Page images
PDF
EPUB

Antony call; I see him rouse himself
To praise my noble act; I hear him mock
The luck of Cæsar, which the gods give men
To 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.
Farewell, kind Charmian ;—Iras, long farewell.
[Kisses them. IRAS falls and dies.
Have I the aspick 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 desir'd. Dost thou lie still?
If thus thou vanishest, thou tell'st the world

It is not worth leave-taking.

Char. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain; that I may

say,

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, 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, could'st thou speak!
That I might hear thee call great Cæsar, ass
Unpolicied!

Char. O eastern star!

Cleo. Peace, peace!

Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,

That sucks the nurse asleep?

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 A lass unparallel'd.- Downy windows, close; 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.

1st Guard. Where is the queen? Char. Speak softly, wake her not. 1st Guard. Cæsar hath sent

Char. Too slow a messenger.

O, come; apace, despatch: I partly feel thee.

1st Guard. Approach, ho! All's not well: Cæsar's beguil❜d.

2d Guard. There's Dolabella sent from Cæsar;-call him.

Enter DOLABELLA.

[Applies the Asp.

1st 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? 2d Guard. All dead.

[Dies.

Dol. 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, way for Cæsar!

Enter CESAR, and Attendants.

Dol. O, sir, you are too sure an augurer; That you did fear, is done.

Cas. Bravest at the last:

She levell'd at our purposes, and, being royal,
Took her own way.-The manner of their deaths?
I do not see them bleed.

Dol. Who was last with them?

1st Guard. A simple countryman, that brought her figs;

This was his basket.

Cas. Poison'd then.

1st Guard. O Cæsar,

This Charmian lived but now; she stood, and spake :

I found her trimming up the diadem

On her dead mistress; tremblingly she stood,
And on the sudden dropp'd.

Cas. O noble weakness!

If they had swallow'd poison, 'twould appear
By external swelling: but she looks like sleep,
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 blown :
The like is on her arm.

1st Guard. This is an aspick's trail: and these figleaves

Have slime upon them, such as the aspick leaves
Upon the caves of Nile.

Cas. Most probable,

That so she died; for her physician tells me,
She hath pursu'd conclusions infinite
Of easy 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 army shall,
In solemn show, attend this funeral;
And then to Rome.-Come, Dolabella, see
High order in this great solemnity.

END OF VOLUME FIFTEENTH.

[Exeunt.

« PreviousContinue »