Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes)


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The Lord Duke had caused to be begun by Pontormo the cartoons of the tapestries in silk and gold for the Sala del Consiglio de' Dugento; and, having had two stories of the Hebrew Joseph executed by the said Pontormo, and one by Salviati, he gave orders that Bronzino should do the rest. Whereupon he executed fourteen pieces with the excellence and perfection which everyone knows who has seen them; but since this was an excessive labour for Bronzino, who was losing too much time thereby, he availed himself in the greater part of these cartoons, himself making the designs, of Raffaello dal Colle, the painter of Borgo a San Sepolcro, who acquitted himself excellently well.

Now Giovanni Zanchini had built a chapel very rich in carved stone, with his family tombs in marble, opposite to the Chapel of the Dini in S. Croce at Florence, on the front wall, on the left hand as one enters the church by the central door; and he allotted the altar-piece to Bronzino, to the end that he might paint in it Christ descended into the Limbo of Hell in order to deliver the Holy Fathers.

Agnolo, then, having set his hand to it, executed that work with the utmost possible diligence that one can use who desires to acquire glory by such a labour; wherefore there are in it most beautiful nudes, men, women, and children, young and old, with different features and attitudes, and portraits of men that are very natural, among which are Jacopo da Pontormo, Giovan Battista Gello, a passing famous Academician of Florence, and the painter Bacchiacca, of whom we have spoken above.

And among the women he portrayed there two noble and truly most beautiful young women of Florence, worthy of eternal praise and memory for their incredible beauty and virtue, Madonna Costanza da Sommaia, wife of Giovan Battista Doni, who is still living, and Madonna Camilla Tedaldi del Corno, who has now passed to a better life. Not long afterwards he executed another large and very beautiful altar-picture of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which was placed in the Chapel of Jacopo and Filippo Guadagni beside the choir in the Church of the Servites--that is, the Nunziata.

And at this same time he painted the altar-piece that was placed in the chapel of the Palace, whence there had been removed that which was sent to Granvella; which altar-piece is certainly a most beautiful picture, and worthy of that place.

Uffizi, Anderson] Having then gone to Pisa, whither he was summoned by the Duke, he executed some portraits for his Excellency; and for Luca Martini, who was very much his friend, and not of him only, but also attached with true affection to all men of talent, he painted a very beautiful picture of Our Lady, in which he portrayed that Luca with a basket of fruits, from his having been the minister and proveditor for the said Lord Duke in the draining of the marshes and other waters that rendered unhealthy the country round Pisa, and for having made it in consequence fertile and abundant in fruits.

Nor did Bronzino depart from Pisa before there was allotted to him at the instance of Martini, by Raffaello del Setaiuolo, the Warden of Works of the Duomo, the altar-picture for one of the chapels in that Duomo, wherein he painted a nude Christ with the Cross, and about Him many Saints, among whom is a S. Bartholomew flayed, which has the appearance of a true anatomical subject and of a man flayed in reality, so natural it is and imitated with such diligence from an anatomical subject.

That altar-picture, which is beautiful in every part, was placed, as I have said, in a chapel from which they removed another by the hand of Benedetto da Pescia, a disciple of Giulio Romano. Bronzino then made for Duke Cosimo a full-length portrait of the dwarf Morgante, nude, and in two ways--namely, on one side of the picture the front, and on the other the back, with the bizarre and monstrous members which that dwarf has; which picture, of its kind, is beautiful and marvellous. For Ser Carlo Gherardi of Pistoia, who from his youth was a friend of Bronzino, he executed at various times, besides the portrait of Ser Carlo himself, a very beautiful Judith placing the head of Holofernes in a basket, and on the cover that protects that picture, in the manner of a mirror, a Prudence looking at herself; and for the same man a picture of Our Lady, which is one of the most beautiful things that he has ever done, because it has extraordinary design and relief.

And the same Bronzino executed the portrait of the Duke when his Excellency was come to the age of forty, and also that of the Lady Duchess, both of which are as good likenesses as could be. After Giovan Battista Cavalcanti had caused a chapel to be built in S. Spirito, at Florence, with most beautiful variegated marbles conveyed from beyond the sea at very great cost, and had laid there the remains of his father Tommaso, he had the head and bust of the father executed by Fra Giovanni Agnolo Montorsoli, and the altar-piece Bronzino painted, depicting in it Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene in the form of a gardener, and more distant two other Maries, all figures executed with incredible diligence.

Jacopo da Pontormo having left unfinished at his death the chapel in S. Lorenzo, and the Lord Duke having ordained that Bronzino should complete it, he finished in the part where the Deluge is many nudes that were wanting at the foot, and gave perfection to that part, and in the other, where at the foot of the Resurrection of the Dead many figures were wanting over a space about one braccio in height and as wide as the whole wall, he painted them all in the manner wherein they are to be seen, very beautiful; and between the windows, at the foot, in a space that remained there unpainted, he depicted a nude S.

Laurence upon a gridiron, with some little Angels about him. In that whole work he demonstrated that he had executed his paintings in that place with much better judgment than his master Pontormo had shown in his pictures in the work; the portrait of which Pontormo Bronzino painted with his own hand in a corner of that chapel, on the right hand of the S. The Duke then gave orders to Bronzino that he should execute two large altar-pictures, one containing a Deposition of Christ from the Cross with a good number of figures, for sending to Porto Ferraio in the Island of Elba, for the Convent of the Frati Zoccolanti, built by his Excellency in the city of Cosmopolis; and another altar-piece, in which Bronzino painted the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the new Church of the Knights of S.

Stephen, which has since been built in Pisa, together with their Palace and Hospital, after the designs and directions of Giorgio Vasari. Both these pictures have been finished with such art, diligence, design, invention, and supreme loveliness of colouring, that it would not be possible to go further; and no less, indeed, was required in a church erected by so great a Prince, who has founded and endowed that Order of Knights. On some little panels made of sheet-tin, and all of one same size, the same Bronzino has painted all the great men of the House of Medici, beginning with Giovanni di Bicci and the elder Cosimo down to the Queen of France, in that line, and in the other from Lorenzo, the brother of the elder Cosimo, down to Duke Cosimo and his children; all which portraits are set in order behind the door of a little study that Vasari has caused to be made in the apartment of new rooms in the Ducal Palace, wherein is a great number of antique statues of marble and bronzes and little modern pictures, the rarest miniatures, and an infinity of medals in gold, silver, and bronze, arranged in very beautiful order.

