failed of success; and the people, attached to the Medici, collecting in crowds, put to death or apprehended the assassins, whose designs were thus entirely frustrated, with the exception of the death of Giuliano. Instant justice was inflicted on the criminals. The archbishop of Pisa was hung out of the palace window in his sacerdotal robes, and Giacopo de' Pazzi, with one of his nephews, suffered the same fate. Lorenzo did himself honour by his efforts to restrain the fury of the populace, and induce them to commit to the magistrates the further pursuit of the guilty. The name and arms of the Pazzi family were suppressed, its members were banished, and Lorenzo rose still higher in the esteem and affection of his fellow-citizens.
A storm was, however, impending. The pope, inflamed to rage by the defeat and exposure of his treachery and the ignominious punishment of the ecclesiastics concerned, breathed nothing but vengeance. He excommunicated Lorenzo and the magistrates of Florence, laid an interdict upon the whole territory, and forming a league with the king of Naples, prepared to invade the Florentine dominions. Iorenzo was not deficient in activity to guard against the coming dangers. He appealed to all the surrounding potentates for the justice of his cause; and he was affectionately supported by his fellow-citizens, who rejected with indignation the persuasions of the king of Naples to deliver up or banish him. Hostilities began, and were carried on with various success in two campaigns. But though the Florentines kept their enemies at a distance, Lorenzo could not but be uneasy at the continuance of a burthensome war of which he was Personally the object, and of which the event
was dubious. He therefore, in the close of 1479, took the bold resolution of paying a visit to the king of Naples, and without any previous security, trusting his life and liberty to a declared enemy. He embarked at Pisa, and on landing at Naples was received with great honour by the king, who, though of a severe character, could not but be struck with such an instance of heroic confidence. In his conversations with that monarch he was able so well to plead his cause, that a treaty of mutual friendship and defence was agreed upon between them ; and at the end of three months Lorenzo re-embarked for Pisa. Immediately after he had sailed, Ferdinand, who had received fresh overtures from the pope, dispatched messengers to urge him to return ; but Lorenzo, well satisfied with having once escaped the danger, did not choose to incur a new hazard. Sixtus persevered in the war, till a descent upon the coast of Italy by Mahomet II, excited such an alarm, that he consented to a peace upon the humble submission of the Florentine deputies to his pontifical reprimands. * *
A domestic danger soon after succeeded. Lorenzo's inveterate enemy Riario engaged one Frescobaldi, a Florentine exile, to assassinate him in a church in the month of May, 1481 ; but the plot was discovered, and the agent and his accomplices were seized and executed. From that time he generally appeared in public surrounded with friends as a guard, a circumstance which has been represented by his enemies as a symptom of tyranny. His political conduct as head of the Florentine republic was chiefly directed to the preservation of the balance of power among the Italian states. Thus he undertook the defence of the duke of Ferrara against the pope and the Venetians. The death of Sixtus IV. freed him from an adversary who never ceased to bear him ill-will; and he was able to secure himself a friend in his successor Innocent VIII, of the family of Cibo. The capture of Pietra-Santa, and the recovery of Sarzana from the Genoese, were successes that displayed the vigour of his administration, while the protection he afforded to the smaller states in the vicinity indicated his moderation and love of peace. In fine, he conducted the republic of Florence to a degree of tranquillity and prosperity which it had scarcely ever before known ; and by procuring the institution of a deliberative body of the nature of a senate, he corrected the too democratical plan of its constitution.
In the encouragement of literature and the arts, Lorenzo distinguished himself beyond any of his predecessors, as might have been expected from the superior elegance and cultivation of his own genius. His proficiency in Italian poetry would have conferred distinction even upon one who had no other merit to boast of. The productions of Lorenzo de' Medici (says Mr. Roscoe) are distinguished by a vigour of imagination, an accuracy of judgment, and an elegance of style, which afforded the first great example of improvement, and entitle him, almost exclusively, to the honourable appellation “of the restorer of Italian literature.” This is said with reference to the singular degradation into which it had fallen from the period of Dante, Petrarcha, and Boccaccio. His compositions are sonnets, canzoni, sestine, and other lyric pieces, some longer works in stanzas, some comic satires and jocose carnival songs, and various sacred poems under the title of orazioni and laude, the latter not the less serious on account of the licentiousness of some of the former. This incongruous mixture is however so far from being peculiar to the age or the author, that we find it in many modern poets of our own country. Some of these pieces, epecially of the lighter kind, in which he imitated the rustic dialect, became extremely popular.
His regard to literature in general was testified by the extraordinary attention he paid to the augmentation of the Laurentian library, for which purpose he employed the services of learned men in different parts of Italy, and especially of his most intimate literary friend and companion Angelo Politiano, who took several journeys in order to discover and purchase the valuable remains of antiquity. “I wish,” said Lorenzo once to him, “that the diligence of Pico and yourself would afford me such opportunities of purchasing books, that I should be obliged even to pledge my furniture to possess them.” On the discovery of the invaluable art of printing, no one was more solicitous than Lorenzo to avail himself of it in procuring editions of the best works of antiquity corrected by the ablest scholars, whose labours were rewarded by his munificence. When the capture of Constantinople by the Turks caused the dispersion of many learned Greeks, he made advantage of the circumstance to promote the study of the Greek language in Italy, and established an academy for that purpose at Florence.
His services to the fine arts were certainly
not less conspicuous than those which he ren. dered to letters. It has already been mentioned in the life of Cosmo, that the collection of the most valuable remains of ancient taste and skill was an object of that great man's attention. His treasures were greatly augmented by Lorenzo, who, with a spirit infinitely superior to that of an ordinary collector, proposed to himself the improvement of modern art as the principal end of his magnificence in this point. He accordingly appropriated his gardens in Florence to the establishment of an academy for the study of the antique, which he furnished with a profusion of statues, busts, and other relics of art, the most perfect in their kind that he could procure. This he freely opened to promising pupils of all conditions; and the success with which his liberal plan was attended, it is sufficient to say that it was the school of Michael-Angelo. The art of
architecture he encouraged by the numerous
buildings public and private which he erected, or induced others to erect, in Florence and its vicinity, after designs furnished by the ablest artists. By these exertions he directly prepared the way for those wonders, which have rendered the age denominated from his son Leo X, one of the most splendid in the records. of mankind for the creations of genius. In his domestic life Lorenzo deserves considerable but not unmixed praise. The variety of his knowledge and versatility of his disposition rendered his conversation highly interesting; and he was equally happy in the sallies of convivial pleasantry, and the acuteness of learned disputation. The licentiousness which characterises several of his poems is said to have tainted his manners with respect to the female sex, though no particular proofs of this propensity are related by his contemporaries, and the harmony of his conjugal connection appears to have been uninterrupted. He was a very affectionate and attentive father, solicitous for the instruction of his children, whom he placed under the particular care of Politiano, and was fond of partaking in their sports and amusements. He seems to have been more attached to a country than a town life, and circumstances favoured this disposition. The exigencies of the republic in consequence of its wars had obliged him in his own name to borrow large sums, which the negligence or infidelity of his commercial agents and correspondents rendered it difficult for him to repay; and a decree for the discharge of his debts out of the public treasury was necessary