More profitable was some chance employment which was given to him by Filippo Archinto, a generous and accomplished young nobleman of Milan, who was ambitious to figure as a writer on Astronomy, and, it may be remarked, Archinto's benefactions were not confined to the payment for the hack work which Jerome did for him at this period.
His friend Filippo Archinto was loyal still, and zealous in working for his success, and as he had been recently promoted to high office in the Imperial service, his good word might be very valuable indeed.
Whatever befell he could hardly make his case worse; but whether Filippo had promised help or not, he showed himself now a true and valuable friend. There was in Milan a public lectureship in geometry and astronomy supported by a small endowment left by a certain Tommaso Plat, and to this post, which happened opportunely to be vacant, Cardan was appointed by the good offices of Filippo Archinto.
There seemed to be no other course open but another retreat to Milan. Archinto was rich in literary ambitions, which might perchance stimulate him to find farther work for the starving scholar: and there was Chiara also who would scarcely let her grandchild die of want.
He summoned his protégé to join him at Piacenza, whither he had gone to meet Paul III., hoping to advance Cardan's interests with the Pope; but though Marshal Brissac, the French king's representative, joined Archinto in advocating his cause, nothing was done, and Jerome returned disappointed to Milan.
Probably the thought of a profession of the Romish religion was not new to Winckelmann. At one time he had thought of begging his way to Rome, from cloister to cloister, under the pretence of a disposition to change his faith. In 1751, the papal nuncio, Archinto, was one of the visitors at Noethenitz.
In the foregoing pages reference was made to certain acts of benevolence done to Cardan by the family of Archinto. It is not impossible that the promises and persuasions of his young patron Filippo may have had some weight in inducing Jerome to shift his home once more.