Caesar and Cleopatra (1945) Movie Script
1 By Apis, Persian, thy gods are good to thee. Try yet again, O captain. Double or quits! No more. I am not in the vein. Captain, a stranger approaches. Stand. Who goes there? The bearer of evil tidings. Pass him in. Who art thou that laughest in the House of Cleopatra the Queen, and in the teeth of Belzanor, the captain of her guard? I am Bel Affris, descended from the gods. Hail, cousin! Hail, cousin! All the Queen's guards are descended from the gods, save myself. I am a Persian, descended from many kings. Hail, cousins! Hail, mortal! You have been in battle, Bel Affris; and you are a soldier among soldiers. You will not let the Queen's women have the first of your tidings. I have no tidings, except that we shall have our throats cut presently, women, soldiers, and all. I thought so. Tell us what we fell. Yes, tell us, tell us. Know then that I serve in a guard in the temple of Ra, here in Memphis. We went to Alexandria to inquire of king Ptolemy, how we egyptians do with a Roman Pompey newly come to our shores after his defeat by Caesar at Pharsalia. Caesar defeated Pompey? Thus Roman fight Roman? Even as egyptian fights egyptian. What did you learn from the Queen's brother Ptolemy, a pretender? We learned that Caesar is coming also in hot pursuit of his foe, and that Ptolemy has slain Pompey. Nay, more: we found that Caesar is already come; for we had not made half a day's journey on our way back when we came upon a city rabble flying from his legions. And ye, the temple guard! Did you not withstand these legions? What man could, that we did. But this Caesar throws his legions where we are weakest as he throws a stone from a catapult. And this legion is a man with one head and thousand arms And no religion, I have fought against him, I know. Were you frightened, cousin? No cousin, but I was beaten. Could you not die? There was no time All was over in a moment. and I am come to warn you that you must open your gates to Caesar; for his advance guard is scarce an hour behind me; and not an Egyptian warrior is left standing between you and his legions. Woe, alas! Nail him to the door, quick! Now this news will run through the palace like fire through stubble. What shall we do to save the women from the Romans? Why not kill them? Because we should have to pay blood money. Better let the Romans kill them: it is cheaper. O subtle one! O serpent! But your Queen? True: we must carry off Cleopatra. I will take her on the crupper of my horse. Fly, fly! What's an uproar? The sacred white cat has been stolen! Hail, Sphinx: salutation from Julius Caesar! I have wandered in many lands, seeking the lost regions from which my birth into this world exiled me, and the company of creatures such as I myself. I have found flocks and pastures, men and cities, but no other Caesar, no air native to me, no man kindred to me, none who can do my day's deed, and think my night's thought. In the little world yonder, Sphinx, my place is as high as yours in this great desert; only I wander, and you sit still; I conquer, and you endure; I work and wonder, you watch and wait; Sphinx, you and I, strangers to the race of men, are no strangers to one another: have I not been conscious of you and of this place since I was born? Rome is a madman's dream: this is my Reality. My way hither was the way of destiny; for I am he of whose genius you are the symbol: part brute, part woman, and part God-- nothing of man in me at all. Have I read your riddle, Sphinx? Old gentleman. Immortal gods! Old gentleman: don't run away. Old gentleman: don't run away!!! This! To Julius Caesar! Old gentleman. Sphinx: you presume on your centuries. I am younger than you, though your voice is but a girl's voice as yet. Climb up here, quickly; or the Romans will come and eat you. A child at its breast! A divine child! Come up quickly. You must get up at its side and creep round. Who are you? Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Queen of the Gypsies, you mean. You must not be disrespectful to me, or the Sphinx will let the Romans eat you. Come up. It is quite cosy here. What a dream! What a magnificent dream! Only let me not wake, Take care. That's right. Now sit down: you may have its other paw. It is very powerful and will protect us; but it would not take any notice of me or keep me company. I am glad you have come: I was very lonely. Did you happen to see a white cat anywhere? Have you lost one? Yes: the sacred white cat: is it not dreadful? I brought him here to sacrifice him to the Sphinx; but when we got a little way from the city a black cat called him, and he jumped out of my arms and ran away to it. Do you think that the black cat can have been my great-great-great-grandmother? Your great-great-great-grandmother! Well, why not? Nothing would surprise me on this night of nights. I think it must have been. My great-grandmother's great-grandmother was a black kitten of the sacred white cat; and my blood is made with Nile water. That is why my hair is so wavy. What are you doing here at this time of night? Do you live here? Of course not: I am the Queen; and I shall live in the palace at Alexandria when I have killed my brother, who drove me out of it. When I am old enough I shall do just what I like. I shall be able to poison the slaves and see them wriggle, and pretend to Ftatateeta, my nurse, that she is going to be put into the fiery furnace. Hm! Meanwhile why are you not at home and in bed? Because the Romans are coming to eat us all. YOU are not at home and in bed either. Yes I am. I live in a tent; and I am now in that tent, fast asleep and dreaming. Do you suppose that I believe you are real, you impossible little dream witch? You are a funny old gentleman. I like you. Ah, that spoils the dream. Why don't you dream that I am young? I wish you were; only I think I should be more afraid of you. I like men, especially young men with round strong arms; but I am afraid of them. You are old and rather wrinkly; but you have a nice voice; and I like to have somebody to talk to, though I think you are a little mad. It is the moon that makes you talk to yourself in that silly way. What! you heard that, did you? I was saying my prayers to the great Sphinx. But this isn't the great Sphinx. What! This is only a dear little kitten of the Sphinx. Why, the great Sphinx is so big that it has a temple between its paws. This is my pet Sphinx. Tell me: do you think the Romans have any sorcerers who could take us away from the Sphinx by magic? Why? Are you afraid of the Romans? Oh, they would eat us if they caught us. They are barbarians. Their chief is called Julius Caesar. His father was a tiger and his mother a burning mountain; and his nose is like an elephant's trunk. They all have long noses, and ivory tusks, and little tails, and seven arms with a hundred arrows in each; and they live on human flesh. Would you like me to show you a real Roman? No. You are frightening me. No matter: this is only a dream-- It is not a dream: it is not a dream. See, see. How dare you? You said you were dreaming. I only wanted to show you-- Come, come: don't cry. A queen mustn't cry. Cleopatra: can you see my face well? Yes. It is so white in the moonlight. Are you sure it is the moonlight that makes me look whiter than an Egyptian? Do you notice that I have a rather long nose? It is a Roman nose, Cleopatra. Bite him in two, Sphinx: bite him in two. I meant to sacrifice the white ca--I did indeed--I--Ah! Cleopatra: shall I show you a way to prevent Caesar from eating you? Oh do, do, do. I will steal a crown jewel and give them to you. I will make the river Nile water your lands twice a year. My child. Your gods are afraid of the Romans: you see the Sphinx dare not bite me, nor prevent me carrying you off to Julius Caesar. You won't, you won't. You said you wouldn't. Caesar never eats women. But he eats girls and cats. Now you are a silly little girl; and you are descended from the black kitten. You are both a girl and a cat. And will he eat me? Yes; unless you make him believe that you are a woman. Oh, you must get a sorcerer to make a woman of me. Are you a sorcerer? Perhaps. But it will take a long time; and this very night you in the palace of your fathers. you must stand face to face with Caesar No, no. I daren't. Whatever dread may be in your soul-- however terrible Caesar may be to you-- you must confront him as a brave woman and a great queen; and you must feel no fear. If your hand shakes: if your voice quavers; then--night and death! But if he thinks you worthy to rule, he will set you on the throne by his side and make you the real ruler of Egypt. No: he will find me out: he will find me out. He is easily deceived by women. Their eyes dazzle him; Then we will cheat him. If you do that he will eat you at one mouthful. I will do whatever you tell me. I will be good! I will be your slave. Hark! What was that? Caesar's voice. Let us run away. Come. Oh, come. You are safe with me until you stand on your throne to receive Caesar. Lead me to your palace in the desert. I will, I will. Oh, come, come, come: the gods are angry. Do you feel the earth shaking? It is the tread of Caesar's legions. This way, quickly. And let us look for the white cat as we go. It is he that has turned you into a Roman. Incorrigible, oh, incorrigible! Come, come. Ftatateeta! What place is this? This is where I sit on the throne when I am allowed to wear my crown and robes. Ftatateeta! Order the slave to light the lamps. Do you think I may? Of course. You are the Queen. Go on. Light all the lamps. Stop. Who is this you have with you; and how dare you order the lamps