'The da\e lost his State, his personal possessions and his liberty, and none of his enterprises have been completed! 

Pandite iam portas miseri et subducite pontes Nam Federigus adest quern Gebelina sequor. 

Die quid fulmineis euertis menia bombis? 
Stabunt pro muris pectora colligenum. 

Diruta cesserunt nostris tua menia bombis : 
Diruta sic cedent pectora pectoribus. 1 


(Throw open now the gates, ye wretched ones, and lift up the draw- 
bridges, for Federigo approaches whom I the Ghibellina follow! Say 
why thou overturnest thy ramparts with murderous bombs? The 
hearts of the host will stand in defence of the walls. Your ramparts 
overthrown have yielded to our bombs, so let your hearts overthrown 
yield to our hearts.) c.a. 28 r. b 

The action of cutting the nostrils of horses is a practice worthy of 
derision. And these fools observe this custom, almost as though they 
believed nature to be lacking in necessary things, in regard to which 
men have to be her correctors. 

Nature has made the two holes in the nose, each of which is half the 
width of the pipe from the lungs by which the hard breathing goes 
out; and if these holes were not there the mouth would suffice for this 
abundance of breathing. 

And if you should ask me why nature has made the nostril thus in 
animals, when the breathing through the mouth is sufficient, my reply 

1 The lines refer to the siege of Colle, taken by storm from the Florentines in 
November 1479 by the Duke of Calabria and Federigo Duke of Urbino. The Ghibellina 
is the name of a piece of artillery (see Calvi MSS. di L., p. 45). 


would be that the nostrils are made lor the purpose of their being used when the mouth is occupied with masticating its food. c.a. 76 r. a 

Se voi star sano, osserva questa norma: 
non mangiar sanza voglia, e cena leve; 
mastica bene, e quel che in te riceve, 
sia ben cotto e di semplice forma. 
Chi medicina piglia, mal s'informa; 
guarti dall ira e fuggi l'aria grieve; 
su diritto sta, quando da mensa leve; 
di mezzogiorno fa che tu non dorma. 
El vin sia temprato, poco e spesso, 
non for di pasto ne a stomaco voto; 
non aspectar, ne indugiare il cesso; 
se fai esercizio, sia di picciol moto. 
Col ventre resupino e col capo depresso 
non star, e sta coperto ben di notte; 
el capo ti posa e tien la mente lieta, 
fuggi lussuria, e attienti alia dieta. 

(If you would keep healthy, follow this regimen: do not eat unless 
you feel inclined, and sup lightly; chew well, and let what you take 
be well cooked and simple. He who takes medicine does himself harm; 
do not give way to anger and avoid close air; hold yourself upright 
when you rise from table and do not let yourself sleep at midday. Be 
temperate with wine, take a little frequently, but not at other than the 
proper meal-times, nor on an empty stomach; neither protract nor 
delay the [visit to] the privy. When you take exercise let it be mod- 
erate. Do not remain with the belly recumbent and the head lowered, 
and see that you are well covered at night. Rest your head and keep 
your mind cheerful; shun wantonness, and pay attention to diet.) 

c.a. 78 v. b 


A nude by Perugino. c.a. 97 r. a 



If you wish to make a paste out of small pearls take the juice of some 
lemons and put them to soak in it, and in a night they will be dissolved. And when it has all settled throw away the lemon juice and 
put fresh, and do this two or three times, so that the paste may be very 
fine. Then wash the said paste with clear water a sufficient number of 
times for it to lose all trace of the lemon juice. After doing this let the 
paste dry so that it turns to powder. Then take white of egg, beat it 
well and leave it to settle, and then moisten the said powder with this 
so that it becomes a paste again. 

And from this you can make pearls as large as you wish, and leave 
them to dry. Then place them in a small turning lathe and polish 
them, if you wish with a dog's tooth, or if you prefer with a polishing 
stick of crystal or chalcedony. 

