Page:The Life of Michael Angelo.djvu/80

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THE LIFE OF MICHAEL ANGELO

the righteous makes him better, but that kindness shown to the wicked makes him worse. Many years have I endeavoured by fair words and fair actions to lead you to an honest life, in peace with your father and we others. Yet you are ever worse . . . I might speak to you at great length; but that would only be wasting words. To bring matters to a conclusion, know with certainty that you possess nothing in the world, for it is I who, through love of God and believing that you were one of my brothers, support you. But now I am certain that you are not my brother, for if you had been you would not have threatened my father. Rather are you a brute, and I shall treat you as a brute. Know that it is the duty of him who sees his father threatened or ill-treated to expose his life for him . . . But enough on this subject! . . . I repeat that you possess nothing in the world, and that if I hear but the slightest complaint against you I shall come to teach you for squandering your property and setting fire to the house and estates which you have not earned. You are not in the position you imagine. If I come to you I shall make you acquainted with facts which will bring bitter tears to your eyes and show you on what basis you establish your arrogance … If you will endeavour to act well, to honour and venerate your father, I will assist you as I do the others, and, shortly, will procure you a good shop. But if you do otherwise I shall come and arrange your business in such a manner that you will know who you are and exactly what you possess in the world . . . Nothing more! When words are lacking I make up for them by deeds.

writing to him; and if he does not change his disposition, or if he carry off but a toothpick from the house, or does anything to displease you, I beg you to inform me. I will then obtain leave of absence from the Pope and come to you." (Spring 1509.)