The Cocks and The Partridge

A Partridge put in with gamecocks watched them fight and worried for his safety. Not to worry he found out as game cocks fight each other all the time.

Some people quarrel just for the sake of quarreling.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A man had two Gamecocks in his poultry-yard. One day by chance he found a tame Partridge for sale. He purchased it and brought it home to be reared with his Gamecocks. When the Partridge was put into the poultry-yard, they struck at it and followed it about, so that the Partridge became grievously troubled and supposed that he was thus evilly treated because he was a stranger. Not long afterwards he saw the Cocks fighting together and not separating before one had well beaten the other. He then said to himself, “I shall no longer distress myself at being struck at by these Gamecocks, when I see that they cannot even refrain from quarreling with each other.”

Samuel CroxallSamuel Croxall

Croxall - Partridge and CocksA CERTAIN man, having taken a Partridge, plucked some of the feathers out of its wings, and turned it into a little yard, where he kept game-Cocks. The Cocks, for a while, made the poor bird lead a sad life, continually pecking and driving it away from the meat. This treatment was taken the more unkindly, because offered to a stranger; and the Partridge could not but conclude them the most inhospitable, uncivil people, he had ever met with. But, at last observing how frequently they quarreled and fought with each other, he comforted himself with this reflection, That it was no wonder they were so cruel to him, since there was so much bickering and animosity among themselves.

THE APPLICATION

Whittingham - Partridge and Cocks

C. Whittingham (1814)

This fable comes home to ourselves. We of this island having always been looked upon as cruel to strangers. Whether there is any thing in the manner of our situation, as an island, which consequently can be no thoroughfare to other countries, and so is not made use of by strangers on that account, which makes us thus shy and uncivil or, whether it be a jealousy upon account of our liberties, which puts us upon being suspicious of, and unwilling to harbour any that are not members of the same community, perhaps it would not be easy to determine. But that it is so in fact is too notorious to be denied; and probably can be accounted for no better way, than from the natural bent of our temper, as it proceeds from something peculiar to our air and climate. It has been affirmed, that there is not in the whole world besides, a breed of cocks and dogs, so fierce and incapable of yielding as that of ours; but that either of them, carried into foreign countries, would degenerate in a few years. Why may not the same he true of our men? But if strangers find any inconvenience in this, there is a comfortable consideration to balance it on the other side, which is, that there are no people under the sun so much given to division and contention among themselves as we are. Can a stranger think it hard to be looked upon with, some shyness, when he beholds how little we spare one another? Was ever any foreigner, merely for being a foreigner, treated with half that malice and bitterness, which differing parties express towards each other? One would willingly believe that this proceeds, in the main, on both sides, from a passionate concern for our liberties and well-being; for there is nothing else which can so well excuse it. But it cannot be denied that our aversion, notwithstanding our being a trading nation, to have any intercourse wiih strangers, is so great, that when we want other objects for our churlishness, we raise them up among ourselves; and there is, sometimes, as great a strangeness kept up between one county and another here, as there is between two distinct kingdoms abroad. One cannot so much wonder at the constant hostilities which are observed between the inhabitants of South and North Britain, of Wales and Ireland, among one another; when a Yorkshire man shall be looked upon as a foreigner by a native of Norfork; and both be taken for outlandish intruders, by one that happens to be born within the bills of mortality.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

A certain man having taken a Partridge, cut his wings and put him into a little yard where he kept Game-Cocks. The Cocks were not at all civil to the new-comer, who at first put his treatment down to the fact of his being a stranger. When, however, he found that they frequently fought and nearly killed each other, he ceased to wonder that they did not respect him.

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

A cock-master bought a partridge, and turn’d it among his fighting cocks, for them to feed together. The cocks beat the partridge away from their meat, which she lay’d the more to heart, because it look’d like an aversion to her purely as a stranger. But the partridge finding these very cocks afterwards, cutting one another to pieces, she comforted her self with this thought, that she had no reason to expect they should be kinder to her, than they were to one another.

Moral

‘Tis no wonder to find those people troublesome to strangers, that cannot agree among themselves. They quarrel for the love of quarreling; and provided the peace be broken, no matter upon what ground, or with whom.

1001Perdix et Galli

Cum quidam domi haberet gallos, mercatus est perdicem et eam dedit in societatem gallorum alendam et saginandam una cum eis. Galli, quisque pro se, mordebant, et eam abigebant. Perdix autem apud se afflictabatur, existimans talia sibi inferri a gallis quod suum genus alienum esset ab illorum genere. Vero ubi non multo post aspexit illos inter se pugnantes et mutuo percutientes, a maerore et tristitia recreata inquit, “Equidem post haec amplius non afflictabor, eos videns dimicantes etiam inter se.”

Perry #023