Page:The Life of Benvenuto Cellini Vol 2.djvu/22

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Now let the world take notice, and all the folk that dwell on it, what power malignant stars with adverse fortune exercise upon us human beings! I had not spoken twice in my lifetime to that little simpleton of a Cardinal de' Gaddi; nor do I think that he meant by this bumptiousness of his to do me any harm, but only, through light-head edness and senseless folly, to make it seem as though he also held the affairs of artists, whom the King was wanting, under his own personal supervision, just as the Cardinal of Ferrara did. But afterwards he was so stupid as not to tell me anything at all about the matter; elsewise, it is certain that my wish to shield a silly mannikin from reproach, if only for our country's sake, would have made me find out some excuse to mend the bungling of his foolish self-conceit.

Immediately upon the receipt of Cardinal Ferrara's letter, I answered that about Cardinal de' Gaddi I knew absolutely nothing, and that even if he had made overtures of that kind to me, I should not have left Italy without informing his most reverend lordship. I also said that I had more to do in Rome than at any previous time; but that if his Most Christian Majesty made sign of wanting me, one word of his, communicated by so great a prince as his most reverend lordship, would suffice to make me set off upon the spot, leaving all other concerns to take their chance.

After I had sent my letter, that traitor, the Perugian workman, devised a piece of malice against me, which succeeded at once, owing to the avarice of Pope Paolo da Farnese, but also far more to that of

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