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~ I-'---------------"TALES OF THEBOYHOOD OF GREAT PAINTERS.BY LADY JERVIS.C( A youth who bore, through snow and ice,A banner with a strange device,-C Excelsior.' "LONGFELLOW,LOND ON:T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTEi ROW,EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.1872.*tUL----- ---------
---3t---ONE of the inspired writers, the man after God'sown heart, left, as his dying counsel to his son, thismandate, " My son, be STRONG."The following tales, partly translated, and partlycompiled from various authorities (and here I takethe opportunity to thank Lady Morgan, and herpublishers, for the handsome manner in which theyhave permitted me to make use of her ladyship'sadmirable Life of Salvator Rosa), are offered tothe young of the present day, as instances of whatstrength of moral character and purpose mayachieve, under every disadvantage of adverse cir-cumstances. May their perusal incite to similarconduct and similar virtues.M. J.4
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI, ..... 9CORREGIO, ......... ... ... 48BARTHOLOMEW ESTEBAN MURILLO, ... ...91SEBASTIAN GOMEZ, 1... .., .. ... 121DAVID TENIERS, ...... ... ... 148ANTHONY WATTEAU, ........ 161PERUGINO, ... ......... ... 186SALVATOR ROSA, ... .. ... 2044.
BOYHOOD OF GREAT PAINTERS.MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI;OR,THE LITTLE ARTIST.CHAPTER I.THE YOUNG DEMOLISHER OF ARMS AND LEGS.ON a fine bright cold day, in the month of Janu-ary 1488, a young, merry-looking lad, apparentlyabout fifteen years of age, carrying under his arma green portfolio, knocked at the gate of the Castleof Capres6, in the territory of Arezzo. The portalwas slowly opened by an old domestic in yellowlivery, turned up with blue, who stood holding thedoor only partly open, and barring, with his ownportly person, all entrance." The Signor Michael Angelo?" said the boy,in a tone of inquiry.
10 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI." Not at home," answered the old man withabrupt brevity." 0, good Urbino, that is not possible," cried theyouth, trying to pass the Cerberus." Do I not tell you, Signor Francis Graciani,that my young master, the Signor Michael AngeloBuonarotti, is not at home ?"" Gone out ?" asked Graciani." Gone out," averred the servant; adding, in avoice inaudible to his interlocutor, " a needful lie,"for poor Urbino being a Papist, had not learnedthat telling lies is always sin." Can he be there already?" said Graciani, as ifquestioning himself." Where, already ?" inquired old Urbino."That does not concern you," answered Graciani,musingly; "but no-it is impossible-he is wait-ing for me. Let me in, Urbino."" When I say he is not at home !" gruffly re-torted the old man, as he half closed the gate." I must see with my own eyes to believe," criedGraciani; " Michael Angelo would never go outand leave no message, at least, for me.""O!--message! well, let me think. Yes, therewas a message: let me think," continued Urbino,as if trying to fall back on his old memory; " itwas that you might go-you know--to--you"know-""I know," said Graciani.
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 11"Tell me, that I may know if it be the sameplace. My young master said- " answered Urbino." No need; he cannot be elsewhere."Urbino continued his pretended message: "Waita moment; it was to that signor who lives-youknow, Signor Graciani."" I know-""But I should like to know too, Master Francis."" What for?" asked Graciani." O, for nothing, signor," said Urbino, affectingthe coolest indifference; " only for curiosity."" Curiosity is a great sin, friend Urbino," andthe boy shook his finger at him." Ah, but you see, Master Francis, I might thenbe able to ease the anxiety of my lord the podestat,who is very uneasy at these goings in and out ofhis son, my young master.""And is that all?" asked Graciani, with wellassumed good nature and credulity." That is all, Master Francis."" Well, listen then, Urbino; if the podestat askyou where his son goes, you will say-"" What ?" ,impatiently asked the old man." You will say you don't know, and that will beno lie, old fellow;" and Graciani laughed the gaylaugh of boyhood." 0," cunningly replied Urbino, as he tried hiswit on another tack; " I wager you do not go to doany harm, you two."4r
12 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI." And you will win your wager, Urbino; butstill I can't say we are always doing right either."" Bah!" ejaculated Urbino."Alas, good friend! men are not perfect-boysstill less so-children no better. I could tell youa secret"-and Graciani lowered his voice to a con-fidential whisper-" sometimes it even happensthat those-you know, those at the signor's in thatstreet-sometimes we even fracture both arms andlegs !""How, fracture?" cried Urbino, and the oldman's face grew pale; " what are you at there ?"" 0, you know, no one can be quite handy atfirst, my good Urbino," said Francis, affecting acareless stoicism, " and I am by no means a Job.So, the least thing I do not like-the least thingthat opposes me, or raises my anger, I don't maketwo words of it, but at once I break heads, arms,or legs-first that comes-no matter; it cools one'stemper so." Break heads and arms! then you are just aband of young brigands down there," and the oldman crossed himself, " and my young master'samongst you ?""Michael Angelo? to be sure he is, and one ofthe first. He makes quicker work than I in de-molishing his man.""And you think I shall suffer the lad to asso-ciate with you any longer?" cried Urbino, with
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MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 13horror depicted on his every feature. " Long ago,I warned the family that you would pervert theirson. Good day, Master Graciani-good day; myyoung master is out, and won't return till night,"and the old man slammed the gate to, muttering," What! let you see and talk to my signor again!No, no, my fine fracture of arms-rascally youngscapegrace-breaker of heads! What atrocities!Heard I ever the like ? What is the world cometo ? Mere boys! Well, well, in my day thingswere very different. Lucky it was I that wasnear the gate when you knocked, Master FrancisGraciani. What might not have happened hadmy son Urbain been there instead of me! hewould have let the little scoundrel in-childrenare so thoughtless. But I am thankful that I haverid my young master of him for one day. Oneday? Well, one day is always something."CHAPTER II.URBINO'S IDEAS OF ARTISTS.STILL denouncing young Graciani--still praisinghis own foresight, Urbino mounted the great stonestaircase of the Castle of Caprese, and turning intoa long gallery, he raised the tapestry curtain that4
14 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.masked the door of the library; for a moment hestopped on the threshold, anxiously peering intothe room. " Good! good!" said he to himself,fetching a long breath as if he had just got rid ofa heavy burden on his chest; " good! he is notout; my yesterday's sermon has been of use: I'llbegin again to-day. Children are just what wemake them. It is well that I have had the bring-ing up of Signor Angelo."As he ended his soliloquy, Urbino drew neara table, before which a youth of about fourteenwas seated, his head bowed down over a largesheet of white paper, and his mind so engrossed,that he never heard the old man's step. Urbinodrew near, and coughed: the boy raised his eyes." It is you, Urbino: was Graciani here ? "Urbino hesitated: lying was not his habit, buthis confessor had taught him the Popish doctrinethat it is lawful to tell a lie to serve what they fancy"a good purpose, and their way of speaking truth ina low voice and falsehood aloud, so he answered-" No, he was not here, Signor Michael Angelo,"and instantly added, in a whisper to himself:"Yesterday.""It is strange," said Angelo, and down againwent the head over that great sheet of whitepaper." I venture to say 'tis lucky for you, my dearyoung master, that that Signor Graciani has not
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 15come to fetch you-" Here Urbino took up aplumeau, as if to dust the furniture; but insteadof doing so, he stood before Michael Angelo, andcontinued speaking: " This Graciani is not fitsociety for you, signor-a nobody !-"" Ha, ha! a nobody! he will make himself asomebody yet, good Urbino.""As how, signor?-as how?" asked Urbino,with a smile of the utmost pity and contempt." As a great painter, Urbino."" As a great villain, rather, my good youngmaster," added the old man gravely; "and if I maybe so bold as to say it, 'tis only the height hewants; all the rest he has already. Listen, dearmaster," and the faithful creature's voice trembledwith emotion; believe the experience of one whohas been with you since the day you were born, andhas loved you more than anything in the world-more than his own soul, which he perils for you adozen times a-day: this Graciani will be yourruin, and you will break the heart of your nobleand illustrious relations. But 'tis no use myspeaking; you will not listen to me, my youngmaster," he added, sighing deeply. "And yet Imust tell you, again and again, you will kill themall with sorrow-not to speak of me; but I ambound in duty to die for you, and in your service;whether I die of grief, or of anything else, don'tmatter, provided I do die for the family. All the
16 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI,Urbains, my ancestors, from father to son, servantsof your ancestors the Buonarottis, have died in theservice of this honourable house; and so shall I,and so shall my son, and-""Where is your son?" interrupted Angelo;" you know I do not like any one but him toattend me."" O, ho! that you may plot together for yourdestruction! No, no, my young signor; youngUrbain is too young to watch over you; only twentyyears of age, he needs to be watched over himself.Apropos, where were you all day yesterday?"" What good is your watching, if I have to tellbefore you can find out where I was ?" said the boy,laughingly." Master Michael Angelo, you are going all tobad, all to evil; there now, at this moment, whatare you doing ?-instead of studying your Humani-ties, as your teacher, Signor Fabiano, calls thosebooks he gives you-there are you painting images !What a disgrace, what a misfortune, that I shouldhave to say that the descendant of the Countsof Canopa, the son of Louis Leonard BuonarottiSimoni, podesta of Caprs6e and Chiessi, the nephewof the most pious and most reverend AntonioBuonarotti, prior of the Church of the Holy Ghost,has become an artist-an artist! Labouring withhis hands like a cobbler, or a maccaroni-maker, ora lazzaroni, or--"
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 17" Stop there, if you please-do you think mypatience can never be exhausted?"But Urbino, once off in one of his tirades, wasnot so easily stopped; he continued, only speakingmore vehemently-" Labours with his hands just like my sister'sson, that fool Biffi. He is a painter, a painter ofsigns too, which is a more profitable trade thanthat of a painter of framed images, meaning nothingat all; and yet he is dying of want, with a motherand wife, and six children. I have proof of that,for though I do all I can to help them-I can't domuch, true-yet he is dying of want, and he is anartist !""1 And what the worse for that?" cried a voicebehind Urbino, which made him start and turnround." Signor Francis Graciani," said Urbino." You come very late, Francis," said Angelo, ashe held out his hand to his young friend."I Ask him the reason of that," replied Graciani," ask him, your venerable servant and story-teller;"and he shook his finger menacingly at the old man." He told me you had not come," said Angelo.", And me, that you were gone out," addedFrancis." Yes, I said so," cried Urbino, in that tone ofexasperation that means to keep no more measures." I said so. Yes, I told a lie. Yes, I uttered a(64) 24
18 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.falsehood, as every faithful servant must, for theinterest of the master who pays and feeds him.Yes! I did do so, and I don't regret it, and I'mready to do it again and again in the way in whichI have been taught by Father Dominick.""Indeed! " said a grave voice. Urbino wassilent in a moment. At the sound of that voiceMichael Angelo rose up quickly from his chair,and Graciani's face grew serious.NOTE.That the reader may understand something of the principles of truthas inculcated by a certain sect of Papists, and practised by Urbino, wegive the following extract from Pascal, explaining their teaching:-" One of the most embarrassing of all things is to avoid falsehood,especially when one wishes to accredit something false. This object isadmirably gained by our doctrine of equivocation, which " allows am-biguous terms to be used, by causing them to be understood in a sensedifferent from that in which we ourselves understand them," as Sanche2says, Op. mor., p. 2, 1. 3, c. 6, n. 13.' 'I know that, father,' said L'We have published it so much,' continued he, 'that at length every.body is acquainted with it. But do you know how to act when equi-vocal terms are not to be found ? No, father.' 'I doubted as much,'said he; 'that is new: it is the doctrine of mental reservations. Sanchezgives it at the same place: " A man," says he, "may swear that he hasnot done a thing, although he has really done it, understanding in him-self that he did not do it on a certain day, or before he was born, orinternally adding some other similar circumstance, without using wordswhich may let the meaning be known. And this is very convenient onmany occasions, and is always very just when necessary or useful forhealth, honour, or estate."'" 'How, father; is it not a lie, and even perjury?' 'No,' said thefather; 'Sanchez proves it at the same place, and our Filiutius also, tr.25, c. 11, n. 331. He also gives (n. 328) another surer means ofavoiding falsehood: It is after having said loud out, I swear that I didnot do it, we add, in a whisper, to-day; or, after saying loud out, Iswear,we whisper, that I say, and afterwards continue aloud that I did not doit. You see plainly that this is to speak the truth.' I admit it,' saidI; 'but perhaps we would find that it is to speak the truth in a whisper,and falsehood loud out.'No wonder that Papists hate the Bible,-the book of trult
