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The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, Volume 2 by Leonardo Da Vinci

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meat S 0 d 8
wine S 12 d
bread S 3 d
meal S 5 d 4
herbs S 8 d
wine S 5 d
melon S 2 d
meal S 5 d 4
vegetables S 8

Notes by unknown persons among the MSS. (1546-1565).


Miseracione divina sacro sancte Romane ecclesie tituli n cardinalis
2wulgariter nuncupatus venerabili religioso fratri Johanni Mair
d'Nustorf 3ordinis praedicatorum provintie teutonie (?) conventus
Wiennensis capellano 4 nostro commensali salutem in dno sempiternam
Religione zelus rite ac in [ferite?] 5honestas aliarumque
laudabilium probitatis et virtutum merita quibus apud nos fide
6digno commendationis testimonio Magistri videlicet ordinis felicis
recordacionis Leonardi de 7Mansuetis de Perusio sigillo suo ... us
dans tibi ad ... opera virtutum comen(salem)? 8 locum et tempus
success(ores) cujus similiter officium ministratus qui
praedecessoris sui donum (?) 9confirmavit et de novo dedit
aliorumque plurima [laudatis] qui opera tua laudant 10nos inducunt
ut tibi (?) reddamus ad gratiam liberalem hinc est quod nos
cupientes. [Footnote: The meaning of this document, which is very
difficult to decipher, and is written in unintelligible Latin, is,
that Leonardo di Mansuetis recommends the Rev. Mair of Nusdorf,
chaplain at Vienna, to some third person; and says also that
something, which had to be proved, has been proved. The rest of the
passages on the same leaf are undoubtedly in Leonardo's hand. (Nos.
483, 661, 519, 578, 392, 582, 887 and 894.)]


Johannes Antonius di Johannes Ambrosius de Bolate. He who lets time
pass and does not grow in virtue, the more I think of it the more I
grieve. No man has it in him to be virtuous who will give up honour
for gain. Good fortune is valueless to him who knows not toil. The
man becomes happy who follows Christ. There is no perfect gift
without great suffering. Our glories and our triumphs pass away.
Foul lust, and dreams, and luxury, and sloth have banished every
virtue from the world; so that our Nature, wandering and perplexed,
has almost lost the old and better track. Henceforth it were well to
rouse thyself from sleep. The master said that lying in down will
not bring thee to Fame; nor staying beneath the quilts. He who,
without Fame, burns his life to waste, leaves no more vestige of
himself on earth than wind-blown smoke, or the foam upon the sea.
[Footnote: From the last sentence we may infer that this text is by
the hand of a pupil of Leonardo's.-- On the same sheet are the notes
Nos.1175 and 715 in Leonardo's own handwriting.]


On the morning of Santo Zanobio the
29th of May 1504, I had from Lionardo Vinci
15 gold ducats and began to spend them.
to Mona Margarita S 62 d 4
to remake the ring S 19 d 8
clothes S 13
good beef S 4
eggs S 6
debt at the bank S 7
velvet S 12
wine S 6 d 4
meat S 4
mulberries S 2 d 4
mushrooms S 3 d 4
salad S 1
fruit S 1 d 4
candles S 3
... S 1
flour S 2

Sunday 198 8

bread S 6
wine S 9 d 4
meat S 7
soup S 2
fruit S 3 d 4
candles S 3 d

Monday 31

bread S 6 d 4
meat S 10 d 8
wine S 9 d 4
fruit S 4
soup S 1 d 8




bread S 6
meat S 11
wine S 7
fruit S 9
soup S 2
salad S 1

[Footnote 1548 and 1549: On the same sheet is the text No. 1015 in Leonardo's own handwriting.]


To Monna Margarita S 5
to Tomaso S 14
to Monna Margarita d 5 S 2
on the day of San Zanobi
left ... after
payment d 13 S 2 d 4
of Monna Margarita

altogether d 14 S 5 d 4


On Monday, the l3th of February, I lent lire S 7 to Lionardo to
spend, Friday d 7.

[Footnote: This note is followed by an account very like the one
given as No. 1549.]


Stephano Chigi, Canonico ..., servant of the honorable Count Grimani
at S. Apostoli.

[Footnote: Compare No. 674, 21-23.]


Having become anxious ... Bernardo di Simone, Silvestro di Stefano,
Bernardo di Jacopo, Francesco di Matteo Bonciani, Antonio di
Giovanni Ruberti, Antonio da Pistoia.... Antonio; He who has time
and waits for time, will lose his friends and his money.


Reverend Maestro, Domino Giovanni, I spoke to Maestro Zacaria as a
brother about this business, and I made him satisfied with the
arrangement that I had wished; that is, as regards the commission
that I had from the parties and I say that between us there is no
need to pay money down, as regard the pictures of the ...


Of things seen through a mist that which is nearest its farthest
limit will be least visible, and all the more so as they are more


Theodoricus Rex Semper Augustus.


Either you say Hesperia alone, and it will mean Italy, or you add
ultima, and it will mean Spain. Umbria, part of Tuscany.

