The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci


The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci Page 32

We do not find that the sand mixed with seaweed has been petrified, because the weed which was mingled with it has shrunk away, and this the Po shows us every day in the debris of its banks.

Other problems (992-994).

992.

Why do we find the bones of great fishes and oysters and corals and various other shells and sea-snails on the high summits of mountains by the sea, just as we find them in low seas?

993.

You now have to prove that the shells cannot have originated if not in salt water, almost all being of that sort; and that the shells in Lombardy are at four levels, and thus it is everywhere, having been made at various times. And they all occur in valleys that open towards the seas.

994.

>From the two lines of shells we are forced to say that the earth indignantly submerged under the sea and so the first layer was made; and then the deluge made the second.

[Footnote: This note is in the early writing of about 1470--1480. On the same sheet are the passages No. 1217 and 1219. Compare also No. 1339. All the foregoing chapters are from Manuscripts of about 1510. This explains the want of connection and the contradiction between this and the foregoing texts.]

VII.

ON THE ATMOSPHERE.

Constituents of the atmosphere.

995.

That the brightness of the air is occasioned by the water which has dissolved itself in it into imperceptible molecules. These, being lighted by the sun from the opposite side, reflect the brightness which is visible in the air; and the azure which is seen in it is caused by the darkness that is hidden beyond the air. [Footnote: Compare Vol. I, No. 300.]

On the motion of air (996--999).

996.

That the return eddies of wind at the mouth of certain valleys strike upon the waters and scoop them out in a great hollow, whirl the water into the air in the form of a column, and of the colour of a cloud. And I saw this thing happen on a sand bank in the Arno, where the sand was hollowed out to a greater depth than the stature of a man; and with it the gravel was whirled round and flung about for a great space; it appeared in the air in the form of a great bell-tower; and the top spread like the branches of a pine tree, and then it bent at the contact of the direct wind, which passed over from the mountains.

997.

The element of fire acts upon a wave of air in the same way as the air does on water, or as water does on a mass of sand --that is earth; and their motions are in the same proportions as those of the motors acting upon them.

998.

OF MOTION.

I ask whether the true motion of the clouds can be known by the motion of their shadows; and in like manner of the motion of the sun.

999.

To know better the direction of the winds. [Footnote: In connection with this text I may here mention a hygrometer, drawn and probably invented by Leonardo. A facsimile of this is given in Vol. I, p. 297 with the note: 'Modi di pesare l'arie eddi sapere quando s'a arrompere il tepo' (Mode of weighing the air and of knowing when the weather will change); by the sponge "Spugnea" is written.]

The globe an organism.

1000.

Nothing originates in a spot where there is no sentient, vegetable and rational life; feathers grow upon birds and are changed every year; hairs grow upon animals and are changed every year, excepting some parts, like the hairs of the beard in lions, cats and their like. The grass grows in the fields, and the leaves on the trees, and every year they are, in great part, renewed. So that we might say that the earth has a spirit of growth; that its flesh is the soil, its bones the arrangement and connection of the rocks of which the mountains are composed, its cartilage the tufa, and its blood the springs of water. The pool of blood which lies round the heart is the ocean, and its breathing, and the increase and decrease of the blood in the pulses, is represented in the earth by the flow and ebb of the sea; and the heat of the spirit of the world is the fire which pervades the earth, and the seat of the vegetative soul is in the fires, which in many parts of the earth find vent in baths and mines of sulphur, and in volcanoes, as at Mount Aetna in Sicily, and in many other places.

[Footnote: Compare No. 929.]

XVII.

Topographical Notes.

A large part of the texts published in this section might perhaps have found their proper place in connection with the foregoing chapters on Physical Geography. But these observations on Physical Geography, of whatever kind they may be, as soon as they are localised acquire a special interest and importance and particularly as bearing on the question whether Leonardo himself made the observations recorded at the places mentioned or merely noted the statements from hearsay. In a few instances he himself tells us that he writes at second hand. In some cases again, although the style and expressions used make it seem highly probable that he has derived his information from others-- though, as it seems to me, these cases are not very numerous--we find, on the other hand, among these topographical notes a great number of observations, about which it is extremely difficult to form a decided opinion. Of what the Master's life and travels may have been throughout his sixty-seven years of life we know comparatively little; for a long course of time, and particularly from about 1482 to 1486, we do not even know with certainty that he was living in Italy. Thus, from a biographical point of view a very great interest attaches to some of the topographical notes, and for this reason it seemed that it would add to their value to arrange them in a group by themselves. Leonardo's intimate knowledge with places, some of which were certainly remote from his native home, are of importance as contributing to decide the still open question as to the extent of Leonardo's travels. We shall find in these notes a confirmation of the view, that the MSS. in which the Topographical Notes occur are in only a very few instances such diaries as may have been in use during a journey. These notes are mostly found in the MSS. books of his later and quieter years, and it is certainly remarkable that Leonardo is very reticent as to the authorities from whom he quotes his facts and observations: For instance, as to the Straits of Gibraltar, the Nile, the Taurus Mountains and the Tigris and Euphrates. Is it likely that he, who declared that in all scientific research, his own experience should be the foundation of his statements (see XIX Philosophy No. 987--991,) should here have made an exception to this rule without mentioning it?

