The edge of the quay in front of the palace, looking out west
over the east harbor of Alexandria to Pharos island, just
off the end of which, and connected with it by a narrow mole,
is the famous lighthouse, a gigantic square tower of white
marble diminishing in size storey by storey to the top, on which
stands a cresset beacon. The island is joined to the main land
by the Heptastadium, a great mole or causeway five miles long
bounding the harbor on the south.
In the middle of the quay a Roman sentinel stands on guard, pilum
in hand, looking out to the lighthouse with strained attention,
his left hand shading his eyes. The pilum is a stout wooden shaft
4 1/2 feet long, with an iron spit about three feet long fixed in
it. The sentinel is so absorbed that he does not notice the
approach from the north end of the quay of four Egyptian market
porters carrying rolls of carpet, preceded by Ftatateeta and
Apollodorus the Sicilian. Apollodorus is a dashing young man of
about 24, handsome and debonair, dressed with deliberate
astheticism in the most delicate purples and dove greys, with
ornaments of bronze, oxydized silver, and stones of jade and
agate. His sword, designed as carefully as a medieval cross, has
a blued blade showing through an openwork scabbard of purple
leather and filagree. The porters, conducted by Ftatateeta, pass
along the quay behind the sentinel to the steps of the palace,
where they put down their bales and squat on the ground.
Apollodorus does not pass along with them: he halts, amused by
the preoccupation of the sentinel.
APOLLODORUS (calling to the sentinel).
Who goes there, eh?
SENTINEL (starting violently and turning with his pilum at the
charge, revealing himself as a small, wiry, sandy-haired,
conscientious young man with an elderly face). What's this?
Stand. Who are you?
I am Apollodorus the Sicilian. Why, man, what are
you dreaming of? Since I came through the lines beyond the
theatre there, I have brought my caravan past three sentinels,
all so busy staring at the lighthouse that not one of them
challenged me. Is this Roman discipline?
We are not here to watch the land but the water. Caesar
has just landed on the Pharos. (Looking at Ftatateeta) What have
you here? Who is this piece of Egyptian crockery?
Apollodorus: rebuke this Roman dog; and bid him
bridle his tongue in the presence of Ftatateeta, the mistress of
the Queen's household.
My friend: this is a great lady, who stands high
SENTINEL (not at all impressed, pointing to the carpets).
what is all this truck?
Carpets for the furnishing of the Queen's apartments
in the palace. I have picked them from the best carpets in the
world; and the Queen shall choose the best of my choosing.
Then I will drive this pilum through you.
At your service, my friend. (He draws his sword, and
springs to his guard with unruffled grace.)
FTATATEETA (suddenly seizing the sentinel's arms from behind).
Thrust your knife into the dog's throat, Apollodorus. (The
chivalrous Apollodorus laughingly shakes his head; breaks ground
away from the sentinel towards the palace; and lowers his point.)
SENTINEL (struggling vainly).
Curse on you! Let me go. Help ho!
FTATATEETA (lifting him from the ground).
Stab the little Roman
reptile. Spit him on your sword.
A couple of Roman soldiers, with a centurion, come running along
the edge of the quay from the north end. They rescue their
comrade, and throw off Ftatateeta, who is sent reeling away on
the left hand of the sentinel.
CENTURION (an unattractive man of fifty, short in his speech and
manners, with a vine wood cudgel in his hand). How now? What is
FTATATEETA (to Apollodorus).
Why did you not stab him? There was
Centurion: I am here by order of the Queen to--
CENTURION (interrupting him).
The Queen! Yes, yes: (to the
sentinel) pass him in. Pass all these bazaar people in to the
Queen, with their goods. But mind you pass no one out that you
have not passed in--not even the Queen herself.
This old woman is dangerous: she is as strong as three
men. She wanted the merchant to stab me.
Centurion: I am not a merchant. I am a patrician and
a votary of art
No, no! (Correcting himself politely)
Not that the lady is not a striking figure in her own way. But
(emphatically) she is NOT my wife.
FTATATEETA (to the Centurion).
Roman: I am Ftatateeta, the
mistress of the Queen's household.
Keep your hands off our men, mistress; or I will have
you pitched into the harbor, though you were as strong as ten
men. (To his men) To your posts: march! (He returns with his men
the way they came.)
FTATATEETA (looking malignantly after him).
We shall see whom
Isis loves best: her servant Ftatateeta or a dog of a Roman.