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 19CHAPTER III.A FATHER'S SPEECH.HIE whose entrance, thus unperceived and unex-pected, had produced so startling an effect, was a manyet in the prime of life, of austere countenance andchilling address. In his massive and wrinkledforehead; large, blue, cold, and dull eye; in his talland elegant form, prematurely bent; in his slowbut not ungraceful gait, it was easy to guess thatsorrow, and not time, had bowed the body andfurrowed the brow. This personage was followedby another, his very antitype, who was dressed inthe garb of a priest. This last was short, erect,burly, rubicund; and his jovial face wore a per-petual happy smile." Good day, my father," said Michael Angelo, ashe advanced an arm-chair for the first of the new-comers, whilst Urbino carried another to the prior." I come to speak to you, my son," said thepodesta, seating himself. " You can stay, youare not in the way," added he, addressing Graciani,who, having made his bow, was about to retire,Urbino, affecting an air of absolute unconcern,began to use his plumeau, dusting one by one thebooks scattered about." Yes, we come to speak with you, nephew,"4
20 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.added the prior, at the same time giving somesecret signs of encouragement to Angelo, whowas always more or less intimidated by the coldmanner of the podesta.The father and uncle being seated, the two ladsremained standing respectfully attentive; whilstUrbino continued his dusting, as though he hadthe library all to himself alone. The podestabegan, and there was in his voice a touch of emo-tion that Angelo had never before observed." My son," said he, " you are the only heir tomy name and fortune, and, I would fain believe, heiralso to the rigid and pious virtue which for manyages has been the guide and the controller of ourancient house. Your mother's death left you, inyour cradle, to my sole care. Though I was stillyoung, I never married again, on your account.I was unwilling to give you a step-mother, whomust take from you some portion of the love I owedto you; or brothers, whose claims must necessarilylessen your inheritance. Entirely devoted as Ihave been to your education, what must be my re-gret when I see you leaving the path I had tracedout for you, my son? Men of fortune should notthemselves be artists, but encourage art in others.Cultivate literature, my child; I know you alreadyare a poet, and I congratulate you on your success.If your country need your arm, take up the swordand fight for her; but I acknowledge that it is
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 21with pain that I see the hand of a Canopa holdinga pencil, instead of wielding a sword."" Good, excellent," muttered Urbino, as hestooped to pick up a book he had let fall." What have you to reply, Michael Angelo ?"continued the podesta." With your permission, my father, and that ofmy uncle," replied Angelo, " I would take theliberty to repeat a little anecdote which the SignorAngelo Politien-""The greatest author of our epoch," interruptedthe prior.Michael bowed, and continued: " Which theSignor Angelo Politieno related yesterday at thepalace of Lorenzo de Medicis, where Pierre, hisson, kept me to dine."" Let us hear," said both podesta and prior;and Michael Angelo continued thus-" Albert Durer, painter and graver-y" Is he of noble ancestry ?" asked the podestat."t He is the son of a jeweller of Nuremberg,"replied Michael Angelo; " were he noble, mystory would lose all its point. The EmperorMaximilian having heard of his talents, sent forAlbert Durer lately, to paint some frescoes at hispalace. Durer set to work at.once. The emperorand his court were present. The wall was ratherhigh, and Durer not being able to reach the neces-sary height, was looking round for a ladder, when4
22 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.the emperor told a gentleman of his suite to placehimself so that Durer could stand on his shoulder.The gentleman replied that he was ready to obey,but begged leave to observe that it was degradingnobility to make it a stepping-stone for an artist.'This painter,' replied Maximilian, 'possesses thehighest nobility, that of talent. I can make sevennobles of seven peasants, but I cannot make ofseven nobles one artist.' And the emperor hasennobled Albert Durer, and given him for armsthree silver shields on a field azure."" I quite agree with the Emperor Maximilian,"said the podestat, " and you tell me this anecdotein order that-. Speak, my son, I permit you."" In order that you, my father," replied MichaelAngelo, clasping his hands together, "may permitme to say that I think-I love painting so muchthe sight of a fine picture arouses in me such am-bition, such impetuous feeling-that I think-donot laugh at me, my father-I think I too am bornan artist."" Let us understand each other, my son," saidthe podestat, smiling. " It was only yesterday,that, because the Signor Angelo Politieno whomyou now quote, praised some of your odes, youfancied you were born a poet.""" And why not both ?" replied Michael Angelo;" art and poetry are brother and sister: why shouldthey not go hand in hand ?"
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 23" How the boy chatters," murmured Urbino,as if talking to the book-shelves. " How the boychatters. Did I not say there were no childrennow-a-days! where did he get all these fine words ?"But the book-shelves were silent on the subject,and Urbino again took to his plumeau."1 The child has some reason on his side," ob-served the prior." I am quite of his opinion as to the connectionbetween the two arts," replied the podestat; "butlet me remark, that although a man of rank maybe pardoned if he be but a moderately good poet,he cannot be excused as a mere dauber in painting :therefore I advise my son to cultivate literature, andlet painting alone. I should not decide thus did Ibelieve he ever could become a great artist; but ofthat I have no surety. In the meantime, MichaelAngelo, lay aside this fancy for the pencil, or keepit, at least, for more idle hours." The lads bowed,and made towards the door."6 Where are you going, you and the SignorGraciani ?"" To walk, in the first place, my father," re-plied Angelo, as he gave his friend a glance ofencouragement, the latter seeming sadly embar-rassed by the podestat's question." I see no reason to refuse permission; go, mychildren," said the podestat; and he was just aboutto wave an adieu with his hand, when the prior,4
24 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.who had been for some moments watching Urbino'sincreasing agitation, exclaimed-" What is the matter with Urbino? look, bro-ther how he knocks the books about, grows red andpale, opens his lips and then closes them ; certainlysomething is wrong."",1 Yes," cried Urbino, gasping as if an iron handwere on his throat. " Yes, something is wrong.Yes! I have something to disclose to your Excel-lencies."" Speak, my friend," replied the podestat, withthat tone of benevolent affability usual from mas-ters in great families to aged servants. " Speak !"" Then stop them, my lord, stop them," criedUrbino, in a voice expressive of the greatest alarmand anxiety, as he pointed to the two boys re-treating arm in arm toward the door." Stop who ?" asked the prior.Urbino seeing the door curtain fall as the youthsdisappeared behind it, hid his face in both hands,and in accents of despair cried, " It is too late I"CHAPTER IV.MYSTERIES."WHAT is too late ?" asked the podestat, address-ing Urbino, after having exchanged a look with
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTIo 25the prior, significative of his doubt of the old man'ssanity." No," answered Urbino, as if replying to hisown reflections. " No! it is not too late; theremay yet be some resource. I must speak, I must.Servants often know more than masters: they maybe mistaken, 'tis true; but they are blameable ifthey conceal what they know. Signor Podestat,and you too, Signor Prior," continued he, in tonesof anxious solicitude, " for these many days mostextraordinary things go on here; for example, doyou know where my young master and the SignorGraciani are going just now?"" No! what matter ?" said the podestat."What matter! 0! sorrows never come single!"and Urbino raised his eyes to the ceiling." Then you know where they are going, Urbino?"said the prior." I ? certainly not."" Whence then your alarm?" asked the podestat." Your Excellencies, fearful things are going on;and I should be culpable, most culpable, did I longerallow-your Excellencies to remain in ignorance."The podestat grew serious, as he said to Urbino," You alarm me, what do you know?"" Nothing, your Excellence,, absolutely nothing,"replied the old man in the most desponding tone.The prior burst out laughing; the podestatshrugged his shoulders, as he rose from his chair.4
26 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI,Urbino continued: " But I must not the less tellyour Excellencies what I have seen."" As you value our peace of mind, speak withoutfarther circumlocution !" cried the prior." My probity and veracity have been compro-mised twice already to-day," sorrowfully answeredUrbino; but perceiving the podestat's gestures ofimpatience, he hastily added, "It is this, Excellency-there is no such thing as a child now-a-days. TheSignor Michael Angelo goes out and comes inwithout ever saying to me, as he did when he waslittle, Urbino, will you come with me?' andwithout ever saying where he is going to. Stay, Ibeg pardon, he does say, If the Signor Gracianicall for nme, tell him I am gone he knows where.'And then they have secrets-0, secrets enough tostiffen the hairs on the head, Excellency; littleGraciani will come with something hid under hiscloak, and Signor Michael Angelo will say, 'Haveyou brought it ?-Yes-0 how good, Graciani, tohide them from your master.' So much for onesecret. I never could find out what them was.Then, who is this master? -that's another mystery.A highway robber he must be, Excellencies, anassassin, a bandit; for little Graciani told me inconfidence to-day himself that he passed his timebreaking heads, cutting off arms, and fracturinglimbs. But that's not all: it seems the two-myyoung master and little Graciani-gain round sums
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 27of money at this work. Just listen, Excellency, tothe story of the three ducats-mystery the third."Annoyed by the pertinacity with which the oldservant, under the excuse of ancient service, con-tinued to chatter on unintelligible gossip, thepodesta and prior were on the point of desiringhim to cease speaking, when the latter part of hissentence drew their attention." Tell the story of the three ducats," said thepodesta." And without any of your usual comments,"added the prior." Alas! Excellencies, every man tells his taleas best he can. I shall try, however, to narrateonly what I have seen, and say only what I know."The podesta and prior again leaned back ontheir large arm-chairs, and Urbino, plumeau inhand, thus began.CHAPTER V.THE THREE DUCATS." I MUST first beg your Excellencies to remark that,on last Thursday, only three days ago, my youngmaster had not one farthing; the proof of thatis, that, in the morning of Thursday, he made megive the half of his bread to his poor man. His poor
28 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.man, we all call him, for my young master alwaysgives to him. So, your Excellencies see, the breadwas given because there was no money. Now forthe rest."1 Your Excellencies know I have a poor sister,called Sterine, married to a painter, but a- sign-painter. Excellencies, his name is Biffi; he hassix children, and they are all in misery-but suchmisery as your Excellencies can have no idea of-only the poor can know what misery means.All these poor creatures-father, mother, and sixchildren-live in a top room behind the Church ofSt. Croix. My brother-in-law pays six ducats ofyearly rent. I don't know if your Excellenciesunderstand me?"" 0, perfectly," said both podestat and prior, atthe same moment." My brother-in-law pays six ducats of rent. Heowed six months, that makes three ducats; and, ashe could not pay, the landlord sent the bailiffs towarn him to quit directly, and, moreover, to remindBiffi that he had given his promissory-note for thesum due that very Thursday, and so he must go toprison on Friday. Very agreeable that! Excel-lencies, there was crying and wailing never sur-passed: Sterine, and Biffi, and all the children-it was who should be loudest, one as broken-hearted as the other. Well, evening comes on, thatsame Thursday, when my young master had no
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 29money. My brother-in-law had no light in hisroom, for the plain reason that there was neitheroil, nor tallow, nor anything there. So, as theywere all crying in the dark, he heard his namecalled out from the street. He opened the window,and looked out, but it was all as dark as pitch. Hecould see nobody; then a voice cried, Take care,'and he drew back, and, sure enough, a parcel fellon the floor with a silvery sound. It is silver,'said Sterine. It is only some idle fellow amus-ing himself,' cried Biffi. I tell you it is silver,my sister said, and one of the children picked itup, and took it to the mother. She opened it, andcried out, 'Did I not tell you, Biffi ? it is silver,just enough for the rent;' and there they were, sureenough, three ducats. Now, where could the Sig-nor Michael Angelo have found them ?"" First of all, you have no proof they camefrom my son," said the podestat."1 And from whom else could they have come ?"naively asked Urbino." There is no other at Arezzo," observed theprior." Especially no one who gives three ducats,when he possesses none," said the podestat,smiling." That is precisely mystery the fifth," said Ur-bino." I repeat again, Urbino, you have no proof that4
33 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.they came from my son. What are your reasonsfor thinking they do?"" O! Excellency, I have many reasons, andBiffi says he thinks it was my young master's voicecried Take care.' "" That is no proof," said the prior." Well, well, Excellencies, all I can say in con-clusion is, that there are no children now-a-days.You see them born, you see them little, little.You turn your head-they are grown men; theSignor Michael Angelo, for instance. Is not yourExcellency horrified?"" No, my good, faithful Urbino," said the podestatkindly ; and then rising and turning to his brother,he asked-" Do you dine at the Medici Palace to-day ?"" Yes; and you, podestat?"" I also dine there, prior."" I think it must be about the hour, podestat."" Mid-day has just struck, prior."" We shall be late," rejoined the prior, and thenoble brothers left the library." Ha! ha! You have not enough of proof,"cried Urbino, desperately. " Well! I'll find yourExcellencies proof enough before I sleep. I'llfathom their mysteries before I am many hoursolder."
