Continued from "The Restored Cleopatra", page 6 - With the armies of Mithradates advancing toward Alexandria, the scene dissolves to a Palace annex where Ptolemy, Pothinos and Theodotos are nervously watching the Roman troops celebrating their victory over the battle of "The Moon Gate".
It must mean something - they're
drinking and singing, wearing
leaves in their helmets - I'll
tell you what it means! A Roman
victory! Well? If it doesn't,
then where is Achillas? Theodotos!
I don't know, your Majesty...
You're my tutor, supposed to know
everything - I think you're stupid,
maybe that's why I'm stupid -
Didn't you tell me Achillas would
be here at dawn?
I - ah - was led to believe...
Achillas has been defeated!
He hasn't been - has he...?
It is - ah - possible, Divine
Majesty, that Achillas has - ah -
withdrawn from the attack...
(sinking pitifully to the steps)
Then they'll kill me...
Ptolemy will rule in Egypt! I
swear this - upon my life...
You've sworn so many things on your
life, none of them came true and
you're still alive - can't you see
I will never rule in Egypt until
Cleopatra is dead! Ah, what's the
use - you never listen to me...
Pothinos exchanges a long look with Theodotos. Theodotos nods. Pothinos wets his lips...
We have listened, Ptolemy...
slowly up at him)
Can we be as sure that your Majesty
will never forget - how well we have
Ptolemy, his eyes still on Pothinos, nods. Theodotos' hand trembles to his mouth, in fear. The scene switches to Cleopatra's apartment. Lotos brings in a goblet for Cleopatra, wiping the rim of it after she tastes it. The scene continues with Cleopatra forgiving Lotos' attempt and commanding her to, "...drink it." She obeys and drops dead. Eiras runs out, screaming, "Apollodorus! Apollodorus" The scene switches to the pool and colonnade of the Palace Gardens outside Caesar's apartment. There, Caesar is sitting comfortably with Agrippa, who is holding a battle plan. Flavius has just finished shaving Caesar and is rubbing astringent on his face and neck. In the background, a couple of junior officers are bathing in the pool.
(indicating the map)
I should say that Rufio and Mithridates
should meet Germanicus about here. At
With Achillas squeezed between them...
Laughter comes from the bathing officers - they've splashed some passing female servants who giggle and hurry by...Agrippa looks over disapprovingly...
They're young - they've fought
through the night...
But still, Roman officers -
But still, human - one hopes -
Discipline, Caesar. Without it, there
would be no order - no empire, no
A Legionnaire stops outside the colonnade; he holds a wineskin out to Caesar...
Hail Caesar! Our twelfth together,
you an' me! Here's to number thirteen!
I'll drink to that - !
He leaps up. Flavius pantomimes his vigorous objections. Caesar ignores him. He grabs the wineskin, tips it back and drinks from it expertly. He wipes his mouth, returns the skin to the legionnaire - who tips it back, then follows it back and out cold into the bushes... Caesar laughs and crosses to pick up a beaker of wine from the table. Flavius takes it from him. Caesar takes it back...
Do you know what's wrong with me,
Flavius? You are an old man - !
He lifts the beaker, but hesitates when he sees Apollodorus approaching with the dead body of Lotos in his arms. He gently lowers the body to the ground before Caesar.
Another gift for me, Apollodorus?
Almost, Caesar. By order of Pothinos,
she tried to poison my Queen...
(in sudden anger)
The responsibility for her safety is
yours! You've claimed, pronounced,
boasted - everything but lived up to
it! This might have been Cleopatra
here at your feet!
How dare you speak to Caesar in such -
Agrippa - !
Agrippa, dispatch a detail immediately.
I want Ptolemy, Theodotos and Pothinos
in my reception hall at once...
Agrippa leaves. Caesar turns to Apollodorus
Cleopatra, too. Bring her yourself -
I have business with Pothinos first...
Everything in its time, Apollodorus...
His look convinces Apollodorus. He goes. Flavius hurries to Caesar's side. He pantomimes that Caesar is tired, that he has drunk wine, that he needs sleep...