SENTINEL (to Apollodorus, with a wave of his pilum towards the
palace). Pass in there; and keep your distance. (Turning
to Ftatateeta) Come within a yard of me, you old crocodile; and I
will give you this (the pilum) in your jaws.
CLEOPATRA (calling from the palace).
FTATATEETA (Looking up, scandalized).
Go from the window, go from
the window. There are men here.
No, no. What are you dreaming of? O ye
gods, ye gods! Apollodorus: bid your men pick up your bales; and
in with me quickly.
Obey the mistress of the Queen's household.
FTATATEETA (impatiently, as the porters stoop to lift the bales).
Quick, quick: she will be out upon us. (Cleopatra comes from the
palace and runs across the quay to Ftatateeta.) Oh that ever I
Ftatateeta: I have thought of something. I
want a boat--at once.
A boat! No, no: you cannot. Apollodorus: speak to the
Beautiful Queen: I am Apollodorus the
Sicilian, your servant, from the bazaar. I have brought you the
three most beautiful Persian carpets in the world to choose from.
I have no time for carpets to-day. Get me a boat.
What whim is this? You cannot go on the water except
in the royal barge.
Royalty, Ftatateeta, lies not in the barge but in
the Queen. (To Cleopatra) The touch of your majesty's foot on
the gunwale of the meanest boat in the harbor will make it royal.
(He turns to the harbor and calls seaward) Ho there, boatman!
Pull in to the steps.
Apollodorus: you are my perfect knight; and I will
always buy my carpets through you. (Apollodorus bows joyously. An
oar appears above the quay; and the boatman, a bullet-headed,
vivacious, grinning fellow, burnt almost black by the sun, comes
up a flight of steps from the water on the sentinel's right, oar
in hand, and waits at the top.) Can you row, Apollodorus?
My oars shall be your majesty's wings. Whither shall
I row my Queen? To the lighthouse. Come. (She makes for the
SENTINEL (opposing her with his pilum at the charge).
CLEOPATRA (flushing angrily).
How dare you? Do you know that I am
SENTINEL (alarmed--looking apprehensively at Ftatateeta, and
brandishing his pilum). Keep off there.
CLEOPATRA (running to Apollodorus).
Apollodorus: make your slaves
I shall not need their help, lady. (He draws his
sword.) Now soldier: choose which weapon you will defend yourself
with. Shall it be sword against pilum, or sword against sword?
Roman against Sicilian, curse you. Take that. (He hurls
his pilum at Apollodorus, who drops expertly on one knee. The
pilum passes whizzing over his head and falls harmless.
Apollodorus, with a cry of triumph, springs up and attacks the
sentinel, who draws his sword and defends himself, crying) Ho
there, guard. Help!
Cleopatra, half frightened, half delighted, takes refuge near the
palace, where the porters are squatting among the bales. The
boatman, alarmed, hurries down the steps out of harm's way, but
stops, with his head just visible above the edge of the quay, to
watch the fight. The sentinel is handicapped by his fear of an
attack in the rear from Ftatateeta. His swordsmanship, which is
of a rough and ready sort, is heavily taxed, as he has
occasionally to strike at her to keep her off between a blow and
a guard with Apollodorus. The Centurion returns with several
soldiers. Apollodorus springs back towards Cleopatra as this
reinforcement confronts him.
CENTURION (coming to the sentinel's right hand).
What is this?
I could do well enough for myself if it
weren't for the old woman. Keep her off me: that is all the help
Make your report, soldier. What has happened?
Centurion: he would have slain the Queen.
I would, sooner than let her pass. She wanted
to take boat, and go--so she said--to the lighthouse. I stopped
her, as I was ordered to; and she set this fellow on me. (He goes
to pick up his pilum and returns to his place with it.)
CENTURION (turning to Cleopatra).
Cleopatra: I am loath to offend
you; but without Caesar's express order we dare not let you pass
beyond the Roman lines.
Well, Centurion; and has not the lighthouse been
within the Roman lines since Caesar landed there?
CENTURION (to Apollodorus).
As for you, Apollodorus, you may
thank the gods that you are not nailed to the palace door with a
pilum for your meddling.
My military friend, I was not born to be
slain by so ugly a weapon. When I fall, it will be (holding up
his sword) by this white queen of arms, the only weapon fit for
an artist. And now that you are convinced that we do not want to
go beyond the lines, let me finish killing your sentinel and
depart with the Queen.
CENTURION (as the sentinel makes an angry demonstration).
there. Cleopatra. I must abide by my orders, and not by the
subtleties of this Sicilian. You must withdraw into the palace
and examine your carpets there.
