Imatges de pÓgina


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Show me, my women, like a queen; go fetch
My best attires;—I am again for Cydnus,
To meet Mark Antony:—Iras, go.

Now, noble Charmian, we'll despatch, indeed:
And when thou hast done this chare, I'll give thee

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.
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.

Enter Guard, with the Clown.

1 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?

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.

Cleo. Farewell.

[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
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:

[Goes to a Bed, or sofa, which she ascends;
her Women compose her on it: Iras sets the
Basket, which she has been holding upon her
own Arm, by her.

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.

[Kissing them. Iras Jails.

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, [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.


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