to be lighted without my permission? Who is she? Ftatateeta. Chief nurse to-- I speak to the Queen. Be silent. Is this how your servants know their places? Send her away; and you do as the Queen has bidden. You are the Queen: send her away. Ftatateeta, dear: you must go away--just for a little. You are not commanding her to go away: you are begging her. You are no Queen. You will be eaten. Farewell. No, no, no. Don't leave me. A Roman does not stay with queens who are afraid of their slaves. I am not afraid. Indeed I am not afraid. We shall see who is afraid here. Cleopatra-- On your knees, woman: am I also a child that you dare trifle with me? Slave. Can you cut off a head? Yes. Have you remembered yourself, mistress? O Queen, forget not thy servant in the days of thy greatness. Go. Begone. Go away. Give me something to beat her with. You scratch, kitten, do you? I will beat somebody. I will beat him. There, there, there! I am a Queen at last-- a real, real Queen! Cleopatra the Queen! Oh, I love you for making me a Queen. But queens love only kings. I will make all the men I love kings. I will have many young kings, with round, strong arms; and when I am tired of them I will whip them to death; but you will always be my king: my nice, kind, wise, good old king. Oh, my wrinkles! You will be the most dangerous of all Caesar's conguests. Caesar! I forgot Caesar. You will tell him that I am a Queen, will you not? a real Queen. Listen! let us run away and hide until Caesar is gone. If you fear Caesar, you are no true Queen; and though you were to hide beneath a pyramid, he would go straight to it and lift it with one hand. And then--! Be afraid if you dare. Caesar approaches the palace of Cleopatra. Come: take your place. Ho, there, Teetatota. How do you call your slaves? Clap your hands. Totateeta, bring the Queen's robes, and her crown, and her women; and prepare her. Yes, the Crown, Ftatateeta: I shall wear the crown. For whom must the Queen put on her state? For a citizen of Rome. A king of kings. How dare you ask questions? Go and do as you are told. Of all the Queen's women, these two alone are left. The rest are fled. Two is enough. Poor Caesar generally has to dress himself. The Queen of Egypt is not a Roman barbarian. Be brave, my nursling. Hold up your head before this stranger. Are you trembling? No, I-- I. You must tell Caesar that I am a queen. He will not ask me. He will know Cleopatra by her pride, her courage, her majesty, and her beauty. Is it sweet or bitter to be a Queen, Cleopatra? Bitter. Cast out fear; and you will conquer Caesar. Stop! Sentinels. Fly, fly, fly. The Romans are in the courtyard. The Romans are in the courtyard. (Women are shrieking.) The Queen must face Caesar alone. Answer "So be it." So be it. Good. A-a-a! You are my nursling. You have said "So be it"; and if you die for it, you must make the Queen's word good. Forward! Now... Now, if you quail--! Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar! Aah! Ripe figs! Fresh mackerel! Fresh mackerel! The Roman, the Roman, They coming! They coming! Why did you run away? My children! The Romans will not eat you. They are as civilized as you. Stop! Attention! We waiting for a second in command-Rufio. This city is Alexandria. Remember that-Alexandria: the capital of Egypt. You got to behave yourselfs here. Be stippish with the men but you may fascinize with the women. Silence! Silence, I tell you! That is Rufio. Attention! A turn left! Centurion! Sir! See that building. That's the royal palace. Caesar in there, I am going now to join him. Keep a patrol of picked men, when we call, they may be wanted. Picked men, you understand. Yes sir. Who are these Romans? Peasants, drop of the scarecrow, sons of smiths, millers and tanners. Are not we all nobles consecrated to arms, descended from gods? Gods are not always good to their poor relations O subtle one! O serpent! Sixteen, eighteen, twenty four ... Let us wait and take sides with a winner. Ptolemy. Cleopatra. Cleopatra or ... Ptolemy. The King of Egypt has a word to speak. Peace for the King's word! Take notice of this all of you. I am the firstborn son of Auletes the Flute Blower who was your King. My sister Berenice drove him from his throne and reigned in his stead but-- but-- the gods would not suffer-- Yes--the gods would not suffer-- Gods-- I forget what the gods would not suffer. The King wished to say that the gods would not suffer the impiety of his sister to go unpunished. Yes, yes: I remember the rest of it. Therefore the gods sent a stranger, one Mark Antony, a Roman captain of horsemen, across the sands of the desert and he set my father again upon the throne. Now... And now that my father is dead, my sister Cleopatra, would snatch the kingdom from me and reign in my place. But the gods would not suffer will not maintain Oh yes--will not maintain such iniquity, But with the help of the witch Ftatateeta she hath cast a spell on the Roman Julius Caesar to uphold her false pretence to rule Egypt. Take notice then that I will not suffer-- What is it that I will not suffer now? The King will not suffer a foreigner to take from him the throne of our Egypt. Tell the King, Achillas, how many soldiers and horsemen follow Julius Caesar? But two Roman legions, O King. Three thousand soldiers and scarce a thousand horsemen. Peace, ho! Caesar approaches. The King permits the Roman commander to enter! Which is the King? The man or the boy? I am Pothinus, the guardian of my lord the King. So you are the King. Dull work at your age, eh? your servant, Pothinus. And this gentleman? Achillas, the King's general. A general, eh? I am a general myself. But I began too old. Health and many victories, Achillas! As the gods will, Caesar. And you, sir, are--? Theodotus, the King's tutor. So, you teach men how to be kings, Theodotus. That is very clever of you. And this place? The council chamber of the chancellors of the King's treasury, Caesar. Ah! That reminds me. I want some money. The King's treasury is poor, Caesar. Yes: I notice that there is but one chair in it. Bring a chair there, some of you, for Caesar. Caesar-- No, no, my boy: that is your chair of state. Sit down. Sit down! A chair for Caesar! Sacrilege! Sit on that, Caesar. Ah, I forgot. I have not made my companions known here. Pothinus: This gentleman is Rufio, my comrade in arms. this is Britannus, my secretary. How do you do. He is an islander from the western end of the world Caesar, the tax returns. A surplus as you predicted. Now, Pothinus, to business. I want 16000 talents. 16000? Impossible. There is not so much money in the King's treasury. The Royal taxes have not been collected for a whole year. O, yes they have, Pothinus. My officers have been collecting them all morning. Is it possible that Caesar, the conqueror of the world, has time to occupy himself with such a trifle as our taxes? My friend: taxes are the chief business of a conqueror of the world. You must pay, Pothinus. But in return for your bounty, I will settle this dispute about the throne for you, if you will. You say the matter has been at issue for a year. May I have ten minutes at it? You will do as you please, doubtless. Good! But first, let us have Cleopatra here. Cleopatra? She is not in Alexandria. I think she is. Call Totateeta. Ho there, Teetatota. Who pronounces the name of Ftatateeta, the Queen's chief nurse? Nobody can pronounce it, Tota, except yourself. Where is your mistress? Will the Queen favor us with her presence for a moment? Am I to behave like a Queen? Yes. You may go Ftatateeta. Caesar: this is how she treats me always. If I am a King why is she allowed to take everything from me? You are not to be King, you little cry-baby. You are to be eaten by the Romans. Come here, my boy, and stand by me. Take your throne: I don't want it. Go this instant and sit down in your place. Go, Ptolemy. Always take a throne when it is offered to you. Now, Pothinus-- Are you not going to speak to me? Be quiet. Open your mouth again before I give you leave; and you shall be eaten. I am not afraid. A queen must not be afraid. Eat my husband there, if you like: he is afraid. Your husband! What do you mean? That little thing. Husband! Caesar: you are a stranger here, and do not know our laws. The kings and queens of Egypt may not marry except with their own royal blood. Ptolemy and Cleopatra are born king and consort just as they are born brother and sister. Caesar: this is not proper. Not proper? I say it is a scandal. Scandal or not, my friend, it opens the gate of peace. Hear what I propose. Hear Caesar there. Ptolemy and Cleopatra shall reign jointly in Egypt. Peace with honor, Pothinus. What conceit! Roman trick! We will not have it! Caesar: be honest. The money you demand is the price of our freedom. Take it; and leave us to settle our own affairs. Yes, return to your own country. Egypt belongs to us, not to you. Egypt for the Egyptians! Egypt for the Egyptians! Egypt for the Egyptians! Do you forget that there is a Roman army of occupation here, left by Aulus Gabinius when he set up your toy king for you? And now under my command I am the Roman general here, Caesar. And also the Egyptian general, eh? That is so, Caesar. So you can make war on the Egyptians in the name of Rome and on the Romans--on me, if necessary--in the name of Egypt? That is so, Caesar. And which side are you on at present, if I may presume to ask, general? On the side of the right and of the gods. Hm! How many men have you? That will appear when I take the field. Are your men Romans? If not, it matters not how many there are. Insolence! It is useless to try to bluff us, Rufio. Caesar