I will not: I am the Queen. Caesar does not
speak to me as you do. Have Caesar's centurions changed manners
with his scullions?
I do my duty. That is enough for me.
Majesty: when a stupid man is doing something he is
ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.
APOLLODORUS (interrupting him with defiant elegance).
I will make
amends for that insult with my sword at fitting time and place.
Who says artist, says duelist. (To Cleopatra) Hear my counsel,
star of the east. Until word comes to these soldiers from Caesar
himself, you are a prisoner. Let me go to him with a message from
you, and a present; and before the sun has stooped half way to
the arms of the sea, I will bring you back Caesar's order of
CENTURION (sneering at him), And you will sell the Queen the
present, no doubt.
Centurion: the Queen shall have from me, without
payment, as the unforced tribute of Sicilian taste to Egyptian
beauty, the richest of these carpets for her present to Caesar.
CLEOPATRA (exultantly, to the Centurion).
Now you see what an
ignorant common creature you are!
Well, a fool and his wares are soon parted
(He turns to his men). Two more men to this post here; and see
that no one leaves the palace but this man and his merchandize.
If he draws his sword again inside the lines, kill him. To your
He goes out, leaving two auxiliary sentinels with the other.
APOLLODORUS (with polite goodfellowship).
My friends: will you
not enter the palace and bury our quarrel in a bowl of wine? (He
takes out his purse, jingling the coins in it.) The Queen has
presents for you all.
SENTINEL (very sulky).
You heard our orders. Get about your
Yes: you ought to know better. Off with you.
SECOND AUXILIARY (looking longingly at the purse--this sentinel
is a hooknosed man, unlike his comrade, who is squab faced). Do
not tantalize a poor man.
APOLLODORUS (to Cleopatra).
Pearl of Queens: the Centurion is at
hand; and the Roman soldier is incorruptible when his officer is
looking. I must carry your word to Caesar.
CLEOPATRA (who has been meditating among the carpets).
carpets very heavy?
It matters not how heavy. There are plenty of
How do they put the carpets into boats? Do they throw
Not into small boats, majesty. It would sink them.
Not into that man's boat, for instance? (Pointing to
You will promise me not to let the porters drop it or
throw it about?
Place the most delicate glass goblet in the palace
in the heart of the roll, Queen; and if it be broken, my head
shall pay for it.
Good. Come, Ftatateeta. (Ftatateeta comes to her.
Apollodorus offers to squire them into the palace.) No,
Apollodorus, you must not come. I will choose a carpet for
myself. You must wait here. (She runs into the palace.)
APOLLODORUS (to the porters).
Follow this lady (indicating
Ftatateeta); and obey her.
What now? Has the old woman attacked you again?
(Seeing Apollodorus) Are YOU here still?
APOLLODORUS (pointing as before).
See there. The Egyptians are
moving. They are going to recapture the Pharos. They will attack
by sea and land: by land along the great mole; by sea from the
west harbor. Stir yourselves, my military friends: the hunt is
up. (A clangor of trumpets from several points along the quay.)
Aha! I told you so.
The two extra men pass the alarm to the
south posts. One man keep guard here. The rest with me--quick.
The two auxiliary sentinels run off to the south. The Centurion
and his guard run of northward; and immediately afterwards the
bucina sounds. The four porters come from the palace carrying a
carpet, followed by Ftatateeta.
SENTINEL (handling his pilum apprehensively).
You again! (The
Peace, Roman fellow: you are now single-handed.
Apollodorus: this carpet is Cleopatra's present to Caesar. It has
rolled up in it ten precious goblets of the thinnest Iberian
crystal, and a hundred eggs of the sacred blue pigeon. On your
honor, let not one of them be broken.
On my head be it. (To the porters) Into the boat
with them carefully.
FIRST PORTER (looking down at the boat).
Beware what you do, sir.
Those eggs of which the lady speaks must weigh more than a pound
apiece. This boat is too small for such a load.
BOATMAN (excitedly rushing up the steps).
Oh thou injurious
porter! Oh thou unnatural son of a she-camel! (To Apollodorus) My
boat, sir, hath often carried five men. Shall it not carry your
lordship and a bale of pigeons' eggs? (To the porter) Thou mangey
dromedary, the gods shall punish thee for this envious
FIRST PORTER (stolidly).
I cannot quit this bale now to beat
thee; but another day I will lie in wait for thee.
