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Show me, my women, like a queen; go fetch
Now, noble Charmian, we'll despatch, indeed:
To play till dooms-day. Bring our crown and all. [Exit Iras.—Charmian falls to adjusting Cleopatra's Dress.—Noise within.
Wherefore's this noise?
Enter some of the Guard.
1 Guard. Here is a rural fellow,
That will not be deny'd your highness' presence;
He brings you figs.
Cleo. Let him come in. [Exeunt Guard.] How poor an instrument
May do a noble deed! he brings me liberty.
Enter Guard, with the Clown.
1 Guard. This is the man.
Cleo. Avoid and leave him.
Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there,
Cloun. 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 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 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. I wish you all joy of the worm.
[Setting down his Basket.
Clown. You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.
Cleo. Ay, ay; farewell.
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. Well, get thee gone; farewell.
Clown. Yes, forsooth: I wish you joy of the worm.
Enter Iras, with Robe, &c.
Cleo. Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have
To praise my noble act; I hear him mock
[Goes to a Bed, or sofa, which she ascends;
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?
[Kissing them. Iras Jails.
Have I the aspick in my lips? Dost fall?
Which hurts, and is desir'd. Dost thou lie still?
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, [To the Asp; applying it to her Breast. With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool,
[Stirring it. Be angry, and despatch. O, couldst thou speak! That I might hear thee call great Cæsar, ass, Unpolicy'd!
Char. O eastern star!
Cleo. Peace, peace:
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?
Char. 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
Enter some of the Guard.
1 Guard Where is the queen ? Char. Speak softly, wake her not.