These portraits of the illustrious men of the House of Medici are all natural and vivacious, and most faithful likenesses. It is a notable thing that whereas many are wont in their last years to do less well than they have done in the past, Bronzino does as well and even better now than when he was in the flower of his manhood, as the works demonstrate that he is executing every day. Not long ago he painted for Don Silvano Razzi, a Camaldolite monk in the Monastery of the Angeli at Florence, who is much his friend, a picture about one braccio and a half high of a S.

Catharine, so beautiful and well executed, that it is not inferior to any other picture by the hand of this noble craftsman; insomuch that nothing seems to be wanting in her save the spirit and that voice which confounded the tyrant and confessed Christ her well-beloved spouse even to the last breath; and that father, like the truly gentle spirit that he is, has nothing that he esteems and holds in price more than that picture. Agnolo made a portrait of the Cardinal, Don Giovanni de' Medici, the son of Duke Cosimo, which was sent to the Court of the Emperor for Queen Joanna; and afterwards that of the Lord Don Francesco, Prince of Florence, which was a picture very like the reality, and executed with such diligence that it has the appearance of a miniature.

For the nuptials of Queen Joanna of Austria, wife of that Prince, he painted in three large canvases which were placed at the Ponte alla Carraia, as will be described at the end, some scenes of the Nuptials of Hymen, of such beauty that they appeared not things for a festival, but worthy to be set in some honourable place for ever, so finished they were and executed with such diligence.

For the same Lord Prince he painted a few months ago a small picture with little figures which has no equal, and it may be said that it is truly a miniature. And since at this his present age of sixty-five he is no less enamoured of the matters of art than he was as a young man, he has undertaken recently, according to the wishes of the Duke, to execute two scenes in fresco on the wall beside the organ in the Church of S. Lorenzo, in which there is not a doubt that he will prove the excellent Bronzino that he has always been.

This master has delighted much, and still delights, in poetry; wherefore he has written many capitoli and sonnets, part of which have been printed. But above all, with regard to poetry, he is marvellous in the style of his capitoli after the manner of Berni, insomuch that at the present day there is no one who writes better in that kind of verse, nor things more fanciful and bizarre, as will be seen one day if all his works, as is believed and hoped, come to be printed. Bronzino has been and still is most gentle and a very courteous friend, agreeable in his conversation and in all his affairs, and much honoured; and as loving and liberal with his possessions as a noble craftsman such as he is could well be.

He has been peaceful by nature, and has never done an injury to any man, and he has always loved all able men in his profession, as I know, who have maintained a strait friendship with him for three-and-forty years, that is, from down to the present year, ever since I began to know and to love him in that year of , when he was working at the Certosa with Pontormo, whose works I used as a youth to go to draw in that place. Uffizi, Alinari] Many have been the pupils and disciples of Bronzino, but the first to speak now of our Academicians is Alessandro Allori, who has been loved always by his master, not as a disciple, but as his own son, and they have lived and still live together with the same love, one for another, that there is between a good father and his son.

Alessandro has shown in many pictures and portraits that he has executed up to his present age of thirty, that he is a worthy disciple of so great a master, and that he is seeking by diligence and continual study to arrive at that rarest perfection which is desired by beautiful and exalted intellects. He has painted and executed all with his own hand the Chapel of the Montaguti in the Church of the Nunziata--namely, the altar-piece in oils, and the walls and vaulting in fresco. In the altar-piece is Christ on high, and the Madonna, in the act of judging, with many figures in various attitudes and executed very well, copied from the Judgment of Michelagnolo Buonarroti.

About that altar-piece, on the same wall, are four large figures in the forms of Prophets, or rather, Evangelists, two above and two below; and on the vaulting are some Sibyls and Prophets executed with great pains, study, and diligence, he having sought in the nudes to imitate Michelagnolo. On the wall which is at the left hand looking towards the altar, is Christ as a boy disputing in the midst of the Doctors in the Temple; which boy is seen in a fine attitude answering their questions, and the Doctors, and others who are there listening attentively to him, are all different in features, attitudes, and vestments, and among them are portraits from life of many of Alessandro's friends, which are good likenesses.

Opposite to that, on the other wall, is Christ driving from the Temple those who with their buying and selling were making it a house of traffic and a market-place; with many things worthy of consideration and praise. Over those two scenes are some stories of the Madonna, and on the vaulting figures that are of no great size, but passing graceful; with some buildings and landscapes, which in their essence show the love that he bears to art, and how he seeks the perfection of design and invention.

And opposite to the altar-piece, on high, is a story of Ezekiel, when he saw a great multitude of bones reclothe themselves with flesh and take to themselves their members; in which this young man has demonstrated how much he desires to master the anatomy of the human body, and how he has studied it and given it his attention. And, in truth, in this his first work of importance, as also in the nuptials of his Highness, with figures in relief and stories in painting, he has proved himself and given great signs and promise, as he continues to do, that he is like to become an excellent painter; and not in this only, but in some other smaller works, and recently in a small picture full of little figures in the manner of miniature, which he has executed for Don Francesco, Prince of Florence, a much-extolled work; and other pictures and portraits he has painted with great study and diligence, in order to become practised and to acquire a grand manner.

Another young man, likewise a pupil of Bronzino and one of our Academicians, called Giovan Maria Butteri, has shown good mastery and much dexterity in what he did, besides many other smaller pictures and other works, for the obsequies of Michelagnolo and for the coming of the above-named most illustrious Queen Joanna to Florence. And another disciple, first of Pontormo and then of Bronzino, has been Cristofano dell' Altissimo, a painter, who, after having executed in his youth many pictures in oils and some portraits, was sent by the Lord Duke Cosimo to Como, to copy many pictures of illustrious persons in the Museum of Monsignor Giovio, out of the vast number which that man, so distinguished in our times, collected in that place.

Many others, also, the Lord Duke has obtained by the labours of Vasari; and of all these portraits a list[1] will be made in the index of this book, in order not to occupy too much space in this discourse. In the work of these portraits Cristofano has exerted himself with such diligence and pains, that those which he has copied up to the present day, and which are in three friezes in a guardaroba of the said Lord Duke, as will be described elsewhere in speaking of the decorations of that place, are more than two hundred and eighty in number, what with Pontiffs, Emperors, Kings, Princes, Captains of armies, men of letters, and, in short, all men for some reason illustrious and renowned.

And, to tell the truth, we owe a great obligation to this zeal and diligence of Giovio and of the Duke, for the reason that not only the apartments of Princes, but also those of many private persons, are now being adorned with portraits of one or other of those illustrious men, according to the country, family, and particular affection of each person. Cristofano, then, having established himself in this manner of painting, which is suited to his genius, or rather, inclination, has done little else, as one who is certain to derive from it honour and profit in abundance.