[Footnote: The notes in Greek, Nos. 1557, 1558 and 1562 stand in
close connection with each other, but the meaning of some words is
very doubtful, and a translation is thus rendered impossible.]


[Footnote: Greek Characters]


Canonica of ... on the 5th of July 1507; my dearly beloved mother,
sisters and cousin I herewith inform you that thanks to God I am ...
about the sword which I ... bring it to Maso at the piazza ... and I
will settle the business of Piero so that ...

[Footnote: AMORETTI, _Mem. Stor. XXIV_, quotes the first three lines
of this letter as by Leonardo. The character of the writing however
does not favour this hypothesis, and still less the contents. I
should regard it rather a rough draft of a letter by young Melzi. I
have not succeeded in deciphering completely the 13 lines of this
text. Amoretti reads at the beginning _Canonica di Vaprio_, but
_Vaprio_ seems to me a very doubtful reading.]


Ut bene respondet Naturae ars docta! dedisset
Vincius, ut tribuit cetera - sic animam -
Noluit ut similis magis haec foret: altera sic est:
Possidet illius Maurus amans animam.

[Footnote: These three epigrams on the portrait of Lucrezia
Crivelli, a picture by Leonardo which must have been lost at a very
early date, seem to have been dedicated to Leonardo by the poet.
Leonardo used the reverse of the sheet for notes on geometry.]

Hujus quam cernis nomen Lucretia, Divi Omnia cui larga contribuere
manu. Rara huic forma data est; pinxit Leonardos, amavit Maurus,
pictorum primus hic, ille ducum.

Naturam, ac superas hac laesit imagine Divas Pictor: tantum hominis
posse manum haec doluit, Illae longa dari tam magnae tempera formae,
Quae spatio fuerat deperitura brevi.


Egidius Romanus on the formation of the human body in the mother's
womb [Footnote 1: _Liber magistri Egidii de pulsibus matrice
conipositus (cum commentario Gentilis de Fulgineo)_ published in
1484 at Padova, in 1494 and in 1514 at Venice, and in 1505 at

[Footnote 2:2. This text appears to be in a handwriting different
from that in the note, l. 1. Here the reading is not so simple as
AMORETTI gave it, _Mem. Star. XXV: A Monsieur Lyonard Peintre du Roy
pour Amboyse_. He says too that this address is of the year 1509,
and Mr. Ravaisson remarks: "_De cette suscription il semble qu'on
peut inferer que Leonard etait alors en France, a la cour de Louis
XII ... Pour conclure je crois qu'il n'est pas prouve que Leonard de
Vinci n'ait pas fait un voyage de quelques mois en France sous Louis
XII, entre le printemps de 1509 et l'automne de_ 1510."--I must
confess that I myself have not succeeded in deciphering completely
this French writing of which two words remain to me doubtful. But so
much seems to be quite evident that this is not an address of a
letter at all, but a certificate or note. _Amboise_[l. 6] I believe
to be the signature of Charles d'Amboise the Governor of Milan. If
this explanation is the right one, it can be easily explained by the
contents of Nos. 1350 and 1529. The note, line 1, was perhaps added
later by another hand; and Leonardo himself wrote afterwards on the
same sheet some geometrical explanations. I must also point out that
the statement that this sheet belongs to the year 1509 has
absolutely no foundation in fact. There is no clue whatever for
giving a precise date to this note.] To Monsieur le Vinci,--the
horses of the king's equerry.... Continue the payment to Ms.
Lyonard, Painter to the King.

[6] Amboise.


[Footnote: Greek Characters]


Memorandum to Maestro Lionardo to have ... the state of Florence.


To remind your Excellency that Ridolfo Manini brought to Florence a
quantity of crystal besides other stones such as are ...


XVI C. 6 de Ciuitate Dei, se Antipodes.

[Footnote: A facsimile of this note, which refers to a well known
book by St. Augustin, is given on page 254.]


Leonardo's Will.

Be it known to all persons, present and to come that at the court of
our Lord the King at Amboise before ourselves in person, Messer
Leonardo da Vinci painter to the King, at present staying at the
place known as Cloux near Amboise, duly considering the certainty of
death and the uncertainty of its time, has acknowledged and declared
in the said court and before us that he has made, according to the
tenor of these presents, his testament and the declaration of his
last will, as follows. And first he commends his soul to our Lord,
Almighty God, and to the Glorious Virgin Mary, and to our lord Saint
Michael, to all the blessed Angels and Saints male and female in

Item. The said Testator desires to be buried within the church of
Saint Florentin at Amboise, and that his body shall be borne thither
by the chaplains of the church.

Item. That his body may be followed from the said place to the said
church of Saint Florentin by the _collegium_ of the said church,
that is to say by the rector and the prior, or by their vicars and
chaplains of the church of Saint Denis of Amboise, also the lesser
friars of the place, and before his body shall be carried to the
said church this Testator desires, that in the said church of Saint
Florentin three grand masses shall be celebrated by the deacon and
sub-deacon and that on the day when these three high masses are
celebrated, thirty low masses shall also be performed at Saint

Item. That in the said church of Saint Denis similar services shall
be performed, as above.

Item. That the same shall be done in the church of the said friars
and lesser brethren.

