A Venetian Printer-Publisher in the Sixteenth Century

THE subject of this study is Gabriele Giolito, the chief of a firm of printers and booksellers who flourished in Venice during a large part of the sixteenth century. Our information has been derived from a most excellent sketch of Gabriele’s life which has recently been published by Salvatore Bongi, under the auspices of the Italian minister of public instruction.

The course of this essay will show how a great hereditary family of printers left their native city, and, settling in Venice, founded a business of European importance ; how the head of the family conducted his affairs; how he opened branch establishments in other Italian cities, and was cheated by his agents. We shall learn something, too, about Gabriele’s literary connections, his friends, the men with whom he came in contact, and shall gain some pleasant glimpses of his home life. One episode in Gabriele’s career, though by no means an uncommon one at his epoch, is of special interest : he became involved in a trial, for a press offense, before the Holy Office; and the minutes of the case show us the grave difficulties to which booksellers and printers were then exposed by the ceaseless vigilance of the Inquisition.

At the eastern end of that line of hills upon which the Superga, the tomb of the House of Savoy, now stands is a little valley in the district of Monferrat, called Valle de’ Gioliti, and its inhabitants are for the most part named after their valley. This was the original home of that family whose fortunes we are about to follow. It was from the Valle de’ Gioliti that they moved into the town of Trino, on the other side of the Po, some time before we find them becoming known to fame as printers.

The name Giolito is not unknown in modern Italy; a late minister of finance bore it, though it has changed its quantity. and is now wrongly pronounced Giólito, in place of Giolíto, as it ought to be. One of the family pleased himself with a derivation from the French joli ; asserting that an ancestor who had passed some time in France gained the endearing epithet from his grace of person. The Gioliti bore another name, De Ferrari or De Ferraris, which they exchanged at pleasure with that of Giolito ; so that we find indifferently Giolito de Ferrari or Ferrari de Giolitis, though the former is the more common.

The Gioliti settled in the town of Trino at least as early as the end of the fourteenth century. They took an active part in the civic life of their home; were wealthy merchants and became nobles of Trino, where they possessed houses and property of value. Their descendant, Gabriele, had occasion to write from Venice to the Duchess of Mantua, whose husband, the Duke, was also Lord of Monferrat, complaining bitterly of the damage done to his house in Trino by the continual billeting of soldiers therein; “ whose number and insolence,” he says, “ have grown day by day to such a pitch that if your Highness does not interfere on my behalf, and that quickly, the whole place will go to ruin.” Gabriele’s petition produced the desired effect. The soldiery were withdrawn from the Giolito house. But the relief did not long endure. Very shortly we find Gabriele writing to the imperial ambassador, lamenting that the mischief of the billeting has been renewed with twofold violence, and imploring the ambassador to Secure for him the privilege that no troops may be lodged in his house without his leave. “ Not that I wish to avoid my just burdens, but that my property may not be entirely destroyed.舠

In the annals of the town of Trino the names of other members of the Giolito family, distinguished in war and in commerce, frequently occur; and we conclude that the Gioliti, at the time when they embarked upon printing and bookselling, had attained a very high position in their adopted city. It is impossible now to discover what induced them to add the book trade to their other industries. The idea was in the air. The new art had been introduced into Italy in 1465 ; and the attention of cultivated society was attracted to it. The district in which Trino stands soon became one of the chief centres of the art; the whole country around the home of the Gioliti is full of memories of the earliest masters of typography, and the names of Trino, Gabiano, Verelengo, will recall to bibliographers many a precious specimen of Italian incunabula. Other Trinesi had already preceded the Gioliti in the exercise of the new industry, among them Bernardino Stagnino and Guglielmo, the latter of whom rejoiced in the tender nickname of Animamia. Perhaps the success of these induced the wealthy and mercantile Gioliti to follow in their steps. However that may be, we can hardly doubt that the migration of Bernardino and Animamia to Venice and their activity in that city attracted the Gioliti also to the capital of the Venetian republic ; and the example set by them was continued through centuries. The number of Trinesi to be found among Venetian printers is quite remarkable. The succession is continued from the year 1483 down to the close of the last century, when Trino was represented by the family of the Pezzana, successors of the famous firm of Giunta, whose Florentine lily they bore as a sign.

