The Da Vinci Notebooks at sacred-texts.com
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On naval warfare (1115. 1116).Supposing in a battle between ships and galleys that the ships are victorious by reason of the high of heir tops, you must haul the yard up almost to the top of the mast, and at the extremity of the yard, that is the end which is turned towards the enemy, have a small cage fastened, wrapped up below and all round in a great mattress full of cotton so that it may not be injured by the bombs; then, with the capstan, haul down the opposite end of this yard and the top on the opposite side will go up so high, that it will be far above the round-top of the ship, and you will easily drive out the men that are in it. But it is necessary that the men who are in the galley should go to the opposite side of it so as to afford a counterpoise to the weight of the men placed inside the cage on the yard.