naples paris economic
GALIANI, FERDINANDO (1728-1787), one of the most celebrated, if not one of the soundest, political economists, of Italy, was born at Chieti on the 2d of December 1728. For his early education and opportunities of advancement in life he was less indebted to his parents than to his uncle, Monsignor Cclestino Galiani. By his care, and at his expense, Galiani received the best education which Naples and Rome could then furnish, becoming qualified for an ecclesiastical career at a time when a clever abbe might hope to fill with profit and reputation important offices in the state as well as in the church, Galiani gave early promise. of distinction as an economist, and even more as a wit. At the age of twenty-two he had produced two works by which his name became widely known far beyond the bounds of his own Naples. His taste for economic studies had been developed in the society of such men as Genovesi and Intieri, and prompted the composition of his Trattoto della Moneta, in which many aspects of the question of exchange-are set forth, always with a special reference to the state of confusion then presented by the whole monetary system of the Neapolitan Government. Galiani's fame as a humorist dated from the appearance of the Raceata iit Merle del Boia, a work as popular in Italian literary circles during the last century as the Rejected Addresses and Bon Gaultier Ballads have been in our own. In this volume Galiani parodied with exquisite felicity, in a series of discourses on the death of the public hangman, the style of the most pompous and pedantic Neapolitan writers of the day. Galiani's political knowledge and social qualities now pointed him out to the discriminating eye of Charles III., and his liberal minister Tanned, as one eminently fitted to serve the Government as a diplomatist in France. He was therefore attached in the character of secretary to the Neapolitan embassy at Paris. Thither he repaired in 1759, at a time when a change in the relations between the courts of Paris and Vienna was about to exercise an influence on the course of the Seven Years' War, when the different Bourbon courts were engaged in a common action against the Jesuits, and when economic science held a foremost place in the speculations of the most eminent French writers. Galiani is chiefly remembered by posterity by the part which he took in these economic discussions. His Dialogues SUP les bids, though published after his return to Naples, produced on its appearance a great impression, and has again and again furnished to future controversialists arguments more specious than solid against the liberty of exporting corn. The criticism of Voltaire, that Galiani's volume united the wisdom of Plato and the wit of Moliere, will not be accepted as a decisive judgment on the merits of the treatise ; but it may be viewed as a tolerably fair test of the regard in which it was held by Galiani's contemporaries. Galiani returned to Naples after a ten years' residence in Paris, where his reputation as a wit had long surpassed that of an economist or a statesman. Until his death at Naples, on October 30, 1787, he kept up with his old Parisian friends a correspondence, of which the tone on his side can only be compared to the wailing and howling sent forth by Ovid during his banishment to the shores of the Euxine. Absence from Paris was with him the synonym of social and literary death.
To the common editions of Galiani which are found in great public libraries must be added the essay recently published at Naph;) L'Abate (-Mitt/Li, by Alberto J\larghieri, 1878, and the copious extracts from his correspondence with Tanucci, likewise published very recently in the new series of Viesseux's L'Archivio ,S`torico, Florence, 1878.