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Description of NX 2240 in four languages
Named collection: Allan Forbes Collection
Object type: print
Maker: Jahrgang, Erster; Kurzbeck, Joseph
Place made: Austria, Vienna state, Vienna
Date made: 1774
Materials: ink; paper
Measurements: 10 1/4 in x 7 1/2 in
Nomenclature: natural history
Monochrome page from a book with text about whales in four languages. Each language is assigned its own column along the page. From left to right, the languages are: German, Latin, French, and Italian. German text is in a Gothic font face. Italian text is in italics. French and Latin (except for title, in italics) are in standard Humanist style font face. Translation to English (translated from the French): "The Whale. Fish are the animals that live in the water and which swim by means of flippers, which they have instead of feet. Their whole body is covered in a gluelike moistness, which hinders water from penetrating into their flesh, and the natural heat from dissipating. One usually divides their body into head, trunk [torso][,] and flippers; the Whale, which is also known as the ordinary whale or the Greenland Whale, is the largest of all animals: it is usually seventy, and often 100, and even more than 100 feet long: its lower jaw is larger and longer than its upper: it has a double pipe on its front, which it uses to suck in and push out the water and, when breathing, push the waves up high: its eyes are usually four elbows [??] from one to the other: its nose is shorter; its tongue is firmly attached to the lower part of the mouth and lies on a soft bed of hair, it serves to crush food, it is large and spongy, and so big that it, alone, can weigh more than 20 tons, instead of teeth, its two jaws are fitted with blades made of a sort of black horn that bit by bit unify more tightly than the hairs that are like the [??]. Its body is covered with a hairless black flesh [T/N this appears to be a misprint, chair instead of cuir (skin)]: its flesh is red: its fat is between the skin and the flesh: like terrestrial animals, it also has a heart, a kidney, a bladder, and so on. The female has two teats at the base of the stomach. One takes the oil from its fat and boils it, and one cuts out the beard hair that it has around the mouth, this we call the costs [??] of the whale. The whale cannot stay in the water for a long time. It has eyelids, nostrils, and instead of ears it has concavities: it has warm blood, and the attached lung has a vessel full of air, which is inside its stomach. This species of fish brings live young into the world, and it gives them milk: its food consists of a species of sea-spider, and little fish, especially herrings. Its most powerful part is its tail, with which it can break large boats. Every year, people send many ships--English, Dutch, and others--towards the North Pole, to catch whales."