The primeval language. Psammetichos, an Egyptian king,
entrusted two new-born infants to a shepherd, with strict charge that
they were never to hear any one utter a word. These children were
afterwards brought before the king and uttered the word bekos (baked
bread). The same experiment was tried by Frederick II. of Sweden, James
IV. of Scotland, and one of the Mogul emperors of India.
James IV., in the 15th century, shut up two infant children in the
Isle of Inchkeith, with a dumb attendant to wait on them.
The three primitive languages.
The Persians say that Arabic, Persian, and Turkish are three
primitive languages. The serpent that seduced Eve spoke Arabic, the
most suasive language in the world; Adam and Eve spoke Persian, the
most poetic of all languages; and the angel Gabriel spoke Turkish, the
most menacing of all languages. (Chardin.)
“Language given to men to conceal their thoughts,”
is by Montrond, but is generally fathered on Talleyrand.
Characteristics of European languages:
L'Italien se parle aux dames. Le Francais se parle aux hommes.
L'Anglais se parle aux oiseaux L'Allemand se parle aux chevaux.
L'Espagnol se parle à Dieux.
English, according to the French notion, is both singsong and
sibilant. Charles Quint used to say, “I speak German to my horses,
Spanish to my God, French to my friends, and Italian to my mistresses.”
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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