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Legend Of The Madonna Della Sedia

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Among the most lovely Madonnas of thls famous artist is that called "Della Sedia" [oï the chair], anti there is a very pretty legend about ït whicli says tliat hnndredi ofyears ago there was a herinit named Father Bernardo, dwelling among tlie Italian hills; and that he was nmoli loved by the nelghboring peasants, wlio went to hfan for advict' and iiistnicliun. He often said that in his solitude he was not lom v, for he had twodaughtirs: one ofthemcould talk to him, but theothcr was diunh. J5y tne riaughtur who spoke he meant the daughterof a vne-dresser who lived near by. She was named Mury, and tlwavl trïed to do the utmost In her power tor the comfort of the lonely old bermlt, By his dumb dantrhter he mcant a grand old oak-tree that grew near his luit and sliullcred it lVoni storm, and hung its branches over him 80 lovinglv that the old man grew to feel it was lifie a dear frteqd to him. There wcre many birds in its branches to whom begave food, and they, in return, gave him sweet songs. Many times the woodmcn had wished to cut this tree down, but Father Bernardo prayed for its life, and it was spered to him. At last there carne a terrible winter - the stonns were so severve that fi'w trees and huts remained. and the treahets that rushed down the hills swept otTall that Huí tempest had left. At Last. after i dreadfnl ful stonn, Mary and her father went, wlth fearto see i f the hermit was still alive, for tbey thoiight hc must have perisliedi ]!ut when they canu: to him tlicy f id that 1 1 ! j iliiitiri , 1 ¦¦ 1 1 1 1 I . t . i !¦ l..i,l l.,ii',„i Ki,. i;r.. ma ilumo daughter bad saved his Ufo. On the coming ot the fVeshet, he bad k11"1 "V to the roof of liis hut, but lic toon suw that he wal Dot safe: tliiic as he cast his eye9 to heaven, th brunches ot tfaaoak SMDied to beud toward him, and beckon liim to come up to ttiem; so lic toik i few crusts of bread and clUnbed up mtci the ticc.wlicre he 8taid three duys. Below, everytning wasswept, away buttheoak slood Brmjand, at last, wlien the sun Dame out and the storm was euded, his otlier daughtcr carne to take him to her own home and nmke him warm and ïave liim food, tor this dreadful time of hunger and storm liad almost worn him out. Then the good Father Bernardo called on heaven to bless his two good daughters ho had saved his life, and prayed that in some way they inight bc distmgolshed together. Years paaeed, and the old hernait died. Mary married, and beenme the mother of two little boys; the old oak-tree had been cut down and made into wlnecasks. One day as Mary sat in the arbor, and her children were with her, - slie held the youngest to her tircast, and the older one ran around in merry play, - she called to ïnind the old herniit. and all the blessinfrsthat he had asked tor her, and she wondeied ithis prayers wouhl not be usweted in these children. Just then the little boy ran to his mother with n stick to which he had fastened a cross, and at that moment a young man caiue near. He had larjje, dreamy eyes, and a restless, weary look. And weary he was, for the thougol of a lovely picture was in his niinil, but not clear enou;h in form toenablc him to paint it. It was Baphael Saozio d'Ucbino, and when his glance feil upon the lovely, living picture ot Mary and her childreo, ne Baw, in flesh and blood before him, just the lovely dreain that had Qoated in big tboughtg. But he had only a pencil ! Ou whai could he draw 'i Just then his eyes feil on the sinooth cover of' the wiue-Caik stancing near by. He quiikly sketched upon it the outliinis ot Mary and her two boys, and when he went uway he took the oaken cover with him. And, tliereafter, he did not rest until, with his whole poul in his work, he had painted that wonderl'ul picture which we know as "La Madonna dellaSedia." Thus, atlength, was the prayer of Father Rernnrdn ftnawerfid. and liU tvt daufhters


Ann Arbor Courier
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