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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 boyt my greatness,
I' the posture of a whore.

Iras. 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.

Cleo. Why that's the way

To fool their preparation, and to conquer
Their most absurd intents. Now, Charmian ?—
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 despatch indeed:

And, when thou hast done this chare, I'll give thee leave
To play till doomsday.-Bring our crown and all.
Wherefore's this noise?

[Exit IRAS. A noise within.

Enter one of the GUARD.

Guard. Here is a rural fellow,

That will not be denied your highness' presence;
He brings you figs.

Cleo. Let him come in. How poor an instrument

May do a noble deed! he brings me liberty.
My resolution 's placed, and I have nothing
Of woman in me: Now from head to foot

I am marble-constant: now the fleeting§ moon
No planet is of mine.

[Exit GUARD.

Re-enter GUARD, with a CLOWN bringing a basket.

Guard. This is the man.

Cleo. Avoid, and leave him.

Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there,

That kills and pains not?

[Exit GUARD.

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 + Female characters were played by boys. Inconstant. Serpent.

* Lively.

Job of work.

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half that they do: But this is most fallible, the worm 's an odd

worm.

Cleo. Get thee hence; farewell.

Clown. I wish you all joy of the worm.

Cleo. Farewell.

[CLOWN 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.

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
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.

[Exit.

[Kisses them. IRAS falls and dies.‡

Have I the aspic 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 desired. 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,

*Act according to his nature.

+ Make haste.

+ We must suppose from having applied an asp to her own arm.

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, couldst 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 :

What should I stay

[Applying another asp to her arm.
[Falls on a bed, and dies.

Char. In this vile 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.

1 Guard. Where is the queen ?

Char. Speak softly, wake her not.
1 Guard. Cæsar hath sent-
Char. Too slow a messenger.-

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

[Applies the asp.

1 Guard. Approach, ho! All's not well: Cæsar 's beguiled. 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!

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, 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,

* He will give her that kiss for her intelligence, which, &c.

† Impolitic.

I.e. my own part.

VOL. IV.

[Dies.

She says this, closing Cleopatra's eyes.

K

Took her own way.-The manner of their deaths ?

I do not see them bleed.

Dol. Who was last with them?

1 Guard. A simple countryman, that brought her figs; This was his basket.

Cas. Poison'd then.

1 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.

1 Guard. This is an aspic's trail: and these fig-leaves
Have slime upon them, such as the aspic leaves
Upon the caves of Nile.

Cas. Most probable,

That so she died; for her physician tells me,

She had pursued 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 the funeral;
And then to Rome.-Come, Dolabella, see
High order in this great solemnity.

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[Exeunt

Enfold.

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SCENE I-Athens. A Hall in TIMON's House.

Enter POET, PAINTER, JEWELLER, MERCHANT, and others, at several Doors.

Poet. Good day, Sir.

Pain. I am glad you are well.

Poet. I have not seen you long; How goes the world?
Pain. It wears, Sir, as it grows.

Poet. Ah, that's well known:

But what particular rarity? what strange,

Which manifold record not matches? See,
Magic of bounty! all these spirits thy power

Hath conjured to attend. I know the merchant.
Pain. I know them both; t'other's a jeweller.
Mer. O, 'tis a worthy lord!

Jew. Nay, that's most fixed.

*

Mer. A most incomparable man; breathed, as it were, To an untirable and continuate † goodness:

He passes. +

* Inured by constant practice.

Goes beyond common bounds.

+ Continual.

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