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 31CHAPTER VI.THE FAUNAS HEAD.LORENZO DI MEDICIS, surnamed the Magnificent,amongst other palaces, possessed one in the lord-ship of Arezzo, where, occasionally, he assembledall the learned men and first artists of the day.On this occasion, towards the end of the repast, hemade a sign to his son Pierre. The latter imme-diately left the banquet-room, with all his youngcompanions, and took them to amuse themselvesin the gardens. A great deal of snow had fallenfor some days past, and the gardens, which wereornamented with numberless statues and fragmentsof antiques, presented a most singular spectacle." An idea, an idea, my friends !" cried the youngMichael Angelo; "our own good sires have yettoo full hours to remain at table, talking of all theirgreat exploits; let us ornament the gallery throughwhich they must pass on their way to the duchess'ssaloon with some fresh statues."" And where shall we find such statues, MichaelAngelo ?" asked young Pierre di Medicis." In snow, my lord."" A capital idea," said the son of the Marquisof Mautua; " 'twill warm and divert us at the sametime."No sooner said than done. The young nobles,
32 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.regardless of both velvet vests and lace ruffles, setto work: some dug up the snow, others carried itto that part of the garden nearest the gallery; thewould be artists tried to mould, and in a few minutesa number of the most grotesque imitations of sta-tues, having no likeness to anything in creation,were raised, to the no small merriment of the youths.Suddenly Michael Angelo, perceiving the bodyof an antique headless faun, admirably sculptured,and representing the bony proportions of a vigorousold man, cried out, " I must make a head for thisfaun;" and, taking handfuls of snow, he began tomodel one. His companions stood around to watchhim at his work: he threw into it so much gaiety,drollery, and vigour, that the laugh and reparteebecame contagious. " A faun should have a sardo-nique face," said he, and he raised the corners ofthe mouth. " The eyebrow should have the sameinclination," continued he, as he went on with hiswork. " Then the mouth must be open-a faun isalways laughing. Bravo !" said he, as he retreateda few steps off to look at his faun's head ; Bravo!but it really is not amiss-look, look, Pierre!Graciani, Mantone, Valentin-look here! Well,people say one can always do well what one lovesto do; and, for my part, I adore sculpture. I drankthe love of sculpture with my nurse's milk. Shewas the wife of a sculptor"-and the boy kept re-treating, step by step, looking first one way, then
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 33another, at his faun, until his foot trod on anotherfoot behind him, and a voice cried-"I Take care, child!"It was no child's voice that spoke. MichaelAngelo turned quickly round, and, to his greatastonishment, found the person who was rubbinghis bruised limb was no less than Lorenzo di Medi-cis himself; and immediately following the masterof the feast, all the guests, podesta and prioramongst them.Ashamed and confused, Michael Angelo was be-ginning a thousand apologies; but Lorenzo, gailypinching him by the ear, exclaimed, " Gentlemen,this is rather the work of a master than the essayof a beginner. At the same time, Michael Angelo,as all great works must be criticised, I mustobserve that your faun is old, and you have lefthim all his teeth. Now, don't you know all oldmen lose some teeth ?"" You are right, my lord," cried Michael Angelo;and in a moment he effaced one of the teeth,hollowing the gum at the same time, so that thetooth appeared to have fallen out. This wonder-fully intelligent stroke excited the admiration ofall the artists present. Young Buonarotti wascovered with applause; and, on returning thatnight to the chateau of Capres6, Michael Angeloheard none of the usual complaints about his tastefor the fine arts.(64) 3
34 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.As the carriage drove up to the entrance of thecastle, the podestat perceived Urbino amongst theservants who were carrying the torches. The oldman's face wore a most radiant expression of un-utterable things." Excellenza!" cried he, as he hurried to-be thefirst to let down the carriage-step, "all is discovered.Can your Excellenza grant me a few moments'audience ?"CHAPTER VII.MYSTERIES UNRAVELLED.OBEYING a sign of the podestat, Urbino snatcheda torch from one of the attendants, and, precedinghis master, he lighted him to his bed-room, wherea good fire awaited him.Just as the podestat was seating himself in hiseasy chair, he perceived the laughing face of hisbrother, the prior, peering in at the door." If I did not love my nephew as much as I do,I should fancy curiosity had led me to follow yoursteps, my brother; but, whether it be curiosity orinterest, I shall not be sorry to learn the results ofUrbino's discoveries; judging by the terror-struckphysiognomy of this good, faithful servant, theymust be tragical."
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 35" Take a seat, brother," said the podestat, as heturned towards Urbino, and added-"1 Speak, my old friend; both my brother andmyself are impatient to hear the details you haveto give; but no foolish suppositions, I pray: tell usonly what you know."" Alas! Excellencies," answered Urbino, as hestood respectfully before the brothers, " if I onlysay what I know, I shall say nothing at all.""1 What are all your grand discoveries good for,then?" asked the prior." Excellence," replied Urbino, "they are good toshow that crime is always, sooner or later, foundout; that Providence lets nothing go unpunished;that he who does ill, and thinks he has taken allprecaution against discovery, is discovered, and bythe very precautions he took to hide his actions."" Come to facts, my good Urbino," said thepodestat in a parental tone.Urbino began in most emphatic accents:" Theday the Signor Michael Angelo was born, wason Thursday, the 6th March 1474. 0, I shallnever forget it."" Pass over the nursing, good Urbino," inter-rupted the prior gently." Ah! I wish I could, Excellency; but it is pre-cisely that which has ruined my young master."" The nursing?" asked the prior, smiling." The nurse, Excellence."4
36 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTKW" Poor woman " said the podestat; "she diedbefore Michael Angelo cut all his teeth.""True, Excellency, but she was the wife of asculptor; she was an artist herself, her husbandsaid; and the Signor Michael Angelo tells every-body that he drank in the love of art with hisnurse's milk. So-"" Urbino," said the podestat in a severe tone, " itgrows so late, that I must insist upon your telling,without more preamble, what it is you have found out.""Yes, Excellency, and you have to scold myyoung master well, and send off that little tempterGraciani, and hang one GhirlandaYo. But I shallbegin: Do you know, Excellencies, what it wasthat little rascal Graciani brought to the heirof the Counts of Canopa-under his cloak, andhidden so well, that if the valet of that roguethey call Ghirlandaio had not told it me thisevening after vespers, I should never have known.Do you know ? can you guess ? No, Excellencies,you never could imagine it; permit me to relatethe whole: After you left for the Medici palace,an idea struck me. I thought I would go and seemy sisters; the story of the three ducats was stillrunning in my head. I arrive, and find them atdinner. Nothing but one plate of maccaroni-onlymaccaroni; but what maccaroni! I sit down; Ifill my plate; I begin to eat; and all the while Ieat, I talk. 'The florins ?' said I. Well they
".ICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 37paid the landlord,' said Biffi. And you don't knowwhere they came from?' 'Not the most distantidea,' answers he. 'Yet you thought you recognizedthe voice of my young master,' said I. 'O,' said he,'I thought it might be; the voice was a sweetvoice, and whenever I here a sweet voice, I thinkit must be the Signor Michael Angelo. But mywife says I am mistaken, and that the voice of thyyoung master is sweeter still than that one ofThursday night.' Perhaps,' cried my little niece,a little thing of nine years old, but sharp-sharpas a needle; 'perhaps,' cried she, 'that was becausehe forced his voice in crying " Take care."' 'Well,no matter,' said Biffi. 'May Heaven grant himlong life, honour, fortune, and wisdom to him andhis!' added my sister. I was obliged to part withthe florins; but as for the paper that containedthem, I shall keep that as long as I live, as a holyand pious relic.' Let us see the paper,' said I tomy sister. She had it under a glass; she gave itme. Here it is, Excellency," added the old man;" Sterine confided it to me on my honour until to-morrow. See, Excellencies, is not this my youngmaster's writing ?"" Why, yes, I believe it is," said the podestat,as he examined the paper and passed it on to theprior; " what think you, brother?"" It certainly is my nephew's writing," said theprior.4<
38 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI."Your Excellencies may see there is but onename on the piece of paper, that of Ghirlandaio."" That is the name of a great painter, Urbino;but go on," said the podestat." The name was not unknown to me," continuedUrbino. " After much reflection, I recollected Ionly knew the name from having an old comrade inthe service of one Ghirlandaio; but I did not knowhis address. By good luck, I had the happyinspiration to go to vespers. 'I shall find someone there to give me his address,' said I. I go tothe Church of St. Croix, and who should I seeunder the portico, but my old comrade Paolo; I offerhim the holy water; one civility deserves another-he provides me a chair, we sit down, and all atonce Paolo says to me, by way of bravado doubt-less, Well, your young master is one of ours now.''How one of yours?' said I. 'Yes,' said he,' Ghirlandaio is his master.' I give you to wot.'said I, 'that my young master, the heir of theCounts of Canopa, acknowledges no master butGod, and is servant to no one.' That was notbadly said. I thought the nail was well drivenhome. Not at all: Paolo burst out laughing.' Servant!' said he; '0 no, pupil of Ghirlandaio.Ah, little Graciani had some trouble to get himreceived.' At the name of Graciani, you may be-lieve, Excellencies, I became all ears. I thoughtto myself, 'So here is where they break all the