Giovanni Giolito, father of Gabriele, set up a printing-press in Trino in the year 1508, and continued to print there till the year 1523, when the disasters of war compelled him to close his workshops. His chief issues were legal tomes, printed in Gothic character; and the activity of his press was in no way remarkable, for only thirty Giolitan editions are recorded between 1508 and 1523. In all probability Gabriele was born during the earlier years of this period ; so that he was brought up within sight and sound of a printing-press. When political troubles compelled Giovanni to close his shop in Trino, he went to Venice, and appears to have put himself at once in relations with his compatriots, Stagnino and others, who had preceded him to the city of the lagoons. It is possible that he was in straitened circumstances at the moment, for, though Venice offered such an excellent field for the art of printing, we do not find that Giovanni established a press, or even issued any works under his own name, whereas it is nearly certain that he was employed by other printer-publishers. Giovanni took with him, or caused to follow him to Venice, some of his family, among them his son Gabriele. But of this period in the history of the Gioliti we know almost nothing. The next certain point is Giovanni’s return to his native city in 1534. There he reëstablished his press ; using this time not Gothic character, but that exquisite Roman type copied from the font of Nicolas Jenson, and known then as caratere rotondo or veneziano. Giovanni occupied himself in printing for the University of Turin ; and his books were sold contemporaneously in Trino and in Turin. But this new venture was destined to a brief existence. The French army seized Trino in the year 1534 ; and Giovanni found himself obliged to leave his native city, and to betake himself once more to the safety and shelter of the only quiet state in Italy, the republic of Venice.

This brief period of Giovanni’s sojourn in Trino is of moment in the history of the Gioliti, for it introduces us for the first time to the subject of this study, Gabriele Giolito, whom his father had left behind in Venice. Gabriele’s name occurs in an epistle dedicatory, dated January 18, 1535, and prefixed to Giovanni’s edition of Perotto’s grammar. The letter was written by Prè Antonio Craverio, proof-reader and schoolmaster in Turin. He says: “Notwithstanding my daily occupation in matters spiritual and temporal, I am resolved right readily, gladly, and willingly to undertake the revision of those works which you propose to print in Venetian character in the city of Turin. And with the help of the highest and most mighty God, I will make it my care that they shall be published in such a fashion as to spread throughout the whole world, and especially in Turin, where the printer’s art has ever been held in such esteem. The nobility of your profession and the fame you enjoy, not only in your native Trino, but in Venice, Germany, France, and Spain, urge me to comply with your request; and in truth your merits, which also adorn your son Master Gabriele, whom you have left in Venice to fill your place, render both you and him dear to all the learned; for you live not for yourselves alone, and therefore do they bear you great affection and good will.” From the reference to Gabriele in this letter, it seems probable that he was already a fullgrown man, left behind in Venice in order to maintain business relations, but as yet without a press or bookshop of his own ; for when Giovanni returned to Venice, after the closing of his university press, he was obliged once more to employ other printing-presses to produce the volumes he proposed to issue, — the press of Bridoni for his Ariosto, and that of Stagnino for his Dante. This dependence on others did not satisfy Giovanni, and soon after his return to Venice he established a printing-press of his own. from which, in the years 1538 and 1539, several works were issued, bearing on their title-page the wellknown emblem of the Gioliti, a phœnix rising from the flames, surmounting a globe, ribboned with the motto Semper eadem.

Giovanni died in 1540, and left to his son Gabriele, who now became the head of the firm, his printing business, at that time merely in its infancy, his wealth, and a lawsuit which proved a source of considerable trouble to Gabriele. Giovanni had been twice married, and by these marriages he had had four sons and some daughters. He made a will during the lifetime of his second wife, directing that children born posthumously should share equally with those for whom he now provided. His second wife died, however, and Giovanni took a third wife, by whom he had one son and three daughters, who claimed the right to share with the children of the former marriages. The case was probably tried at Casale ; and Gabriele was compelled to leave Venice in 1541, in order to attend to the suit against him. The opinion of counsel was hostile to the children of the third marriage ; but we do not know how the court decided the case. Gabriele was not detained for any long time away from Venice. He returned to that city, and set himself seriously to the great business of his life, the establishment of the famous Giolitan press and book trade.

