p27 From Bologna, January 22nd, 1507.
BUONARROTO, — Some days ago I received a letter from thee, from which I learn that Lodovico has arranged with Francesco about Mona Zanobia's farm. Thou tellest me also that Giovansimone has begun to attend the same shop as thyself, and that he wants to come here to Bolognia. I have not replied before because I have not had time until to-day. With regard to the above-mentioned farm, thou sayest that Lodovico has entered into an agreement, and that he is going to write to me on the subject. Please understand that if he has written to me I have never received any letter which deals with the matter please tell him this, therefore, so that he may not p28 be surprised at receiving no reply to his letter, if he has written one.
I will tell thee my views about Giovansimone, so that thou mayest impart them to him on my behalf. I do not wish him to come here before I have cast the figure I have in hand, and for this I have a sufficient reason, though do not ask me what it is. Enough that as soon as I have cast the figure I will see that he shall come here without fail. It will then be less inconvenient, as I shall be released from the expenses which I have now to bear.
I expect that by the middle of Lent my figure will be ready for casting, and I pray God that it may turn out well ; for if it be successful I hope to stand well with this Pope and to receive his favour. If I should cast it at mid-Lent and it should turn out well I hope to be in Florence for the Easter festival, and then I will assuredly do by you as I promised, if ye continue to be diligent.
Tell Piero Aldobrandini that I have entrusted his blade to the best worker in such things I can find, and that he promises to let me have it during the coming week. As soon as I receive it I will send it on, if I consider it satisfactory : if not, I will have another made. Tell him also not to be surprised if I have not served him as quickly as I ought, for I have so little time to spare that I could not do otherwise than I have done.
This twenty-second day of January, 1506.
MICHELAGNIOLO DI LODOVICO BUONARROTI, Sculptor, in Bolognia.
Buonarroto, — I learn from thy letters how matters have gone with regard to the small farm : it has given me the greatest satisfaction and I am well pleased, provided it is a sure thing.
I have made careful enquiries about this Baronciello business, and from what I have heard it is a far more serious thing than ye make it out to be : and for my part, seeing that it is unfair, I would not ask it of him. We are all of us under considerable obligation to Baronciello, and we will do our best to fulfil those obligations, especially such as lie in our power. Thou must know that on Friday evening, at the twenty-first hour. Pope Julius came to my house where I am at work, and remained for about half an hour while I was working. Then he gave me his blessing p33 and went away, showing himself well satisfied with what I am doing. For all this it seems to me we ought to thank God very heartily ; and so I beg you to do, and to pray for me.
I have to inform thee further that on Friday morning I sent away Lapo and Lodovico, who were with me. I turned Lapo away because he was conspiringagainst me and is a rogue, and would not do as he was bid. Lodovico is better, and I would have kept him on for another two months ; but Lapo, in order not to be the only one blamed, corrupted him in such a way that both have been sent off. I tell thee this not because I am troubled by them — for they are not worth three quattrini the two together — but so that, if they come to talk to Lodovico, he should not be surprised. Tell him on no account to listen to them: if thou desirest to know more go to Messer Agniolo, Herald of the Signoria, for I have sent him a full account of the matter, and he of his kindness will give thee all information.
I note what thou sayest about Giovansimone. It pleases me that he should enter thy master's shop and endeavour to make progress : encourage him to do his best, for if this matter turns out well I have hopes of placing you in a good position, if ye are prudent. With reference to that other land beside Mona Zanobia's, if Lodovico likes it tell him to enquire into the matter and let me know. I believe, and it is said here, that the Pope will go hence about Carnival.
On the first day of February, 1506 (1507).
MICHELAGNIOLO DI LODOVICO DI BUONARROTA SIMONI, Sculptor, in Bolognia.