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Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips.
[kies them. Iras falls and dies.
Have I the afpick in my lips? Dost fall®?
Doft thou lie ftill?
If thus thou vanifheft, thou tell'ft the world
It is not worth leave-taking.
Char. Diffolve, thick cloud, and rain; that I may fay, The gods themselves do weep!
Cleo. This proves me base:
If the first meet the curled Antony,
He'll make demand of her; and spend that kifs,
With thy fharp teeth this knot intrinficate
Char. O eaftern ftar!
Cleo. Peace, peace!
Doft thou not fee my baby at my breast,
That fucks the nurse asleep?
Char. O, break! O, break!
Cleo, As fweet as balm, as foft as air, as gentle,
O Antony!-Nay, I will take thee too:
[applying another afp to her arm.
Have I the afpick in my lips?] Are my lips poifon'd by the aspick, that my kifs has destroyed thee? MALONE.
8 - Doft fall?] Iras must be supposed to have applied an asp to her arm while her mistress was settling her drefs, or I know not why she fhould fall fo foon. STEEVENS.
9 He'll make demand of ber ;] He will enquire of her concerning me, and kifs her for giving him intelligence. JOHNSON.
Unpolicy'd!] i. e. an afs without more policy than to leave the means of death within my reach, and thereby deprive his triumph of its nobleft decoration, STEEVENS.
What should I stay
[falls on a bed, and dies,
Of eyes again fo royal! Your crown's awry *;
Enter the Guard, rushing in.
1. Guard. Where is the queen?
[applies the app.
O, come; apace, difpatch: I partly feel thee.
1. Guard. Approach, ho! All's not well: Cæfar's beguil'd.
2. Guard. There's Dolabella fent from Cæfar;-call him. 1. Guard. What work is here?-Charmian, is this well done?
Char. It is well done, and fitting for a princess Defcended of fo many royal kings 5.
2 In this wild world] Thus the old copy. I fuppofe the means by this wild world, this world which by the death of Antony is become a defert to her. A wild is a defert. Our author, however, might have written vild (i. e. vile according to ancient fpelling) for worthless.
3 - Downy windows, close ;] So, in Venus and Adonis :
"Her two blue windows faintly the upheaveth." MALONE. 4- Your crown's awry;] This is well amended by the editors. The old editions had-Your crown's away. JoHNSON.
The correction was made by Mr. Pope. The authour has here as nfual followed the old tranflation of Plutarch. "They found Cleopatra ftarke dead layed upon a bed of gold, attired and arrayed in her royal robes, and one of her two women, which was called Iras, dead at her feete; and her other woman called Charmian half dead, and trembling, trimming the diadem which Cleopatra wore upon her head." MALONE. So, in Daniel's Tragedy of Cleopatra, 1594:
"And fenfelefs, in her finking down, the wryes
"The diadem which on her head the wore;
"And haftes to right it as it was before;
"For Eras now was dead." STEEVENS.
5 Defcended of fo many royal kings.] Almoft thefe very words are found in fir T. North's tranflation of Plutarch; and in Daniel's play on
Dol. Cæfar, thy thoughts
Touch their effects in this: Thyself art coming
Within. A way there, a way for Cæfar!
Enter CESAR, and Attendants.
Dol, O, fir, you are too fure an augurer; That you did fear, is done.
Caf. Braveft at the laft:
She levell'd at our purposes, and, being royal,
Dol. Who was laft with them?
1. Guard. A fimple countryman, that brought her figs; This was his basket.
Caf. Poison'd then.
1. Guard. O Cæfar,
This Charmian liv'd but now; fhe ftood, and spake:
On her dead miftrefs; tremblingly the flood,
And on the fudden drop'd.
Caf. O noble weaknefs!
If they had fwallow'd poifon, 'twould appear
In her ftrong toil of grace.
Dol. Here, on her breast,
'There is a vent of blood, and fomething blown":
the fame fubject. The former book is not uncommon, and therefore it would be impertinent to crowd the page with every circumstance which Shakspeare has borrowed from the fame original. STEEVENS.
6-fomething blown :] The flesh is fomewhat puffed or foln. Jon NS. So, in the ancient metrical romance of Syr Bevys of Hampton, bl. 1.
"That with venim upon him throwen,
"The knight lay then to-blowen." STEEVENS.
The like is on her arm.
1. Guard. This is an afpick's trail; and thefe fig-leaves Have flime upon them, fuch as the afpick leaves
Upon the caves of Nile.
Caf. Moft probable,
That fo the dy'd; for her phyfician tells me,
Of eafy ways to die.-Take up her bed ;
Brought them to be lamented. Our army fhall,
And then to Rome. - Come, Dolabella, fee
So before >
and let the water-flies
"Blow me into abhorring." MALONE.
7 She bath pursued conclufions infinite-] i. e. numberless experiments. So, in the Spanish Gypfey, by Middleton and Rowley, 1653: and to try that conclufion,
"To fee if thou be'ft alchumy or no,
"They'll throw down gold in muffes." MALONE.
This play keeps curiofity always bufy, and the paffions always in. terefted. The continual hurry of the action, the variety of incidents, and the quick fucceffion of one perfonage to another, call the mind forward without intermiffion from the firft act to the laft. But the power of delighting is derived principally from the frequent changes of the fcene; for, except the feminine arts, fome of which are too low, which diftinguish Cleopatra, no character is very strongly discriminated. Upton, who did not eafily mifs what he defired to find, has difcovered that the language of Antony is, with great skill and learning, made pompous and fuperb, according to his real practice. But I think his diction not diftinguishable from that of others: the most tumid speech in the play is that which Cæfar makes to Octavia.
The events, of which the principal are described according to history, are produced without any art of connexion or care of disposition.
THE END OF THE SEVENTH VOLUME.