The Ornithology of Shakespeare

The Ornithology of Shakespeare

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1871 edition. Excerpt: ...young cuckoo, which is said to turn out the young of its foster parent as soon as it is sufficiently strong, has given rise in France to the proverb "Ingrat comme un coucou." The word "gull" above mentioned is usually applied to the person " gulled," i.e. beguiled. Here it must either mean the " guller," or it must have a special application to the voracity of the cuckoo, as the sea-gull is supposed to be so called from gulo--o'nis. We gather from Decker's " English Villanies " that formerly the sharpers termed their gang a warren, and their simple victims rabbit-suckers, or conies. At other times their confederates were called bird--catchers, and their prey gulls; and hence it was common to say of any person who had been swindled or hoaxed, that he was coney-catched In a subsequent chapter we shall have occasion to refer to various other passages in which the word gull is thus employed. But to return to the cuckoo, and its foster parent the hedge-sparrow: --" Why should the worm intrude the maiden bud, Or hateful cuckoos hatch in sparrows' nests 9"--Lucrece. The solution of this question is the more puzzling from the fact that this parasitical habit is not common to all species of the genus cuckoo. An American species builds a nest for itself, and hatches its own eggs. The habits of our English bird must always be as much a marvel to us as its remarkable voice. " He knows me, as the blind man knows the cuckoo, " The plain song cuckoo gray, Whose note full many a man doth mark, And dares not answer, nay--for, indeed, who would set his wish to so foolish a bird? who would give a bird the lie, though he cry ' cuckoo ' more

Product details

  • Paperback | 68 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 141g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236827945
  • 9781236827944