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Antony and Cleopatra

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Act IV, Scene 1

Before Alexandria. OCTAVIUS CAESAR’s camp.


[Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, AGRIPPA, and MECAENAS, with] [p]his Army; OCTAVIUS CAESAR reading a letter]

  • Octavius. He calls me boy; and chides, as he had power
    To beat me out of Egypt; my messenger
    He hath whipp'd with rods; dares me to personal combat,
    Caesar to Antony: let the old ruffian know
    I have many other ways to die; meantime 2500
    Laugh at his challenge.
  • Mecaenas. Caesar must think,
    When one so great begins to rage, he's hunted
    Even to falling. Give him no breath, but now
    Make boot of his distraction: never anger 2505
    Made good guard for itself.
  • Octavius. Let our best heads
    Know, that to-morrow the last of many battles
    We mean to fight: within our files there are,
    Of those that served Mark Antony but late, 2510
    Enough to fetch him in. See it done:
    And feast the army; we have store to do't,
    And they have earn'd the waste. Poor Antony!