Imatges de pÓgina

() rarely base!"

Cæs. Good queen, let us entreat you.

Cleo. O Cæsar, what a wounding shame is this ; That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me, Doing the honour of thy lordliness To one so meek, that mine own servant should Parcel the sum of my disgraces by Addition of his envy! Say, good Cæsar, That I some lady trifles have reservod, Im moment toys, things of such dignity As we greet modern friends withal ; and say, Some nobler token I have kept apart For Livia, and Octavia, to induce Their mediation ; must I be unfolded With one that I have bred? The gods ! It smites me Beneatij the fall I have. Pr’ythee, go hence ; [T. SEL. Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits Through the ashes of my chance :-Wert thou a man, Thou wouldst have mercy on me. Cæs. Forbear, Seleucus.

[Exit SELEUCUS. Cleo. Be it known, that we,the greatest, are misthought For things that others do ; and, when we fall, We answer others’ merits in our name, Are therefore to be pitied.2

Cæs. Cleopatra,
Not what you have reserv’d, nor what acknowledg'd,
Put we i'the roll of conquest : still be it yours,
Bestow it at your pleasure ; and believe,
Cæsar's no merchant, to make prize with you
Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheer'd ;
Make not your thoughts your prisons, 3 110, dear queen ;
For we intend so to dispose you, as
Yourself shall give us counsel. Feed, and sleep :
Our care and pity is so much upon you,
That we remain your friend; And so adieu.

Cleo. My master, and my lord !
Cæs. Not so: Adieu. [Exe. Cæsar, and his Train.

Cleo. He words me,girls, he words me,that I should not Be noble to myself : But hark thee, Charmian.

[Whispers CHARMIAN. Iras. Finish, good lady ; the bright day is done, (1) Base in an uncommon degree. STEEV.

12;. We suffer at our high st state of elevation in the thoughts of mankind for that which others do, and when we fall, those that contented themselves only to think ill before, call us to answer in our own names for the merits of others. We are therefore to be pitied' Merits is in this place taken in an ill sense, for actions meriting censure. JOHNS. (3) Be not a prisoner in imagination, when in reality you are free. Joj.

And we are for the dark.

Cleo. Hie thee again :
I have spoke already, and it is provided ;
Go, put it to the haste.
Char. Madam, I will.

Dol. Where is the queen ?
Char. Behold, sir.

[Exit CA ARMIAN. Cleo. Dolabelia ?

Dol. Madam, as thereto sworn by your command,
Which my love makes religion to obey,
I tell you this : Cæsar through Syria
Intends his journey ; and, within three days,
You with your children will he send before :
Make your best use of this : I have perform'd
Your pleasure, and my promise.

Cleo. Dolabella,
I shall remain your debtor.

Dol. I your servant.
Adieu, good queen ; I must attend on Cæsar.
Cleo. Farewell, and thanks. [Exit Dol.)-Now,

Iras, what think'st thou ?
Thou, an Egyptian puppet, shalt be shown
In Rome, as well as I : mechanic slaves
With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall
Uplift us to the view ; in their thick breaths,
Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
And forc'd to drink their vapour.

Iras. The gods forbid !

Cleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras : Saucy lictors
Will catch at us, like strumpets ; and scald rhymers
Ballad us out o'tune : the quick comedians
Extemporally will stage us, and present
Our Alexandrian revels ; Antony
Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness
I'the posture of a whore.

Iras. O the good gods !
Cleo. Nay, that is certain.

Iras. I'll never see it ; for, I am sure, my nails
Are stronger than mine eyes.

Cleo. Why, that is the way
To fool their preparation, and to conquer
Their most absurd intents. Now, Charmian ?-


[4) Scald-a word of contempt implying poverty, disease, and filth. JOH. 151 The parts of women were acred on the stage by boys. HANMER. Enter CHARMIAN. Show me, my women,

like a queen ;-Go fetch
My best attires ;-) am again for Cydnus,
To meet Mark Antony :--Sirrah, Iras, go.-
Now, noble Charmian, we'll despatch indeed :
And, when thou hast done this chare, I'll give thee leave
To play till dooms-day.-- Bring our crown and all.
Wherefore's this noise ? [Exit IRAS. A noise within.

Enter one of the Guard.
Guard. Here is a rural fellow,
That will not be denied your highness' presence ;
He brings you figs.
Cleo. Leč 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-constant : now the fleeting moon
No planet is of mine.

Re-enter Guard, with a Clown bringing a basket.
Guard. This is the man.
Cleo. Ayoid, and leave himn.

[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 worın.

Cleo. Get thee hence ; farewell.
Clown. I wish you all joy of the worm.
Cleo. Farewell. (Clown sets down the Basket.

Clown. You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.

Cleo. Ay, ay ; farewell. [S] Worm is the Teutonick word for serpent; we have the blind-worm and slow-worm still in our language, and the Norwegians call an enormous monster,'seen sometimes in ibe northern ocean, the sea-worm. JOHNS:

Clown. Look you, the worm is not to be trusted, but in the keeping of wise people ; for, indeed, there is no goodness 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 gone ; farewell.
Clown. Yes, forsooth; I wish you joy of the worm.[Exit.

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.—50,-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, mortal wretch,

[70 the asp, which she applies to her breast.
With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsieate
Of life at once untie : poor venomous fool,
Be angry, and despatch. O, couldst thou speak !

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