ACT III SCENE X

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Antony and Cleopatra

 

ACT III SCENE X Another part of the plain.
[ CANIDIUS marcheth with his land army one way over the stage; and TAURUS, the lieutenant of OCTAVIUS CAESAR, the other way. After their going in, is heard the noise of a sea-fight ]
[Alarum. Enter DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS]
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS 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.
[Enter SCARUS]
SCARUS Gods and goddesses, 5
All the whole synod of them!
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS What’s thy passion!
SCARUS The greater cantle of the world is lost
With very ignorance; we have kiss’d away
Kingdoms and provinces. 10
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS How appears the fight?
SCARUS 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,
When vantage like a pair of twins appear’d, 15
Both as the same, or rather ours the elder,
The breese upon her, like a cow in June,
Hoists sails and flies.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS That I beheld:
Mine eyes did sicken at the sight, and could not 20
Endure a further view.
SCARUS 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: 25
I never saw an action of such shame;
Experience, manhood, honour, ne’er before
Did violate so itself.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Alack, alack!
[Enter CANIDIUS]
CANIDIUS Our fortune on the sea is out of breath, 30
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!
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS Ay, are you thereabouts? 35
Why, then, good night indeed.
CANIDIUS Toward Peloponnesus are they fled.
SCARUS ‘Tis easy to’t; and there I will attend
What further comes.
CANIDIUS To Caesar will I render 40
My legions and my horse: six kings already
Show me the way of yielding.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS I’ll yet follow
The wounded chance of Antony, though my reason
Sits in the wind against me. 45
[Exeunt]

Antony and Cleopatra, Act 3, Scene 11
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Explanatory Notes for Act 3, Scene 10
From Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
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2. Antoniad. Cleopatra’s own ship, named for Antony.

3. Sixty. That is, sixty vessels.

6. Synod. Assembly. The word was formerly applied chiefly to the gods, but later it was used largely of ecclesiastical assemblies.

7. Cantle. Portion; the word originally meant “corner.”

12. Token’d. Spotted. The marks of the plague were popularly called “God’s tokens.”

13. Ribaudred. Profligate woman.

15. Vantage. Advantage.

17. Breeze. As if stung by a gadfly.

22. Loof’d. Luffed, having turned her vessel toward the wind.

23. Magic. Charms, fascinations.

24. Sea-wing. Raises his sails.

24. Mallard. Drake, the male wild duck.

32. Knew himself. Displayed the courage he knows he possesses.

35. Thereabouts. Is that what you think?

37. Peloponnesus. The southern peninsula of Greece.

38. Easy to’t. Easy to reach it.

38. Attend. Await.

44. Wounded chance. “Broken fortunes.”

45. Sits in the wind. Opposes such a course.

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How to cite the explanatory notes:Shakespeare, William. Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. M. Eaton. Boston: Educational Publishing Company, 1908.