- read famous books online for free

Caesar and Cleopatra by George Bernard Shaw
page 1 of 181 (00%)



An October night on the Syrian border of Egypt towards the end of
the XXXIII Dynasty, in the year 706 by Roman computation,
afterwards reckoned by Christian computation as 48 B.C. A great
radiance of silver fire, the dawn of a moonlit night, is rising
in the east. The stars and the cloudless sky are our own
contemporaries, nineteen and a half centuries younger than we
know them; but you would not guess that from their appearance.
Below them are two notable drawbacks of civilization: a palace,
and soldiers. The palace, an old, low, Syrian building of
whitened mud, is not so ugly as Buckingham Palace; and the
officers in the courtyard are more highly civilized than modern
English officers: for example, they do not dig up the corpses of
their dead enemies and mutilate them, as we dug up Cromwell and
the Mahdi. They are in two groups: one intent on the gambling of
their captain Belzanor, a warrior of fifty, who, with his spear
on the ground beside his knee, is stooping to throw dice with a
sly-looking young Persian recruit; the other gathered about a
guardsman who has just finished telling a naughty story (still
current in English barracks) at which they are laughing
uproariously. They are about a dozen in number, all highly
aristocratic young Egyptian guardsmen, handsomely equipped with
DigitalOcean Referral Badge