Given in the original Italian edition of From the same school of Pontormo and Bronzino has issued also Battista Naldini, of whom we have spoken in another place. This Battista, after the death of Pontormo, having been some time in Rome and having applied himself with much study to art, has made much proficience and become a bold and well-practised painter, as many works demonstrate that he has executed for the very reverend Don Vincenzio Borghini, who has made great use of him and assisted him, together with Francesco da Poppi, a young man of great promise and one of our Academicians, who has acquitted himself well in the nuptials of his Highness, and other young men, whom Don Vincenzio is continually employing and assisting.

Of this Battista, Vasari has made use for more than two years, as he still does, in the works of the Ducal Palace of Florence, where, by the emulation of many others who were working in the same place, he has made much progress, insomuch that at the present day he is equal to any other young man of our Academy; and that which much pleases those who are good judges is that he is expeditious, and does his work without effort. Battista has painted in an altar-picture in oils that is in a chapel of the Black Friars' Abbey of Florence, a Christ who is bearing the Cross, in which work are many good figures; and he has other works constantly in hand, which will make him known as an able man.

Not inferior to any of these named above in talent, art, and merit, is Maso Manzuoli, called Maso da San Friano, a young man of about thirty or thirty-two years, who had his first principles from Pier Francesco di Jacopo di Sandro, one of our Academicians, of whom we have spoken in another place. This Maso, I say, besides having shown how much he knows and how much may be expected of him in many pictures and smaller paintings, has demonstrated this recently in two altar-pictures with much honour to himself and full satisfaction to everyone, having displayed in them invention, design, manner, grace, and unity in the colouring.

In one of these altar-pieces, which is in the Church of S. Pietro Maggiore, and is as beautiful as an old and well-practised master could have made it, is the Visitation of Our Lady to S. Elizabeth, executed with judgment and with many fine considerations, insomuch that the heads, the draperies, the attitudes, the buildings, and all the other parts are full of loveliness and grace.

This man acquitted himself with no ordinary excellence in the obsequies of Buonarroti, as an Academician and very loving, and then in some scenes for the nuptials of Queen Joanna. Now, since not only in the Life of Ridolfo Ghirlandajo I have spoken of his disciple Michele and of Carlo da Loro, but also in other places, I shall say nothing more of them here, although they are of our Academy, enough having been said of them. But I will not omit to tell that other disciples and pupils of Ghirlandajo have been Andrea del Minga, likewise one of our Academicians, who has executed many works, as he still does; Girolamo di Francesco Crocifissaio, a young man of twenty-six, and Mirabello di Salincorno, both painters, who have done and continue to do such works of painting in oils and in fresco, and also portraits, that a most honourable result may be expected from them.

These two executed together, now several years ago, some pictures in fresco in the Church of the Capuchins without Florence, which are passing good; and in the obsequies of Michelagnolo and the above-mentioned nuptials, also they did themselves much honour. Mirabello has painted many portraits, and in particular that of the most illustrious Prince more than once, and many others that are in the hands of various gentlemen of Florence. Another, also, who has done much honour to our Academy and to himself, is Federigo di Lamberto of Amsterdam, a Fleming, the son-in-law of the Paduan Cartaro, working in the said obsequies and in the festive preparations for the nuptials of the Prince, and besides this he has shown in many pictures painted in oils, both large and small, and in other works that he has executed, a good manner and good design and judgment.

And if he has merited praise up to the present, he will merit even more in the future, for he is labouring constantly with much advantage in Florence, which he appears to have chosen as his country, that city being one where young men derive much benefit from competition and emulation. A beautiful genius, also, universal and abundant in fine fantasies, has been shown by Bernardo Timante Buontalenti, who had his first principles of painting in his youth from Vasari, and then, continuing, has made so much proficiency that he has now served for many years, and still serves with much favour, the most illustrious Lord Don Francesco de' Medici, Prince of Florence.

That lord has kept him continually at work; and he has executed for his Excellency many works in miniature after the manner of Don Giulio Clovio, such as many portraits and scenes with little figures, painted with much diligence. The same Bernardo has made with a beautiful architectural design, by order of the said Prince, a cabinet with compartments of ebony and columns of heliotrope, oriental jasper, and lapis-lazuli, which have bases and capitals of chased silver; and besides this he has filled the whole surface of the work with jewels and most lovely ornaments of silver and beautiful little figures, within which ornaments are to be miniatures, and, between terminals placed in pairs, figures of silver and gold in the round, separated by other compartments of agate, jasper, heliotrope, sardonyx, cornelian, and others of the finest stones, to describe all which here would make a very long story.

It is enough that in this work, which is near completion, Bernardo has displayed a most beautiful genius, equal to any work. Thus that lord makes use of him for many ingenious fantasies of his own of cords for drawing weights, of windlasses, and of lines; besides that he has discovered a method of fusing rock-crystal with ease and of purifying it, and has made with it scenes and vases of several colours; for Bernardo occupies himself with everything.

This, also, will be seen in a short time in the making of vases of porcelain with all the perfection of the most ancient and most perfect; in which at the present day a most excellent master is Giulio da Urbino, who is in the service of the most illustrious Duke Alfonso II of Ferrara, and does stupendous things in the way of vases with several kinds of clay, and to those in porcelain he gives the most beautiful shapes, besides fashioning with the same earth little squares, octagons, and rounds, hard and with an extraordinary polish, for making pavements counterfeiting the appearance of variegated marbles; of all which things our Prince has the methods of making them.

His Excellency has also caused a beginning to be made with the executing of a study-table with precious stones, richly adorned, as an accompaniment to another belonging to his father, Duke Cosimo. And not long ago he had one finished after the design of Vasari, which is a rare work, being of oriental alabaster all inlaid with great pieces of jasper, heliotrope, cornelian, lapis-lazuli, and agate, with other stones and jewels of price that are worth twenty thousand crowns.

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This study-table has been executed by Bernardino di Porfirio of Leccio in the neighbourhood of Florence, who is excellent in such work, and who made for Messer Bindo Altoviti an octagon of ebony and ivory inlaid likewise with jaspers, after the design of the same Vasari; which Bernardino is now in the service of their Excellencies. But to return to Bernardo: Bernardo was employed, also, with much credit to him, for the nuptials of his and our Prince, in certain masquerades, in the Triumph of Dreams, as will be told, and in the interludes of the comedy that was performed in the Palace, as has been described exhaustively by others.