Gabriele’s first, step in this direction was a modest one. He found the plant of his father’s press inadequate to the work he proposed to undertake. He accordingly began by acquiring both the stock and the plant of two eminent printer-publishers the one his compatriot Bernardino Stagnino : the other Bartolomeo Zanetti, a Brescian, well known in the literary world as the object of a scurrilous attack by that free lance Gian Francesco Doni. With these imperfect instruments Gabriele worked for two years. That he conducted his business successfully is proved by the fact that at the end of this time he was able to furnish his shop with type and ornaments, quite new and all his own. It is interesting, as an indication of public taste, to note the works to which Gabriele owed these beginnings of his fortune : they were the Decamerone and the Orlando Furioso, published in 1542, the Cortegiano of Castiglione, Bede’s Commentary on St. Paul, and Nicolò Franco’s Dialoghi and Petrarchista.

At the outset of his career, Gabriele enjoyed three great advantages over the majority of his brother tradesmen : he was a man of means, of education, and of position. The first of these qualifications, his wealth, enabled him to embark upon editions without waiting for orders, and so to keep his press constantly alive. All that was required of him to insure his success was intelligence in the choice of the works he printed, and a just perception of the general current of public taste. And here his two other qualifications of position and of education were of value to him. He was a good judge of the literary impulse of his day ; and his position enabled him to make the acquaintance of many of the more eminent lights in the world of letters. His taste was catholic, as a great publisher’s must needs be. We find among his friends persons of such varied ability and character as Aretino, Bernardo Tasso, Nicolò Franco, Doni, Giovanni Battista Giraldi, the novelist, Antonio Brucioli, Remigio Fiorentino, Sansovino, Porcacchi. For some of these Gabriele acted as printer and publisher; others were employed by him, either to write books on subjects suggested by him, or in the correction of works on which he had resolved to embark his capital. Many of these collaborators lodged with Gabriele in his house at Sant’ Aponal, beyond the Rialto. The house was a large one, and fitted with considerable luxury ; large enough and sumptuous enough to entertain the Duke of Mantua on the oecasion of a visit to Venice. Gabriele himself records this fact with pride in the dedication of the Life of the Emperor Frederick to the Emperor’s daughter, the Duchess of Mantua, wherein, recounting the honors done him by the Duke, her husband, he says, “ But greatest of all was the favor he showed me in deigning to lodge in my small and humble hostelry in Venice.”

Gabriele’s chief difficulty in the way of a successful career lay, as we have already suggested, in the choice of a line of business. Between the date of the introduction of printing into Italy and the period with which we are dealing a change had come over the literary quality of Italian taste. Two divergent currents displayed themselves. The pure scholars still existed, the men who lived with the classics, and considered a translation a doubtful boon. But the classics had all been edited and published with the greatest diligence and in the most sumptuous form. Critical scholarship had not made advance sufficient to render new editions a necessity ; and the art of printing had so deteriorated that there was little prospect of a reprint competing in beauty with the works of John of Spires, of Jenson, or of Aldus. On the other hand, the men with whom Gabriele was thrown in contact were almost all engaged in developing the vulgar tongue, in letters, in comedies, in novels, in translations. The press had performed its inevitable function of gran volgarizzatore; the reading public was immensely increased in number, but had ceased, for the most part, to be truly literate. It is therefore obvious that Gabriele’s own good Sense and business acumen would lead him to make the choice he did, and to determine to devote the chief energies of his press to works in the vulgar tongue. As a proof of Gabriele’s activity in the publication of the Italian classics, and as an indication of the public taste, we note that between the years 1542 and 1560 he issued twenty-eight editions of the Orlando Furioso, twenty-two of Petrarch, nine of the Decamerone, and one edition of Dante. On comparing these figures with the list of all editions between 1536 and 1560, it becomes clear that Gabriele played a very large part in the diffusion of these great Italian texts. During these twenty-four years the Orlando was published sixty-nine times, Petrarch sixty-one, the Decamerone twentysix, and Dante nine times.

