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MONG all the names celebrated in art, there is not

A one that can be put in comparison with that of

Michael Angelo. No man certainly ever had such a won derful soul for art, in every department: the cupola of St. Peter's, as an architect; his Moses and his Christ, as a sculptor; and his Last Judgment, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, as a painter,-are three monuments which would have made the eternal fame, not of three, but of a hundred, artists in each department.

2. Great, noble, generous, and though perhaps somewhat in his temper not amiable, yet sternly honest in all his dealings, he seems to have been the great center around which the art of his period revolved. There was no one so great, so sublime in any particular branch of it, that did not look up to Michael Angelo, and consider him his superior. It is acknowledged that Raffaelle went into the Sistine Chapel and saw Angelo's wonderful works, and changed entirely his style upon beholding them; and it is particularly acknowledged by the writers of that time. that in every other department he was considered equally supreme.

3. Now, you would suppose that this man, upon whom commissions poured in every day for great works, would have employed a number of artisans to assist him; that he would have had carefully-prepared models, which he would have entrusted to skillful artificers, so as to lighten his labor. But no such thing. There is every evidence we can desire, that, from the beginning to the end, Michael Angelo performed the whole of his own work; that he began with the piece of marble as it came from the quarry; that, if not always, pretty generally, he did not even condescend to make a design beyond a small wax model, but immediately set to work with chisel and mallet on the figure which he

had in his imagination, and which he knew was as truly lurking in the inanimate block.

4. Vä-sä'-ri shows us, in fact, from his unfinished pieces, in what way he must have mapped out the marble and done the work himself; and that is why we have so many vast pieces by him unfinished; either the stroke did not come out as he desired, or it went too far into the marble, and spoilt his labor. But so it is, that by far the greater part of those gigantic pieces which he finished, if not all, were the productions of his own hand as well as of his intellect.

5. When about seventy-five years of age he used to be just as indefatigable with his chisel and hammer as when he was a stout young man. He had near his bedroom, if not in it, an immense block of marble, and, when he had nothing else to do, he used to be hammering at that; and, when asked why he so continuously worked at this branch of his various arts, he used to reply that he did it for amusement, to pass his time, and that it was good for his health to take exercise with the mallet.

6. He undertook at that age, from an enormous block of marble, to bring out four figures, larger than life, representing the descent from the cross; and he had nearly worked out the figure of our Lord, when, happening to meet with a vein that was hard and troublesome, he one day broke it into half a dozen pieces. It was seen in this state by a friend, and his servant begged it for him. It was put together, and it is now to be seen at Florence. But Vasari says that it was necessary, in order to give him occupation, to get another large block of marble and put it near his bed, that so he might continue at his work; and he began another group of the same sort. This was at the age of seventy-five.

7. And Vasari gives us an interesting account of how he worked: he says he was remarkably sober, and while performing his greatest works, such as the paintings, he rarely took more than a crust of bread and a glass of wine for his dinner. This sobriety, he says, made him very vigilant;

and very often in the night he used to rise, when he could not sleep, and work away with his chisel, having made for himself a sort of helmet, or cap, out of pasteboard, and upon the middle of this, in the top, he had his candle, so that the shadow of his body never could be thrown upon the work.

8. We have a very interesting account of the manner in which he used to work at his marble, from a French writer, who says, "I can say that I have seen Michael Angelo, when he was about sixty years of age, and not then very robust, make the fragments of marble fly about at such a rate, that he cut off more in a quarter of an hour than three strong young men could have done in an hour,- -a thing almost incredible to any one who has not seen it; and he used to work with such fury, with such an impetus, that it was feared he would dash the 'whole marble to pieces, making at each stroke chips of three or four fingers thick fly off into the air;' and that with a material in which, if he had gone only a hair's breadth too far, he would totally have destroyed the work, which could not be restored like plaster or clay."

9. We shall find it true that wherever there has really been grand or noble work executed by sculptors, they have been artificers as well as designers; they have done the work with their own hands, as well as imagined it in their own fancies.




ATILINE. I will abandon Rome,-give back her scorn
With tenfold scorn: break up all league with her,-

All memories. I will not breathe her air,

Nor warm me with her fire, nor let my bones
Mix with her sepulchers. The oath is sworn.
Aurelia. Hear me, Lord Catiline:

The day we wedded,-'tis but three short years!
You were the first patrician here,—and I

Was Marius' daughter! There was not in Rome
An eye, however haughty, but would sink
When I turned on it: when I pass'd the streets
My chariot wheel was follow'd by a host
Of your chief senators; as if their gaze
Beheld an empress on its golden round;
An earthly providence!

Catiline. 'T was so!-'t was so!

But it is vanished-gone.

Aurelia. By yon bright sun!

That day shall come again; or, in its place,
One that shall be an era to the world!

Catiline (eagerly). What's in your thoughts?
Aurelia. Our high and hurried life

Has left us strangers to each other's souls:
But now we think alike. You have a sword,—
Have had a famous name i' the legions!




Have the walls ears? Great Jove! I wish they had;

And tongues too, to bear witness to my oath,

And tell it to all Rome.

Catiline. Would you destroy?

Aurelia. Were I a thunderbolt!

Rome's ship is rotten:

Has she not cast you out; and would you sink
With her, when she can give you no gain else
Of her fierce fellowship? Who'd seek the chain
That link'd him to his mortal enemy?

Who'd face the pestilence in his foe's house?
Who, when the poisoner drinks by chance the cup,
That was to be his death, would squeeze the dregs
To find a drop to bear him company?

Catiline (shrinking). It will not come to this.
Aurelia (haughtily). Shall we be dragg'd
A show to all the city rabble;-robb'd,—
Down to the very mantle on our backs,-
A pair of branded beggars! Doubtless Cicero-
Catiline. Curs'd be the ground he treads!
Name him no more.

Aurelia. Doubtless he'll see us to the city gates;

"T will be the least respect that he can pay To his fallen rival. Do you hear, my lord?

Deaf as the rock (aside). With all his lictors shouting, "Room for the noble vagrants; all caps off

For Catiline! for him that would be consul.”

Catiline (turning away).

ringed with fire,

Thus to be, like the scorpion,

Till I sting my own heart! (aside). There is no hope!
Aurelia. One hope there is, worth all the rest-revenge!
The time is harass'd, poor, and discontent;
Your spirit practiced, keen, and desperate,-
The senate full of feuds,-the city vexed
With petty tyranny,—the legions wrong'd-
Catiline (scornfully). Yet who has stirred?
Woman, you paint the air

With passion's pencil.

Aurelia. Were my will a sword!

Catiline. Hear me, bold heart! The whole gross blood

of Rome

Could not atone my wrongs! I'm soul-shrunk, sick,

Weary of man! And now my mind is fix'd

For Libya: there to make companionship

Rather of bear and tiger,--of the snake,

The lion in his hunger,-than of man!

Aurelia. Were my tongue thunder-I would cry, Revenge! Catiline (in sudden wildness). No more of this!

In, to your chamber, wife!

There is a whirling lightness in my brain
That will not now bear questioning.-Away!
I feel a nameless pressure on my brow,

[Exit Aurelia.

As if the heavens were thick with sudden gloom;
A shapeless consciousness, as if some blow

Were hanging o'er my head.

Partake of prophecy.

This air is living sweetness.

They say such thoughts

[He stands at the casement.

Golden sun,

Shall I be like thee yet? The clouds have past—
And, like some mighty victor, he returns

To his red city in the west, that now

Spreads all her gates, and lights her torches up,

In triumph for her glorious conqueror.

G. CROLY-adapted.

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