Item. The aforesaid Testator gives and bequeaths to Messer Francesco
da Melzo, nobleman, of Milan, in remuneration for services and
favours done to him in the past, each

[Footnote: See page 420.]

and all of the books the Testator is at present possessed of, and
the instruments and portraits appertaining to his art and calling as
a painter.

Item. The same Testator gives and bequeaths henceforth for ever to
Battista de Vilanis his servant one half, that is the moity, of his
garden which is outside the walls of Milan, and the other half of
the same garden to Salai his servant; in which garden aforesaid
Salai has built and constructed a house which shall be and remain
henceforth in all perpetuity the property of the said Salai, his
heirs and successors; and this is in remuneration for the good and
kind services which the said de Vilanis and Salai, his servants have
done him in past times until now.

Item. The said Testator gives to Maturina his waiting woman a cloak
of good black cloth lined with fur, a ... of cloth and two ducats
paid once only; and this likewise is in remuneration for good
service rendered to him in past times by the said Maturina.

Item. He desires that at his funeral sixty tapers shall be carried
which shall be borne by sixty poor men, to whom shall be given money
for carrying them; at the discretion of the said Melzo, and these
tapers shall be distributed among the four above mentioned churches.

Item. The said Testator gives to each of the said churches ten lbs.
of wax in thick tapers, which shall be placed in the said churches
to be used on the day when those said services are celebrated.

Item. That alms shall be given to the poor of the Hotel-Dieu, to the
poor of Saint Lazare d'Amboise and, to that end, there shall be
given and paid to the treasurers of that same fraternity the sum and
amount of seventy soldi of Tours.

Item. The said Testator gives and bequeaths to the said Messer
Francesco Melzo, being present and agreeing, the remainder of his
pension and the sums of money which are owing to him from the past
time till the day of his death by the receiver or treasurer-general
M. Johan Sapin, and each and every sum of money that he has already
received from the aforesaid Sapin of his said pension, and in case
he should die before the said Melzo and not otherwise; which moneys
are at present in the possession of the said Testator in the said
place called Cloux, as he says. And he likewise gives and bequeaths
to the said Melzo all and each of his clothes which he at present
possesses at the said place of Cloux, and all in remuneration for
the good and kind services done by him in past times till now, as
well as in payment for the trouble and annoyance he may incur with
regard to the execution of this present testament, which however,
shall all be at the expense of the said Testator.

And he orders and desires that the sum of four hundred scudi del
Sole, which he has deposited in the hands of the treasurer of Santa
Maria Nuova in the city of Florence, may be given to his brothers
now living in Florence with all the interest and usufruct that may
have accrued up to the present time, and be due from the aforesaid
treasurer to the aforesaid Testator on account of the said four
hundred crowns, since they were given and consigned by the Testator
to the said treasurers.

Item. He desires and orders that the said Messer Francesco de Melzo
shall be and remain the sole and only executor of the said will of
the said Testator; and that the said testament shall be executed in
its full and complete meaning and according to that which is here
narrated and said, to have, hold, keep and observe, the said Messer
Leonardo da Vinci, constituted Testator, has obliged and obliges by
these presents the said his heirs and successors with all his goods
moveable and immoveable present and to come, and has renounced and
expressly renounces by these presents all and each of the things
which to that are contrary. Given at the said place of Cloux in the
presence of Magister Spirito Fieri vicar, of the church of Saint
Denis at Amboise, of M. Guglielmo Croysant priest and chaplain, of
Magister Cipriane Fulchin, Brother Francesco de Corion, and of
Francesco da Milano, a brother of the Convent of the Minorites at
Amboise, witnesses summoned and required to that end by the
indictment of the said court in the presence of the aforesaid M.
Francesco de Melze who accepting and agreeing to the same has
promised by his faith and his oath which he has administered to us
personally and has sworn to us never to do nor say nor act in any
way to the contrary. And it is sealed by his request with the royal
seal apposed to legal contracts at Amboise, and in token of good

Given on the XXIIIrd day of April MDXVIII, before Easter.

And on the XXIIIrd day of this month of April MDXVIII, in the
presence of M. Guglielmo Borian, Royal notary in the court of the
bailiwick of Amboise, the aforesaid M. Leonardo de Vinci gave and
bequeathed, by his last will and testament, as aforesaid, to the
said M. Baptista de Vilanis, being present and agreeing, the right
of water which the King Louis XII, of pious memory lately deceased
gave to this same de Vinci, the stream of the canal of Santo
Cristoforo in the duchy of Milan, to belong to the said Vilanis for
ever in such wise and manner that the said gentleman made him this
gift in the presence of M. Francesco da Melzo, gentleman, of Milan
and in mine.

And on the aforesaid day in the said month of April in the said year
MDXVIII the same M. Leonardo de Vinci by his last will and testament
gave to the aforesaid M. Baptista de Vilanis, being present and
agreeing, each and all of the articles of furniture and utensils of
his house at present at the said place of Cloux, in the event of the
said de Vilanis surviving the aforesaid M. Leonardo de Vinci, in the
presence of the said M. Francesco Melzo and of me Notary &c. Borean.

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