ACT 3, SCENE 7: Near Actium. MARK ANTONY's camp.


CLEOPATRA: I will be even with thee, doubt it not.

ENOBARBUS : But why, why, why?

CLEOPATRA: Thou hast forspoke my being in these wars,
And say'st it is not fit.

ENOBARBUS :           Well, is it, is it?

CLEOPATRA: If not denounced against us, why should not we                 [5]
Be there in person?

ENOBARBUS :          [Aside] Well, I could reply:
If we should serve with horse and mares together,
The horse were merely lost; the mares would bear
A soldier and his horse.

CLEOPATRA:                What is't you say?

ENOBARBUS : Your presence needs must puzzle Antony;                        [10]
Take from his heart, take from his brain, from's time,
What should not then be spared. He is already
Traduced for levity; and 'tis said in Rome
That Photinus an eunuch and your maids
Manage this war.                                                                                        [15]

CLEOPATRA:           Sink Rome, and their tongues rot
That speak against us! A charge we bear i' the war,
And, as the president of my kingdom, will
Appear there for a man. Speak not against it:
I will not stay behind.

ENOBARBUS :           Nay, I have done.
Here comes the emperor.                                                                         [20]


MARK ANTONY:           Is it not strange, Canidius,
That from Tarentum and Brundusium
He could so quickly cut the Ionian sea,
And take in Toryne? You have heard on't, sweet?

CLEOPATRA: Celerity is never more admired
Than by the negligent.                                                                              [25]

MARK ANTONY:           A good rebuke,
Which might have well becomed the best of men,
To taunt at slackness. Canidius, we
Will fight with him by sea.

CLEOPATRA:                     By sea! what else?

CANIDIUS: Why will my lord do so?

MARK ANTONY:                For that he dares us to't.

ENOBARBUS : So hath my lord dared him to single fight.                          [30]

CANIDIUS: Ay, and to wage this battle at Pharsalia.
Where Caesar fought with Pompey: but these offers,
Which serve not for his vantage, be shakes off;
And so should you.

ENOBARBUS :                Your ships are not well mann'd;
Your mariners are muleters, reapers, people                                      [35]
Ingross'd by swift impress; in Caesar's fleet
Are those that often have 'gainst Pompey fought:
Their ships are yare; yours, heavy: no disgrace
Shall fall you for refusing him at sea,
Being prepared for land.                                                                           [40]

MARK ANTONY:           By sea, by sea.

ENOBARBUS : Most worthy sir, you therein throw away
The absolute soldiership you have by land;
Distract your army, which doth most consist
Of war-mark'd footmen; leave unexecuted
Your own renowned knowledge; quite forego                                    [45]
The way which promises assurance; and
Give up yourself merely to chance and hazard,
From firm security.

MARK ANTONY:               I'll fight at sea.

CLEOPATRA: I have sixty sails, Caesar none better.

MARK ANTONY: Our overplus of shipping will we burn;                         [50]
And, with the rest full-mann'd, from the head of Actium
Beat the approaching Caesar. But if we fail,
We then can do't at land.

[Enter a Messenger]

                                    Thy business?

Messenger: The news is true, my lord; he is descried;
Caesar has taken Toryne.                                                                          [55]

MARK ANTONY: Can he be there in person? 'tis impossible;
Strange that power should be. Canidius,
Our nineteen legions thou shalt hold by land,
And our twelve thousand horse. We'll to our ship:
Away, my Thetis!                                                                                       [60]

[Enter a Soldier]

                     How now, worthy soldier?

Soldier: O noble emperor, do not fight by sea;
Trust not to rotten planks: do you misdoubt
This sword and these my wounds? Let the Egyptians
And the Phoenicians go a-ducking; we
Have used to conquer, standing on the earth,                                     [65]
And fighting foot to foot.

MARK ANTONY:               Well, well: away!


Soldier: By Hercules, I think I am i' the right.

CANIDIUS: Soldier, thou art: but his whole action grows
Not in the power on't: so our leader's led,
And we are women's men.                                                                      [70]

Soldier:                               You keep by land
The legions and the horse whole, do you not?

CANIDIUS: Marcus Octavius, Marcus Justeius,
Publicola, and Caelius, are for sea:
But we keep whole by land. This speed of Caesar's
Carries beyond belief.                                                                                [75]

Soldier:           While he was yet in Rome,
His power went out in such distractions as
Beguiled all spies.

CANIDIUS:      Who's his lieutenant, hear you?

Soldier: They say, one Taurus.

CANIDIUS:      Well I know the man.

[Enter a Messenger]

Messenger: The emperor calls Canidius.

CANIDIUS: With news the time's with labour, and throes forth,              [80]
Each minute, some.


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