Prophecies by Leonardo da Vinci
 

 

LEONARDO DA VINCI

Prophecies

From "The notebooks", 1938

 


CREATURES
Creatures shall be seen upon the earth who will always be fighting one
with another, with very great losses and frequent deaths on cither side.
These shall set no bounds to their malice. ... O Earth! what delays thee
to open and hurl them headlong into the deep fissures of thy huge abysses
and caverns, and no longer to display in the sight of heaven so savage and
ruthless a monster?'


COMMON HABIT
Some poor wretch will be flattered, and these same flatterers will always be
him deceivers, robbers and assassins.


THE PERCUSSION OF THE SUN'S DISC
Something will appear which will cover over the person who shall
attempt to cover it.


OF MONEY AND GOLD
That shall come forth from hollow caves which shall cause all the nations
the world to toil and sweat with great agitation, anxiety and labour, in
order to gain its aid.


OF THE FEAR OF POVERTY
The malevolent and terrifying thing shall of itself strike such terror into
that almost like madmen, while thinking to escape from it, they will
rush in swift course upon its boundless forces.


OF ADVICE
He who shall be most necessary to whoever has need of him will be
unknown, and if known will be held of less account.


OF SNAKES CARRIED BY SWANS
Serpents of huge size will be seen at an immense height in the air fighting
with birds.


OF CANNON WHICH COME FORTH OUT OF A PIT AND FROM A MOULD
There shall come forth from beneath the ground that which by its terrific
report shall stun all who are near it, and cause men to drop dead at its breath,
and it shall devastate cities and castles.


OF CHRISTIANS
There are many who hold the faith of the Son and only build temples in
the name of the Mother.


OF FOOD WHICH HAS BEEN ALIVE
A large part of the bodies which have had life will pass into the bodies of
other animals, that is the houses no longer inhabited will pass piecemeal
through those which are inhabited, ministering to their needs and bearing
away with them what is waste; that is to say that the life of man is made by
the things which he eats, and these carry with them that part of man which
is dead.


OF MEN WHO SLEEP UPON PLANKS MADE FROM TREES
Men will sleep and cat and make their dwelling among trees grown in the
forests and the fields.


OF DREAMING
It shall seem to men that they see new destructions in the sky, and the
flames descending there from shall seem to have taken night and to flee away
in terror; they shall hear creatures of every kind speaking human language;
they shall run in a moment, in person, to divers parts of the world without
movement; amidst the darkness they shall see the most radiant splendours.
O marvel of mankind! What frenzy has thus impelled you! You shall hold
converse with animals of every species, and they with you in human language.
You shall behold yourselves falling from great heights without suffering any
injury; the torrents will bear you with them as they mingle in their rapid
course.


OF ANTS
Many communities there will be who will hide themselves and their
young and their victuals within gloomy caverns, and there in dark places
will sustain themselves and their families for many months without any light
either artificial or natural.


OF BEES
And many others will be robbed of their store of provisions and their
food, and by an insensate folk will be cruelly immersed and drowned. O
justice of God! why dost thou not awake to behold thy creatures thus abused?


OF SHEEP, COWS, GOATS AND THE LIKE
From countless numbers will be stolen their little children, and the
throats of these shall be cut, and they shall be quartered most barbarously.


OF NUTS, OLIVES, ACORNS, CHESTNUTS, AND THE LIKE
Many children shall be torn with pitiless beatings out of the very arms of
their mothers, and flung upon the ground and then maimed.


OF CHILDREN WHO ARE WRAPPED IN SWADDLING BANDS
O cities of the sea, I behold in you your citizens, women as well as men,
tightly bound with stout bonds around their arms and legs by folk who will
have no understanding of our speech; and you will only be able to give vent
to your griefs and sense of loss of liberty by making tearful complaints, and
sighs, and lamentation one to another; for those who bind you will not have
understanding of your speech nor will you understand them.


OF CATS THAT EAT RATS
In you, O cities of Africa! your own sons shall be seen torn to pieces within
their own houses by most cruel and savage animals of your country.


OF ASSES WHICH ARE BEATEN
O neglectful Nature, wherefore art thou thus partial, becoming to some
of thy children a tender and benignant mother, to others a most cruel and
ruthless stepmother? I see thy children given into slavery to others without
lever receiving any benefit, and in lieu of any reward for the services they
have done for them they are repaid by the severest punishments, and they
.constantly spend their lives in the service of their oppressor.


