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Cleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras: Saucy lictors Will catch at us, like strumpets; and scald rhymers Ballad us out o' tune; the quick comedians Extemporally will stage us, and present Our Alexandrian revels; Antony
Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness
I' the posture of a whore.
O the good gods!
Cleo. Nay, that is certain.
Iras. I'll never see it; for, I am sure, my nails Are stronger than mine eyes.
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.
[Exit Iras. A noise within.
Enter one of the 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-
I am marble-constant: now the fleeting moon
Re-enter Guard, with a Clown bringing a basket.
This is the man.
Cleo. Avoid, and leave him.
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 sets down the basket.
Clown. You must think this, look you, that the
worm will do his kind.
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
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.
[Kisses them. Iras falls, and dies.
Have I the aspick in my lips? Dost fall?
If thou and nature can so gently part,
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
The gods themselves do weep!
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!
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?
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. [Falls on a bed, and dies.
What should I stay
Char. In this wild world?-So, fare thee well.
Now boast thee, death! in thy possession lies
Of eyes again so royal! Your crown's awry;
Enter the Guard, rushing in.
1 Guard. Where is the queen? Char.
Speak softly, wake her not.
1 Guard. Cæsar hath sent-
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.
Touch their effects in this: Thyself art coming
A way there, way for Cæsar.