Continued from "The Restored Cleopatra", page 17 - We have just come from the Temple of Isis, onboard Cleopatra's barge. The gods have "come alive" and tormented Cleopatra. Rufio has come to tell her that Antony has been located. She requests that his men not know about this, and gathers a group to find him herself. Having left the temple, they are now on the dock of Actium Bay. Cleopatra, accompanied by Rufio and Apollodorus, with Ramos discreetly following in the rear, passes among the men loading the galleys. The activity is at its height now, and Egyptian overseers are using whips on their men. One of them makes the mistake of slashing a Roman Legionnaire, who viciously pulls the Egyptian to himself by the whip itself and wraps the whip around his throat, throttling him with it. They are torn apart. Cleopatra's party passes on, past irate Romans, being herded toward the galleys by officers. One of the men breaks away, rushes up to Canidius who stands watching impassively...
My Lord - has Antony gone mad! We
are from the cavalry!
This is your horse now - get
The Roman is dragged off. Canidius stares after him. The scene dissolves to a waterfront dive of a tavern in Actium. Squalid and crowded. In the background are a few stone steps leading down from the street level. Unsavory types - both male and female, and quite a few mercenary soldiers - neither Roman nor Egyptian, all in their bizarre costumes. In the center of the room, ringed by rough tables with customers seated and standing, is Antony. He holds a loaded wine-skin on his shoulders. He is declaiming for the pleasure of the company. They find it enjoyable. The scene begins with a roar of laughter at him. While they laugh, he drinks sloppily from the skin - the wine running down his chin. He wipes it with the back of his hand, and continues what has been a list of suggested epitaphs for himself...
Or - inscribe this upon my tomb!
"Antony of Perugia, I lie below.
Stranger, if you will, spit upon
me and go away - only go away!"
Another laugh. He says, and grins foolishly...
Or - "Alexander was Great! Caesar -
Divine! Here lies Antony - pass
More laughter. He squirts at a girl. She squirts back. In the background, Cleopatra, Rufio and Apollodorus make their entrance, unobserved by Antony.
Apollodorus stays by Cleopatra, as Rufio and Ramos make their way toward Antony.
Or - I shall scratch upon the wall
of my tomb: "You were not here
last night - and I could not
die. Will you come tonight?
(a sudden, savage
Where are you? I cannot die!
I cannot die!
Tears come to Cleopatra's eyes, and she hides her face even more. The crowd is quiet now - puzzled by his savage outburst. Antony squirts the musicians playing nearby. Rufio and Ramos draw near to him...
Play something sad and suitable -
for remembering and forgetting.
What was - and was not - and
will never be. What I had - and
have not - and will never have.
For being so far - from everywhere
and everyone - music for being
alone in the universe - and
afraid...Mark Antony! Where
is Mark Antony!
Rufio stands beside him. Befuddled, he stares at him...
Rufio..? Rufio, will you help
me to remember? There was a time...
was there a time when I was your
friend, when I loved you? I
think you must now be angry with
me...or is it I who am angry,
help me to remember - I must
have time to remember - let us
go, you and I, in search of time...
he sees Ramos)
...Ramos? Ramos, do you know
Brutus? I will take you to him -
he too loves honor, loves Rome -
but you, Ramos, are the most
Roman Roman...Brutus, I think,
He turns from Ramos and sees, near the entrance, Apollodorus. Cleopatra, beside him, her face covered, is turned away...
He, too? The faithful hound,
and mournful unrequited lover?
Count your tears as blessings!
Unwanted love is the most
lasting - !
Then - where is she? If you are
here - and you - and the royal
heel-sniffer...then where is - ?
[Here, Antony lets it be known that he is aware of the love between Apollodorus and Cleopatra.]
Rufio claps a hand over his mouth. He and Ramos take Antony under the arms and start him out. Antony struggles drunkenly, the patrons protest - a minor riot is imminent. Apollodorus shelters Cleopatra. From within her cloak, she hands him a purse of coins.
