Of the Nightingale.
The Nightingale was named first, of good melodie loving, or for having delight to frame and sing a pleasaunt and sweete note. With hir pleasaunt tune she playeth every day before the Sunne his arising a fit of mirth, and it is very melodious to welcome the sunne as it were a Bridegrome comming. She is called in Greeke Aedoon of aei and adoo, which is to sing continually: she is one of those alsoe which doe prognosticate as Aratus saith. In histories we read that many Caesars Emperours, especially those which were of the yongest sort, have had Nightingales & Starlings or Stares that have been well instructed and taught both in the Greeke & Latin tongue. As also there was a Crowe in Rome, which being framed and taught to that purpose, everie morning would flie to the Court Hostilia over the river Tiberis to salute Germanicus Caligula the Emperour his Father, and Drusus, Emperour also, & then next after the whole body of Rome. This Crow is said to be Appoloes bird: As the Eagle Iupiters: The Crane, Palamedes and the Kings fisher, Thetis the mother of Achilles. Merthes also the King of Egypt hadde a Crow so taught and instructed, that whither soever he had bidden him to go, eyther to carie or to fetch letters, he was not ignorant whither to flie, & by that meanes did his maisters message speedily. But to retourne to the Nightingale from whence we first came. Plinie saith, that in the spring time she most commonly bringeth forth six egges, and to the intent that hir griefe in travelling should not be sore or great, she passeth awaie most of the night with pleasant songs. Whole fifteen dayes at the spring time or at the budding forth of leaves, she continually singeth. This kinde doth often strive between themselves, and being almost dead, yet to the verie end he will rather want of his breath, then leave off his song. This brid sang as Histories make mention in Stesichorus mouth, he being an Infant or child: even as Bees flue about Platoes he being on sleepe in the Cradell, and left there some part of there Hony: and as the selfe same kind also sat without hurting him, upon Ambrose hys mouth, he being a child. And upon rich Midas the Phrygian, he being the yong, Pismiers filled his mouth with wheat, whereof every one of these, & such like have their hid signification.