“Stand back, ye fools!” I cried. “Stand back—free mine arms—and I will show you a sign;” and there was that in my face which frightened them, for they freed me and stood back. Then I lifted up my hands and putting out all my strength of soul searched the depths of space till my Spirit communed with the Spirit of my Mother Isis. Only the Word of Power I uttered not, as I had been bidden. And the holy mystery of the Goddess answered to my Spirit’s cry, falling in awful silence upon the face of the earth. Deeper and deeper grew the terrible silence; even the dogs ceased to howl, and in the city men stood still afeared. Then, from far away, there came the ghostly music of the sistra. Faint it was at first, but ever as it came it grew more loud, till the air shivered with the unearthly sound of terror. I said naught, but pointed with my hand toward the sky. And behold! bosomed upon the air, floated a vast veiled Shape that, heralded by the swelling music of the sistra, drew slowly near, till its shadow lay upon us. It came, it passed, it went toward the camp of Caesar, till at length the music died away, and the awful Shape was swallowed in the night.
“It is Bacchus!” cried one. “Bacchus, who leaves lost Antony!” and, as he spoke, there rose a groan of terror from all the camp.
But I knew that it was not Bacchus, the false God, but the Divine Isis who deserted Khem, and, passing over the edge of the world, sought her home in space, to be no more known of men. For though her worship is still upheld, though still she is here and in all Earths, Isis manifests herself no more in Egypt. I hid my face and prayed, but when I lifted it from my robe, lo! all had fled and I was alone.
OF THE SURRENDER OF THE TROOPS AND FLEET OF ANTONY BEFORE THE CANOPIC GATE; OF THE END OF ANTONY, AND OF THE BREWING OF THE DRAUGHT OF DEATH
On the morrow, at dawn, Antony came forth and gave command that his fleet should advance against the fleet of Caesar, and that his cavalry should open the land-battle with the cavalry of Caesar. Accordingly, the fleet advanced in a triple line, and the fleet of Caesar came out to meet it. But when they met, the galleys of Antony lifted their oars in greeting, and passed over to the galleys of Caesar; and they sailed away together. And the cavalry of Antony rode forth beyond the Hippodrome to charge the cavalry of Caesar; but when they met, they lowered their swords and passed over to the camp of Caesar, deserting Antony. Then Antony grew mad with rage and terrible to see. He shouted to his legions to stand firm and wait attack; and for a little while they stood. One man, however—that same officer who would have slain me on the yesternight—strove to fly; but Antony seized him with his own hand, threw him to the earth, and, springing from his horse, drew his sword to slay him. He held his sword on high, while the man, covering his face, awaited death. But Antony dropped his sword and bade him rise.