The most fruitful and flourishing period of Gabriele’s career as a publisher may be reckoned from 1560 to 1575. But within this period the character of the Giolitan publications, while still retaining its general quality of the vulgar tongue, underwent a change, the causes of which are to be sought in the history of the times, and more especially in the attitude of the Church towards the press. Gabriele had begun by dealing largely in belles-lettres, light literature, and the skeptical philosophers. The works of Boccaccio, Ariosto, Nicolò Franco, and Machiavelli employed a large part of his activity. But the spirit of reform in manners, which was animating the Church and being formulated in the sessions of the Council of Trent, was about to make itself felt in the world of letters. The Church resolved to attack light literature and skeptical teaching. In 1549 the first Italian Index, or catalogue of prohibited books, was published in Venice. Gabriele, whether from conviction or from prudence, determined immediately to comply with the movement. He abandoned almost entirely light literature, and ceased to print Ariosto, Boccaccio, Petrarch, and Machiavelli, although they had hitherto formed the chief staple of his publishing business. We shall see presently that this ready obedience to the wishes of the Church did not save Gabriele from a collision with the Holy Office. In the mean time, however, he found it necessary to inaugurate some new line of industry to compensate for that source of profit which he found was suddenly run dry. Without renouncing his predeliction for the vulgar tongue, he devised a scheme of publication which was undoubtedly the most remarkable and most original feature in his career as printer-publisher. It had been no infrequent habit of the early publishers to issue in one volume the works of several different authors on cognate subjects. But the idea of a series, in our sense of the word, was absolutely unknown to the publishers of that day. Gabriele conceived the idea of presenting to the world translations of the Greek and Latin classics and the masterpieces of Italian literature in uniform series of many volumes. The various series he called collane, or necklaces; each necklace was to be composed of anelli, or links, represented by the various authors in the series, and of gioielli, or gems, represented by excursuses for the elucidation of those authors. This idea of Gabriele, though never carried to completion, was probably the parent of those numerous series which have continued to multiply down to the present day. But, like many novel ideas, the scheme was conceived on too grandiose a scale. Gabriele was unable to carry the execution of his design for any considerable distance. The Collana Istorica was entrusted to Tommaso Porcacchi as editor, and he published the programme of the Greek portion in the preface to the translations of Thucydides and Polybius; the programme of the Latin authors who were to form links in the historical necklace was prepared, but never published ; the Italian links and all the gems are wanting. The proposal appears to have met with favor from the learned; but the plan was too vast. Gabriele very soon found himself obliged to reprint translations already in vogue, instead of supplying new renderings, as he intended, in order to satisfy an impatient public, and to fill the serious gaps in his necklace. Nor were internal difficulties the only ones which confronted him. The plague broke out in Venice, and for a time brought all trade to a standstill. Gabriele’s historical series remained uncompleted, a mere sketch of the design he had set before him. But the collection of all that Gabriele had ever printed, together with the attempt to fill up his programme from other sources, was for long a hobby with Italian bibliophiles.

Giolito did not confine his idea of a series to the works of profane writers only. He embarked upon an undertaking of less ambition than his Collana Istorica, and in this he succeeded. Among his intimates and collaborators Gabriele numbered, besides men of letters, many learned divines, the most distinguished of whom was Remigio Fiorentino. With the help of these men he collected and published a series to which he gave the name of Ghirlanda Spirituale, or Spiritual Garland, in which the various volumes formed the flowers. Not content with the Garland, he projected a second series of pious works, to be known as the Albero Spirituale, or Spiritual Tree, with various fruits, the component parts of the series, on its branches. The Garland was completed, and enjoyed a wide circulation ; but only the seventh fruit on the Spiritual Tree, Tauler’s Exercises, ever came to maturity.

