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A Brief Vittorio Alfieri Bio

Written by: Alfieri (Vittorio), Count. Famous Italian poet and dramatist, b. Asti, Piedmont, 17 Jan. 1749, of a noble family. His tragedies are justly celebrated, and in his Essay on Tyranny he shows himself as favorable to religious as to political liberty. Written in his youth, this work was revised at a more advanced age, the author remarking that if he had no longer the courage, or rather the fire, necessary to compose it, he nevertheless retained intelligence, independence and judgment enough to approve it, and to let it stand as the last of his literary productions. His attack is chiefly directed against Catholicism, but he does not spare Christianity. “Born among a people,” [13]he says, “slavish, ignorant, and already entirely subjugated by priests, the Christian religion knows only how to enjoin the blindest obedience, and is unacquainted even with the name of liberty.” Alfieri’s tragedy of Saul has been prohibited on the English stage. Died Florence, 8 Oct. 1803.

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