And polish it until it has the same lustre that it had before. And I 
believe that if you dissolve mother-of-pearl you get the same result as 
with the pearls. c.a. 109 v. b 

Book of Pandolfino — knives — pen for ruling — to dye the cloak- 
Library of St. Mark's — Library of Santo Spirito — Lattanzio Tedaldi 
— Antonio Covoni — book of Messer Paolo, the hospital superintendent 
— boots shoes and hose — varnish — boy to serve as a model — grammar 
of Lorenzo de' Medici — Giovanni del Sodo — Sansovino — ruler — very 
sharp knife — spectacles — rotti fisici — repair the labyrinthf?] (I'aber- 
nucco) — book of Tommaso — the small chain of Michelangelo — learn 
how to multiply roots from Messer Luca — my map of the world which 
Giovanni Benci has — slippers — clothes from the excise man — red Span- 
ish leather — map of the world of Giovanni Benci — a print of the 
country round Milan — marketing books — bow and cord — Tanaglino — 
Moncatto. c.a. 120 r. d 

Prophecy of Lionardo da Vinci. 1 c.a. 194 v. a 

To bring a crucifix into a room. c.a. 207 r. a 

The Venetians have boasted of their power to spend thirty-six mil- 
lions of gold in ten years in the war with the Empire, the Church, 
the Kings of Spain and of France, at three hundred thousand ducats 
a month. c.a. 218 r. a 

1 This line is written vertically on a page of pure mathematics. 


Messer Battista dall' Aquilo, the Pope's private chamberlain, has my 

'hook in his hands. i a- 2S7 r. a 



Take fresh rose-water and moisten the hands, then take the flower 
of lavender and rub it between the hands, and it will be good. 

c.a. 295 r. a 
If on delight your mind should feed. 
(Se di diletto la tua mente pasce.) c.a. 320 r. b 


If you beat a thick bar of iron between the anvil and the hammer 
with frequent blows upon the same spot, you will be able to light a 
match at the spot which has been struck. c.a. 351 v. b 

I will say one word or two or ten or more as pleases me, and I wish 
that in that time more than a thousand persons say the same in that 
same time, so that they may immediately say the same as me. And they 
will not see me nor perceive what I say. 

These will be the hours enumerated by you, for when you say one, 
all those who enumerate the hours as you do will say the same number 
as you at the same time. c.a. 384 r. a 

[With sketch of floc\ of birds rising in flight] 

This stratagem was employed by the Gauls against the Romans, and 
so great a mortality ensued that all Rome was dressed in mourning. 

Tr. 18 a 

Sea water filtered by mud or clay deposits in it all its saltness. Wool- 
len stufTs spread over the sides of ships absorb the fresh water. If it be 
distilled by means of a retort sea water becomes of first excellence, and 
by making use of a cooking stove in his kitchen any one can, with the 
same wood as he cooks with, distil a greater quantity of water if the 
retort is a large one. Tr. 44 a 

One may make of wood thin grained boards, which will seem like 
camlets and watered silks and with various fixed marks. f 2 r. 



When a horse is moving in water it creates less foam when it is more 
submerged and more foam when less submerged. This proceeds from 
the fact that the legs when less submerged are less impeded, and conse- 
quently move more rapidly and drive the water more with their great 
hoofs than with their knees and thighs. g n r. 

Remember the solderings which were used to solder the ball of 
Santa Maria del Fiore. g 84 v. 

To lock with a key a sluice at Vigevano. hit. 

A nun lives at the Dove at Cremona who is a good maker of straw 
plaits, and a friar of San Francesco. h 62 [14] v. 

Needle. Niccolo. 
Jacopo Andrea. 
Panel of the Duke. h 94 [46] r. 

[Sun dial] 
To measure the stages of the time by the sun. h 97 [45 r.] v. 

[ Viticulture] 

The peasant seeing the usefulness of the products of the vine gives 
it many props in order to keep up its branches; and after the fruit has 
been gathered he takes away the poles and allows them to fall; making 
a bonfire of the supports. h 112 [31 r.] v. 

[List of household utensils] 
New tin ware. 
Six small bowls. 
Six bowls. 



Six large plates. 

Two medium-sized plates. 

Two small plates. 

Old tin ware. 

Three small bowls. 

Four bowls. 

Three square tiles. 

Two small bowls. 

One large bowl. 

One plate. 

Four candlesticks. 

One small candlestick. 

Three pairs of sheets of four widths each. 

Three small sheets. 