Later. I'll sleep later -
The scene dissolves to Cleopatra, followed by Apollodorus, making her way down a corridor to Caesar's reception room. The doors to Caesar's bedroom are closed, and a large chair has been placed as the Cathedra (a Roman chair of State) beside them. Agrippa and a clerk are making things ready. Ptolemy, Pothinos, and Theodotos are ushered in. Ptolemy starts for the Cathedra, but Agrippa stops him.
May I speak? On behalf of His
Divine Majesty I protest this
peremptory, unconscionable -
I don't understand your words.
Over there with the other two...
Cleopatra and Apollodorus come down the steps to the reception room.
Pothinos, seeing Cleopatra alive, realizes the jig is up. He edges toward the door, but is stopped. Ptolemy glares at Cleopatra. Led by Agrippa to a seat across the room, she seems unaware of their presence. The clerk catches Agrippa's eye, and nods. Agrippa strides importantly to stand beside the Cathedra. Agrippa speaks, "Pray silence for Gaius Julius Caesar, Consul of the Senate of the People of Rome - ! You will stand." The rest of this scene continues uncut. Pothinos is sentenced to death. Ptolemy and Theodotos are "...hereby removed from the protective custody of Rome." Theodotos pleads with Caesar to spare what will be certain death if Ptolemy is banished to the camp of Achillas, who is wedged between the armies of Mithridates and Caesar's troops. Caesar replies, "An occupational hazard for those who would be king." Ptolemy and Theodotos are led out. Cleopatra is now the undisputed Queen, and sole ruler, of Egypt. Soon, she is alone with Caesar, who has been trying to stave off a seizure. When it appears the seizure is imminent, Cleopatra "betrays herself", and retrieves the padded ivory stick she saw Flavius get from Caesar's trunk when she was spying on them through the peephole. The seizure passes and Cleopatra comforts him. Her physical presence - her warmth and femininity - his depurate need for physical release and peace - overwhelm him. He kisses her. She responds. The scene dissolves to the Egyptian countryside. We see a shallow stream and the defeated Egyptian army straggling away in the background. In the foreground, we see a Royal litter at the edge of the stream, partially submerged in it. Half-hanging out of it is the body of Theodotos.
Following the gaze of his dead eyes, we see, below the surface of the water, pinned down by his resplendent golden armor, the body of Ptolemy. The scene dissolves to the closed eyes of Cleopatra, sitting on her throne. Around her are Caesar, the High Priestess, Priests, Sosigenes, Apollodorus, and many other attendants for the Coronation of the Queen.
I anoint thee, daughter of Isis, on
the hands that do good deeds...
Cleopatra holds out her hands and the priestess anoints them...
On the heart that holds sweet love...
(she anoints her heart)
the mouth that speaks royal words...
(she anoints her mouth)
On the head that thinks wise thoughts...
Throughout the anointings, the shot, which started tight on Cleopatra, slowly moves out, revealing Cleopatra's intimates, then the dignitaries, then the entire throne room. At this point, we can no longer hear the priestess, but we see her kneel and anoint each foot. The High Priestess now gives way to the High Priest. From a luxuriant cushion held by a slave, he takes a gold-handled whip...
Osiris gives to thee the scourge of
Power, that all who dwell in the Two
Lands may obey thy beneficent will...
He put the scourge into Cleopatra's left hand - she crosses it on her breast - from another cushion, he takes the Gold Crook of the Pharaohs...
From the Gods of the Wind, and the
Nile, take thee the staff of Life so
that thy people may dwell in peace
and plenty to the glory of Amon-Ra...
He puts the crook into her right hand which she likewise crosses on her breast. The High Priestess now turns to take up the Double Crown. There is absolute silence. Caesar steps forward to take the crown and turns to face Cleopatra...
In the name of the Senate and of the
People of Rome...and by their will...
he sets the crown upon her head. The film continues from here uncut. Cleopatra
is now, officially, the Queen of Egypt. Later that night, Cleopatra welcomes
Caesar to her bed, where she promises to bear Caesar the son he has been
so long denied.