Page:The Life of Michael Angelo.djvu/202

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THE LIFE OF MICHAEL ANGELO

ment at his uncle's insistence in wishing to get him married.

"It is true that I desire it," replied Michael Angelo. "This marriage is good, in order to prevent our family finishing with us. I know very well that if that happened the world would not receive a shock; but every animal strives to preserve its species. And that is why I want you to marry."[1]

At last Michael Angelo himself got tired; he began to find that it was ridiculous that it was always he who occupied himself over Leonardo's marriage, whilst his nephew appeared to take no interest in it. So he declared that he would have nothing more to do with it.

"For the past sixty years I have occupied myself with your business. I am old now and must think of my own."

At that very moment he heard that his nephew had just become engaged to Cassandra Ridolfi. Michael Angelo rejoiced, congratulated him and promised him a dowry of 1500 ducats. Leonardo married.[2] Michael Angelo sent his good wishes to the newly-married couple and promised Cassandra a pearl necklace. Still, joy did not prevent him warning his nephew that, "although he did not know much about these things, it seemed to him that Leonardo ought to have settled very exactly all money questions before leading the wife to his house, for there was ever the germ of disunion in these questions." He ended his

  1. He adds, however: "But if you do not feel healthy enough, then it is better for you to resign yourself to living without bringing other wretched beings into the world" ("Letters," June 24, 1552).
  2. May 16. 1553.