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Cymbeline: Act 1 Scene 5
Scene V Britain. A room in Cymbeline's palace.
- [Enter QUEEN, Ladies, and CORNELIUS]
- Whiles yet the dew's on ground, gather those flowers;
- Make haste: who has the note of them?
- FIRST LADY
- I, madam.
- [Exeunt Ladies]
- Now, master doctor, have you brought those drugs?
- Pleaseth your highness, ay: here they are, madam:
- [Presenting a small box]
- But I beseech your grace, without offence,--
- My conscience bids me ask--wherefore you have
- Commanded of me those most poisonous compounds,
- Which are the movers of a languishing death;
- But though slow, deadly?
- I wonder, doctor,
- Thou ask'st me such a question. Have I not been
- Thy pupil long? Hast thou not learn'd me how
- To make perfumes? distil? preserve? yea, so
- That our great king himself doth woo me oft
- For my confections? Having thus far proceeded,--
- Unless thou think'st me devilish--is't not meet
- That I did amplify my judgment in
- Other conclusions? I will try the forces
- Of these thy compounds on such creatures as
- We count not worth the hanging, but none human,
- To try the vigour of them and apply
- Allayments to their act, and by them gather
- Their several virtues and effects.
- Your highness
- Shall from this practise but make hard your heart:
- Besides, the seeing these effects will be
- Both noisome and infectious.
- O, content thee.
- [Enter PISANIO]
- Here comes a flattering rascal; upon him
- Will I first work: he's for his master,
- An enemy to my son. How now, Pisanio!
- Doctor, your service for this time is ended;
- Take your own way.
- [Aside] I do suspect you, madam;
- But you shall do no harm.
- [To PISANIO] Hark thee, a word.
- [Aside] I do not like her. She doth think she has
- Strange lingering poisons: I do know her spirit,
- And will not trust one of her malice with
- A drug of such damn'd nature. Those she has
- Will stupefy and dull the sense awhile;
- Which first, perchance, she'll prove on
- cats and dogs,
- Then afterward up higher: but there is
- No danger in what show of death it makes,
- More than the locking-up the spirits a time,
- To be more fresh, reviving. She is fool'd
- With a most false effect; and I the truer,
- So to be false with her.
- No further service, doctor,
- Until I send for thee.
- I humbly take my leave.
- Weeps she still, say'st thou? Dost thou think in time
- She will not quench and let instructions enter
- Where folly now possesses? Do thou work:
- When thou shalt bring me word she loves my son,
- I'll tell thee on the instant thou art then
- As great as is thy master, greater, for
- His fortunes all lie speechless and his name
- Is at last gasp: return he cannot, nor
- Continue where he is: to shift his being
- Is to exchange one misery with another,
- And every day that comes comes to decay
- A day's work in him. What shalt thou expect,
- To be depender on a thing that leans,
- Who cannot be new built, nor has no friends,
- So much as but to prop him?
- [The QUEEN drops the box: PISANIO takes it up]
- Thou takest up
- Thou know'st not what; but take it for thy labour:
- It is a thing I made, which hath the king
- Five times redeem'd from death: I do not know
- What is more cordial. Nay, I prethee, take it;
- It is an earnest of a further good
- That I mean to thee. Tell thy mistress how
- The case stands with her; do't as from thyself.
- Think what a chance thou changest on, but think
- Thou hast thy mistress still, to boot, my son,
- Who shall take notice of thee: I'll move the king
- To any shape of thy preferment such
- As thou'lt desire; and then myself, I chiefly,
- That set thee on to this desert, am bound
- To load thy merit richly. Call my women:
- Think on my words.
- [Exit PISANIO]
- A sly and constant knave,
- Not to be shaked; the agent for his master
- And the remembrancer of her to hold
- The hand-fast to her lord. I have given him that
- Which, if he take, shall quite unpeople her
- Of liegers for her sweet, and which she after,
- Except she bend her humour, shall be assured
- To taste of too.
- [Re-enter PISANIO and Ladies]
- So, so: well done, well done:
- The violets, cowslips, and the primroses,
- Bear to my closet. Fare thee well, Pisanio;
- Think on my words.
- [Exeunt QUEEN and Ladies]
- And shall do:
- But when to my good lord I prove untrue,
- I'll choke myself: there's all I'll do for you.