Cleopatra Disses Octavius

Octavius? Hmmm. Oh, that Octavius. What a talented boy! So studious! He does know a great deal about a great many things, that Octavius. Is there anything he does not know — about government, trade, politics — or any other topic that keeps him up-up-up-and-coming? So much stuff he has stuffed into that fresh-faced little head of his! So knowledgeable on every concern! So very much in command of the facts! Well, I guess that’s what happens when your tent-royal is an office and all your visitors are such sufficient scholars.

And the way he dots his i’s and crosses his t’s — most remarkable! So punctilious! He must have gotten very good marks at school when he was even younger — and no beatings at all, at least not from his teacher. So clever!

And is it not wonderful that he has announced his wish to come and see me in person here in Alexandria! All this time I have considered myself the blessed paragon of Egypt and Octavius is to embark on a long journey to cure me of my folly — and is it not most gracious of him to endeavor to teach a half-witted woman such as I, uninstructed in the use of reason, unaware of the false-sloppy-confused nature of her judgment, and unable to understand the superiority of Roman practices and ethics? I most eagerly await this education in critical thought — especially on why the sine qua non of statecraft happen to be pricks.