Page:The Life of Benvenuto Cellini Vol 1.djvu/450

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LIFE OF BENVENUTO CELLINI

XCIII

I went on working at my book, and when I had finished it I took it to the Pope, who was in good truth unable to refrain from commending it greatly. I begged him to send me with it to the Emperor, as he had promised. He replied that he would do what he thought fit, and that I had performed my part of the business. So he gave orders that I should be well paid. These two pieces of work, on which I had spent upwards of two months, brought me in five hundred crowns: for the diamond I was paid one hundred and fifty crowns and no more; the rest was given me for the cover of the book, which, however, was worth more than a thousand, being enriched with multitudes of figures, arabesques, enamellings, and jewels. I took what I could get, and made my mind up to leave Rome without permission. The Pope meanwhile sent my book to the Emperor by the hand of his grandson, Signor Sforza.[1] Upon accepting it, the Emperor expressed great satisfaction, and immediately asked for me. Young Signor Sforza, who had received his instructions, said that I had been prevented by illness from coming. All this was reported to me.

My preparations for the journey into France were made; and I wished to go alone, but was unable on account of a lad in my service called Ascanio. He was of very tender age, and the most admirable servant in the world. When I took him he had left a former

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  1. Sforza Sforza, son of Bosio, Count of Santa Fiore, and of Costanza Farnese, the Pope's natural daughter. He was a youth of sixteen at this epoch.