Two table cloths and a half. 

Sixteen coarse table cloths. 

Eight shirts. 

Nine woollen cloths. 

Two towels. 

One basin. h 137 [6 r.] v. 

[Sensibility of the hair of the ox] 

The hair of the ox placed in stagnant water in summer acquires 
sensation and life and movement of itself, and also the power of fear 
and flight and perception of pain. And the proof is that if it is pressed 
it twists and releases itself. Place it again in the water, as before it takes 
to flight and removes itself from the danger. k 81 [1] r. 


To take away the smell from oil: 

Take some crude oil and put ten pints of it in a vessel. Make a 
mark on the vessel according to the height of the oil, and then pro- 
ceed to add a pint of vinegar, and boil until the oil has gone down as 
low as the mark that was made. By this means you will be sure that 
the oil has come back to its first amount and that all the vinegar has 
evaporated, and has carried all the bad smell away with it. 



I believe that it is possible to do the same with nut oil, and with 
every other oil which has a bad smell. k 112 [32] v. 

If you have some strong glue, half tepid and half cold, and only 
slightly liquid, and press paste of vermicelli on it, congealed and 
solidified, and of any colour you like, this will make very beautiful 
twists, and the parts of them will be exactly like thin narrow ribbons. 

k 118 [38] r. 

Decipimur votis et tempore fallimur: et mos 

Deridet curas; anxia vita nihil. 
(We are deceived by our vows and deluded by time, and habit de- 
rides our cares; the anxious life is nothing.) l cover r. 

[Events in Milan in 1500] 

Paolo di Vannocco at Siena. 

Domenico Chiavaio. 

The small hall above for the apostles. 

Buildings by Bramante. 

The governor of the castle made prisoner. 

Visconti dragged away and then his son slain. 

Gian della Rosa robbed of his money. 

Borgonzo began and was unwilling and so fortune deserted him. 

The duke lost his State, his personal possessions and his liberty, and 
none of his enterprises have been completed. 1 l cover v. 

1 The note 'buildings by Bramante', in view of the fact that those which follow relate 
to untoward events consequent upon the imprisonment of Ludovic Sforza, refers possibly 
to the fact of various works designed by Bramante being left uncompleted, e.g. accord- 
ing to Amoretti one side only of the Canonica di S. Ambrogio was built, and the col- 
umns for the rest lay there for upwards of a century. According to the same authority the 
reference to the governor of the castle was in all probability to the French governor, who 
on the return of the French was thrown into prison for having surrendered to Ludovic 
when his troops reoccupied the city; he cites the names of two Visconti from Arluno's 
chronicle who were carried off as captives into France for having taken the side of the 
Duke; Gian della Rosa he identifies with Giovanni da Rosate, professor at Pavia, the 
Duke's physician and astrologer; and Borgonzo with Brugonzio Botta, the administrator 
of the ducal revenue, whose house was pillaged by the French partisans on his flight. 

The notes end with Leonardo's laconic epitaph upon the fallen fortunes of Ludovic 
Sforza, who at the time they were written was a prisoner at Loches in Touraine, where 
he remained until his death. 




| Various notes] 
Piece of tapestry. 
Pair of compasses. 
Book of Tommaso. 
Book of Giovanni Benci. 
Box at the custom house. 
To cut out the dress. 
Belt of the sword. 
To resole the shoes. 
A light hat. 

Thatch from the ruined houses. 
The debt for the cloth. 
Bag for swimming. 
Book of white paper for drawing. 
Charcoal. l i v. 

[With diagram] 

O se d'un mezo circol far si pote 
triangol si ch'un recto non avessi 
e che gli altri due un retto non faciessi. 1 b.m. 33 v. 

Sulphur and pitch; sulphur and lead; sulphur and gum mastic; sul- 
phur and varnish, and mixed with the husks of pine-kernels, sawdust 
of the spindle-tree, and isinglass, and nuts of cherries and blackthorn, 
and shells of snails, or husks of beans soaked and then dried in the sun 
so that they shrivel, and seed of myrtle with the said glue. 

B.M. 47 V. 

