ONE of those busy personages who delight in spreading mischief came to inform me that Paolo Micceri had taken a house for his new lady and her mother, and that he made use of the most injurious and contemptuous expressions regarding me, to wit:
Poor Benvenuto! he paid the piper while I danced; and now he goes about boasting of the exploit. He thinks I am afraid of himI, who can wear a sword and dagger as well as he. But I would have him to know my weapons are as keen as his. I, too, am a Florentine, and come of the Micceri, a much better house than the Cellini any time of day.
In short, the vile informer painted the things in such colors to my disadvantage that it fired my whole blood. I was in a fever of the most dangerous kind. And feeling it must kill me unless it found vent, I had recourse to my usual means on such occasions. I called to my workman, Chioccia, to accompany me, and told another to follow me with my horse. On reaching the wretchs house, finding the door half open, I entered abruptly in. There he sat with his precious lady-love, his boasted sword and dagger beside him, in the very act of jesting with the elder woman upon my affairs. To slam the door, draw my sword and present the point to his throat, was the work of a moment, giving him no time to think of defending himself:
At this ludicrous appeal, so like a girls, and the ridiculous manner in which it was uttered, though I had a mind to kill, I lost half my rage and could not forbear laughing. Turning to Chioccia, however, I bade him make fast the door; for I was resolved to inflict the same punishment upon all three. Still with my sword-point at his throat, and pricking him a little now and then, I terrified him with the most desperate threats, and finding that he made no defense, was rather at a loss how to proceed. It was too poor a revengeit was nothingwhen suddenly it came into my head to make it effectual, and compel him to espouse the girl upon the spot.