La pietra focaia e l’acciarino


Leonardo da Vinci


La pietra, essendo battuta dall’acciarolo del foco, forte si maravigliò, e con rigida voce disse a quello: “Che presunzio ti move a darmi fatica? Non mi dare affanno, che tu m’hai colto in iscambio. Io non dispiacei mai a nessuno”.

Al quale l’acciarolo rispose:” Se sarai paziente, vedrai che maraviglioso frutto uscirà di te”.

Alle quale parole la pietra, datosi pace, con pazienza stette forte al martire, e vide di sé nascere il maraviglioso foco, il quale, colla sua virtù operava in infinite cose.


Detta per quelli i quali spaventano ne’ prencipi delli studi, e poi che a loro medesimi si dispongano potere comandare, e dare con pazienza opera continua a essi studi, di quelli si vede resultare cose di maravigliose dimostrazioni.

The flint and the rod of steel


Leonardo da Vinci


The flint, when hit with great force by a rod of steel, was greatly taken aback, and in a harsh tone said: “What cheek! Why are you being such a nuisance? I don’t know you. You must have mistaken me for someone else. Leave me alone; can’t you see I have never bothered anyone?”

The steel was quick to answer: “If you are very patient, I will show you what marvelous fruit you can bear!”

At those words, the rock resigned itself to the steel’s constant attacks, and, suffering the blows in silence, soon witnessed a spark that ignited a magnificent fire, a fire that could serve numerous, extraordinary purposes.


And this is exactly what happens to those who undertake long, hard studies: they are annoyed by those who spur them on, but if they are patient, and continue to apply themselves, amazing things will result.


Translation ©Matilda Colarossi


The complete works of #Leonardo can be found at

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