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The Artist Lover.


With an Engraving. One day in the year 1410, there wandered, crying, through the streets of Florence, a little beggar boy hardly two years old, who could only say to the charitable way-farers who asked what his troubles were, that his name was Filippo Lippi, and that his father and mother were both dead. So from street to street he wandered on, sobbing as he went, till, havmg stopped on the steps of a Catholic monastery, some of the worthy brothers took compassion on his misfortunes, and gave him shelter, and, as the story tellers say, took care of him till he grew to be a big boy..

He became, in the course of time, a novice in the monastery, and, as Fra’ Filippo Lippi, was likely to take as high rank as any man in that venerable institution. When, however, he was eighteen years old, the artist Masaccio, the most distinguished painter of the day, came to the convent to paint some pieces for the adornment of the chapel. Lippi watched him day by day, as his brush moved on, and took the greatest interest in his proceedings. His older friends among the Carmelites were kind enough to encourage the poor boy in his newly aroused zeal for art, and bade him try with the other students to copy some of these masterpieces which added so much to the beauty of their cloister home. Lippi tried, and tried again ;-he at once surpassed all his fellow students, and was thought by good judges to have at least equalled the works of Masaccio, although he had never received any instruction from him. The poor beggar boy of Florence at once became the most promising artist of his time.

Thus distinguished and happy, he gave up his plan of connecting himself with the church, and devoted himself entirely to art. It was but a few months after, that, while with some young friends, he was enjoying a delightful summer's day in a pleasure sail on the beautiful Tuscan sea, one of the Barbary corsairs which at that time infested the Mediterranean, pounced upon them-took them prisoners, and carried them to Tripoli

. Our young friend went through the routine of misery of slave markets, transfers, forced marches and starvation, till he was purchased by a Moorish nobleman who did not buy to sell again. The most distinguished artist of his day was thus made a poor hard-working slave.

A short time after, however, his master was absent for a day, al court, and as the lazy slaves whiled away their time as best they could, Lippi, with a piece of charcoal, made a sketch of his patron on the wall by which he was standing: The other slaves clustered around to see the prodigy. The arts of design were entirely unknown in those barbarous countries, and, like Catlin's Indians, they thought the work was magic. With every touch of the coal the portrait grew more and more like, so that when the nobleman returned from his day's labor, his astonished slaves led him at once to see the place where his counterfeit was fixed on the wall. Like them he wondered, but he was too sensible to be alarmed. He said at once that the talent of Lippi ought not to be lost to the world, and gave him his freedom. The grateful artist painted for him two fine pictures, and then took ship for Naples. Here he was received with enthusiasm, and

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