The Fighting Cocks and the Eagle

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


Two Cocks fought a Duel for the Mastery of a Dunghill. He that was worsted slunk away into a Corner, and hid himself; t’other takes his Flight up to the Top of the House, and there, with crowning and clapping of his Wings, makes Proclamation of his Victory. An Eagle made a stoop at him in the middle of his Exultation, and carry’d him away. By this Accident, the other Cock had a good riddance of his Rival; took Possession of the Providence they contended for, and had all his Mistresses to himself again.

THE MORAL. A wise and a generous Enemy will make a modest Use of a Victory; for Fortune is variable.

Townsend's translation (1887)[edit]

The Fighting Cocks and the Eagle

Two game Cocks were fiercely fighting for the mastery of the farmyard. One at last put the other to flight. The vanquished Cock skulked away and hid himself in a quiet corner, while the conqueror, flying up to a high wall, flapped his wings and crowed exultingly with all his might. An Eagle sailing through the air pounced upon him and carried him off in his talons. The vanquished Cock immediately came out of his corner, and ruled henceforth with undisputed mastery.

Pride goes before destruction.