Caeser and Cleopatra

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Suyog's e-book collection 1899 CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA by George Bernard Shaw {PROLOGUE Prologue [IN the doorway of the temple of Ra in Memphis. Deep gloom. An august personage with a hawk's head is mysteriously visible by his own light in the darkness within the temple. He surveys the modern audience with great contempt; and finally speaks the following words to them.] Peace! Be silent and hearken unto me, ye quaint little islanders. Give ear, ye men with white paper on your breasts and nothing
  1899CAESAR AND CLEOPATRAby George Bernard Shaw{PROLOGUEPrologue[IN the doorway of the temple of Ra in Memphis. Deepgloom. Anaugust personage with a hawk's head is mysteriouslyvisible byhis own light in the darkness within the temple. Hesurveys themodern audience with great contempt; and finally speaksthe following words to them.]Peace! Be silent and hearken unto me, ye quaint littleislanders.Give ear, ye men with white paper on your breasts andnothingwritten thereon [to signify the innocence of your minds].Hear me, Suyog's e-book collection   ye women who adorn yourselves alluringly and conceal yourthoughtsfrom your men, leading them to believe that ye deem themwondrousstrong and masterful whilst in truth ye hold them in yourhearts aschildren without judgment. Look upon my hawk's head; andknow that Iam Ra, who was once in Egypt a mighty god. Ye cannotkneel norprostrate yourselves; for ye are packed, in rows withoutfreedom tomove, obstructing one another's vision; neither do any of yeregard itas seemly to do ought until ye see all the rest do so too;whereforeit commonly happens that in great emergencies ye donothing thougheach telleth his fellow that something must be done. I ask you not forworship, but for silence. Let not your men speak nor yourwomen cough;for I am come to draw you back two thousand years over thegraves of sixty generations. Ye poor posterity, think not that ye are thefirst.Other fools before ye have seen the sun rise and set, and themoonchange her shape and her hour. As they were so ye are; andyet notso great; for the pyramids my people built stand to this day;whilstthe dust heaps on which ye slave, and which ye call empires,scatterin the wind even as ye pile your dead sons' bodies on them tomake yet 2  more dust.Hearken to me then, oh ye: compulsorily educated ones.Know thateven as there is an old England and a new, and ye standperplexedbetween the twain; so in the days when I was worshippedwas there anold Rome and a new, and men standing perplexed betweenthem. And theold Rome was poor and little, and greedy and fierce, and evilinmany ways; but because its mind was little and its work wassimple, itknew its own mind and did its own work; and the gods pitiedit andhelped it and strengthened it and shielded it; for the gods arepatient with littleness. Then the old Rome, like the beggar onhorseback, presumed on the favor of the gods, and said, Lo!thereis neither riches nor greatness in our littleness: the road toriches and greatness is through robbery of the poor andslaughter of the weak. So they robbed their own poor until they becamegreatmasters of that art, and knew by what laws it could be madetoappear seemly and honest. And when they had squeezedtheir own poordry, they robbed the poor of other lands, and added thoselands toRome until there came a new Rome, rich and huge. And I,Ra, laughed;for the minds of the Romans remained the same size whilsttheirdominion spread over the earth.Now mark me, that ye may understand what ye are 3  presently to see.Whilst the Romans still stood between the old Rome and thenew,there arose among them a mighty soldier: Pompey the Great.And the wayof the soldier is the way of death; but the way of the gods isthe wayof life; and so it comes that a god at the end of his way iswiseand a soldier at the end of his way is a fool. So Pompey heldby theold Rome, in which only soldiers could become great; butthe godsturned to the new Rome, in which any man with wit enoughcouldbecome what he would. And Pompey's friend Julius Caesarwas on theside of the gods; for he saw that Rome had passed beyondthe controlof the little old Romans. This Caesar was a great talker and apolitician: he bought men with words and with gold, even asye arebought. And when they would not be satisfied with wordsand gold,and demanded also the glories of war, Caesar in his middleageturned his hand to that trade; and they that were against himwhenhe sought their welfare, bowed down before him when hebecame a slayerand a conqueror; for such is the nature of you mortals. Andas forPompey, the gods grew tired of his triumphs and his airs of beinghimself a god; for he talked of law and duty and othermatters that 4
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