And if this man, when he was a youth although even now he is not past thirty , had given his attention to the studies of art as he gave it to the methods of fortification, in which he spent no little time, he would be perchance now at such a height of excellence as would astonish everyone; none the less, it is believed that he is bound for all that to achieve the same end, although something later, for the reason that he is all genius and art, to which is added this also, that he is continually employed and exercised by his sovereign, and in the most honourable works.

Of our Academy, also, is Giovanni della Strada, a Fleming, who has good design, the finest fantasy, much invention, and a good manner of colouring; and, having made much proficience during the ten years that he has worked in the Palace in distemper, fresco, and oils, after the designs and directions of Giorgio Vasari, he can bear comparison with any of the many painters that the said Lord Duke has in his service.

But at the present day the principal task of this man is to make cartoons for various arras-tapestries that the Duke and the Prince are having executed, likewise under the direction of Vasari, of divers kinds in accordance with the stories in painting that are on high in the rooms and chambers painted by Vasari in the Palace, for the adornment of which they are being made, to the end that the embellishment of tapestries below may correspond to the pictures above.

For the chambers of Saturn, Ops, Ceres, Jove, and Hercules, he has made most lovely cartoons for about thirty pieces of tapestry; and for the upper chambers where the Princess has her habitation, which are four, dedicated to the virtues of woman, with stories of Roman, Hebrew, Greek, and Tuscan women namely, the Sabines, Esther, Penelope, and Gualdrada , he has made, likewise, very beautiful cartoons for tapestries. In like manner, he has done the same for ten pieces of tapestry in a hall, in which is the Life of Man; and also for the five lower rooms where the Prince dwells, dedicated to David, Solomon, Cyrus, and others.

And for twenty rooms in the Palace of Poggio a Caiano, for which the tapestries are even now being woven, he has made after the inventions of the Duke cartoons of the hunting of every kind of animal, and the methods of fowling and fishing, with the strangest and most beautiful inventions in the world; in which variety of animals, birds, fishes, landscapes, and vestments, with huntsmen on foot and on horseback, fowlers in various habits, and nude fishermen, he has shown and still shows that he is a truly able man, and that he has learned well the Italian manner, being minded to live and die in Florence in the service of his most illustrious lords, in company with Vasari and the other Academicians.

Another pupil of Vasari, likewise, and also an Academician, is Jacopo di Maestro Piero Zucca, a young Florentine of twenty-five or twenty-six years, who, having assisted Vasari to execute the greater part of the works in the Palace, and in particular the ceiling of the Great Hall, has made so much proficience in design and in the handling of colours, labouring with much industry, study, and assiduity, that he can now be numbered among the first of the young painters in our Academy.

And the works that he has done by himself alone in the obsequies of Michelagnolo, in the nuptials of the most illustrious Lord Prince, and at other times for various friends, in which he has shown intelligence, boldness, diligence, grace, and good judgment, have made him known as a gifted youth and an able painter; but even more will those make him known that may be expected from him in the future, doing as much honour to his country as has been done to her by any painter at any time.

In like manner, among other young painters of the Academy, Santi Titi may be called ingenious and able, who, as has been told in other places, after having practised for many years in Rome, has returned finally to enjoy Florence, which he regards as his country, although his elders are of Borgo a San Sepolcro and of a passing good family in that city. This Santi acquitted himself truly excellently in the works that he executed for the obsequies of Buonarroti and the above-mentioned nuptials of the most illustrious Princess, but even more, after great and almost incredible labours, in the scenes that he painted in the theatre which he made for the same nuptials on the Piazza di S.

Lorenzo, for the most illustrious Lord Paolo Giordano Orsino, Duke of Bracciano; wherein he painted in chiaroscuro, on several immense pieces of canvas, stories of the actions of various illustrious men of the Orsini family. But how able he is can be perceived best from two altar-pieces by his hand that are to be seen, one of which is in Ognissanti, or rather, S.

Salvadore di Fiorenza as it is now called , once the church of the Padri Umiliati, and now of the Zoccolanti, and contains the Madonna on high and at the foot S. Jerome, and other Saints; and in the other, which is in S. Croce, in the Chapel of the Guardi, is a Nativity of Our Lord executed with much diligence, with many portraits from life. Not to speak of many pictures of Our Lady and various portraits that he has painted in Rome and in Florence, and pictures executed in the Vatican, as has been related above.


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There are also certain other young painters of the same Academy who have been employed in the above-mentioned decorations, some of Florence and some of the Florentine States. Alessandro del Barbiere, a young Florentine of twenty-five, besides many other works, painted for the said nuptials in the Palace, after the designs and directions of Vasari, the canvases of the walls in the Great Hall, wherein were depicted the squares of all the cities in the dominion of the Lord Duke; in which he certainly acquitted himself very well, and proved himself a young man of judgment and likely to achieve any success.

In the same Academy there are also many excellent craftsmen who are strangers, of whom we have spoken at length in various places above; and therefore it shall suffice here to make known their names, to the end that they may be numbered in this part among the other Academicians. Now, to say something also of the sculptors in our Academy and of their works, although I do not intend to speak of them at any length, because they are alive and for the most part most illustrious in name and fame, I say that Benvenuto Cellini, a citizen of Florence, who is now a sculptor to begin with the oldest and most honoured , had no peer in his youth when he was a goldsmith, nor perhaps had he for many years any equal in that profession and in making most beautiful figures in the round and in low-relief, and all the other works of that craft.

He set jewels, and adorned them with marvellous collets and with little figures so well wrought, and at times so bizarre and fantastic that it is not possible to imagine anything finer or better. And the medals that he made in his youth, of silver and gold, were executed with incredible diligence, nor can they ever be praised enough. He made in Rome for Pope Clement VII a very beautiful morse for a pluvial, setting in it excellently well a pointed diamond surrounded by some children made of gold plate, and a God the Father marvellously wrought; wherefore, besides his payment, he received as a gift from that Pope an office of mace-bearer.

Being then commissioned by the same Pontiff to make a chalice of gold, the cup of which was to be supported by figures representing the Theological Virtues, he carried it near completion with most marvellous artistry. In these same times there was no one who made the medals of that Pope better than he did, among the many who essayed it, as those well know who saw his medals and possess them; and since for these reasons he received the charge of making the dies for the Mint of Rome, no more beautiful coins have ever been seen than were struck in Rome at that time.

