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Antony and Cleopatra Scenes

Scene 10

Another part of the plain near Actium.

(Canidius; Taurus; Enobarbus; Scarus)

Antony’s commanders witness the battle lost as Cleopatra flees and Antony follows her. Two of them decide to no longer follow Antony. (45 lines)

Canidius marcheth with his land army one way over the stage, and Taurus, the lieutenant of Caesar, the other way. After their going in, is heard the noise of a sea-fight.

Alarum. Enter Enobarbus.


Naught, naught, all naught! I can behold no longer.

Th’ Antoniad, the Egyptian admiral,

With all their sixty, fly and turn the rudder.

To see’t mine eyes are blasted.

Enter Scarus.


Gods and goddesses,

All the whole synod of them!


What’s thy passion?


The greater cantle of the world is lost

With very ignorance, we have kiss’d away

Kingdoms and provinces.


How appears the fight?


On our side like the token’d pestilence,

Where death is sure. Yon ribaudred nag of Egypt

(Whom leprosy o’ertake!) i’ th’ midst o’ th’ fight,

When vantage like a pair of twins appear’d,

Both as the same, or rather ours the elder—

The breeze upon her, like a cow in June—

Hoists sails and flies.


That I beheld.

Mine eyes did sicken at the sight and could not

Endure a further view.


She once being loof’d,

The noble ruin of her magic, Antony,

Claps on his sea-wing, and (like a doting mallard),

Leaving the fight in height, flies after her.

I never saw an action of such shame;

Experience, manhood, honor, ne’er before

Did violate so itself.


Alack, alack!

Enter Canidius.


Our fortune on the sea is out of breath,

And sinks most lamentably. Had our general

Been what he knew himself, it had gone well.

O, he has given example for our flight,

Most grossly, by his own!


Ay, are you thereabouts?

Why then good night indeed.


Toward Peloponnesus are they fled.


’Tis easy to’t, and there I will attend

What further comes.


To Caesar will I render

My legions and my horse: six kings already

Show me the way of yielding.


I’ll yet follow

The wounded chance of Antony, though my reason

Sits in the wind against me.

Exeunt severally.


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