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That will not be denied your highness' presence:
Re-enter Guard, with a Clown bringing in a Basket. Guard.
This is the man. Cleo. Avoid, and leave him.
[Exit Guard. Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there, That kills and pains not?
Clown. Truly I have him; but I would not be the party that should desire you to touch him, for his biting is immortal: those that do die of it do seldom or never recover.
Cleo. Remember'st thou any that have died on't?
Clown. Very many, men and women too. I heard of one of them no longer than yesterday: a very honest woman, but something given to lie, as a woman should not do but in the way of honesty, how she died of the biting of it, what pain she felt.—Truly, she makes a very good report o' the worm; but he that will believe all that they say, shall never be saved by half that they do. But this is most fallible, the worm's an odd worm.
Cleo. Get thee hence: farewell.
[Clown sets down the Basket. Clown. You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.
Cleo. Ay, ay; farewell.
in the keeping of wise people; for, indeed, there is no goodness in the worm.
Cleo. Take thou no care: it shall be heeded.
Cloron. Very good. Give it nothing, I pray you, for it is not worth the feeding.
Cleo. Will it eat me?
Clown. You must not think I am so simple, but I know the devil himself will not eat a woman: I know, that a woman is a dish for the gods, if the devil dress her not; but, truly, these same whoreson devils do the gods great harm in their women, for in every ten that they make, the devils mar five.
Cleo. Well, get thee gone: farewell.
Re-enter IRAs, with a Robe, Crown, &c. Cleo. Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me. Now, no more The juice of Egypt's grape shall moist this lip.Yare, yare, good Iras; quick.—Methinks, I hear Antony call: I see him rouse himself To praise my noble act; I hear him mock The luck of Cæsar, which the gods give men To excuse their after wrath. Husband, I come: Now to that name my courage prove my title! I am fire, and air; my other elements I give to baser life.—So,—have you done? Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips. Farewell, kind Charmian :Iras, long farewell.
[Kisses them. Iras falls and dies. Have I the aspick in my lips? Dost fall ? If thou and nature can so gently part, The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch, Which hurts, and is desir’d. Dost thou lie still? If thus thou vanishest, thou tell’st the world It is not worth leave-taking.
Char. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain, that I may
say, The gods themselves do weep. Cleo.
This proves me base: If she first meet the curled Antony, He'll make demand of her, and spend that kiss, Which is my heaven to have. Come, thou mortal
[To the Asp, which she applies to her Breast.
Char. O eastern star!
O, break! O, break! Cleo. As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle.O Antony !-Nay, I will take thee too.
[Applying another Asp to her Arm. What should I stay
[Falls on a Bed, and dies. Char. In this wild world –So, fare thee well. Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies A lass unparalleld.—Downy windows, close; And golden Phæbus never be beheld Of
eyes again so royal! Your crown's awry'; I'll mend it, and then play?-
Enter the Guard, rushing in. 1 Guard. Where is the queen? Char.
Speak softly; wake her not. 1 Your crown's AWRY ;] So Pope, correcting away of the folios, by the narrative in North’s Plutarch, which Daniel also here followed in his “ Cleopatra," 1594.
— and then play-] Charmian is interrupted by the sudden arrival of the Guard, and does not finish her sentence, as is indicated in the old copies by
1 Guard. Cæsar hath sentChar.
Too slow a messenger.
[Applies the Asp. 0! come; apace; despatch : I partly feel thee. 1 Guard. Approach, ho ! All's not well : Cæsar's
beguild. 2 Guard. There's Dolabella sent from Cæsar : call
him. 1 Guard. What work is here ?- Charmian, is this
Enter DOLABELLA. Dol. How goes it here? 2 Guard.
All dead. Dol.
Cæsar, thy thoughts Touch their effects in this : thyself art coming To see perform’d the dreaded act, which thou So sought'st to hinder.
Within. A way there! a way for Cæsar!
Enter CÆSAR, and all his Train.
Dol. O, sir! you are too sure an augurer :
Bravest at the last:
:-The manner of their deaths ? I do not see them bleed. Dol.
Who was last with them? 1 Guard. A simple countryman that brought her
figs : This was his basket. Cæs.
Poison'd, then. 1 Guard.
O Casar! This Charmian lived but now; she stood, and spake.
I found her trimming up the diadem
O noble weakness!-
Here, on her breast,
Upon the CAVES of Nile.] This is the word in all the old copies, but the Rev. Mr. Barry suggests that the true reading is canes, and not caves :" in the folio, 1623, it is printed caues, the u being employed instead of t, and Mr. Barry is of opinion that the error arose from the turning of the letter n, which thus became u. On the other hand, we have the evidence of the folio, 1632, that the old understanding of the passage was “caves,” for it is there so printed, the u of the older copy having been discarded for its substitute. It is, besides, very obvious that the aspick might leave its slime upon the “caves” of Nile as well as upon the canes of Nile.