Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The brothers of Florence
 The Pope and the painter
 The dukes of Milan
 The brave old admiral of Genoa
 The doge of Venice
 The astronomer of Padua
 The fisherman of Naples

Title: Short stories founded on European history
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00003542/00001
 Material Information
Title: Short stories founded on European history Italy
Alternate Title: Italy
Physical Description: 254 p., <7> leaves of plates : ill., map ; 14 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Clay, Richard, 1789-1877 ( Printer )
Whymper, Josiah Wood, 1813-1903 ( Engraver )
Gilbert, John, 1817-1897 ( Illustrator )
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
Publisher: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: R. Clay
Publication Date: 1853
Subject: History -- Juvenile literature -- Italy   ( lcsh )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1853   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1853
Genre: Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
General Note: Illustrations engraved by J.W. Whymper after Sir John Gilbert.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00003542
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002237471
oclc - 05763267
notis - ALH7958
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
    The brothers of Florence
        Page 1
        Page 2
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    The Pope and the painter
        Page 38
        Page 38a
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    The dukes of Milan
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    The brave old admiral of Genoa
        Page 100
        Page 100a
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    The doge of Venice
        Page 148
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    The astronomer of Padua
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    The fisherman of Naples
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Full Text






I' = r


To face IS ae











III. THz DUEs oP MrA .








GEOA 100

. 148

. .180

. 920

No. I.


IN that lovely southern land, which for its extreme
beauty and fertility has been styled the Garden
of Europe," stand seven celebrated cities. Famous
were they in the olden time, and famous are they
still;--visited by travellers from all parts of the
world, who view them with interest and admira-
tion. And they are worthy of admiration, and well
deserve their titles,-Rome the Ancient-Naples
the Lovely-Florence the Fair-Genoa the Superb
-Padua the Learned-Milan the Magnificent-
and Venice the Beautifl. I will tell you some
stories of their bygone days.

"Of all the fairest cities of the earth,
None is so fair as Florence. "Tie a gem
Of purest ray; and what a light broke forth,
When it emerged from darkness! Search within,
Without; all is enchantment 'Tls the Past
Contending with the Present; and in turn
Each has the mastery."
Within the marble halls of the magnificent palace
of the Medici in Florence, there sat, long ago, four
happy children. Descendants of that noble house
which for many ages had held sway in the fair
city, their appearance and manners well befitted
their high birth and station. Courteous, gentle,
and generous, they behaved to each other with
loving affection, to their superiors with modesty
and respect, and to their inferiors with kindness
and affability. Their names were Lorenzo, Nan-
nina, Bianca, and Giuliano.
"I wonder when Grandpapa will return," said
Nannina; it is now some days since we have seen
him. I shall be glad when he comes home."
I think he is come," exclaimed Giuliano;
"I heard the sound of horses in the court-yard;
and that must be his step on the stairs."
The child's quick ears did not deceive him. In
another minute the large folding doors at the end


of the hall were thrown open, and Cosmo de Medici
entered. He was a tall, dignified, and venerable
looking old man, with features still handsome and
expressive of kindly feelings. The children with
bright and smiling faces hastened forwards to greet
and welcome him; and when, seated in a massive
arm-chair of carved oak, he blessed them and
smiled upon them in return as they stood around
him, they felt sure that they were going to have
one of their great and rare treats-a chat with
The family of the Medici had for many ages
been esteemed one of the most considerable in the
Florentine republic ; the true source of their wealth
being their superior talents and their application to
commerce. The renowned and illustrious Cosmo
de Medici, however, surpassed all his predecessors
in wealth, authority, generosity, and prudence.
His palaces, one in Florence and four in the
country, were regal in their size and splendour.
Yet, though chief of the Florentine republic, and
in constant intercourse with the sovereigns of Eu-
rope, his conduct was devoid of all ostentation.
Everything was tempered with prudence. In his
conversation, his servants, his style of travelling,

and his mode of living, the modest demeanour of
the citizen was always evident. No one was jealous
of his power, for by his virtue and prosperity he
overcame all his enemies, and exalted all his friends.
The uses to which he applied his great wealth
caused him to be much beloved and respected in
Florence, and obtained for him the highest con-
sideration, not only throughout Italy, but through-
out all Europe. His conduct was uniformly
marked by urbanity and kindness to the superior
ranks of his fellow-citizens, and by a constant
attention to the interests and wants of the lower
class, whom he relieved with the most unbounded
generosity. He was the liberal and munificent
patron of learning and the fine arts, which under
his auspicies began to revive in Italy.
Yes, my dear boy," said the venerable old
man, laying his hand on Giuliano's head, I have
been at Careggi, passing my hours with my books,
and attending to the cultivation of my farms. It
is both pleasant and profitable to retire at times
from public affairs, and I own I went to Careggi,
not so much for the purpose of improving my fields
as myself."
Dear Grandpapa!" said Giuliano, do you


need improvement ? You, who lead such a useful
and active life?"
We all need improvement, dear child, and the
older we grow, the more we see our need of it.
I have endeavoured to live usefully, but often do
I look back with regret on the many hours I have
But you have done a great deal of good,
Grandpapa, surely? How many churches you
have built, and with what beautiful pictures and
statues have you adorned them!" observed Nannina.
I have never been able to lay out so much in
the service of God as I would have done, Nannina;
all I have done, or could do, is unequal to what the
Almighty has done for me."
Your life has been a prosperous one indeed,
Grandpapa," said Lorenzo, thoughtfully, "and
how honoured is your name in Italy! I feel
glad to think how the poor love it, and the rich
esteem it."
Yet my early days were full of trouble, Lorenzo,
for I was exiled from Florence. From the age of
forty, I have, however, enjoyed the most uninter-
rupted felicity."
Ah! you had enemies once, dear Grandpapa,

but you have none now," said Bianca; "the
Medici will not be exiled again."
Then must we be careful not to provoke
jealousies, Bianca. A family such as ours can
only maintain its position by moderation. Your
great-grandfather, my children, by a strict atten-
tion to commerce, gained immense wealth, and by
his affability, moderation, and liberality, secured
the confidence and esteem of his fellow-citizens.
He sought not for the honours of the republic, yet
was honoured with them all. On his death-bed
he called us to him, and thus addressed us;-
'I feel, my sons, that I have lived my appointed
time. I die content, leaving you in affluence and
health, and in such a station that whilst you follow
my example, you may live honoured and respected
in your native city. Nothing affords me more
pleasure than the reflection that my conduct has
not given offence to any one, but that, on the con-
trary, I have endeavoured to serve all persons to
the best of my abilities. I advise you to do the
same. Be not anxious about honours, but accept
such as are bestowed on you through the favour of
your fellow-citizens.' This advice I have endea-
voured to follow, and it will be well for you,


Lorenzo, and you, my Giuliano, to do the same.
Your good father is in infirm health, and you may
be early called into public life."
I will try to be a great and good man," said
Giuliano, while Lorenzo expressed a hope that he
should render himself worthy of his illustrious
That is well," replied Cosmo de Medici, and
now see, Giuliano, what is that prancing I hear in
the court."
The boy ran to the window. Oh, Grandpapa!"
he exclaimed, there is a beautiful Arabian horse,
with flowing tail and mane! he is so pretty and
That horse is for you, Giuliano, if you think
you can manage it," said Cosmo. It is time you
learned to ride."
Giuliano was perfectly delighted. Departing
from the usual custom of respectfully kissing the
hand of his aged relative, he threw his arms round
his neck, and embraced him with all the love
of his young heart. "Thank you a thousand
times, dear Grandpapa," he said; "it was the
only thing I wanted to make me quite, quite

The old man smiled. "It will be well if thy
wishes are always as moderate, my child," he said,
as he rose to depart, "but that I cannot hope.
Now go and try your charger."
Years passed away. The children of Piero de
Medici, as they grew up, gave promise of no ordi-
nary talent. Lorenzo, with good sense, and great
natural ability, inherited also his grandfather's love
of literature and the fine arts. He made great
progress in learning, and whilst he was yet a boy,
rendered himself conspicuous by his poetical talents
and various accomplishments. The two fair girls,
Nannina and Bianca, brought up under their
mother's watchful eye, received such instructions
as in those days were deemed befitting the daugh-
ters of a noble house; and the merry Giuliano,
though he did not by any means neglect his studies,
was yet more partial to horsemanship, wrestling,
and throwing the spear, in which active exercises
he excelled. Both the brothers were fond of country
sports, and in riding or hawking passed many
a pleasant day. Alike generous and affectionate,
educated under the same roof, and participating in
the same studies and amusements, there subsisted
between Lorenzo and Giuliano a warm and unin-


terrupted attachment. By a frequent intercourse
with their venerable grandfather, and by the ex-
ample and instructions of their mother, Lu-
cretia, who was one of the most accomplished
women of the age-distinguished not only as a
patroness of learning, but by her own writings
also-they were daily preparing for the high sta-
tion which they were destined to occupy in their
native city.

Lorenzo was fifteen years of age, and Giuliano
between ten and eleven, when one summer's day
they wandered forth to enjoy the balmy air of their
delicious clime. The country round Florence is
very beautiful. The blue Arno, winding through
the richly cultivated land,-now hiding itself be-
hind the vineyards or olive groves, now gliding
between fields of waving corn and verdant grass;
the flowers-and the flowers in the neighbourhood
of Florence are considered the most beautiful in
Italy-springing up in luxuriant profusion on all
sides; the trees in their summer foliage, and in
the distance the lofty Apennines;-these were the
objects on which the eyes of the brothers rested, as
they wandered forth that sunny day.

They were then staying at their father's seat a
short distance from the city; and great was their
delight in rambling together through the vineyards
and olive groves which surrounded the princely
mansion. But whilst in the height of their enjoy-
ment, a messenger approached them with troubled
It is Bernardo!" exclaimed Lorenzo; I trust
he brings no ill tidings. What news from the city,
good Bernardo?"
"I regret to announce to you, Signors, that
your illustrious grandfather lies dangerously ill.
I am the bearer of this packet from my honoured
master, which will inform you of further particu-
The brothers with tearful eyes read the letter
from their father confirming Bernardo's account.
He told them that Cosmo considered himself as a
dying man, and expressed his willingness to submit
to the dispensations of Providence. He spoke of
his many virtues, and exhorted his sons to follow
his example.
Lorenzo and Giuliano were deeply grieved at
these sad tidings. They walked slowly and sor-
rowfully home, thinking of the many proofs of


affection they had received from their venerable
relative, and fearing they should see him no more.
Their fears proved true. Cosmo de Medici, the
merchant prince of Florence, died greatly lamented.
He was in the zenith of his glory, and in the
enjoyment of the highest renown, when death
summoned him away. All the Christian princes
mourned his loss. His funeral was conducted with
the utmost pomp and solemnity, the whole city
following him to his tomb in the church of San
Lorenzo, on which, by public decree, his name was
inscribed as Father of his Country."
Before he died, this great man recommended to
Piero a strict attention to the education of his
sons, of whose promising talents he expressed his
hopes and approbation. His wife inquiring why
he closed his eyes, That I may accustom them to
it," was his reply.

