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XIX. Philosophical Maxims. Morals. Polemics and Speculations Index
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air would be dismembered or rent and broken up with the rending of the air into which it was incorporated.



It is impossible that the spirit infused into a certain quantity of air, should move this air; and this is proved by the above passage where it is said: the spirit rarefies that portion of the air in which it incorporates itself; therefore this air will rise high above the other air and there will be a motion of the air caused by its lightness and not by a voluntary movement of the spirit, and if this air is encountered by the wind, according to the 3rd of this, the air will be moved by the wind and not by the spirit incorporated in it.


In order to prove whether the spirit can speak or not, it is necessary in the first place to define what a voice is and how it is generated; and we will say that the voice is, as it were, the movement of air in friction against a dense body, or a dense body in friction against the air,--which is the same thing. And this friction of the dense and the rare condenses the rare and causes resistance; again, the rare, when in swift motion, and the rare in slow motion condense each other when they come in contact and make a noise and very great uproar;

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and the sound or murmur made by the rare moving through the rare with only moderate swiftness, like a great flame generating noises in the air; and the tremendous uproar made by the rare mingling with the rare, and when that air which is both swift and rare rushes into that which is itself rare and in motion, it is like the flame of fire which issues from a big gun and striking against the air; and again when a flame issues from the cloud, there is a concussion in the air as the bolt is generated. Therefore we may say that the spirit cannot produce a voice without movement of the air, and air in it there is none, nor can it emit what it has not; and if desires to move that air in which it is incorporated, it is necessary that the spirit should multiply itself, and that cannot multiply which has no quantity. And in the 4th place it is said that no rare body can move, if it has not a stable spot, whence it may take its motion; much more is it so when an element has to move within its own element, which does not move of itself, excepting by uniform evaporation at the centre of the thing evaporated; as occurs in a sponge squeezed in the hand held under water; the water escapes in every direction with equal movement through the openings between the fingers of the hand in which it is squeezed.

As to whether the spirit has an articulate voice, and whether the spirit can be heard, and what hearing is, and seeing; the wave of the voice passes through the air as the images of objects pass to the eye.

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