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Cæs. Forbear, Seleucus.
Cleo. My master, and my lord !
[Exeunt CÆSAR, and his train. Cleo. He words me, girls, he words me, that I should not Be noble to myself: but hark thee, Charmian.
Dol. I your servant.
what think'st thou ?
Iras. The gods forbid !
Will catch at us, like strumpets; and scald rhymers
Iras. O the good gods !
Iras. I'll never see it; for, I am sure, my nails
Cleo. Why that's the way
[Exit IRAS. A noise within.
Re-enter GUARD, with a CLOWN bringing a basket.
[Exit GUARD. 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 that should desire you to touch him, for his biting is immortal; those that do die of it, do seldom or never recover.
Cleo. Remember'st thou any that have died 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 lie; as a woman should not do, but in the way of honesty: how she died of the biting of it, what pain she felt,-Truly, she makes a very good report o’the worm: But he that will believe all that they say, shall never be saved by
† Female characters were played by boys. # Job of work.
half that they do: But this is most fallible, the worm 's an odd
Cleo. Get thee hence; farewell.
[CLOWN sets down the basket. Clown. You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.*
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.
Re-enter IRAS, with a robe, crown, fc.
take the last warmth of my lips. Farewell, kind Charmian ;-Iras, long farewell.
[Kisses them. IRAS falls and dies. I Have I the aspic in my lips ? Dost fall ? If thou and nature can so gently part, The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch, Which hurts, and is desired. Dost thou lie still ? If thus thou vanishest, thou tellst the world It is not worth leave-taking.
Char. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain; that I may say
Cleo. This proves me base:
+ Make haste.
Which is my heaven to have.* Come, mortal wretch,
[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, couldst thou speak! That I might hear thee call great Cæsar, ass Unpolicied! |
Char. O eastern star!
Cleo. Peace, peace!
Char. 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.
Enter the GUARD, rushing in.
[Applies the asp. O, come; apace, despatch : I partly feel thee. 1 Guard. Approach, ho! All's not well: Cæsar 's beguiled. 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
[Dies. Enter DOLABELLA. Dol. How goes it here? 2 Guard. All dead.
Dol. Cæsar, thy thoughts
Enter CÆSAR, and Attendants.
Cæs. Bravest at the last :
* He will give her that kiss for her intelligence, which, &c.
* She says this, closing Cleopatra's eyes. § I.e. my own part. VOL. IV.
Took her own way.-The manner of their deaths ?
Dol. Who was last with them?
Cæs. Poison'd then.
1 Guard. O Cæsar,
Cæs. O noble weakness !-
Dol. Here, on her breast,
1 Guard. This is an aspic's trail: and these fig-leaves
Cæs. Most probable,