Wherefore Benvenuto, after the death of Clement, having returned to Florence, likewise made dies with the head of Duke Alessandro for the coins of the Mint of Florence, so beautiful and wrought with such diligence, that some of them are now preserved as if they were most beautiful antique medals, and that rightly, for the reason that in these he surpassed himself. Having finally given himself to sculpture and to the work of casting, Benvenuto executed in France many works in bronze, silver, and gold, while he was in the service of King Francis in that kingdom. Then, having returned to his own country and entered the service of Duke Cosimo, he was first employed in some goldsmiths' work, and in the end was given some works of sculpture; whereupon he executed in metal the statue of the Perseus that has cut off the head of Medusa, which is in the Piazza del Duca, near the door of the Ducal Palace, upon a base of marble with some very beautiful figures in bronze, each about one braccio and a third in height.

This whole work was carried to perfection with the greatest possible study and diligence, and set up in the above-named place as a worthy companion to the Judith by the hand of Donato, that famous and celebrated sculptor. And certainly it was a marvel that Benvenuto, after being occupied for so many years in making little figures, executed so great a statue with such excellence.

The same master has made a Crucifix of marble, in the round and large as life, which of its kind is the rarest and most beautiful piece of sculpture that there is to be seen. Where do you run? The hour demands no such help, nor defences such as these,. Here, I beg you,. So she spoke and drew the old man towards her,. Pyrrhus chases after him, eager to strike him,. When finally he reached the eyes and gaze of his parents,.

Yet Achilles, whose son you falsely claim to be, was no. So the old man spoke, and threw his ineffectual spear. Pyrrhus spoke to him: A once mighty body lies on the shore, the head. Then for the first time a wild terror gripped me. I looked back, and considered the troops that were round me. They had all left me, wearied, and hurled their bodies to earth,. So I was alone now, when I saw the daughter of Tyndareus,.

Afraid of Trojans angered at the fall of Troy,. Greek vengeance, and the fury of a husband she deserted,. Fire blazed in my spirit: When Priam has been put to the sword? Troy consumed with fire? The Dardanian shore soaked again and again with blood? I blurted out these words, and was rushing on with raging mind,. Where has your care for what is ours vanished? First will you not see whether Creusa, your wife, and your child. Ascanius still live, and where you have left your father Anchises. The Greek ranks surround them on all sides,. You do not hate the face of the Spartan daughter of Tyndareus,.

Neptune is shaking the walls, and the foundations, stirred. There, Juno, the fiercest, is first to take the Scaean Gate, and,. Now, see, Tritonian Pallas, standing on the highest towers,. Father Jupiter himself supplies the Greeks with. Hurry your departure, son, and put an end. I will not leave you, and I will place you. Then in truth all Ilium seemed to me to sink in flames,.

I descend, and, led by a goddess, am freed from flames. As for me, if the gods had wished to lengthen. Depart, saying farewell to my body. I shall find death with my own hand: Clinging to old age for so long,. I am useless, and hated by the gods, ever since. So he persisted in saying, and remained adamant. We, on our side, Creusa, my wife, and Ascanius, all our household,. He refused and clung to his place and his purpose. I hurried to my weapons again, and, miserably, longed for death,. Did such sinful words fall from your lips?

If it pleases the gods to leave nothing of our great city standing,. Kind mother, did you rescue me from fire and sword. Weapons men, bring weapons: Lead me to the Greeks again: This day we shall not all perish unavenged. So, again, I fasten on my sword, slip my left arm. But see, my wife clings to the threshold, clasps my foot,.

To whom do you abandon little Iulus,. Crying out like this she filled the whole house with her groans,. See, between the hands and faces of his grieving parents,. Trembling with fear, we hurry to flick away the blazing strands,. But Anchises, my father, lifts his eyes to the heavens, in delight,.


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  • The old man had barely spoken when, with a sudden crash,. We watched it glide over the highest rooftops,. At this my father, truly overcome, raised himself towards the sky,. I follow, and where you lead, there am I. Gods of my fathers, save my line, save my grandson.

    This omen is yours, and Troy is in your divine power. I accept, my son, and I will not refuse to go with you. He speaks, and now the fire is more audible,. Whatever may happen, it will be for us both, the same shared risk,. Let little Iulus come with me,. My wife walks behind. We walk on through the shadows. And now I was near the gates, and thought I had completed. I see their glittering shields and gleaming bronze. Some hostile power, at this, scattered my muddled wits. Or did she wander from the path or collapse with weariness? She was never restored to our sight,.

    Here when all were gathered together at last, one was missing,. What man or god did I not accuse in my madness: I place Ascanius, and my father Anchises, and the gods of Troy,. I myself seek the city once more, and take up my shining armour. First I look for the wall, and the dark threshold of the gate. Everywhere the terror in my heart, and the silence itself,. Then I take myself homewards, in case. The Greeks have invaded, and occupied, the whole house. Suddenly eager fire, rolls over the rooftop, in the wind: Now Phoenix, and fatal Ulysses, the chosen guards, watch over.

    Here the Trojan treasures are gathered from every part,. Mothers and trembling sons stand round in long ranks. I even dared to hurl my shouts through the shadows,. Searching, and raging endlessly among the city roofs,. I was dumbfounded, my hair stood on end, and my voice. Then she spoke and with these words. This has not happened. Yours is long exile, you must plough. There, happiness, kingship and a royal wife.

    Banish these tears for your beloved Creusa. I, a Trojan woman, and daughter-in-law to divine Venus,. Now farewell, and preserve your love for the son we share.

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    When she had spoken these words, leaving me weeping. Three times I tried to throw my arms about her neck: So at last when night was done, I returned to my friends. And here, amazed, I found that a great number of new. They had come from all sides, ready, with courage and wealth,. And now Lucifer was rising above the heights of Ida,. I desisted, and, carrying my father, took to the hills. Summer had barely begun,. I left my native shore with tears, the harbour and the fields. I travelled the deep, an exile,. Far off is a land of vast plains where Mars is worshipped. I went there, and founded my first city.

    I was making a sacrifice to the gods, and my mother Venus,. By chance, there was a mound nearby, crowned with cornel. I went near, and trying to tear up green wood from the soil. From the first bush, its broken roots torn from the ground,. An icy shiver gripped my limbs, and my blood chilled with terror. Again I went on to pluck a stubborn shoot from another,. But when I attacked the third. Oh, leave this cruel land: For I am Polydorus.

    Here a crop of iron spears. Then truly I was stunned, my mind crushed by anxious dread,. Priam, the unfortunate, seeing the city encircled by the siege,. When the power of Troy was broken, and her fortunes ebbed,. Accursed hunger for gold, to what do you. When terror had left my bones. All were of one mind, to leave this wicked land, and depart.

    So we renewed the funeral rites for Polydorus, and piled. We set out from harbour, and lands and cities recede. In the depths of the sea lies a sacred island, dearest of all. King Anius, both king of the people and high-priest of Apollo,. Whom should we follow? Where do you command us to go? Where should we settle? Grant us an omen, father, to stir our hearts. I had scarcely spoken: Humbly we seek the earth, and a voice comes to our ears: Search out your ancient mother.

