Document: All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Antony and Cleopatra > Act III, scene VII
[Enter CLEOPATRA and DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS]
CLEOPATRA: I will be even with thee, doubt it not.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: But why, why, why?
CLEOPATRA: Thou hast forspoke my being in these wars,
And say'st it is not fit.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: Well, is it, is it?
CLEOPATRA: If not denounced against us, why should not we
Be there in person?
DOMITIUS 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?
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: 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 ENOBARBUS: Nay, I have done.
Here comes the emperor.
[Enter MARK ANTONY and CANIDIUS]
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.
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.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS: 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 ENOBARBUS: 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.
MARK ANTONY: By sea, by sea.
DOMITIUS 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
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;
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.
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!
[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.
MARK ANTONY: Well, well: away!
[Exeunt MARK ANTONY, QUEEN CLEOPATRA, and DOMITIUS
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.
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA