Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]

O my dearest Cousin, Sim

one di Battesta di Carlo in Urbino

plain of you that you sit pen in hand all day and let six months go by between one letter and the other. Still with all that, you will not make me angry with you, as you do wrongly with me.

I have come fairly out in the matter of a wife, but, to return to that, I answer, that you may know, that Cardinal Bibieni wants me to have one of his rela

Eternal spirit of the chainless mind! Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art: For there thy habitation is the heartThe heart which love of thee alone can bind:

And when thy sons to fetters are consigned

To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless

gloom

Their country conquers with their martyrdom,

And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind.

Dearest, in place of a father I have received one of yours; most dear to me because it assures me that you are not angry; which indeed would be wrong considering how tiresome it is to write when one has nothing of consequence to say. But now, being of consequence, I reply to tell you as much as I am able to communicate And first, in reference to taking a wife I reply that I am quite content in respect of her whom you first wished to give me, and I thank God constantly that I took neither her nor another, and in this I was wiser than you who wished me to take her. I am sure that you too are aware that I would not have the position I now hold, since I find myself at this moment in possession of things in Rome worth three thousand ducats of gold, and receipts of fifty scudi of gold, because His Holiness has given me a salary of three hundred gold ducats for attending to the building of St. Peter's which [the salary] I shall never fail to enjoy so long as my life lasts; and I am certain of getting others, and am also paid for what I do to whatever amount I please, and I have begun to paint another room for His Holiness which will amount to one thousand two hundred ducats of gold.

tives, and with the assent of you and the cousin priest I promisedtodo what his reverend lordship wanted, and I can not break my word. We are now more than ever on the point of settling and presently I shall advise you of everything -Have patience, as the matter is in such a good way, and then should it not come off, I will do as you may wish, and know that if Francesco Buffo has offers for me, I have some of my own also, and I can find a handsome wife of excellent repute in Rome as I have heard. She and her relatives are ready to give me three thousand gold scudi as a dowry, and I live in a house at Rome, and one hundred ducats are worth more here than two hundred there (Urbino?); of this be assured Je

Chillon! thy prison is a holy place,
And thy sad floor an altar-for 't was trod,
Until his very steps have left a trace
Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod,
By Bonnivard-May none those marks
efface!

For they appeal from tyranny to God.
"Sonnet on Chillon," by Lord Byron

So that, dearest Cousin, I do honor to you and all relatives and to my country. Yet, for all that, I hold you dear in the center of my heart, and when I hear your name, I feel as if I heard that of a father; and do not complain of me because I do not write, because I have to com

As to my stay in Rome, I can not live anywhere else for any time if only because of the building of St. Peter's, as I am in the Palace of Bramante; but what place in the world is more worthy than Rome, what enterprise more worthy than St. Peter's, which is the first temple of the world and the largest building that has ever been seen, the cost of which will exceed a million in gold? And know that the Pope has ordered the expenditure on building of sixty thousand ducats a year, and he never gives a thought to anything else He has given me a com

panion, a most learned old friar of more than eighty years of age The Pope sees that he can not live long; he has resolved to give him to me as a companion, for he is a man of high reputation, and of the greatest requirements, in order that I may learn from him, and if he has any secret in architecture that I may become perfect in that art His name is Fra Giocondo; and the Pope sends for him every day and chats a little with about the building.

us

SEEM to know Cellini first of all as a man possessed by intense, absorbing egotism; violent, arrogant, self-assertive, passionate; conscious of great gifts for art, physical courage, and personal address. . . To be selfreliant in all circumstances; to scheme and to strike, if need be, in support of his opinion or his right

The world is too much with us; late and to take the law

soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our

powers:

Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid
boon!

This sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping
flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of
tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I'd rather

be

I beg you will be good enough to go to the Duke and Duchess and tell them this, as I know they will be pleased to hear that one of their servants does them honor, and recommend me to them as I continually stand recommended to you. Salute all friends and relatives for meandparticularly Ridolfo, who has so much love for me. The first of July, 1514, Your Raffael, painter in Rome.

A pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less
forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed
horn.
-William Wordsworth

Hubbard's Note:-Raphael's love for Cardinal Bibieni's niece ended in tragedy. The wedding was postponed at the request of the Pope, and she died before it occurred. Raphael's death followed soon after, at the age of 37, and his body was placed beside hers in the Pantheon.

He's truly valiant that can wisely suffer The worst that man can breathe, and make his wrongs

His outside, to wear them like his raiment, carelessly,

And ne'er prefer his injuries to his heart,

To bring it into danger.-Shakespeare.

Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure that there is one rascal less in the world.-Carlyle.

into his own hands for the redress of injury or insult! this appeared to him the simple duty of an honorable man.