Market book — waters of the Clonica — waters of the Tanaglino — 
Moncatto — the caps — the mirror of Rosso, to watch him make it — 
(Ys di che numero %) — the Metaura of Aristotle — boxes of Lorenzo 
di Pierfrancesco — Maestro Piero dal Borgo — to have my book bound — 
show the book to Serigatto and get him to give the rule of the clock 
. . . {dell' orilogio anello) — nutmeg — gum — square — Giovanni Battista 
at the piazza de' Mozzi — Giovanni Benci, my book and jaspers — brass 
for the spectacles. b.m. 190 v. 

Box — instrument for observing levels — book of Pandolfmo — small 

■'The two first lines are taken from Dante's Paradiso XIII 101-102. 



knives — pen for ruling — to dye the cloak — libraries — Lattanzio Tedaldi 
— book of Messer Paolo the hospital superintendent — boots hose and 
shoes — varnish — boy for the models — grammar of Lorenzo de' Medici 
— Giovanni del Sodo {per rotti fisici) — Sansovino — Piero di Cosimo — 
Filippo and Lorenzo — a ruler — spectacles — to repair the labyrinth — 
book of Tommaso — chain of Michelangelo — multiplications of roots — 
of cord and bow — map of the world of the Benci — slippers — clothes 
from the excise man — Spanish leather — cage — to fatten the bird — 
{Renieri pella pietra Stella) — the cup of Alfieri — the Metaura — go to 
the house of the Pazzi — small box — small gimlet — I have procured two 
long nails from the Antellesi — {La valuta del botro) — the value of the 
taffeta for the wings. b.m. 191 r. 

Where is Valentino? 


Boxes at the custom house 

Monk of the Carmine 


Piero Martelli 

Salvi Borgherini 

Send back the sacks 

Support for the spectacles 

The nude of Sangallo 

The cloak 




Pandolfino. b.m. 202 v. 

Friday morning one florin to Salai for expenses: he had three soldi 
left. For bread, wine, eggs, mushrooms, fruit, bran, for the barber and 
for shoes. b.m. 272 v. 

Had anyone discovered the range of the power of the cannon in all 
its varieties and imparted his secret to the Romans, with what speed 
would they have conquered every country and subdued every army? 
And what reward would have been deemed sufficient for such a serv- 
ice? Archimedes, although he had wrought great mischief to the Ro- 



mans at the storming of Syracuse, did not fail to be offered very great 

rewards by these same Romans. And at the sack, of Syracuse diligent 
search was made for Archimedes, and when he was iound to be dead 
there was a greater lament made in the senate and among the Roman 
people than if they had lost all their army, and they did not fail to 
honour him with obsequies and statue, their leader being Marcus 

And after the second destruction of Syracuse the tomb of this same 
Archimedes was rediscovered by Cato among the ruins of a temple, 
and so Cato caused the temple and tomb to be restored most elab- 
orately; and as to this Cato is recorded to have said that he did not 
glory in any of his actions so much as in having paid this honour to 
Archimedes. b.m. 279 v. 

Make a cupful of paste and millet rendered to a jelly, or flowers of 
elder or others like these. Forster 11 2 r. 

Arrigo ought to have eleven gold ducats. 

Arrigo ought to have four gold ducats by the middle of August. 

Forster 11 24 v. 

See the letter to Santa Maria — secret. Forster 11 25 r. 

Have ears of corn of great size sent from Florence. Forster 11 38 v. 

Giuliano da Maria the physician has a steward without hands. 

Forster 11 43 v. 

Paul was snatched up to heaven. Forster 11 45 v. 

Giuliano Trombetta. 
Antonio de Ferrara. 
Oil from clay. Forster 11 52 v. 

Count Francesco Torello. Forster 11 57 r. 

Messer Gian Domenico Mezzabarba and Messer Giovanni Francesco 
Mezzabarba, by the side of Messer Piero da Galera under the covered 
way, owe for the water. Forster 11 57 v. 

Parsley ten parts 

Mint one part 



Wild thyme one part 

Burnt bread ten parts 

Vinegar, pepper and salt a little. 

Two dark purple dusters for Salai. Forster n 60 v. 

Beans, white maize, red maize, panic-grass, millet, kidney beans, 
broad beans, peas. Forster 11 65 r. 