has been defeated before and he may be defeated again. What can you do with 4,000 men? And without money? Away with you. Go back to your den. Caesar, why do you let them talk to you like that ? Are you afraid? Why, my dear, what they say is quite true. But if you go away, I shall not be Queen. I shall not go away until you are Queen. (murmur) Achillas: if you are not a fool, you will take that girl whilst she is under your hand. Why not take Caesar as well, Achillas? Well said, Rufio. Why not? Try, Achillas, try. Yes, Caesar too. Guard there. (Shouting) Peace, egyptians. You are Caesar's prisoners, all of you. Oh no, no, no. By no means. Caesar's guests, gentlemen, Caesar's guests. Won't you cut their heads off? Cut off your brother's head? Why not? He would cut off mine, if he got the chance. Wouldn't you, Ptolemy? I would. I will, too, when I grow up. Caesar: if you attempt to detain us-- He will succeed, Egyptian: make up your mind to that. The road to Rome is open; and you shall travel it if Caesar chooses. I could do no less, Pothinus, to secure the retreat of my own soldiers. I am accountable for every life among them. I am the King's guardian. I stand on my right here. Where is your right? It is in the Rufio's scabbard, my friend. I may not be able keeping it there much longer. And this is Roman justice? But not Roman gratitude, I hope. Is Caesar's life of so little account to him that he forgets we have saved it. My life, is that all? Your life, your laurels, your future. I can call a witness to prove that but for us Roman army of occupation, led by Pompey, the greatest soldier in the world would now have Caesar at its mercy. Ho, there, Lucius Septimius come forth and testify before Caesar. No, no. Yes, I say. Let the military tribune bear witness. Lucius Septimius! Bear witness, Lucius Septimius! Caesar came to Egypt in pursuit of his foe. Did we shelter his foe? As Pompey's foot touched the Egyptian shore, his head fell by the stroke of my sword. We have given you a full and sweet measure of vengeance. Vengeance! Oh, if I could stoop to vengeance, what would I not exact from you as the price of this murdered man's blood. Was he not my son-in-law, my ancient friend, Am I Julius Caesar, or am I a wild beast, that you fling to me the grey head of the old soldier, the laurelled conqueror, and then claim my gratitude for it! Begone: you fill me with horror. Pshaw! You have seen severed heads before, Caesar, and severed right hands too, I think; some thousands of them, after you vanquished the king of the Gauls. Did you spare him, with all your clemency? Was that vengeance? Would that it had been! Vengeance at least is human. No, by the gods, those severed right hands, and the brave king of Gauls basely strangled in a vault beneath the Capitol, were a wise severity, a necessary protection to the commonwealth, a duty of statesmanship-- follies and fictions ten times bloodier than honest vengeance! What a fool was I then! To think that men's lives should be at the mercy of such fools! Lucius Septimius, pardon me: why should the slayer of the king of the Gauls rebuke the slayer of Pompey? You are free to go. All here in this palace. Free? Achillas army, renegades and all? Free, Rufio. Lucius Septimius, You are free to go with the rest. Or stay if you will: I will find a place for you in my service. The odds are against you, Caesar. I go. Farewell. Come, Pothinus, Achillas, whilst there is yet time. Do you suppose he would let us go if he had our heads in his hands? Caesar: this is not good sense. Your duty to Rome demands that her enemies should be prevented from doing further mischief. It is no use talking to him, Britannus: you may save your breath to cool your porridge. But mark this, Caesar. Clemency is very well for you; but what is it for your soldiers, who have to fight tomorrow the men you spared yesterday? You may give what orders you please; but I, for one, will take no prisoners. I will kill my enemies in the field; I shall never have to fight them again. And now, with your leave, I will see these gentry off the premises. What! Have they left the boy alone! Oh shame, shame! Come, your majesty! Is he... Is he turning me out of my palace? You are welcome to stay if you wish. Go, my boy. I will not harm you; but you will be safer away, among your friends. Here you are in the lion's mouth. It is not the lion I fear, but the jackal. Brave boy! Little silly. You think that very clever. Britannus: Attend the King. Give him in charge to that Pothinus fellow. And this piece of goods? What is to be done with HER? However, I suppose I may leave that to you. Did you mean me to go with the rest? You are free to do just as you please, Cleopatra. Then you do not care whether I stay or not? Of course I had rather you stayed. Much, MUCH rather? Much, much rather. Then I consent to stay, because I am asked. But I do not want to, mind. That is quite understood. Totateeta. Her name is not Totateeta: it is Ftatateeta. Ftatateeta will forgive the erring tongue of a Roman. Tota: the Queen will hold her state here in Alexandria. Engage women to attend upon her; and do all that is needful. Am I then the mistress of the Queen's household? No: I am the mistress of the Queen's household. Go and do as you are told, or I will have you thrown into the Nile this very afternoon, to poison the poor crocodiles. Oh no, no, no. Oh yes, yes, yes. You are very sentimental, Caesar; but you are clever; and if you do as as I tell you, you will soon learn how to govern. Pothinus! Achillas! Lucius Septimius! Egypt for egyptians! Your barley water, Caesar. Ftatateeta! Ftatateeta! Get up, child, you must be bathed this morning. No! I had my month bath a day before yesterday. In future you must have a bath every day. No, no, I should die. You must! Your life is changed. You are still my child, but for all others you are grown woman and a queen. Yes, I am a queen. Ftata, what will Caesar do with me? Ask rather what you will do with him. My child, you have charmed him. You are safe, you are powerful. I will guide you until you learn how to guide yourself. Fear nothing. Who can fear Caesar? He is not great and terrible, he is a near elderly gentleman rather sad looking and wrinkled but very kind. He is a magician, and magicians can change their shapes, as they please. Everything about him is magical. He would not sleep in a golden chamber, permitted soldiers bring a bare stretcher from the cabin, put it in his study. Even then he did not sleep in it and sat up working like a slave all night. Everyone obeys him as if he were a god I think he is a god in disguise, for he's changed your nature, as not. Yes he has, this is truth. Ftatatita, before he came I was afraid of you more than anybody else on earth. And now I am not afraid of you at all. Tell me what what I must begin with now that I am really a queen. You must begin by having a bath, every day. Come child, get it over, you will soon get used to it and love. Never. It is too dreadful. If I must to wash again, Ftatateeta let it be a scented bath. Have you scented it? No, Caesar hates perfumes. And if you redden your lips he will not kiss you. Come on. He must indeed be a god. Only a god could be so not like a man. No! Cleopatra, I really think I must eat you, after all. You must not talk to me now as if I were a child. You have been growing up since the Sphinx introduced us that night; and you think you know more than I do already. No: that would be very silly of me: of course I know that. But, are you angry with me? No. Then why are you so thoughtful? I have work to do. Work! What a nonsense! You must remember that you are a King now: I have made you one. Kings don't work. Oh! Who told you that, little kitten? Eh? My father was King of Egypt; and he never worked. But he lost his throne. how did he get his throne back again? I will tell you. A beautiful young man, with strong round arms, came over the desert with many horsemen, and gave my father back his throne. I was only twelve then. Oh, I wish he would come again, now that I am a Queen. I would make him my husband. It might be managed, perhaps; for it was I who sent that beautiful young man to help your father. You know him! Has he come with you? Oh, I wish he had, I wish he had. He is many, MANY years younger than you, is he not? Yes, he is somewhat younger. Would he be my husband, do you think, if I asked him? Very likely. But I should not like to ask him. Could you... Could you not persuade him to ask me-- without knowing that I wanted him to? My poor child! Why do you say that as if you were sorry for me? Does he love anyone else? I am afraid so. Then I shall not be his first love. Not quite the first. He is greatly admired by women. I wish I could be the first. But if he loves me, I will make him kill all the rest. Tell me: is he still beautiful? Do his strong round arms shine in the sun like marble? He is in excellent condition-- considering how much he eats and drinks. Oh, you must not say common, earthly things about him; for I love him. He is a god. What is his name? His name is Mark Antony. Mark Antony, Mark Antony, Mark Antony! What a beautiful name! Oh, how I love you for sending him to help my father! You must run away for a little and send my secretary to me. No, no, no: I want to stay and hear you talk about Mark Antony. But if I do not get to work, Pothinus and the rest of them will cut us off from the harbor; and then the way from Rome will be blocked. No matter: I don't want you to go back to Rome. But you want Mark Antony to come from it. Oh yes, yes, yes: I forgot. Go quickly, Caesar; and keep the way over the sea open for my