Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Antony and Cleopatra
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
Antony and Cleopatra
Act III. Scene VIII.
A Plain near ACTIUM.
Enter CÆSAR, TAURUS, Officers, and Others.
  Cæs.  Taurus!
  Taur.  My lord?
  Cæs.  Strike not by land; keep whole: provoke not battle,        5
Till we have done at sea. Do not exceed
The prescript of this scroll: our fortune lies
Upon this jump.  [Exeunt.
  Ant.  Set we our squadrons on yond side o’ the hill,        10
In eye of Cæsar’s battle; from which place
We may the number of the ships behold,
And so proceed accordingly.  [Exeunt.
Enter CANIDIUS, marching with his land army one way over the stage; and TAURUS, the lieutenant of CÆSAR, the other way.  After their going in is heard the noise of a sea-fight.
Alarum.  Re-enter ENOBARBUS.
  Eno.  Naught, naught, all naught! I can behold no longer.
The Antoniad, the Egyptian admiral,
With all their sixty, fly, and turn the rudder;
To see ’t mine eyes are blasted.
  Scar.        Gods and goddesses,
All the whole synod of them!
  Eno.        What’s thy passion?
  Scar.  The greater cantle of the world is lost
With very ignorance; we have kiss’d away        25
Kingdoms and provinces.
  Eno.        How appears the fight?
  Scar.  On our side like the token’d pestilence,
Where death is sure. Yon ribaudred nag of Egypt,
Whom leprosy o’ertake! i’ the midst o’ the fight,        30
When vantage like a pair of twins appear’d,
Both as the same, or rather ours the elder,
The breese upon her, like a cow in June,
Hoists sails and flies.
  Eno.        That I beheld:        35
Mine eyes did sicken at the sight, and could not
Endure a further view.
  Scar.        She once being loof’d,
The noble ruin of her magic, Antony,
Clapson his sea-wing, and like a doting mallard,        40
Leaving the fight in height, flies after her.
I never saw an action of such shame;
Experience, manhood, honour, ne’er before
Did violate so itself.
  Eno.        Alack, alack!        45
  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         50
Most grossly by his own.
  Eno.        Ay, are you thereabouts?
Why, then, good night, indeed.
  Can.  Towards Peloponnesus are they fled.
  Scar.  ’Tis easy to ’t; and there I will attend        55
What further comes.
  Can.        To Cæsar will I render
My legions and my horse; six kings already
Show me the way of yielding.
  Eno.        I’ll yet follow        60
The wounded chance of Antony, though my reason
Sits in the wind against me.  [Exeunt.

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