    There the house of Aeneas shall rule all shores,. Then my father, thinking of the records of the ancients, said: Crete lies in the midst of the sea, the island of mighty Jove,. They inhabit a hundred great cities, in the richest of kingdoms,. Until then Ilium and the towers of the citadel. The Mother who inhabits Cybele is Cretan, and the cymbals. So come, and let us follow. It is no long journey away: So saying, he sacrificed the due offerings at the altars,.

    A rumour spread that Prince Idomeneus had been driven. A wind rising astern sent us on our way, and at last. Then I worked eagerly on the walls of our chosen city, and called. Now the ships were usually beached on the dry sand: I was deciding on laws and homesteads: They relinquished sweet life, or dragged their sick limbs.

    My father urged us to retrace the waves, and revisit. The sacred statues of the gods, the Phrygian Penates,. When Try burned we followed you and your weapons,. Build great walls for the great,. These are not the shores that Delian. Apollo urged on you, he did not order you to settle in Crete. There is a place the Greeks call Hesperia by name,. That is our true home, Dardanus and father Iasius,. Come, bear these words of truth joyfully to your old father,.

    Jupiter denies the fields of Dicte to you. Amazed by such a vision, and the voices of the gods,. The rite completed, with joy. I told Anchises of this revelation, revealing it all in order. He understood about the ambiguity in our origins, and the dual. Now I remember her foretelling that this was destined for our race,. So he spoke, and we were delighted to obey his every word.

    We departed this home as well, and, leaving some people behind,. When the fleet had reached the high seas and the land. Immediately the winds rolled over the water and great seas rose: Storm-clouds shrouded the day, and the night mists. We were thrown off course, and wandered the blind waves. Palinurus himself was unable to tell night from day in the sky,.

    So for three days, and as many starless nights,. At last, on the fourth day, land was first seen to rise,. The sails fell, we stood to the oars: There dread Celaeno and the rest. No worse monsters than these, no crueller plague,. These birds have the faces of virgin girls,. Now when, arriving here, we enter port,. We rush at them with our swords, calling on Jove himself. But suddenly the Harpies arrive, in a fearsome swoop. We set out the tables again, and relight the altar fires,. Then I order my friends.

    They do exactly that, obeying orders, placing hidden swords. Then when the birds swoop, screaming, along the curved beach,. Misenus, from his high lookout, gives the signal on hollow bronze. My friends charge, and, in a new kind of battle, attempt. Only Celaeno, ominous prophetess, settles on a high cliff,. Take these words of mine to your hearts then, and set them there. I, the eldest of the Furies, reveal to you what the all-powerful. Father prophesied to Apollo, and Phoebus Apollo to me.

    Italy is the path you take, and, invoking the winds,. She spoke, and fled back to the forest borne by her wings. And my father Anchises, with outstretched hands, on the shore,. South winds stretched the canvas: Now wooded Zacynthus appeared amongst the waves,. Soon the cloudy heights of Mount Leucata were revealed,.

    We headed wearily for it, and approached the little town: So, beyond hope, achieving land at last, we purify. My naked companions, slippery with oil,. Meanwhile the sun rolls through the long year. I fix a shield of hollow bronze, once carried by mighty Abas,. We soon leave behind the windblown heights of Phaeacia,. Here a rumour of something unbelievable greeted our ears: Andromache being given again to a husband of her race.

    I was astounded, and my heart burned with an amazing passion. I walked from the harbour, leaving the fleet and the shore,. Andromache was making an annual offering, sad gifts,. When she saw me approaching and recognised,. She half-fell and after a long while, scarcely able to, said: Or if the kindly light has faded,.

    I barely replied with a few words, and, moved, I spoke disjointedly: What fate has overtaken you, fallen. Or has good fortune worthy enough. Carried over distant seas, my country set afire, I endured. But Orestes, inflamed by great love for his stolen bride,. Chaonia, after Chaon of Troy, and built a Pergamus,. But what winds, what fates, set your course for you?

    Or what god drives you, unknowingly, to our shores? What of the child, Ascanius? Does he live, and graze on air,. Has he any love still for his lost mother? Have his father Aeneas and his uncle Hector roused. Weeping, she poured out these words, and was starting. I walked on, and saw a little Troy, and a copy of the great. My Trojans enjoyed the friendly city with me no less. The king received them in a broad colonnade: Now day after day has gone by, and the breezes call. I go to Helenus, the seer, with these words and ask: Following what course can I overcome such troubles?

    Helenus, first sacrificing bullocks according to the ritual,. Firstly, a long pathless path, by long coastlines, separates. Before you can build your city in a safe land,. When, in your distress, you find a huge sow lying on the shore,. And do not dread that gnawing of tables, in your future: But avoid these lands, and this nearer coastline. The Narycian Locri have built a city here,. Then when your fleet has crossed the sea, and anchored. Let your friends adopt this mode of sacrifice, and yourself: But when the wind carries you, on leaving, to the Sicilian shore,. They say, when the two were one continuous stretch of land,.

    The sea flowed between them with force, and severed. Scylla holds the right side, implacable Charybdis the left,. But a cave surrounds Scylla with dark hiding-places,. Above she has human shape, and is a girl, with lovely breasts,. It is better to round the point of Pachynus,.

    Beyond this, if Helenus has any knowledge, if the seer. Once brought there, approach the city of Cumae,. Whatever verses the virgin writes on the leaves,. They stay in place, motionless, and keep in rank: Though your friends complain, and though your course. She will rehearse the peoples of Italy, the wars to come,. These are the things you can be warned of by my voice. Go now, and by your actions raise great Troy to the stars. After the seer had spoken these words with benign lips,.

    There were gifts of his own for my father too. Helenus added horses and sea-pilots: Meanwhile Anchises ordered us to rig sails on the ships,. But still you must slide past it on the seas: Why should I say more,. Andromache also, grieved at this final parting, brought robes. Take these last gifts from your kin,. O you, the sole image left to me of my Astyanax. He had the same eyes, the same hands, the same lips: My tears welled as I spoke these parting words: For you, peace is achieved: I wish that you might gaze at your likeness of Xanthus,.

    We sail on over the sea, close to the Ceraunian cliffs nearby,. Meanwhile the sun is setting and the darkened hills are in shadow. Having shared oars, we stretch out, near the waves, on the surface. Night, lead by the Hours, is not yet in mid-course: Palinurus rises alertly from his couch, tests all. Arcturus, the rainy Pleiades, both the Bears,. And now Dawn blushes as she puts the stars to flight,. First Achates proclaims Italy, then my companions. Then my father Anchises.

