« AnteriorContinuar »
THE PUBLIC LIBRARY AT GRENOBLE,
PRIVATE SECRETARY OF THE DUKE OF ORLEANS, 1461.
As it has been the Editor's strenuous endeavour, in collecting materials for the present work, to communicate as much novelty as possible to his pages, he will proceed to give an authentic document respecting Jeanne d'Arc, which was only discovered some few years back in the public library at Grenoble, containing the poems of Antonio Astezan, who, according to his biographer Muratori, was born in 1412, at Villeneuve d'Ast, at which place his ancestors, driven from Ast by a faction, had retired to seek an asylum since the year 1329. are to credit the poet's own assertion respecting his family, prior to that unfortunate æra, it was of noble descent, and particularly famed for eloquence; when those sudden reverses of fortune deprived it of mental energies and splendour at the same time. Peter Astezan, father of the poet, filled the post of public amanuensis, that is to say, chancellor or notary of the university of Villeneuve, being at the same time professor of grammar and mathematics. In 1427, he sent his son Antonio to Turin, and, in 1429 to Pavia, in order to be instructed in grammar
and rhetoric. The preceptors of Astezan were Valla, Veggio, and Antonio Ferrari; the two first mentioned being celebrated literary characters of that period, and the latter, a monk of the fraternity of the Carmelites.
Astezan, fearing to be attacked by the plague, left Pavia in 1431; but, from the same apprehension, he also quitted Genoa, which city he had selected as an asylum. Antonio then, by the advice of his parent, established himself at Ast, where he undertook to give instruction in literature.
To this account Muratori adds, that he could not clearly ascertain what was the subsequent fate of the poet Astezan: he infers from a passage in his book, that the duke of Orleans having recovered the city of Ast about the year 1447, appointed him captain of the castle of Mont Raynier, and his first secretary in that city; and lastly, he conceives that the poem, De Varietate Fortuna, was written about the year 1450.
We will now venture to make a few remarks on this biographical sketch of Muratori.
It certainly appears probable that Astezan was born in 1412; for, in the lately discovered manuscript of the poet, at the end of the book of Elegies, at folio 122, he states the having attained his thirtieth year, and the epilogue whereto he affixes this announcement is dated in 1441.
In the epitaph on his father Peter Astezan (fol. 158), Antonio confirms the statement respecting the nobleness of his family, and his having been professor at Villeneuve; to which he adds, that Peter his father left several daughters and four sons, all very enlightened men.