Buonarroto, -- To-day, this 19th day of December, I have received a letter from thee in which thou recommendest to me Pietro Orlandini (Aldobrandini), asking me to perform what he requires of me. Know that he has written asking me to have a dagger blade made for him, and that he wants it to be of admirable workmanship. However, I do not know how I can serve him quickly and well ; one reason being that it is not my craft, and the other that I have no time to attend to it. I will endeavour, nevertheless, to secure that before a month has passed he shall be served to the best of my ability. I received thy tidings concerning your daily life, and especially the news about Giovansimone. It pleases me that he should enter the same shop as thyself and that he is eager to improve, for I desire to assist him as well as you others ; and if God help me, as He has ever done, I hope before Lent is over to p26 have finished what I have to do here, when I will return to Florence and will assuredly do for you as I promised. With reference to the money which, as thou sayest, Giovansimone wishes to invest in a shop, it seems to me better that he should wait for another four months so that the "flash and the report" may take place simultaneously. I know thou wilt understand my meaning, so I will say no more. Tell him from me to strive towards improvement, and that if, after all, he should want the money of which thou speakest in thy letter, it will have to be withdrawn from my account in Florence, for I have none here to send, as I am receiving but a low price for the work I am doing ; moreover, it is very uncertain, and something might easily happen to throw me upon my beam ends. For these reasons I exhort you all to be patient and to wait these few months until I return.
As to Giovansimone's coming here, I do not advise him to come yet, for I live here in a poor room and have bought only one bed, in which four persons have to sleep, so that I have not the means to receive him as he asks. But if he still wishes to come here, let him wait until I have cast the figure I am modelling, when I will send off Lapo and Lodovico, who are helping me, and will despatch a horse for him, so that he may not arrive here like a beast of burden. No more. Pray to God for me that my affairs may go well.
Sculptor, in Bolognia.