DIVISION OF THE PROPHECIES
First of things which relate to the reasoning animals, second those which
have not the power of reason, third of plants, fourth of ceremonies, fifth of
customs, sixth of propositions, decrees or disputes, seventh of propositions
contrary to Nature (as to speak of a substance which the more there is taken
from it is the more increased), and reserve the weighty propositions until the
end, and begin with those of less import, and show first the evils and then
the punishments, eight of philosophical things.


OF FUNERAL RITES AND PROCESSIONS AND LIGHTS AND BELLS
AND FOLLOWERS

The greatest honours and ceremonies shall be paid to men without their knowledge.
All the astrologers will be castrated, that is the cockerels.


CONJECTURE
Arrange in order the months and the ceremonies which are performed,
and do this for the day and for the night.


OF REAPERS
There will be many who will be moving one against another, holding in
their hands the sharp cutting iron. These will not do each other any hurt
other than that caused by fatigue, for as one leans forward the other draws
back an equal space; but woe to him who intervenes between them, for in
the end he will be left cut in pieces.


OF SILK-SPINNING
There shall be heard mournful cries and loud shrieks, hoarse angry voices
of those who are tortured and despoiled and at last left naked and motionless;
and this shall be by reason of the motive power which turns the whole.


OF PLACING BREAD WITHIN THE MOUTH OF THE OVEN AND
DRAWING IT OUT AGAIN

In all the cities and lands and castles, villages and houses, men will be
seen who through desire of eating will draw the very food out of each
other's mouths, without their being able to make any resistance.


PROPHECIES OF PLOUGHED LAND
The earth will be seen turned upside down and facing the opposite hemi-
spheres, and laying bare the holes where lurk the fiercest animals.


OF SOWING
Then a great part of the men who remain alive will throw out of their
louses the victuals they have saved, as the free booty of the birds and beasts
of the field, without taking any care of them.


OF THE RAINS WHICH CAUSE THE RIVERS TO BECOME MUDDY
AND CARRY AWAY THE SOIL

There will come from out the sky that which will transport a great part
of Africa which lies beneath this sky (1) towards Europe, and that of Europe
towards Africa; and those of the provinces will mingle together in great evolution.
(1) MS., si mostra a esso cielo.


OP BRICK-KILNS AND LIME-KILNS
At the last the earth will become red after being exposed to fire for many
days, and the stones will become changed to ashes.


OF WOOD THAT IS BURNT
The trees and shrubs of the vast forests shall be changed to ashes.


OF BOILED FISH
Creatures of the water will die in boiling water.


THE OLIVES WHICH DROP FROM THE OLIVE-TREES GIVE US THE
OIL WHICH MAKES LIGHT

There shall descend with fury from the direction of the sky that which
will give us nourishment and light.


OF HORNED AND TAWNY OWLS WITH WHICH ONE GOES
FOWLING WITH BIRD-LIME

Many will perish by fracturing their skulls, and their eyes will almost start
out of their heads on account of fearsome creatures which have come forth
out of the darkness.


OF FLAX WHEREBY PAPER IS MADE OUT OF RAGS
That shall be revered and honoured and its precepts shall be listened to
with reverence and love, which was at first despised and mangled and
tortured with many different blows.


OF BOOKS WHICH INCULCATE PRECEPTS
Bodies without souls shall by their sayings supply precepts which shall
help us to die well.


OF THOSE WHO ARE BEATEN AND SCOURGED
Men will hide themselves within the bark of hollow trees, and there crying
aloud they will make martyrs of themselves by beating their own limbs.


OF WANTONNESS
And they will go wild after the things that arc most beautiful to seek after,
to possess and make use of their vilest parts; and afterwards, having returned
with loss and penitence to their understanding, they will be filled with great
admiration for themselves.


OF THE AVARICIOUS
Many there will be who with the utmost zeal and solicitude will pursue
furiously that which has always filled them with awe, not knowing its evil
nature.


OF MEN WHO AS THEY GROW OLDER BECOME MORE MISERLY,
WHEREAS, HAVING BUT A SHORT TIME TO STAY, THEY
OUGHT TO BE MORE GENEROUS

You will see that those who arc considered to be of most experience and
judgment, in proportion as they come to have less need of things, seek and
hoard them with more eagerness.


