Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/599

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been attained. Aldo suffered from the jealousy of rival printers and the frauds of piratical booksellers. On four occasions (he writes in 1501) the persons in his employment had caballed against him, with the aim of making larger gains at his expense. Then the work of his press was twice stopped by war; first in 1506, and again in 1510-15. But Aldo was sustained by a sober enthusiasm.

He must also have been cheered by the sympathy of the Hellenists whom he had drawn around him. His "Neacademia" was formed at Venice at 1500. Its rules were drawn up in Greek, and that language was spoken at its meetings. The secretary of the society was Scipione Fortiguerra, the author of a once famous essay In praise of Greek Letters, who grecised his name as Carteromachus; an example which the other members of the body followed. The eminent scholar John Lascaris was one of several distinguished Greeks resident in Italy who joined Aide's Academy. Among the subjects with which the Neacademia occupied itself was the choice of books to be printed, the collation of manuscripts, and the discussion of various readings. Some of the members assisted Aldo as editors of particular classics. It was in order to see a new edition of his own Adagia through the press that Erasmus became a guest under Aldo's roof in 1508. He has described how he sat in the same room with his host, revising the book, while Aldo and his proof-reader Seraphinus pushed forward the printing. Erasmus became, as was natural, an honorary member of the Neacademia. That distinction was enjoyed also by an Englishman who had studied humane letters under Politian, Thomas Linacre. Aldo's Academy thus stands out among kindred institutions of the Italian Renaissance as a body actively associated with a definite work on a grand scale, the printing of the classics. After Aldo's death in 1515, the business of the press was carried on by his brothers-in-law and partners, the Asolani; and then by his son, Paolo Manuzio, and his grandson, Aldo the younger. The series of Greek classics was continued with Pausanias, Strabo, Aeschylus, Galen, Hippocrates, and Longinus. When Aeschylus had appeared, in 1518, no extant Greek classic of the first rank remained unprinted. Aldo was not only one of the greatest of all benefactors to literature, but also a man whose disinterested ardour and generous character compel admiration. Alluding to the device on his title-pages, the dolphin and the anchor,—symbols of speed and tenacity, with the motto Festina lente,—he said (in 1499), "I have achieved much by patience (cunc-tando), and I work without pause." The energy, knowing neither haste nor rest, which carried him to his goal was inspired by the same feeling which, in the dawn of the Renaissance, had animated Petrarch and Boccaccio. Those pioneers, when they ransacked libraries for manuscripts, felt as if they were liberating the master-spirits of old from captivity. So does Aldo exult, in one of his prefaces, at the thought that he has delivered the classics from bondage to "the buriers