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Benvenuto Cellini (1500–1571). Autobiography.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.


ABOUT this time a young fellow called Francesco, the son of a smith, Matteo, left Bandinello’s employment, and inquired whether I would give him work. I agreed, and sent him to retouch my Medusa, which had been new cast in bronze. After a fortnight he mentioned that he had been speaking with his master, that is, Bandinello, who told him, if I cared to make a marble statue, he would give me a fine block of stone. I replied at once: “Tell him I accept his offer; perhaps this marble will prove a stumbling block to him, for he keeps on provoking me, and does not bear in mind the great peril he ran upon the piazza of San Domenico. Tell him I will have the marble by all means. I never speak about him, and the beast is perpetually causing me annoyance. I verily believe you came to work here at his orders for the mere purpose of spying upon me. Go, then, and tell him I insist on having the marble, even against his will: see that you do not come back without it.”