    The wind we longed-for rises, now as we near, a harbour opens,. My companions furl the sails and turn the prows to shore. The harbour is carved in an arc by the eastern tides: Here I see four horses in the long grass, white as snow,. And my father Anchises cries: Yet those same creatures one day can be yoked to a chariot,.

    Without delay, as soon as our vows are fully paid,. Then far off Sicilian Etna appears from the waves,. Then my father, Anchises, said: Pull away, O comrades, and stand to the oars together. We climb to heaven on the curving flood, and again. The cliffs boom three times in their rocky caves,. Then the wind and sunlight desert weary men,. That night we hide in the woods, enduring the dreadful shocks,. Now the next day was breaking with the first light of dawn,.

    Vile with filth, his beard uncut,. When he saw the Dardan clothes and Trojan weapons, far off,. He spoke and clung to my knees, embracing them. We urged him to say who he was,. Without much delay, my father Anchises himself gave. At last he set his fears aside and told us: Achaemenides by name, and, my father Adamastus being poor,.

    I wish fate had kept me so! I set out for Troy. He himself is gigantic, striking against. He eats the dark blood and flesh of wretched men. I saw myself how he seized two of our number in his huge hands,. I saw how he gnawed their limbs, dripping with dark clots. Yet he did not go unpunished: As soon as the Cyclops, full of flesh and sated with wine,. But fly from here, wretched men,. Since, like Polyphemus, who pens. The branches yield a miserable supply of fruits and stony cornelian.

    Watching for everything, I saw, for the first time, this fleet. Whatever might happen, I surrendered myself. A lopped pine-trunk in his hand steadied and guided. As soon as he came to the sea and reached the deep water,. Then he walked through. Anxiously we hurried our departure from there, accepting. He heard, and bent his course towards the sound of splashing. But when he was denied the power to set hands on us,.

    We saw them standing there, impotently, wild-eyed,. Acute fear drove us on to pay out the ropes on whatever tack. When, behold, a northerly arrived from the narrow. I sailed past the natural rock mouth. Such were the shores Achaemenides, the friend of unlucky Ulysses,. An island lies over against wave-washed Plemyrium,. The story goes that Alpheus, a river of Elis, forced. As commanded we worshipped the great gods of this land,. Next we passed the tall reefs and jutting rocks of Pachynus,.

    Then steep Acragas, once the breeder of brave horses,. Next the harbour of Drepanum, and its joyless shore,. Here, alas, I lost my father, Anchises,.

    Helenus, the seer, did not prophesy this grief of mine,. One day as I was getting ready for work, I was in the hallway and suddenly a CAT streaked out of the mouse room! Of course I didn't have a cat! It had gotten in through the window. Screens are not common in Ireland. We assumed both mice had gone to their demise and we would never see them again.

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    And sadly, this was true for one of them. Five days later I got home from work, and my French boyfriend's little brother, who spoke no English, handed me a little paper bag. I looked inside and it was Sugar!!! I asked him what had happened and he told me that the person had spoken to him and handed him the bag. He thought that was a little strange. I had no other mice, so he did not know I was a mouse person. He only knew to give it to me because he recognized my name.

    So I went to my neighbors and asked around. I got the full story. I was in a housing complex nothing like the awful ones we have in the States! The little yards were separated by 5' tall stone walls. Little Sugar had managed to avoid 5 neighborhood cats; climb all four stone walls; had been seen sauntering through another neighbor's lawn of course she was white She had ended up in the kitchen of the last house on the row. The mother in the house saw the mouse and grabbed a cleaver and wanted to kill her. But the two year old girl, much like the girl in Charlotte's web saving the baby piglet Wilbur, cried out "No!

    That's Natasha's mouse Sugar! So this is how she came to me in a little paper bag. Of course we changed her name to Conquistadora, Killer of Cats. After that, the five neighborhood cats went nuts trying trying to get into our house! Apparently the cat, like a bee, had told the others where the tasty breakfasts were. We couldn't leave a single window open on the ground floor, not even the little windows high up over the sink, as I found out one day when a cat practically fell into the sink as I was washing dishes.

    Obviously I could not smuggle her with me, because they were going nuts checking baggage. I tried and tried to find a place for her. Even the neighborhood mothers said no. People do not have pet mice on Ireland. So she was going to have to be put to sleep. We brought her to the vet. The receptionist suddenly had an idea. She made a phone call and they said yes! We got directions and followed a tortured route those Irish roads can be crazy! The first animal I saw was a lynx. They also had an owl with a broken wing, and other injured animals.

    I handed over the cage. I had two rats Roxanne and Juniper and two cats Matilda and Merlin living with me in a studio apartment so we have no choice but to live together without doors! Merlin was a greedy cat and the bars of my rat cage were wide enough for the cats to easily stick their arms in and take their chances at being biten by a rat. Turns out that cats still have faster reflexes than rats However, this meant that Merlin could access his favourite treat: I caught him sticking his paw in the cage and scooping out lab blocks from the food tray that was secured to the bars using zip ties for himself on my way out of the house.

    I decided to deal with it later. Well, when I got home, my little Roxanne who was such a smarty pants, had dealt with the problem herself. She took one of her flannel blankets and covered the food up! She even tucked the blanket into all the corners of the rectangular food dish! This was enough for Merlin to no longer be able to access the food. Once again, the rat outsmarted the cat! She was a little hooded rat who we'd called the Magic Rat because of how amazing and fearless she was. We'd rescued her and her sister who were tiny runts compared to their four sisters.

    Both were pure love. And both lived barely more than a year. Chaska died way too young. She was always unusual. Fearless and full of love. She would just leap amazing heights with no fear of falling. She sang when she saw us, and louder when she found chocolate. She's the only rat we had who would get outside and visit neighbors. One morning I opened the fridge, and there she was, chortling and having eaten most of the chocolate. Anyway, we were grieving terribly for her, and the day after she died, she took over the body of Chipchuy I hope willingly and did things to both me and my ex, that only Chaska had ever done, and which Chipchuy had never seen.

    Chip was a very different personality -- very quiet, passive, sweet. Chaska was intense, fearless, determined to do what she wanted. Suddenly, Chipchuy had Chaska's intensity, look, and feel. Just like Chaska, Chipchuy gave me "that look," ran up my chest, opened my mouth, and went inside up to her shoulders, licking my tongue and scraping my teeth with her tiny teeth.

