ACT FIFTH SCENE I
OFF CAPE TRAFALGAR
A bird's-eye view of the sea discloses itself. It is daybreak, and the broad face of the ocean is fringed on its eastern edge (right) by the Cape and the Spanish shore. On the rolling surface immediately beneath the eye, ranged more or less in two parallel lines running north and south, one group from the twain standing off somewhat, are the vessels of the combined French and Spanish navies, whose canvases, as the sun edges upward, shine in its rays like satin.
On the western (left) horizon two columns of ships appear in full sail, small as moths to the aerial vision. They are bearing down towards the combined squadrons.
RECORDING ANGEL I (intoning from his book)
At last Villeneuve accepts the sea and fatep, Despite the Cadis council called of late, Whereat his stoutest captains—men the forst
To do all mortals durst— Willing to sail, and bleed^ and bear the worst, Short of cold suicide, did yet opine That plunging mid those teeth of treble line
In jaws of oaken wood, Held open by the English navarchy With suasive breadth and artful modesty, Would smack ofpurposekss foolhardihood.
RECORDING ANGEL II
But word camey writ in mandatory mood,