Cleopatra, looking back from the deck of her vessel, saw this swift
galley pressing on toward her. She raised a signal at the stern of the
vessel which she was in, that Antony might know for which of the fifty
flying ships he was to steer. Guided by the signal, Antony came up to
the vessel, and the sailors hoisted him up the side and helped him in.
Cleopatra had, however, disappeared. Overcome with shame and confusion,
she did not dare, it seems, to meet the look of the wretched victim of
her arts whom she had now irretrievably ruined. Antony did not seek her.
He did not speak a word. He went forward to the prow of the ship, and,
throwing himself down there alone, pressed his head between his hands,
and seemed stunned and stupefied, and utterly overwhelmed with horror
and despair.

He was, however, soon aroused from his stupor by an alarm raised on
board his galley that they were pursued. He rose from his seat, seized a
spear, and, on ascending to the quarter-deck, saw that there were a
number of small light boats, full of men and of arms, coming up behind
them, and gaining rapidly upon his galley. Antony, now free for a moment
from his enchantress's sway, and acting under the impulse of his own
indomitable boldness and decision, instead of urging the oarsmen to
press forward more rapidly in order to make good their escape, ordered
the helm to be put about, and thus, turning the galley around, he faced
his pursuers, and drove his ship into the midst of them. A violent
conflict ensued, the din and confusion of which was increased by the
shocks and collisions between the boats and the galley. In the end, the
boats were beaten off, all excepting one: that one kept still hovering
near, and the commander of it, who stood upon the deck, poising his
spear with an aim at Antony, and seeking eagerly an opportunity to throw
it, seemed by his attitude and the expression of his countenance to be
animated by some peculiarly bitter feeling of hostility and hate. Antony
asked him who he was, that dared so fiercely to threaten _him_. The man
replied by giving his name, and saying that he came to avenge the death
of his father. It proved that he was the son of a man whom Antony had at
a previous time, on some account or other, caused to be beheaded.

There followed an obstinate contest between Antony and this fierce
assailant, in the end of which the latter was beaten off. The boats
then, having succeeded in making some prizes from Antony's fleet, though
they had failed in capturing Antony himself, gave up the pursuit and
returned. Antony then went back to his place, sat down in the prow,
buried his face in his hands, and sank into the same condition of
hopeless distress and anguish as before.

When husband and wife are overwhelmed with misfortune and suffering,
each instinctively seeks a refuge in the sympathy and support of the
other. It is, however, far otherwise with such connections as that of
Antony and Cleopatra. Conscience, which remains calm and quiet in
prosperity and sunshine, rises up with sudden and unexpected violence as
soon as the hour of calamity comes; and thus, instead of mutual comfort
and help, each finds in the thoughts of the other only the means of
adding the horrors of remorse to the anguish of disappointment and
despair. So extreme was Antony's distress, that for three days he and
Cleopatra neither saw nor spoke to each other. She was overwhelmed with
confusion and chagrin, and he was in such a condition of mental
excitement that she did not dare to approach him. In a word, reason
seemed to have wholly lost its sway--his mind, in the alternations of
his insanity, rising sometimes to fearful excitement, in paroxysms of
uncontrollable rage, and then sinking again for a time into the stupor
of despair.

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