Page:The Life of Michael Angelo.djvu/113

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69
SHATTERED STRENGTH

"I no longer know what you desire of me. If my life is a burden to you, you have discovered the right means of getting rid of me, and you will soon enter into possession of the keys of the treasure which you pretend I guard. And you will do well; for everybody in Florence knows that you were immensely rich, that I have ever robbed you, and that I merit punishment. You will be highly praised! . . . Say and shout about me anything you like, but write to me no more, for you prevent me working. You force me to remind you of all you have received from me during the past twenty-five years. I did not want to say it, but at last you force me to do so . . . Take great care. . . . We die but once and return not afterwards to repair the injustice which we have committed. You have waited until the eve of death to commit them. God help you!"


Such was the assistance which he got from the members of his family. "Patience!" he said, with a sigh, in a letter to a friend. "God forbid that what does not displease Him should displease me!"[1]

In the midst of these sorrows his work failed to advance, and when the political events which overwhelmed Italy in 1527 occurred not one of the statues for the Medici chapel was yet ready.[2] Thus, this new period from 1520 to 1527 had merely added its disillusions and fatigue to those of the preceding one, without having brought Michael Angelo the joy of a single completed work, of a single realised project, for more than ten years.

  1. Letter from Michael Angelo to Fattucel. (June 17, 1526.)
  2. The same letter, June 1526, says that a statue of a captain had been commenced, as well as four allegories for the sarcophagi, and the Madonna.