The Crow and the Raven

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L'Estrange's translation (1692)[edit]


Your Raven has a Reputation in the World for a Bird of Omen, and a kind of small Prophet. A Crow that had Observ’d the Raven’s manner and Way of Delivering his Predictions, sets up for a Foreboder too; nd so gets upon a Tree, and there stands Nodding and Croaking, just over the Heads of some People that were Passing by. They were a little Surpriz’d at first; but so soon as they saw how ‘twas. Come, my Masters (says One of the Company) let’s e’en go forward, for this is but the chattering of a foolish Crow, it signifies Nothing.

THE MORAL. How are Superstitious Men Hagg’d out of their Wits and Senses, with the Fancy of Omens, Forebodings, Old Wives Tales and Visions; and upon a Final Examination of the Matter, nothing at all in the Bottom on’t.

Townsend's translation (1887)[edit]

The Crow and the Raven

A Crow was jealous of the Raven, because he was considered a bird of good omen and always attracted the attention of men, who noted by his flight the good or evil course of future events. Seeing some travelers approaching, the Crow flew up into a tree, and perching herself on one of the branches, cawed as loudly as she could. The travelers turned towards the sound and wondered what it foreboded, when one of them said to his companion, "Let us proceed on our journey, my friend, for it is only the caw of a crow, and her cry, you know, is no omen."

Those who assume a character which does not belong to them, only make themselves ridiculous.