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Enter Charmian. Shew me, my women, like a queen : go fetch My best actires. I am again for Cydnus, To meet Mark Antony :--Sirrah, Iras, go. Now noble Charmian, we'll dispatch indeed : And when thou hast done this chare, I'll give thee
leave To play till dooms-day-Bring our crown and all, Wherefore this noise ?
[A noise witbin, Enter one of the Guard. Guard. Here is a rural fellow, That will not be deny'd your highness' presence ; He brings you figs. Cleo. Let him come in. How poor an instrument
[Exit Guard. May do a noble deed !-He brings me liberty, My resolution's plac’d, and I have nothing Of woman in me : now from head to foot I am marble-conftant: “now the fleeting moon No planet is of mine. i. e, the purposes, which they make themselves most sure of accomplishing
THEOBALD. I have preserved the old reading. The design certainly appeared absurd enough to Cleopatra, both as she thought it unreasonable in itself, and as the knew it would fail.
JOHNSON -now rhe fleeting moon No planet is of mine.) Alluding to the Ægyptian devotion paid to the moon under the nanie of Ils.
WARBURTON. I really believe that our poet was not at all acquainted with the devotion that the Ægyptians paid to this planet under the name of Ifis; but that Cleopatra having said, I have nothing of woman in me, added, by way of amplification, that she had not evin the changes of dijp-filion peculiar to i be fix, and which fonietisies bappen as often as i hoje of the moon. Why should she say on this occafion that she no longer made use of the forms of worthip peculiar to her country?
Re-enter Guard, with the Clown bringing a basket.
Cleo. Avoid, and leave him. [Exit Guard.
Clown. Truly I have him ; but I would not be the party should defire 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 dy'd 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 lye; as a woman should not do, but in the way of honesty. How The dy'd 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 ; farewel.
Clown. You must think this, look you, that the worm 9 will do his kind.
Cleo. Ay, ay; farewel. .
?-the pretty worm of Nilus] Worm is the Teutonick word for Serpent ; we have the blind-worm and Now-worm still in our language, and the Norwegians call an enormous monster, seen some. times in the northern ocean, the fea-worm.
JOHNSON. s but he that will believe all that they say, hall never be saved by half that they do :] Shakespeare's clowns are always jokers, and deal in sy satire. It is plain this must be read the contrary way, and all and balf change places.
WARB. Probably Shakespeare designed that confusion which the critick svould disentangle.
Steevens, I will do his kind.] The serpent will act according to his na
Clown, Look you, the worm is not to be trusted but in the keeping of wise people ; for, indeed, there is no goodnels in the worm.
Cleo. Take thou no care ; it shall be heeded.
Clown. 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 Cloun. Yes, forsooth, I wish you joy o' the worm.
(Exit. Cleo. Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me.
Now no more The juice of Ægypr’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 Crsar, 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. Farewel, kind Charmian: Iras, long farewel.
( Applying the asp. Have I the aspick in my lips? dost fall? [To Iras. If thou and nature can so gently part, The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch,
-Doft fall?] Tras must be supposed to have applied an asp to her arm while her mistress was settling her dress, or I know not why the should fall so soon.
Which hurts, and is desir'd. Dost thou lie ftill ?
[ Iras dies. Cbar. Diffolve, thick cloud, and rain; that I may
fay, 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
wretch, With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
[To the serpent. Of life at once untie : poor venomous fool, Be angry, and dispatch. Oh, couldst thou speak! That I might hear thee call great Cæsar ass, Unpolicied!
Cbar. Oh eastern star!
Cleo. Peace, Peace!
Cbar. O break! O break! - Cleo. As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle, 3 O Antony !-Nay, I will take thee too :
[ Applying another asp to ber arm. What should I stay-
(Dies. Cbar. In this wild world ? so fare thee well. Now boast thee, death, in thy poffeffion lies A lass unparalleld-Downy windows, close ;
? He'll make demand of ber.) He will enquire of her concerning me, and kiss her for giving him intelligence. JOHNSON
3 0 Antony ! nay, I will take thee 100.] As there has been hi. therto no break in this verse, nor any marginal direction, thee necessarily mult seem to refer to Antony. But Cleopatra is here designed to apply one aspick to her arm, as she had before clapp'd one to her breaft. And the last speech of Dolabella in the play is a confirmation of this. The like is on her arm.
And golden Phæbus never be beheld
Enter the Guard, rushing in.
(Charmian applies the afp. Oh, come. Apace, dispatch :-I partly feel thee. i Guard. Approach, ho! All's not well. Cæsar's
[Charmian dies. Enter Dolabella. Dol. How goes it here? 2 Guard. All dead !
Dol. Cæsar, thy thoughts
Your crown's awry;] This is well amended by the editors. The old editions had, -Your crown's away.
JOHNSON. s Descended of so many royal kings ] These very words are found in fir T. Nortă’s tranilation of Plutarch. The book is not uncommon, and therefore it would be impertinent to crowd the page with every circumstance which Shakespeare has borrowed from the same original.