The conception and execution of these series are the most striking episodes in Giolito’s life as a publisher. He was proud of his idea, and allowed one of his editors to address him in a dedication as " he who has set before himself the task of bettering the world by Christian and pious books, printed in his splendid type, as he has already enriched it with the works of historians and poets, to his own great fame and glory.” This praise bestowed on Gabriele’s type leads us to consider his position as a printer. One of the most extraordinary features in the story of the Venetian printing-press is the great beauty of its very earliest productions and the rapidity with which deterioration set in. It would almost be safe to affirm that nothing more lovely typographically than the monuments of the first Venetian presses, the works of the brothers John and Wendelin of Spires, of Nicolas Jenson, or of Bernard Pictor and Ratdolt, ever issued from the workshops of that city. At the period of which we are writing the press was in rapid decadence, and the praise bestowed on the books brought out by Gabriele Giolito must be taken as relative to the work of his contemporaries; in which case, no doubt, his publications deserve the title of bellissime stampe. Among the various causes of the decline of the typographical art in Venice, one of the most important has hardly received sufficient attention from bibliographers : we mean the rise of type founding as a separate branch of industry. The earlier masters, such as Jenson, were frequently men accustomed to cut in metal, and therefore able to produce their own punches from which the moulds for their fonts were impressed. Much of a printer’s success depended on his skill in cutting punches, and on his artistic sense of proportion and form in the letters he designed. The punches of men like Jenson and Aldus were valuable property, worthy to be bequeathed by will, and finding ready purchasers when they came into the market. The result of this individual design of his type by the printer himself was that the works of the early masters had each a style and cachet of their own. No one would confuse a Jenson with a John of Spires, for example : the notes of their character, the forms of their letters, their signs of contraction, distinguish them at once from each other. But about the middle of the sixteenth century a type foundry, independent of any particular printer or group of printers, was opened as a commercial speculation in Venice. The object of the promoters was monetary success, and the chief means towards this end was cheapness. The result was that in a very short time the printingpresses of Venice were supplied with a character uniform in quality and inferior in artistic beauty. The book-buying public was willing to accept the innovation. The days were already past in which the printed book was expected to rival the manuscript in clegance of form. The literary world seemed indifferent to the quality of their books; and even such well-known printers as Giovanni Rossi, Paul Manutius, and Gabriele Giolito yielded to the temptation, and lost their distinctive features in the general mass. The date of this revolution in printing may be placed in the year 1555, so that Gabriele had been at work about thirteen years with characters of his own, displaying his conception of a good type, before his press was invaded by the undistinguished and undistinguishable flood of mediocre characters produced wholesale by speculating type founders. The brilliant period of Gabriele Giolito’s career as a printer was previous to the year 1555; and if his books at any time merited the title of bellissime stampe, it was before the opening of the wholesale type foundry. But, as we have said, the general public did not resent the deterioration. In 1560 Gabriele was employed to produce Bernardo Tasso’s Amadigi. It was a work of great importance, eagerly looked for in the literary world, and author and publisher were united in the desire to do it justice. Yet we find that the character employed was that to be found in almost every press in Venice, the work of the type foundry. Gabriele never suffered in his publishing business from yielding to the innovation, and the years of his greatest activity were subsequent to his adoption of the new type.

So far, then, we have followed Gabriele’s course as a publisher and as a printer, two branches of the book trade which he combined, like most of his contemporaries, and personally superintended, in his large establishment at Sant’ Aponal, called the Libreria della Fenice. His fame among his contemporaries and his high position in Venice are beyond a doubt. Aretino said of him that he “ printed like a prince, not like a bookseller;” Charles V. sent him a present of a work of art —what, we do not know—representing his famous emblem, the Phœnix; the Duke of Mantua came to lodge with him ; and the republic bestowed upon him the citizenship of Venice.

But Giolito’s business was not confined to Venice. As his reputation became Italian, if not European, he opened branches in Ferrara and Bologna for the sale of books, and thought of establishing a press in the former city if the duke would grant him special privileges. A third shop, of which we shall have more to say presently, was opened in Naples. Besides carrying on these branch shops, which were known to be his, and in all likelihood displayed the sign of the Phœnix, Gabriele was in business relations with book merchants not only in Italy, but also abroad. At Mantua, for instance, he was creditor of three booksellers, one of whom never discharged his debt; and in Lyons he had most cordial relations with the printer Roville, who wrote of him that he was " a man truly deserving of his time, for he had published more beautiful books in Italian and in Spanish than any one alive. " At his branch shops, Gabriele, following the example of Aldus and many Venetian houses, kept, in stock not only his own publications, but also the works of other printers; moreover, he undertook to supply foreign books, which were purchased for him at the great German fairs, like Frankfort, which Venetian merchants were in the habit of frequenting. In this way he combined three branches of the book trade which are generally conducted separately : he was at once a printer, a publisher, and a bookseller.

But to return to the Naples branch, which was the source of much trouble to Giolito. We find that he had entrusted the conduct of this business in Naples to a certain Pietro Ludrini. As time went on, however, Gabriele had occasion to suspect Ludrini’s honesty. He accordingly sent Giovanni Battista Capello to Naples to take the management of the house ; and for Capello he drew up the following instructions, with which he dispatched him on the delicate task of expelling Ludrini and assuming the direction of the Neapolitan shop. The document is so vivid and so instructive that we shall translate it nearly in full: “ In the name of God, April 10,1563, in Venice.

