Every visitor to Florence during the last twenty years must have noticed on the grand piazza before the Ducal Palace, the strange genius known as Monsignore Créso, or, in plain English, Mr. Croesus. He is so called because of his reputed great wealth; but his real name is Christoforo Rischio, which I may again translate, as Christopher Risk. Mrs.
The chivalrie of the enemies maie bee easely troubled, either with sightes, or with rumours, not used: as Creso did, whom put Camelles againste the horses of the adversaries, and Pirrus sette againste the Romaine horsemen Eliphantes, the sighte of whiche troubled and disordered them.
If any of these things moved the imperturbable Créso, he showed no feeling of the sort; but for three long hours, two days in the week, held his hideous clinic in the open daylight.
The latter are carefully arranged on an adjustable shelf, and Créso takes his place behind them, while in his rear a perfect chemist's shop of flasks, bottles, and pillboxes is disclosed. Very soon his singer ceases, and in the purest Tuscan dialect the very utterance of which is music the Florentine quack-doctor proceeds to address the assemblage.
It gained for him the name of Créso straightway, and, enabling him to travel more rapidly, enlarged his business sphere, and so vastly increased his profits. He arranged regular days and hours for each place in Tuscany, and soon became as widely known as the Grand Duke himself.
His life is to me noteworthy, as showing what may be gained by concentrating even humble energies upon a paltry thing. Had Créso persevered as well upon the stage, I do not doubt that he would have made a splendid actor. If he did so well with a mere nostrum, why should he not have gained riches and a less grotesque fame by the sale of a better article?