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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. Will it eat me?
CLOWN. You must not think I am so simple, but 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 whoreson 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; farewell.
CLOWN. Yes, forsooth; I wish you joy of the [Exit.
Re-enter IRAs, with a Robe, Crown, &c. CLEO. Give me my robe, put on my crown ; have
Immortal longings in me: Now no more
Again, in The Tragicall Hystory of Romeus and Juliet, 1562 : "For tickle Fortune doth, in changing, but her kind."
6 IMMORTAL LONGINGS in me:] This expression appears to have been transplanted into Addison's Cato:
"This longing after immortality." STEEVENS.
- Now no more
The juice of Egypt's grape shall MOIST this lip:] This verb occurs also in Chapman's version of the 22d Iliad:
the wine he finds in it,
"Scarce moists his palate." STEEVENS.
8 Yare, yare,] i. e. make haste, be nimble, be ready. So,
in the old bl. romance of Syr Eglamoure of Artoys:
Ryght soone he made him yare."
Antony call; I see him rouse himself
CHAR. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain; that I may say,
The gods themselves do weep!
A preceding passage precisely ascertains the meaning of the word:
to proclaim it civilly, were like
"A halter'd neck, which does the hangman thank "For being yare about him." MALONE. 9 I am FIRE, and AIR; my other elements I give to baser life.] So, in King Henry V.: "He is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him." "Do not our lives (says Sir Andrew Aguecheek,) consist of the four elements?" MALONE.'
Homer, Iliad vii. 99, speaks as contemptuously of the grosser elements we spring from:
̓Αλλ ἐμεῖς μὲν
I Have I the aspick in my lips?] Are my lips poison'd by the aspick, that my kiss has destroyed thee? MALONE.
2-Dost fall?] Iras must be supposed to have applied an asp to her arm while her mistress was settling her dress, or I know not why she should fall so soon. STEEVENS.
a lover's PINCH,] So before, p. 209:
That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black."
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, thou mortal wretch 5,
[To the Asp, which she applies to her Breast. With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate Of life at once untie : poor venomous fool, Be angry, and despatch. O, could'st thou speak! That I might hear thee call great Cæsar, ass Unpolicied!
O eastern star !
4 He'll make demand of her ;] He will enquire of her concerning me, and kiss her for giving him intelligence. JOHNSON. Come, mortal wretch,] Old copies, unmetrically:
Come, thou mortal wretch .." STEEVENS.
UNPOLICIED!] i. e. an ass without more policy than to leave the means of death within my reach, and thereby deprive his triumph of its noblest decoration. STEEVENS.
7 That sucks the nurse asleep?] Before the publication of this piece, The Tragedy of Cleopatra, by Daniel, 1594, had made its appearance; but Dryden is more indebted to it than Shakspeare. Daniel has the following address to the asp:
"Better than death death's office thou dischargest,
Making ourselves not privy to our death."Therefore come thou, of wonders wonder chief, "That open canst with such an easy key "The door of life; come gentle, cunning thief, "That from ourselves so steal'st ourselves away." See Warton's Pope, vol. iv. 219, v. 73.
Dryden says on the same occasion :
Welcome, thou kind deceiver!
"Thou best of thieves; who with an easy key
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- [Falls on a Bed, and dies. CHAR. In this wild world?-So, fare thee well.
Now boast thee, death! in thy possession lies
Of eyes again so royal! Your crown's awry 1;
"Death's dreadful office better than himself,
Touching our limbs so gently into slumber,
"That death stands by, deceiv'd by his own image,
8 In this WILD world?] Thus the old copy. I suppose she means by this wild world, this world which by the death of Antony is become a desert to her. A wild is a desert. Our author, however, might have written vild (i. e. vile according to ancient spelling), for worthless. STEEVENS.
Downy windows, close ;] So, in Venus and Adonis :
"Her two blue windows faintly she upheaveth." MALONE, Charmian, in saying this, must be conceived to close Cleopatra's eyes; one of the first ceremonies performed toward a dead body. RITSON.
Your crown's AWRY ;] This is well amended by the editors. The old editions had
Your crown's away." So, in Daniel's Tragedy of Cleopatra, 1594 : "And senseless, in her sinking down, she wryes "The diadem which on her head she wore ; "Which Charmian (poor weak feeble maid) espyes, "And hastes to right it as it was before; "For Eras now was dead." STEEVENS.
The correction was made by Mr. Pope. The author has here as usual followed the old translation of Plutarch; -They found Cleopatra starke 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.
and then PLAY.] i. e. play her part in this tragick scene
Enter the Guard, rushing in.
1 GUARD. Where is the queen ? CHAR.
1 GUARD. Cæsar hath sentCHAR.
Speak softly, wake her not.
Too slow a messenger. [Applies the Asp.
O, come; apace, despatch: I partly feel thee. 1 GUARD. Approach, ho! All's not well: Cæsar's beguil'd.
2 GUARD. There's Dolabella sent from Cæsar ;call him.
1 GUARD. What work is here ?-Charmian, is this well done?
CHAR. It is well done, and fitting for a princess Descended of so many royal kings 3. Ah, soldier!
DOL. How goes it here? 2 GUARD.
Cæsar, thy thoughts Touch their effects in this: Thyself art coming To see perform'd the dreaded act, which thou So sought'st to hinder.
WITHIN. A way there, a way for Cæsar!
Enter CESAR, and Attendants.
DOL. O, sir, you are too sure an augurer; That you did fear, is done.
by destroying herself: or she may mean, that having performed her last office for her mistress, she will accept the permission given her in p. 417, to "play till doomsday." STEEVENS.
3 Descended of so many royal kings.] Almost these very words are found in Sir T. North's translation of Plutarch; and in Daniel's play on the same subject. The former book is not uncommon, and therefore it would be impertinent to croud the page with every circumstance which Shakspeare has borrowed from the same original. STEEVENS.