Benvenuto Cellini (15001571). Autobiography. The Harvard Classics. 190914.
I RECEIVED frequent letters from France, written by my most faithful friend Messer Guido Guidi. As yet they told nothing but good news; and Ascanio also bade me enjoy myself without uneasiness, since, if anything happened, he would let me know at once.
Now the King was informed that I had commenced working for the Duke of Florence, and being the best man in the world, he often asked: Why does not Benvenuto come back to us? He put searching questions on the subject to my two workmen, both of whom replied that I kept writing I was well off where I was, adding they thought I did not want to re-enter the service of his Majesty. Incensed by these presumptuous words, which were none of my saying, the King exclaimed: Since he left us without any cause, I shall not recall him; let him een stay where he is. Thus the thievish brigands brought matters exactly to the pass they desired; for if I had returned to France, they would have become mere workmen under me once more, whereas, while I remained away, they were their own masters and in my place; consequently, they did everything in their power to prevent my coming back.