OF A DITCH (GIVE THIS AS AN INSTANCE OF FRENZY OK
CRAZINESS OR MADNESS OF THE BRAIN)

There will be many busied in the practice of taking from that thing which
increases the more the more they take from it.


OF WEIGHT PLACED ON A FEATHER-PILLOW
And with many bodies it will be seen that as you raise your head from
them they will increase perceptibly, and when the head that has been lifted
up returns, their size will immediately diminish.


OF CATCHING LICE
There will be many hunters of animals who the more they catch the
fewer they will have; and so conversely they will have more in proportion
as they catch less.


OF DRAWING WATER WITH TWO BUCKETS BY A SINGLE ROPE
And many will be busying themselves with a thing which the more they
draw it up will tend the more to escape in die contrary direction.


OF SIEVES MADE OF THE SKIN OF ANIMALS
We shall see the food of animals pass through their skins in every way
except through the mouth, and penetrate through the opposite side until it
reaches the level ground.


OF THE LIGHTS THAT ARE CARRIED BEFORE THE DEAD
They will make light for the dead.


OF THE LANTERN
The fierce horns of powerful bulls will protect the light used at night from
the impetuous fury of the winds.


OF FEATHERS IN BEDS
Flying creatures will support men with their feathers.


OF MEN WHO PASS ABOVE THE TREES WEARING WOODEN STILTS
The swamps will be so great that the men will go above the trees of their
countries.


OF THE SOLES OF SHOES WHICH ARE OF LEATHER
Over a great part of the country men shall be seen walking about on the
skins of large animals.


OF SAILING
There will be great winds through which the eastern things will become
western, and those of the south mingled together in great measure by the
course of the winds will follow these through distant lands.


OF THE WORSHIPPING OF PICTURES OF SAINTS
Men shall speak with men who shall not hear them; their eyes shall be
open and they shall not see; they will speak to them and there shall be no
reply; they will ask pardon from one who has ears and does not hear; they
will offer light to one who is blind, and to the deaf they will appeal with
loud clamour.(1)
(1) MS.,faran lume a [chi] e' orbo [. . .] sordi con gran [. . .] ore.


OF DREAMING
Men shall walk without moving, they shall speak with those who are
absent, they shall hear those who do not speak.


OF THE SHADOW THAT MOVES WITH MAN
There shall be seen shapes and figures of men and animals which shall
pursue these men and animals where so ever they flee; and the movements of
the one shall be as those of the other, but it shall seem a tiling to wonder at
because of the different dimensions which they assume.


OF THE SHADOW CAST BY THE SUN AND OF THE REFLECTION IN
THE WATER SEEN AT ONE AND THE SAME TIME

Many times one man shall be seen to change into three and all shall proceed
together, and often the one that is most real abandons him.


OF WOODEN COFFERS WHICH ENCLOSE MANY TREASURES
Within walnuts and other trees and plants there shall be found very great
treasures which lie hidden there.


OF EXTINGUISHING THE LIGHT WHEN ONE GOES TO BED
Many by forcing their breath out too rapidly will lose the power of sight,
and in a short time all power of sensation.


OF THE BELLS OF MULES WHICH ARE CLOSE TO THEIR EARS
There shall be heard in many parts of Europe instruments of various sizes
making divers melodies, causing great weariness to those who hear them
most closely.


OF ASSES
The many labours shall be repaid by hunger, thirst, wretchedness, blows
and goadings.


OF SOLDIERS ON HORSEBACK
Many shall be seen carried by large animals with great speed, to the loss
of their lives and to instant death. In the air and on the earth shall be seen
animals of different colours, bearing men furiously to the destruction of their
lives.


OF STARS ON SPURS
By reason of the stars you will see men moving as swiftly as any swift
animal.


OF A STICK WHICH IS A DEAD THING
The movement of the dead shall cause many who arc living to flee away
with grief and lamentation and cries.


OF TINDER
With stone and iron things will be rendered visible which were not
previously seen.


OF OXEN WHICH ARE EATEN
The masters of the estates will eat their own labourers.


OF BEATING THE BED TO REMAKE IT
To such a pitch of ingratitude shall men come that that which shall give
; them lodging without any price shall be loaded with blows, in such a way
that great parts of the inside of it shall be detached from their place, and shall
be turned over and over within it.


