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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 whore-fon 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, farewel.
Antony call, I see him rowse himself
have you done? Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips. Farewel, kind Charmian; Iras, long farewel.
[ Applying the app. Have I the aspick in my lips? dost falī?
To Iras. 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 lye still? If thus thou vanilheft, thou tell’ft the world, It is not worth leave-taking.
Iras dies. Char. Diffolve, thick Cloud, and rain, that I may say, The Gods themselves do weep.
Cleo. This proves me base
I hear him mock
T'excuse their after-Wrath]
Jàm non ad culmina rerum,
In Rufinum. lib. I.
Which is my heav'n to have. Come, mortal wretch, With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
[To the ferpent. Of life at once untie: poor venomoys fool, Be angry, and dispatch. Oh, could'tt thou speak, That I might hear thee call great Cæfar afs, Unpolicied!
Char. Oh eastern star!
Cleo. Peace, peace!
Char. O break! O brcak!
Cleo. As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle, O Antony ! Nay, I will take thee too. (72) [ Applying angther Afp to her Arn.
(72) O Antony! nay I will take thee too.] As there has been hitherto no Break in this Verse, nor any marginal Direction, Thee necessarily mut feem to refer to Antony. But eis certain, Cleopatra is here defign'd to apply One Aspick to her Arm, as she had before clap'd One to her Breaft. And the last Speech of Dolabella in the Play is a Confirmation of This.
Here, on her Breast,
The like is on ber Arm. Dion Caffius, in the gift Book of his Roman History is express as to small Punctures of the Asp being discover'd only on her Arm. Κενθήμαια 8 λεπά περί τον βραχίονα αυτής MONA Φρέθη. And Plutarob fays, towards the Conclusion af M. Antony's Life, that he had two Marks imprinted by the Sting of the Alp: and that Cafar carried a Statue of her in Triumph, with an Alp fix'd to her Arm. However, the Application of the Alpick to her Breatt is not the Invention of our Poet. Virgil, who says nothing of the Locality of her Wounds, plainly intimates that the applied two of these veramous Creatures. Necdum etiam geminos à tergo refpicit Angụes.
Æneid. VIII. Strabo, Velleius Paterculus, Eutropius, and Lucius Florus leave this Matter as much at large. But I remember to have seen Pictures of a Cleopatra (of what Age, I can't say;) with the Afpick on her Bosom, and her Breast bloody. Besides, Leonarda Auguftini, among hiş antique Gemms, exhibits one of Cleopatra upon an Agot, with an Afpiek biting her right Breaft. And Strada, the Mantuan Antiquary, who gives us a Medal of this Princess, fays, that lhe dy'd by Serpents apply'd to her Breasts. And Domitius Calderinys, upon the 59th Epi, gram of the IVth Book of Martial, fays precisely, that the procur'd her own Death by applying Asps to her Breast and Arm. Nåm Cleo.
patra patra admota Alpide & Mamillæ & Brachio fibi Mortem confciuit. Had Shakespeare invented the Circumstance, Poetic Licence, and the Delicacy of his Imagery, had been a fufficient Plea: but we find him. true to Authority, as well as to himself, in tuming an occafional Hint into an unexpected Beauty.
What should I stay
Enter the Guard, rushing in.
[Charmian applies the aspa Char. Too flow a messenger. Oh, come apace, dispatch, I partly feel thee. į Guard. Approach, ho! all's not well. Cæfar's be
Dol. Cæfar, thy thoughts
Doft thou not see my Baby at my Breaft,
That fucks the Nurse afleep? For this has a double Elegance; not only as it presents us with an amiable Picture, but as it expresses too the benumning Effects of the Asp Itealing faft upon her,
an augurer i ti si
Enter Cæfar and. Attendantsanort: 1
, Make way there, make way for Cesar! :
tsib set of: T Dol. Who was last with them?
1 Guard. A simple countryman, that brought her figs : This was his basket.
iman. 1910 1911 93d Era Cæf. Poison’d then!
1 ve Lyd od Ils on? I Gent. Oh Cæfar!
en vein ovi.
11!1! If they had swallow'd poison, 'twould appear to By external swelling; but she looks like Sleep (73)
But she looks like Sleep: ) The Poet has made Cleopatra herself, above, speaking of the Operation of the Aspíck, give us this fine Image;
Do'A Thou not fee my Baby at my Breaft,
That fucks the Nurse afleep?". And in this Description he is precisely just to History: Lucius Florus, lib. iv. c. 11. (and Jornandes literally from him) speaks of her Diffo lution, as of a Falling into a Slumber. Admotisq; ad Venas serpentibus, fic morte, quasi lomno, foluta eft. And Solinus, describing the different forts of Alpicks, fays, Two particularly were employ'd to give Death; that call'd Dipsas, which kill'd by excessive Thirst; and the Hypnale
, which destroys by Sleep, of which Cleopatra is a Testimony. And to this easy Method of her dying, Propertius has likewise alluded ;
Brachia speetavi facris admorsa Colubris,
Lib. iii. Eleg. 10. Lucan, in the IXth Book of his Pharsalia, where he expatiates on the Multitude and Diversity of African serpents, remembers, among the reft, the stupifying Quality of the Aspick;
Aspida somniferum tumidâ cervice levavit. and describes one bit by it, who confess’d no Pain, but dy'd instantly, as of a Lethargy.
As she would catch another Antony
Dol. Here, on her breast,
i Guard. This is an aspick's trail;
Cæf. Most probable,
Our army shall,
Teftatus morfus, fubitam caligine mortem
Accipis, & Stygias somno descendis ad Uinbras. Ovid likewise mentions this hypnotick Quality of the Aspic, and calls it the foreign Serpent.
Plenaque fomniferis ferpens peregrina Venenis.