Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > Cymbeline > Act I, scene V

	[Enter QUEEN, Ladies, and CORNELIUS]

QUEEN: Whiles yet the dew's on ground, gather those flowers;
	Make haste: who has the note of them?

First Lady: I, madam.

QUEEN: Dispatch.

	[Exeunt Ladies]

	Now, master doctor, have you brought those drugs?

CORNELIUS: 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?

QUEEN: 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.

CORNELIUS: Your highness
	Shall from this practise but make hard your heart:
	Besides, the seeing these effects will be
	Both noisome and infectious.

QUEEN: 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.

CORNELIUS: [Aside]          I do suspect you, madam;
	But you shall do no harm.

QUEEN: [To PISANIO]            Hark thee, a word.

CORNELIUS: [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.

QUEEN: No further service, doctor,
	Until I send for thee.

CORNELIUS: I humbly take my leave.


QUEEN: 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.


		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]

PISANIO: And shall do:
	But when to my good lord I prove untrue,
	I'll choke myself: there's all I'll do for you.



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