Giovan Simone, — I have not replied to a letter received from thee several days ago because I have not had the time. In this letter I have to tell thee that up to the present my work goes well, and accordingly I have hopes that it will finish satisfactorily — please God it may be so ! And if it should be so — that is to say, if I come out of this affair well — I will come, or rather, return, to you immediately, and I will do all that I have promised each one of you ; that is to say, I will help you with all I have — in what way you and our father will be able to judge for yourselves. Therefore be of good cheer, and be diligent in thy shop, making the most of every opportunity ; for I hope that before long ye will be keeping a shop by yourselves and for yourselves. If ye understand the business and know how to trade it will be of very great assistance. Wherefore attend to thy work with diligence. Thou writest of a certain friend of thine, a doctor, who has told thee that the plague is a dangerous disease and that people die of it. I am very glad to know of this because it is very prevalent here and these Bolognesi have not yet learnt that it is fatal. Wherefore it would be a good thing if he were to come p44 here, because then he would perhaps teach them by experience, and they would greatly benefit thereby. I have nothing more to tell thee. I am well and getting on satisfactorily : I hope soon to be back in Florence.
On the 20th day of April. I had no more paper. MICHELAGNIOLO, in Bolognia.
Giovan Simone Buonarroti was born on March 9th, 1479. He was four years younger than Michelangelo.
Giovan Simone, — I have already replied to a letter from thee some days ago. By this time I believe thou wilt have received mine and wilt have learnt my views. If thou hast not received it, thou wilt learn from this letter all that I wrote to thee in the last. I expect Buonarroto will have told thee of my intentions, and thou mayst take it all for settled, for directly I reach Florence, I intend, with God's permission, to set you up in business either by yourselves or in partnership, whichever ye desire, and in whatever manner may appear to us the most secure. Wherefore be of good courage and rely upon what I have told thee as being a certainty. I have no time now for writing ; therefore I will write again more fully later on. I am well and have finished my figure in p45 wax. This coming week I shall begin to make the outer mould, and expect to have it complete in from twenty to twenty-five days. After that I shall prepare for the casting, and if it comes out well I shall be in Florence shortly after.
On the 28th day of April. MICHELAGNIOLO, in Bolognia.