"Giuliano," said Lorenzo, a few days after their
loss, "we must endeavour to follow the example
of our illustrious grandfather. The esteem he
inspired was founded on real merit."
Ah! he was so liberal, and noble, and wise!"
replied Giuliano.



Yet my father says he knew not half his libe-
rality till now, for he was not one to boast of his
good deeds. It appears that there is no citizen of
note in Florence to whom Cosmo de Medici has
not lent a large sum of money; and often, when
informed of some nobleman in distress, he has
relieved him unasked."
"Yes, he had a kind heart and an open hand,
ever ready to lend or to bestow. Even kings have
been indebted to him, I have heard my father
True. During the contest in England between
the houses of York and Lancaster, Edward the
Fourth wanting the means for carrying on the
war, our grandfather lent him an immense sum of
money, and thus assisted him to gain the throne.
Giuliano, I hope I shall be as magnificent in my
acts as he was."
"And I hope I shall be like him in kindness
and benevolence," replied Giuliano.
Soon after the death of Cosmo de Medici,
Lorenzo entered on the stage of public life. The
infirmities of Piero rendered him anxious for the
assistance, and even advice, of a son who had
already evinced much sound judgment, promptitude,



and decision of character. The vigour of his intel-
lect, and that exquisite taste in poetry, music, and
every department of the fine arts, for which he was
afterwards so eminently distinguished, joined to
many amiable qualities, caused the Florentines to
regard him with esteem and affection, and to look
upon him as a worthy successor of the illustrious
Cosmo. And it was not very long before an event
occurred which caused them to admire still more
Lorenzo's decision of character.
Among the number of opulent and aspiring
citizens of Florence, was Luca Pitti, the founder of
that magnificent palace which has for some centu-
ries been the residence of the sovereigns of Tuscany.
He had reluctantly submitted to the superior talents
of Cosmo de Medici, but now that he was gone,
endeavoured to supplant the authority and destroy
the influence of his son, Piero, with the magistrates
and council of the city. Finding, however, that
he could not succeed in this, he resolved on a
fearful crime-nothing less than the assassination
of Piero.
Weakened by gout, Piero was generally carried
in a chair from his house at Careggi to his resi-
dence in Florence, and the conspirators thought it



would be a good opportunity to attack him on the
One morning, accompanied only by a few at-
tendants, Piero set out from Careggi. Lorenzo,
who had left a short time before his father, was
surprised to find one part of the road to the city
beset with armed men. Their purpose he imme-
diately suspected.
Ha! this bodes mischief I" he exclaimed.
"Haste, Nicolo! haste back to my father," he
said to one of his followers; "beg him, from me,
to abandon the direct road to Florence, and pro-
ceed by the retired and circuitous path through the
vineyards; he will do so at my request. As you
love me, haste!"
The servant needed not a second order; he set
spurs to his horse, and was out of sight in an
The young de Medici then rode quietly on.
How fares the noble Piero ? Comes he not to
the city to-day ?" were the questions with which
the conspirators assailed him, apparently anxious
for his father's health.
"He follows at a short distance," replied Lo-
renzo, marking each speaker with his keen glance;




" and is indebted to you, Sirs," he added, with a
slight smile, for your anxious care of his health
and safety."
He bowed, and passed on; but his promptitude
and coolness had saved his father's life.
The conspiracy was discovered, and quelled.
Luca Pitti fell into disgrace, and passed the re-
mainder of his days in obscurity and neglect. The
Florentines were much displeased with him. The
progress of his magnificent palace was stopped, and
those citizens who had contributed to it costly
articles and materials, demanded then back again,
declaring they were only lent. They would not
assist in any way an enemy to the noble family of
the Medici.

When Lorenzo was twenty-one years of age,
he married Clarice, a daughter of the illustrious
house of Orsini, in Rome. Their nuptials were
celebrated with great splendour, and Lorenzo
ever treated his wife with particular respect and
Not long after his marriage, he went to Milan,
for the purpose of standing sponsor to the eldest
son of the reigning duke. Perhaps you would like


to read the following letter, which he wrote from
that city.

Lorenzo de Medici to his wife Clarice:-
I arrived here in safety, and am in good
health. This, I believe, will please thee better
than anything else except my return-at least, so
I judge from my own desire to be once more with
thee. Associate as much as possible with my
father and my sisters. I shall make all possible
speed to return to thee, for it appears a thousand
years till I see thee again. Pray to God for me.
If thou want anything from this place, write in
Milan, 22d of July, 1469."

And how did they treat you at Milan, dear
Lorenzo?" asked his brother Giuliano, on his
return home.
With great distinction and honour, however
undeserved," replied Lorenzo ; more, indeed,



than was shown to any other person present,
although there were many much better entitled:
to it."
That I cannot think," said Giuliano, looking
proudly and fondly on his brother. "I am told,
Lorenzo, that with your usual generosity you
presented to the duchess a gold necklace, -and a
diamond worth 3,000 ducats."
"Whence it followed, that the duke requested
I would stand sponsor to all his children," replied
Lorenzo, laughing. "He purposes paying our fair
city a visit ere long; we must receive him well.
But Giuliano, my brother, I wished to tell you
how much I rejoice in seeing the progress you
have made in all your studies and varied accom-
plishments lately. The beautiful poem you have
written is the subject of much praise, and your
having carried off the prize in the last tournament
has delighted the citizens, with whom you appear
to be a universal favourite. Continue to improve,
dear Giuliano; so will you add honour to the name
of Medici."
Then that will be only by my following the
example of Lorenzo," replied the youth affection-



It was true, that by his urbanity, generosity,
and amiable disposition, Giuliano had gained, in a
great degree, the affections of the people of
Florence, to which it is probable his fondness for
public exhibitions not a little contributed. He
was a noble-looking youth, tall in stature, and of
a joyous countenance. Skilled in horsemanship,
and all the athletic exercises of the day, he at the
same time studied the learned languages with
much success, delighted in music and poetry, and
in his attention to men of talent partook of the
celebrity of his brother. He habituated himself to
endure thirst, hunger, and fatigue; possessed great
courage and unshaken fortitude, and was a friend
to religion and order. Added to this, he had all
the humanity and benevolence that could be wished
for in one born to such an exalted station. It is
little to be wondered at that Giuliano was beloved
both at home and abroad.
Piero de Medici did not long survive the mar-
riage of his son. On the second day after his death,
the principal inhabitants of Florence waited on
Lorenzo, and requested that he would take upon
himself the administration and care of the republic
in the same manner as his father and grandfather



had done before him. It was a high honour to
one so young, and Lorenzo felt it as such. He
hesitated, at first, to comply with their wishes, but
they persuaded him; and then, aware of the diffi-
culties which he had to encounter, -selected as his
chief advisers those citizens most esteemed for their
integrity and prudence, whom he always consulted
on questions of importance.
You are young, dear Lorenzo, to be thus dis-
tinguished," said his sister Nannina to him the
next time they met. I almost wept when I heard
of the grey-haired citizens so earnestly entreating
you to accept the dignity."
I am young, Nannina, and deeply I feel my
responsibility. But see, my sister, I have to-day
received these letters of condolence from several of
the Italian princes, in which they assure me of
their friendship and support. I owe it all to my
illustrious grandfather, in whose steps I would
endeavour to walk."
Then will you do well, dear Lorenzo. You
are the master of immense wealth; lay it out as he
did, for the good of others."
I will, Nannina. Our ancestors, in the space
of a few years, expended no less than 660,000



florins in works of public charity or utility. Some
persons might, perhaps, think it would be more
desirable to have a part of this enormous sum in
their purses; but I conceive it has been a great
advantage to the public, and well laid out, and am,
therefore, perfectly satisfied. I have a great desire
to encourage learning and the fine arts, and to raise
my native city to renown and honour."
Ah! Giuliano and I agree you have magnificent
ideas, and as you have also a magnificent fortune,
you can accomplish what you desire," said Nan-
nina, with a smile. Here comes our merry
brother, let us accompany him and Clarice to the

In the spring of 1471, the Duke of Milan paid
his promised visit to Florence. He and his duchess,
Bona, took up their residence with Lorenzo, but
their attendants were so numerous, that even the
magnificent palace of the Medici could not contain
them. They consisted of six hundred armed men,
as a guard of honour, fifty running footmen, richly
dressed in silk and silver, and so many noblemen
and courtiers, that with their different retinues
they amounted to two thousand horsemen! Be-


sides these, there were five hundred couple of dogs,
and an infinite number of falcons and hawks. It
is well such visits are not paid in these days!
What would one of our rich English merchants say
to such an invasion, renowned though they be for
their liberal hearts and hospitable halls!
The Duke of Milan, who was vain and foolish,
thought, by all this display, to dazzle the eyes of
the Florentines. His equipage was in the highest
style of splendour and expense. But, notwith-
standing this profusion, his wonder, and perhaps
his envy, was excited by the superior magnificence
of Lorenzo, which was of a kind not always in the
power of riches to procure. The great variety of
statues, vases, gems, and intaglios, ornamenting the
Medicean palace-the extensive collection of the
finest remains of ancient art, selected with equal
assiduity and expense-the celebrated library-
and, above all, the paintings, the productions of the
best masters of the day, excited alike the astonish-
ment and admiration of the noble visitor.
In all Italy I have not seen such pictures as
these! he exclaimed, as he and Lorenzo walked
through the galleries and halls. "Notwithstanding
my predilection for courtly show and grandeur,



I must confess, that in comparison with what I
have beheld in your palace, gold and silver sink
into insignificance."
Amongst the festivities and grand spectacles
which took place in Florence for the entertainment
of the Milanese visitors, there was held a gay
tournament, in which Giuliano bore away the
prize, to the great delight of the people. The
tournaments of old were goodly shows, and
favourite pastimes with the Florentines.

Each mantle gemm'd floats gaily,
Each courser stamps and fumes:
'Tls a heaving sea, whose billows free
Are banners and dancing plumes.
The air is full of battle,
It is full of the trumpet's sound,
Of the tramp of dashing horses,
And the cries of the crowd around
The earth is strown with splendour,
It is strown with fair plumes torn,
With glove, and scarf, and streamer,
For the love of ladies worn;
But each maiden watched her champion,
And oft her white hands sent
Fresh gifts for every token
That was lost in the tournament.



Oh with such eyes above them,
Such voices to cheer the strife,
No marvel those warriors tilted
Like men who are tilting for life "
And when shouts arose for the victor, and
Giuliano, kneeling on the turf, received the prize
his lance had won, how the hearts -of his sisters
thrilled with pleasure, as Nannina, unlacing his
steel helmet, placed on his brow the chaplet of
green laurel,-
While every lip is busy
With the honour of his name,
And with glowing cheeks each good knight speaks
The story of ins fame!"
But I come now to a very sad part of my story.
A few years after the visit of the Duke of Milan,
an event took place in Florence which has seldom
been mentioned without emotions of horror and
detestation, and which afforded an undoubted proof
of the ungodliness and irreligion which prevailed
in Italy at that time; for fearful and atrocious as
the crime was, a pope, a cardinal, an archbishop,
and several other priests, were the promoters and
instigators of it! The lovely land of Italy, without
the pure light of the glorious gospel, was dark,
degraded, and unhappy!



