I see various possible explanations for Grifalcon, and Grifalcon as active ad living Maecenas is in my opinion a weaker solution, especially since it somehow contradict with the condition, that Grifalcon is described as rather young. A son of a Maecenas and pupil of Folengo as explanation makes more logic. Maybe also a darker mystery in Folengo's private life is possible, either in sexual activities or even as a hidden son of Folengo. It is possible, that Grifalcon also died. Or that Grifalcon and Galanthis are meant as one person.
On p. 152 of the translation (http://www.scribd.com/doc/50190814/Total-Chaos-Oct-2010) Folengo has Filuca say
You must know that every creator, who operates according to his own judgment and wishes, can make and likewise not make an identical effect how and when it suits him best.
And this principle is most rightly by the impious Averroes called the principle of contradiction.
By "this principle" I think he means the principle that every creator can ignore. And by "every creator" he means not only God but also poets.
So it is not clear to me that we have to choose between alternatives. Poets put in different voices in order to express different points of view. Sometimes they put contradictory attitudes in the mouth of a single character. It is by embracing contradictions that we ascend higher: Folengo extols Plato, and that is the Socratic method. We might even get to the inexpressible.
One way of resolving the contradiction would be to suppose that there are two Grifalcons, Francesco the patron and another who is younger, a pupil, and dies. I notice that at the end there are two "Alberto da Capo"'s.
Another way would be for Francesco to be old enough to be a patron, but young enough that Triperuno/Folengo can call him "young pupil." Since Folengo in 1526 and is in his mid 30s (born 1491), Francesco would be perhaps in his early to mid 20s, at that age not too young to be a patron. I know that men in Florence were considered "young" until they reached about 30, when they married. I don't know the custom in Venice. It might help to know if there was an age limit for being in the Major Council. The period called "juventas" was after "adolescencia" and before "vir." And men in their 20s took lessons: there had been Leonello d'Este for instance, taught in his 20s by Guarino of Verona. Perhaps Francesco took lessons in Macaronic Latin. The 20s is also a time for soldiering, to which the metaphor of "falcon" is appropriate.
A difficulty for this interpretation is the passage (p. 171 of translation):
You give in to tears bewailing some foolish thing and lamenting a tender young pupil, Grifalco, and you can provide nothing more beneficial than this,[nothing] more important. Living acknowledged, she [Galantha] was scarcely hidden from you. May she now live with notable praise engaged in the service of eternal life: provided that she met death for you, she is released from death.
The speaker is still Isidore C., apparently (the "IDEM" that prefaces this speech), apparently addressing Triperuno, who is the one for whom Galanta lived and met death.
Why this "tender young pupil, Grifalco" is to be lamented is in this alternative a mystery, since he's not dead. Perhaps it is not his death but his grief at the death of Galanta--the death of Folengo's sexuality, on Mullaney's interpretation, note on p. 167), that is to be lamented. But the situation is unclear; to us 500 years later, it remains a mystery.
If there is a "devil" in this section, it is not the "noble and courteous" Grifalco (p. 169), but Folengo's sexuality. (Also, the section is 15th in a sequence that exists only in Renda of 1911, not in either of the originals. I have not seen the 1527, but Mullaney confirms in recent email communication with me--for which I thank her--that there is no division into 22 sections in either the 1527 or the 1546 edition. But--me speaking now--that is not to say that Renda wasn't onto something, that the poem as a whole reflects the tarot sequence. However it is nothing so rigid as an invariable one-to-one correspondence between section and card.)
Given that there was an actual Francesco Grifalcon in Venice at that time, it is almost unavoidable that the Grifalcon who is "Maecenas" (patron) would be understood as that one. The rest is in the fog of unmentionability, either due to the limits of language or of what can be spoken about safely.
Mullaney's essay "Proposal for an allegorical reading of Folengo's Baldus and Chaos del Triperuno" is at
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=ca ... kuce3mc0dI
Click on "plain HTML". At least that works where I am.