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Caesar and Cleopatra by George Bernard Shaw
page 2 of 181 (01%)
weapons and armor, very unEnglish in point of not being ashamed
of and uncomfortable in their professional dress; on the
contrary, rather ostentatiously and arrogantly warlike, as
valuing themselves on their military caste.

Belzanor is a typical veteran, tough and wilful; prompt, capable
and crafty where brute force will serve; helpless and boyish when
it will not: an effective sergeant, an incompetent general, a
deplorable dictator. Would, if influentially connected, be
employed in the two last capacities by a modern European State on
the strength of his success in the first. Is rather to be pitied
just now in view of the fact that Julius Caesar is invading his
country. Not knowing this, is intent on his game with the
Persian, whom, as a foreigner, he considers quite capable of
cheating him.

His subalterns are mostly handsome young fellows whose interest
in the game and the story symbolizes with tolerable completeness
the main interests in life of which they are conscious. Their
spears are leaning against the walls, or lying on the ground
ready to their hands. The corner of the courtyard forms a
triangle of which one side is the front of the palace, with a
doorway, the other a wall with a gateway. The storytellers are on
the palace side: the gamblers, on the gateway side. Close to the
gateway, against the wall, is a stone block high enough to enable
a Nubian sentinel, standing on it, to look over the wall. The
yard is lighted by a torch stuck in the wall. As the laughter
from the group round the storyteller dies away, the kneeling
Persian, winning the throw, snatches up the stake from the
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