ACT 3, SCENE 6: Rome. OCTAVIUS CAESAR's house.


OCTAVIUS CAESAR: Contemning Rome, he has done all this, and more,
In Alexandria: here's the manner of 't:
I' the market-place, on a tribunal silver'd,
Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold
Were publicly enthroned: at the feet sat                                               [5]
Caesarion, whom they call my father's son,
And all the unlawful issue that their lust
Since then hath made between them. Unto her
He gave the stablishment of Egypt; made her
Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia,                                                                 [10]
Absolute queen.

MECAENAS:                This in the public eye?

OCTAVIUS CAESAR: I' the common show-place, where they exercise.
His sons he there proclaim'd the kings of kings:
Great Media, Parthia, and Armenia.
He gave to Alexander; to Ptolemy he assign'd                                    [15]
Syria, Cilicia, and Phoenicia: she
In the habiliments of the goddess Isis
That day appear'd; and oft before gave audience,
As 'tis reported, so.

MECAENAS:                Let Rome be thus Inform'd.

AGRIPPA: Who, queasy with his insolence                                                     [20]
Already, will their good thoughts call from him.

OCTAVIUS CAESAR: The people know it; and have now received
His accusations.

AGRIPPA:                Who does he accuse?

OCTAVIUS CAESAR: Caesar: and that, having in Sicily
Sextus Pompeius spoil'd, we had not rated him                                 [25]
His part o' the isle: then does he say, he lent me
Some shipping unrestored: lastly, he frets
That Lepidus of the triumvirate
Should be deposed; and, being, that we detain
All his revenue.                                                                                         [30]

AGRIPPA:                Sir, this should be answer'd.

OCTAVIUS CAESAR: 'Tis done already, and the messenger gone.
I have told him, Lepidus was grown too cruel;
That he his high authority abused,
And did deserve his change: for what I have conquer'd,
I grant him part; but then, in his Armenia,                                         [35]
And other of his conquer'd kingdoms, I
Demand the like.

MECAENAS:                He'll never yield to that.

OCTAVIUS CAESAR: Nor must not then be yielded to in this.

[Enter OCTAVIA with her train]

OCTAVIA: Hail, Caesar, and my lord! hail, most dear Caesar!

OCTAVIUS CAESAR: That ever I should call thee castaway!                      [40]

OCTAVIA: You have not call'd me so, nor have you cause.

OCTAVIUS CAESAR: Why have you stol'n upon us thus! You come not
Like Caesar's sister: the wife of Antony
Should have an army for an usher, and
The neighs of horse to tell of her approach                                         [45]
Long ere she did appear; the trees by the way
Should have borne men; and expectation fainted,
Longing for what it had not; nay, the dust
Should have ascended to the roof of heaven,
Raised by your populous troops: but you are come                            [50]
A market-maid to Rome; and have prevented
The ostentation of our love, which, left unshown,
Is often left unloved; we should have met you
By sea and land; supplying every stage
With an augmented greeting.                                                                 [55]

OCTAVIA:                          Good my lord,
To come thus was I not constrain'd, but did it
On my free will. My lord, Mark Antony,
Hearing that you prepared for war, acquainted
My grieved ear withal; whereon, I begg'd
His pardon for return.                                                                               [60]

OCTAVIUS CAESAR:          Which soon he granted,
Being an abstruct 'tween his lust and him.

OCTAVIA: Do not say so, my lord.

OCTAVIUS CAESAR:           I have eyes upon him,
And his affairs come to me on the wind.
Where is he now?

OCTAVIA:                My lord, in Athens.

OCTAVIUS CAESAR: No, my most wronged sister; Cleopatra                   [65]
Hath nodded him to her. He hath given his empire
Up to a whore; who now are levying
The kings o' the earth for war; he hath assembled
Bocchus, the king of Libya; Archelaus,
Of Cappadocia; Philadelphos, king                                                         [70]
Of Paphlagonia; the Thracian king, Adallas;
King Malchus of Arabia; King of Pont;
Herod of Jewry; Mithridates, king
Of Comagene; Polemon and Amyntas,
The kings of Mede and Lycaonia,                                                           [75]
With a more larger list of sceptres.

OCTAVIA:                Ay me, most wretched,
That have my heart parted betwixt two friends
That do afflict each other!

OCTAVIUS CAESAR:          Welcome hither:
Your letters did withhold our breaking forth;
Till we perceived, both how you were wrong led,                             [80]
And we in negligent danger. Cheer your heart;
Be you not troubled with the time, which drives
O'er your content these strong necessities;
But let determined things to destiny
Hold unbewail'd their way. Welcome to Rome;                                [85]
Nothing more dear to me. You are abused
Beyond the mark of thought: and the high gods,
To do you justice, make them ministers
Of us and those that love you. Best of comfort;
And ever welcome to us.                                                                         [90]

AGRIPPA:                Welcome, lady.

MECAENAS: Welcome, dear madam.
Each heart in Rome does love and pity you:
Only the adulterous Antony, most large
In his abominations, turns you off;
And gives his potent regiment to a trull,                                             [95]
That noises it against us.

OCTAVIA:                Is it so, sir?

OCTAVIUS CAESAR: Most certain. Sister, welcome: pray you,
Be ever known to patience: my dear'st sister!


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