As for instance in the discussion as to the equilibrium of the mass of water in the Mediterranean Sea--a subject which, it may be observed, had at that time attracted the interest and study of hardly any other observer. The acute remarks, in Nos. 985--993, on the presence of shells at the tops of mountains, suffice to prove--as it seems to me--that it was not in his nature to allow himself to be betrayed into wide generalisations, extending beyond the limits of his own investigations, even by such brilliant results of personal study.

Most of these Topographical Notes, though suggesting very careful and thorough research, do not however, as has been said, afford necessarily indisputable evidence that that research was Leonardo's own. But it must be granted that in more than one instance probability is in favour of this idea.

Among the passages which treat somewhat fully of the topography of Eastern places by far the most interesting is a description of the Taurus Mountains; but as this text is written in the style of a formal report and, in the original, is associated with certain letters which give us the history of its origin, I have thought it best not to sever it from that connection. It will be found under No. XXI (Letters).

That Florence, and its neighbourhood, where Leonardo spent his early years, should be nowhere mentioned except in connection with the projects for canals, which occupied his attention for some short time during the first ten years of the XVIth century, need not surprise us. The various passages relating to the construction of canals in Tuscany, which are put together at the beginning, are immediately followed by those which deal with schemes for canals in Lombardy; and after these come notes on the city and vicinity of Milan as well as on the lakes of North Italy.

The notes on some towns of Central Italy which Leonardo visited in 1502, when in the service of Cesare Borgia, are reproduced here in the same order as in the note book used during these travels (MS. L., Institut de France). These notes have but little interest in themselves excepting as suggesting his itinerary. The maps of the districts drawn by Leonardo at the time are more valuable (see No. 1054 note). The names on these maps are not written from right to left, but in the usual manner, and we are permitted to infer that they were made in obedience to some command, possibly for the use of Cesare Borgia himself; the fact that they remained nevertheless in Leonardo's hands is not surprising when we remember the sudden political changes and warlike events of the period. There can be no doubt that these maps, which are here published for the first time, are original in the strictest sense of the word, that is to say drawn from observations of the places themselves; this is proved by the fact--among others--that we find among his manuscripts not only the finished maps themselves but the rough sketches and studies for them. And it would perhaps be difficult to point out among the abundant contributions to geographical knowledge published during the XVIth century, any maps at all approaching these in accuracy and finish.

The interesting map of the world, so far as it was then known, which is among the Leonardo MSS. at Windsor (published in the 'Archaeologia' Vol. XI) cannot be attributed to the Master, as the Marchese Girolamo d'Adda has sufficiently proved; it has not therefore been reproduced here.

Such of Leonardo's observations on places in Italy as were made before or after his official travels as military engineer to Cesare Borgia, have been arranged in alphabetical order, under Nos. 1034-1054. The most interesting are those which relate to the Alps and the Appenines, Nos. 1057-1068.

Most of the passages in which France is mentioned have hitherto remained unknown, as well as those which treat of the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, which come at the end of this section. Though these may be regarded as of a more questionable importance in their bearing on the biography of the Master than those which mention places in France, it must be allowed that they are interesting as showing the prominent place which the countries of the East held in his geographical studies. He never once alludes to the discovery of America.

I.

ITALY.

Canals in connection with the Arno (1001-1008).

1001.

CANAL OF FLORENCE.

Sluices should be made in the valley of la Chiana at Arezzo, so that when, in the summer, the Arno lacks water, the canal may not remain dry: and let this canal be 20 braccia wide at the bottom, and at the top 30, and 2 braccia deep, or 4, so that two of these braccia may flow to the mills and the meadows, which will benefit the country; and Prato, Pistoia and Pisa, as well as Florence, will gain two hundred thousand ducats a year, and will lend a hand and money to this useful work; and the Lucchese the same, for the lake of Sesto will be navigable; I shall direct it to Prato and Pistoia, and cut through Serravalle and make an issue into the lake; for there will be no need of locks or supports, which are not lasting and so will always be giving trouble in working at them and keeping them up.

