[Enter CLEOPATRA and DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS]
- Cleopatra. I will be even with thee, doubt it not.
- Domitius Enobarus. But why, why, why?
- Cleopatra. Thou hast forspoke my being in these wars,
And say'st it is not fit.
- Domitius Enobarus. Well, is it, is it?
- Cleopatra. If not denounced against us, why should not we
Be there in person?
- Domitius Enobarus. [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?
- Domitius Enobarus. Your presence needs must puzzle Antony;
Take from his heart, take from his brain,
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.
- 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.
- Domitius Enobarus. Nay, I have done.
Here comes the emperor.
[Enter MARK ANTONY and CANIDIUS]
- 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.
- 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?
- Antony. For that he dares us to't.
- Domitius Enobarus. So hath my lord dared 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, be shakes off;
And so should you.
- Domitius Enobarus. Your ships are not well mann'd;
Your mariners are muleters, 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 prepared for land.
- Domitius Enobarus. 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
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 the head of Actium
Beat the approaching Caesar. But if we fail,
We then can do't at land.
[Enter a Messenger]
- 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 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 the Egyptians
And the Phoenicians go a-ducking; we
Have used to conquer, standing on the earth,
And fighting foot to foot.
- Antony. Well, well: away!
[Exeunt MARK ANTONY, QUEEN CLEOPATRA, and DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS]
- 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.
- 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
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,
Each minute, some.