Persons who utter verses impromptu. The art was introduced by Petrarch, and is still a favourite amusement of the Italians. The most celebrated are:
ACCOLTI (Bernardo, of Arezzo, called the “Unico Aretino” (1465-1535).
ANTONIANO (Silvio. Eighteenth century.
AQUILANO (Serafino, of Aquila (1466-1500).
BANDETTINI. (See Improvisatrix.)
BERONICIUS (P.J., who could covert extempore, into Greek or Latin verse, a Dutch newspaper or anything else (died 1676).
CHRISTOFORO, surnamed Altissimo, an Italian (1514).
CORILLA. (See Improvisatrix.)
GLANNI (Francis. An Italian, made imperial poet by Napoleon, whose victories he celebrated in verse (1759-1824).
JEHAN (Núr: (See Improvisatrix.)
KARSCHIN (Anna Louisa. (See Improvisatrix.)
MARONE (Andreas. An Italian (1474-1527).
METASTASIO (P. A. D. B., of Assisi, who developed, at the age of ten, a great talent for extemporising in verse (1698-1782).
PERFETTI (Bernardino, of Sienna, who received a laurel crown in the capital, an honour conferred only on Petrarch and Tasso (1681-1747).
QUERNO (Camillo. An Italian (1470-1528).
ROSSI. Beheaded at Naples in 1799.
SERAFINO. (See above, Aquilano.)
SESTINI (Bartolomeo. An Italian (died 1822).
SGRICCI (Tommaso, of Tuscany (1788-1832). His Death of Charles I., Death of Mary Queen of Scots, and Fall of Missolonghi, are very celebrated.
TADDEI (Rosa.(See Improvisatrix.)
ZUCCO (Marco Antonio, of Verona (died 1764).
To these add Ciccioni, Bindocci, the brothers Clerc of Holland, Wolf of Altona, Langen-schwarz of Germany, Eugène de Pradel of France, and our own Thomas Hood (1798-1845).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894