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As we greet modern friends withal; and say,
[To Seleucus. Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits Through the ashes of my chance:-Wert thou a
man, Thou would'st have mercy on me. Cæs.
Exit SELEUCUS. Cleo. Be it known, that we, the greatest, are
modern friends ] Modern means here, as it generally does in these plays, common or ordinary.
! With one] With, in the present instance, has the power of by.
· Through the ashes of my chance :) Or fortune. The meaning is, Begone, or I shall exert that royal spirit which I had in my prosperity, in spite of the imbecility of my present weak condition.
»We answer others' merits-] 'As demerits was often used, in Shakspeare's time, as synonymous to merit, so merit might have been used in the sense which we now affix to demerit ; or the meaning may be only, we are called to account, and to answer in our own names for acts, with which others, rather than we, deserve to be charged.
Our care and pity is so much upon you,
Cleo. My master, and my lord !
Not so: Adieu. [Exeunt Cæsar, and his Train. Cleo. He words me, girls, he words me, that I
should not Be noble to myself: but hark thee, Charmian.
Hie thee again :
Madam, I will.
Behold, sir. [Exit CHARMIAN. Cleo.
your servant. Adieu, good queen ; I must attend on Cæsar. Cleo. Farewell, and thanks. [Exit Dou.] Now,
Iras, what think'st thou?
Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
The gods forbid!
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?
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. Enter one of the Guard. Guard.
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.
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
[Exit Guard. May do a noble deed! he brings me liberty. My resolution's plac’d, 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.
Re-enter Guard, with a Clown bringing a Basket. Guard.
This is the man. Cleo. Avoid, and leave him. [Exit Guard. 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
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 fallible, 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. 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.
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.
Yare, yare,] i.e. make haste, be nimble, be ready.