OF THINGS WHICH ARE EATEN WHICH ARE FIRST PUT TO DEATH
Those who nourish them will be slain by them and scourged by barbarous
death.


OF THE WALLS OF CITIES REFLECTED IN THE WATER OF THEIR
TRENCHES

The high walls of mighty cities shall be seen inverted, in their trenches.


OF THE WATER WHICH FLOWS IN A TURBID STREAM MINGLED WITH
EARTH, AND OF DUST AND MIST MINGLING WITH THE AIR, AND OF
THE FIRE WHICH MINGLES ITS HEAT WITH EACH

All the elements shall be seen confounded together, surging in huge
rolling mass, now towards the centre of the earth, now towards the sky,
at one time coursing in fury from the southern regions towards the icy north,
at another time from the east to the west, and so again from this hemisphere
to the other.


AT ANY POINT ONE MAY MAKE THE DIVISION OF THE TWO
HEMISPHERES

All men will suddenly change their hemisphere.


EVERY POINT FORMS A DIVISION BETWEEN THE EAST AND THE
WEST

All the animals will move from the east to the west, and so also from the
north to the south.


OF THE MOVEMENT OP THE WATERS WHICH CARRY LOGS
THAT ARE DEAD

Bodies without life will move of themselves and will carry with them
innumerable generations of the dead, plundering the possessions of the living
inhabitants.


OF EGGS WHICH BEING EATEN CANNOT PRODUCE CHICKENS

Oh! how many will those be who will never be born.


OF FISHES WHICH ARE EATEN WITH THEIR ROES
Endless generations will perish through the death of the pregnant.


OF THE BEASTS FROM WHOM CHEESE IS MADE
The milk will be taken from the tiny children.


OF THE LAMENTATIONS MADE ON GOOD FRIDAY
In all the parts of Europe there shall be lamentations by great nations for
the death of one man.


OF THE HAFTS OF KNIVES MADE OF RAMS' HORNS
In the horns of animals shall be seen sharp irons, which shall take away the
lives of many of their species.


OF THE NIGHT WHEN ONE CANNOT DISTINGUISH ANY COLOUR

It shall even come to pass that it will be impossible to tell the difference
between colours, for all will become black in hue.


OF SWORDS AND SPEARS WHICH OF THEMSELVES NEVER DO
ANY HARM TO ANYONE

That which of itself is gentle and void of all offence will become terrible
and ferocious by reason of evil companionship, and will take die lives of many
people with the utmost cruelty; and it would slay many more if it were not
that these arc protected by bodies which are themselves without life, which
have come forth out of pits-that is by cuirasses of iron.


OP GINS AND SNARES
Many dead will move with fury, and will take and bind the living, and will
I set them before their enemies in order to compass their death and destruction.


OF THE PRECIOUS METALS
There shall come forth out of dark and gloomy caves that which shall cause
the whole human race to undergo great afflictions, perils, and death. To
many of those who follow it, after much tribulation it will yield delight;
but whosoever pays it no homage will die in want and misery. It shall
bring to pass an endless number of crimes; it shall prompt and incite wretched
men to assassinate, to steal, and to enslave; it shall hold its own followers in
, suspicion; it shall deprive free cities of their rank: it shall take away life itself
from many; it shall make men torment each other with many kinds of
subterfuge, deceits, and treacheries.
O vile monster! How much better were it for men that thou shouldst
go back to hell! For this the vast forests shall be stripped of their trees; for
this an infinite number of creatures shall lose their lives.


OF FIRE
From small beginnings shall arise that which shall rapidly become great;
and it shall have respect for no created thing, but its power shall be such as to
enable it to transform almost everything from its natural condition.


OF SHIPS THAT FOUNDER
There shall be seen huge bodies devoid of life, carrying great numbers of
men with fierce speed to the destruction of their lives.


OF WRITING LETTERS FROM ONE COUNTRY TO ANOTHER
Men from the most remote countries shall speak one to another and shall
reply.


OF THE HEMISPHERES WHICH ARE INFINITE AND DIVIDED BY AN
INFINITE NUMBER OF LINES, IN SUCH A WAY THAT EVERY MAN HAS
ALWAYS ONE OF THESE LINES BETWEEN HIS FEET

Men shall speak with and touch and embrace each other while standing
each in different hemispheres, and shall understand each other's language.