Mark Antony. What now? This, Caesar; and two of my comrades killed in the market place. Ay. Why? There is an army come to Alexandria, calling itself the Roman army. The Roman army of occupation. Ay? Commanded by one Achillas. Well? The citizens rose against us when the army entered the gates. They set upon us. I cut my way out. Good. I am glad to see you alive. Rufio, we are besieged. What! Already? Caesar, Caesar! Yes, yes: I know. Comrade: give the word to turn out on the beach and stand by the boats. Get your wound attended to. Britannus, go with him. Rufio: we have some ships in the west harbor. Burn them. Burn them!! Take every boat we have in the east harbor, and seize the Pharos--that island with the lighthouse. Leave half our men behind to hold the beach and the quay outside this palace: that is the way on the Rome. For the rest, Egypt for the Egyptians! Well, you know best, I suppose. Is that all? That is all. Are those ships burnt yet? Be easy: I shall waste no more time. Caesar: Pothinus wants to meet you. Where is he? Waits in the council chamber. It's my opinion he needs a lesson. His manner is most insolent. Well, Pothinus? I have brought you our ultimatum, Caesar. Ultimatum! The door was open: you should have gone out through it before you declared war. You are my prisoner now. I YOUR prisoner! Do you know that King Ptolemy, with an army outnumbering your little troop a hundred to one, is in possession of Alexandria? Well, my friend, get out if you can. And tell your friends not to kill any more Romans in the market place. Otherwise my soldiers, who do not share my celebrated clemency, will probably kill you. Pass the word to the guard; Pothinus is now prisoner. Britannus, fetch my armor. Caesar! Caesar! What? The ships ablaze already! Impossible! The egyptians have saved me the trouble. They have captured the west harbor. And the east harbor? The lighthouse, Rufio? Can I embark a legion in five minutes? The first cohort is already on the quay. If you want faster work, come and do it yourself? Patience, Rufio, patience. Patience! Who is impatient herehere, you or I? Forgive me, Rufio; and hurry them as much as you can. Help, help, help, help! Woe, alas! Woe, alas. Help, help! Who is slain? Slain! Oh, worse than the death of ten thousand men! Loss irreparable to mankind! What has happened, man? The fire has spread from your ships. The library of Alexandria is in flames. Is that all? Rufio, is Britannus asleep? I sent him for my armor an hour ago. Britannus, Britannikus! Caesar: will you go down to posterity as a barbarous soldier too ignorant to know the value of books? Theodotus: I am an author myself; Good. What is burning there is the memory of mankind. A shameful memory. Let it burn. Will you destroy the past? Ay, and build the future with its ruins. Harken to me, Theodotus, teacher of kings: I cannot spare you a man or a bucket of water just now; but you shall pass freely out of the palace. Now, away with you to Achillas; and borrow his legions to put out the fire. Caesar, posterity will bless you. Will you stay to talk whilst the memory of mankind is burning? Sentinel, pass Theodotus out. Away with you. Away with you. I must save the library. What's this! Have you let them go? Is this more clemency? I have let him go to save the library. We must respect literature, Rufio. Folly on folly's head! Besides, my friend: every Egyptian we imprison means imprisoning two good Roman soldiers to guard him. Eh? Agh! I might have known there was some fox's trick behind your fine talking. All ready, there? All ready. We wait for Caesar. Tell them Caesar is coming-- the rogues! Caesar's guard there. Push off, all except the longboat. Stand by it to embark I am going to dress you, Caesar. Sit down. Caesar, this is not proper. These Roman helmets are so becoming! What are you laughing at? You're bald! Cleopatra! So that is why you wear the wreath-- to hide it. Peace, Egyptian: they are the bays of the conqueror. Peace, thou: islander! You should rub your head with strong spirits of sugar, Caesar. That will make it grow. Cleopatra: do you like to be reminded that you are very young? No. No do I like to be reminded that I am--middle aged. Now. Oh! how nice! You look only about 50 in it! You must not speak in this manner to Caesar. Is it true that when Caesar caught you on that island, you were painted all over blue? Blue is the color worn by all Britons of good standing. In war we stain our bodies blue; so that though our enemies may strip us of our clothes and our lives, they cannot strip us of our respectability. Let me hang this on. Now you look splendid. Now Caesar: have you done talking? The longboat waits for you. The others race to the lighthouse. Is this well set today, Britannicus? At Pharsalia it was as blunt as a barrel-hoop. It will split one of the Egyptian's hairs to-day, Caesar. I have set it myself. Oh, you are not really going into battle to be killed? No, Cleopatra. No man goes to battle to be killed. But they DO get killed. My sister's husband was killed in battle. You must not go. Let HIM go. Oh please, PLEASE don't go. What will happen to ME if you never come back? Are you afraid? No. Come to the balcony; and you shall see us take the Pharos. You must learn to look on battles. Then take me with you. Take me to come with you to Pharos. No, no, my child, you must stay here till my return. That is well. Now, Rufio. March. Oh, you will not be able to go! Why? What now? They are drying up the harbor with buckets-- a multitude of soldiers--over there-- they are dipping up the water. This is your accursed clemency, Caesar. Theodotus has brought them. I meant him to, Rufio. They have come to put out the fire. The library will keep them busy whilst we seize the lighthouse. Eh? More foxing! Caesar! Cleopatra, if all goes well I shall be back this evening. All aboard. Goodbye! Goodbye! Hail, Caesar! Give way there. Goodbye, my Caesar. Come back safe. Goodbye! What's this? Stand. Who are you? Centurion, I am Apollodorus the Sicilian. My calling is to choose beautiful things for beautiful queens. Carpets for the Queen's apartments in the palace. The Queen? Yes, yes: 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. 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 sea. Who is this piece of Egyptian crockery? Apollodorus: rebuke this Roman dog; and bid him bridle his tongue in the presence of the mistress of the Queen's household. This is a great lady, who stands high with Caesar. Ftatateeta! What are you dreaming of? Ftatateeta! No, no, you must not come out. There are men here. Oh that ever I was born! Ftatateeta: I have thought of something. I want a boat--at once. A boat! No, no: you cannot. Apollodorus: speak to the Queen. Beautiful Queen: I am Apollodorus the Sicilian, your servant, from the bazaar. I have no time for carpets to-day. Get me a boat. You cannot go on the water except in the royal barge. Royalty, Ftatateeta, lies not in the barge but in the Queen. The touch of your majesty's foot on the meanest boat in the harbor will make it royal. Apollodorus: you are my perfect knight; and I will always buy my carpets through you. Can you row? My oars shall be your majesty's wings. Ho there, boatman! Whither shall I row my Queen? To the lighthouse. Come. Stand. You cannot pass. How dare you? Do you know that I am the Queen? I have my orders. You cannot pass. Ftatateeta: strangle him. Keep off there. Pass in the palace and take the Queen with him. And how if I do neither? Then I will drive this pilum through you. At your service, my friend. Help him, help him! I shall not need help, lady. What's your mean: sword against pilum, or sword against sword? Roman against Sicilian, curse you. Help! Help! Thrust your knife into the dog's throat, Apollodorus. Curse on you! Let me go. Ho there, guard, help, help. Stab the little Roman reptile. Spit him on your sword. What is all this? Make your report, soldier. This old woman is dangerous: she is as strong as three men. Centurion, he would have slain the queen. I would, sooner than let her pass. Cleopatra: I am loath to offend you; but without Caesar's express order we dare not let you pass beyond the Roman lines. 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. As for you, Apollodorus, you may thank the gods that you are not nailed to the palace door with a pilum for your meddling. Is the woman your wife? Jupiter, no! Not that the lady is not a striking figure in her own way. But she is NOT my wife. 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 We shall see whom Isis loves best: her servant Ftatateeta or a dog of a Roman. 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 -- kill him. Get about your business. Yes: you ought to know better. Off with you. Do not tantalize a poor man. Pearl of Queens: the Centurion is at hand; and the Roman soldier is incorruptible when his officer is looking. I shall carry your word to Caesar. Are these carpets very heavy? It matters not how heavy. There are plenty of porters. How do they put them into the boats? Do they - throw them down? Not into small boats, majesty. It would sink them. Not into that man's boat, for instance? No, no. Too small. But you can take a carpet to Caesar in it if I send one? Assuredly. And you will have it carried gently down the steps and take great care of it? Great, GREAT care? More than of my own body. Good. Come, Ftatateeta. No, Apollodorus, you must not come. I will choose a carpet for myself. You must wait here. Follow this lady and obey her. This way. And take your shoes off before you put your feet on those stairs. Listen: were you set here to watch me, or to watch the Egyptians? We know our duty. Then why don't you do it? Look! The Egyptians are moving. They are going to recapture the Pharos. They will attack by sea and land: by land along the great mole; Stir yourselves: the hunt is up. Centurion, enforce the produce on the mole. Yes, sir. Rufio: this has been a mad expedition. We shall be beaten. 