Imatges de pàgina

Doing the honour of thy lordliness (66)
To one so weak, 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 reserv'd,
Immoment 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
By one that I have bred ? the Gods! - it smites me
Beneath the Fall I have. Prythee, go hence;
Or I shall shew the cinders of my spirits (67)

(66) Doing the Honour of thy Lordliness

To one so meek.] These Editors, like Sir Martin Marr-all, are perpetually plunging into fresh Absurdities. Surely, Cleopatra must be bantering Cesar, to call herself meek, when he had the Moment before seen her Ay at her Treasurer, and wishing to tear out his Eyes. I correct,

To One so weak; i. e. fo fhrunk in Fortune and Power : vanquish'd, and spoil'd of her Kingdom. Besides, the might allude' to her bodily Decay. For Plxtarch tells usthat she receiv'd Cæfar, as she was lying on a poor pallat-bed'; that she threw herself at his Feet, in her Shift ; that her Hair was torn off, and her Face mangled; that her Voice was low and trembling, and her Eyes funk into her Head with continual Weeping: fo that she was in a pitiful State. And notwithstanding all these concurring Symptoms of weakness and Decay, there is no Inconsistency in her flying at her Treasurer: 'for, on any sudden Provocation, the Agonies of Resentment will exert against the lowest In. firmity, and put Nature on the Strain. (67) Or I fallshew the Cinders of my Spirits

Tbro? 'th' Ahes of my Chance ] If the Text be genuine, this must be the Allufion; she confiders herself, in her Downfall, as a Fabrick destroy'd by Fire: and then would intimate, that the same Fire has reducd her Spirits too Cinders ; i. e. consum'd the Strength and Dignity of her Soul and Mind. Mr. Warburton' thinks, the Poet wrote';

Thro? th? Ashes of my Cheeks. And, indeed, our Poet has an Image in Othello, that seems to coun: tenance this Correction.

I jould make very Forges of my Cheeks,
That would to Cinders burn up Modesty,
Did I but speak thy Deeds.




Through th' alhes of my chance: wert thou a man,
Thou would'st have mercy on me.

Cæf. Forbear, Seleucus.
Cleo. Be't known, that we the Greatest are mis-

For things that others do; and when we fall,
We answer others merits, in our names
Are therefore to be pitied.

Cæf. Cleopatra,
Not what you have reserv'd, nor what acknowledg'd,
Put We i'th' roll of Conquest, ftill be’t yours;
Bestow it at your pleasure, and believe,
Cæfar's no merchant to make prize with you
Of things that merchants sold. Therefore, be cheer'd:
Make not your thoughts your prisons; no, dear

For we intend so to dispose you, as
Your self shall give us counsel: feed, and sleep.
Our care and pity is so much upon you,
That we remain your friend; and so, adieu.

Clee. My master, and my lord!
Cæs. Not so:- adieu. [Exeunt Cæsar and his train.

Cleo. He words me, Girls, he wordş me,
That I should not be noble to my self.
But hark thee, Charmian. [Whispers Charmian.

Iras. Finish, good lady, the bright day is done,
And we are for the dark.

Cleo. Hie thee again. -(68)
I've spoke already, and it is provided;
Go put it to the hafte.
Char. Madam, I will.

[Exit Charm. (68)

Hie thee again.
I've spoke already, and it is provided;

Go put it to the hafte.]
Freinshemius has observ’d, upon a Passage of Quintus Curtius, that your
best Writers very often leave some things to be understood from the
Consequence and Implication of Words, which the Words themselves do
not express. Ità fæpiffimè optimi quique Scriptores volunt quædam in-
telligi ex consequentia Verborum, quæ ipfi non apertè dixerunt.
Author observes this Conduct here. Cleopatra must be suppos'd to mean,
she has spoke for the Asp, and it is provided, tho' she says not a
Word of it in direct Terms.


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Enter Dolabella.

Dol. Where is the Queen?
Cbar. Behold, Sir.
Cleo. Dolabella !

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

Cleo. Dolabella,
I fhall remain your debtor.

Dol. I your servant.
Adieu, good Queen ; I must attend on Cæfar. tExit.
Cleo. Farewel, and thanks. Now, Iras, what

think’tt thou?
Thou, an Ægyptian puppet, 'fhalt be shewn
In Rome as well as I: mechanick flaves
With greafie aprons, rules, and hammers, shall
Uplift us to the view. In their thick breaths,
Rank of gross diet, Thall we be enclouded,
And forc' to drink their vapour.

Iras. The Gods forbid!
Cleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras: fawcy li&ors
Will catch at us like strumpets, and scall'd rhimers
Ballad us out-o'-tune. The quick Comedians
Extemp'rally 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'th' poiture of a whore.

Iras. O the good Gods!
Cleo. Nay, that's certain.

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


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Cleo. Why, that's the way (69)
-To fool their preparation, and to conquer
Their most assurd intents. Now, Charmian :

Enter Charmian.
Shew me, my women, like a Queen: go fétch
My best attires. I am again for Cydrus,
To meet Mark Antony. Sirrah Iras, go
Now, noble Charinian, we'll dispatch indeed
And when thou'st done this chare, t'll give thee

To play till dooms-day bring our Crown, and all.

[A noise within Wherefore this noife?

Erter & Guardsman.
Guards. Here is a rural fellow,
That will not be deny'd your Highness' presence ;
He brings you figs.
Cleo. Let him come in. How poor an instrument

(Exit Guardsman
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

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Why, that's the

To fool their preparation, and to conquer

Their most absurd Intents.] As plausible as this Epithet may at first Glance appear, I have great Sufpicions of it. Why should Cleopatra call Cæsar's Designs abfurd ! She could not think his Intent of carrying her in Triumph, such ; with regard to his own Glory: and her finding an Expedient to disappoint him, could not bring it under that predicament. I much tather think, the Poet wrote ;

and to conquer Their most assur'd Intents. i, e. the Purposes, which they are most determind to put in practice i make Themselves moit sure of accomplishing. So, in Lear':

All, that offer to defend him,
Stand in assured Lofs.
So, before in this Play, by an equivalent Epithet ;

That Nature mas compell us to lament
Our molt perfiited Deeds.

I'm marble constant : now the Aeeting moon
No planet is of mine.

Enter Guardsman, and Clown with a basket.
Guards. This is the man.

Cleo. Avoid and leave him. [Exit Guardsman. 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 1hould desire you to touch him, for his biring 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 lic, as a woman should not do, but in the way of honesty.. How she dy'd of the biting of it, what pain she felt! truly, she . makes a very good report o'th' worm: but he, that will believe half that they say, shall never be saved by all that they do: (70) but this is most fallible, the worm's an odd worm.

Cleo. Get thee hence, farewel.
Clown. I with you all joy of the worm.
Cleo. Farewel.

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

Cleo. Ay, ay, farewel.

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 me? Clown. You must not think, I am so simple, but (70) But he that quill believe All that they say, Mall never be favid by half that they do.] Shakespeare's Clowns are always Jokers, and deal in fly Satire. "Tis plain, this must be read the contrary way, and all and balf change places with one another. Mr. Warburton.

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