ACT III
Scene 7
 

ANTONY'S camp near Actium

Enter CLEOPATRA and ENOBARBUS

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
Is't not denounc'd against us? Why should not we
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;
Take from his heart, take from his brain, from's time,
What should not then be spar'd. He is already
Traduc'd for levity; and 'tis said in Rome
That Photinus an eunuch and your maids
Manage this war.

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

Enter ANTONY and CANIDIUS

ENOBARBUS
Nay, I have done.
Here comes the Emperor.

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 admir'd
Than by the negligent.

ANTONY
A good rebuke,
Which might have well becom'd 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?

ANTONY
For that he dares us to't.

ENOBARBUS
So hath my lord dar'd him to single fight.

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

ENOBARBUS
Your ships are not well mann'd;
Your mariners are muleteers, reapers, people
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 prepar'd for land.

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 forgo
The way which promises assurance; and
Give up yourself merely to chance and hazard
From firm security.

ANTONY
I'll fight at sea.

CLEOPATRA
I have sixty sails, Caesar none better.

ANTONY
Our overplus of shipping will we burn,
And, with the rest full-mann'd, from th' head of Actium
Beat th' 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.

ANTONY
Can he be there in person? 'Tis impossible-
Strange that his 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!

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 th' Egyptians
And the Phoenicians go a-ducking; we
Have us'd to conquer standing on the earth
And fighting foot to foot.

ANTONY
Well, well- away.

Exeunt ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, and ENOBARBUS

SOLDIER
By Hercules, I think I am i' th' 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.

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.

SOLDIER
While he was yet in Rome,
His power went out in such distractions as
Beguil'd 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
Each minute some.

Exeunt