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The Arts

here to describe and represent in full, proving these movements by means of my mathematical principles.132 I once saw in Florence a man who had become deaf who, when you spoke very loud, did not understand you, but if you spoke gently and without making sound of the voice, understood merely from the movement of the lips. Now perhaps you will say that the lips of a man who speaks loudly do not move like those of one speaking softly, and that if they were to move them alike they would not be alike understood. As to this argument I leave the decision to experiment; make a man speak to you gently and note his lips.133

( f ) The Embryo Though human ingenuity may make various inventions answering by different machines to the same end, it will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple, more direct than does Nature; because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous. She needs no counterpoise when she creates limbs fitted for movement in the bodies of animals, but puts within them the soul of the body which forms them, that is the soul of the mother which first constructs within the womb the shape of man, and in due time awakens the soul that is to be its inhabitant. And this at first lay dormant, under the tutelage of the soul of the mother who gives it nourishment and life through the umbilical vein with all its spiritual members; and this will continue as long as the said umbilical cord is joined to it by the secundines and the cotyledons by which the child is attached to the mother. These are the reasons why a wish, strong desire, a fright experienced by the mother is felt more powerfully by the child than by the mother; for there are many cases when the child loses its life from it. . . . 134 As one mind governs two bodies, inasmuch as the desires, the fears, and the pains of the mother are one with the pains, that is the bodily pains, and desires of the child which is in

Leonardo da vinci  
Leonardo da vinci  
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