One of the noblest and wealthiest of the families
in Florence was the family of the Pazzi. Though
they had received favours from the house of Me-
dici, they were jealous of its rising power; and
when Pope Sixtus the Fourth stood at-the head of
a conspiracy to destroy two young men who were
an honour to their age and country, they willingly
joined him and his band of ruffians. Sixtus the
Fourth was the first who began to show how far
a pope might go, and how much that which was
previously regarded as sinful, lost its iniquity when
committed by a pontiff. He, with his great-
nephew, the Cardinal Riario, the Archbishop of
Pisa, the King of Naples, and the Pazzi family,
secretly agreed together to assassinate the noble
brothers, Lorenzo and Giuliano de Medici!
The plans of the conspirators being arranged,
the cardinal and archbishop came to Florence, and
took up their residence at a seat of the Pazzi,
about a mile from the city. Lorenzo, who was
then at Fiesole, hearing of their arrival, with his
usual hospitality invited them to his house, and
prepared a magnificent entertainment on the occa-
sion. This pleased the conspirators; they accepted
the invitation, and agreed that the brothers should



be assassinated in the midst of the banquet. They
went to Fiesole, but to their disappointment,
Giuliano, on account of indisposition, did not
appear; and so their wicked design was, for a
time, frustrated.
We have been foiled to-day," said Francesco
de Pazzi, when they had returned home; "but it
shall not happen again. I long for the hour when
the power of the proud Medici shall be trampled in
the dust. If the deed is to be done, my lord arch-
bishop, there should be no delay."
There shall be none," replied the archbishop;
"I am as anxious for the death of Lorenzo de
Medici as you are, Francesco de Pazzi. Did he
not object to my preferment on the ground that
my character could not bear inspection? Yes;
and he shall feel my revenge! On Sunday morn-
ing next, when all will be present in the church of
the Reparata, our purpose shall be accomplished.
The signal for the murder shall be the elevation of
the host."
A bad hour, and an improper place t6 choose
for such a deed," observed Giovan Batista, a sol-
dier who had much distinguished himself; "whilst
I thought it was to take place in a private house,


I did not object; but now the case is diffe-
It signifies little where it takes place," replied
the archbishop; "our purpose is to see it done.
And as you are a brave man, Giovan Batista, we
commit the assassination of Lorenzo to your
Not to me, my lord!-not to me!" said the
soldier. Bold as I am, I am not bold enough to
pollute the house of God with the crime of murder,
or base enough with my own hand to take the life
of one who has been a good friend to me."
I pity your scruples," replied the archbishop,
with a sneer; but we need not your help; there
are many ready to perform the service." And he
selected two priests to execute the deed from which
the soldier shrank.
I will undertake the assassination of Giuliano,"
exclaimed Francesco de Pazzi, that office shall
'be mine; though we have been on friendly terms,
I am not so scrupulous as Giovan."
Be it so; we leave him to you and Bandini.
His holiness the pope will not fail to reward your
Ay,-his holiness would have the dominion of


Florence for himself," muttered Francesco; but
that shall not be whilst I live."
It was then agreed that the archbishop should
seize on the palace where the magistrates assembled,
whilst at the same time Jacopo de Pazzi was to
endeavour, by the cry of liberty, to incite the
citizens to revolt.
While these bold and bad men were thus
arranging their wicked plans, the two brothers,
perfectly unsuspicious of what was going on, were
passing their time in attention to public affairs,
and in the studies in which they both delighted.
It was pleasant to the citizens to witness their
mutual affection, and to see the confidence and
esteem which they felt for each other. Alas! they
were about to be parted by a fearful blow!
Having heard that the young cardinal Riario
desired to attend divine service in the church of
the Reparata, Lorenzo invited him and his suite to
his palace in Florence. On Sunday, the 26th of
April, 1478, he accordingly came with a large
retinue, aud was received by Lorenzo with that
splendour and hospitality with which he was
always accustomed to entertain men of high rank
and consequence.



Giuliano did not appear,-a circumstance which
alarmed the conspirators at first; but Lorenzo,
apologising for his brother's absence, informed
them he intended to be present in the church.
Thither the party proceeded. The service had
already begun, and the cardinal had taken his seat,
when Francesco de Pazzi and Bandini, observing
that Giuliano had not arrived, left the church, and
went to his house in order to hasten and secure his
attendance. Giuliano accompanied them; and,
merrily laughing and chatting, the three young
men walked on together. They entered the church,
and the conspirators, standing near their intended
victims, waited impatiently for the appointed
signal. The bell rang,-the priest raised the con-
secrated wafer,-the people knelt before it,-and
the next instant, Francesco de Pazzi drawing a
short dagger, Giuliano de Medici lay dead upon
the ground I
Lorenzo happily escaped. The two priests who
had undertaken his assassination, perceiving that
he prepared to defend himself, fled, but not without
giving him a wound in the neck. The unfortunate
Giuliano, though he usually wore a dagger, had
that day left it behind him. As Bandini, fury in



his looks, rushed forwards, the friends of Lorenzo,
encircling him, hurried him into the sacristy, and
closed the brass doors. The alarm and consterna-
tion'in the church was extreme; and such was the
tumult which ensued, that many thought the
building was falling in. But no sooner was it
understood that Lorenzo de Medici was in danger,
than several young men, forming themselves into
a body, placed him in the midst of them, and con-
ducted him to his palace, making a circuitous turn
from the church, lest he should meet with the life-
less form of his beloved brother,-that brother
who so lately was full of health and happiness by
his side!
One of these noble youths, named Antonio
Ridolfo, gave a striking proof of his affection for
Lorenzo. Being apprehensive that the weapon
which had struck him was poisoned, he, in spite
of Lorenzo's entreaties, sucked the wound. An
attendant on the Medici was wounded, and another
lost his life, in defence of their master.
Whilst these terrible events were passing, the
Archbishop of Pisa had, with about thirty of his
associates, made an attempt to overthrow the
magistrates, and possess themselves of the seat of


government. He went to the palace, and leaving
his followers in an adjoining chamber, entered the
apartment where Petrucci, the gonfaloniere, and
the other magistrates, were assembled. Out of
respect for his rank, and little dreaming for what
purpose he came, Petrucci rose to receive him.
But there was something in the quiet dignity of
the magistrate's manner, and in the penetrating
glance of his eye, that abashed the archbishop.
Guilt makes a man a coward. He knew Petrucci
to be of a resolute character, and began to wish he
had not encountered him. Instead, therefore, of
making a sudden attack, as was intended, he began
talking to the gonfaloniere about his son, and this
he did in such a hesitating, confused manner, that
t was scarcely possible to understand what he said.
Petrucci also observed that he frequently changed
colour, and at times turned towards the door, as if
to give a signal for some one to approach. Aware
of the character of the man, the magistrate's sus-
picions were aroused, and he called aloud for his
guards and attendants. The archbishop, rushing
from the apartment, did the same; but a curious
incident had deprived him of their help. They
were awaiting his signal in a chamber in which it



was the custom for every succeeding magistrate to
make an alteration, as a guard against treachery.
Petrucci had so constructed the doors that they
closed and bolted on the slightest impulse, and
the conspirators found themselves thus unex-
pectedly secured in the apartment, without the
possibility of affording the slightest assistance to
their leader!
The magistrates, finding how matters stood,
soon secured the gates of the palace, and repulsed
their enemies. But on looking from the windows
they beheld Jacopo de Pazzi, with about a hundred
soldiers," calling out, "Liberty! Liberty!" and
exciting the people to revolt. At the same time
they were informed of the murder of Giuliano, and
the attack made upon Lorenzo.
Their indignation was extreme. Giuliano de
Medici dead!" they exclaimed. "Assassinated
in his own city! and by treachery, too!-We little
know the Florentines, if they do not fearfully
avenge the crime."
They did so. Instead of answering to the cry
of liberty, the people with one accord rose up to
take signal vengeance on the murderers of a
Medici. It was a sad and terrible day! In every



direction the conspirators were attacked and
slaughtered. The resentment of the citizens knew
no bounds. The streets resounded with shouts of
" Palle! palle!-Perish the traitors!"* Francesco
de Pazzi and the Archbishop of Pisa were seized
and hung side by side through the windows of the
palace, the latter not even being allowed to divest
himself of his prelatical robes. Jacopo de Pazzi
shared the same fate. Whilst parading the city,
he had been met by his brother-in-law, who up-
braided him with his conduct, adding, "I would
advise you to go home, Jacopo; the people and
liberty are as dear to other citizens as they are to
yourself." Finding that no one seemed disposed
to revolt from the Medici, but that, on the contrary,
stones were thrown at him for proposing it, Jacopo
thought it better to leave Florence. Some peasants,
however, discovered him, brought him back to the
city, and he was hung by the side of his associates.
His body, after being treated with the greatest
indignity, was thrown insultingly into the waters
of the Arno.
Such was the fate of one who had been, as it
The palle d'or, or golden balls, were the arms of the family
of the Medici.




were, a prince in Florence, and who had received
the highest honours of the state!
The two priests who had undertaken to assas-
sinate Lorenzo, Giovan Batista, and the cruel
Bandini, were all put to death. The latter had
taken refuge in Constantinople, but the sultan,
being apprised of his crime, ordered him to be
seized and sent in chains to Florence; alleging, as
his motive for doing so, the respect he had for the
character of Lorenzo de Medici.
As for the young Cardinal Riario, who had fled
for safety to the altar, he was preserved from the
enraged populace by the interference of Lorenzo;
but the fright he experienced on this occasion
affected him s6 much, that, it is said, he never
afterwards recovered his natural complexion.
Throughout the whole of this dreadful retribu-
tion-and more than a hundred of the conspirators
had perished-Lorenzo had exerted all his influ-
ence to restrain the indignation of the people, and
to prevent further slaughter. Soon after the attack
made upon his life, an immense multitude sur-
rounded his palace, and not being convinced of his
safety, demanded to see him. Full of bitter grief
as he was at the untimely death of his brother, and


suffering from the wound in his neck, Lorenzo
gladly seized the opportunity which their affection
afforded him, and, appearing on the balcony, im-
plored them, in a pathetic and forcible speech, to
moderate the violence of their resentment.
"Let me entreat you, my fellow-citizens," he
said, "by the love you bear me-by the love you
bore my lamented brother-to calm your excited
feelings. A dreadful crime has been committed-
an atrocious crime. But take not on yourselves
the task of punishing the guilty, lest you involve
the innocent also in destruction. Leave that to
the magistrates; they will do justice-they will
avenge this fearful deed. You have given me
many proofs of your affection-give me yet another;
-let not the name of Medici be a signal for violence
and bloodshed."
His words and appearance had a powerful and
instantaneous effect. "We devote ourselves to
you and your cause, noble Lorenzo cried the
people with one voice; "your wish is our law.
Only we pray you earnestly to take all possible
precautions for your safety, as on that depends
the welfare of the Republic and the hopes of the



