Page:The Life of Benvenuto Cellini Vol 2.djvu/30

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prise, they left me. All three went together to report what I had spoken to the Pope. The Pope felt some shame, and gave orders that all the records of the jewels should be diligently searched. When they had ascertained that none were missing, they left me in the castle without saying a word more about it. Signor Pier Luigi felt also that he had acted ill; and to end the affair, they set about to contrive my death.


During the agitations of this time which I have just related, King Francis received news of how the Pope was keeping me in prison, and with what injustice. He had sent a certain gentleman of his, named Monsignor di Morluc, as his ambassador to Rome;[1] to him therefore he now wrote, claiming me from the Pope as the man of his Majesty. The Pope was a person of extraordinary sense and ability, but in this affair of mine he behaved weakly and unintelligently; for he made answer to the King's envoy that his Majesty need pay me no attention, since I was a fellow who gave much trouble by fighting; therefore he advised his Majesty to leave me alone, adding that he kept me in prison for homicides and other devilries which I had played. To this the King sent answer that justice in his realm was excellently maintained; for even as his Majesty was wont to shower rewards and favours upon men of parts and

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  1. Jean de Montluc, brother of the celebrated Marshal, Bishop of Faience, a friend of Margaret of Navarre, and, like her, a protector of the Huguenots. He negotiated the election of the Duke of Anjou to the throne of Poland.