    It's not a real teeth cleaning, but a way of grooming humans and involves a lot of trust since they could bite us and we could eat them. I just love it, but it's not very common. The feel was identical to Chaska, and then she finished, stared at Andy, and did it to her. For three days in a row. Chip also began chasing the other rats and grooming them until they shrieked, which is what only Chas had ever done.

    And then she seemed to fade back to Chipchuy. I don't know if Chaska wanted to comfort us since we were inconsolable, or if it was a job she wanted to be done whether dead or alive, but what a gift. I've never known anyone to come back, including my mother. But then I wonder if she would have had to hit me on the head to get my attention. There is no ignoring a rat going in your mouth. What a gift they give us, to know there is life after death. Well, at least for rats, but then I believe spiritually they are superior to humans. I will miss you so much.

    I saw you cross the Rainbow Bridge and you smelled the cheese on the trees and heard the soy yogurt waterfalls and saw the muffin bushes and the avocado chunk flowers, and you lifted your little nose and sniffed and then, with one look back at me, scampered across, breathing in the fresh air. My little old gentleman rat, you are young again on the other side of the Bridge.

    Scooter, I will bury you next to Chauncey, under the tree by the lake, and you two will be friends like you could not be in life, though I'm sure you would have been, given the chance. And you will look down at us and smile and wish we would stop crying. And we will as soon as we can, little Scoot. The little boys will miss you-- who will tell them to stop beating each other up now? Oh Scooter Scooter Scooter we will miss you, miss you, miss you. I have always been fond of animals and there wasn't an animal that i didnt like. I'm not terribly sure what made me decide to get rats but I'm glad that i did get rats.

    I went to a pet shop i didnt know at the time how bad some of them are and i looked into the cage of young rats. They grew very friendly very quickly and before i knew it i was attached to them. My OCD melted away at a remarkable rate! We had been told that these two rats were males so we called them Dimitri and Peter but as time went on i discovered that they were both girls! When Azura and penny were nearly two years old i got up one morning and was greeted by my two ratties but Penny was walking funny.

    I picked her up and turned her over only to see that Penny's uterus had prolapsed. I made an appointment at the vet but when i got there the vet told me that there was nothing that could be done and told me that to prevent her going through pain, she should be put to sleep. I sobbed and cried as i watched my baby falling asleep.

    I decided to get two new baby rats to keep Azura company. My local rescue centre had two young girl rats. I quickly went and collected them and brought them home. When i introduced them to Azura, she quickly showed them that she was in charge but then she played with them and love them and they loved her too! I noticed a small lump on Azura so i took her to the vet. The vet said that it looked like a cyst and he booked her in for removal surgery. I drpped her off for her surgery but i got a phone call about an hour later.

    He vet had shaved her and examined the lump and discovered that it was actually a very nasty kind of tumour that he couldnt remove. He let me take her home and told me that in a short while it would start to get paunful for her and when that time comes i should bring her in to have her put to sleep. She is still alive but i fear that her last days are drawing nearer. I making sure she knows how much i love her. I miss Penny, she wa such a sweetie, when Azura was running around exploring she would stay very close to me and run back to check that i was ok.

    Azura is loving and kind, she always enjoys just sitting watching films with me and taking naps inside my jumper. Azura will be with her soon and so will I. Your stare was holdin' naked tails, tickling whiskers, tiny little hands, cute twitchen nose,. Your stare was holdin', naked tails, tickling whiskers ' tiny little hands, cute twitchen nose'. From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a rat," or, "that's a lot of money for just a rat. They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for "just a rat.

    Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a rat," but I did not once feel slighted. Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a rat," and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a rat" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day. If you, too, think it's "just a rat," then you will probably understand phrases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise. Because of "just a rat", I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a rat" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.

    I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a rat", but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a man or woman.

    So the next time you hear the phrase "just a rat" just smile One of my gerbils, Dart, had a severe stroke on March 17th, It was really sad to see him like he was, but I don't think he was in any pain. He had trouble moving. It's like his mind was fine, but he couldn't make his body do what he wanted it to do. His cheeks and sweet little face were sagging. His hind legs didn't work right, and when he tried to run, he sort of hobbled really fast diagonally. It was hard to tell for the first week or two if he is getting better or staying the same.

    It was just pitiful. He kept tumbling over when he tried to stand on his hind legs. It was immensely difficult for him to do basic things. He would wobble back and forth while trying to eat his food, and would fall over when he would try to take a drink. He lost a lot of weight hand his fur was all messed up. However, he was still alert and trying to be active. He stayed responsive and continued eating and drinking, despite his severe motor issues, which gave us hope. A couple of weeks later, I had to clean out their tank.

    I managed to catch him in a cup to get him out into the play pen while I dumped out the tank, but when I tried to get him back in, he wouldn't fall for the trick again. He was acting completely unlike himself. He panicked at the slightest noise. I accidentally made a noise by picking up a toy, moving my foot, or moving the cup, and he would freak out.

    That is nothing like my baby. Normally, he wouldn't care what kind of noise was going on at all. Since he had the stroke, he was super-alert to all noises and couldn't be held. While he was in the pen, he was twitchy and panicky. Once, he jerked up into the air like he was having a fit. Some gerbil people I discussed this behavior with suggested that he was behaving that way because he knew something was wrong with him and that he felt vulnerable because of it. He is now back to his old self, and loves sitting in my hand to eat and coming out for play time.

    About another week later, when he was finally showing signs of improvement, he had another stroke. This one was minor, whereas the other had been very severe. Despite the additional minor stroke, he continued to progress. He was too skinny, but put weight back on.

    Too much weight at first. He is almost back to being completely normal I suspect there will always be slight motor damage , but during his recovery he couldn't get around very well, so he wasn't getting enough exercise. With time and practice, he is now able to use his wheel and run around like a normal little gerbil. In conclusion, at times the situation can seem hopeless, but sometimes our babies will manage to pull through. It was awful to watch Dart go through this, but I couldn't be happier that I am the one taking care of him. He is a very inspiring little guy.

    He continued to have a strong spirit even though he was fighting with losing odds. Here is a recent picture of my Dart: About a week ago, I found a young rat on my front lawn. She was so scared that she just climbed up my pant leg and into my arms! Despite the fact that she looks pretty wild, she is very tame When I first got her, she was in really bad shape.

    She was severely underweight, had scratches all over her body, a swollen nose and her breathing was very labored. I wasn't even sure if she would make it through the first night.

    Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes) Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes)
    Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes) Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes)
    Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes) Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes)
    Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes) Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes)
    Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes) Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes)
    Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes) Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes)
    Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes) Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes)
    Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes) Owl Minervas Overflying: (a rainbow for your eyes)
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