Thinking more about Bush’s lovely dog in yesterday’s post, I remembered famous lines from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar:
And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.
Well, “remembered” is not quite what happened. I knew that the phrase “dogs of war” came from Shakespeare, but I had to look it up in the excellent Open Source Shakespeare concordance to find the exact quote. This is a dramatic monologue Mark Antony delivers after bargaining with Caesar’s murderers(Brutus and Cassius), and in it he predicts nothing but war and destruction in the wake of Caesar’s death.
Using the concordance I discovered that there’s only one other place in all of Shakespeare that the words “dogs” and “war” appear in such close proximity. It’s from Richard II and I think it’s worth quoting (thinking again of Bush’s dog):
O villains, vipers, damn’d without redemption!
Dogs, easily won to fawn on any man!
Snakes, in my heart-blood warm’d, that sting my heart!
Three Judases, each one thrice worse than Judas!
Would they make peace? terrible hell make war
Upon their spotted souls for this offence!
The “Judases” to whom King Richard refers are traitors, and he likens them to both “snakes” and “dogs.” But what I really want to focus on is Shakespeare’s characterization of dogs: they are “easily won” and “fawn on any man”–any man that feeds them.
Who feeds Bush’s dog? Who feeds Bush’s dogs of war?