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VITTORIA. And yon long line of lights, those sunlit win

dows Blaze like the torches carried in procession To do her honor! It is beautiful!

JULIA.

VITTORIA.

You speak a name That always thrills me with a noble sound, As of a trumpet! Michael Angelo! A lion all men fear and none can tame; A man that all men honor, and the model That all should follow; one who works and

prays, For work is prayer, and consecrates his life To the sublime ideal of his art, Till art and life are one ; a man who holds Such place in all men's thoughts, that when

they speak Of great things done, or to be done, his name Is ever on their lips.

I have no heart to feel the beauty of it!
My feet are weary, pacing up and down
These level flags, and wearier still my thoughts
Treading the broken pavement of the Past.
It is too sad. I will go in and rest,
And make me ready for to-morrow's journey.

JULIA.

You too can paint The portrait of your hero, and in colors Brighter than Titian's ; I might warn you

also Against the dangers that beset your path; But I forbear.

VITTORIA. I will go with you; for I would not lose One hour of your dear presence. "T is enough Only to be in the same room with you. I need not speak to you, nor hear you speak; If I but see you, I am satisfied.

[They go in.

II.

MONOLOGUE.

VITTORIA.

MICHAEL ANGELO's Studio. He is at work on the cartoon

of the Last Judgment.

MICHAEL ANGELO.

If I were made of marble, Of Fior di Persico or Pavonazzo, He might admire me: being but flesh and

blood,

Why did the Pope and his ten Cardinals Come here to lay this heavy task upon me?

Were not the paintings on the Sistine ceiling Enough for them? They saw the Hebrew

leader Waiting, and clutching his tempestuous beard, But heeded not. The bones of Julius Shook in their sepulchre. I heard the sound; They only heard the sound of their own voices.

The dead to judgment! Ye recording angels, Open your books and read! Ye dead, awake! Rise from your graves, drowsy and drugged

with death, As men who suddenly aroused from sleep Look round amazed, and know not where

they are !

Are there no other artists here in Rome
To do this work, that they must needs seek

me?

Fra Bastian, my Fra Bastian, might have

done it ; But he is lost to art. The Papal Seals, Like leaden weights upon a dead man's eyes, Press down his lids; and so the burden falls On Michael Angelo, Chief Architect And Painter of the Apostolic Palace. That is the title they cajole me with, To make me do their work and leave my own; But having once begun, I turn not back. Blow, ye bright angels, on your golden trum

pets To the four corners of the earth, and wake

In happy hours, when the imagination
Wakes like a wind at midnight, and the soul
Trembles in all its leaves, it is a joy
To be uplifted on its wings, and listen
To the prophetic voices in the air
That call us onward. Then the work we do
Is a delight, and the obedient hand
Never grows weary. But how different is it
In the disconsolate, discouraged hours,
When all the wisdom of the world appears
As trivial as the gossip of a nurse
In a sick-room, and all our work seems useless.

What is it guides my hand, what thoughts

possess me, That I have drawn her face among the angels,

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Seems to caress the city that he loves,
And crowns it with the aureole of a saint.
I will go forth and breathe the air a while.

ye with

III.

SAN SILVESTRO.

A Chapel in the Church of San Silvestro on Monte Cavallo. VITTORIA Colonna, CLAUDIO TOLOMMEI, and others.

VITTORIA.

Where she will be hereafter? O sweet dreams, That through the vacant chambers of my

heart Walk in the silence, as familiar phantoms Frequent an ancient house, what will

me ? ”T is said that Emperor's write their names in

green When under age, but when of age in purple. So Love, the greatest Emperor of them all, Writes his in green at first, but afterwards In the imperial purple of our blood. First love or last love, — which of these two

passions Is more omnipotent? Which is more fair, The star of morning or the evening star? The sunrise or the sunset of the heart? The hour when we look forth to the unknown, And the advancing day consumes the shadows, Or that when all the landscape of our lives Lies stretched behind us, and familiar places Gleam in the distance, and sweet memories Rise like a tender haze, and magnify The objects we behold, that soon must vanish ?

Ilere let us rest a while, until the crowd Has left the church. I have already sent For Michael Angelo to join us here.

MESSER CLAUDIO.

After Fra Bernardino's wise discourse
On the Pauline Epistles, certainly
Some words of Michael Angelo on Art
Were not amiss, to bring us back to earth.

MICHAEL ANGELO, at the door. How like a Saint or Goddess she appears ; Diana or Madonna, which I know not! In attitude and aspect formed to be At once the artist's worship and despair !

VITTORIA.

Welcome, Maestro. We were waiting for you.

MICHAEL ANGELO.

I met your messenger upon the way, And hastened hither.

VITTORIA.

What matters it to me, whose countenance
Is like the Laocoon's, full of pain ; whose fore-

head Is a ploughed harvest-field, where threescore

years Have sown in sorrow and have reaped in an

guish; To me, the artisan, to whom all women Have been as if they were not, or at most A sudden rush of pigeons in the air, A flutter of wings, a sound, and then a si

lence ? I am too old for love; I am too old To flatter and delude myself with visions Of never-ending friendship with fair women, Imaginations, fantasies, illusions, In which the things that cannot be take shape, And seem to be, and for the moment are.

[Convent bells ring.

It is kind of you To come to us, who linger here like gossips Wasting the afternoon in idle talk. These are all friends of mine and friends of

yours.

MICHAEL ANGELO.

If friends of yours, then are they friends of

mine. Pardon me, gentlemen. But when I entered I saw but the Marchesa.

VITTORIA.

Distant and near and low and loud the bells,
Dominican, Benedictine, and Franciscan,
Jangle and wrangle in their airy towers,
Discordant as the brotherhoods themselves
In their dim cloisters. The descending sun

Take this seat Between me and Ser Claudio Tolommei, Who still maintains that our Italian tongue

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