struck him with his stick, repeating, ‘When I am able! When I am able!’ Michael Angelo rushed home and made preparations for leaving Rome. But Julius despatched a courier after him with five hundred ducats, and the man, after doing his best to appease him, presented the Pope’s excuses, which Michael Angelo accepted.”
But they recommenced on the morrow. One day the Pope ended by saying to him angrily: “Do you want me to have you thrown from the top of your scaffolding?” Michael Angelo had then to give way; he took down the scaffolding, and on All Saints’ Day 1512 his work was uncovered.
That great and melancholy fête, which receives the funereal reflection of All Souls’ Day, was eminently fitted for the inauguration of Michael Angelo’s terrible work, full of the spirit of God who creates and destroys—the devouring God in whom the whole force of life rushes like a tempest.
- I have analysed the work in my book on Michael Angelo in the series entitled “Les Maîtres de l’Art,” and need not here return to the subject.