Count not your Chickens before they are Hatched to Coverley

Count not your Chickens before they are Hatched. Generally ascribed to Lafontaine, from his fable of the milkmaid Perrette. But the substance of this fable is very old. For example—

In A.D. 550 Barzûyeh translated for the king of Persia a collection of Indian fables called the Panka Tantra (“five books”), and one of the stories is that of a Brahmin who collected rice by begging; but it occurred to him there might be a famine, in which case he could sell his rice for 100 rupees, and buy two goats. The goats would multiply, and he would then buy cows; the cows would calve, and he would buy a farm; with the savings of his farm he would buy a mansion; then marry some one with a rich dowry; there would be a son in due time, who should be named Somo Sala, whom he would dandle on his knees. If the child ran into danger he would cry to the mother, “Take up the baby! take up the baby!” In his excitement the castle-dreamer kicked over his packet of rice, and all his swans took wing. From this fable the Persians say of a castle-dreamer, “He is like the father of Somo Sala.”

Another version of the story is given in “The History of the Barber’s Fifth Brother,” whose name was Alnaschar (q.v.).—Arabian Nights’ Entertainments.

Rabelais has introduced a similar story, called “The Shoemaker and a Ha’poth of Milk,” told by Echephron, in Pantagruel. (See Echephron.)

Count of Narbonne, a tragedy by Robert Jephson (1782). His father, count Raymond, having poisoned Alphonso, forged a will barring Godfrey’s right, and naming Raymond as successor. Theodore fell in love with Adelaide, the count’s daughter, but was reduced to this dilemma: if he married Adelaide, he could not challenge the count and obtain the possessions he had a right to as grandson of Alphonso; if, on the other hand, he obtained his rights and killed the count in combat, he could not expect that Adelaide would marry him. At the end the count killed Adelaide, and then himself. This drama is copied from Walpole: Castle of Otranto.

Count Robert of Paris, a novel by sir W. Scott, after the wreck of his fortune and repeated strokes of paralysis (1831). The critic can afford to be indulgent, and those who read this story must remember that the sun of the great wizard was hastening to its set. The time of the novel is the reign of Rufus.

Counties. “The clownish blazon of each county” (from Drayton’s Polyolbion, xxiii., towards the close).

Bedfordshire: Malthorses.

Berkshire: Let’s to’t, and toss the ball.

Berwick (to the Ouse): Snaffle, spur, and spear.


Bread and beef,

Where if you beat the bush, ’tis odds you start a thief.

Cambridgeshire: Hold nets, and let us win.

Cheshire: Chief of men.

Cornwall: We’ll wrestle for a fall.

Devonshire: We’ll wrestle for a fall.

Derbyshire: Wool and lead.

Dorsetshire: Dorsers.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.