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Pasquin And Marforio
by [?]

Quod non fecerunt Barbari Romae, fecit Barberini.

On Clement VII., whose death was said to be occasioned by the prescriptions of his physician:–

Curtius occidit Clementem; Curtius auro
Donandus, per quem publica parta salus.

“Dr. Curtius has killed the pope by his remedies;
he ought to be remunerated as a man who has cured the state.”

The following, on Paul III., are singular conceptions:–

Papa Medusaeum caput est, coma turba Nepotum;
Perseu caede caput, Caesaries periit.

“The pope is the head of Medusa; the horrid tresses
are his nephews; Perseus, cut off the head, and then
we shall be rid of these serpent-locks.”

Another is sarcastic–

Ut canerent data multa olim sunt Vatibus aera:
Ut taceam, quantum tu mihi, Paule, dabis?

“Heretofore money was given to poets that they might sing:
how much will you give me, Paul, to be silent?”

This collection contains, among other classes, passages from the Scriptures which have been applied to the court of Rome; to different nations and persons; and one of “Sortes Virgilianae per Pasquillum collectae,”–passages from Virgil frequently happily applied; and those who are curious in the history of those times will find this portion interesting. The work itself is not quite so rare as Daniel Heinsius imagined; the price might now reach from five to ten guineas.[3]

These satirical statues are placed at opposite ends of the town, so that there is always sufficient time to make Marforio reply to the gibes and jeers of Pasquin in walking from one to the other. They are an ingenious substitute for publishing to the world, what no Roman newspaper would dare to print.


[Footnote 1: The description of these two famous statues is not correctly given in the text. The statue called Marforio is the figure of a recumbent river god of colossal proportions, found near the arch of Septimius Severus. When the museum of the capitol was completed, the Pope moved the figure into the court-yard; there it is still to be seen. He also wished to move that of Pasquin, but the Duke de Braschi refused to allow it; and it still stands on its pedestal, at the angle of the Braschi Palace, in the small square that takes the name of Piazza del Pasquino from that circumstance. It is much mutilated, but is the ruin of a very fine work; Bernini expressed great admiration for it. It is considered by Count Maffei to represent Ajax supporting Menelaus. The torso of the latter figure only is left, the arms of the former are broken away; but enough remains of both to conjecture what the original might have been in design. The pose of both figures is similar to the fine group known as Ajax and Telamon, in the Loggia of the Pitti Palace at Florence.]

[Footnote 2: The cannon were to supply the castle of St. Angelo, but a large portion of the metal (which formerly covered the roof of the temple) was used to construct the canopy and pillars which still stand over the tomb of St. Peter, in the great cathedral at Rome.]

[Footnote 3: This vehicle for satire was introduced early into England; thus, in 1589, was published “The return of the renowned Cavaliero Pasquill to England from the other side of the seas, and his meeting with Marforio at London, upon the Royall Exchange.”]