But he had nothing of the philosopher's calm, the diplomatist's prudence, the general's strategy, or the courtier's self-re

straint. On the contrary, he possessed the temperament of a born artist, blent in almost equal proportions with that of a born bravo s Throughout the whole of his tumultuous career these two strains contended in his nature for mastery. Upon the verge of fifty-six, when a man's blood has generally cooled, we find that he was released from prison on bail, and bound over to keep the peace for a year with some enemy whose life was probably in danger; and when I come to speak of his homicides, it will be obvious that he enjoyed killing live men quite as much as casting bronze statues..

Sensitive, impulsive, rash of speech, hasty in action, with the artist's susceptibility and the bravo's heat of blood, he injured no one more than himself by his eccentricities of temper. Yet there is no trace in any of his writings that he ever laid his misadventures to their proper cause He consistently poses as an injured man, whom malevolent scoun

[graphic]

drels conspired to persecute. Nor does heULL of anxieties and apprehending

do this with any bad faith. His belief in himself remained as firm as adamant, and he candidly conceived that he was under the special providence of a merciful and loving God who appreciated his high and virtuous qualities.

[ocr errors]

* * * * *

He tells us how Pope Paul III was willing to pardon him for an outrageous murder committed in the streets of Rome. One of the Pope's gentlemen submitted that this was showing unseasonable clemency. "You do not understand the matter as well as I do," replied His Holiness. "I must inform you that men like Benvenuto, unique in their profession, are not bound by the laws." That sentence precisely paints Cellini's own conception of himself.

...

-John Addington Symonds.

IT was in Rome that I had to do Lord

Byron's statue. When my noble sitter arrived at my studio, he took his place before me and immediately put on a strange air, entirely different from his natural physiognomy.

66

My lord," said I," have the goodness to sit still, and may I beg you not to assume such an expression of misery."

"That," replied Byron, " is the expression which characterizes my countenance."

"Really," said I; and then, without troubling myself about this affectation, I worked on according to my own ideas. When the bust was finished, every one thought it strikingly like Lord Byron, but the noble poet was by no means satisfied with it.

"That face is not mine," said he; "I look much more unhappy than that.' For he was determined to look unhappy. -Thorwaldsen.

He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.

-Edwin Markham.

A thought is an idea in transit.

-Pythagoras.

daily that we should hear distressing news from Boston, I walked with Mr. Samuel Adams in the State House yard [Philadelphia], for a little exercise and fresh air, before the hour of [the Continental] Congress, and there represented to him the various dangers that surrounded us.

He agreed to them all, but said, "What shall we do?" I answered him I was determined to take a step which should compel all the members of Congress to declare themselves for or against something. I am determined this morning to make a direct motion that Congress should adopt [as its own] the army before Boston, and appoint Colonel Washington commander of it.

....

Mr. Adams seemed to think very seriously of it, but said nothing. Accordingly, when Congress had assembled, I rose in my place . . Mr. Washington, who happened to sit near the door, as soon as he heard me allude to him, from his usual modesty, darted into the library-room.

Mr. Hancock heard me with visible pleasure, but when I came to describe Washington for the commander, I never remarked a more sudden and striking change of countenance. Mortification and resentment were expressed as forcibly as his face could exhibit them.

Mr. Samuel Adams seconded the motion, and that did not soften the president's [Hancock's] physiognomy at all.

-John Adams.

is but a little time a few days

radation, and each thing shall return to its own fountain; the blood-drop to the abysmal heart, and the water to the river, and the river to the shining sea; and the dewdrop which fell from heaven shall rise to heaven again, shaking off the dust grains which weighed it down, thawed from the earth frost which chained it here to herb and sward, upward and upward ever through stars and suns, through gods, and through the parents of the gods purer and purer through successive lives, until it enters The Nothing, which is the All, and finds its home at last.-Hypatia.

T my first ball at Tortonia's, not knowing any lady, I was standing about, looking at everybody, but not dancing. All at once some one tapped me on the shoulder, and said, "You also are admiring the beautiful Englishwoman there?" What was my surprise, when on turning around, I found myself face to face with Chevalier Thorwaldsen, who was standing by the door and intently observing the beautiful creature. He had hardly asked the question

one

when some
spoke loudly just
behind me.
"Where is she
then? Where is the
little Englishwo-
man? My wife has
sent me to look at
her, per Bacco!"

The speaker was a slight little Frenchman, with stiff upstanding gray hair, and the Legion of Honor at his button-hole. I immediately recognized Horace Vernet

He and Thorwaldsen began a serious

and learned conversation about the beauty, and what

days later, I was invited to the house of English friends from Venice, who wished, they said, to introduce me to some particular friends of theirs. I was delighted to discover that their friends were Thorwaldsen and Vernet. . In my capacity as a pianist I have enjoyed a special pleasure here. You know how Thorwaldsen loves music. He has

Of Heaven or Hell I have no power to sing,
I can not ease the burden of your fears,
Or make quick-coming death a little thing,
Or bring again the pleasure of past years,
Nor for my words shall ye forget your tears.
Or hope again for aught that I can say,
The idle singer of an empty day.

But, rather when aweary of your mirth,
From full hearts still unsatisfied ye sigh,
And, feeling kindly unto all the earth,
Grudge every minute as it passes by,
Made the more mindful that the sweet
days die-

Remember me a little then I pray,
The idle singer of an empty day.

