Page:The Life of Michael Angelo.djvu/109
much alone, in the midst of my difficulties, and I have so many of them that they occupy me more than my art. My means do not permit me to have any one to serve me."
Clement VII. showed that he was sometimes touched by his sufferings. He affectionately expressed his sympathy and assured him of his favour "as long as he lived." But the incurable frivolity of the Medici got the upper hand, and, instead of relieving him of part of his work, he gave him fresh commissions, amongst others one for an absurd Colossus, the head of which would have been a steeple and the arm a chimney. Michael Angelo had to occupy himself for some time with this curious idea. He was also constantly struggling with his workmen, masons and carters, whom certain persons—precursors of the modern advocates of an eight hours day—endeavoured to entice from their work.
At the same time his domestic troubles did nothing but increase. His father, as he grew older, became more irritable and unjust. One day he took it into his head to flee from Florence, accusing his son of having driven him from the house. It was on that occasion that Michael Angelo wrote him the following admirable letter:
"Very dear father, I was very surprised yesterday not to find you at home, and now that I learn that you
- Letter from Michael Angelo to Fattucci. (October 24, 1525.)
- Letter from Pier Paolo Marzi, on behalf of Clement VII., to Michael Angelo. (December 23, 1525.)
- Letters from October to December 1525. (Milanesi's edition, pp. 448-449.)
- Letter from Michael Angelo to Fattucci. (June 17, 1526.)
- Henry Thode dates this letter about 1521. In Milanesi's edition it figures (wrongly) under the date 1516.