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 Egypt. An hour ago you were all for victory. Yes: I was a fool, rash, Rufio, boyish. Boyish! Not a bit of it. Here. What are these for? Eat. That's what's the matter with you. When a man comes to your age, he runs down before the midday meal. Eat and drink; and take another look at our chances. My age! Yes, I am an old man worn out now quite true, Rufio. Achillas is still in his prime: Ptolemy is a boy. Well, every dog has his day; and I have had mine: I cannot complain. These dates are not bad, Rufio. That's my old Caesar. That's a great war when you get rid with the women. You again? Keep the distance. Come within a yard of me, you old crocodile; and I will give you this in your jaws. 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. Load carefully it into the boat. Those eggs, of which the lady speaks must weigh more than a pound a piece. This boat is much too small for such a load. Yes, yes, too small! Yes, yes. Oh thou injurious porter! Oh thou unnatural son of a she-camel! My boat, sir, can carry five men. Shall it not carry your lordship and a bale of pigeons' eggs? Thou mangey dromedary, the gods shall punish thee for this envious wickedness. I cannot quit this bale now to beat thee; but another day I will lie in wait for thee. Peace there, all of you. In the name of the gods, Apollodorus, run no risks with that bale. Fear not, thou venerable grotesque: I guess its great worth. Into the boat, gently, my sons, my children--gently, ye dogs! so--'tis well. Do not step on it, do not step on it. Be not excited, mistress: all is well. Oh thou brute beast! Oh, thou hast given my heart a turn! Here, ye hungry ones. Robber of the poor. It's not enough! O bounteous prince! O lord of the bazaar! O favored of the gods! O father to all the porters of the market! Farewell, Ftatateeta. I shall be at the lighthouse before the Egyptians. The gods speed thee Farewell, valiant pilum pitcher. Caesar! Caesar! Our brave mariners have captured a treasure. Our enemies are delivered into our hands. In that bag? Wait till you hear, Caesar. This bag contains all the letters which have passed between our enemies. Well? 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. Put them in the fire. Put them-- In the fire. Would you have me waste the next three years of my life condemning men who will be my friends when I have proved that my friendship is worth more than my enemies. But your honor--the honor of Rome-- I do not make human sacrifices to my honor, as your Druids do. Since you will not burn these, at least I can drown them. Caesar: this is mere eccentricity. Are traitors to be allowed to go free for the sake of a paradox? Caesar: when the islander has finished preaching, call me again. O Caesar, my great master, if I could but persuade you to regard life seriously, as men do in my country! Do they truly do so, Britannus? 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 with us. 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. What now? Hail! What is this? Who are you? How did you come here? Calm yourself, my friend: I am not going to eat you. Hail, great Caesar! I am Apollodorus the Sicilian, an artist. An artist! A vagabond? Peace, man. Apollodorus is a famous patrician amateur. I crave the gentleman's pardon. I understood him to say that he was a professional. You are welcome, Apollodorus. What is your business? First, to deliver to you a present from the Queen of Queens. Who is that? Cleopatra of Egypt. Apollodorus: this is no time for playing with presents. Pray you, go back to the Queen, and tell her that if all goes well we 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 sank. 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. Caesar, have we time to waste on this trumpery? The Queen is only a child. Just so: that is why we must not disappoint her. 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. 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. Is Caesar serious? 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. No-no it's worked by elderly Tyrian and his son. Well conducted youth of ... 14. What! An old man and boy work that? Twenty men, you mean? No, no, 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. Leave the crane to me. Go and await the descent of the chain. Good. You will see me presently there rising like the sun with my treasure. Are you really going to wait here for this foolery, Caesar? Why not? The Egyptians will let you know why not if they have the sense to make a rush before our barricade is finished. And here we are waiting like children to see a carpet full of pigeons' eggs. 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 before the Egyptians-- 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. Haul away. Easy there: Further round! So. Haul up. Gently-- slowly, slowly--mind the eggs. Slowly, slowly. Haul away. Stand off, my friends: let Caesar see. Nothing but a heap of shawls. Where are the pigeons' eggs? Approach, Caesar; and search for them among the shawls. Ha, treachery! Keep back, Caesar: I saw the shawl move: there is something alive there. It is a serpent. Dares Caesar thrust his hand into the sack where the serpent moves? Treacherous dog-- Peace. Put up your swords. Apollodorus: your serpent seems to breathe very regularly. This is a pretty little snake. Let us have the rest of you. 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. 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? Caesar, it is not proper. She cannot stay here, without the companionship of some matron. Horrible. Aren't you glad to see me? Yes, I am very glad. But Rufio is very angry; and Britannus is shocked. You can have their heads cut off, can't you? They would not be so useful with their heads cut off as they are now, my sea bird. We shall have to go away presently and cut some of your Egyptians' heads. 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? Eh? 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. 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. It does not matter. I will not go back. Nobody cares for me. Cleopatra-- You want me to be killed. My poor child: your life matters little here to anyone but yourself. Come, Rufio. Do not leave me, Caesar. Caesar: we are cut off. The Egyptians have landed from the west harbor between us and the barricade!!! Rufio: my men at the barricade are lost. I have murdered them. Ay: that comes of fooling with this girl here. Caesar! Caesar, the egyptians. 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 harbor. The galleys are standing in towards us already. And by what road are we to walk to the galleys, pray? By the road that leads everywhere-- the diamond path of the sun and moon. How far off is the nearest galley? Fifty fathom. No, no: Nearly quarter of a mile, Apollodorus. Good. Defend yourselves here until I send you a boat from that galley. Have you wings, perhaps? Water wings, soldier. Behold! Bravo, Apollodorus, bravo! By Jupiter, I will do that too. Britannus. You are mad. You shall not. Why not? Can I not swim as well as he? Can an old fool dive and swim like a young one? Old!!! Rufio: you forget yourself. I will race you to the galley for a week's pay, father Rufio. But me! Me!! Me!!! What is to become of me? I will carry you on my back to the galley like a dolphin. Rufio: when you see me rise to the surface, throw her in: No, no. I shall be drowned. And then in with you after her, both of you. Caesar: I am a man and a Briton, not a fish. I must have a boat. I cannot swim. Neither can I. Stay here, then, Britannus, until I recapture the lighthouse. I will not forget you. Now, Rufio. You have made up your mind to this folly? The Egyptians have made it up for me. And mind where you jump: I do not want to get you in the small of my back One last word, Caesar. Do not let yourself be seen in the fashionable part of Alexandria until you have changed your clothes. Ho, Apollodorus: The white upon the blue above-- Is purple on the green below-- Oh, let me see. He will be drowned. Ah-ah-ah-ah! He has got her. Hold the fort, Briton. Caesar will not forget you. Another royal banquet in Caesar's honour. These Romans are magicians. For six months a mere handful of them held the palace against all Egypt's army forces. And look at their escape from the Pharos. Who but a magician could swim like a dolphin at Caesar's age carrying a queen on his back. May be, it's the Queen's magic. She rides on Caesar's back on land now as on the sea. You laugh; take care, take care, I will find out some day how to make myself served as Caesar is served. Old hooknose! Silence. Do you know why I allow you all to chatter impertinently just as you please, instead of treating you as Ftatateeta would treat you if she were Queen? Because you try to imitate Caesar in everything; and he lets everybody say what they please to him. No; but because I asked him one day why he did so; and he said "Let your women talk; and you will learn something from them." What have I to learn from them? I said. "What they ARE," said he; and oh! you should have seen his eye as he said it. You would have curled up, you shallow things. At whom are you laughing-- at me or at Caesar? At Caesar. If you were not a fool, you would laugh at me; and if you were not a coward