Imatges de pÓgina

Come then, and take the laft warmth of my lips.
Farewel, kind Charmian ;-Iras, long farewel.

[kiffes them. Iras falls and dies. Have I the aspick in my lips *? Dost fall? If thou and nature can fo gently part, The ftroke of death is as a lover's pinch, Which hurts, and is defir'd.

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,
Which is my heaven to have.-Come, thou mortal wretch,
[to the afp, which she applies to her breast.

With thy fharp teeth this knot intrinficate
Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool,
Be angry, and dispatch. O, could'ft thou speak!
That I might hear thee call great Cæfar, afs

Char. O eaftern star!

Cleo. Peace, peace!

Doft thou not fee my baby at my breast,

That fucks the nurse afleep?

Char. O, break! O, break!

Gleo, 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 afpick, that my kiss has deftroyed thee? MALONE.


Doft fall] Iras must be supposed to have applied an afp to her arm while her miftrefs was fettling her drefs, or I know not why the 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,
Char. In this wild world?-So, fare thee well.—
Now boast thee, death! in thy poffeffion lies
A lafs unparallel'd.-Downy windows, clofe 3;
And golden Phoebus never be beheld

Of eyes again fo royal! Your crown's awry +;
I'll mend it, and then play.

Enter the Guard, rushing in.

1. Guard. Where is the queen?
Char. Speak foftly, wake her not.
1. Guard. Cæfar hath fent-
Char. Too flow a meffenger.

[applies the app.

O, come; apace, dispatch: 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


Char. It is well done, and fitting for a princess Defcended of fo many royal kings.


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.



– Downy windows, clofe ;] So, in Venus and Adonis : "Her two blue windows faintly the upheaveth." MALONE. -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;

"Which Charmian (poor weak feeble maid) efpyes,

"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


Ah, foldier!


Dol. How goes it here?

2. Guard. All dead.

Dol. Cæfar, thy thoughts

Touch their effects in this: Thyfelf art coming
To fee perform'd the dreaded act, which thou
So fought'ft to hinder.

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. Bravest at the last:

She levell'd at our purpofes, and, being royal,
Took her own way.-The manner of their deaths?
I do not fee them bleed.

Dol. Who was laft with them?


1. Guard. A fimple countryman, that brought her figs; This was his basket.

Caf. Poifon'd then.

1. Guard. O Cæfar,

This Charmian liv'd but now; fhe stood, and spake:
I found her trimming up the diadem

On her dead miftrefs; tremblingly the flood,

And on the fudden drop'd.

Caf. O noble weakness !

If they had fwallow'd poifon, 'twould appear
By external fwelling: but the looks like sleep,
A's fhe would catch another Antony

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 faoln. JóĦNS. So, in the ancient metrical romance of Syr Beuys of Hampton, bl. 1.

no date:

"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, such as the afpick leaves Upon the caves of Nile.

Caf. Moft probable,

That fo fhe dy'd; for her phyfician tells me,
She hath purfu'd conclufions infinite?

Of eafy ways to die.-Take up her bed;
And bear her women from the monument :-
She fhall be buried by her Antony:
No grave upon the earth fhall clip in it
A pair fo famous. High events as these
Strike thofe that make them: and their story is
No lefs in pity, than his glory, which
Brought them to be lamented. Our army fhall,
In folemn fhew, attend this funeral;

And then to Rome. - Come, Dolabella, fee
High order in this great folemnity.

So before>

❝and let the water-flies

Blow me into abhorring." MALONE.


7 She bath pursued conclusions 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 curiosity always bufy, and the paffions always interefted. 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 first 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 defcribed according to history, are produced without any art of connexion or care of disposition.



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