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 39limbs;' and I was not mistaken, as the end of mytale-pardon, Excellencies, of my history, I shouldsay-will show. Would you believe it, Urbino?'continued Paolo, 'that little Graciani took thetrouble to copy all my master's studies secretly,and carried them to your young master, who thusacquired the great art of painting, and acquired itso well, that, six days ago, Ghirlandaio receivedthe Signor Michael Angelo into his studio as apupil, and pays him I don't know how manyflorins a-year. That is a fine thing, at fourteenyears old to be gaining florins.' Now, you see,Excellence, how are my three florins and theirgiver found: it was my young master; no moredoubt; the mystery was found out. I ran here asfast as I could, but you were not returned from theMedici palace; however, now you are here, Excel-lencies, and my story is told."" My son cannot yet be in bed," said thepodestat; go, Urbino, tell him to come here."" I go, Excellency, I go!" cried Urbino, withdelighted haste.CHAPTER VIILWHO WAS MOST TAKEN IN.As Urbino drew near the library, which he had toLass before he reached Michael Angelo's bed-room,L^
40 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.he perceived a light there; and on entering, sawMichael Angelo seated at his usual place, finishingthe drawing he had that morning commenced."A Ah, ha! we are at last going to say farewell toart, artists, and artists' pupils," cried the old man,observing his young master's occupation. Mylord podestat wants you, signor. 0, now youare in for it. A good lecture is waiting you, Ireckon, at least I hope so; all is discovered, all,everything.""I What ?" asked Michael Angelo, as he rose tofollow the old man, who had seized the lamp, andwas turning toward the door." Everything, signor-the whole plot, plotters,and all; and now at last we shall say good-dayto art and artists, and that young rascal, yourtempter, Graciani, and all the rest, and begin tolive as a great noble should-doing nothing frommorning till night, getting up late, going to bedearly, taking three hours' sieste at least, and-""-A famous Marmotte life you are laying downfor me, Urbino," said the boy, laughing." Ay, ay! laugh, my young gentleman; laugh,laugh -n! " cried Urbino, piqued that his threatsshould be taken so lightly; "laugh away; thelaugh's to him that wins, however, and we shallsee. You little think what awaits you; and itwon't be old Urbino that will be most taken in,but. little Graciani maybe, who plays the part of
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. .41the tempter, or perhaps a certain Ghirlanda'o, inwhose studio, it seems, people get heads and limbsbroken."And Urbino raised the door-curtain, and in aloud voice announced, " The Signor MichaelAngelo !" Then, instead of retiring, the old manstealthily glided to the further corner of the podes-tat's large apartment, rubbing his hands, and wait-ing impatiently the issue of a conversation thatshould give the victory to all his prognostications.But what was his astonishment, when, insteadof reproving Michael Angelo, the podestat, withmoistened eyes, held out his open arms, and em-braced his son with the tenderest emotion, sayingin a faltering voice: " Come to my heart, myboy; thou art an honour to our family, a true andworthy descendant of our ancient and noble house.Thou wilt one day be the pride of thy father, andthe glory of the Canopas. Since such is yourvocation, an artist you shall be; you make so noblea use of the money you gain, that I desire youto go on. So," added the podestat, in accents offamiliar fondness, "so Ghirlandaio, instead of tak-ing money for your studies, as he does from otherpupils, pays you. How much does he give you,my son?""1 That depends, my father, on the result of mylabours," answered Michael Angelo; "but sinceyou now know all, I acknowledge I should never4?
42 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.have accepted his money, only I wanted it for poorBiffi."" There is no disgrace in receiving moneyhonestly gained, my nephew," said the prior; andthis money does you honour.""Michael Angelo," said the podestat, " tellGraciani, that from to-morrow he will find a coverlaid for him daily at my table. And now, go tobed, my son, and take with you the blessing of thehappiest of fathers."" And of uncles," added the prior, embracing inhis turn the joyful Michael Angelo." Well, Urbino," said Angelo, as they left theroom, and the old man lighted him through thegallery, " which is the most taken in ?""I, signor," answered Urbino, in a subduedtone; "but I never thought a great lord could be-come an artist!"All that I have just told you, my youngfriends, is exact truth. Michael Angelo Buona-rotti, when only fourteen years old, received fromhis master, GhirlandaYo, a written agreement, ofwhich Vasari has preserved a copy, guarantee-ing to Michael Angelo six, eight, and ten florinsyearly.But the school of Ghirlandaio was too narrow forthe mighty genius of Michael Angelo. At thisepoch of the arts, there existed no master who
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. .43could really teach anything to this wonderful boyof fifteen. Being forced to seek resources for him-self in the conceptions of his own mind, he doubt-less found there the power and the originalitywhich characterize his works.Taking advantage of Lorenzo di Medici's loveof the fine arts, Michael Angelo founded anacademy of painting and sculpture. He directedit with success, until the troubles of the house ofMedicis obliged him to reside at Bologna or atVenice; but he did not long stay at the latter city;he soon returned to Florence.It was at this period that Michael Angelolearned that the Cardinal of St. Gregorio spoke incontemptuous terms of his works, placing the mostinferior antique statue far above his greatest chefs-d'ceuvres. It occurred to him to mystify thislearned personage, who, like too many others,brought into society only those ideas which werealready received, and never took the trouble toform any of his own.Italy is the land of buried statues. One daysome men, whose only occupation was seeking suchtreasures, found a statue of Cupid: one arm wasmissing. This statue was of the greatest beauty:they took it to the cardinal, who was in such rap-tures when he examined it, that he gave a mostextravagant price, and placed it in the most con-spicuous place of his gallery. He then sent for
r44 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.Michael Angelo, either to mortify him, or perhapsto hear his real opinion of the statue." I see nothing wonderful in it," said MichaelAngelo, coldly." Could you do as much?" asked the cardinal." Well, I think it would not be difficult," repliedAngelo, with a smile of strange meaning." Signor Michael Angelo, you have not exa-mined the statue: look at the high finish of theTorso; the expression of the head, the limbs, thearms-"" His Excellency means to say the arm !"" Few modern artists could make its fellow, Isuspect, Signor Michael Angelo."" If his Excellence will only permit me to go asfar as my own studio, perhaps I could prove thecontrary."" I shall wait your return," said the cardinal,thinking Michael Angelo would bring him a statuethat would be far inferior to his disinterred Cupid.Michael Angelo soon returned, but unaccompa-nied by any attendant carrying a burden; he wasall alone, only he held, wrapped up in a fold of hiscloak, something of small dimensions. It was anarm : he went up to the Cupid, and placed the armon the side. where it was wanting. It fitted thebody perfectly." A miracle!" cried the cardinal"No, Excellency; only malice !" replied
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MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 45Michael Angelo. " I As resolved to prove toyour Eminence that the moderns could equal theancients. It was I who made this Cupid, brokean arm off, and had the rest buried where I knewit would be found. This is the whole secret."Michael Angelo was not only a great painter;he was also a great sculptor and a great poet.Lorenzo de Medicis had been his protector, and byinstituting the Florentine Academy, had been themeans of developing the immense resources ofMichael Angelo's genius. By the death of Lorenzo,Angelo was deprived not only of a friend, but of apatron; for he was then by no means rich. Theprior of the Church of the Holy Ghost ordered acarved crucifix from him, and gave him a home inthe convent; procuring for him dead bodies, that hemight study anatomy. These Angelo himself dis-sected, finding in that painful occupation the realsecret of his admirable and true designs.Michael Angelo, in his youth, knew no otherpleasure than that of cultivating the fine arts, andno wants but such as intellect and mind suggested.When, in after years, he grew rich, he despisedluxury, and was indifferent even to the comforts oflife. He seldom slept in a bed; lived on breadand water; passed his nights. in working, or insolitary walks. Economical, frugal, disinterested,of remarkable austerity in morals, of rare inflexi-bility of character, his virtues were those of the4
46 MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.Stoic. Liked and sought after by the great, heshunned them, though of a kind and communi-cative disposition. He preferred a solitary life."Art," he would say, " is my wife; my worksare my children: such a posterity is enough forme. Lorenzo Ghiberti," added he, " left wealthand many children; should we know that he hadever existed, if he had not made the bronze gatesof the Baptistry of St. John? His wealth hasbeen dissipated, his children are dead,-but thebronze gates still stand."The only being Michael Angelo really lovedwas Urbain, the son of that Urbino we spoke of inthe former portion of this little tale."When I die, what will you do, Urbain?" saidhe one day."I shall have to find another master," answeredthe other."No! you shall never require to do that;" andhe made him a donation of ten thousand Frenchlivres-about four hundred pounds English. ButUrbain never required this money: he died beforehis master, who tended him night and day' duringall his illness, and was long inconsolable for hisloss.The greater number of the best works of MichaelAngelo, both in painting and sculpture, are atFlorence.At the age of ninety, finding death drawing
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI. 47near, he sent for his relative, Leonard Buonarotti,and dictated his last will thus:-" I leave my soul to God, my body to the earth,and my fortune to my nearest relations."He died on the 17th of February 1564. Hisbody was first laid in the Church of the HolyApostle; but was afterwards interred at Florence,with great honours. The Grand Duke gave toLeonard Buonarotti all the marble necessary forthe execution of the mausoleum of Michael Angelo,designed by Vasari, one of his pupils, of which thestatues were sculptured by three Florentines; thearchitectural part was confided to John Dell'opera;the painting to Baptiste Lorenzi; and the sculpture to Valerio Ciceli.The palace of the Buonarottis at Florence, stillinhabited by the descendants of this great man,possesses a superb gallery, ornamented with a seriesof pictures, done by the first Florentine masters,representing the most remarkable events in the lifeof Michael Angelo.
