Act I, Scene 5
Britain. A room in Cymbeline’s palace.
- Enter Queen, Ladies, and Cornelius.
Queen1 - 2
- Whiles yet the dew’s on ground, gather those flowers;
- Make haste. Who has the note of them?
- I, madam.
Queen4 - 5
- Exeunt Ladies.
- Now, master doctor, have you brought those drugs?
Cornelius6 - 11
- Pleaseth your Highness, ay. Here they are, madam.
- Presenting a small box.
- But I beseech your Grace, without offense
- (My conscience bids me ask), wherefore you have
- Commanded of me these most poisonous compounds,
- Which are the movers of a languishing death,
- But though slow, deadly.
Queen12 - 25
- 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? Distill? 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 vigor of them, and apply
- Allayments to their act, and by them gather
- Their several virtues and effects.
Cornelius26 - 29
- Your Highness
- Shall from this practice but make hard your heart;
- Besides, the seeing these effects will be
- Both noisome and infectious.
Queen30 - 35
- O, content thee.
- Enter Pisanio.
- Here comes a flattering rascal, upon him
- Will I first work. He’s for his master,
- And enemy to my son.—How now, Pisanio?
- Doctor, your service for this time is ended,
- Take your own way.
Cornelius36 - 37
- I do suspect you, madam,
- But you shall do no harm.
- To Pisanio.
- Hark thee, a word.
Cornelius39 - 50
- I do not like her. She doth think she has
- Strange ling’ring 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.
Queen51 - 52
- No further service, doctor,
- Until I send for thee.
- I humbly take my leave.
Queen54 - 96
- 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 tak’st up
- Thou know’st not what; but take it for thy labor.
- 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 prithee take it,
- It is an earnest of a farther 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 shak’d; 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 humor, shall be assur’d
- To taste of too.
- Enter Pisanio and Ladies.
- So, so. Well done, well done.
- The violets, cowslips, and the primeroses,
- Bear to my closet. Fare thee well, Pisanio;
- Think on my words.
- Exeunt Queen and Ladies.
Pisanio97 - 99
- And shall do.
- But when to my good lord I prove untrue,
- I’ll choke myself. There’s all I’ll do for you.