Monday, March 28, 2016
You've probably seen the headlines:
CROWD GOES WILD AFTER SMALL BIRD LANDS ON BERNIE SANDERS' PODIUM
I think of the remark of Sydney Smith in a preface to a collection of sermons (1801):
The cry of a child, the fall of a book, the most trifling occurrence, is sufficient to dissipate religious thought, and to introduce a more willing train of ideas: a sparrow fluttering about the church is an antagonist which the most profound theologian in Europe is wholly unable to overcome.See his daughter's Memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith (London, 1855, second edition), vol. 1 p.50.
Servius on Vergil, Aeneid 1.398 (my translation):
Augurium is intentional and is revealed by specific birds, auspicium is accidental and is shown by any bird.
augurium petitur et certis avibus ostenditur, auspicium qualibet avi demonstratur et non petitur.