And know that in digging this canal where it is 4 braccia deep, it will cost 4 dinari the square braccio; for twice the depth 6 dinari, if you are making 4 braccia [Footnote: This passage is illustrated by a slightly sketched map, on which these places are indicated from West to East: Pisa, Luccha, Lago, Seravalle, Pistoja, Prato, Firenze.] and there are but 2 banks; that is to say one from the bottom of the trench to the surface of the edges of it, and the other from these edges to the top of the ridge of earth which will be raised on the margin of the bank. And if this bank were of double the depth only the first bank will be increased, that is 4 braccia increased by half the first cost; that is to say that if at first 4 dinari were paid for 2 banks, for 3 it would come to 6, at 2 dinari the bank, if the trench measured 16 braccia at the bottom; again, if the trench were 16 braccia wide and 4 deep, coming to 4 lire for the work, 4 Milan dinari the square braccio; a trench which was 32 braccia at the bottom would come to 8 dinari the square braccio.

1002.

>From the wall of the Arno at [the gate of] la Giustizia to the bank of the Arno at Sardigna where the walls are, to the mills, is 7400 braccia, that is 2 miles and 1400 braccia and beyond the Arno is 5500 braccia.

[Footnote: 2. Giustizia. By this the Porta della Giustizia seems to be meant; from the XVth to the XVIth centuries it was also commonly known as Porta Guelfa, Porta San Francesco del Renaio, Porta Nuova, and Porta Reale. It was close to the Arno opposite to the Porta San Niccolo, which still exists.]

1003.

By guiding the Arno above and below a treasure will be found in each acre of ground by whomsoever will.

1004.

The wall of the old houses runs towards the gate of San Nicolo.

[Footnote: By the side of this text there is an indistinct sketch, resembling that given under No.973. On the bank is written the word Casace. There then follows in the original a passage of 12 lines in which the consequences of the windings of the river are discussed. A larger but equally hasty diagram on the same page represents the shores of the Arno inside Florence as in two parallel lines. Four horizontal lines indicate the bridges. By the side these measures are stated in figures: I. (at the Ponte alla Carraja): 230--largho br. 12 e 2 di spoda e 14 di pile e a 4 pilastri; 2. (at the Ponte S. Trinita); l88--largho br. 15 e 2 di spode he 28 di pilastri for delle spode e pilastri so 2; 3. (at the Ponte vecchio); pote lung br. 152 e largo; 4. (at the Ponte alle Grazie): 290 ellargo 12 e 2 di spode e 6 di pili.

There is, in MS. W. L. 2l2b, a sketched plan of Florence, with the following names of gates: Nicholo--Saminiato--Giorgo--Ghanolini--Porta San Fredian --Prato--Faenza--Ghallo--Pinti--Giustitia.]

1005.

The ruined wall is 640 braccia; 130 is the wall remaining with the mill; 300 braccia were broken in 4 years by Bisarno.

1006.

They do not know why the Arno will never remain in a channel. It is because the rivers which flow into it deposit earth where they enter, and wear it away on the opposite side, bending the river in that direction. The Arno flows for 6 miles between la Caprona and Leghorn; and for 12 through the marshes, which extend 32 miles, and 16 from La Caprona up the river, which makes 48; by the Arno from Florence beyond 16 miles; to Vico 16 miles, and the canal is 5; from Florence to Fucechio it is 40 miles by the river Arno.

56 miles by the Arno from Florence to Vico; by the Pistoia canal it is 44 miles. Thus it is 12 miles shorter by the canal than by the Arno.

[Footnote: This passage is written by the side of a map washed in Indian ink, of the course of the Arno; it is evidently a sketch for a completer map.

These investigations may possibly be connected with the following documents. Francesco Guiducci alla Balia di Firenze. Dal Campo contro Pisa 24 Luglio 1503 (Archivio di Stato, Firenze, Lettere alla Balia; published by J. GAYE, Carteggio inedito d'Artisti, Firenze 1840, Tom. II, p. 62): Ex Castris, Franciscus Ghuiduccius, 24. Jul. 1503. Appresso fu qui hieri con una di V. Signoria Alexandro degli Albizi insieme con Leonardo da Vinci et certi altri, et veduto el disegno insieme con el ghovernatore, doppo molte discussioni et dubii conclusesi che l'opera fussi molto al proposito, o si veramente Arno volgersi qui, o restarvi con un canale, che almeno vieterebbe che le colline da nemici non potrebbono essere offese; come tucto referiranno loro a bocha V. S.