He showers it out over the customers. They scramble greedily for them as Cleopatra and the others make their way out with Antony. The scene dissolves to the lower deck of Cleopatra's barge. Apollodorus and Ramos deposit Antony upon the bed. He is completely out. They make him comfortable. Rufio stands with Cleopatra...
The orders for tomorrow - for
this morning. Do you wish
She shakes her head.
It is too late - for any changes...
Ramos and Apollodorus join them...
Get whatever rest you can -
all of you.
They bow and go out. She is alone with Antony. She crosses to the bed and looks down at him. His cuirass has been loosened and his boots unlaced; he is sprawled on his side of the bed - leaving hers vacant. Then she sits beside him, takes him into her arms as a mother might a child...
one day - I will make it up
to you. I swear it by -
I swear it...
The scene dissolves to the morning, on the waterfront and galleys. A rank of Roman horns is lifted and sounded as a signal for assembly. On the lower deck of the barge, Antony is turned face down upon the bed. The space beside him is still undisturbed - except for Antony's armor, neatly laid out. Cleopatra sits in a chair nearby, her eyes on him. The sound of the horns is heard. Antony stirs...
I hear you. I hear you...
(he forces open his
eyes, shakes his
I hear you, I am ready!
Bring my armor - !
He sits up and turns as he calls. He sees Cleopatra. Quietly, she indicates the armor...
Who put it there?
I did. You kept calling for it.
After I brought it, you slept
Have you had sleep?
You needed it more than I.
He starts to get into his armor. From time to time, when necessary, she helps him...
Last night. Where was I found?
In a tavern...
Talking. Making speeches...
Against whim - ?
It was hard to tell. Life, I
think. And yourself...
Life - and myself. My chosen
enemies. They won't make peace.
Unconditional surrender - or
the battle goes on...
You've conquered them both,
haven't you? Life - and
Myself, perhaps. Life seems to -
get away. You cannot conquer
what you cannot come to grips
Today, we'll make it stand still
He is in his armor. He pours wine and drinks. Cleopatra struggles to maintain her offhand exterior...
Do you think you will find Octavian -
and Agrippa - prepared for your
It's hardly likely we will
surprise them in their sleep...
Will it go well for us?
It will go - as battles go. Both
sides will invoke their Gods. Men
will die. More of theirs than
ours, I hope. In any case, the
Gods will not lose. They never do...
Antony - let Euphranor command the
rest of the fleet. Take him with
There was purpose in my anger
yesterday. I want Euphranor where
you are. If things go badly, he
will know what to do -
Then Rufio. Let him be where he
belongs - at your side...
I will fight the better for
knowing that Rufio is where he
can protect you from harm...
Suddenly, Cleopatra's hand goes to her mouth. She sinks to a chair and turns from him. Antony eyes her curiously...
For so long I have not permitted
myself to feel -
How it would be - without you...
Antony crosses swiftly, drops to one knee beside her. He turns her face to his...
How would it be - ?
How? If you should die, Antony -
when you die, my life will end...
I would not want your life to
end. I will live. Octavian
will not be pleased...
Gently, they kiss. As their lips part...
And when I return, I shall want
a tremendous reward.
None of your great empires,
mind you - nor your crowns,
divinities or treasures. But
between us - between you and
me - things will be as once
Once more, the Roman horns are heard. Nearer, now. Antony's cutter is heard coming alongside. He rises...
He turns and goes abruptly. Cleopatra rises and looks after him. The scene switches to Antony in his cutter, approaching his battleship. He comes abreast of it and is hoisted onboard. The scene continues as we see it in the film. The battle begins, and as he said he would, Antony goes straight through the center of the Roman fleet in pursuit of Octavian. Back at the topo table, Euphranor warns, "They've let him through. The Roman line will close in behind him." Cleopatra comes up from below deck and is informed Antony is already through the center of the enemy line. Antony orders the ballistas to be fired on Octavian's ship to slow it down.
My Lord Antony - a direct hit on
the enemy! One bank of oars
has been destroyed! He is
coming around broadside!