Tuesday you will buy the wine for the morning. 
Friday on the fourth day of September the like. 


Tell me for what reason a muddy ball struck against a wall leaves 
an impression if it has been well blown up? Forster 11 159 r. 


Take white of egg and put it into a sausage skin and boil it; after it 
has grown hard paint over the spots, then cover it over with more 
white of egg and put it back into a larger skin. Forster 111 33 v. 

Add pyrites to aqua fortis and if it turns green know that it contains 
copper. Precipitate this with saltpetre and soft soap. Forster in 37 v. 

On the first day of February twelve hundred lire. Forster in 45 v. 


One part Roman vitriol, one saltpetre, one cinnabar, one verdigris. 


Dissolve the copper with these waters and then evaporate it so that 
it becomes like paste or mustard, and daub it over your figure and 
polish it well with a brush and dry it; then cover it with earth out of 
doors and make a great fire in such a way that the copper between 
the two layers of earth becomes united, or mix this copper with quick- 
silver. Forster in 59 v. 



If lime and orpimenl make a depilatory, lye or distillation make it, 

and it will dissolve hairs and horn and bristles and nail. 

Forstcr in 74 r. 

Among Europeans long nails are looked upon as shameful, and 
among die Indians they are held in great veneration, and they anoint 
them with fragrant scents and adorn them with various patterns; and 
they say that they are the mark of people of gentle birth, and that 
short nails are a sign of working-class people and mechanics in differ- 
ent trades. Fogli b 3 r. 

That power shows itself to be greater which is impressed upon a 
weaker, that is, a lesser resistance. 

This conclusion is universal and it avails for the flow and ebb to 
prove that the sun or moon impresses itself so much the more upon 
the object, that is upon the waters, as they are of less depth; and there- 
fore the shallow waters of the marshes must receive the cause of the 
ebb and flow with greater efficacy than do the mighty depths of the 


To go to make arrangements for my garden. 
Giordano 'De Ponderibus'. 
The reconciler of the flow and ebb of the. sea. 
To have two boxes made to go on a pack saddle. 

1 The fact may perhaps not be without significance that this memorandum, which the 
order of arrangement of passages from the various manuscripts has caused to come at the 
end of this book, contains two sentences in which, alongside the record of matters of 
daily import, there is a deeper note discernible and one which, as it seems, sounds in 
unison across the centuries. In the words 'to go to make arrangements for my garden' 
{andare in provitionc per il mio giardino) there is a curious similarity to the words as 
almost to the mood of thought that finds expression in the apophthegm in Candide 'il 
faut cultiver notre jardin'. Each perhaps may contain the formula of renunciation. 

So also in like manner the third line of the memorandum 'the reconciler of the flow 
and ebb of the sea' seems to me to link itself unforgettably in the memory with two 
lines of Keats: — 

'The moving waters at their priestlike task 
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores'. 
The two present essentially the same image. If you surrender to them they have the 
same beauty of suggestion. 

With Leonardo, however, the mood changed. Any thought of the movement of water 
might give rein to practical considerations as to possibilities oc harnessing its power for 






See Boltraffio's turning lathe and have a stone taken away. 

Leave the book for Messer Andrea Tedesco. 

Use an arrow as a balance and weigh the substance when heated 
and then weigh it again cold. 

The mirror of Messer Luigi. 

Oil petroleum. 

[Figure a b] Flow and ebb of the waters, proved at the mill ot 
Vanrio [Vaprio?] 

Cap. Quaderni u 22 v. 


public utility. The last line of the memorandum is 'a b flow and ebb of the waters, 
proved at the mill of Vanrio', the letters having reference to a small drawing of 
hydraulic apparatus immediately at the side of the page. If Vanrio may be interpreted as 
Vaprio, the reference would be to the waters of the Adda, to the mill at Vaprio on the 
Adda, Vaprio being the country home of the Melzi family, a member of which— 
Francesco Melzi — became like an adopted son to Leonardo. It was to Vaprio that 
Leonardo, during the later years of his life in Milan, frequently went in order to pursue 
research in quiet. Were this memorandum a record of impulses, the word beretta (cap), 
which concludes it, coming immediately after the mention of the mill might almost 
suggest that he was thinking of going there.