And, Archivio di Stato, Firenze, Libro d'Entrata e Uscita di cassa de' Magnifici Signori di luglio e agosto

1503 a 51 T.: Andata di Leonardo al Campo sotto Pisa. Spese extraordinarie dieno dare a di XXVI di luglio L. LVI sol. XII per loro a Giovanni Piffero; e sono per tanti, asegnia avere spexi in vetture di sei chavalli a spese di vitto per andare chon Lionardo da Vinci a livellare Arno in quello di Pisa per levallo del lilo suo. (Published by MILANESI, Archivio Storico Italiano, Serie III, Tom. XVI.} VASARI asserts: (Leonardo) fu il primo ancora, che giovanetto discorresse sopra il fiume d'Arno per metterlo in canale da Pisa a Fiorenza (ed. SANSONI, IV, 20).

The passage above is in some degree illustrated by the map on Pl. CXII, where the course of the Arno westward from Empoli is shown.]

1007.

The eddy made by the Mensola, when the Arno is low and the Mensola full.

[Footnote: Mensola is a mountain stream which falls into the Arno about a mile and a half above Florence.

A=Arno, I=Isola, M=Mvgone, P=Pesa, N=Mesola.]

1008.

That the river which is to be turned from one place to another must be coaxed and not treated roughly or with violence; and to do this a sort of floodgate should be made in the river, and then lower down one in front of it and in like manner a third, fourth and fifth, so that the river may discharge itself into the channel given to it, or that by this means it may be diverted from the place it has damaged, as was done in Flanders--as I was told by Niccolo di Forsore.

How to protect and repair the banks washed by the water, as below the island of Cocomeri.

Ponte Rubaconte (Fig. 1); below [the palaces] Bisticci and Canigiani (Fig. 2). Above the flood gate of la Giustizia (Fig. 3); a b is a sand bank opposite the end of the island of the Cocomeri in the middle of the Arno (Fig. 4). [Footnote: The course of the river Arno is also discussed in Nos. 987 and 988.]

Canals in the Milanese (1009-1013).

1009.

The canal of San Cristofano at Milan made May 3rd 1509. [Footnote: This observation is written above a washed pen and ink drawing which has been published as Tav. VI in the ,,Saggio." The editors of that work explain the drawing as "uno Studio di bocche per estrazione d'acqua."]

1010.

OF THE CANAL OF MARTESANA.

By making the canal of Martesana the water of the Adda is greatly diminished by its distribution over many districts for the irrigation of the fields. A remedy for this would be to make several little channels, since the water drunk up by the earth is of no more use to any one, nor mischief neither, because it is taken from no one; and by making these channels the water which before was lost returns again and is once more serviceable and useful to men.

[Footnote: "el navilio di Martagano" is also mentioned in a note written in red chalk, MS. H2 17a Leonardo has, as it seems, little to do with Lodovico il Moro's scheme to render this canal navigable. The canal had been made in 1460 by Bertonino da Novara. Il Moro issued his degree in 1493, but Leonardo's notes about this canal were, with the exception of one (No. 1343), written about sixteen years later.]

1011.

No canal which is fed by a river can be permanent if the river whence it originates is not wholly closed up, like the canal of Martesana which is fed by the Ticino.

1012.

>From the beginning of the canal to the mill.

>From the beginning of the canal of Brivio to the mill of Travaglia is 2794 trabochi, that is 11176 braccia, which is more than 3 miles and two thirds; and here the canal is 57 braccia higher than the surface of the water of the Adda, giving a fall of two inches in every hundred trabochi; and at that spot we propose to take the opening of our canal.

[Footnote: The following are written on the sketches: At the place marked N: navilio da dacquiue (canal of running water); at M: molin del Travaglia (Mill of Travaglia); at R: rochetta ssanta maria (small rock of Santa Maria); at A: Adda; at L: Lagho di Lecho ringorgato alli 3 corni in Adda,--Concha perpetua (lake of Lecco overflowing at Tre Corni, in Adda,-- a permanent sluice). Near the second sketch, referring to the sluice near Q: qui la chatena ttalie d'u peso (here the chain is in one piece). At M in the lower sketch: mol del travaglia, nel cavare la concha il tereno ara chotrapero co cassa d'acqua. (Mill of Travaglia, in digging out the sluice the soil will have as a counterpoise a vessel of water).]