“ I, Gabriele Giolito, present to you, Giovanni Battista Capello, this memorandum of that which you are to do when once you are in Naples, whither God lead you safe and sound. First, as soon as you reach Naples you will put yourself in communication with Messer Stefano Corsini, merchant, and Messer Giovanni de Bottis, bookseller, and will ask their advice as to the best means for becoming possessed of my shop. And do not forget to have an inventory made out by a notary; for I desire that, my affairs should be all clear and in order, even if I have to spend a little more upon them. It will be as well to call in the arm of the law ; so that if Pietro makes any resistance you may be able to compel him to reason. Do not let Pietro know that you are in Naples till all is ready. When you are quite prepared, go to Pietro, and pretend that you have only just arrived. Give him my letters, in which I charge him to surrender my business to you. If he yield quietly, lose no time, but send for a notary at once to draw up the inventory ; and ask Pietro to hand over all moneys he may have on my account, and give him a receipt for the same. If he resist, enter a formal protest holding him responsible for all damage or loss that may arise. Messer Corsini will consign to you nineteen boxes and five sacks, numbered from one to twenty-four. They contain books for stocking the shop. I have given you the invoice, and you will verify the contents. I have told Messer Corsini to furnish you with money lor legal and other expenses. You will keep minutely a day-book of the shop, in which you will enter all income and expenditure. Further, should you find in my shop any prohibited books, I will not have them on sale. They must be put aside. The Spiceleguirn is copyrighted in the kingdom of Naples, and cannot be sold there. When once you have everything in your hands, you will see that new keys are made for all the doors and all the chests, so that no one who has duplicates of the old keys can play any tricks. Letters for me are to be handed to Corsini, but franked as far as Rome. You will also take stock of all my books, for I fear that many are imperfect. I know that Pietro used to sell loose sheets of them to make up other booksellers’ copies. Send me a list of all imperfections, and they shall be remedied at once. Above all, live like a good Christian, with the fear of God before your eyes, if you wish to get on. Don’t get into bad habits, for they ruin a man ; fly them it you desire that this our good beginning should endure. God give you light to act fairly by us both,

“ I forgot to say that if Pietro offers you any debtors for books sold on credit let him look to them himself. But if he draws the cash enter it to his credit. He had no authority from me to sell a single sheet on credit ; and I charge you not to do so, either. If, however, you should hear that a debtor is of better substance than Pietro, you may accept him and enter him on the books. All the takings of the shop you will consign every month to Corsini.舡

This memorandum, apart from the light it throws on Gabriele’s character as a man of business, is of great importance in the history of his life, for it was the means of clearing him when on trial before the Inquisition.

Capello arrived in Naples; and, so far as we know, Ludrini surrendered the shop and the stock without raising any opposition. An inventory was drawn up; and Capello, in obedience to his instructions, sorted out the prohibited books and placed them in the entresol above the shop. But Ludrini was bent upon revenge for his expulsion ; and he took it in a way which was certain to prove most troublesome both to Capello and to Giolito. In January, 1565, he made out a list of prohibited books which he knew to be in Giolito’s shop, and presented it at the office of the Neapolitan Inquisition. The result of this denunciation was that Giovanni Ortega de Salina, captain of the civic guard of Naples, in obedience to orders from the Holy Office, went to the sign of the Phœnix, and, finding Capello there with some shopmen, he announced his intention of searching the dwelling-house. The quest proved fruitless. No books were found in Capello’s rooms. But on coming downstairs Salina turned aside into the entresol; and there he saw a number of books piled upon tables. In answer to a question Capello said that all these were books forbidden by the Index, and that he had set them aside because he had been told that the Holy Office had ordered the bookshops of Naples to be searched. When asked how he came to have prohibited books in his possession at all, Capello replied that he had them in his shop in virtue of a license ; but, on being ordered to produce it, he admitted that the license was only a verbal one, and did not exist in writing. Giolito’s memorandum shows that Capello’s last answers and explanations were disingenuous ; and it is difficult to understand why he gave such compromising replies, unless he did so under a lively terror of the Inquisition. The result was inevitable : both he and his master became seriously embroiled with the Holy Office. On receiving Capello’s replies, Salina at once ordered all the books to be placed in three trunks, which he sealed and deposited in a neighboring shop, with orders that they were to be surrendered to the Inquisition officers, and to no one else. Capello was arrested and confined in the Vicaria.