you would not be afraid to tell me so. Heigho! I wish Caesar were back in Rome. It will be a bad day for you all when he goes. Oh, if I were not ashamed to let him see that I am as cruel at heart as my father, I would make you repent that speech! Why do you wish him away? He makes you so terribly prosy and serious and learned and philosophical. It is worse than being religious, at OUR ages. Cease that endless cackling, will you. Hold your tongues. Well, well: we must try to live up to Caesar. Pothinus craves the ear of the Queen. I suppose he has bribed you to admit him to me. Now, by my father's gods! Have I not told you not to deny things. All you sell audiences to the Queen as if I saw whom you please and not whom I please. Go, take the bribe; and bring me Pothinus. But... Don't answer me. Go. I want to learn to play the harp with my own hands. Caesar loves music. Can you teach me? Assuredly. I and no one else can teach the Queen. All the other teachers are quacks: I have exposed them ... repeatedly. Good: you shall teach me. How long will it take? Not very long: only four years. Your Majesty must first become proficient in the philosophy of Pythagoras. Has she become proficient in the philosophy of Pythagoras? Oh, she is but a slave. She learns as a dog learns. Well, then, I will learn as a dog learns; for she plays better than you. You shall give me a lesson every day for a fortnight. After that, whenever I strike a false note you shall be flogged; and if I strike so many that there is not time to flog you, you shall be thrown into the Nile to feed the crocodiles. Give the girl a gold piece; and send them away. But true art cannot be thus forced. What is this? Answering the Queen, forsooth. Out with you. Well, Pothinus: what is the latest news from your rebel friends? I am no friend of rebellion. And a prisoner does not receive news. You are no more a prisoner than I am--than Caesar is. These six months we have been besieged in this palace by my subjects. You are allowed to walk on the beach among the soldiers. Can I go further myself, or can Caesar? You are but a child, Cleopatra, and do not understand these matters. I see you do not know the latest news, Pothinus. What is that? That Cleopatra is no longer a child. Shall I tell you how to grow much older, and much, MUCH wiser in one day? I should prefer to grow wiser without growing older. Well, go up to the top of the lighthouse; and get somebody to take you by the hair and throw you into the sea. She is right, Pothinus: you will come to the shore with much conceit washed out of you. Begone, all of you. I will speak with Pothinus alone. What are YOU waiting for? It is not meet that the Queen remain alone with-- Must I sacrifice you to your father's gods, Ftatateeta, to teach you that I am Queen of Egypt, and not you? You are like the rest of them. You want to be what these Romans call a New Woman. Now, Pothinus: why did you bribe Ftatateeta to bring you hither? Cleopatra: what they tell me is true. You are changed. Do you speak with Caesar every day for six months: and YOU will be changed. It is the common talk that you are infatuated with this old man. Infatuated? What does that mean? Made foolish, is it not? Oh no: I wish I were. You wish you were made foolish! How so? When I was foolish, I did what I liked, Now that Caesar has made me wise, it is no use my liking or disliking; I do what must be done, and have no time to attend to myself. That is not happiness; but it is greatness. I think If Caesar were gone, I could govern the Egyptians; Cleopatra: this may be the vanity of youth. No, no: it is not that I am so clever, but that the others are so stupid. Truly, that is the great secret. Now tell me what you came to say? I! Nothing. Nothing! At least--to beg for my liberty: that is all. For that you would have knelt to Caesar. No, Pothinus: you came with some plan that depended on Cleopatra being a little nursery kitten. Now that Cleopatra is a Queen, the plan is upset. Is Cleopatra then indeed a Queen, and no longer Caesar's prisoner and slave? Pothinus: we are all Caesar's slaves-- all we in this land of Egypt-- whether we will or no. And she who is wise enough to know this will reign when Caesar departs. You harp on Caesar's departure. What if I do? Does he not love you? Love me! Pothinus: Caesar loves no one. He makes friends with everyone as he does with dogs and children. His kindness to me is a wonder: neither mother, father, nor nurse have ever taken so much care for me, or thrown open their thoughts to me so freely. But how can you be sure that he does not love you as men love women? Because I cannot make him jealous. I have tried. Hm! Perhaps I should have asked, then, do you love him? Can one love a god? Besides, I love another Roman: no god, but a man--one who can love and hate-- one whom I can hurt and who would hurt me. Does Caesar know this? Yes. And he is not angry. He promises to send him to Egypt to please me! I do not understand this man? YOU understand Caesar! How could you? I do--by instinct. Your Majesty caused me to be admitted to-day. What message has the Queen for me? This. You think that by making my brother king, you will rule in Egypt, because you are his guardian and he is a little silly. The Queen is pleased to say so. The Queen is pleased to say this also. That Caesar will eat up you, and Achillas, and my brother, as a cat eats up mice; and that he will put on this land of Egypt as a shepherd puts on his garment. And when he has done that, he will return to Rome, and leave Cleopatra here as his viceroy. That he shall never do. We have a thousand men to his ten; and we will drive him and his beggarly legions into the sea. You rant like any common fellow. Cleopatra-- Enough. Ftatateeta! Caesar has spoiled me for talking to weak things like you. I know to whom I must go now. Let me go forth from this hateful place. What angers you? The curse of all the gods of Egypt be upon her! She has sold her country to the Roman, that she may buy it back from him with her kisses. Fool: did she not tell you that she would have Caesar gone? You listened? I took care that some honest woman should be at hand whilst you were with her. And mark this, mistress. You thought, before Caesar came, that Egypt should presently be ruled by you and your crew in the name of Cleopatra. I set myself against it. Ay; that it might be ruled by you and YOUR crew in the name of Ptolemy. Better me, or even you, than a woman with a Roman heart; and that is what Cleopatra is now become. Whilst I live, she shall never rule. So guide yourself accordingly. Wait here. Here, your excellency. The Roman commander will await Caesar here. That was a climb. How high have we come? We are on the palace roof, O Beloved of Victory! Good! the Beloved of Victory has no more stairs to get up. Caesar approaches. Why, Rufio! A new baldrick! A new golden pommel to your sword! And you have had your hair cut! But not your beard--? Impossible! Yes, perfumed, by Jupiter Olympus! Well: is it to please myself? No, Rufio, my son, but to please me-- to celebrate my birthday. Your birthday! You always have a birthday when there is a pretty girl to be flattered or an ambassador to be conciliated. Rufio ... We had seven of them in ten months last year. It is true, Rufio! I shall never break myself of these petty deceits. Have you noticed that I am before my time? Aha! I thought that meant something. What is it? Pothinus wants to speak to you. I advise you to see him: there is some plotting going on here among the women. Who is Pothinus? Oh, yes! And has he not escaped? No. Why not? Have I not told you always to let prisoners escape unless there are special orders to the contrary? Are there not enough mouths to be fed without his? Yes. and if you would have a little sense and let me cut his throat, you would save his rations. Anyhow, he WON'T escape. He prefers to stay and spy on us. And you want me to see him? I don't want anything. I daresay you will do what you like. Don't put it on to me. Well, well: let us have him in. Ho there, guard! Release your man and send him up. Who is to dine with us-- besides Cleopatra? Apollodorus the Sicilian. That popinjay! Come! the popinjay is an amusing dog-- tells a story; sings a song; and saves us the trouble of flattering the Queen. Well, he can swim a bit and fence a bit: he might be worse, if he only knew how to hold his tongue. The gods forbid he should ever learn! Ah, Pothinus! You are welcome. And what is the news this afternoon? Caesar: I come to warn you of a danger, and to make you an offer. Never mind the danger. Make the offer. Never mind the offer. What's the danger? Caesar: you think that Cleopatra is devoted to you. My friend: I already know what I think. Come to your offer. I will deal plainly. I know not by what magic you have been enabled to defend the palace and a few yards of beach against a city and an army. But we know now that your gods are irresistible, and that you are a worker of miracles. I no longer threaten you. Very handsome of you, indeed. So be it: you are the master. Yes, yes, my friend. But what then? Spit it out, man. What have you to say? I have to say that you have a traitress in your camp. Cleopatra. The Queen! You should have spat it out sooner, you fool. Now it is too late. What is HE doing here? Just going to tell me something about you. You shall hear it. Proceed, Pothinus. I ... Caesar! Well, out with it. What I have to say is for your ear, not for the Queen's. There are means of making you speak. Take care. Caesar does not employ those means. My dear: when a man has anything to tell in this world, the difficulty is