Caesar and cabbages II

Continuing the account of Caesar and the cabbages, or to be exact, the Brassica Oleracea Capitata.

Monotonus goes on (fifth panel): “….are towards the cultivation of Brassica Oleracea….”  as Caesar resolutely says: “I am not afraid to hear Legate Wolfangamadeus speak in public! Let him in!”

Monotonus (sixth panel) with his palms outstretched, pleads: “But the Brassica Oleracea Capitata….”

An irate Caesar, visibly at the end of his tether (seventh panel), turns left and thunders at Monotonus: “OH, STUFF YOUR BRASSICA OLERACEA CAPITATA!”

The presiding officer (eighth panel) leans over the rostrum to the old, harried looking scribe: “Delete that last culinary expletive of Caesar’s. It wouldn’t go down too well as a classical quotation.” 

Turn over the page…..

The first panel (a long one covering the entire length of the page shows the portly legate entering and saluting. Wolfangamadeus: “Ave!” Presiding officer: “Ave, Legate Wolfangamadeus! We’re all listerning. You may speak.”

Wolfangamadeus (second panel): “The Belgian situation is very serious. There has been a renewed outbreak of fighting. All the camps and advanced posts of a whole district have been destroyed.”

The unnamed senator, clearly no fan of Caesar, gets a chance (third panel): “Aha! So that’s what comes of Caesar’s famous campaigns! He can’t control a few barbarians!”

Monotonus, as disgruntled, adds in his two bits: “That’s right! He ought to stick to planting Brassica instead!”

Caesar responds forcefully (fourth panel):  “The Belgians are not barbarians. They are the bravest of all the Gaullish peoples. But we shall conquer them in the end, the way we conquered the rest of Gaul, which is now peacefully living under Roman rule!”

Wolfangamadeus however has some more disturbing news (fifth panel): “That’s just the trouble, o Caesar! The Belgians have allies. Savage hordes are pouring out of Armorica to lend them a hand, and there is even a mysterious feleet helping them too.” Caesar: “?!”

The disgruntled Senator leaps up in joy (next panel): “ITS A GENERAL UPRISING! CAESAR’S COMMANDERS ARE HOPELESS.” Meanwhile, Monotonus, smacks his forehead : “That’s the Top Brassica for you!” 

Caesar, raising hands for silence (seventh panel): “Silence! This news is certainly very worrying. I shall start for Belgium right away…..”

Striding away in that familiar imperiously manner (eighth panel), Caesar famously remarks: “I shall go, I shall see and I shall conquer!”

The presiding officer (ninth and last panel on page)  again leans to the scribe: “You can leave that one in.”

The scene finds a reference on a later page where Caesar again loses his temper, when Asterix and Obelix call on him and request him to adjudicate on their performance vis-a-vis the Belgians. As Ceasar again unleashes his famous temper and sends them away with threats ringing in the air (while Wolfangamadeus and the other commanders cower in fear in a corner).  As the Roman statesman regains his equanamity, he has some more visitors who again send him in a fit of choleric rage…… (I will not spill the beans about who and what for those who are yet to read the album), but a statement by his new visitors, causes JC to retort with a question, containing a burst of spirited profanity, as rendered in those squiggles and symbols Goscinny and Uderzo employed. 

Wolfangamadeus (in the same corner, quietly tells the others): “Back in Rome, they told me that his standard of classical quotation was dropping!”

Well that will be all for now….. Asterix in Belgium has a lot of very clever references to modern economics and politics, not to mention to a wide range of culture stretching from painting, literature, poetry and sculpture…. but suppose than to depend on me to inform you, you read the album yourself and see how much you can figure out….


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