The heavy trouble, the bewildering care
That weighs us down who live and earn
our bread

These idle verses have no power to bear:
So let me sing of names remembered,
Because they living not, can ne'er be dead,
Or long time take their memory quite away
From us poor singers of an empty day.

Dreamerof dreams,bornoutofmydue time,
Why should I strive to set the crooked
straight?

Let it suffice me that my murmuring rhyme
Beats with light wing against the ivory gate.
Telling a tale not too importunate
To those who in the sleepy region stay,
Lulled by the singer of an empty day.
"The Idle Singer," by William Morris

especially delighted me was to see the admiration of these two old artists for the young girl; they were never tired of looking at her, while she went on dancing with the most delicious unconsciousness. Thorwaldsen and Vernet had themselves introduced to the parents of the young English lady, and took no further trouble about me, so that I had no chance of speaking to them again But, some

[ocr errors]

a very good instrument in his studio, and I go to him sometimes in the mornings and play to him while he works. When I see the old artist handling his brown clay, giving the last touches, with his firm and delicate hand, to a drapery or a limb, when I see him creating those imperishable works which will win the admiration of posterity, I feel happy in that I can give him pleasure. -Mendelssohn. Ꮽ Ꮽ

HIS little globe which is but a through space with mere speck, travels its fellows, lost in immensity. Man, a creature about five feet tall, is certainly a tiny thing, as compared with the universe. Yet one of these imperceptible beings declares to his neighbors; "Hearken unto me. The God of all these worlds speaks with my voice. There are nine billions of us wee ants upon earth, but only my ant-hole is precious in God's sight. All the others are eternally damned by Him. Mine alone is blessed."-Voltaire.

Adversity is the path of truth.-Byron.

[graphic]

(D

Y DEAREST BETSY, yesterday I received Letters from some of our Friends at the Camp informing me of the Engagement [Bunker Hill] between American troops and the Rebel Army in Charlestown. I can not but be greatly rejoyced at the tryed Valor of your Countrymen, who, by all Accounts behaved with an intrepidity becoming those who fought for their Liberties against the mercenary Soldiers of a Tyrant.

It is painful to me to reflect on the terror I must suppose you were under on hearing the Noise of War so near. Favor me, my dear, with an Account of your Apprehensions at that time, under your own hand....

Mr. Pitts and Dr. Church inform me that my dear Son has at length escaped from the Prison at Boston . . . . Remember me to my dear Hannah and sister Polly and to all Friends.

Let me know where good old Swory is. Gage [the British General] has made me respectable by naming me first among those who are to receive no favor [of pardon] from him. I thoroughly despise him and his [amnesty] Proclamation . The Clock is now striking twelve. I therefore wish you a good Night. Yours most affectionately,

[ocr errors]

S. Adams. (Letter to his Wife, June 28th, 1775)

E [Patrick Henry] rose to reply with apparent embarrassment and some awkwardness, and began a faltering exordium. The people hung their heads at the unpromising commencement, and the clergy were observed to exchange sly looks with each other, while his father sank back in his chair in evident confusion de

All this was of short duration, however. As he proceeded and warmed up to his subject, a wondrous change came over him. His attitude became erect and lofty, his face lighted up with genius, and his eyes seemed to flash fire, his gestures became graceful and impressive, his voice and his emphasis peculiarly charming. His appeals to the passions were over

powering. In the language of those who heard him, "he made the blood to run cold, and their hair to rise on end." In a word, to the astonishment of all, he suddenly burst upon them as an orator of the highest order. The surprise of the people was only equaled by their delight, and so overcome was his father that tears flowed profusely down his cheeks. He contended that . . . . in the case now before them . [the parsons] deserved to be punished with signal severity se

[ocr errors]

"We have heard a great deal about the benevolence and holy zeal of our reverend clergy, but how is this manifested? Do they manifest their zeal in the cause of religion and humanity by practising the mild and benevolent precepts of the Gospel of Jesus? Do they feed the hungry and clothe the naked? Oh, no, gentlemen! Instead of feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, these rapacious harpies would, were their powers equal to their will, snatch from the hearth of their honest parishioner his last hoe-cake, from the widow and her orphan children their last milch cow! the last bed, nay, the last blanket from the lying-in woman!" e

These words, uttered with all the power of the orator, aroused in the audience an intense feeling against the clergy, which became so apparent as to cause the reverend gentlemen to leave their seats on the bench, and to quit the courthouse in dismay.-William Wirt Henry, (Life, Correspondence, and Speeches of Patrick Henry.)

"The Parsons' Cause" (1763) Patrick Henry's First Important Case.

SOPHISTICAL rhetorician (is Gladstone) inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity, and gifted with an egotistical imagination that can at all times command an interminable and inconsistent series of arguments to malign an opponent and to glorify himself.-Disraeli.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.-Thomas Jefferson.

« PreviousContinue »