it had not been for certain people who succoured us with victuals, all would have died of hunger. Now you see the state we are in. And all these evils are as nothing compared with those which are promised to us shortly.
I know that as a friend you will grieve for my misfortunes, as I, in former letters have shown my joy at your prosperity ...
Notes about events observed abroad (1338-1339).
I have seen motions of the air so furious that they have carried, mixed up in their course, the largest trees of the forest and whole roofs of great palaces, and I have seen the same fury bore a hole with a whirling movement digging out a gravel pit, and carrying gravel, sand and water more than half a mile through the air.
[Footnote: The first sixteen lines of this passage which treat of the subject as indicated on the title line have no place in this connexion and have been omitted.]
[Footnote 2: Ho veduto movimenti &c. Nothing of the kind happened in Italy during Leonardo’s lifetime, and it is therefore extremely probable that this refers to the natural phenomena which are so fully described in the foregoing passage. (Compare too, No. 1021.) There can be no doubt that the descriptions of the Deluge in the Libro di Pittura (Vol. I, No. 607-611), and that of the fall of a mountain No. 610, l. 17-30 were written from the vivid impressions derived from personal experience. Compare also Pl. XXXIV-XL.]
[Footnote: It may be inferred from the character of the writing, which is in the style of the note in facsimile Vol. I, p. 297, that this passage was written between 1470 and 1480. As the figure 6 at the end of the text indicates, it was continued on another page, but I have searched in vain for it. The reverse of this leaf is coloured red for drawing in silver point, but has not been used for that purpose but for writing on, and at about the same date. The passages are given as Nos. 1217, 1218, 1219, 1162 and No. 994 (see note page 218). The text given above is obviously not a fragment of a letter, but a record of some personal experience. No. 1379 also seems to refer to Leonardo’s journeys in Southern Italy.]