Besides the Orlando Innamorato, Boiardo wrote a variety of prose works, a comedy in verse on the subject of Timon, lyrics of great elegance, with a vein of natural feeling running through them, and Latin poetry of a like sort, not, indeed, as classical in its style as that of Politian and the other subsequent revivers of the ancient manner, but perhaps not the less interesting on that account; for it is difficult to conceive a thorough copyist in style expressing his own thorough feelings.
Calcondila was now gone to Milan, and there was no counterpoise or rival to Politian such as was desired for him by the friends who wished him to be taught a little propriety and humility.
The story of the truly great prince with his circle of poet friends, one of whom, Politian, died of a broken heart at the death of his beloved patron, is well told.
They reduced the generality of Florentine citizens, who were once omnipotent, to a nullity; but they had at least, the sense to cherish Donatello and Ghiberti, Brunelleschi and Gozzoli, Ficino and Politian. It is singular, too, with what comparatively small means the Medici were enabled to do such great things.
We see how gently he dealt with his great tutor Politian, and how the sovereignty of the poet and scholar was reconciled, though not without difficulty, with the inevitable reserve prescribed by the approaching change in the position of the house of Medici and by consideration for the sensitiveness of the wife.
"William Selling," says D'Aubigné, "a young English ecclesiastic, afterwards distinguished at Canterbury by his zeal in collecting valuable manuscripts, his fellow-countrymen, Grocyn, Lilly, and Latimer, 'more bashful than a maiden, and, above all, Linacre, whom Erasmus ranked above all the scholars of Italy, used to meet in the delicious villa of the Medici, with Politian, Chalcondyles, and other men of learning; and there, in the calm evenings of summer, under that glorious Tuscan sky, they dreamt romantic visions of the Platonic philosophy.
Physical as well as literary activity awoke with the rediscovery of the teachers of Greece; and the continuous progress of English science may be dated from the day when Linacre, another Oxford student, returned from the lectures of the Florentine Politian to revive the older tradition of medicine by his translation of Galen.
Politian was professor of Greek as well as Latin at Florence, professorial chairs being maintained there, although the university had been removed to Pisa; but for a long time Demetrio Calcondila, one of the most eminent and respectable among the emigrant Greeks, had also held a Greek chair, simultaneously with the too predominant Italian.
General Olaf, you conquered me in war and dealt with those of my servants who fell into your hands according to the nobleness of your heart. Shall I, then, be outdone in generosity by one whom a while ago I should have named a Christian dog? Not so! Let the high priest of the Christians, Politian, be brought hither.
Politian the poet, and Mirandula, the Phoenix of his age, were the messengers whom the great Lorenzo sent out to gather the spoil; and he only prayed, he said, that they might find such a store of good books that he would be obliged to pawn his furniture to pay for them.