Page:The Life of Michael Angelo.djvu/217

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III

SOLITUDE

L'anima mia, che chon la morte parla . . .[1]

Thus he lived alone with his humble friends—his assistants and his madcap acquaintances, and with other friends still more humble—his domestic animals, his fowls and his cats.[2]

In reality he was alone; and he became so more and more. "I am always alone," he wrote to his nephew in 1548, "and I speak to no one." Little by little he had separated himself not only from man's society but even from their interests, their needs, their pleasures and their thoughts.

The last passion which attached him to the men of his time—his republicanism—had become extinguished in its turn. Once more it had sprung into life at the time of the two serious illnesses of 1544 and 1546, when Michael Angelo had been received by his friend Riccio at the house of the Strozzi, who were republicans and proscripts. Convalescent, Michael Angelo begged Robert Strozzi, a refugee in Lyons, to remind the King of France

  1. "Poems," cx.
  2. "The fowls and Messer Cock triumph," wrote Angiolini to him in 1553, during one of his absences. "But the cats are disconsolate at seeing you no more, although they do not lack food."