One day Cardinal Sachetti, who was restoring his palace, came with the architect to the very top of the house, and happened to enter the scullion’s garret. The room was empty; but both Cardinal and architect were struck with the genius of the drawings. They thought they were executed by Thomas, and his Eminence sent for him. When poor Thomas heard that the Cardinal had been in the garret, and had seen what he called Peter’s daubs, he thought all was lost.
“You will no longer be a scullion,” said the Cardinal to him; and Thomas, thinking this meant banishment and disgrace, fell on his knees, and cried, “Oh! my lord, what will become of poor Peter?”
The Cardinal made him tell his story.
“Bring him to me when he comes in to-night,” said he, smiling.
But Peter did not return that night, nor the next, till at length a fortnight had passed without a sign of him. At last came the news that the monks of a distant convent had received and kept with them a boy of fourteen, who had come to ask permission to copy a painting of Raphael in the chapel of the convent. This boy was Peter. Finally, the Cardinal sent him as a pupil to one of the first artists in Rome.
Fifty years afterwards there were two old men who lived as brothers in one of the most beautiful houses in Florence. One said of the other, “He is the greatest painter of our age.” The other said of the first, “He is a model for evermore of a faithful friend.”
* * * * *
PETER OF CORTONA, a great Italian painter and architect. He was born in Cortona in the year 1596, and died in Rome, in 1669.
EMINENCE, a title of honor, applied to a cardinal.
GALLERIES, rooms or buildings where works of art are exhibited.
VICTUALS (v[)i]t’ ’lz), cooked food for human beings.
FORTNIGHT (f[^o]rt’ n[=i]t or n[)i]t): This word is contracted from fourteen nights.
Locate the cities of Rome and Florence.
Give words that mean the opposite of the following:
ill, bade, buy, first, old, begin, empty, enter, cooked, merry, bought, friend, inhale, patient, palace, distant, appeared, disgrace, famous, faithful, morning, enchanted.
Recite the words—“Oh, my lord, what will become of poor Peter?”—as Thomas uttered them. Remember he was beseeching a great cardinal in favor of a poor destitute boy whom he loved as a brother. He felt what he said.
Do you find any humorous passages in the selection? Read them, and tell wherein the humor lies.
When a friend asketh, there is no to-morrow.
Diligence overcomes difficulties; sloth makes them.
From “Poor Richard’s Proverbs."
A gift in
need, though small indeed,
Is large as earth and rich as heaven.