They left the palace-many with tears in their
eyes, at the calamity which had befallen the
house of Medici; and many more with expres-
sions of deep anger against the authors of it.
"They have cut him off in the pride of youth
and beauty!" they exclaimed; "his death must
be atoned for."
But Lorenzo yet lives !" said one; and imme-
diately the streets echoed far and wide with shouts
of "Long live Lorenzo de Medici !"
Turning to the Florentine nobles, by whom he
was surrounded, Lorenzo observed, "I feel more
anxiety from the acclamations of my friends,
than I have even experienced from my own dis-
There was not a citizen of any rank whatever in
Florence who did not, upon this melancholy occa-
sion, wait upon him with an offer of his services;
so great was the popularity which the Medici had
acquired by their prudence and liberality.
The death of Giuliano was deeply lamented,
not only by his family, but by all Florence.
His obsequies were performed with much mag-
nificence in the Church of San Lorenzo, amidst
universal sorrow. Many of the Florentine youth



changed their dress in testimony of respect to his
But the people could not forgive the Pazzi
family. Those of them who had not suffered death
were condemned either to imprisonment or exile.
By a public decree it was ordered that the name
and arms of the Pazzi should be for ever sup-
pressed; whilst the appellations of those places in
the city which had been derived from them were
directed to be changed. Thus the very name of
this wealthy, noble, and influential family was to
be forgotten in Florence, or remembered only with
It was Lorenzo himself-the man they had most
deeply injured-who first forgave them, and even-
tually restored them to their former rank. With a
forbearance and humanity that did him honour, he
had not only rescued some of his enemies from the
fury of the people, but showed much pity and for-
giveness to the families of those who had been
Florence, under the sway of Lorenzo de Medici,
arrived at a high degree of prosperity, and became
renowned as the seat of learning and the fine arts.
His fellow-citizens, who regarded him with pride



and affection, conferred upon him the title of
" Magnificent." He had several children; one of
whom, made an abbot before he was eight years
old, and a cardinal when only thirteen, was
afterwards- the famous pope Leo the Tenth.
Another son, whom he named Giuliano, after his
lamented brother, allied himself by marriage with
the royal family of France, and became Duke de

No. II.


"DRAWING again, child! did I not tell thee I
would not have it ? thou wilt never get on in life,
Michael, if thus thou dost waste thy precious time!"
exclaimed Luigi Buonarotti, as he entered the room
where his son was sitting.
"I was so weary of my books, Sir," replied
Michael, a boy about eleven years of age; I con-
ceive law to be the very driest of all dry studies."
That may be your opinion, foolish boy; but
dry or not, you must make up your mind to study
it. I have too many sons to allow of any whim-
sical likes or dislikes in the choice of a profession,
and, as I informed you the other day, I intend you
to practise as a notary or advocate in Florence.


But see here!" continued Buonarotti, as he took up
from the desk various little drawings, "how your
time and talents are wasted by such attempts as
these Will trumpery like this ever gain you riches
or honour? or even find you a livelihood ?-answer
me, boy."
If you will place me with a painter, Sir, that
trumpery shall be turned to good account," said
Michael, rather proudly. "I have no fear of
gaining a living, if I may devote my time and
energies to the fine arts."
Fine arts!" replied his father angrily, throwing
the papers on the ground, "put such folly out of
your head, child. Our family was once noble and
honoured in the land, and no son of mine, particu-
larly my eldest son, shall disgrace it by idleness,
or idle fancies, if I can prevent it. I shall have
you thinking yourself a great artist, if you go on
Nay, father, not so;" replied the boy, but it
is the great desire of my heart to be one."
Well, that you never will be, Michael, so rest
content. To see you distinguished as a notary is
the height of my ambition, as it must be of yours."
"Father!" said, Michael earnestly, "let me be a


painter, and you shall have no cause to be ashamed
of your son."
It is useless to ask it, child, my mind is made
up. Attend to your books."
He left the room, and the boy, with a sigh,
turned to his studies. In a few minutes, however,
he almost unconsciously sought the pencil, and was
again employed in sketching.
At length, the appointed tasks were accom-
plished, and Michael, with joy putting aside the
books which were so distasteful to him, left his
home, and traversing the streets with rapid steps,
was ere long in the studio of the celebrated painter
Ghirlandajo, then at the height of his reputation.
To rare and various accomplishments Ghirlan-
dajo joined the most amiable qualities. His fellow-
citizens both admired and loved him, and he is
spoken of as "the delight of the age in which he
lived." He was the best colourist in fresco who
had yet appeared; and though it is nearly five
hundred years since he lived, his colours have stood
extremely well to this day. He was also an excel-
lent worker in mosaic, which, from its durability,
he called painting for eternity." And one of the
characteristics of this great painter was his diligent


and progressive improvement; every successive
production was better than the last.
To pass a little time in the studio of Ghirlandajo,
was one of Michael's greatest enjoyments. He
watched with intense interest each movement of
the master's hand; with admiration he observed
the wonderful imitation of life and nature displayed
in his pictures; and more than ever he wished to
be a painter.
"Well, my boy," said Ghirlandajo to him one
day, after Michael had been expressing such a wish
to Francesco, one of the scholars of the artist, "you
must ask your father to let you study with us."
"Ah, Signor he will never consent," replied
Michael; "he loves not painting; he holds the
fine arts in no esteem."
"And you do? well, it is a pity you do not
think alike on the subject," said Ghirlandajo
kindly; but you must endeavour to be satisfied
with your father's plans for you, my boy. What
is your profession to be?"
I am to study for the law," said Michael sadly.
"My father says I shall gain neither honour nor
riches by painting; and that it is not every one
who is born to be a Ghirlandajo."



"True enough," said the painter, smiling; "I
trust that our beautiful art will flourish under
names which will be remembered long after that
of Ghirlandajo is forgotten. Give your best ener-
gies to the study of the law, Michael, as your
father desires it; remember, one may have a taste
for the fine arts, without having any genius for
Michael, however, could not follow this advice.
While his books were in his hand, his thoughts
were in the painter's studio. Having formed a
friendship with Francesco Granacci, one of the best
pupils of Ghirlandajo, he borrowed from him models
and drawings. These he took home to his little
chamber, and studied them in secret with such per-
severing assiduity and consequent improvement,
that Francesco, when he saw them, was quite sur-
prised and delighted. He was still speaking warmly
of their merits, when Ghirlandajo himself stepped
into the apartment.
Here, Granacci," he said hastily, "I want you
to alter the expression in this mouth; it is too severe
and-What have you here, Francesco ? these draw-
ings are excellent,-and these figures, there is life
in them! they are not your doing, Granacci? I see



they are by a young hand, but there is great
genius there-t- none of my pupils could give such
touches as those. To whom do they belong, Gra-
nacci? who has done this?"
"Michael Buonarotti," said Francesco, bringing
forward the boy, who had been listening with
trembling eagerness to the artist's words. "Ought
he not to be a painter, Signor?"
"He ought-he must!" replied Ghirlandajo.
" Michael, I see you have genius as well as taste,"
continued the great master, looking proudly and
kindly on the boy; "you must cultivate your
talents; say, will you give up the law, and come
to be my pupil?"
"Ah, Signor!" said Michael, with sparkling
eyes and clasped hands, "how gladly --but my
father ?"
I will plead your cause with your father," said
the artist, "I will go to him this day, Michael.
These beginnings shadow forth great things, or I
am much mistaken. But remember, my boy, with-
out steady perseverance and diligent study you will
accomplish nothing. Genius without industry is of
little worth."
It required much persuasion on the part of Ghir-


landajo to gain Luigi Buonarotti's consent that his
son should exchange the study of the law for that
of painting. At length, however, the old man
reluctantly agreed to it.
SIt is a pity Michael has taken such a fancy
into his head," said he, "but I suppose it must be
as he wishes. Young as he is, he has a stern
inflexible temper, Signor Ghirlandajo; it is not
easy to turn his mind from any object on which it
is once set, and the pencil has been his delight
from a child. But I am not rich, Signor, and
I have a large family;-perhaps we may not agree
as to terms. What remuneration do you demand
for the instruction of my son ?"
"None whatever," replied Ghirlandajo; "on the
contrary, if Michael is bound to me as my regular
pupil for three years, I agree to pay you six golden
forins for the first year, eight for the second, and
twelve for the third; and I do this because I expect
great advantage from your son's labours. I am
sure I am not mistaken in him; he will be a great
Say you so, Signor?" replied the old man with
rather an incredulous smile; well, I trust he will
not disappoint you. Thanks for your kindness and



liberality. The boy's heart will overflow with
happiness at this change in his vocation."
Michael was fourteen when, to his inexpressible
delight, he was thus received into the studio of the
discerning and liberal-minded Ghirlandajo, who
at once commenced his instructions with a pupil
destined to fill not only Italy, but all Europe with
his fame-the celebrated Michael Angelo Buona-
rotti, commonly called Michael Angelo,-as a
sculptor, an architect, and a painter, unques-
tionably the greatest master that'ever lived.
At that time Lorenzo the Magnificent reigned
over Florence. In his palace and gardens was a
fine collection of antique marbles, busts, and statues,
which the princely owner converted into an academy
for the use of young artists. Michael Angelo was
one of the first who, through the recommendation
of Ghirlandajo, was received into this new academy.
This was a great gratification to the youth. He
had hitherto devoted himself chiefly to drawing,
but the sight of the many splendid works of art in
the Medicean gardens determined him to turn his
attention to sculpture. He was then not quite
Whatever Michael Angelo did, he tried to do



well With the fervour and the energy natural to
his character, he now began first to model in clay,
and then to copy in marble, some of the works of
art before him. They were surprising productions
for one so young.
Having found one day the statue of a laughing
faun considerably mutilated and without a head,
the youthful artist resolved to try if he could
restore to it what was wanting. He succeeded
admirably. Lorenzo, who often visited the gardens,
was much struck with this display of genius, and
inquired whose work it was.
It is executed by one of Ghirlandajo's pupils,"
was the reply. He and Granacci were the two
he deemed most worthy of entering your academy,
Signor. His name is Michael Angelo."
"I should like to see the youth," observed
Lorenzo, who stood gazing at the statue; "there is
great talent and genius here."
Michael Angelo was summoned.
"So, Angelo," said Lorenzo the Magnificent,
"I perceive you have a taste for sculpture ? That
head does you credit."
Michael's dark eyes glittered. "It is a noble
art he replied with enthusiasm. By allowing



me the honour of entering these gardens, excellent
Signor, you have, as it were, raised a new spirit
within me."
Lorenzo smiled. A great lover of the art of
sculpture himself, he was pleased with the youth's
evident devotion to it.
"Do you prefer it then to painting?" he asked.
do," replied Michael Angelo. It is to me
so much more wonderful and sublime."
I see you have not exactly imitated the original
in that head," observed Lorenzo, "the lips are
smoother, and you have shown the teeth. But,"
he added with a smile, "you should have remem-
bered, Angelo, that old men seldom exhibit a com-
plete set of teeth."
He passed on; and the young artist, who paid no
less respect to the judgment than to the rank of
Lorenzo, was no sooner left to himself, than he
struck out one of the teeth, giving to the part the
appearance of its having been lost by age.
On his next visit, Lorenzo, seeing this, and
equally delighted with the disposition as with the
genius of his young pupil, at once determined to
take him under his especial patronage. Angelo,"
he said, your perseverance and improvement



merit my regard. In order to give you every
advantage, I am willing to receive you into my
own service, undertake the entire care of your
education, and bring you up in my palace as my
son. What say you?"
What could Michael Angelo say to such a gene-
rous, flattering proposal! With heartfelt gratitude
he thanked his noble patron, and then spoke of his
"I will see your father on the subject," said
Lorenzo. I trust he will not object to my wishes."
He sent for the old man, and gained his consent
to the plan on condition that he himself should
receive an office under government. Accordingly,
Michael Angelo was lodged in the palace of the
Medici, where he remained for three years. He
was ever treated with paternal kindness by Lorenzo,
and had the advantage of associating with the first
literary characters of the age.
But Michael Angelo, with all his genius, was not
of a very amiable disposition. His temper was
proud and haughty; his speech too often contemp-
tuous and sarcastic. He felt his own great powers
of mind, and too frequently indulged in satire
towards those who were not so gifted as himself.



