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Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
The gods forbid!
O the good gods!
Iras. I'll never see it; for, I am sure, my nails
Why, that's the way
Show me, my women, like a queen ;-Go fetch
leave To play till dooms-day-Bring our crown and all. Wherefore's this noise?
[Exit Iras. A Noise within.
and scald rhymers] Scald was a word of contempt implying poverty, disease, and filth.
the quick comedians-] The lively, inventive, quickwitted comedians.
boy my greatness-] The parts of women were acted on the stage by boys,
Enter one of the Gdard. : Guard.
Here is a rural fellow:
Re-enter Guard, with a Clown bringing a Basket.
This is the man.
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
- now the fleeting moon-] Fleeting is inconstant.
the pretty worm of Nilus -] Worm is the Teutonick word for serpent; we have the blind-worm and slow-worm still in our language, and the Norwegians call an enormous monster, seen sometimes in the Northern ocean, the sea-worm.
be saved by half that they do: But this is most fale lible, the worm's an odd worm.
Cleo. Get thee hence; farewell.
Clown. You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.
Cleo. Ayg ay; farewell.
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.
Re-enter Iras, with a Robe, Crown, &c. Cleo. Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me: Now no more The juice of Egypt's grape shall moist this lip :Yare, yare, good Iras; quick. Methinks, I hear 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
will do his kind.] The serpent will act according to his nature. ! Pare, yare,] i.e. make haste, be nimble, be ready.
To excuse their after wrath: Husband, I come:
[Kisses them. Iras falls and dies,
say, The gods themselves do weep! Cleo.
This proves me base; If she first meet the curled Antony, He'll make demand of her;4 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!
· Have I the aspick in my lips?] Are my lips poison'd by the aspick; that my kiss has destroyed thee?
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.
4 He'll make demand of her;] He will enquire of her concerning me, and kiss her for giving him intelligence.
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,
> Char. O eastern star !
O, break! O, break!
[ Applying another Asp to her Arm.
Enter the Guard, rushing in.
1 Guard. Where is the queen ?
Speak softly, wake her not.
Too slow a messenger.
[Applies the Asp. O, come; apace, despatch: I partly feel thee. i Guard. Approach, ho! All's not well: Cæsar's
beguild. 2 Guard. There's Dolabella sent from Cæsar ;
Downy windows, close ;] Charmian, in saying this must be conceived to close Cleopatra's eyes; one of the first ceremonies performed toward a dead body.
and then play.] i. e. 'play her part in this tragick scene by destroying herself: or she may mean, that having performed her last office for her mistress, she will accept the permission given her before, to " play till doomsday."