Antony and Cleopatra By William Shakespeare Act V: Scene 2

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
falliable, the worm's an odd worm.

Get thee hence; farewell.

I wish you all joy of the worm.

[Sets down the basket.]


You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.

Ay, ay; farewell.

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.

Take thou no care; it shall be heeded.

Very good. Give it nothing, I pray you, for it is not worth the

Will it eat me?

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.

Well, get thee gone; farewell.

Yes, forsooth. I wish you joy o' the worm.


[Re-enter IRAS, with a robe, crown, &c.]

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 Caesar, 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.

[Kisses them. IRAS falls and dies.]

Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall?
If thus thou and nature can so gently part,
The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch,
Which hurts and is desir'd. Dost thou lie still?
If thou vanishest, thou tell'st the world
It is not worth leave-taking.

Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain; that I may say
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, thou mortal wretch,

[To an 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 Caesar ass

O eastern star!

Peace, peace!
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast
That sucks the nurse asleep?

O, break! O, break!

As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle: —
O Antony! Nay, I will take thee too: —

[Applying another asp to her arm.]

What should I stay, —

[Falls on a bed and dies.]

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.]

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