CORREGIO;OR,THE LITTLE FAGGOT CUTTER.CHAPTER I.THE FAGGOT MAKER'S FAMILY.NIGHT was coming on, as a poor woman, bent undera load of newly-cut sticks, came out of one of thoserich green forests bordering on the Apennines, andslowly wended her way along a pretty little flowerypath leading to Corregio, a little town someleagues from Modena. At the end of the pathwaystood a lowly hut, before which she stopped:throwing down her burden at the door, she wentinto the cottage."Is it you, Marietta?" asked a man's voice." Yes, Allegri," said Marietta. " I have comefrom the Castle of Gambara, where I had been togive my Lady Marchioness her embroidered hand-kerchiefs."" And you returned by the forest, to see if ourson was at work," replied Allegri " and not find-
CORREGIO .49ing him, you cut the wood yourself, with your ownpoor little hands, dear Marietta, and carried theload home on your back? Don't say no, mygood wife; I heard, by your slow gait, that youwere burdened. Alas !-"" Hush!" said his wife. I hear my brother'svoice. Don't let him know how much reason wehave to complain of Antonio."" Good day, Lawrence," said she, affecting atone of cheerfulness which sadly contrasted withher pale, worn-out countenance, holding out herhand to a little burly man, whose jovial face androsy-tipped nose showed no contempt for the juiceof the grape." Good day, sister," said Lawrence, cordiallyshaking her hand. " You are pale to-day; whatis the matter ?" Then, without staying for a reply,he advanced towards a miserable pallet, on whicha man, still young-looking, lay extended; hissickly features bearing traces of sorrow and priva-tions of every kind." How's the leg, Allegri ?" said he, addressingthe sick man." No better, brother-in-law," replied Allegri;"4 no better; and that means worse."" Patience! patience, Allegri!" interrupted thesoft voice of Marietta."1 Ah! I have patience, Marietta-as much as aman can well have; but to think that for the last(64) 44
50 CORREGIO.eight months-don't shake your head, Lawrence-eight months it is, the 17th of last October.The year 1508 was unlucky for me; and the halfof the year 1509 is gone, and no better luck!Let me speak, wife. It does good to my painwhen I speak; and when I can get no other relief,I may be allowed this one. Yes! I say again,1508 has not been a happy year for me. Itbegan with my wife having bad eyes, so that shecould not see to embroider-"" Nearly for two months," murmured Marietta,in a low tone."Then," continued Allegri, "as I was saying,on the 17th November, it was a Thursday-Ishall long remember it-I had finished my day'swork; I was coming home so merrily, singing,when it struck me the next day was washing-day,and Mariana would need more wood; so back Iwent to the forest and cut a double quantity of wood.I bent under the load; what matters-I could walk.At the turn on the path, I heard singing; it wasthe voice of Mariana. You know how much Idelight to hear her sing, Lawrence?"" I have never sung since--" sighed the poorwife, with an expression of unspeakable sadness.Without noticing this interruption, Allegri con-tinued: " She was singing that Tyrolien, youknow, Lawrence; it begins, you know-' Frombeneath long ebon lashes, Henriette.' I hastened
CORREGIO. 51on to meet Marietta, never minding my steps.A great stone was in the way. I tread on it; Istumble, fall, and break my leg! 0! it is atedious thing a broken leg !"" You don't tell, Allegri, how it was cured, andyou were forbidden to move; and you would returnto your work, and it got bad again-"" Ah but when one suffers both in body andmind!" said Allegri." What has the mind to do with your leg, bro-ther-in-law ?" asked jovial Lawrence, laughing withthe air of one who fancies he has said a wittything."It has this much to do with it, Lawrence,that if the mind were content, the body would bein better health," said Allegri." Why, brother-in-law, if you are not con-tent, you are very difficult to please," said Law-rence. " You were only a poor woodcutter; agood honest fellow, truly; but you got my sisterthere for a wife-the best girl in all Corregio;and for son-my nephew Antonio-the hand-somest, the best child, not only in Corregio, butin Modena, in Ferrara, in all Italy, I may say;I say nothing of any other parts of the world, as Idon't know the children there:"" It is just this child that causes all my sor-row," answered Allegri, affecting not to see a tallboy of fifteen, who had stolen quietly into the
52 CORREGIO.room, and seated himself noiselessly in a darkcorner; "just him I He was fifteen years old onthe 17th of January. He was born in 1794, ifyou remember, Lawrence?"" How, if I remember? Don't I remember?"interrupted Lawrence. " That was the year thewine was so dear, and I had to stop tasting it forthree whole months, because I wanted to make mysister there a present, and do my part as godfather.As to the boy, he has only one fault-he does notlove wine."" He does not love work, brother-in-law; that'swhat- troubles me."" Stop there, brother; he loves it only toomuch."" You are a clever man, Lawrence, and I amonly a poor woodcutter; but if you could only proveto me that Antonio works-"" At this very moment he is at our house, mak-ing me a sky for a picture for the cure; a skythe like never was seen, Allegri. White clouds ona blue sky; the clouds are flying, Allegri. Youcan see them; you can feel the wind pushingthem on."" He would do better to go to the forest, andwork with the other woodmen, brother," saidAllegri, in a tone of bitter sorrow. " His motheris killing herself tending on me; sitting up allnight at her embroidery to get nourishment for
CORREGIO. '53me-for him too! for him! and he does not winas much as pays the bread he eats."" That is rather harsh, what you are sayingnow, brother," said Lawrence, looking down con-fused; " for after all, perhaps, you see the boymay have no great taste for cutting faggots.""But there is no other trade for him."V No other! and mine then, brother?"" You hardly get enough to buy salt with,Lawrence.""That is true, Allegri. That does not pre-vent the boy having great genius for painting--a child not much taller than my stick, and whonever learnt to draw either! It is true I neverlearnt drawing myself, and yet I'm a painter;and the little fellow will tell me the moment hesees anything I do: 'Uncle, there's an arm com-ing from no one knows where;' 'uncle, here's aright leg shorter than the left; and that nose!it is all crooked;'-and all this will be true,brother. I am obliged to confess the boy is in theright. But after all, I must tell you I have notseen him for three days. He must be in theforest."" Antonio !" said the woodman, calling him.J
54 CORREGIO.CHAPTER II.WHAT THE LITTLE WOODCUTTER HAD BEEN DOING INTHE FOREST FOR THREE DAYS.To the astonishment of Marietta and Lawrence,who had never observed him enter, Antonio cameout of his hiding-place, and slowly advanced to-wards his father." Antonio, where have you been these last threedays ?" asked Allegri.The child hung down his head, and replied,hesitatingly, " In the forest, father."Marietta raised her eyes anxiously." You have been in the forest; you have cutthe wood. If you have-this is Saturday-youmust have got the money for it; where is it?"" I have had an accident, father."" An accident!" repeated Allegri." Father, three days ago, I was so sorry to havevexed my mother, that I set off for the forest, de-termined to cut wood all day, and to bring you theprice of my labour; but, as uncle Lawrence says,'Man proposes, and God disposes;' and-""And what ?" said the father, seeing his sondid not go on with his discourse." After that," said Marietta, with a tone ofencouragement-
CORREGIO. 55" What happened?" asked the uncle, impa-tiently." That is just what I don't know how to tell;"and Antonio cast a glance at Lawrence and hismother." You did not cut the wood ?" said Lawrence." Yes, uncle."" Then they have not paid you, or you havelost the money?" said his mother." No, my mother."" Finish then," said the father." Well then," said Antonio, growing more boldas he saw the faces round him softening, " I gotto the forest; it was cold; I take my wedge andmy mallet, and I knock here, and I strike there:it went on famously. The others said, Courage,lad; if you go on thus, you will be one of the bestamongst us; you will make as good a day's workas your father.' By ill luck, dinner-hour comes;I sit down on the ground; I take my bread andmy knife, and eat. Whilst eating, I see a largebranch of the tree I was leaning against, andwith my knife I do so, and so, thinking of I don'tknow what-those things that come sometimes intomy head, and make me that I can't think of any-thing else. It is not my fault; I can't help it,father. With my knife, then, I cut away for threedays, and I finished it to-night.""] Finished what?" asked all three in a breath.
56 CORREG10." This," said the boy, going back to his corner,and bringing something in his hand. It was aMadonna, with the infant Jesus in her arms,roughly sculptured in wood." Capital! on my word, capital !" cried Law-rence, with the enthusiasm of the artist whodivines the light of genius there where others onlysee a piece of coarsely-cut wood. "It is beautiful,it is perfect! "" Stupid fellow!" said the woodman, withouteven looking at the boy's work. " Stupid fellow!a faggot of wood, well made and well tied, isworth a hundred times more."Antonio's eyes had been raised, with a brightand glad expression, to the face of his uncle; butthey now fell, mournfully, under the harsh wordsof his father," Dear husband," said Marietta; and the gentlevoice of the submissive wife betrayed, in its emo-tion, something of the ineffable joy and pride of themother. " Dear husband, this is not badly done.Look! is it not really beautiful? Allegri, lookat it; see how she bends her head over the holychild! "" And even if it be," roughly replied the father;" certainly, Marietta, I am just as fervent in mydevotions as you can be; but we must live, wemust eat. Here I am laid on this wretched bed,unable to gain a loaf of bread for you; and whilst
CORREGIO. 57you are killing yourself to get bread for all three,this fine gentleman spends the day cutting outimages with his knife! Is that right ? is it like adutiful son? If he only got his own living, thatwould help you so much at least; but I tell youagain, Marietta, your son is a lazy, idle fellow, notworth the bread he eats."As his father repeated this phrase, Antoniouttered an exclamation of indignation; but sup-pressing it almost in the same breath, he kneltdown by the side of Allegri's bed."C My father," said he, in tones at once firm andrespectful, " this is the last time that such a re-proach shall ever be heard by me.""What mean such words?" cried Marietta,guessing, with all a mother's instinct, the inten-tions of the lad." That my father is in the right, mother," re-plied Antonio, still kneeling; " that I do not gainthe bread I eat; and from this moment I eat nobread that I do not gain."" That is well said, son; that reconciles us,"said Allegri, as he took the boy's head between hishands and drew him towards him, embracing him.", To morrow you will go back to the forest, won'tyou ?"As Antonio did not answer, Marietta exclaimed,bitterly weeping-" To-morrow our son will leave us!"
58 CORREGIO." Has he told you so, wife?" asked the wood-man." Does it need to be told? Could you notdivine what his words mean?" replied the poormother." Well," cried Lawrence, " I say he is in theright, brother-in-law; look you, people have theirvocations, and his is not that of a woodcutter.Don't worry him, let him go; he will be an artistone of these days, or my name is not Lawrence:in fact, he is an artist now already. He can paintfamous signs for shops. The other day he paintedme a sign for our water-melon merchant over theway, representing the merchant eating his owngoods; man and melons to the life, you mightmistake them for the originals. When he canunite to his talent for painting that of modelling-and this wooden Madonna shows he has a tastethat way-he will make his way, you will see.Let him go, brother and sister; don't you grieve.Look every line of that boy's face-his eyes, hisforehead, his eyebrows-all show he is meant forsomething better than cutting faggots. I don'twant to despise your trade, brother; I didn'tthe day I gave you Marietta for a wife, whenyou asked her of me; but, you see, it is not myfault, nor yours, nor sister's, nor the boy's; but thechild is no more intended for a woodcutter than Ito be Duke of Modena. We must just be resigned
CORREGIO. 59to make him something better, with the blessingof God."Lawrence might have talked for an hour longer.Neither Allegri, nor his wife, nor the boy, were ina state to answer him." Where wilt thou go?" asked Allegri." To Modena."" What wilt thou do there, all alone?"" Alone!" said the child; " and God!""May He go with thee!" said the woodman, witha sigh; " and what are you waiting for before youset out ?"" Daylight, and your blessing, father, and a kissfrom my mother, to assure me she is not angry atmy leaving you all."" Can a mother ever be angry with her child?"said Marietta, covering with tears and kisses thefair brow of her boy."As you pass, stop at our house," said Law-rence; "I will give you a palette and some brushes,the only inheritance, alas! you will ever have fromme, Antonio."After Lawrence's departure, silence reigned inthe woodcutter's hut; neither mother nor son thoughtof going to bed; at last Allegri said, " It is late."" Will you take some supper, Antonio?" askedMarietta, offering him a piece of bread." Mother, I told my father I should never againeat a morsel I had not worked for."
