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Beneath the fall I have.—Pr’ythee, go hence;
[To SELEUCUS. Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits Through th' ashes of mischance. Wert thou a man, Thou wouldst have mercy on me. Cæs.
adieu. Cleo. My master, and my lord ! Cæs.
Adieu. [Flourish. 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.
Hie thee again :
Madam, I will.
owing to the mistake of the abbreviation ye: we derive the change from the corr. fo. 1632, from whence if Mr. Singer procured it, he observes silence upon the point: it is not one of the emendations he claims for his own corrected second folio, but for himself. See the same mistake, in “Coriolanus," A. i. sc. 6, Vol. iv. p. 620, in “ King Lear," A. i. sc. I, Vol. v. p. 620, &c.
6 Through th' ashes of miscHANCE.] So the corr. fo. 1632, for “the ashes of my chance" of the old copies. There cannot be a doubt about the fitness of the change, and the misprint explains itself.
Behold, sir. Erit CHARMIAN. Cleo.
what think'st thou?
The gods forbid !
Oh, the good gods !
Iras. I'll never see it; for, I am sure, my nails Are stronger than mine eyes.
? Some SQUEAKING Cleopatra boy my greatness] It may be worth noting that squeaking of the folio, 1623, became “ speaking " in the folio, 1632, but squeaking is restored by the old annotator on that edition. In “Othello," A. iii. sc. I (this Vol. p. 59), the same error of speak for “squeak" seems committed in all the old copies. In the instance before us, speaking went through all the folios after that of 1632, and it remained unchanged even by Rowe.
Why, that's the
way To fool their preparation, and to conquer Their most absurd intents".--Now, Charmian
Re-enter CHARMIAN. Show me, my women, like a queen :-go fetch My best attires ;-I am again for Cydnus, To meet Mark Antony.—Sirrah, Iras, go Now, noble Charmian, we'll dispatch indeed; And, when thou hast done this chare, I'll give thee leave To play till dooms-day. Bring our crown and all. Wherefore's this noise ? [Exit Iras. A noise within.
Enter one of the Guard.
Here is a rural fellow,
Re-enter Guard, with a Clown bringing in a basket. Guard.
This is the man. 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 ?
& Their most ABSURD intents.] Cleopatra may mean to laugh at the futile intents of the Romans : Theobald altered the text to "assur'd intents," and so it is amended in the corr. fo. 1632; but still we do not consider the change at all imperative, and do not make it.
9 Sirrah, Iras, go.] In Vol. iii. p. 330, we have seen “sirrah” used otherwise than derogatorily : here we find it also applied to a woman, but of course as a mere expletive. Steevens produced an instance from Arthur Hall's translation of Homer, where Hector addresses the “maids” of Andromache as Sirs, and it would be easy to multiply proofs of the application of “sirrah ” to women.
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: farewell.
[Cloun 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, &c.
1 – the worm's an odd worm.] “The worm's an adder worm " in the corr. fo. 1632, but we do not venture to introduce the change, not being convinced that the Clown may not mean that the adder is a strange or uncommon worm. Still, the emendation is plausible, and adder was then pronounced like “odder."
2 — the devils mar Five.] So the old impressions, for “ the devils mar nine" of the corr. fo. 1632 : the satire is broader in the emendation.
3 YARE, YARE, good Iras;] We have already had “yare,” i.e. nimble, derterous, in this play, A. iii. sc. 5, and it here requires no farther explanation.
To praise my noble act; I hear him mock
[Kisses them. IRAs falls and dies.
Char. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain, that I may say,
[To the asp which she applies to her breast.
Char. Oh eastern star!
Oh, break! oh, break!
proves me base :
4 If she first meet the curled Antony,] The folio, 1632, here corrupts the text of the folio, 1623, by printing
“ If she proves the curled Antony," which Rowe, without consulting the original edition, gave
“If she approve the curled Antony." The old annotator on the folio, 1632, in his margin, first altered the line to
“ If she first should meet the curled Antony;" but he subsequently erased “should,” and left the passage precisely as it stands in the folio, 1623.
– this knot intRINSICATE] For intricate. In “ King Lear," A. ii. sc. 2, Vol. v. p. 654, we have seen the word “intrinse" employed in the same way.