Imatges de pàgina

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.
Clown. Yes, forsooth, I with you joy o'th' worin.

Cleo. Give me my Robe, put on my Crown; I have
Immortal Longings in me. Now no more
The juice of Ægypt's grape shall moist this lip.
Yare, yare, good Iras ; quick —methinks, I hear

Antony call, I see him rowse himself
To praise my noble act. (71) I hear him mock
The luck of Cæfar, which the Gods give men
T'excuse their after-wrath. Husband, I come ;
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. 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
If the first meet the curled Antony,
He'll make demand of her, and spend that kiss,

I hear him mock
The Luck of Cæsar, which the Gods give Men

T'excuse their after-Wrath]
This, possibly, might have been shadow'd out from Claudian..

Jàm non ad culmina rerum,
Injustos crevisse queror : tolluntur in altum,
Ut lapsu graviore ruant.

In Rufinum. lib. I.
Mr. Warburton.

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!
Dost thou not lee my baby at my breaft,
That sucks the nursa asleep?

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,
There is a Vent of Blood, and something blown ;

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.

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What should I stay

Char. In this wild world? fo, fare thee well:
Now boast thee, Death, in thy poffeffion lies
A lafs unparallel’d. Downy windows, closes
And golden Phoebus never be beheld
Of eyes again so royal! your Crown's awry;
I'll mend it, and then play

Enter the Guard, rushing in.
1 Guard. Where's the Queen?
Char. Speak foftly; wake her not.
i Guard. Cæfar hath sent.

[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

2 Guard. There's Dolabella fent from Cæfar; call him.
I Guard. What work is here, Cbarmian? is this

well done?
Char. It is well done, and fitting for a Princess
Descended of so many royal Kings.
Ah, soldiers!

[Charmian dies.
Enter Dolabella.
Dol. How goes it here?
2 Guard. All dead!

Dol. Cæfar, thy thoughts
Touch their effects in this, thy self art coming
To see perform'd the dreaded act, which thou
So sought'st to hinder.

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,


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mit !

Enter Cæfar and. Attendantsanort: 1

, Make way there, make way for Cesar! :
Dol. Oh, Sir, you are too sure an augurer i
That you, did fear, is done.
She levellid at our purpose, and, being royal,
Caf. Bravest at last : eitt hem!

choose a
Took her own way. The manner of their deaths ? -
I do not see them bleed.

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.
This Charmian liv'd but now, the stood and Spake;
I found her trimming up the diadem

Bhd silmad
On her dead mistress; tremblingly she stood,
And on the sudden dropt.

Cef. Oh noble weakness!


11!1! If they had swallow'd poison, 'twould appear to By external swelling; but she looks like Sleep (73)

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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,
Et trahere occultum Membra soporis iter.

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
In her strong toil of grace.

Dol. Here, on her breast,
There is a vent of blood, and something blowo:
The like is on her arm.

i Guard. This is an aspick's trail;
And these fig-leaves have flime upon them, such
As th' aspick leaves upon the caves of Nyle.

Cæf. Most probable,
That so she died; for her physician tells me,
She hath pursu'd conclusions infinite
Of easie ways to die. Take up her bed,
And bear her women from the Monument :
She shall be buried by her Antony.
No Grave upon the earth shall clip in it
A Pair so famous. High events as these
Strike those that make them; and their story is
No less in pity, than his glory, which
Brought them to be lamented. Our

Our army shall,
In folemn shew, attend this funeral;
And then to Rome : come, Dolabella, fee
High Order in this great Solemnity. [Exeunt Omnes,

nulloque dolore

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.

Vo.. VI.



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