The books seized were certainly of a nature to bring Capello and Giolito into trouble. They included Antonio Brucioli’s translation of the New Testament, and many works of Aretino, Machiavelli, Melanchthon, Boccaccio, and Erasmus ; and the Neapolitan Inquisition showed a desire to proceed rapidly and with vigor. On February 2 Capello was examined before the Tribunal. He declared that, when the captain of the guard appeared at his house, he thought forbidden arms, not forbidden books, were the object of his search. When Salina had asked him about the books found in tlie entresol, he had answered that they were forbidden books which he had placed there so that they might not be sold, and that he was awaiting instructions from his master Giolito, to whom he had applied for orders in the matter. He also stated that the only forbidden book he had for sale was the Adagia of Erasmus.

The introduction of Gabriele’s name made the Inquisition determine to involve him too in the trial. The Holy Office of Naples placed itself in communication with the Venetian Inquisition, and sent a list of interrogatories which were to be applied to Giolito. The scene of the trial now shifts to Venice, where Gabriele was summoned to appear before the Sacred Tribunal in May, 1565. He deposed as follows : 舠 I have three shops, one in Naples, one in Bologna, and one in Ferrara, besides my own shop here in Venice at Rialto. My agent in Naples is a certain Giovanni Battista Capello; before him my agent was Pietro Ludrini, who left me because he said he was going to marry. Since Capello went to Naples I have supplied him with no books from Venice ; he has had in Naples the stock in the shop, and also some bales of books which I had entrusted to Messer Stefano Corsini. since dead. I did not give these books to Ludrini, because I found he was dishonest; nor have I given them all to Capello, because I know that he too is cheating me. I have certainly never sent forbidden books to Naples so far as I am aware ; but a copy of the invoices of all consignments to my agents is open to inspection. Perhaps my shopmen may have inadvertently dispatched some books on the Index. I have never read the Index; but when it was sent to me I had it placed in all my shops, with orders to clear the stock of all books whose names were on the prohibitory list.” When asked if he knew a certain Francesco Spinola, Gabriele replied : “Yes, I have known him for three years, as he used to frequent the Fenice, and eventually stayed in my house as proof-reader and tutor to my son. We never discussed matters of faith, as I do not mix in affairs I do not understand. We parted because Spinola neglected both his proof-reading and his tutorship. Spinola once procured for me a copy of Sleidan’s works which Dolce required for his Life of the Emperor Frederick.” Gabriele admitted that he had attended the Lent lectures of Bernardino of Siena, and had found them most illuminating. As regards a certain Cesare de Lucca, he had once been in the service of Giolito, but had left him to serve the Giunti. Cesare never showed any dubious opinions in matters of faith, and conformed to the rule of the Giolito household which required all its members to confess and to communicate at least thrice a year. Finally, as a proof that he desired to obey the orders of the Church, and that he had acted bona fide in the whole matter, Gabriele produced the memorandum which he had drawn up for Capello s instruction on his departure for Naples. The orders in the memorandum appear to have satisfied the Inquisition, and Giolito’s trial proceeded no further ; nor did it entail any punishment or evil consequences upon him, though we cannot but be surprised that he should have ventured to plead ignorance of the contents of the Index, when we remember that he himself had issued the Venetian Index of 1554.