APPOLODORUS (going between them).
Peace there. If the boat were
but a single plank, I would get to Caesar on it.
In the name of the gods, Apollodorus, run
no risks with that bale.
Fear not, thou venerable grotesque: I guess its
great worth. (To the porters) Down with it, I say; and gently; or
ye shall eat nothing but stick for ten days.
The boatman goes down the steps, followed by the porters with the
bale: Ftatateeta and Apollodorus watching from the edge.
Gently, my sons, my children--(with sudden alarm)
gently, ye dogs. Lay it level in the stern--so--'tis well.
FTATATEETA (screaming down at one of the porters).
Do not step on
it, do not step on it. Oh thou brute beast!
FIRST PORTER (ascending).
Be not excited, mistress: all is well.
All well! Oh, thou hast given my heart a
turn! (She clutches her side, gasping.)
The four porters have now come up and are waiting at the
stairhead to be paid.
Here, ye hungry ones. (He gives money to the first
porter, who holds it in his hand to show to the others. They
crowd greedily to see how much it is, quite prepared, after the
Eastern fashion, to protest to heaven against their patron's
stinginess. But his liberality overpowers them.)
FTATATEETA (looking darkly at him).
Gods of Egypt and of
Vengeance, let this Roman fool be beaten like a dog by his
captain for suffering her to be taken over the waters.
Accursed one: is she then in the boat? (He calls over
the sea) Hoiho, there, boatman! Hoiho!
APOLLODORUS (singing in the distance).
My heart, my heart, be whole and free:
Love is thine only enemy.
Meanwhile Rufio, the morning's fighting done, sits munching dates
on a faggot of brushwood outside the door of the lighthouse,
which towers gigantic to the clouds on his left. His helmet, full
of dates, is between his knees; and a leathern bottle of wine is
by his side. Behind him the great stone pedestal of the
lighthouse is shut in from the open sea by a low stone parapet,
with a couple of steps in the middle to the broad coping. A huge
chain with a hook hangs down from the lighthouse crane above his
head. Faggots like the one he sits on lie beneath it ready to be
drawn up to feed the beacon.
Caesar is standing on the step at the parapet looking out
anxiously, evidently ill at ease. Britannus comes out of the
Well, my British islander. Have you been up to the top?
One elderly Tyrian to work the crane; and his son, a
well conducted youth of 14.
RUFIO (looking at the chain).
What! An old man and a boy work
that! Twenty men, you mean.
Two only, I assure you. They have counterweights, and
a machine with boiling water in it which I do not understand: it
is not of British design. They use it to haul up barrels of oil
and faggots to burn in the brazier on the roof.
Excuse me: I came down because there are messengers
coming along the mole to us from the island. I must see what
their business is. (He hurries out past the lighthouse.)
CAESAR (coming away from the parapet, shivering and out of
sorts). Rufio: this has been a mad expedition. We shall be
beaten. I wish I knew how our men are getting on with that
barricade across the great mole.
Must I leave my food and go starving to bring
you a report?
CAESAR (soothing him nervously).
No, Rufio, no. Eat, my son. Eat.
(He takes another turn, Rufio chewing dates meanwhile.) The
Egyptians cannot be such fools as not to storm the barricade and
swoop down on us here before it is finished. It is the first time
I have ever run an avoidable risk. I should not have come to
To eat. That's what's the matter with you. When a man
comes to your age, he runs down before his midday meal. Eat and
drink; and then have another look at our chances.
CAESAR (taking the dates).
My age! (He shakes his head and bites
a date.) Yes, Rufio: I am an old man--worn out now--true, quite
true. (He gives way to melancholy contemplation, and eats another
date.) Achillas is still in his prime: Ptolemy is a boy. (He eats
another date, and plucks up a little.) Well, every dog has his
day; and I have had mine: I cannot complain. (With sudden
cheerfulness) These dates are not bad, Rufio. (Britannus returns,
greatly excited, with a leathern bag. Caesar is himself again in
a moment.) What now?
Our brave Rhodian mariners have
captured a treasure. There! (He throws the bag down at Caesar's
feet.) Our enemies are delivered into our hands.
BRITANNUS (impatient of Caesar's slowness to grasp the
situation). Well, we shall now know who your foes are. The name
of every man who has plotted against you since you crossed the
Rubicon may be in these papers, for all we know.
