The Daily Telegraph

A sign – of something


Mrs Caesar warned him: “When beggars die, there are no comets seen; / The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.” Would he listen? Anyway, if Calpurnia was right (which the play shows she was), then a message is to be discovered in the extraordin­ary meteor that flashed over Scotland. The problem with celestial portents (comets, bits of asteroids or space junk burning up) is interpreta­tion. The blink of a fireball in the sky is not morse code, and the practical response is hard to make out. What are we supposed to do? Stop fracking, start fracking, eat less protein, Be Kind? With Calpurnia it wasn’t just comets. A lioness whelped in the street. That has yet to eventuate, though the morning after the meteor a gibbon did escape from Taunton Zoo. Whatever is going on, we had better watch out.

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