We have followed Gabricle through the details of his business as far as they have been recorded for ns by Salvatore Bongi’s patient research. It only remains, in conclusion, to give some account of his family and of his private life, which will show him to have been as engaging in his home relations as he was astute and able in his business affairs. In the year 1544 Gabriele married Lucrezia Bini, whose family lived in Venice. Lucrezia herself gives us much information about her relations in the will which she made five years after her marriage. " Considering,” she says, “the dangers of this fragile life, I have resolved to make this my will. And first I commend my soul to Almighty God, to the Blessed Virgin, and to all the court of heaven. I name as my executors my husband, my mother-in-law, my uncles Benedetto and Giovanni Pietro Bini, my brother Alvise. and my maternal uncles Alvise and Francesco de’ Anzoli. I desire to be buried wherever my husband may appoint, but on condition that within two years of my death he shall have erected a tomb for me to lie in. Failing this, I wish my body to be placed in the tomb of my uncles in the Franciscan Church : and until the condition be complied with or neglected my corpse shall be left in some safe depository.” After making several legacies, Lucrezia continues : “ To my husband I leave as a pledge of love my big ruby, and that is all; for he has no need of aught. The rest of my dower, and all that I may subsequently become possessed of. I leave in equal portions to my children,should I have any. When I depart this life, I wish to be wrapped in the habit of the Madonna della Conception, for to that guild I belong.”Lucrezia’s phrase about her children, “ se ne haverò,舡 leaves some doubt as to whether any had yet been born, or whether those born had died. A letter written by Gabriele to his kinsman, Lelio Montalerio, and dated August 19, 1570, sufficiently explains the position of the family at that date, “ I have two sons,” he writes, “ one sixteen rising seventeen, the other eight; and I have four daughters, one fifteen, another twelve, another ten, and another seven. This makes up the half dozen. Another half dozen are in heaven. That makes twelve in all, and now we intend to rest, if so it shall please God. And may he grant us to live all together till they be old enough to govern themselves without our aid.” Under their mother’s guidance the Giolito family was brought up in all the exercises of piety. Gabriele’s friends in the world of religious letters bear testimony to their appreciation of her rule. Fra Remigio Fiorentino dedicated his translation of the Imitatio to Lucrezia, that she might be able to place it in the hands of her youthful family. Tommaso Porcacchi sent a reproduction of the same work to Lucrezia, with a letter in which he praises the piety and discipline of the Giolito housebold. “ which seems a sainted Paradise, made glorious by the beauty and goodness of those little angels who day by day sing psalms and lauds and hymns to the honor of God ; ” and, making all allowance for the florid emphasis of the period, we can quite believe that the family of Gabriele was distinguished for its piety. We find a sober confirmation of the religious atmosphere in which they lived in the words of Bonaventura Gonzaga, who records the daily celebration of the divine offices in a chamber set apart in the house for that, purpose.

Among the daughters born to Gabriele and Lucrezia, the one of whom we hear most was called Fenice, doubtless in memory of the famous sign over Gabriele’s house. She was born in 1555, and, under her mother’s care, became the chief centre of the religious fervor which characterized the family. When a little girl, seven years old, she one day asked Iter father’s friend, Fra Remigio, to recommend a work which should teach her how to acquire and keep the divine grace. Remigio replied by publishing, and dedicating to Fenice, Girolamo Sirino’s Modo dele d’Acquistare la Divina Gratia. Fenice’s pious bent of mind acquired force with her growing years, until she at last announced her resolve to become a nun. This occasioned a display of Gabriele’s sound sense. Writing to Montalerio, he says : 舠 My eldest girl is fifteen years old, and God has inspired her with the wish to be a nun. Though it is now two years that she has been begging me to place her in a convent, I have always refused my consent until she should have reached a ripe age and shown me that her resolve is permanent. As yet she is at home with the others. But she is to enter a convent for three or four months, and then I will bring her home again for a month more, to see whether her resolve is firm, and whether she likes a convent better than her own home.”The experiment was tried ; but Fenice’s resolve held firm, and she became a nun in the Benedictine convent of Santa Marta.

If Gabriele’s sons were employed in their father’s business at all, it was not as partners ; for Gabriele’s name alone continues to appear on the Giolitan titlepages till his death. There is a note of lassitude in the first letter to Montalerio from which we have quoted, and, as it were, a summing up of his life’s work by a man who felt that his career was drawing to a close. Old age and weariness were creeping over Gabriele, and showed their presence in the gradual relaxing of that activity which had characterized his press. As to the exact date and cause of Giolito’s death we have no information. But it appears that he escaped the plague, which was raging in 1576 and 1577, only to die the year after its cessation. The Corporation Rolls of the Booksellers, Printers, and Binders prove that Gabriele was already dead before the 3d of March, 1578. Nor did his wife survive him long. In the year 1581, their sons Giovanni and Giampolo raised, in the church of Santa Marta, where Fenice, their sister, was a nun, a monument to the memory of Gabriele and Lucrezia, with this inscription :


Giovanni Giolito, the elder son, assumed the direction of the business ; but in the brief space of ten years he too died, and Giampolo became the head of the house. He found the business little to his taste. He allowed the press to remain idle throughout entire years at a time ; and the appearance of the Giolitan editions was more and more infrequent. Indeed, it would appear that soon after his brother’s death Giampolo resolved to withdraw from printing and publishing; and for that purpose he issued the only catalogue of Giolitan editions ever put forth by the firm. The prices were added in order to facilitate the disposal of the stock. In the year 1606, while the republic was in the very heat of its famous quarrel with Paul V., the Giolitan editions finally ceased, and the famous press, after a brilliant career of seventy years, no longer occupied a place in the annals of Venetian printing.

Horatio F. Brown.