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النشر الإلكتروني
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Antony mil: I am mise umsef
To praise my trener nim muc's
The luck Case vact he was ve ner
To excuse her ater wah: Esant nu.
Now to that me my ung move my me.
I am fire, and ar y ter zenens

I give to laser ife—re m me.
Come then, mit ake the ass varnih n m ins
Farewel, sind Carmant-Ins, ong traves.

Lases trem. 3o this one dres

Have I the mic n ny ins.” Costal ?
If thou and nature

The stroke of teat se i ovar s ninci,2
Which murts and stert. Zas

If thus then amsiess. tion el'

It is not worn care-aking

ou le stil:

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Char. Dissaire tick cont, a man. that I may sa
The gods themselves to very

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Cleo.

This proves me base:

If she first meet the curled Antony,

He'll make demand of her;3 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 !5

Char.

Cleo.

O eastern star!

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,

3 He'll make demand of her;] He will enquire of her concerning me, and kiss her for giving him intelligence. Johnson.

4

5

Come, mortal wretch,] Old copies, unmetrically:
Come, thou mortal wretch, Steevens.

ass

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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.

6 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;

"And in a pleasing sleep our soul enlargest,

66

Making ourselves not privy to our death.

"Therefore come thou, of wonders wonder chief, "That open canst with such an easy key "The door of life; come gentle, cunning thief, "That from ourselves so steal'st ourselves away." See Warton's Pope, Vol. IV, 219, v. 73. Dryden says on the same occasion:

66

Welcome thou kind deceiver!
"Thou best of thieves; who with an easy key
"Dost open life, and, unperceiv'd by us,
"Even steal us from ourselves: Discharging so
"Death's dreadful office better than himself,
"Touching our limbs so gently into slumber,
"That death stands by, deceiv'd by his own image,
"And thinks himself but sleep." Steevens.

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;8 And golden Phoebus never be beheld

Of eyes again so royal! Your crown 's awry;9
I'll mend it, and then play.1

Enter the Guard, rushing in.
1 Guard. Where is the queen?
Char.

1 Guard. Cæsar hath sent Char.

Speak softly, wake her not,

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Too slow a messenger. [Applies the Asp.

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

7 In this wild world?] Thus the old copy. I suppose 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.

8 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.

9

Your crown's awry;] This is well amended by the editors. The old editions had

Your crown's away. Johnson.

So, in Daniel's Tragedy of Cleopatra, 1594:

"And senseless, in her sinking down, she wryes
"The diadem which on her head she wore;

"Which Charmian (poor weak feeble maid) espyes,
"And hastes to right it as it was before;

"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.

1 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 in p. 398, to “play till dooms-day." Steevens:

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

guil'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.2

Ah, soldier!

Dol. How goes it here?

2 Guard.

Dol.

[Dies.

Enter DOLABella.

All dead,

Cæsar, thy thoughts

Touch their effects in this: Thyself art coming
To see performed 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?

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

Cas.

1 Guard.

Poison'd then.

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.

O noble weakness!

Cas.
If they had swallow'd poison, 'twould appear
By external swelling: but she looks like sleep,

2 Descended of so many royal kings.] Almost 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 crowd the page with every circumstance which Shakspeare has borrowed from the same original. Steeven.

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