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No planet is of mine.2
: Re-enter Guard, with a Clown bringing a Basket.
This is the man.
CLEO. Avoid, and leave him.
now the fleeting moon
No planet is of mine.] Alluding to the Ægyptian devotion paid to the moon under the name of Isis. WARBurton.
I really believe that our poet was not at all acquainted with the devotion that the Egyptians paid to this planet under the name of Isis; but that Cleopatra having said, I have nothing of woman in me, added, by way of amplification, that she had not even the changes of disposition peculiar to her sex, and which sometimes happen as frequently as those of the moon; or that she was not, like the sea, governed by the moon. So, in King Richard III: "I being governed by the watry moon," &c. Why should she say on this occasion that she no longer made use of the forms of worship peculiar to her country?
Fleeting is inconstant. So, in William Walter's Guistard and Sismond, 12mo. 1597:
"More variant than is the flitting lune."
Again, in Greene's Metamorphosis, 1617: "to show the world she was not fleeting." See Vol. XIV. p. 325, n. 2.
Our author will himself furnish us with a commodious interpretation of this passage. I am now "whole as the marble, founded as the rock," and no longer changeable and fluctuating between different purposes, like the fleeting and inconstant moon, "That monthly changes in her circled orb." MALONE.
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.
So, in The Dumb Knight, 1633:
"Those coals the Roman Portia did devour,
"Are not burnt out, nor have th’Ægyptian worms
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; farewell.
CLOWN. I wish you all joy of the worm.
Again, in The Tragedy of Hoffman, 1631:
"Of venomous worms." ""
See Vol. XIII. p. 295, n. 3. STEEVENS.
In the Northern counties, the word worm is still given to the serpent species in general. I have seen a Northumberland ballad, entituled, The laidly Worm of Spindleston Heughes, i. e. The loathsome or foul serpent of Spindleston Craggs; certain rocks so called, near Bamburgh Castle.
Shakspeare uses worm again in the same sense. See The Second Part of King Henry VI:
"The mortal worm might make the sleep eternal.”
PERCY. Again, in the old version of The New Testament, Acts xxviii. "Now when the barbarians sawe the worme hang on his hand," &c. TOLLET.
But he that will believe all that they say, shall never be saved by half that they do:] Shakspeare's clowns are always jokers, and deal in sly satire. It is plain this must be read the contrary way, and all and half change places. WARBURTON.
Probably Shakspeare designed that confusion which the critick would disentangle. STEEVENS.
CLOWN. You must think this, look worm will do his kind.5
[Clown sets down the Basket.
you, that the
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.
- will do his kind.] The serpent will act according to his JOHNSON.
So, in Heywood's If you know not Me you know Nobody, 1633:
"Good girls, they do their kind."
Again, in the ancient black letter romance of Syr Tryamoure, no date:
"He dyd full gentylly his kinde."
Again, in Philemon Holland's translation of the 8th Book of Pliny's Nat. Hist. ch. 42: "-Queene Semiramis loved a great horse that she had so farre forth, that she was content hee should doe his kind with her." STEEVENS.
Again, in The Tragicall Hystory of Romeus and Juliet, "For tickle Fortune doth, in changing, but her kind."
CLOWN. Yes, forsooth; I wish you joy of the [Exit.
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
• Immortal longings in me:] This expression appears to have been transplanted into Addison's Cato:
"This longing after immortality." STEEVENS.
Now no more
The juice of Egypt's grape shall moist this lip:] This verb occurs also in Chapman's version of the 22d Iliad:
66 the wine he finds in it,
"Scarce moists his palate." STeevens.
Yare, yare,] i. e. make haste, be nimble, be ready. So,
in the old bl. 1. romance of Syr Eglamoure of Artoys: Ryght soone he made him yare."
See Vol. IV. p. 5, n. 2. STEEVens.
A preceding passage precisely ascertains the meaning of the word:
to proclaim it civilly, were like
"A halter'd neck, which does the hangman thank
• I am fire, and air; my other elements
I give to baser life.] So, in King Henry V: "He is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him." "Do not our lives (says Sir Andrew Aguecheek,) consist of the four elements?" MALONE.
Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips.
CHAR. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain; that I may say,
The gods themselves do weep!
proves me base:
[To the Asp, which she applies to her Breast. With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool,
Homer, Iliad VII. 99, speaks as contemptuously of the grosser elements we spring from:
“ ̓Αλλ ̓ ὑμεῖς μὲν πάντες υδωρ καὶ γαῖα γενεσθε.”
1 Have I the aspick in my lips?] Are my lips poison'd by the aspick, that my kiss has destroyed thee? MALONE.
* — Dost fall?] Iras must be supposed to have applied an asp to her arm while her mistress was settling her dress, or I know not why she should fall so soon. STEEVENS.
a lover's pinch,] So before, p. 53:
"That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black.”
STEEVENS. "He'll make demand of her;] He will enquire of her concerning me, and kiss her for giving him intelligence. JOHNSON.
Come, mortal wretch,] Old copies, unmetrically: