Miguel Cabron dige:
Old Eaglebeak Julius Flavius Whatsisface Caesar,
He was a cabron.
A close cousin o’ mine on my mother’s side
The jeans that come from the mainland, ya see.
Course ah allus put more store in mah Island genes,
But ol’ momma does rattle on
About ten sons all tall all aristocratic an’ all
But the Sicilian in the family
The short bandy-legged husky fella
Says every time
Ten sons, and cavalrymen too!
Which means they had one horse among ’em.
Not a man to mince words, Paterfamilias Siciliano.
But the old lady says these ten first cousins or uncles or whatever
Were aristocrats you could tell by the way they held their shoulders
‘Cept one of ’em who as they say re-sisted the draft of them days
You wuz suppost to get killed for the Emperor
Over there in the Kingdom of the Two Bourbonies
A hunnert years ago today, more or less, give or take 50 years
But we don’t praise that uncle too much
On account ah he re-sisted the draft of them days
By acting, uh, as it were, like a space cadet, as it were,
And we’re not sure but it’s not catching
Or inheritable or something
But he was a cafone.
But where was ah before ah started chattering
About best-long-forgotten family lore
Oh yes Julius Caesar
One of the biggest noses in Antiquity
And of one, I say, one of the hardest asses.
Yes, because he was a hard-ass
Julius the Roman has to be acknowledged as in the family
Of Cabrons or Casabons or Buonapartes
— all them Italian names run together if you’re not careful —
Like ever-patient Miguel acqui.
Just as a f’rinstance, lemme tell you about the battle of Phillippi
(or was it one pee?) Anyhoo, citation follows, fellas
We may be justified in claiming Pompey as the superior strategist and Caesar as the greater leader and sterner disciplinarian. The so-called abandonment of Italy by Pompey in 49 BC was based on what should have proved sound calculation and foresight. His troops in Italy were few compared with what Caesar both had and could raise; his military reputation was high in the East and recruits would flock to his standards; he held command of the sea, and Italy might be starved out and Caesar imprisoned and prevented form pursuit across the Adriatic.
That his strategical scheme was frustrated was due partly to the inefficiency of Pompey’s subordinates entrusted with [watching Brindisium] and the intervening channel, and partly to the good fortune that so often attended Caesar’s more hastily planned actions. Pompey’s tactical position at Pharsalus on the slopes of Mount Dogandzis was well chosen, because if Caesar were obliged to offer battle through failure of his commissariat, he would have to fight uphill on ground of Pompey’s choosing. Here again Pompey was defeated by the impatient quarreling and taunting reproaches of his subordinates, and even when driven into battle against his will, his plan of attack on Caesar’s army might well have succeeded, if his cavalry had shown determination or power of resistance. Pompey’s tactical schemes were ruined by his failure to command men and to inspire unquestioning discipline among his officers.
With Caesar the case is different. At Gergovia and Dyrrachium defeat seemed almost inevitable; but in each instance he was able to turn the scales by the two great characteristics of his genius — rapidity of movement and the power of his personality. Similarly the forced march to rescue Q. Cicero from the Nervii, or the dash to Spain between the departure of Pompey from Brindisium and his pursuit of him across the Adriatic, arouse a breathless admiration, just as the stern rebuke to the Tenth Legion [Caesar’s own] contemptuously addressed as Quirites,
Miguel Cabron dige: Quirites m[asculine] n[oun] pl[ural] Citizens of Rome
or the marvelous control of the last line at Pharsalus, command an almost terror-struck appreciation. [H.M.D. Parker, The Roman Legions, New York, Barnes & Noble, 1971, pp. 49-50.]
Sound like anyone you know?
Stalin was a cabron and so was Hitler
Ho Chi Minh was a cabron and Salvador Allende
And it’s a longstanding family tradition
That whenever one of the Cabron brothers dies
All the rest turn their faces to the wall
And say, “Good.”
Ecco Meo faecit: 2 December 1986