Lorenzo the Magnificent died, and Michael An-
gelo, thrown on his own resources, studied more
diligently than ever. Secluded, temperate and
frugal in his habits, stern and unbending in his
character, he suffered nothing to divert his mind
from that on which it was set-his improvement in
the art of sculpture.
About this time there was some sensation caused
amongst the lovers of the fine arts in Rome, by
the arrival in that city of a statue of extraordinary
beauty. It was a Sleeping Cupid in marble; and
great was the admiration bestowed upon it.
It is a genuine antique," said one grave con-
noisseur in such things; there is no mistaking it."
"Certainly not," observed another; "how infi-
nitely superior is it to anything which art in this
day is capable of producing !"
"It was found in a vineyard near Florence, I
understand," said a third; "a peasant, while dig-
ging, came upon this exquisite proof of ancient
skill and genius. It is a pity the arm has been
broken off. The Duchess of Mantua much desires
it for her cabinet, I hear; but the Cardinal San
Giorgio has already purchased it at a high price.
He is charmed with its beauty."



My friends," said a nobleman, as he entered
the hall with hasty steps, "what do you think I
have heard just now? that this 'real antique,' which
has so delighted us all, is the work of a young man
of two-and-twenty, residing at Florence!"
The group round the statue actually started with
"Is it possible ?" they exclaimed; "has one in
our own day executed this splendid work! It is
marvellous! Are you sure you are not imposed
upon, Ricciardi ?"
Quite sure. The young sculptor has produced
the missing arm, and given undoubted proofs of
his veracity. The cardinal has invited him to
Rome immediately."
"And what may be the name of this young
man ?"
"His name is Michael Angelo."

During his first residence in the imperial city,
Michael Angelo, surrounded by so many beautiful
remains of antiquity, applied to his studies with
unceasing energy and increasing diligence. He
executed several works, which added greatly to his
reputation, particularly a group called the Piet&,



which is now in the church of St. Peter's at
A little time after the Piet& had been fixed in
its place, the young artist went one afternoon to
consider the effect of his work. As he stood before
it, surveying it with a critical yet partial eye, and
with a consciousness that he should yet do greater
things than that, two strangers entered the church.
Struck with admiration at the beautiful group pre-
sented to their view, they expressed, with Italian
warmth and fervour, their great and unqualified
What an exquisite work !" cried one. "Truly
it is a masterpiece! What form! what proportion !
what excellent grouping! I never saw anything
to compare with it !"
"Wonderful !" said the other, after contem-
plating it for some time in silent admiration.
" What a mind must the man have who executed
this! Who is the sculptor?"
"One from Bologna; at this moment I remem-
ber not his name."
Nay, my friend, I rather think he is a Floren-
tine. Surely I have heard so."
"You are mistaken, Bernandino; I am con-



vinced Bologna has the honour of being his
birth-place; I shall bethink me of his name
Well, any one in Rome can tell us that, fortu-
nately. There is a young man will set us right,
Ah! let us not ask him; he might laugh at our
ignorance; or he might not know himself. We
will find it out. The name of that man ought
never to be forgotten."
"It shall not be forgotten here, at all events,"
said Michael Angelo, as the strangers left the
church; the Piet& shall not again be mistaken for
the work of the Bolognese."
That night, when the mighty city slept, a young
man of haughty bearing entered the church, with a
lantern in his hand. He approached the beautiful
piece of sculpture, and smiled proudly, as in deep
indelible characters he inscribed on it, where it
might best be seen-the name of Michael Angelo.
This Pieth is the only one of his works thus
Amongst the ruins of ancient Rome is a splen-
did equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. It is of
bronze, and was originally gilt with thick leaves of



gold. The attitude of the horse, and the fire and
spirit displayed in it, are remarkably fine. When
first Michael Angelo saw it, he looked at it for some
time in silence, and then suddenly exclaimed, Go
on !"-thus stamping this famous statue with his
enthusiastic admiration.
A very excellent painter lived at this time in
Florence, whose name was Leonardo da Vinci.
Italy was justly proud of this illustrious artist, and
Francis I. of France loaded him with favors. It
has been said-but the story is a doubtful one-
-that he died in the arms of that monarch at
Fontainbleau. Certain it is, that the king held
him in high esteem, and justly admired his great
and extraordinary talents.
Slowly fading away from the wall of the refec-
tory of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, at
Milan, is one of the most celebrated pictures of this
great master. The subject is a solemn one-the
Last Supper; and solemnly it is treated. The
skilful arrangement of the figures, which are larger
than life, and the amazing beauty of the workman-
ship, arrest the attention and astonish the eye of the
beholder. It has thus been spoken of: On viewing
it, one head, one face, one attitude, one expression,



comes forcibly upon the sight, and sinks deeply
into the mind, till every thought and feeling
is absorbed in wonder at the power which could
represent so sublime a figure in so sublime a
"In the glorious serenity of that countenance
is beheld the history of the pardoned Magdalene,
the reproof of the self-sufficient Pharisee; there may
be read, as in a scroll, lessons of charity and peace,
so ill followed, though so often cited by erring men,
who, while they respect the gentle words of that
Divine tongue, allow the spirit to evaporate.
There are patience, and forbearance, and endurance
-there are knowledge, and power, and prescience
-there is deep grief for treachery and crime-and,
above all, there is pity and forgiveness."
Such is, or rather was, this beautiful painting;
-it is fading from sight now, but from the nume-
rous copies taken from it no picture is more uni-
versally known and celebrated.

Leonardo da Vinci, like Michael Angelo, had
astonishing powers of mind. He was great as a
mathematician, a mechanic, an architect, a chemist,
an engineer, a musician, a poet, and a painter!



From a child his singular talents attracted notice;
but he had not the perseverance of Michael Angelo.
His magnificent designs and projects were seldom
completed. He began many beautiful and won-
derful works, and then, dissatisfied with them, left
them unfinished. This highly gifted man and
Michael Angelo were rivals. With all their admi-
ration of each other's genius, they were jealous of
the distinction each had obtained. The haughty
spirit of the one could not brook superiority, or even
equality; the temper of the other was capricious
and sensitive. Leonardo was many years older
than Angelo, and did not feel pleased that so
young a man should come forward as his compe-
titor. One day, being annoyed at some remark
made by his rival, he replied with warmth, "You
will remember, Angelo, I was famous before you
were born !"
It was announced one day in Florence that the
wall of the great council hall was to be painted in
fresco; and the artist who produced the best car-
toon should be appointed to the work. Michael
Angelo and Leonardo da Vinci, equally desirous of
the honour, resolved to compete for it. Each pre-
pared his cartoon; each emulous of the fame, and


fully aware of the extraordinary abilities of his
rival, threw all his best powers into his work, de-
termined, if possible, to surpass himself. It was a
deeply interesting contest-a struggle for fame
between the two first artists of the age. Each
chose a different subject, an-d each, bending all his
energies to the task, succeeded in producing a
wonderful specimen of his peculiar skill and
The cartoons, when finished, met with the high-
est admiration; but the preference was given to
that of Leonardo da Vinci.
From all parts of Italy the young artists flocked
to study these magnificent compositions.
The wall of the council hall was, however, never
painted. It is said that Leonardo spent so much
time in trying experiments and preparing the wall,
that at length, changes in the Government occur-
ring, the design was abandoned.
The Pope at this time was Julius II. Though
seventy-four years of age, he was impatient
of contradiction, fiery in temper, full of magni-
ficent and ambitious projects, and of a most ener-
getic cast of character. He sent for Michael


"I wish thee to erect a splendid monument to
my memory," said he; thou art well able to per-
form the task; see thou doest me justice."
The sculptor commenced his work, and the pon-
tiff was delighted.
"Thou hast wonderful abilities, assuredly, Mi-
chael Angelo I" he said to him one day, as he
watched him with eager interest, "how thou dost
make the marble fly, man! Truly, it is as if thou
wert angry with it for concealing the statue I There
is something of my own energy in thee, Michael.
But Ihear thou art as great with the brush as with
the chisel !-Come with me; I have a work for thee
to execute in that way also."
If your Holiness will allow me to finish these
strokes first," said Michael Angelo, quietly going
on with his task.
The impatient pope was compelled to wait the
sculptor's pleasure, and then he carried him off
to the famous Sistine Chapel.
See here!" he exclaimed, as they entered the
building together, "this chapel, erected thirty
years ago ,by Sixtus the Fourth, is not yet
completed. Though the walls are decorated, the
ceiling remains without an ornament. This should



not be. Thou must paint it in fresco, Michael
The artist gazed upwards at the enormous vault,
and then replied, "Your Holiness requires a great
work and a work of time."
"Great! that is the very reason I give it thee!"
said the pontiff; "what is work to one like thee ?
thou canst do anything thou wilt. This ceiling
is, as perhaps thou knowest, one hundred and fifty
feet long, and fifty broad, and I desire that thou
shouldest represent thereon a series of subjects con-
nected with sacred history, so as to cover the whole
space. Canst thou-nay, I need not say canst
thou, but wilt thou undertake the work?"
The great master paused one instant, and then
replied, "I can, and will."
"That is well," said the pontiff; "but at what
art thou gazing so earnestly, Angelo ? What dost
thou see in that painting of Ghirlandajo's ?
"I see the hand of my old master, your Holiness,
but yet should scarcely recognize it. How inferior
is this to his later productions! how continuous and
steady was his improvement!"
"So it should be," replied Pope Julius; "what
have great artists to do but improve ? Now think



over thy designs for this ceiling, Angelo; great as
thou art already, I prophesy this will add some-
what to thy renown."
Michael Angelo continued his work on the mau-
soleum, till the pope, prejudiced by one of the
artist's enemies,-and he had several,-no longer
visited him as formerly, and neglected to supply
him with the necessary funds. Not being able on
two occasions to obtain access to the pontiff, and
having been treated rather superciliously by one
of the servants, Michael Angelo's haughty spirit
"Go," he said, to one of his attendants, "and
take this message to the Vatican;-that if his Holi-
ness desires to see Michael Angelo, he must send
to seek him elsewhere than in Rome.-Now, Ur-
bino, dispose of my property; sell my goods to the
Jew&; I leave for Florence to-day."
He started for that city, but had not proceeded
many miles on his road, when, one after another,
five couriers arrived from Pope Julius, with com-
mands, threats, persuasions, and promises, to induce
him to return, but in vain; Michael Angelo turned
a deaf ear to all they said, and determinately con-
tinued his journey.


