DescriptionSalvator[e] Rosa. Satire Di Salvator Rosa Dedicate A Settano. Amsterdam: Jean Frederic Bernard, 1719. Krown & Spellman: $750. First Dated Edition. 8vo. A-N8,M6. 186,,p. Contemporary calf, rebacked, title gilt on spine; stamp of "Scott County Public Library" on A2r. A very good copy. Device on t.p., head-piece. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
"The satires, though considerably spread abroad during his lifetime, were not published until 1719. [sic--see below]
They are all in terza rima, written without much literary correctness, but remarkably spirited, pointed and even brilliant. They are slashingly denunciatory, and from this point of view too monotonous in treatment. Rosa here appears as a very severe castigator of all ranks and conditions of men, not sparing the highest, and as a champion of the poor and down-trodden, and of moral virtue and Catholic faith. It seems odd that a man who took so free a part in the pleasures and diversions of life should be so ruthless to the ministers of these. The satire on Music exposes the insolence and profligacy of musicians, and the shame of courts and churches in encouraging them. Poetry dwells on the pedantry, imitativeness, adulation, affectation and indecency of poets-also their poverty, and the neglect with which they were treated; and there is a very vigorous sortie against oppressive governors and aristocrats.
Tasso's glory is upheld; Dante is spoken of as obsolete, and Ariosto as corrupting. Painting inveighs against the pictorial treatment of squalid subjects, such as beggars (though Rosa must surely himself have been partly responsible for this misdirection of the art), against the ignorance and lewdness of painters, and their tricks of trade, and the gross indecorum of painting sprawling half-naked saints of both sexes. War (which contains the eulogy of Masaniello) derides the folly of hireling soldiers, who fight and perish while kings stay at home; the vile morals of kings and lords, heresy and unbelief also come in for a flagellation. In Babylon Rosa represents himself as a fisherman, Tirreno, constantly unlucky in his net-hauls on the Euphrates; he converses with a native of the country, Ergasto. Babylon (Rome) is very severely treated, and Naples much the same. Envy (the last of the satires, and generally accounted the best, although without strong apparent reason) represents Rosa dreaming that, as he is about to inscribe in all modesty his name upon the threshold of the temple of glory, the goddess or fiend of Envy obstructs him, and a long interchange of reciprocal objurgations ensues." [EB 11th ed.]An earlier edition [STCN 000012] with the imprint: Amsterdam:S. Protomastix, N.D.; was printed in Italy (Naples? or Rome see: Uberto Limentani, Bibliographia della vita e delle opere di Salvator Rosa (Florence, 1995)) STCN 171908 [1 copy].
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