William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra in the complete original text
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Antony and Cleopatra

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Act III. Scene VII.

Scene VII.—ANTONY'S Camp, near to the
Promontory of ACTIUM.

Enter CLEOPATRA and ENOBARBUS.

Cleo. I will be even with thee, doubt it not.
Eno. But why, why, why?
Cleo. Thou hast forspoke my being in these
wars,
And sayst it is not fit.
Eno. Well, is it, is it?
Cleo. If not denounc'd against us, why should
not we
Be there in person?
Eno. [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.
Cleo. What is't you say?
Eno. Your presence needs must puzzle An-
tony;
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 a eunuch and your maids
Manage this war.
Cleo. 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.
Eno. Nay, I have done.
Here comes the emperor.

Enter ANTONY and CANIDIUS.
Ant. 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?
Cleo. Celerity is never more admir'd
Than by the negligent.
Ant. 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.
Cleo. By sea! What else?
Can. Why will my lord do so?
Ant. For that he dares us to't.
Eno. So hath my lord dar'd him to single
fight.
Can. Ay, and to wage his battle at Pharsalia,
Where Cæsar fought with Pompey; but these of-
fers,
Which serve not for his vantage, he shakes off;
And so should you.
Eno. Your ships are not well mann'd;
Your mariners are muleters, reapers, people
Ingross'd by swift impress; in Cæsar'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.
Ant. By sea, by sea.
Eno. Most worthy sir, you therein throw a-
way
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.
Ant. I'll fight at sea.
Cleo. I have sixty sails, Cæsar none better.
Ant. Our overplus of shipping will we burn;
And with the rest, full-mann'd, from the head of
Actium
Beat the approaching Cæsar. But if we fail,
We then can do't at land.

Enter a Messenger.
Thy business?
Mess. The news is true, my lord; he is de-
scried;
Cæsar has taken Toryne.
Ant. Can he be there in person? 'tis impos-
sible;
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!
Sold. O noble emperor! do not fight by sea;
Trust not to rotten planks: do you misdoubt
This sword and these my wounds? Let the Egyp-
tians
And the Phœnicians go a-ducking; we
Have used to conquer, standing on the earth,
And fighting foot to foot.
Ant. Well, well: away!
[Exeunt ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, and
ENOBARBUS.
Sold. By Hercules, I think I am i' the right.
Can. 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.
Sold. You keep by land
The legions and the horse whole, do you not?
Can. Marcus Octavius, Marcus Justeius,
Publicola, and Cælius, are for sea;
But we keep whole by land. This speed of
Cæsar's
Carries beyond belief.
Sold. While he was yet In Rome
His power went out in such distractions as
Beguil'd all spies.
Can. Who's his lieutenant, hear you?
Sold. They say, one Taurus.
Can. Well I know the man

Enter a Messenger.
Mess. The emperor calls Canidius.
Can. With news the time's with labour, and
throes forth
Each minute some. [Exeunt.
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