He had not been long in Florence, before three
more messengers came from the pontiff, insisting
on his return; but the inflexible artist absolutely
refused. "Inform his Holiness," said he, "that I
have accepted a commission from the Sultan of
Turkey to build a bridge at Constantinople. I
therefore cannot comply with the wishes of his
Then the pope wrote to Soderini, who was at the
head of the government at Florence, commanding
him, on pain of his extreme displeasure, to send
Michael Angelo back to him. Soderini, fearing the
pontiff's anger, at length, with difficulty, prevailed
on the offended artist to return, but not till three
months had been spent in vain negotiations.
The pope was at supper, in Bologna, when a
servant informed him Michael Angelo had arrived.
"Oh! at last! bring him instantly to our pre-
sence !" he exclaimed in an impatient tone. "He
shall answer for this conduct!"
"What does this mean !" continued the fiery old
pontiff, as Michael Angelo appeared before him;
" instead of obeying our command, and coming to
us, thou hast waited till we came in search of
thee !"


"Pardon me, holy father," said Michael Angelo,
falling on his knees, and speaking in a loud voice,
"my offence has not been caused by an evil nature;
I could no longer endure the insults offered to me
in the palace of your Holiness."
He continued kneeling, and the pope in silence
bent his angry brows upon him, wishing to forgive,
doubtless, if he could do so without losing his dig-
nity. At this moment, a bishop who was standing
by, thinking he could mediate between the parties,
observed in a pitying tone, "It is through igno-
rance he has erred, poor man; pardon him, holy
father; artists are ever apt to presume too much
upon their genius."
"Who told thee to interfere ?" said the irascible
pope, bestowing on him at the same time a hearty
blow with his staff, it is thou that art ignorant
and presuming, to insult one whom we delight
to honour; take thyself out of our sight!"
As the terrified prelate stood speechless with
amazement, the attendants led him from the room.
Then Pope Julius, turning to Michael Angelo, said
in a mild voice," We grant thee our forgiveness and
our blessing, my son; but thou must never again
leave us. Be obedient to our wishes, and at all



times, and on all occasions, thou shalt have our
favour and protection."

A short time after this extraordinary scene, Pope
Julius, ever willing to employ the talents of the
great sculptor, commanded him to execute a colos-
sal statue of himself for the front of the principal
church in Bologna. It was in bronze; and Michael
Angelo threw into the figure and attitude so much
haughtiness and resolution, and gave such an ex-
pression of terrible majesty to the countenance, that
Julius, when he saw his character thus portrayed,
could not help smiling.
"Am I uttering a blessing or a curse?" he said
to the sculptor.
"It is my wish to represent your Holiness as
admonishing the people of Bologna to submission,"
replied Michael Angelo.
"Good!" said the pope, gazing well pleased
on the statue; "but what wilt thou place in my
hand ?"
"A book, may it please your Holiness."
"A book, man !" exclaimed the old pontiff, "put
rather a sword; thou knowest I am no scho-



"Now then, Michael Angelo," said the energetic
Pope Julius on their return to Rome, "thou must
forthwith commence the decoration of the vaulted
ceiling in the Sistine Chapel."
Should not the mausoleum be first completed ?"
said the artist, who preferred the practice of sculp-
ture to that of painting, and much desired to decline
the task assigned to him.
"By no means," replied Julius; "there is no
hurry for the monument; I am yet alive and vigor-
ous; but I wish to see the completion of the chapel.
I desire that the pontificate of Julius the Second
should be remembered."
"It is a grand task, and should be grandly
executed," said the artist. "Some other hand than
mine may give your Holiness satisfaction. There
is Raphael- "
"He is otherwise engaged for us, thou knowest,"
said the pope in an angry tone; "I tell thee, Mi-
chael Angelo, thou, and none else, shalt perform the
work; so say no more concerning it."
The painter, fearful of again incensing the pontiff
by opposing his will, reluctantly submitted to it;
and deeply impressed with a sense of the vast-
ness and grandeur of the task committed to him,



commenced his cartoons. As he was then inexpe-
rienced in the mechanical part of the art of fresco,
he invited from Florence several eminent painters,
to execute his designs under his own directions.
They, however, could not reach the grandeur of
his conceptions; and, disappointed and vexed, Mi-
chael Angelo one morning, in a fit of impatience,
turned them all out of the chapel, destroyed all they
had done, and determined to execute the whole
himself. He accordingly shut himself up, and with
incredible perseverance and energy proceeded to
accomplish this great work alone, even preparing
the colours with his own hands.
When the ceiling was about half completed, Pope
Julius, whose impatience to see it had been very
great, insisted on admittance to the chapel. The
sublime and magnificent performance which met
his eye when he entered, excited his deepest admi-
ration and astonishment.
"Thou hast actually surpassed thyself, Michael
Angelo I" he exclaimed with delight; "great as
were my expectations, this exceeds them all!"
Two or three persons had found admission with
Pope Julius into the chapel, and unrepressed and
ardent were their expressions of delight and sur-



prise also. But there was one who in silent admi-
ration gazed upwards, who comprehended better
than any other the extreme grandeur and -beauty of
the painting. This was a young man of graceful
form and handsome expressive features. With
dark eyes and luxuriant hair, he had so sweet and
serene a countenance, as to be termed by some,
"angelic." His face was a mirror of the mind with-
in. Bright, talented, generous, and gentle, he pos-
sessed the most attractive manners with the most
winning modesty. So amiable was his disposition,
that "not only all men, but the very brutes loved
him; the only very distinguished man of whom
we read, who lived and died without an enemy or
Yet, young as he was, and modest as was his
disposition, from one end of Italy to the other his
name was known and celebrated. For this was
"the prince of painters"- one whose fame eventu-
ally filled the world-Raphael Sanzio d'Urbino.
The quick glance of Michael Angelo soon noticed
the young artist; and when Pope Julius had de-
parted, he approached the spot where he stood, lost
in admiration. There was no rivalry between
them then. Michael. Angelo, though in general,



he cared not for praise, and despised flattery, could
appreciate the genius of Raphael, and was not
indifferent to his opinion. It was needless to ask
it on this occasion; the speaking countenance of
the young artist was enough. With infinite sweet-
ness and candour he thus addressed the great mas-
ter, older than himself by some years;-
I can but be thankful," he said, joy flashing
from his eyes, that I am born in the same age
with so great an artist as Michael Angelo, and may
be enabled to profit by the grand creations of so
sublime a genius!"
Michael Angelo was satisfied. He valued those
few words more than all the commendations of
Pope Julius II. And well he might; for who
could judge like Raphael? what painter has ever
equalled him?
Pope Julius, anxious to secure the talents of
such an artist in his service, had invited, or rather
ordered Raphael to Rome, to decorate the cham-
bers of the Vatican. The Vatican is the palace of
the Pope. It contains four thousand apartments,
twelve great halls, eight grand staircases, and two
hundred lesser ones, a corridor about a thousand
feet in length, a museum, and an immense library



of 80,000 books, and 24,000 manuscripts. But
the chambers decorated by Raphael are the glory
of the Vatican. Those sublime paintings, the rich
creations of his wonderful mind, have been the
admiration of all ages.
With renewed energy Michael Angelo now con-
tinued his work in the Sistine Chapel; but rapid
as was his progress with it, it was not rapid enough
to suit the impatient Pontiff.
Thou art slow, man, thou art slow!" said he
one day to the indefatigable artist; we desire to
see this great work completed in our lifetime, but
at this rate of progress- tel me, when dost thou
intend to finish it?"
"When I can," calmly replied Michael Angelo.
"When thou canst!" exclaimed the fiery old
Pope; surely thou hast a mind that I should have
thee thrown from the scaffold."
"Then should I never have the honour of com-
pleting it for your-Holiness," quietly observed the
The wishes of Pope Julius were, however, grati-
fled; and not long after, the ceiling was uncovered
to public view.
In the incredibly short time of twenty-two


months, Michael Angelo had performed his sublime
and magnificent task! The Sistine Chapel was
opened; and when the people of Rome, by hun-
dreds and thousands, poured in to view the artist's
work, their delight and admiration knew no
bounds. With reverence and astonishment they
gazed at it, and pronounced it unparalleled in the
history of art.

The following year Pope Julius IL died, and
was succeeded by Leo X., son of Lorenzo the
Magnificent. This was the Pope who permitted
the sale of indulgences, or pardon for sins, against
which Luther so boldly protested.
You have heard of the Church of St. Peter's, at
Rome ? Those who look upon it cannot suffici-
ently admire the vast genius and majestic intellect
of the man who was its chief architect. That man
was Michael Angelo. Wonderful as a painter and
a sculptor, he was yet more wonderful as an archi-
tect. St. Peter's may be pronounced the most
magnificent structure ever raised by man.
When remuneration was offered the great mas-
ter while engaged on the building, he constantly
declined it. No," he said, I am employed in a


work of piety; and, for my own honour and the
honour of God, I refuse all emolument."
On leaving Florence to build the dome of St.
Peter's, Angelo turned his horse round to contem-
plate once more, in the grey of the morning, the
beautiful city and its far-famed cathedral. He
gazed long on the glorious cupola, rising from
amidst the pines and cypresses, and then said,
with a feeling of the deepest admiration, Like
thee I will not build one; better than thee I
cannot! "
His tomb, in the Church of Santa Croce, was
marked out by himself, in such a manner that from
it might be seen, when the doors of the church
stood open, that grand and noble edifice.
The character of Michael Angelo was no common
one. To the last hour of his life-and he lived to
be very old-he was striving after excellence in his
art. Ever endeavouring to improve, with resolute
energy of mind and purpose he was still pressing
on to his standard of perfection. In allusion to his
own infirmities, this mighty master made a draw-
ing, representing an aged man in a go-cart, with
these words underneath,-Still learning.



On the 6th of April, 1520, there were tears and
great lamentations in the Eternal City." All
classes of men mourned the death of one, cut off in
the prime of life, and in the midst of vast under-
takings. The generous, the high-minded, the be-
loved and admired Raphael was no more! But
much as all mourned him, the grief of his scholars
was unspeakable.
From all parts of Italy they had come to study
under this painter of painters." No less than a
train of fifty artists attended him from his own
house to the Vatican, when he went to court; at-
tended on him with a love, and reverence, and
duty, far beyond that usually paid to princes.
And such was the influence of Raphael's benign
temper, that all his numerous scholars lived to-
gether in perfect harmony and friendship. No
jealousies disturbed their peace. All was generous
emulation. Each strove to excel; each endea-
voured to catch some faint reflection of the grace,
and beauty, and power, which characterized the
works of their great master.