1013.

If it be not reported there that this is to be a public canal, it will be necessary to pay for the land; [Footnote 3: il re. Louis XII or Francis I of France. It is hardly possible to doubt that the canals here spoken of were intended to be in the Milanese. Compare with this passage the rough copy of a letter by Leonardo, to the "Presidente dell' Ufficio regolatore dell' acqua" on No. 1350. See also the note to No. 745, 1. 12.] and the king will pay it by remitting the taxes for a year.

Estimates and preparatory studies for canals (1014. 1015).

1014.

CANAL.

The canal which may be 16 braccia wide at the bottom and 20 at the top, we may say is on the average 18 braccia wide, and if it is 4 braccia deep, at 4 dinari the square braccia; it will only cost 900 ducats, to excavate by the mile, if the square braccio is calculated in ordinary braccia; but if the braccia are those used in measuring land, of which every 4 are equal to 4 1/2 and if by the mile we understand three thousand ordinary braccia; turned into land braccia, these 3000 braccia will lack 1/4; there remain 2250 braccia, which at 4 dinari the braccio will amount to 675 ducats a mile. At 3 dinari the square braccio, the mile will amount to 506 1/4 ducats so that the excavation of 30 miles of the canal will amount to 15187 1/2 ducats.

1015.

To make the great canal, first make the smaller one and conduct into it the waters which by a wheel will help to fill the great one.

Notes on buildings in Milan (1016-1019)

1016.

Indicate the centre of Milan.

Moforte--porta resa--porta nova--strada nova--navilio--porta cumana--barco--porta giovia--porta vercellina--porta sco Anbrogio--porta Tesinese--torre dell' Imperatore-- porta Lodovica--acqua.

[Footnote: See Pl. CIX. The original sketch is here reduced to about half its size. The gates of the town are here named, beginning at the right hand and following the curved line. In the bird's eye view of Milan below, the cathedral is plainly recognisable in the middle; to the right is the tower of San Gottardo. The square, above the number 9147, is the Lazzaretto, which was begun in 1488. On the left the group of buildings of the 'Castello' will be noticed. On the sketched Plan of Florence (see No. 1004 note) Leonardo has written on the margin the following names of gates of Milan: Vercellina --Ticinese--Ludovica--Romana--Orientale-- Nova--Beatrice--Cumana--Compare too No. 1448, 11. 5, 12.]

1017.

The moat of Milan.

Canal 2 braccia wide.

The castle with the moats full.

The filling of the moats of the Castle of Milan.

1018.

THE BATH.

To heat the water for the stove of the Duchess take four parts of cold water to three parts of hot water.

[Footnote: Duchessa di Milano, Beatrice d'Este, wife of Ludovico il Moro to whom she was married, in 1491. She died in June 1497.]

1019.

In the Cathedral at the pulley of the nail of the cross.

Item.

To place the mass v r in the...

[Footnote: On this passage AMORETTI remarks (Memorie Storiche chap. IX): Nell'anno stesso lo veggiamo formare un congegno di carucole e di corde, con cui trasportare in piu venerabile e piu sicuro luogo, cioe nell'ultima arcata della nave di mezzo della metropolitana, la sacra reliquia del Santo Chiodo, che ivi ancor si venera. Al fol. 15 del codice segnato Q. R. in 16, egli ci ha lasciata di tal congegno una doppia figura, cioe una di quattro carucole, e una di tre colle rispettive corde, soggiugnandovi: in Domo alla carucola del Chiodo della Croce.

AMORETTI'S views as to the mark on the MS, and the date when it was written are, it may be observed, wholly unfounded. The MS. L, in which it occurs, is of the year 1502, and it is very unlikely that Leonardo was in Milan at that time; this however would not prevent the remark, which is somewhat obscure, from applying to the Cathedral at Milan.]

1020.

OF THE FORCE OF THE VACUUM FORMED IN A MOMENT.

I saw, at Milan, a thunderbolt fall on the tower della Credenza on its Northern side, and it descended with a slow motion down that side, and then at once parted from that tower and carried with it and tore away from that wall a space of 3 braccia wide and two deep; and this wall was 4 braccia thick and was built of thin and small old bricks; and this was dragged out by the vacuum which the flame of the thunderbolt had caused, &c.

[Footnote: With reference to buildings at Milan see also Nos. 751 and 756, and Pl. XCV, No. 2 (explained on p. 52), Pl. C (explained on pages 60-62). See also pages 25, 39 and 40.]

