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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 416 pages of information about The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci Volume 2.

THE SWALLOW.

This [bird] gives sight to its blind young ones, with the juice of the celandine.

THE WEASEL.

This, when chasing rats first eats of rue.

THE WILD BOAR.

This beast cures its sickness by eating of ivy.

THE SNAKE.

This creature when it wants to renew itself casts its old skin, beginning with the head, and changing in one day and one night.

THE PANTHER.

This beast after its bowels have fallen out will still fight with the dogs and hunters.

1262.

THE CHAMELEON.

This creature always takes the colour of the thing on which it is resting, whence it is often devoured together with the leaves on which the elephant feeds.

THE RAVEN.

When it has killed the Chameleon it takes laurel as a purge.

1263.

Moderation checks all the vices.  The ermine will die rather than besmirch itself.

OF FORESIGHT.

The cock does not crow till it has thrice flapped its wings; the parrot in moving among boughs never puts its feet excepting where it has first put its beak.  Vows are not made till Hope is dead.

Motion tends towards the centre of gravity.

1264.

MAGNANIMITY.

The falcon never seizes any but large birds and will sooner die than eat [tainted] meat of bad savour.

II.

FABLES.

Fables on animals (1265-1270).

1265.

A FABLE.

An oyster being turned out together with other fish in the house of a fisherman near the sea, he entreated a rat to take him to the sea.  The rat purposing to eat him bid him open; but as he bit him the oyster squeezed his head and closed; and the cat came and killed him.

1266.

A FABLE.

The thrushes rejoiced greatly at seeing a man take the owl and deprive her of liberty, tying her feet with strong bonds.  But this owl was afterwards by means of bird-lime the cause of the thrushes losing not only their liberty, but their life.  This is said for those countries which rejoice in seeing their governors lose their liberty, when by that means they themselves lose all succour, and remain in bondage in the power of their enemies, losing their liberty and often their life.

1267.

A FABLE.

A dog, lying asleep on the fur of a sheep, one of his fleas, perceiving the odour of the greasy wool, judged that this must be a land of better living, and also more secure from the teeth and nails of the dog than where he fed on the dog; and without farther reflection he left the dog and went into the thick wool.  There he began with great labour to try to pass among the roots of the hairs; but after much sweating had to give up the task as vain, because these hairs were so close that they almost touched each other, and there was no space where fleas could taste the skin.  Hence, after much labour and fatigue, he began to wish to return to his dog, who however had already departed; so he was constrained after long repentance and bitter tears, to die of hunger.

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