OF PRIESTS WHO SAY MASS
Many shall there be who in order to practise their calling shall put on the
richest vestments, and these shall seem to be made after the manner of aprons.


OF FRIARS WHO HOLD CONFESSION
The unhappy women of their own accord shall go to reveal to men all
their wantonness and their shameful and most secret acts.


OF THE CHURCHES AND HABITATIONS OF FRIARS
There will be many who will abandon work and labour and poverty of
life and possessions, and will go to dwell among riches and in splendid
buildings, pretending that this is a means of becoming acceptable to God.


OF THE SELLING OP PARADISE
A countless multitude will sell publicly and without hindrance things of
the very greatest value, without licence from the Lord of these things, which
were never theirs nor in their power; and human justice will take no account
of this.


OF THE DEAD WHO ARE TAKEN TO BE BURIED
The simple folk will carry a great number of lights to light up the journeys
of all those who have wholly lost the power of sight. O human folly! O
madness of mankind! These two phrases stand for the commencement of
the matter.


OF THE DOWRIES OF MAIDENS
And whereas at first young maidens could not be protected from the lust
and violence of men, either by the watchfulness of parents or by the strength
of walls, there will come a time when it will be necessary for the fathers and
relatives of these maidens to pay a great price to whoever is willing to marry
them, even although they may be rich and noble and exceedingly beautiful.
Herein it seems certain that Nature desires to exterminate die human race, as
a thing useless to the world and the destroyer of all created things.


OF THE CRUELTY OF MAN
Creatures shall be seen upon the earth who will always be fighting one
with another, with very great losses and frequent deaths on cither side.
These shall set no bounds to their malice; by their fierce limbs a great num
ber of the trees in the immense forests of the world shall be laid level with
the ground; and when they have crammed themselves with food it shall
gratify their desire to deal out death, affliction, labours, terrors and banish
ment to every living thing. And by reason of their boundless pride they shall
wish to rise towards heaven, but the excessive weight of their limbs shall
hold them down. There shall be nothing remaining on the earth or under
the earth or in the waters that shall not be pursued and molested or destroyed,
and that which is in one country taken away to another; and their own bodies
I shall be made the tomb and the means of transit of all the living bodies which
they have slain. O Earth! what delays thee to open and hurl them headlong
into the deep fissures of thy huge abysses and caverns, and no longer to dis-
play in the sight of heaven so savage and ruthless a monster?


OF SAILING IN SHIPS
The trees of the vast forests of Taurus and of Sinai, of the Apennines and
of Atlas, shall be seen speeding by means of the air from east to west, and
from north to south, and transporting by means of the air a great quantity of
men. Oh, how many vows! How many deaths! What partings between
friends and relatives shall there be! How many who shall nevermore behold
their own lands or their native country, and shall die unsepulchred and their
bones be scattered in divers parts of the world!


OF REMOVING ON ALL SAINTS' DAY
Many shall leave their own dwellings, and shall carry with them all their
goods and go to dwell in other lands.


OF ALL SOULS' DAY
How many will there be who will mourn for their dead ancestors, carrying
lights for them!


OF FRIARS WHO BY SPENDING ONLY WORDS RECEIVE GREAT
RICHES AND BESTOW PARADISE

Invisible money will cause many who spend it to triumph.


OF BOWS MADE FROM THE HORNS OF OXEN
Many there will be who by means of the horns of cattle will die a painful death.
Behold a thing which is valued the less the more one has need of it. It is advice.
And many have made a trade in deceits and feigned miracles, cozening
the foolish herd, and if no one showed himself cognisant of their deceits they
would impose them upon all.


