Most Illustrious Lord, Having now sufficiently considered the specimens of all those whoproclaim themselves skilled contrivers of instruments of war, and that the invention and
operation of the said instruments are nothing different from those in common use: I shall
endeavor, without prejudice to any one else, to explain myself to your Excellency, showing your
Lordship my secret, and then offering them to your best pleasure and approbation to work with
effect at opportune moments on all those things which, in part, shall be briefly noted below.
1. I have a sort of extremely light and strong bridges, adapted to be most easily carried, and
with them you may pursue, and at any time flee from the enemy; and others, secure and
indestructible by fire and battle, easy and convenient to lift and place. Also methods of burning
and destroying those of the enemy.
2. I know how, when a place is besieged, to take the water out of the trenches, and make
endless variety of bridges, and covered ways and ladders, and other machines pertaining to
3. If, by reason of the height of the banks, or the strength of the place and its position, it is
impossible, when besieging a place, to avail oneself of the plan of bombardment, I have
methods for destroying every rock or other fortress, even if it were founded on a rock, etc.
4. Again, I have kinds of mortars; most convenient and easy to carry; and with these I can fling
small stones almost resembling a storm; and with the smoke of these cause great terror to the
enemy, to his great detriment and confusion.
5. And if the fight should be at sea I have kinds of many machines most efficient for offense and
defense; and vessels which will resist the attack of the largest guns and powder and fumes.
6. I have means by secret and tortuous mines and ways, made without noise, to reach a
designated spot, even if it were needed to pass under a trench or a river.
7. I will make covered chariots, safe and unattackable, which, entering among the enemy with
their artillery, there is no body of men so great but they would break them. And behind these,
infantry could follow quite unhurt and without any hindrance.
8. In case of need I will make big guns, mortars, and light ordnance of fine and useful forms, out
of the common type.
9. Where the operation of bombardment might fail, I would contrive catapults, mangonels,
trabocchi, and other machines of marvellous efficacy and not in common use. And in short,
according to the variety of cases, I can contrive various and endless means of offense and
10. In times of peace I believe I can give perfect satisfaction and to the equal of any other in
architecture and the composition of buildings public and private; and in guiding water from one
place to another.
11. I can carry out sculpture in marble, bronze, or clay, and also, I can do in painting whatever
may be done, as well as any other, be he who he may.
Again, the bronze horse may be taken in hand, which is to be to the immortal glory and eternal
honor of the prince your father of happy memory, and of the illustrious house of Sforza.
And if any of the above-named things seem to anyone to be impossible or not feasible, I am
most ready to make the experiment in your park, or in whatever place may please your
Excellency – to whom I comment myself with the utmost humility, etc.
Give specific examples to back up each evaluate listed below:
Writing is smooth, tight,
Text avoids “I” at
beginning of every
Text employs youattitude and positive
Letter is free from typos
and other errors
Letter uses a standard
letter format (block or
Letter is visually pleasing
Letter is organized
according to solicited job
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