Father," said little Octavio Mazzola, as he
and his parent walked slowly along the banks of



the Tiber, do you think Pope Leo is very sorry
that the great painter is no more ?"
He is deeply grieved, my son. During Ra-
phael's illness he sent every day to inquire after his
health, and when informed of the fatal termination,
broke out into bitter lamentations. Alas!' he
exclaimed, what an irreparable loss to me! what
a misfortune to the world! Where shall I find a
second Raphael!' "
But he still has the great Michael Angelo."
"True; but Pope Leo much preferred the grace-
ful and amiable Raphael to the stern, unbending
Michael Angelo. The character of the latter
painter accorded more with that of Pope Julius."
Well, there is Titian-the celebrated portrait-
painter, Titian; why does not his Holiness invite
him to Rome?"
He has done so, but Titian prefers remaining
in Venice."
Then there was Leonardo da Vinci, who died
last year, did not he please Pope Leo?"
No; his Holiness invited him to court, but was
annoyed by his dilatory habits in executing the
works intrusted to him; and Leonardo, taking
offence at some slight on the part of the Pontiff, left


him, to enter the service of King Francis I. When
here, Leonardo used to pass many an hour with
Raphael, whilst he was engaged on the frescoes of
the Vatican; he ever treating the venerable old
man with respect and deference."
Ah, there was no one like Raphael! I loved
him most, father, for painting so many beautiful
pictures from the Bible. How sad it was he should
die when he was only thirty-seven !"
It was; and yet, Octavio, how much he per-
formed during his short life! a life of incessant and
persevering study. He has left behind him some
hundreds of pictures and drawings, to immortalize
his name. They are chiefly on sacred subjects, for
in those his pure and pensive mind delighted; and
surely never were such portrayed, so beautifully,
so poetically, and so intelligibly, as by Raphael.
Besides his grand compositions from the Bible, he
has painted no less than one hundred and twenty
pictures of the Madonna-all varied, and all exqui-
sitely beautiful."
And the painting we saw suspended over his
dead body, as it lay on the bed of state, was his
last! the Transfiguration-oh, father! what a glori-
ous picture it is! but he did not live to finish it."


"Alas! no. The task of completing his un-
finished works he has bequeathed to his two favour-
ite pupils, Giulio Romano and Francisco Penni.
Romano imitates his master's manner so success-
fully, that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish
the difference of hand. He has copied his portrait
of Pope Julius II. most admirably. One can
hardly look at it without fear.* Penni, who was
much beloved by Raphael, assisted him greatly in
preparing his cartoons."
"Oh, those famous cartoons do you remember
how-every one rejoiced last year, when the tapes-
tries worked from them were first exhibited, and
what wonder and applause they excited in the city?
Bianca and I stood for a whole hour, looking at
' The Death of Ananias.' And then my mother
gave us a feast in honour of the day! How happy
we all were! and how many times we wished Ra-
phael health and joy! And when we took that
splendid bouquet of flowers to his house in the
evening, how kindly he spoke to us! The good
and gentle Raphael! Where are the cartoons
themselves, father?"
In Flanders. You know they were sent to
This portrait is now in our National Gallery.



Arras, to be copied in tapestry work for the walls
of the Sistine Chapel."
I wonder such a patron of the fine arts as Leo
X. allows them to remain there; for surely the
cartoons must be more precious than the tapestry,
beautiful as it is?"
Most true, Octavio; yet these rich tapestries
cost Pope Leo 50,000 golden ducats, while Raphael
received for his incomparable cartoons but 434." *
It is pleasing to think how all the great paint-
ers loved Raphael."
"All, with the exception of Michael Angelo,
who looked upon him as his rival. The amiable
and talented 11 Francia, though thirty-four years
older than Raphael, was much attached to him,
and styled him 'the painter above all painters.'
A few years since our great artist sent his famous
picture of St. Cecilia to Bologna, for the church in
that city. In a letter full of affection he recom-
mended his picture to the care of his friend Francia,
entreating him to be present when the case was
opened, to repair any injury it might have sus-
tained on the journey, and modestly begging that
he would correct what appeared to him faulty in
Seven of these famous cartoons are in Hampton Court.



the execution; concluding his letter thus:-' Con-
tinue to love me, as I love you, with all my heart.'
When the case was opened, and Francia beheld
this masterpiece of the great Raphael, he burst
into transports of admiration and delight, exclaim-
ing, Correct! this far exceeds all I ever even
Some years after this, the famous Correggio
visited Bologna, where he saw Raphael's St. Ce-
cilia; after contemplating it for some time with
deep admiration, he turned away, exclaiming,
" And I, too, am a painter!"
"And the poet Ariosto and Fra Bartolomeo
were his intimate friends, were they not?"
Yes; Raphael and Fra Bartolomeo, when
young, mutually instructed each other, Raphael
imitating his friend in the softer blending of his
colours, and in return teaching Bartolomeo perspec-
tive. Modesty was one great charm in Raphael's
character: superior as he was, he was not too
proud to learn. Some time since, Fra Bartolomeo
having so often heard of the great-.orks of his
friend, and of Michael Angelo, in this city, could
no longer refrain from seeing their wonderful pro-
ductions. What he beheld in the Vatican and the



Sistine Chapel so infinitely surpassed all his pre-
vious conceptions, that he was quite overwhelmed
with astonishment and admiration. There was no
envy in his gentle mind, but from that day he could
paint no more His energy was gone; and he re-
turned to Florence, leaving two unfinished pictures
here, which the generous and kind-hearted Raphael
undertook, in the midst of all his numerous works,
to finish for him."
I suppose Fra Bartolomeo was quite discou-
raged," said Octavio; did he ever paint again ?"
Yes, he roused himself; and his finest works
date from his visit to Rome."
Pope Leo has been very fortunate, I think, in
bringing so many great men into his capital."
Francis I. wished to attract Raphael to his
court, but not succeeding, he desired to have a
picture by his hand. The artist sent him a mag-
nificent one, which so pleased the king that he
rewarded him munificently, expressing his satisfac-
tion in a royal and graceful fashion. Raphael,
considering himself overpaid-and with a heart
generous and liberal as Francis himself-made the
monarch a present of his famous picture of the Holy
Family, adding also another, in compliment to



Margaret, the king's favourite sister. When the
pictures were placed before the royal Francis, he
was perfectly delighted;-' Count me out 3,0001.
for the incomparable Raphael,' he exclaimed to his
treasurer, 'and send it to him, with the strongest
expressions of our approbation. He deserves to be
crowned tas prince of painters.'-But see, here
comes the little Bianca; run to meet her, my boy,
and help her to gather flowers for her nosegay."

The father of Michael Angelo had no reason to
fear his son's disgracing their once noble-family.
The acknowledged worth and genius of that-son,-
his wide-spread fame and unblemished integrity,-
combined with the haughty reserve of his deport-
ment to invest him with a sort of princely dignity.
Men vied with each other in doing him honour;
the nobles of the land stood uncovered in his
presence. The popes Julius II., Leo X., Clement
VII., Paul III., Julius III., Pius IV., and Pius V.
alike esteemed him, and gladly availed themselves
of his talents in ornamenting their capital city. It
is said, that when he waited on Pope Julius II.
the pontiff rose at his approach, and seated him
on his right hand; and whilst proud prelates and


cardinals, and lordly ambassadors, stood round at
humble distance, he conversed with Michael Angelo
as equal with equal.

This great man died in the eighty-ninth year of
his age. His energy and perseverance never for-
sook him, and his mind was strong and clear to
the last.



THE history of the Sforza family is a remarkable
one. Jacopo Attendolo, the first of the name, was
born of humble parents, about the middle of the
fourteenth century. He forsook in early youth his
occupation of a labourer, to enlist in one of those
companies of adventurers which were then nu-
merous in Italy, and which served for hire the petty
princes and republics of that age. Jacopo, having
displayed great courage and perseverance, acquired
a considerable reputation in the turbulent band,
and after serving under various condottieri," or
leaders, attached himself to Alberico da Barbiano.
This was a captain of high birth and noble views.
Italy was at that time much troubled with foreign


mercenaries, who plundered the towns, killed the
citizens, and committed all manner of outrages.
Alberico aspired to the glory of delivering his
country from the oppression of these men. Raising
a force of 12,000 soldiers, all natives of Italy, and
supported by Visconti, Lord of Milan, the Floren-
tines, and the people of Bologna, he marched to
meet the foreign troops, and after a desperate
combat utterly defeated them. Jacopo Attendolo,
who, by his bravery, contributed greatly to the
victory, received from Alberico the surname of
" Sforza," by which name, and by no other,
he and his descendants have become known in
After being engaged in many battles, receiving
various honours, and displaying much valour, the
-restless career of this brave but illiterate soldier
terminated. He little thought that the name
which he had acquired with honour on the battle-
field, would eventually become that of a sovereign
Francesco Sforza, son of Jacopo, learnt the art of
war under his father. He received from Joanna,
Queen of Naples, the title of Count, and several
domains in her kingdom. Thinking he had been



badly treated by Visconti, Duke of Milan, he led
his troops against him; when the Duke, in alarm
at his repeated victories, at length offered him the
hand of his only daughter, Bianca, with the city
and territory of Cremona as a dowry. This well
pleased the ambitious Sforza; peace was concluded,
and the marriage solemnized. But the death of
the Duke, his father-in-law, opened a new field to
his ambition, and he now aspired to the sovereignty
of the duchy of Milan. The people of Milan, con-
sidering the Visconti dynasty as extinct, proclaimed
the Republic. But Sforza, with the aid of the
Venetians, besieged the city, and, reduced by
famine and distracted by anarchy, it at length
opened its gates to the conqueror, who was then
solemnly proclaimed Duke of Milan.
In his new dignity Sforza acted with prudence
and mildness. He governed well, was desirous
to promote peace, and improved and adorned
the city. In his private life he was prudent,
affable, and humane, and he died generally re-
gretted, leaving two sons, Galeazzo an&-Ludovico,
the former of whom succeeded him on the ducal
But thrones won by violence and injustice


seldom bring peace to their possessors, and such
was the case with the Sforza family.
Milan, the capital of Lombardy, and the third
city of Italy, ranking next to Naples and Rome
in population and importance, stands in the midst
of a vast plain at the foot of the Alps. It is a
magnificent city; its chief glory being its duomo,
or cathedral. This most beautiful edifice, built
entirely of white marble, has a truly dazzling
effect. Its snowy pinnacles with their delicate
tracery, and its three thousand statues equally
white, which adorn the exterior, rising towards
the bright blue sky, look like some exquisite piece
of sculpture executed in molten silver. From the
top of the duomo there is a magnificent and ex-
tensive view of the fertile plains of Lombardy, and
of the chain of Alps which borders it in the form
of a crescent on the north side. The rich and
glowing plains stretching out like a vast garden,
the blue mountains, the lakes, and the extraordinary
beauty and fertility of the country, render Milan
one of the most attractive cities in Italy.
It was in the winter of the year 1476, when
Galeazzo Sforza reigned in Milan, that, on the day


