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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 Worm.
[Exit. Re-enter Iras, with a Robe, Crown, &c. Cleo. Give me my robe, put on my crown; I
have Immortal longings in meo: Now no more The juice of Egypt's grape shall moist this lip?:Yare, yare “, good Iras; quick.-Methinks, I hear Again, in The Tragicall Hystory of Romeus and Juliet, 1562 : “ For tickle Fortune doth, in changing, but her kind."
MALONE. 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." See Tempest, Act I. Sc. I.. STEEVENS.
Antony call; I see him rouse himself
[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!
A preceding passage precisely ascertains the meaning of the word :
to proclaim it civilly, were like
“ 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 υμείς μεν πάντες ύδωρ και γαία γενoισθε. STEEVENS. * Have I the aspick in my lips ?] Are my lips poisan'd by the aspick, that my kiss has destroyed thee ? MALONE.
- 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.:
This proves me base:
[To the Asp, which she applies to her Breast.
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. Ś - 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.
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,
“ That with one gentle touch can free our breath ;
· Making ourselves not privy to our death.-
“ That open canst with such an easy key
See Warton's Pope, vol. iv. 219, v. 73.
Welcome, thou kind deceiver !
O, break! 0, 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 8?-So, fare thee
“ Death's dreadful office better than himself,
“ And thinks himself but sleep." STEEVENS. 8 In this wild world ?] Thus the old copy. I
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.” Johnson.
“ And senseless, in her sinking down, she wryes
" 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.
Speak softly, wake her not. 1 GUARD. Cæsar hath sentCHAR.
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
beguild. 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 !
[Dies. Enter DOLABELLA. Dol. How goes it here? 2 GUARD.
All dead. 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, a way for Cæsar!
Enter CÆSAR, 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.] Álmost 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
every circumstance which Shakspeare has borrowed from the same ori, ginal. STEEVENS.