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21 December 2011

Great Caesar! Condescend

Great Caesar! Condescend
The Daisy, to receive,
Gathered by Cato's Daughter,
With your majestic leave!
                                                - 149 (1860)  102

I simply quote from David Preest here:
According to Thomas Johnson this poem derives from a copy of it sent to Austin, and the mocking, teasing note of these witty four lines is exactly right for one side of her relationship with her brother. The poem perhaps accompanied an actual daisy picked by Emily and sent by her across to the Evergreens. There may be also a little teasing of their father, as Cato was one of the severest and sternest of the ancient Romans.

Julius Caesar
Cato the Elder

This sounds sooo like a little sister ribbing her big bro—and putting in a little dig that maybe “Caesar” is a wee bit like Daddy Cato. Maybe he’d been throwing his weight around. 

1 comment:

  1. ED often felt left out of happenings at Evergreens. Once, Sam Bowles, ED’s good friend, arrived for an short invited visit at Evergreens, and ED never knew until he was gone. She felt like “a soul forgot” (F42). She probably did send a daisy with the poem, but Austin was well aware the capitalized “Daisy” was his sister, not a flower. At least she tried to be humorous about it.