FOR WELL-DOING
By the branch of the nut-tree which is struck and beaten just when it has
brought its fruit to perfection, is represented those who as the sequel of their
illustrious works are struck by envy in divers ways.
All these things which in the winter are concealed and hidden beneath the
snow, will be left bare and exposed in summer:-said of a he which cannot remain hidden.
You will see the lion tribe tearing open the earth with hooked claws, and
burying themselves in the holes that they have made, together with die other
animals which are in subjection to them.
There shall come forth from the ground creatures clad in darkness who
shall attack the human race with tremendous onslaughts, and it shall lave the
blood poisoned by their fierce bites even while it is devoured by than.
There shall also hurtle through the air a tribe of dreadful winged creatures
who shall attack both men and beasts, and feed upon them with loud cries:-
They shall fill their bellies full of crimson blood.
You will see the blood streaming forth from the rent flesh of men and
bedewing the surface parts.
You will see men with so cruel a malady that they will tear their flesh with
in their own nails:-This will be the itch.
You will see plants continuing without leaves, and rivers standing still in their courses.
The water of the sea shall rise above the high summits of the mountains
towards die sky, and it shall fail down again on to the dwellings of men:-
That is as clouds.
You will sec the greatest trees of the forests borne by the fury of the winds,
from the east to the west:-That is across the sea.
Men shall cast away their own food:-That is in sowing.
The generation of men shall come to such a pass as not to understand one
another's speech:-That is a German with a Turk.
I You will see fathers giving up their daughters to the sensuality of men, and
rewarding them, and abandoning all their former care:-When the girls are married.
Men shall come forth out of the graves changed to winged creatures, and
they shall attack other men, taking away their food even from their hands
and tables:The flies.
Many there will be who will flay their own mother and fold back her
skin:-The tillers of the ground.
Happy will be those who give ear to the words of the dead:-The reading;
of good works and die observing of their precepts.
Feathers shall raise men towards heaven even as they do birds:-That is by
letters written with their quills.
The works of men's hands will become the cause of their death:-Swords and spears.
Men will pursue the thing they most fear:-That is they will be miserable
lest they should fall into misery.
Things severed shall be united and shall acquire of themselves such virtue
that they shall restore to men their lost memory:-That is the papyrus sheets,
which are formed out of severed strips and preserve the memory of die
thoughts and deeds of men.
You shall behold the bones of the dead by their rapid movement directing
the fortunes of their mover:-The dice.
Oxen shall by their horns protect the fire from death:-The lantern.
The forests will bring forth young who will become the cause of their
death:-The handle of the hatchet.
Men will deal rude blows to that which is the cause of their life:-They
will thrash the grain.
The skins of animals will make men rouse from their silence with loud
cries and oaths:-Balls for playing games.
Many times the thing that is severed becomes the cause of great union :-
That is the comb made up of split canes, which unites the threads in the silk.
The wind which passes through the skins of animals will make men leap
up:-That is the bagpipes, which cause men to dance.


OF NUT-TREES WHICH ARE BEATEN
Those which have done best will be most beaten, and their children will
be carried off and stripped or despoiled, and their bones broken and crushed.


OF SCULPTURE

Alas! whom do I see? The Saviour crucified again.


OF THE MOUTH OF MAN WHICH IS A TOMB
There shall come forth loud noises out of the tombs of those who have died
by an evil and violent death.


OF THE SKINS OF ANIMALS WHICH HAVE THE SENSE OF
FEELING OF WHAT IS WRITTEN THERE

The more you converse with skins covered over with sentiments, the more
you will acquire wisdom.


OF PRIESTS WHO BEAR THE HOST IN THEIR BODIES
Then almost all the tabernacles where dwells the Corpus Domini will be
plainly visible, walking about of themselves on the different roads of the world.
And those who feed the air will turn night into day:-Tallow.
And many creatures of the earth and of the water will mount up among
he stars:-The Planets.
You shall see the dead carrying the living in divers parts of the world:- the chariots and ships.
From many the food shall be taken away out of their mouths:-From ovens.
And those who have their mouths filled by the hands of others, shall have
the food taken away out of their mouths:-The oven.


OF CRUCIFIXES WHICH ARE SOLD
I see Christ again sold and crucified, and his saints suffering martyrdom.


OF DOCTORS WHO LIVE UPON THE SICK
Men will come to such a state of misery that they will be grateful that
others should profit by their sufferings, or by the loss of their true riches, that is health.
Of the religion of the Friars who live by means of the Saints, who have
been dead for a long time:
Those who are dead will after a thousand years be those who will make
provision for many of the living.


OF STONES CHANGED INTO LIME WITH WHICH PRISON WALLS
ARE BUILT

Many things which have previously been destroyed by fire will deprive
many men of their liberty.


OF CHILDREN WHO TAKE THE BREAST
Many Franciscans, Dominicans, and Benedictines will eat that which has
recently been eaten by others, and they will remain many months before
being able to speak.