not to make him tell it, but to prevent him from telling it too often. Let me celebrate my birthday by setting you free. Farewell: we'll not meet again. Caesar: this mercy is foolish. Will you not give me a private audience? Your life may depend on it. Ho there, guard! Pass the prisoner out. He is released. Now off with you. You have lost your chance. I WILL speak. You see. Torture would not have wrung a word from him. Caesar: you have taught Cleopatra the arts by which Romans govern the world. Alas! They cannot even govern themselves. What then? What then? Are you so besotted with her beauty that you do not see that she is impatient to reign in Egypt alone, and that her heart is set on your departure? Liar! What! Protestations! Contradictions! No. I do not deign to contradict. Let him talk. From her own lips I have heard it. You are to be her catspaw: you are to tear the crown from her brother's head and set it on her own, delivering us all into her hand-- delivering yourself also. And then Caesar can return to Rome, or depart through the gate of death, which is nearer and surer. Well, and is not this very natural? Natural! Then you do not resent treachery? Resent! O thou foolish Egyptian, what have I to do with resentment? Do I resent the wind when it chills me, or the night when it makes me stumble in the darkness? To tell me such a story as this is but to tell me that the sun will rise to-morrow. But it is false--false. I swear it. It is true, though you swore it a thousand times, and believed all you swore. Come, Rufio: let us see Pothinus past the guard. I have a word to say to him. We must give the Queen a moment to recover herself. Tell your friends, Pothinus, that they must not think I am opposed to a reasonable settlement of the country's affairs-- Ftatateeta, Ftatateeta. Peace, child: be comforted-- Can they hear us? No, dear heart, no. If he leaves the Palace alive, never see my face again. He? Pothinus-- Strike his life out as I strike his name from your lips. Dash him down from the wall. Break him on the stones. Kill, kill, KILL him. The dog shall perish. Fail in this, and you go out from before me forever. So be it. You shall not see my face until his eyes are darkened. Soon--soon. When the light dies he shall die. So you have come back to me, Caesar. I thought you were angry. Welcome, Apollodorus. Cleopatra grows more womanly beautiful from week to week. Truth, Apollodorus? Far, far short of the truth! Friend Rufio threw a pearl into the sea: Caesar fished up a diamond. Caesar fished up a touch of rheumatism. Come on. Come: to dinner! To dinner! I have ordered SUCH a dinner for you, Caesar! Ay? What are we to have? Peacocks' brains. Peacocks' brains, Apollodorus! Not for me. I prefer nightingales' tongues. Roast boar, Rufio! Good! What has become of my leathern cushion? I have got new ones for you. These cushions, Caesar, are of Maltese gauze, stuffed with rose leaves. Rose leaves! Am I a caterpillar? What a shame! My new cushions! What shall we serve to whet Caesar's appetite? Any oysters? Assuredly. BRITISH oysters? British oysters, of course. Oysters, then. Sea hedgehogs for me. Is there nothing solid to begin with? Fieldfares with asparagus-- Fattened fowls! Have some fattened fowls, Rufio. Ay, that will do. Fieldfares for me. Caesar will deign to choose his wine? Sicilian, Toscan, Macedonian, Chianti All Greek. Try the Sicilian, Caesar. Bring me my barley water. Ugh! Bring ME my Falernian. It is waste of time giving you dinners, Caesar. My scullions would not condescend to your diet. Well, well: let us try the Falernian. But when I return to Rome, I will make laws against these extravagances. I will even get the laws carried out. Never mind. To-day you are to be like other people: idle, luxurious, and kind. Well, for once I will sacrifice my comfort there! Now are you satisfied? And you no longer believe that I long for your departure for Rome? I no longer believe anything. My brains are asleep. Besides, who knows whether I shall return to Rome? How? Eh? What? One year of Rome is like another, except that I grow older, It is no better here in Egypt. The old men, when they are tired of life, say "We have seen everything except the source of the Nile." And why not see that? Cleopatra:will you come with me and track the flood to its cradle in the heart of the regions of mystery? Shall I make you a new kingdom, and build you a holy city there in the great unknown? Yes, Yes. You shall. Ay: now he will conquer Africa with two legions before I finished the roast boar. Come: no scoffing, this is a noble scheme: Let us name the holy city, and consecrate it with Sicilian Wine-- and Cleopatra shall name it herself. It shall be called Caesar's Gift to his Beloved. No, no. Something vaster than that-- something universal, like the starry firmament. Why not simply The Cradle of the Nile? No: the Nile is my ancestor; and he is a god. Oh! I have thought of something. The Nile shall name it himself. Let us call upon him all together. Send for him. And away with all of you. Go, I am a priestess, and have power to take your charge from you. What hocus-pocus is this? It is NOT hocus-pocus. To do it properly, we should kill something to please him; but perhaps he will answer Caesar without that if we spill some wine to him. Why not appeal to our hawkheaded friend here? Sh! He will hear you and be angry. The source of the Nile is out of his district, I expect. Now let us call on the Nile all together. You must say with me "Send us thy voice, Father Nile." Send us thy voice, Father Nile. What was that? Nothing. They are beating some slave. Nothing! A man with a knife in him, I'll swear. A murder! S-sh! Silence. Did you hear that? Another cry? No, a thud. Something fell on the beach, I think. Something with bones in it, eh? Rufio. Will you leave me, Caesar? Apollodorus: are you going? Faith, dearest Queen, my appetite is gone. Apollodorus: go down to the courtyard, and find out what has happened. Your soldiers have killed somebody, perhaps. What does it matter? This must be seen to. Is she drunk? Not with wine. The Queen looks again on the face of her servant. There is some mischief between those two. Cleopatra: what has happened? Nothing, dearest Caesar. Nothing. I am innocent. Dear Caesar: are you angry with me? Why do you look at me so? I have been here with you all the time. How can I know what has happened? That is true. Of course it is true. You know it is true, Rufio. I shall know -- presently. Caesar, remember, YOUR bodyguard is within call. Why do you allow Rufio to speak to me so? You should teach him his place. Teach him to be my enemy, and to hide his thoughts from me as you are now hiding yours. Why do you say that, Caesar? Indeed, indeed, I am not hiding anything. You are wrong to treat me like this. I am only a child; and you turn into stone because you think someone has been killed. I cannot bear it. But there: I know you hate tears: you shall not be troubled with them. Only ... I am so silly, I cannot help being hurt when you speak coldly. Of course you are quite right: it is dreadful to think of anyone being killed or even hurt; and I hope nothing really serious has-- What has frightened you into this? What have you done? Aha! That sounds like the answer. I have not betrayed you, Caesar: I swear it. I know that. I have not trusted you. The town has gone mad, I think. They are for tearing the palace down and driving us into the sea straight away. We laid hold of this renegade in clearing them out of the courtyard. Release him. What has offended the citizens, Lucius Septimius? What did you expect, Caesar? Pothinus was a favorite of theirs. What has happened to Pothinus? I set him free, here, not half an hour ago. Did they not pass him out? Ay, through the gallery arch sixty feet above ground, with three inches of steel in his ribs. He is as dead as Pompey. We are quits now, as to killing--you and I. Assassinated!-- our prisoner, our guest! Rufio-- Whoever did it was a wise man and a friend of yours; but none of US had a hand in it. So it is no use to frown at me. He was slain by order of the Queen of Egypt. I am not Julius Caesar the dreamer, who allows every slave to insult him. Rufio has said I did well: now the others shall judge me too. This Pothinus sought to make me conspire with him to betray Caesar. I refused; and he cursed me and came privily to Caesar to accuse me of his own treachery. he insulted me--ME, the Queen! To my face. Caesar would not revenge me: he spoke him fair and set him free. Was I right to avenge myself? Speak, Lucius. I do not gainsay it. But you will get little thanks for it from Caesar. Apollodorus, speak. Was I wrong? I have only one word of blame, most beautiful. You should have called upon me, your knight; and in fair duel I should have slain the slanderer. I will be judged by your very slave, Caesar. Britannus: speak. Was I wrong? Were treachery, falsehood, and disloyalty left unpunished, society must become like an arena full of wild beasts, tearing one another to pieces. Caesar is in the wrong. And so the verdict is against me, it seems. Listen to me, Caesar. If one man in all Alexandria can be found to say that I did wrong, I swear to have myself crucified on the door of the palace by my own slaves. If one man in all the world can be found, now or forever, to know that you did wrong, that man will have either to conquer the world as I have, or be crucified by it. Do you hear? These knockers at your gate are also believers in vengeance and in stabbing. You have slain their leader: it is right that they shall slay you. And so, to the end of history, murder shall breed