60 CORREGTO." What an obstinate child !" said the mother, ina tone of vexation."The boy will yet, I hope, make people cry,SWhat a man! '" said the woodcutter.Antonio's eyes thanked his father for these words,and the lad retired to his bed.CHAPTER IIITHE DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL.FULL of the idea that he was no longer condemnedto cut faggots, and free at last to follow the careerhe had dreamed of since his hand had had. strengthto hold a pencil, Antonio could not close his eyesthe live-long night; he was up before day. Thefather and mother slept: for a moment he thoughtof waking his mother for a parting kiss; but asecond thought prevented him. " She will begin tocry," said he to himself, " and her tears, which Icould stop by saying I won't go, may tempt me toremain. Better go without saying anything; thehope of soon returning, and bringing somethingto relieve the misery of my parents, should giveme courage to leave them -without more adieus."Strengthened by these thoughts, Antonio advancedmore boldly towards the door; but as he passedthe- alcove where his mother slept, his poor little
CORREGIO. .61heart made a terrible bound, and the tears cameinto his eyes. Conquering the momentary weak-ness, he murmured, in a low voice, " Good-by,"opened the door softly, and sprang out.Day gently dawned on the horizon, and the airhad that fresh smell of spring that gladdens andgives new vigour to man as well as to plants.Antonio walked on with a firm step. As he passedby his uncle's house, the latter was standing at thedoor, no doubt watching for him." Well done," said he, " I was afraid Mariettawould make you change your resolution. Folkshave their destinies, nephew, and yours is not thatof a woodman. Here, take these;" and he gaveAntonio a palette and some brushes; "and thistoo,"' he added, as he slipped into the boy's pocketa bit of paper, that looked as if it contained a pieceof money : " this is all the inheritance of your pooruncle. And go, my lad, go on your way: Godprotects the orphan; and you are more than anorphan, for you are not only deprived of all aidfrom father and mother, but you will soon have tosupport them as well as yourself. When youreach Modena, ask for the studio of Francis Bianchi,surnamed the Frari, and present yourself to him.A good journey, and the blessing of God go withyou !"As he said these words, the old painter embracedhis nephew, laid both hands on his head, in sign
62 CORREGIO.of benediction, and giving him a push onward, headded, " On with you, my boy!" and he coveredhis own face with his hands. If Antonio hadlooked round, he would have seen great tearsdropping from between those large coarse fingers.But the lad did not turn his head to look back;with a swelling heart and oppressed chest, hewalked on in the direction his uncle had pointedout, and he soon lost sight of Corregio and itspretty white houses.An immense plain lay before him; the lad felthis courage gradually returning, and marched onalong the road that traversed the plain, withoutstopping, until he reached a wood of orange andcitron trees in blossom. For a moment he thoughtof resting there; but he saw Modena not far off, hewas already near one of its suburbs: he quickenedhis pace, and for the first time in his life Antoniofound himself in a large city. Those streets cross-ing each other in every direction, and leaving himuncertain which to take; all those people goingand coming, pushing up against, yet paying noattention to him, and amongst whom he recognizednot one familiar face; the noise, the confusion of acity-struck Antonio with astonishment at first; butthis sensation soon gave place to the feeling thathe was more desolate here than in the plain. Inthe plain, the sun had cheered his eyes and warmedhis frame; the turf, so fresh and soft to his feeL;
CORREGIO. .63the flowers he had gathered, seemed to have grownand bloomed for him only: he had felt as if naturebelonged to him. But here he had not been halfan hour in the busy city before he comprehendedthat he had neither lot nor part there. He felt hehad no right even to a place in the sunshine, forthe first passer-by cried " Take care," and pushedhim aside; nor to a part of the pavement-thatothers claimed as well as he; nor to the fruits orflowers, which he could no longer gather, but mustpurchase. His isolation terrified him; then hethought of what his uncle had said, and he soughtout amidst the crowd some face whose kindly ex-pression might encourage him to make inquiriesafter Le Frari.An orange-woman's stall stood before him, andthe woman, thinking he might be a purchaser,looked at him with a gracious smile, and offeredher merchandise to him. Emboldened by this,Antonio ventured to say-" My good lady, can you tell me where theSignor Francis Bianchi, called Le Frari, has hisstudio for painting and modelling?"The face of the orange-woman suddenly changed."Do you think I can know?" she answered,shortly; and seeing a richly dressed lady passing,the orange-seller became again all gracious smiles." Buy my oranges, fair lady," she said.The lady drew near, and whilst choosing some
64 CORREGIO.oranges, she could not help casting a glance ofinterest on the sweet face of Antonio, whose everyfeature betokened apprehension and timidity." What are you wanting, my lad?" asked thelady.The boy repeated the question he had addressedto the orange-woman, but in a lower, and, if pos-sible, more timid tone." Can you see from hence the Church of St.Margaret?" said the lady, benevolently, " and tothe right of that, the portico with the pillars?Between the two pillars in the centre there is a doorof sculptured wood; it is there, my lad."" Thank you, my lady marchioness," said An-tonio, who had been attentively looking at the ladywhilst she had been speaking.These last words, the title especially, which wasreally her own, and which she heard pronouncedby a child accidentally spoken to in the street,made the lady observe the boy as he walked onthe way she had pointed out. " It is singular,"said she; " one would think he knew me."And then, with that carelessness of high rank,which leads the great to think but for a momentof those who are not one of themselves, she finishedchoosing her oranges, and walked on.
CORREGO. .65CHAPTER IV.THE STUDIO OF IL FRARI.WHEN he reached the sculptured door, Antoniostood some time before he could find out the handleof the bell. At last, when he did, he rung it sofeebly, that it probably gave no sound. Antoniowas kept waiting so long, that impatience gavehim courage, and this time he pulled as stronglyas he had before rung softly. The boy was him-self alarmed by the noise he had produced; healmost thought of running away, when the doorwas opened wide by an old servant, who advancedto the middle of the portico, looking on every sidefor the visiter who had announced himself withsuch boldness." Who rang?" at last he asked, not observingAntonio, who had hid himself behind one of thepillars, not daring to advance." ," replied Antonio, coming forward, andshrinking back as he saw the angry surprise de-picted on the valet's face."1 You! and what do you want?" asked the manin a tone of contempt." To speak to Signor Francis Bianchi."" From whom?" inquired the servant."'From myself," said Antonio, waxing bolderas the important air of the servant increased.(s4) 54.
66 (CORREGIO."From yourself! you young rascal! yourself!and it is you that ring the bell as if you were aduke or a marquis !"" I may become better than that," replied An-tonio, whose boyish spirits were coming to his aid." More than a duke ?"" I did not say more, but better, master servantof Signor Bianchi."" And what is better?" churlishly interruptedthe man."1 An artist, my good fellow," said Antonio,with an air that meant, Better that if you can!""An artist! an artist! that is what they all say,and think they say all when they pronounce thatword," said the servant. " So come, follow me,master future artist-artist in miniature," addedhe, measuring with contemptuous glance the small,delicate form of little Corregio. " Come and youshall see how my master receives artists who comewith no recommendation but their own. Come,march then." This last phrase brought back allAntonio's timidity. Hitherto he had only livedamongst equals, and had never felt the shynesswhich the presence of people who consider them-selves our superiors generally produces. He fol-lowed the servant but slowly, revolving in his mindall he was to say to this formidable master, andsaying all sorts of encouraging things to himself.First of all, he thought Signor Bianchi was,
CORREGIO. .67after all, but a man like his father, only betterdressed; and a better coat showed nothing morethan a little more money to buy it with. Next,that il Frari would neither beat him nor eat himfor coming to ask employment in his studio; thathe was a great fool to tremble so; and besides, hecame recommended by his uncle Lawrence, whowas a painter as well as il Frari; and a thousandother reasons presented themselves. But all did notprevent him from trembling more and more. As hecame near the studio he thought he should fall down." Signor," said the servant, as he drew back thedrapery, and exposed to view a long row of easelssurrounding another easel, before which an oldwhite-haired man was painting."Well, what is it ?" asked the master, withoutraising his eyes." Here is a boy come to speak to the signor."" What does he want ?" asked the Frari." Go in," said the servant, as he gave Antonioa push that sent him close up to the master." What does he want ?" again asked il Frari,in the tone of one who expects a reply, and is notused to wait for it." Signor, signor," stammered Antonio, withdowncast eyes, and the great drops stood on hisbrow. In the immense studio there was a freezingsilence. The pupils held their breaths and theirpencils became motionless.
68 CORREGIO." Well?" said the old man, in the same crosstone.Antonio saw that speak he must; so he ven-tured to say, " I come from my uncle."" What uncle?" asked the painter, withoutlooking up." I have only one, signor," said Antonio inno-cently." Stupid fellow! I don't ask the number ofyour uncles, but the name."" My uncle Lawrence."" Don't know him," said Frari, dryly." My uncle Lawrence, painter at Corregio."" Painter at Corregio Did ever any one hearof a painter at Corregio ?"" 0 0 !" cried the.pupils, one after the other,in all sorts of keys; is not that good? a painterat Corregio !"Strong in his own belief, Antonio replied, " Yes,signor, a painter at Corregio. My uncle paintsfine pictures to put above shops.""Ah! a sign-painter! You should have saidthat at first, my lad."There was such a mocking accent in these lastwords, that Antonio dared not reply." Talking enough! " said the master, in a severetone, which set all the pupils to their easels again;then turning to Antonio, and looking at him fromhead to foot, he said, " Good-day to you."