In the fire. Would you have me waste the next three years
of my life in proscribing and condemning men who will be my
friends when I have proved that my friendship is worth more than
Pompey's was--than Cato's is. O incorrigible British islander: am
I a bull dog, to seek quarrels merely to show how stubborn my
Have you not been there? Have you not seen them? What
Briton speaks as you do in your moments of levity? What Briton
neglects to attend the services at the sacred grove? What Briton
wears clothes of many colors as you do, instead of plain blue, as
all solid, well esteemed men should? These are moral questions
Well, well, my friend: some day I shall settle down and
have a blue toga, perhaps. Meanwhile, I must get on as best I can
in my flippant Roman way. (Apollodorus comes past the
lighthouse.) What now?
BRITANNUS (turning quickly, and challenging the stranger with
official haughtiness). What is this? Who are you? How did you
Calm yourself, my friend: I am not going to eat you.
I have come by boat, from Alexandria, with precious gifts for
RUFIO (appearing at the lighthouse door).
What's the matter now?
Hail, great Caesar! I am Apollodorus the Sicilian,
An artist! Why have they admitted this vagabond?
Peace, man. Apollodorus is a famous patrician amateur.
I crave the gentleman's pardon. (To
Caesar) I understood him to say that he was a professional.
(Somewhat out of countenance, he allows Apollodorus to approach
Caesar, changing places with him. Rufio, after looking
Apollodorus up and down with marked disparagement, goes to the
other side of the platform.)
You are welcome, Apollodorus. What is your business?
First, to deliver to you a present from the Queen of
CAESAR (taking him into his confidence in his most winning
manner). Apollodorus: this is no time for playing with presents.
Pray you, go back to the Queen, and tell her that if all goes
well I shall return to the palace this evening.
Caesar: I cannot return. As I approached the
lighthouse, some fool threw a great leathern bag into the sea. It
broke the nose of my boat; and I had hardly time to get myself
and my charge to the shore before the poor little cockleshell
I am sorry, Apollodorus. The fool shall be rebuked. Well,
well: what have you brought me? The Queen will be hurt if I do
not look at it.
Have we time to waste on this trumpery? The Queen is only
Just so: that is why we must not disappoint her. What is
the present, Apollodorus?
Caesar: it is a Persian carpet--a beauty! And in it
are--so I am told--pigeons' eggs and crystal goblets and fragile
precious things. I dare not for my head have it carried up that
narrow ladder from the causeway.
Swing it up by the crane, then. We will send the eggs to
the cook; drink our wine from the goblets; and the carpet will
make a bed for Caesar.
The crane! Caesar: I have sworn to tender this bale
of carpet as I tender my own life.
Then let them swing you up at the same time;
and if the chain breaks, you and the pigeons' eggs will perish
together. (He goes to the chairs and looks up along it, examining
His manner is frivolous because he is an Italian; but
he means what he says.
Serious or not, he spoke well. Give me a squad of
soldiers to work the crane.
Leave the crane to me. Go and await the descent of the
Good. You will presently see me there (turning to
them all and pointing with an eloquent gesture to the sky above
the parapet) rising like the sun with my treasure.
He goes back the, way he came. Britannus goes into the
Are you really going to wait here for this
CAESAR (backing away from the crane as it gives signs of
working). Why not?
The Egyptians will let you know why not if they have the
sense to make a rush from the shore end of the mole before our
barricade is finished. And here we are waiting like children to
see a carpet full of pigeons' eggs.
The chain rattles, and is drawn up high enough to clear the
parapet. It then swings round out of sight behind the lighthouse.
Fear not, my son Rufio. When the first Egyptian takes his
first step along the mole, the alarm will sound; and we two will
reach the barricade from our end before the Egyptians reach it
from their end--we two, Rufio: I, the old man, and you, his
biggest boy. And the old man will be there first. So peace; and
give me some more dates.
APOLLODORUS (from the causeway below).
So-ho, haul away. So-ho-o-
o-o! (The chain is drawn up and comes round again from behind the
lighthouse. Apollodorus is swinging in the air with his bale of
carpet at the end of it. He breaks into song as he soars above
Aloft, aloft, behold the blue
That never shone in woman's eyes
Easy there: stop her. (He ceases to rise.) Further round! (The
chain comes forward above the platform.)
RUFIO (calling up).
Lower away there. (The chain and its load
begin to descend.)
APOLLODORUS (calling up).
Gently--slowly--mind the eggs.
Peace. Put up your swords. Apollodorus: your serpent
seems to breathe very regularly. (He thrusts his hand under the
shawls and draws out a bare arm.) This is a pretty little snake.
