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  • The Ghost of Michel Angelo
    Page 1

    "If I believed that spirits ne'er
    Return to earth once more,
    And that there's naught unto them dear
    In the life they loved before ;
    Then truly it would seem to me,
    However fate has sped,
    For souls there's no eternity,
    And they and all are dead."

    IT must have struck every one who has read the life of Michel Angelo, that he was, like King James the First of England, "nae great gillravager after the girls," or was far from being susceptible to love in which he formed a great contrast to Raphael, and indeed to most of the Men of his Time-or any other. This appears to have impressed the people of Italy as something even more singular than his works, for which reason he appears in popular tradition as a good enough goblin, not without cheerfulness and song, but as one given to tormenting enamoured couples and teasing lady artists, whom he subsequently compliments with a gift. The legend is as follows :


    The spirit of Michel Angelo is seen mostly by night, in woods or groves. The good man appears as he did in life, come era prima, ever walking among trees singing poetry. He amuses himself very much by teasing lovers-a dare noia agli amoretti-and when he finds a pair who have hidden themselves under leaves and boughs to make love, he waits till they think they are well concealed, and then begins to sing. And the two feel a spell upon them when they hear his voice, and can neither advance nor retreat.

    Then all at once opening the leafy covert, he bursts into a peal of laughter ; and the charm being broken, they fly in fear, because they think they are discovered, and it is all nothing but the spirit of Michel Angelo Buonarotti.

    Page 2 >

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    Leland, Charles Godfrey. Legends of Florence: Collected from the People And Re-told. New York: Macmillan and Co., 1895. 59-61


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