« PreviousContinue »
Cleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras: Saucy lictors
Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
O the good gods!
Iras. Cleo. Nay, that is certain. Iras. I'll never see it; for, I am sure, my nails Are stronger than mine eyes,
Cleo. Why, that's the way To fool their preparation, and to conquer Their most absurd intents.-Now, Charmian?—
Show me, my women, like a queen;-Go fetch
To play till dooms-day.-Bring our crown and all. Wherefore's this noise?
[Exit Iras. A noise within.
Enter one of the Guard.
Guard. 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 instru[Exit Guard. 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 I am marble-constant: now the fleeting moon No planet is of mine.
Re-enter Guard, with a Clown bringing a basket. This is the man.
Guard. Cleo. Avoid, and leave him. [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 half that they do: But this is most fallible, the worm's an odd worm.
Cleo. Get thee hence; farewel.
Clown. I wish you all joy of the worm.
Clown. You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.
[Clown sets down the basket.
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 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; farewel.
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; I
Immortal longings in me: Now no more
To praise my noble act; I hear him mock
Farewel, kind Charmian;-Iras, long farewel.
Char. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain; that I
The gods themselves do weep!
Cleo. 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, mortaļ 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, could'st thou speak! That I might hear thee call great Cæsar, ass Unpolicied!
Char, O eastern star!
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. Char. In this wild world?-So, fare thee well.—
Now boast thee, death! in thy possession lies
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. 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.
A way there, way for Cæsar.