RUFIO (drawing out the other arm).
Let us have the rest of you.
They pull Cleopatra up by the wrists into a sitting position.
Britannus, scandalized, sheathes his sword with a drive of
Oh, I'm smothered. Oh, Caesar; a man stood
on me in the boat; and a great sack of something fell upon me out
of the sky; and then the boat sank, and then I was swung up into
the air and bumped down.
CAESAR (petting her as she rises and takes refuge on his breast).
Well, never mind: here you are safe and sound at last.
Ay; and now that she is here, what are we to do with her?
She cannot stay here, Caesar, without the
companionship of some matron.
CLEOPATRA (jealously, to Caesar, who is obviously perplexed).
Aren't you glad to see me?
Yes, yes; I am very glad. But Rufio is very angry; and
Britannus is shocked.
You can have their heads cut off, can
They would not be so useful with their heads cut off as
they are now, my sea bird.
RUFIO (to Cleopatra).
We shall have to go away presently and cut
some of your Egyptians' heads off. How will you like being left
here with the chance of being captured by that little brother of
yours if we are beaten?
But you mustn't leave me alone. Caesar you will not
leave me alone, will you?
What! Not when the trumpet sounds and all our lives depend
on Caesar's being at the barricade before the Egyptians reach it?
Let them lose their lives: they are only soldiers.
Cleopatra: when that trumpet sounds, we must
take every man his life in his hand, and throw it in the face of
Death. And of my soldiers who have trusted me there is not one
whose hand I shall not hold more sacred than your head.
(Cleopatra is overwhelmed. Her eyes fill with tears.)
Apollodorus: you must take her back to the palace.
Am I a dolphin, Caesar, to cross the seas with young
ladies on my back? My boat is sunk: all yours are either at the
barricade or have returned to the city. I will hail one if I can:
that is all I can do. (He goes back to the causeway.)
CLEOPATRA (struggling with her tears).
It does not matter. I will
not go back. Nobody cares for me.
CAESAR (still more gravely).
My poor child: your life matters
little here to anyone but yourself. (She gives way altogether at
this, casting herself down on the faggots weeping. Suddenly a
great tumult is heard in the distance, bucinas and trumpets
sounding through a storm of shouting. Britannus rushes to the
parapet and looks along the mole. Caesar and Rufio turn to one
another with quick intelligence.)
CLEOPATRA (scrambling to her knees and clinging to him).
Do not leave me, Caesar. (He snatches his skirt from her clutch.)
BRITANNUS (from the parapet).
Caesar: we are cut off. The
Egyptians have landed from the west harbor between us and the
RUFIO (running to see).
Curses! It is true. We are caught like
rats in a trap.
Rufio, Rufio: my men at the barricade are
between the sea party and the shore party. I have murdered them.
RUFIO (coming back from the parapet to Caesar's right hand).
that comes of fooling with this girl here.
APOLLODORUS (coming up quickly from the causeway).
Look over the
We have looked, my friend. We must defend ourselves here.
I have thrown the ladder into the sea. They cannot
get in without it.
Ay; and we cannot get out. Have you thought of that?
Not get out! Why not? You have ships in the east
BRITANNUS (hopefully, at the parapet).
The Rhodian galleys are
standing in towards us already. (Caesar quickly joins Britannus
at the parapet.)
RUFIO (to Apollodorus, impatiently).
And by what road are we to
walk to the galleys, pray?
APOLLODORUS (with gay, defiant rhetoric).
By the road that leads
everywhere--the diamond path of the sun and moon. Have you never
seen the child's shadow play of The Broken Bridge? "Ducks and
geese with ease get over"--eh? (He throws away his cloak and cap,
and binds his sword on his back.)
The Egyptians have made it up for me. What else is there
to do? And mind where you jump: I do not want to get your
fourteen stone in the small of my back as I come up. (He runs up
the steps and stands on the coping.)
One last word, Caesar. Do not let yourself
be seen in the fashionable part of Alexandria until you have
changed your clothes.
CAESAR (calling over the sea).
Ho, Apollodorus: (he points
skyward and quotes the barcarolle)
CAESAR (swimming further of).
Take refuge up there by the beacon;
and pile the fuel on the trap door, Britannus.
BRITANNUS (calling in reply).
I will first do so, and then
commend myself to my country's gods. (A sound of cheering from
the sea. Britannus gives full vent to his excitement) The boat
has reached him: Hip, hip, hip, hurrah!