The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci — Volume 2 eBook

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

1292.

A man, seeing a woman ready to hold up the target for a jousting match, exclaimed, looking at the shield, and considering his spear:  “Alack! this is too small a workman for so great a business.”

IV.

PROPHECIES.

1293.

THE DIVISION OF THE PROPHECIES.

First, of things relating to animals; secondly, of irrational creatures; thirdly of plants; fourthly, of ceremonies; fifthly, of manners; sixthly, of cases or edicts or quarrels; seventhly, of cases that are impossible in nature [paradoxes], as, for instance, of those things which, the more is taken from them, the more they grow.  And reserve the great matters till the end, and the small matters give at the beginning.  And first show the evils and then the punishment of philosophical things.

(Of Ants.)

These creatures will form many communities, which will hide themselves and their young ones and victuals in dark caverns, and they will feed themselves and their families in dark places for many months without any light, artificial or natural.

[Footnote:  Lines 1—­5l are in the original written in one column, beginning with the text of line 11.  At the end of the column is the programme for the arrangement of the prophecies, placed here at the head:  Lines 56—­79 form a second column, lines 80—­97 a third one (see the reproduction of the text on the facsimile PI.  CXVIII).

Another suggestion for the arrangement of the prophecies is to be found among the notes 55—­57 on page 357.]

(Of Bees.)

And many others will be deprived of their store and their food, and will be cruelly submerged and drowned by folks devoid of reason.  Oh Justice of God!  Why dost thou not wake and behold thy creatures thus ill used?

(Of Sheep, Cows, Goats and the like.)

Endless multitudes of these will have their little children taken from them ripped open and flayed and most barbarously quartered.

(Of Nuts, and Olives, and Acorns, and Chesnuts, and such like.)

Many offspring shall be snatched by cruel thrashing from the very arms of their mothers, and flung on the ground, and crushed.

(Of Children bound in Bundles.)

O cities of the Sea!  In you I see your citizens—­both females and males—­tightly bound, arms and legs, with strong withes by folks who will not understand your language.  And you will only be able to assuage your sorrows and lost liberty by means of tearful complaints and sighing and lamentation among yourselves; for those who will bind you will not understand you, nor will you understand them.

(Of Cats that eat Rats.)

In you, O cities of Africa your children will be seen quartered in their own houses by most cruel and rapacious beasts of your own country.

(Of Asses that are beaten.)

[Footnote 48:  Compare No. 845.] O Nature!  Wherefore art thou so partial; being to some of thy children a tender and benign mother, and to others a most cruel and pitiless stepmother?  I see children of thine given up to slavery to others, without any sort of advantage, and instead of remuneration for the good they do, they are paid with the severest suffering, and spend their whole life in benefitting those who ill treat them.

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