after Christmas Day, a family party had assembled
to celebrate the joyous season, in one of the best
houses in the city. This was the comfortable
dwelling of the rich citizen Trivulsio, who, in the
pride and gladness of his heart, had gathered
about him all his children and grandchildren to
share in the good cheer which he had so abundantly
provided for the festive occasion.
A merry group they were-these light-hearted
children of a southern clime,-and yet, occasionally
in the midst of their merriment, a shade would
cross the brow, and a sigh escape the lips, of more
than one of the party. This was especially observ-
able when the conversation fell upon public affairs;
there was then a constraint and a gloom over all,
which it took some minutes to dispel.
At such moments each young wife would look
with tender solicitude towards her husband and
children, as if she feared she knew not what;
while on the countenances of the young men
might be seen an expression of stern resolve
mingled with fiercer passions.
"It is a sad state of things, truly," observed
Trivulsio, on one of these occasions, "neither our
persons nor property are safe now. How different



was it in the time of the good Duke Fran-
It maybe worse yet," replied Antonio, gloomily;
"he is becoming more tyrannical and cruel every
day. Innocence itself is no safeguard. Only this
morning he gave orders for the execution of my
neighbour Guizo's eldest son. As fine a lad as
ever you saw, and as innocent of treason as that
babe. It is hard to bear."
"And why do we bear it?" indignantly ex-
claimed the handsome young Giulio, with flashing
eyes. Why are we thus to stand in daily fear
of losing all we hold dearest in life? We have
bold hearts and sharp steel; who is the usurper's
son that we should tamely submit to such oppres-
sion ?"
"Silence, Giulio!" said his father, sternly.
"How often must I bid you beware of your words,
rash boy? The Duke Francesco ruled us well,
and I will hear no talk of resistance to his son's
authority. He is a bad man, but we are not to
call him to account for his crimes, nor is mine the
house in which treasonable language shall be used.
No good ever comes of conspiring against our



I think his behaviour to his mother, the good
Lady Bianca, the worst part of his conduct," said
Antonio's wife, Teresa. "I cannot forgive him
such ingratitude to such a mother."
What did he do?" asked little Rosina of her
He made her life so wretched that she retired
to Marignano, where after a short illness she died,
it is said, of poison. Oh! no blessing can attend
a son who fails in his duty to his mother !"
If we only had such a government as they
have in Florence!" said Giulio. Such a chief
as Lorenzo de Medici "
Ah! he is much beloved, and deservedly so,"
replied Trivulsio. It were well had the Duke
taken a lesson from him during his visit to
Florence; but I imagine he thought more of as-
tonishing the Florentines by his show and luxury,
than of gaining any good to himself by the example
of Lorenzo.
Does Ludovico, II Moro,* at all resemble his
brother?" asked the young Carlo.
"Nay, he appears to have several good qualities;
Ludovico Sforza was styled II Moro," or the Moor, on
account of hns dark complexion.



but I fear he is both ambitious and deceitful. But
it is better not to talk of these matters, my children;
too much has been said already. Come, Rosina,
sing to us."
The child was about to comply, when a loud
knocking was heard at the door, and immediately
after two or three citizens hastily entered the
apartment. Thsy were pale and agitated.
Have you heard, Trivulsio," said one, have
you heard of this terrible murder?"
Murder! no! what do you mean ?"
"Close by !-in this very street !-the Duke
Sforza has been stabbed on his way to church!"
The Duke stabbed! Oh, Pietro!"
It seems to have been the act of a few con-
spirators. Some have been seized. The body i
taken to the palace."
Well, few will mourn for him," said Giulio.
" He has brought it on himself."
Ah! it is a fearful deed!" observed Teresa.
" The Duchess Bona! what a blow it will be
to her!"
I trust the murderers will be taken," said
Trivulsio; such a crime is a disgrace to Milan."
Who will be our duke now ?" asked Carlo.



Who can tell? His son, Giovanni Galeazzo,
is but a child. We must have a regency. These
are troublous times, Pietro. I cannot be thank-
ful enough that none of my family had a hand
in so foul a deed. Be assured it will not go un-

It did not. All the conspirators were taken and
put to death. The infant Giovanni Galeazzo
Sforza was proclaimed Duke of Milan, under the
guardianship of his mother, Bona of Savoy, who
was made regent. But not. a long time elapsed
before the ambitious Ludovico stepped forward, took
possession of the regency, arrested the Duchess
Bona, and put her faithful minister, Simonetta, to
death. Ludovico Sforza was a man whose character
stood pre-eminent, even in that age, when such
qualities were but too common, for perfidy, in-
gratitude, and cruelty. He scrupled at little to
serve his own ambitious purposes, and not content
with obtaining the regency, aimed at still higher
power. But -his character, bad as it was, had in
it some redeeming points. He was generous, fond
of the arts and learned men, and a friend to
Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci. He instituted



public schools, patronised distinguished scholars,
founded chairs of Greek, geometry, and astronomy,
and greatly embellished Milan. Still all this could
not counterbalance the crimes to which his ambi-
tion led him.
One of Ludovico Sforza's favourite places of
resort was the studio of the celebrated Leonardo da
Vinci, whom he had invited to Milan. The natural
gifts of this great artist-" the most accomplished
man of that accomplished age,"-and the variety
of knowledge he had acquired, were perfectly
astonishing. Ardent and successful in the study
of painting, sculpture, botany, natural history,
chemistry, anatomy, architecture, music, philosophy,
engineering, and fortification, he was yet the
greatest mathematician and most ingenious me-
chanic of his time! To these rare endowments
was added that of a remarkably handsome person,
a winning address, and much wit and eloquence.
His dress was always costly, his manners refined,
and his conversation varied and interesting. Ludo-
vico greatly delighted in the society of this talented
man, and during the seventeen years of his resi-
dence in Milan, ever treated him with esteem and



Leonardo was employed on various works for his
patron;-one of these, the canal of the Martesana,
would alone have been sufficient to immortalize
him. His wonderful and sublime painting, The
Last Supper, we have already spoken of. It
occupied him two years, and was by far the grandest
picture which, up to that time, had appeared in
Italy.* Ludovico had invited him to Milan to
execute an equestrian colossal statue of his ancestor
Francesco Sforza, but the artist never finished more
than the model in clay, which was considered a
master-piece. Some years afterwards, when Milan
was invaded by the French, this was used as a
target by the Gascon bowmen, and totally de-
And when did you first become a painter,
Leonardo?" said Ludovico Sforza, one day, as he
stood watching the artist at his work.
I do not remember the time when the pencil
was not a delight to me," replied Leonardo. My
favourite pursuit as a child was the art of design
in all its branches; and my good father, seeing
The genuine works of Leonardo da Vinci are exceedingly
rare. Most of the pictures now attributed to hum were wholly,
or m part, painted by his scholars and imitators.



my inclination, sent me to study under Andrea
Ah! an excellent and correct designer, but
not a good colourist. I have heard that when
engaged on that painting, the Baptism of the
Saviour, he employed thee to execute one of the
angels; and that it so infinitely surpassed all the
rest of the picture, that he threw away his palette,
enraged, it is said, that a child should excel him.*
Was it not so ?"
Verrocchio was famed as a sculptor and chaser
in metal, your excellency," replied Leonardo,
modestly; "to painting he was not so partial,
consequently not so successful in the art."
"Leonardo," said Sforza, after a pause, what
induced thee to paint that horrible thing, the
Rotello del Fico ?t I gave three hundred golden
ducats for it; yet can I never look on it without
The artist smiled. "A peasant on my father's
estate," he said, one day brought him a circular
piece of wood, cut horizontally from the trunk of a
very large old fig-tree, which had been lately felled,
This picture is preserved in the Academy at Florence.
+ Rotello means a shield; Fzco, a fig-tree.


and begged to have something painted on it as
an ornament for his cottage. The man being an
especial favourite, my father desired me to gratify
his request; and, inspired by some wild fancy, I
took the panel to my own room, resolved, if pos-
sible, to astonish my worthy parent. I determined
to compose something which should have an effect
similar to that of the, Medusa, and almost petrify
beholders. Accordingly, I collected together from
the neighboring swamps and the river-mud all
kinds of hideous reptiles, as adders, lizards, toads,
serpents, &c., and out of these I compounded the
monster with flaming eyes, represented on the
shield. When finished, and I led my father into
the room in which it was placed, his terror and
horror proved the success of my attempt."
It is, indeed, wonderfully horrible! what could
induce thee, Leonardo, to depict so fearful an
object ?"
A whim, I suppose, your excellency, and the
desire of surprising my father. We artists take
strange fancies sometimes."
But the peasant ? what said he to the Rotello ?"
He never saw it. My father sold it secretly
to a merchant, who brought it to Milan; and the



poor peasant was presented with a wooden shield,
on which was painted a heat transfixed by a dart
-a device better suited to his taste and compre-
I doubt it not. But, Da Vinci, never again
employ thy talents on the horrible. Depend upon
it, ere long, the Rotello will perish; while such a
work as that on which thou art engaged, in the
church of Santa Maria, will immortalise thy name.*
A mind like thine, with such a sense of the beau-
tiful and the graceful, should depict nought else.
But why dost thou lay down thy brush?"
I am not satisfied with my work, your excel-
Thou never art, man. That is one of thy
failings, Leonardo, that thou dost begin many
things, and finish few. How is this ? "
I know not, unless it be that I can seldom
realize my own conceptions, and therefore am dis-
"And yet thy industry is great. Thou wert
busily engaged in writing, a while ago. May I
ask what subject occupied thy pen ? "
In the subsequent troubles of Milan, the RoteUo was de-
stroyed, as an object of horror.



That of engineering, your excellency. I have
discovered a method of making bridges, extremely
light and portable, both for the pursuit of, and the
retreat from, an enemy; and others that shall be
very strong and fire-proof, easy to fix and to take
up again. I can also construct covered waggons,
which shall be proof against any force, and, entering
into the midst of the enemy, will break any number
of men, and make way for the infantry to follow
without hurt or impediment."
Sayest thou so? why, what a myriad-minded
man thou art, Da Vinci! Let us see thy treatise:
ere long thy help may be needed in such matters."
The valuable and numerous manuscripts of
Leonardo da Vinci are still preserved in Milan.
They are on various subjects, but particularly diffi-
cult to read or decipher, as the artist had a habit of
writing from right to left, instead of from left to
right. It is said that when they were shown to
Napoleon, on his visit to Milan in 1797, he carried
them and Petrarch's Virgil to his hotel himself,
not allowing any one to touch them, exclaiming with
delight, They are mine! they are mine!" King
James I., of England, made an offer of 10,0001.
for these manuscripts, but it was declined.


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