murder, always in the name of right and honor and peace, until the gods are tired of blood and create a race that can understand. Let the Queen of Egypt now give her orders for vengeance, and take her measures for defense; for she has renounced Caesar. You will not desert me, Caesar. You will defend the palace. You have taken the powers of life and death upon you. I am only a dreamer. But they will kill me. And why not? In pity-- Pity! What! Has it come to this so suddenly, that nothing can save you now but pity? Did it save Pothinus? Caesar: enough of preaching. The enemy is at the gate. Ay; and what has held him baffled at the gate all these months? Was it my folly, as you deem it, or your wisdom? In this Egyptian Red Sea of blood, whose hand has held all your heads above the waves? And yet, When Caesar says to such an one, "Friend, go free," you, clinging for your little life to my sword, dare steal out and stab him in the back? By the gods, I am tempted to open my hand and let you all sink into the flood. Will you desert us because we are a parcel of fools? I mean no harm by killing: do it as a dog kills a cat, by instinct. We are all dogs at your heels; but we have served you faithfully. Alas, Rufio, my son, as dogs we are like to perish now in the streets. Caesar, what you say has an Olympian ring in it: But I am still on the side of Cleopatra. If we must die, she shall not want the devotion of a man's heart nor the strength of a man's arm. But I don't want to die. Oh, ignoble, ignoble! Hearken to me, Caesar. It may be ignoble; but I too mean to live as long as I can. Well, my friend, you are likely to outlive Caesar. Does Caesar despair? He who has never hoped can never despair. Caesar, in good or bad fortune, looks his fate in the face. Look it in the face, now; and it will smile as it always has on Caesar. Do you presume to encourage me? I offer you my services. I will change sides if you will have me. What! At this point? At this point. Do you suppose Caesar is mad, to trust you? I do not ask him to trust me until he is victorious. I ask for my life, and for a command in Caesar's army. And since Caesar is a fair dealer, I will pay in advance. Pay! How? With a piece of good news for you. What news? What news! What news, did you say, my son Rufio? The relief has arrived. Mithridates of Pergamos is on the march. Is it not so, Lucius Septimius? He has taken Pelusium. Lucius Septimius: you are henceforth my officer. Rufio: the Egyptians must have sent every soldier from the city to prevent Mithridates crossing the Nile. There is nothing in the streets now but mob--mob! It is so. Mithridates is marching by the great road to Memphis to cross above the Delta. Achillas will fight him there. Achillas shall fight Caesar there. See, Rufio. Here is the palace: here is the theatre. You take twenty men and pretend to go by THAT street; and whilst they are stoning you, out go the cohorts by this and this. My streets are right, are they, Lucius? Ay, that is the fig market-- I saw them the day we arrived. Away, Britannus: tell Petronius that within an hour half our forces must take ship for the western lake. See to my horse and armor. With the rest I shall march round the lake and up the Nile and take Achillas at the desert. Lucius; give the word to start. Apollodorus, lend me your sword and your right arm for this campaign. Ay, my heart and life to boot. I accept both. Are you ready? Ready for art, the art of war. Come: this is something like business. Is it not, my only son? You understand about the streets, Rufio? Ay, I think I do. I will get through them, at all events. Caesar. Caesar. Have you forgotten me? Oh, I am busy now, my child, busy. When I return your affairs shall be settled. Farewell; and be good and patient. That game is played and lost, Cleopatra. The woman always gets the worst of it. Go. Follow your master. A word first. Tell your executioner that if Pothinus had been properly killed-- IN THE THROAT-- he would not have called out. Your man bungled his work. How do you know it was a man? It was not you: you were with us when it happened. Was it she? With her own hand? Whoever it was, let my enemies beware of her. Look to it, Rufio, you who dare make the Queen of Egypt a fool before Caesar. I will look to it, Cleopatra. Hail, Caesar! Let us teach the egyptians how to fight and how to run. And then ... home, to Rome. Hail, Caesar! Ftatateeta. Ftatateeta. It is dark; and I am alone. Come to me. Ftatateeta. The Queen looks again on the face of her servant. I am he of whose genius you are a symbol part brute, part woman, and part god. Hail Caesar... Here he comes. Hail Caesar! I see my ship awaits me. The hour for Caesar farewell to Egypt has arrived. Now, Rufio, what remains to be done before I go. You have not yet appointed a Roman governor for this province. What say you to Mithridates of Pergamos. Why, that you will want him elsewhere. Indeed! Well, what say you to yourself? I! I a governor! What are you dreaming of? Do you not know that I am only the son of a freedman? Has not Caesar called you his son? Peace awhile there; and hear me. Hear Caesar. Hear the service, quality, rank and name of the Roman governor. By service, Caesar's shield; by quality, Caesar's friend; by rank, a Roman soldier. Hail Caesar! By name, Rufio. Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar! Ay: I am Caesar's shield; but of what use shall I be when I am no longer on Caesar's arm? Where is that British Islander of mine? Here, Caesar. Who bade you, pray, thrust yourself into the battle of the Delta, uttering the barbarous cries of your native land, Caesar: I ask you to excuse the language that escaped me in the heat of the moment. And how did you, who cannot swim, cross the canal with us when we stormed the camp? Caesar: I clung to the tail of your horse. These are not the deeds of a slave, Britannus, but of a free man. Caesar: I was born free. But they call you Caesar's slave. Only as Caesar's slave have I found real freedom. Well said. Ungrateful that I am, I was about to set you free; but now I will not part from you for a million talents. This Roman knows how to make men serve him. Apollodorus: I leave the art of Egypt in your charge. Remember: Rome loves art and will encourage it. I understand, Caesar. Egypt must pay a tribute to Rome in art. And now, what else have I to do before I embark? There is something I cannot remember: I wonder what would can it be? Well, well: it must remain undone: we must not waste this favorable wind. Caesar: I am loath to let you go to Rome without your shield. There are too many daggers there. It matters not: I have always disliked the idea of dying: I had rather be killed. Farewell Rufio. Farewell. Farewell, Apollodorus. The Queen! Ah, I KNEW there was something. How could you let me forget her, Rufio? Has Cleopatra no part in this leave taking? Had I gone without seeing you, I should never have forgiven myself. Is this mourning for me? NO. Ah, that was thoughtless of me! It is for your brother. No. For whom, then? Ask the Roman governor whom you have left us. Rufio? Yes: Rufio. He who is to rule here in Caesar's name, in Caesar's way, according to Caesar's boasted laws of life. He is to rule as he can, Cleopatra. He has taken the work upon him, and will do it in his own way. Not in your way, then? Without punishment. Without revenge. Without judgment. Ay: that is the right way, the great way, the only possible way in the end. Believe it, Rufio, if you can. I believe it, Caesar. But look you, Cleopatra had a tigress that killed men at her bidding. I thought she might bid it kill you some day. So, without malice, only cut its throat. And that is why Cleopatra comes to you in mourning. He has shed the blood of my servant Ftatateeta. On your head be it Caesar, as upon his , if you hold him free of it. On my head be it, then; for it was well done, Rufio. Come: do not be angry with me. I am sorry for that poor Totateeta. Aha! You are laughing. Does that mean reconciliation? No, no, NO!! But it is so ridiculous to hear you call her Totateeta. What! As much a child as ever, Cleopatra! Have I not made a woman of you after all? Oh, it is you, who are a great baby: you make me seem silly because you will not behave seriously. But you have treated me badly; and I do not forgive you. Bid me farewell. I will not. I will send you a beautiful present from Rome. Beauty from Rome to Egypt indeed! What can Rome give ME that Egypt cannot give me? That is true, Caesar. If the present is to be really beautiful, I shall have to buy it for you in Alexandria. You are forgetting the treasures for which Rome is most famous, my friend. You cannot buy THEM in Alexandria. What are they, Caesar? Her sons. Come, Cleopatra: forgive me and bid me farewell; and I will send you a man, not old and ripe for the knife; not hiding a bald head under his conqueror's laurels; not stooped with the weight of the world on his shoulders; but brisk and fresh, strong and young, hoping in the morning, fighting in the day, and reveling in the evening. Will you take such an one in exchange for Caesar? His name, his name? Shall it be Mark Antony? You are a bad hand at a bargain, mistress, if you will swap Caesar for Antony. So now you are satisfied. You will not forget. I will not forget. Farewell: I do not think we shall meet again. Hail and farewell! Hail, Caesar; and farewell! Hail, Caesar; and farewell! No tears, dearest Queen: they stab your servant to the heart. He will return some day. I hope not. But I can't help crying, all the same. Assembled from a free publication of the play + by (h)ear. were used to help with synchronization.