CORREGTO. 69" But, signor, I have a request to make," saidAntonio, with tears in his eyes." Say it quick, then."" My uncle said you would receive me into yourstudio.""What to do ?""To paint pictures."The same " O, O's" began, finishing with, " Isit not fun ?" And Antonio, who could not restrainhis tears, cried, " Receive me amongst your pupils,signor, I pray; I shall be so grateful; I shallstudy so much; I-"" And how much will you pay me?" roughlyinterrupted Le Frari.This question, which Antonio, in his rustic sim-plicity, had never thought of, cut short the lad'sspeech." How much?" repeated the master, holdingout his hand." Alas! Can you not take me for nothing?"said the boy, to whom despair gave utterance."G Good-day," said the painter, as he went onwith -his picture.A pupil, who pitied Antonio, rose, and taking theboy by the arm, conducted him out of the studio downto the portico, and there said, "My poor child, with-out money you will get nothing in this city; neitherbread, nor masters, nor servants. Return to yourown house: that is the best thing you can do."4
70 CORREGIO.Antonio stood, thunderstruck, leaning againstthe pillar where the pupil had left him: the great-ness of his grief had even dried up his tears.CHAPTER V.THE CHAPEL OF OUR LADY." ALAS! alas!" cried Antonio, despairingly, assoon as he could think, speak, and act, " is thisyoung man right ? Must I go back to Corregio,and be all my life a woodcutter? 0, what shallI do?" Saying these words, he raised his eyesto heaven, to implore the mercy he sought; butheaven was hid from his eyes by a great highbuilding that rose right before him: it was theChurch of St. Margaret. The sound of the bellwas calling the people to the service. Antonio me-chanically joined the people who were going in;advancing with that fear which isolation and miserygive. He saw children of his own age kneelingbeside their fathers, mothers, or attendants. Hesaw these fathers, or mothers, or servants, payingattention to them, looking out for places for themto kneel on, taking care no one should push againstthem; and he was alone alone! He might becrushed to death on the pavement, and no onewould look round, or say, "Take care;" not one
CORREGIO. 71hand would be extended to raise his body if hedied. The only hand that had been held outto him was that of the man who offered the holywater. Antonio almost thanked that man for anact which was merely mechanical on his part.Another suffering was added to those of his mind.Antonio had left Corregio before dawn; he hadeaten nothing all day-nothing all the previousafternoon: if you remember, his pride had madehim refuse the supper his mother had offered.Antonio's hunger became agony.Alas he felt this hunger; but the torments ofhis soul were still greater. The horrible questionshe was ever putting to himself, of-" What shall Ido ?" " Where go ?" " What will become of me ?"took away from his thoughts that the pangs he wasenduring were those of hunger. Had any oneasked him, " What ails you?" he would not havereplied, " Hunger;" but, " I am alone in theworld." For a moment, the idea arose-and hemust have been sadly depressed to entertain iteven for a moment-the idea, I say, of returningto Corregio arose in his mind. But besides thenoble independence which prevented him fromreturning to be a burden to his parents, the wordsof his father, " He does not even gain the bread heeats," recurred with redoubled force; and he thoughtno more of retracing his steps homeward.Tn the midst of these distracting ideas, Antonio's4
72 CORREGIO.attention was arrested by the tones of the organ.The solemn, deep, rich sounds, brought balm tohis poor troubled brain, and refreshed his verysoul. Children's feelings are so quick, a triflebrings joy or sorrow to them." Let me pray to God," said Antonio; " he willinspire me what to do;" and he looked round himfor some quiet chapel, where there might be lesscrowd, and where he might pray or weep as heliked. He saw one to his right, in the centre ofwhich rose the statue of the Madonna. It remindedhim of the figure he had tried to cut in wood theday before he left his home; it recalled to him hismother, her love, and prayers; perhaps even nowshe was praying for him,-he would pray too. Thechapel, placed in rather an obscure spot, was nearlyempty. Antonio entered it, and kneeled down topray.But as his mind calmed under the soft influenceof prayer, hunger, which had been deadened by thesufferings of mind (more intense in some organiza-tions than the sufferings of body), came back withredoubled pangs; a dull mist obscured his sight;his limbs bent under him; he thought he wasdying; and far from feeling any fear of death, hecried, with a feeble and expiring voice, GraciousGod, if I am not able to do anything, take me tothyself, and send me not back a burden on myparents."
CORREGIO. 73Then, as this prayer was uttered, his sightfailed him; a singing noise rung in his ears. Hecould no longer sustain himself on his knees; hethought this was death. Pale and motionless, helay stretched on the marble floor of the chapel.CHAPTER VI.THE MARCHIONESS GAMBARA.ANTONIO knew not how long he had remained inthis state; but when he came to his senses, hefound himself lying upon a soft cushion; a gentlehand was bathing his temples with cold water,that seemed to chase away the dark mists fromhis brain. When he opened his eyes, he saw ayoung and beautiful lady, dressed in black, kneel-ing beside him."Do you not come from Corregio, my good boy?"said the lady, in the kindest tones." Yes, signora," replied Antonio, in so weak avoice that the lady thought he was going to faintagain; and she held her smelling-bottle to hisnostrils." You are the son of Marietta Allegri?"" Yes, my lady marchioness," said the child,opening his eyes."' Ah! you know me? I, too, thought I knew4
74 CORREGIO.you this morning when you asked the address ofil Frari that is, I remembered you when youwere at some distance. Why have you left yourhome and your mother? what are you doing atModena ?-Why! what ails you again!" cried themarchioness, as the boy again fainted."Who knows? Perhaps hunger," said an oldwoman, as she drew near." Hunger!" exclaimed the lady, with the in-credulous astonishment of one who had not an ideawhat hunger was."Well, it is very possible," said another personwho joined the group from curiosity. Then anotherand another came; and soon the little chapel wasquite filled-amongst others, the orange-womanwho had sold the marchioness the oranges thatvery morning." There would be nothing extraordinary in it ifit were hunger," said the orange-woman, in replyto another who had been speaking. " Who knowshow long the child has been fasting! He lookedfairly attenuated this morning when I was at mystall. If my Lady Marchioness Gambara wouldallow him to taste the juice of one of my oranges--fine Malta oranges!" added she, with all the ob-sequiousness of a seller soliciting patronage." Give him some-give me one," said the lady;and, forgetful of her black satin robe, or the redvelvet cushion that pillowed Antonio's head, she
CORREGIO. 75took an orange, tore off the peel with her own littledelicate fingers, and pressed some of the juice intoAntonio's mouth.The delicious juice revived the pale dying lipsof the boy: Antonio opened his eyes, and withthe natural instinct of one who has not eaten formany hours, he seized the orange and eat it, skinand all." 0 my child! it is true-it was hunger," saidthe marchioness, as the painful fact revealed itself;"I Poor little fellow Paul," said she to a talllacquey who was standing behind her, and who hadplaced the velvet cushion that his lady might notkneel on the marble, " carry this child out, andplace him in the carriage."But Antonio, restored by the orange, rose, andtaking out the piece of money his uncle gave him,offered it to the orange-woman, and told her to payherself." You had money then," said the lady; " whydid you not buy some food ?"" I did not think about it, my lady," answeredAntonio, whilst the orange-woman counted out thechange." What were you thinking of, then, dying ofhunger as you were ?" asked the marchioness." Alas! about my father and mother, and aboutgetting work and not finding any,' said Antonio."4Come with me, my lad," said the marchioness,4
76 CORREGIO.kindly; " come, and you shall tell me what you wishto do; pious, and timid, and modest, you deserveto find friends."And in spite of her rich toilette, the great ladytook the boy, so miserably clad, put him into hercarriage, and drove off, leaving the bystandersamazed, as usual, when they see a good action doneby one of the higher classes.CHAPTER VII.HOW ANTONIO GOT THE NAME OF CORREGIO.AFTER they arrived at the Gambara palace, andAntonio had partaken of a good repast, ordered forhim by the marchioness, he related his story. Hetold of his dislike to cutting faggots, of his father'sreproaches, of his love of painting, and innocentlyallowed his father was in the right, and that hehimself was good for nothing." Yet it can't be very difficult to cut wood, An-tonio," observed the marchioness, whose judicioussagacity foresaw the thousand difficulties the poorchild would have to encounter, if he would rise fromthe lowly station in which he was born." Certainly not, my lady, if the head werein thework," said Antonio, with a candour fall of goodhumour.
k.V" -V ",Xi'I,Z z""', 1 "' ",, -.. --. .. ._v -'-. .. .. .-..YOUNG CORREGIO AND IL FRARI/Udfe7 784S
CORREGIO. .77" It is arms, and not head, that a woodman needs,"replied the young marchioness, smiling.The boy shook his head and was silent; but hissilence was so expressive that the lady continued:" You think I do not understand you, Antonio,do you not ? but it is not so; only, my child, I fore-see great troubles for you, and I would avoidthem. You are still determined not to return toCorregio? Should you like to be a pupil of ilFrari's, then ?"" I have no means, how can I " asked Antonio,whose cheeks flushed at the name of il Frari." Come with me," said the marchioness.The marchioness and Antonio again entered thecarriage, and drove to Signor Bianchi's." It was well you thought of going to pray inthat little chapel," said the marchioness; "it isthere I generally go to my devotions. I knew youas soon as I entered; I was only waiting until youhad finished your prayer to speak to you, when Isaw you grow pale and faint away."" My first picture shall be for that chapel, mylady," said Antonio." If it is a good one, I shall buy it and make anoffering of it myself; but perhaps-"" Ah, my lady, you doubt-"They had arrived, and Antonio's speech wasinterrupted by the servant approaching to assisthis lady to alight. She took Antonio by the hand,4
78 CORREGIO.and entering the portico, she no sooner gave hername, than the old servant opened the doors to theirfull extent, and conducted them respectfully to hismaster, who was now alone, the pupils having beendismissed." Signor Francis Bianchi," said the marchioness," I come to ask your patronage for this little Cor-regio."" Ha! the lad is from Corregio?" inquiredthe master, looking at Antonio as if he had neverbefore seen him. " From the same part of thecountry as your ladyship?"" Yes, signor," replied the lady, " and I take aninterest in him. He has some idea of painting ; sethim to work, I pray, signor. I shall arrange after-wards with you for his apprenticeship, table, andlodging; for I must now bid you good morning.I return to Corregio to-morrow. I have alreadycommanded a picture from Antonio; I wish himto do it under your eye, and after your advice,signor."" Commanded a picture from this child !" criedLe Frari, opening his eyes with surprise. " Ishould have thought-""That I ought to have applied to the master,and not to the pupil," interrupted the marchioness."I know that, signor, but you must forgive methis caprice."" It is only a too praiseworthy one, my lady,
CORREGIO. 79and I cannot do better than follow it myself. To-morrow I shall try him, and if he have the talentsthat, from his eyes and those lines in his forehead,I imagine he may have, instead of taking him asan apprentice, and setting him only to preparethe colours, as is the general practice amongst thoseof our profession who take pupils, I shall receivehim at once as pupil. Will that do, my lady?"" How shall you like that, Antonio?" said themarchioness, who had answered the painter onlyby a gracious bend of the head, expressive ofgratitude.The tears were in Antonio's eyes; he couldonly take up the train of his benefactress's robeand kiss it." I shall see you soon again, my little Corregio,"said the marchioness, rising; " when your picture isfinished, take it to the Palace Gambara." Then,taking leave of Le Frari, the marchioness retired.Here was Antonio at last at the height of hisutmost ambition, in a studio of painting, a real stu-dio, all full of easels and models, and canvass of allsizes; and it was in this very palace of his lovedart that a bed was prepared for him. Antonionever closed his eyes that night.At break of day he rose: he chose out an easeland a canvass, he arranged his colours on his pa-lette, and set to work.Just as the master and pupils were coming inta4
