Monday, August 25, 2003

A customer has ordered the second volume of The Notebooks of Leonardo di Vinci, and what a treasure it is at $22.95 from Dover Editions. Here are some things I've found at random:


   Describe which muscles disappear in growing fat, and which become visible in growing lean.
   And observe that that part which on the surface of a fat person is most concave, when he grows lean becomes more prominent.
   Where the muscles separate one from another you must give profiles and where they coalesce. . .


   Of the cause of breathing, of the cause of the motion of the heart, of the cause of vomiting, of the cause of the descent of food from the stomach, of the cause of emptying the intestines.
   Of the cause of the movement of the superfluous matter through the intestines.
   Of the cause of swallowing, of the cause of coughing, of the cause of yawning, of the cause of sneezing, of the cause of limbs getting asleep.
   Of the cause of losing sensibility in any limb.
   Of the cause of tickling.
   Of the cause of lust and other appetites of the body, of the cause of urine and also of all the natural excretions of the body.



   Our life is made by the death of others.
   In dead matter insensible life remains, which, reunited to the stomachs of living beings, resumes life, both sensual and intellectual.


   Here nature appears with many animals to have been rather a cruel stepmother than a mother, and with others not a stepmother, but a most tender mother.


   Those who are annoyed by sickness at sea should drink extract of wormwood.


   To keep in health, this rule is wise: eat only when you want and relish food. Chew thoroughly that it may do you good. Have it well cooked, unspiced and undisguised. He who takes medicine is ill advised.



   That the earth is a star.


   The sun does not move.


   How shadows are lost at great distances, as is shown by the shadow side of the moon which is never seen.

Geological Problems


   Why do we find the bones of great fishes and oysters and corals and various other shells and sea-snails on the high summits of mountains by the sea, just as we find them in low seas?


   You now have to prove that the shells cannot have originated if not in salt water, almost all being of that sort; and that the shells in Lombardy are at four levels, and thus it is everywhere, having been made at various times. And they all occur in valleys that open towards the seas.


   From the two lines of shells we are forced to say that the earth indignantly submerged under the sea and so the first layer was made; and then the deluge made the second.

Topographical Notes


   The Germans are wont to annoy a garrison with the smoke of feathers, sulphur and realgar, and they make this smoke last 7 or 8 hours. Likewise the husks of wheat make a great and lasting smoke; and also dry dung; but this must be mixed with olive husks, that is olives pressed for oil and from which the oil has been extracted.


   Circumfulgore is a naval machine. It was an invention of the men of Majorca.

Naval Warfare

A Method of Escaping in a Tempest and Shipwreck at Sea

   Have a coat made of leather, which must be double across the breast, that is having a hem on each side of about a finger breadth. Thus it will be double from the waist to the knee; and the leather must be quite air-tight. When you want to leap into the sea, blow out the skirt of your coat through the double hem of the breast; and jump into the sea, and allow yourself to be carried by the waves; when you see no shore near, give your attention to the sea you are in, and always keep inyour mouth the air-tube which leads down into the coat; and if now and again you require to take a breath of fresh air, and the foam prevents you, you may draw a breath of the air within the coat.

On Flying Machines


   Just as on a frozen river a man may run without moving his feet, so a car might be made that would slide by itself.

Philosophical Maxims


   Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than with the imagination being awake?


   Nature is full of infinite causes that have never occured in experience.



   Avoid studies of which the result dies with the worker.


   The water you touch in a river is the alst of that which has passed, and the first of that which is coming. Thus it is with time present.
   Life if well spent, is long.


   Every man wishes to make money to give it to the doctors, destroyers of life; they then ought to be rich.
   Man ha smuch power of discourse which for the most part is vain and false; animals have but little, but it is useful and true, and a small truth is better than a great lie.


   If you governed your body by the rules of virtue you wuold not walk on all fours in this world.
   You grow in reputation like bread in the hands of a child.

No comments:

Popular Posts