Page:The Life of Michael Angelo.djvu/211

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have been easier to die with him, because of the love I bore him. And well did he merit that love. For he was a worthy, loyal and faithful man. His death seems to have taken all life out of me, and I cannot recover my tranquillity."

His sorrow was so profound that three months afterwards he wrote this celebrated letter to Vasari:

"Messer Giorgio, my dear Friend,—

"I find it hard to write, but, in answer to your letter, I must send you a few hues. You know that Urbino is dead, to my great loss and unspeakable grief, for he was a great favour from God to me. The favour is that whereas when living he kept me alive, in dying he has taught me not to fear death, but to desire it. I had him twenty-six years, and ever found him devoted and faithful. I made him rich, and hoped for his support in my old age, but he has been taken away, and I can only hope to see him again in Paradise, where God, by the very happy death which He granted him, has shown he must be. He was more grieved for leaving me a prey to the vexations of the world than at death itself. The better part of me has gone with him, and nothing is left to me but infinite sorrow." [1]

In his confusion he begged his nephew to come to see him in Rome. Leonardo and Cassandra, uneasy over his sorrow, came and found him in a very weak state.

  1. February 23, 1556.
    Michael Angelo concluded as follows: "I commend myself to you, and beg you to present my excuses to Messer Benvenuto (Cellini) if I do not reply to his letter. But these thoughts cause me so much sorrow that I am incapable of writing."
    See also poem clxii: "Et piango et parlo del mio morto Urbino ..."