80 CORREGIO.the studio, Antonio was jumping about before hissketched picture, singing to an air of his nativeplace, "Bravo! Corregio-well done, Corregio I"" Corregio !" cried the pupils, grouping round thelittle lad, who was so ashamed of being surprisedthus, that he did not know where to hide himself." Corregio " they cried so often, that the name be-came his own at last.CHAPTER VIII.THE HUNDRED AND ONE HEADS.IN memory of his wooden Madonna, so rudelysculptured, but which had been the cause of hissuccess in the attainment of his beloved vocation;in memory too of the marble Madonna in theChapel of St. Margaret; and because he knewhow his benefactress was accustomed to worshipin that chapel, the first picture of Antonio repre-sented "The Assumption of the Holy Virgin"(a picture which he repainted some years after, ona larger scale, for the Church of Parma). He wastwo months about it; the day it was finished hishappiness was complete. He asked his master ifthe picture was his own, and on hearing a replyin the affirmative, he took it up, placed it underhis' arm, and went out. It was on a hot summer
CORREG10 '81day, the sun's rays were so ardent that Antonioscarcely met ten people on his way to the GambaraPalace." My lady marchioness, is she at home ?" askedAntonio of a respectably dressed man, who wasgoing out of the palace just as Antonio was enter-ing." My lady is travelling-I think she is now atParis," replied the person he addressed; and An-tonio's face presented such a picture of disappoint-mnent, that he added : " But who are you, my littlefriend ? what do you want ? I am the steward, isit anything I can write about?"" 0, sir " said Allegri, shedding tears, "I amlittle Allegri of Corregio."" You are precisely the person I have someorders about-come in."Antonio, in great surprise, followed the steward,who took him to his own room in the palace; therehe seated himself before a bureau, and opening adrawer full of money, he said--"1You come for the money due your master,Signor Francis Bianchi ?"" I do not know if her ladyship is in debt to mymaster or not," said Antonio. " I came simply tooffer to my protectress the first fruits of my labour,as of old the Hebrews used to offer their first fruitsto God,""4 Ah! you are acquainted with the Holy Scrip-(64) 64
82 CORREGIO.tures. Well, that will bring you fortune, my lad,"said the man of business, smiling. " I have ordersfrom my mistress, if you should bring her a picture,good or bad, to pay you. Let us see the picture;is this it ?"" Yes, sir," replied the boy." Ah! ah !" said the steward, placing the pictureon his bureau, the better to see it; " and what doesthis represent ?"" The Assumption of the Virgin, sir."" Ah ah and what are these gentlemen downhere, who look so astonished ?"" The Apostles, sir."" And those up there, that look so happy ?""You have guessed right, sir, they are theHappy."" Ah! ah! and all these children thus sportingaround ?"" They are the angels, sir."" You do not want for company, and that is whatpuzzles me, you see.""And how can that puzzle you, sir?" askedAntonio, smiling." Ah! ah! why, you see, when my lady leftModena, her ladyship said to me: 'If little Cor-regi&w4omes, as I don't doubt he will, to bring methe filst head he finishes, you will give him ahundred francs.' 'And if he brings two heads,my lady?' said I. 'You will give two hundred
CORREGIO. 83francs,' said my lady. Now, there are at least onehundred heads in this picture; and I do not thinkmy lady intended to give you so much as a hundredfor each of them."" My lady meant most surely only one hundredfrancs for each picture," said Antonio." She said for each head."" It must have been picture, sir; but don'ttrouble yourself: I did not expect any payment;certainly I had no idea of receiving anything.""1 Listen," said the steward; " I shall give youone hundred, and write to my lady-""1 That I do not ask more," said Antonio, " andthat I go this moment to carry them to my mother."" It is terribly hot, my lad."" The thought of seeing my mother will refreshme."" You will have a good two hours' walk."" A kind word from my father will soon makeme forget my fatigue."" Well, but I shall have to give it you all incopper; if you will only wait till to-morrow-"" Ah! sir, if you please, now!" cried Antonio,clasping his hands together imploringly."After all, it is your own affair," said thesteward, counting out a hundred piles of twentyhalf-pennies, which he put into a bag; then tyingit, and placing it on Antonio's shoulder, he wishedhim a good-day, and the boy and he parted.4
84 CORREGIO.CHAPTER IX.A DEAD BODY.ON leaving the Gambara palace, Antonio took theroad to Corregio. Mid-day struck from the townclock; the sun was at his full strength; he dartedhis rays straight down on the earth; not a shadowfell from any object.Whilst Antonio, with his sack of money, ismarching home as happy as a king, heedless ofthe excessive heat, and regardless of the storm thatwas preparing in the horizon, let us return to thewoodman's hut; where, as in the beginning of ourtale, the same three persons were assembled. Theconversation had begun about the storm, which wasnow nearly over; a few heavy drops of rain, andsome rolling sounds in the distance, being all thatstill remained of it; then it turned on the usualtopic of Antonio.Night had closed in for more than an hour."No accounts yet of the boy?" asked uncleLawrence."None," said Marietta, sighing." 0, I am sure there are no good accounts to beheard, or they would have reached us before now,"said the father. " If our heavenly Father would
CORREGIO. .85only permit me to hear something good about him,I am sure I should get well."" That and eight days' good living, and youwould be in the forest on the ninth," said Law-rence. " Would you not ?""1 It is strange," cried Marietta, listening anxi-ously; " and you two will think me crazy if I tellyou it seems to me as if I had just heard my sonsigh."" Fancy, Lawrence; since the lad went, thewind cannot stir but she imagines it is her son'svoice.""1 Again !" cried Marietta, still listening. " O,this time I am not mistaken; when my son waslittle, he used to sigh in that way."" But your son is no longer little, Marietta; heis going for sixteen," said her brother." Alas if he-." The poor mother dared notfinish; but her sudden paleness, rendering herpale face still more ghost-like, made them guesswhat she feared."1 You are mad !" said her brother ; but the hus-band, partaking in his wife's fears, hid his face inhis hands, and murmured in a low, sad voice-"" No accounts for two months! Alas! perhapsI did wrong to let him go.""1 You are a couple of fools, one and the other,excuse the word; but you know he can't write,"said uncle Lawrence, hiding his own uneasiness
86 CORREGIO.under a mask of rough jocularity. " He does notkeep a servant either, to send you news Let himalone! You'll see he will arrive one of these days,as rich-as rich as the Marquis Gambara, andcarrying his millions on his shoulders, as Atlasdoes the world. Perhaps I shall meet him as I gohome-who knows ?"And thus speaking, Lawrence opened the door;and looking out to assure himself the storm wasover, he stepped a few paces to see if the road wasvery wet, when his foot struck against somethingwhich made him exclaim-" A dead body!"" It is my son!" cried Marietta, as she flew outof the cabin at the same moment that Lawrence,lifting the body, brought it in."Antonio !" exclaimed all three, as soon as thelamp showed them the face."He breathes!--he is not dead!" cried Law-rence, the only one of the three who had not lostall presence of mind. "The rain has fallen onhim, perhaps, when heated on the road: he hastaken cold: turn down your bed-clothes, that Imay lay him there to warm him beside yourself,Allegri. Heat will soon restore him effec-tually." Antonio was no sooner laid under thewarm coverlid, than he opened his eyes, recognizedhis father, mother, and Lawrence; and looking forsome other object, cried out, " And my money !"
CORREGIO. 87"That is perhaps the parcel that was lying be-side him when I picked him up," said Lawrence,who went to see, and returned with the heavy bag."It is for you, father; for you, mother; andyou, uncle," said Antonio to the poor Allegri, whowas crying with all his might."Ha! ha! so you have made your fortune?"asked Lawrence." It is the price of my first picture," said An-tonio ; " a hundred francs."" A hundred francs !" cried the uncle; "minenever sold for so much."" That was because they are so bad," repliedthe pupil of Francis Bianchi."That may be, nephew," sighed Lawrence,bowing his head with good-humoured resignation.Antonio related his story to them, and if no oneslept the night of his departure, they slept stillless the night of his return. Even uncle Lawrencecould not tear himself away; the poor lad wasworn out with want of sleep and fatigue." Good-by, Antonio," said each, as they sawhis poor eyes closing."Antonio!" answered the lad; "it is longsince I was called by that name."" And what did they call you at Mantua ?"" The Corregio," said he, as his head fell on thepillow, and he slept.4
88 CORREGEO.CHAPTER X.BIOGRAPHY OF CORREGIO.Ir was in the studio of Francis Bianchi that Cor-tegio acquired the art of modelling, which wasmuch in vogue at that period. Conjointly withBegarelli, he made a group, of which the threebest figures are attributed to Corregio, for theChurch of St. Margaret, at Modena. The firstpicture of Antonio Allegri, surnamed Corregio,that merits attention, is the St. Anthony of theDresden Gallery, painted at Capri in 1512 : afterthat, he painted some frescoes for the MarchionessGarnbara, and finished, for the convent of the sametown, a small wooden altar, adorned with threefigures. It is said that Corregio never saw eitherRome or Venice, and yet the perception of antiqueart was in him. Not only was he the painter ofthe Graces, inducing Jaillasseau to say, he was ingrace what Michael Angelo was in power andsublimity; but he was also the originator of thefine harmonies of chiaro-scuro, and of those admir-able fore-shortenings, which, when they are notoverdone, are so effective. It is said of him, that,on seeing a picture of Raphael's, he exclaimed,"Anch-io son' pittore!" (I too am a painter!)Louis Carraci said to his cousins, Augustus and
CORREGIO. 89Annibal: " Study Corregio; it is there you willfind all that is grand and graceful." And yet thisis the same artist, cited as the painter of angelicbeauty, who has shown, in the cupola of St. Johnof Parma, a power, a rapidity of pencil, and aloftiness, which place him in the first ranks ofpainters in the latter style also.Corregio delighted, above all things, to paintchildren. He was to be seen in the public walks,stopping them wherever he met them; preferringthose of from three to six years old. He likedto draw their rounded, undeveloped forms: hestudied all their movements and gestures of sorrow,joy, and excitement; their transition from tears togladness; their wild gaiety in play; their inno-cent candour; their naive anger; in fact, all that atthat sweet age renders children so attractive andso loveable.The Musee at Paris possesses nine pictures byCorregio, the finest of which is a St. Jerome.Corregio only received for this picture, which occu-pied him six months, forty-seven sequins (abouttwenty-eight pounds), and his board. Another ofhis pictures, called " Corregio's Night," which, byits beautiful effects of light, gave rise to a newschool, sold for only about twenty pounds. ThusCorregio never grew rich. Ten years of his life,passed in painting the cupola and dome of St.John, brought him only about four hundred pounds
90 CORREGIO.for his protracted labour! In 1534, he was fortyyears of age, and came one day to Parma, to solicitthe payment of a sum due to him: in the sum therewas about eight pounds in copper money. Impa-tient to carry this money to his parents, whom healways continued to support, Corregio set off on footto his native town: but he was not then sixteen;and the consequent fatigue, instead of ending in asleep, as it did the first time, threw him into apleurisy, of which he died.Corregio brought painting to its highest perfec-tion. Michael Angelo had given it sublimity;Titian had produced all the magic powers of colour;Raphael had embellished the art with all theexpression and grace of nature: to these Corregioadded refinement and exquisite elegance; thusuniting truth, grandeur, and grace. Corregio workedin the spirit of the Theban law, which obligedpainters and sculptors, under severe penalties, togive to their figures the greatest possible beauty.All Corregio's portraits of women are of a celestialgrace, and all his children seem little angels,breathing the divine innocence of heaven.