(a triumphant shout)
We've got him! Ramos!
(Ramos comes running
Collision course! We'll ram
him, board and destroy him!
At the topo table, Euphranor's voice is taut with anxiety. He gives quick orders to various officers. Messages are flashed to the ships with a reflecting board.
(to various officers)
Detach the reserves from the left
and right wings! They're to drive
at the center of the Roman line -
we must keep them from closing
They're pulling us apart -
isolating our ships - they're on
us three or four to one, like a
pack of dogs.
(to an officer)
We've lost six more by fire here
on the right - too big a gap -
have it closed!
During the above, the messages have continued to be flashed. A message is rushed over. With some excitement, an officer moves Octavian's model broadside - and heads Antony's toward it...
Euphranor - Euphranor - Admiral
Her voice cuts like a knife through the confusion. Everything stops.
What is happening?
Lord Antony has disabled Octavian's
ship! He has set a collision
course - he intends to ram it -
- and then board and fight! Why
am I not there?
(to Cleopatra -
his eyes gleaming)
Your Majesty - he's got Octavian.
He's got him!
Cleopatra glares triumphantly across at Euphranor.
On sea or on land, Euphranor,
battles are won by men! Men
Euphranor returns her look impassively, then turns his look toward the topo-table. The scene continues as we see it. Octavian's ship is rammed by Antony's. Antony and his men invade Octavian's ship. Antony screams for Octavian, who comes up from below wearing his armor and insignia. They battle and Antony overtakes him, pulling off Octavian's helmet only to find...it's not Octavian. Antony demands, "Where is Octavian?" The impostor replies, "My Lord Octavian is not on board." Antony releases the man, rises and turns - in a daze of awareness that he has been tricked. The impostor starts to rise slowly, too. then suddenly leaps for his sword. Just in time, Ramos intercepts his attack on Antony and kills him. Antony, still dazed, turns in reaction. He smiles gratefully at Ramos and claps his arm in thanks.
How like Octavian - to send his
armor out to fight for him...
What now, my Lord? Our own ship
is worthless - !
Then we'll fight from what's left
of this one...
They look off to see two other ships of Octavian's fleet open up their fire at very close and quite accurate range, putting Octavian's ship in immediate jeopardy. The scene switches to Agrippa's command post...
And now we close the trap! Now
hit my Lord Antony with everything
The scene continues uncut. At the topo table, a messenger delivers information to the officer in charge, who then sets Antony's model ship on fire. Directing her words to Euphranor, Cleopatra asks, "Would you say, Admiral - that Lord Antony is dead?" His somber silence answers her. She gives orders to sail for Egypt. Antony, seeing Cleopatra's barge retreating into the distance, realizes she is leaving. He is consumed with the thought of Cleopatra, "...leaving me!" Thinking of nothing else, he abandons his men and, using a small dispatch craft, takes off after her. From the deck of Octavian's ship, Ramos struggles to his feet. An officer runs in and they both stare after Antony...
What were Lord Antony's orders -
to fight or surrender?
To fight, of course! Would
Antony surrender - when we are
here to fight and die?
(he laughs wildly)
As for me - what greater honor
for an Egyptian, than to die
like a true Roman - like Mark
He turns and leads the officer back into the fight. The scene continues in Agrippa's cabin. He bursts into it and crosses to his bed where a sea-sick Octavian is lying down. Agrippa lets him know Cleopatra is leaving and Antony is following her...."We have won a great victory!" Octavian waves him away. He could not care less. Antony's dispatch galley catches up with Cleopatra's barge. He is helped onboard. In the attitude of the military men who help him, there is a faint trace of contempt - faint but present. What he has done will echo around the Mediterranean for centuries to come as an astounding and puzzling desertion of his own men. Shaking away the help offered him, Antony lurches to the mast, leaning his back against it for support. Rufio, drawn by the change in the beat of the oars to allow Antony to board, comes out on deck. He stares unbelievingly at Antony, then the battle still raging on the horizon. He turns away without expression and goes below.