OF COCKLES AND SEA-SNAILS CAST UP BY THE SEA WHICH
ROT WITHIN THEIR SHELLS

How many shall there be who after they are dead will lie rotting in their
own houses, filling all the air around with their foul stench!


PLANT WITH ROOTS UPWARDS
For someone who would be on the point of coming to the end of all
possessions and favour.


OF JACKDAWS AND STARLINGS
Those who trust themselves to inhabit near him, and these will be in great
crowds, will almost all die a cruel death, -and one will see fathers and mothers
together with their families being devoured and slain by cruel animals.


OF PEASANTS WHO WORK IN THEIR SHIRTS
Shadows will come from the East which will tinge with much darkness the
sky that covers Italy.


OF THE BARBERS
All men will take refuge in Africa.


OF THE SHADOW CAST BY MAN AT NIGHT WITH A LIGHT
There shall appear huge figures in human shape, and the nearer to you
hey approach the more will their immense size diminish.


OF MULES WHICH CARRY RICH BURDENS OF SILVER AND GOLD
Many treasures and great riches will be laid upon four-footed animals,
which will carry them to divers places.
Those will be drowned who give light for divine service:-
The bees which make the wax of the candles.
The dead will come forth from under the earth, and by their fierce move
nents will drive innumerable human creatures out of the world:-
The iron which comes from under the earth is dead, and it makes the
weapons wherewith so many men have been slain.
The greatest mountains, even though they are remote from the sea borders,
fill drive the sea from its place:-
That is by the rivers which carry down the soil they have taken from
the mountains and deposit it upon the sea shores; and where the earth
comes the sea retires.
The water fallen from the clouds will so change its nature as to remain for
a long space of time upon the slopes of the mountains without making any
movement. And this will happen in many and divers regions:-
The snow that falls in flakes which is water.
The great rocks of the mountains will dart forth fire, such that they will
burn up the timber of many vast forests and many beasts both wild and tame:-
The flint of the tinder-box, which makes a fire that consumes all the
loads of faggots of which the forests are cleared, and with this the flesh
of beasts is cooked.
Oh! how many great buildings will be ruined by reason of fire:-
By the fire of the guns.
The oxen will become in great part the cause of the destruction of cities;
and so also will horses and buffaloes:-
They draw the guns.
Many there will be who will wax great in their destruction:-
The ball of snow rolling over the snow.
There will be a great host who, forgetful of their existence and their name,
will lie as though dead upon the spoils of other dead creatures:-
By sleeping upon the feathers of birds.
The east shall be seen to rush into the west, the south into the north,
whirling themselves round about the universe with great noise, fury and trembling:-
The wind from the east which will rush into the west.
The rays of the sun will kindle fire on the earth, whereby that which is
beneath the sky will be set alight; and, beaten back by that which impedes
them, they will return downwards:-
The burning-glass kindles the fire with which the oven is heated, and
this has its base standing beneath its vaulted roof.
A great part of the sea will fly towards the sky, and for a long time it will not return:-
That is in clouds.


OF CORN AND OTHER SEEDS
Men shall throw away out of their houses those victuals which were
meant for the sustenance of their lives:-
[That is by sowing.]


OF TREES WHICH GIVE SAP TO GRAFTED-SHOOTS
Fathers and mothers shall be seen to bestow much more attention upon
their step-children than upon their own children.


OF THE THURIFER WITH INCENSE
Some shall go about in white vestments with arrogant gestures threatening
others with metal and fire, which yet have never done them any harm.


OF KIDS
The time of Herod shall return; for the innocent children shall be torn
away from their nurses and shall die of great wounds at the hands of cruel
men.


OF THE MOWING DOWN OF GRASS
Innumerable lives will be extinguished, and innumerable vacant spaces
created upon the earth.


OF THE LIFE OF MEN WHO EVERY TEN YEARS ARE CHANGED
IN BODILY SUBSTANCE

Men will pass when dead through their own bowels.


OF SKINS
Many animals . . .


OF LEATHER BOTTLES
The goats will carry wine to the cities.


OF SHOEMAKERS
Men will take a pleasure in seeing their own works worn out and
destroyed.


OF BEES
They live together in communities. They are drowned in order that their
honey may be seized.
Many and very great communities will be drowned in their own dwellings.
Snow in summer shall be gathered on the high mountain peaks and carried
to warm places, and there be let to fall down, when festivals are held in the
piazza in the time of summer.


 


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