Another part of the plain near Actium.
(Canidius; Taurus; Enobarbus; Scarus)English
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. CAN. TAUR.
Alarum. Enter Enobarbus. ENO.
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. SCAR.
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.
Enter Canidius. CAN.
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. ENO. CAN. SCAR.