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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Irene E. Jerome., In a fair country 1 1 Browse Search
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard) 1 1 Browse Search
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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Irene E. Jerome., In a fair country, The life of birds (search)
e only form, if it be true, as is claimed, that no other animal employs its tongue, lingua, in producing sound. In the Middle Ages, the song of birds was called their Latin, as was any other foreign dialect. It was the old German superstition, that any one who should eat the heart of a bird would thenceforth comprehend its language; and one modern philologist of the same nation (Masius declares) has so far studied the sounds produced by domestic fowls as to announce a Goose-Lexicon. Dupont de Nemours asserted that he understood eleven words of the Pigeon language, the same number of that of Fowls, fourteen of the Cat tongue, twenty-two of that of Cattle, thirty of that of Dogs, and the Raven language he understood completely. But the ordinary observer seldom attains farther than to comprehend some of the cries of anxiety and fear around him, often so unlike the accustomed carol of the bird,—as the mew of the Cat-Bird, the the lamb-like bleating of the Veery and his impatient yeoic