Remarks on natural phenomena in and near Milan (1021. 1022).

1021.

I have already been to see a great variety (of atmospheric effects). And lately over Milan towards Lago Maggiore I saw a cloud in the form of an immense mountain full of rifts of glowing light, because the rays of the sun, which was already close to the horizon and red, tinged the cloud with its own hue. And this cloud attracted to it all the little clouds that were near while the large one did not move from its place; thus it retained on its summit the reflection of the sunlight till an hour and a half after sunset, so immensely large was it; and about two hours after sunset such a violent wind arose, that it was really tremendous and unheard of.

[Footnote: di arie is wanting in the original but may safely be inserted in the context, as the formation of clouds is under discussion before this text.]

1022.

On the 10th day of December at 9 o'clock a. m. fire was set to the place.

On the l8th day of December 1511 at 9 o'clock a. m. this second fire was kindled by the Swiss at Milan at the place called DCXC. [Footnote: With these two texts, (l. 1--2 and l. 3--5 are in the original side by side) there are sketches of smoke wreaths in red chalk.]

Note on Pavia.

1023.

The chimneys of the castle of Pavia have 6 rows of openings and from each to the other is one braccio.

[Footnote: Other notes relating to Pavia occur on p. 43 and p. 53 (Pl. XCVIII, No. 3). Compare No. 1448, 26.]

Notes on the Sforzesca near Vigevano (1024-1028).

1024.

On the 2nd day of February 1494. At Sforzesca I drew twenty five steps, 2/3 braccia to each, and 8 braccia wide.

[Footnote: See Pl. CX, No. 2. The rest of the notes on this page refer to the motion of water. On the lower sketch we read: 4 br. (four braccia) and giara (for ghiaja, sand, gravel).]

1025.

The vineyards of Vigevano on the 20th day of March 1494.

[Footnote: On one side there is an effaced sketch in red chalk.]

1026.

To lock up a butteris at Vigevano.

1027.

Again if the lowest part of the bank which lies across the current of the waters is made in deep and wide steps, after the manner of stairs, the waters which, in their course usually fall perpendicularly from the top of such a place to the bottom, and wear away the foundations of this bank can no longer descend with a blow of too great a force; and I find the example of this in the stairs down which the water falls in the fields at Sforzesca at Vigevano over which the running water falls for a height of 50 braccia.

1028.

Stair of Vigevano below La Sforzesca, 130 steps, 1/4 braccio high and 1/2 braccio wide, down which the water falls, so as not to wear away anything at the end of its fall; by these steps so much soil has come down that it has dried up a pool; that is to say it has filled it up and a pool of great depth has been turned into meadows.

Notes on the North Italian lake. (1029-1033)

1029.

In many places there are streams of water which swell for six hours and ebb for six hours; and I, for my part, have seen one above the lake of Como called Fonte Pliniana, which increases and ebbs, as I have said, in such a way as to turn the stones of two mills; and when it fails it falls so low that it is like looking at water in a deep pit.

[Footnote: The fountain is known by this name to this day: it is near Torno, on the Eastern shore of Como. The waters still rise and fall with the flow and ebb of the tide as Pliny described it (Epist. IV, 30; Hist. Nat. II, 206).]

1030.

LAKE OF COMO. VALLEY OF CHIAVENNA.

Above the lake of Como towards Germany is the valley of Chiavenna where the river Mera flows into this lake. Here are barren and very high mountains, with huge rocks. Among these mountains are to be found the water-birds called gulls. Here grow fir trees, larches and pines. Deer, wildgoats, chamois, and terrible bears. It is impossible to climb them without using hands and feet. The peasants go there at the time of the snows with great snares to make the bears fall down these rocks. These mountains which very closely approach each other are parted by the river. They are to the right and left for the distance of 20 miles throughout of the same nature. >From mile to mile there are good inns. Above on the said river there are waterfalls of 400 braccia in height, which are fine to see; and there is good living at 4 soldi the reckoning. This river brings down a great deal of timber.

VAL SASINA.

Val Sasina runs down towards Italy; this is almost the same form and character. There grow here many mappello and there are great ruins and falls of water [Footnote 14: The meaning of mappello is unknown.].

VALLEY OF INTROZZO.

This valley produces a great quantity of firs, pines and larches; and from here Ambrogio Fereri has his timber brought down; at the head of the Valtellina are the mountains of Bormio, terrible and always covered with snow; marmots (?) are found there.

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