Page:The Life of Michael Angelo.djvu/81

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47
STRENGTH

"Michelagniolo at Rome.

"Two lines more. For the past twelve years I have lived a wretched life all over Italy. I have supported every disgrace, suffered every difficulty, tormented my body with all sorts of fatigue and exposed my life to a thousand dangers solely in order to aid my house. And now that I have begun to raise it up a little, you amuse yourself by destroying in an hour what has taken years to build! . . . By the body of Christ this shall not be! For I am capable of tearing in pieces ten thousand such men as you, if that is necessary. Be wise, therefore, and do not drive one whose passions are different to yours to extremes!"[1]

It was then Sigismondo’s turn.

"I am living here in distress and in a state of great bodily fatigue. I have no friend of any kind and do not want any . . . It is rarely that I have the means to eat to my liking. Cease to cause me anguish, for I can support no more."[2]

Finally, the third brother, Buonarroto, employed in the commercial house of the Strozzis, shamelessly harassed him, after all the advances of money he had received from Michael Angelo, and boasted that he had spent more for him than he had received.

"I should very much like to know,” wrote Michael Angelo to him, "where your money comes from. I should much like to know if you count the 228 ducats which you took from me at the Santa Maria Nuova bank, the many other hundreds of ducats which I have sent home, and

  1. Letter to Giovan Simone. Dated by Henry Thode, spring 1509; in Milanesi’s edition, July 1508. It is to be noted that Giovan Simone was then a man of thirty. Michael Angelo was only four years his senior.
  2. To Sigismondo, October 17, 1509.