Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Cymbeline (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
  • ISBN: 1-55058-300-X

    Copyright Jennifer Forsyth. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
    Peer Reviewed

    Cymbeline (Folio 1, 1623)

    Scena Sexta.
    Enter Queene, Ladies, and Cornelius.
    490Qu. Whiles yet the dewe's on ground,
    Gather those Flowers,
    Make haste. Who ha's the note of them?
    Lady. I Madam.
    Queen. Dispatch. Exit Ladies.
    495Now Master Doctor, haue you brought those drugges?
    Cor. Pleaseth your Highnes, I: here they are, Madam:
    But I beseech your Grace, without offence
    (My Conscience bids me aske) wherefore you haue
    Commanded of me these most poysonous Compounds,
    500Which are the moouers of a languishing death:
    But though slow, deadly.
    Qu. I wonder, Doctor,
    Thou ask'st me such a Question: Haue I not bene
    Thy Pupill long? Hast thou not learn'd me how
    505To make Perfumes? Distill? Preserue? Yea so,
    That our great King himselfe doth woo me oft
    For my Confections? Hauing thus farre proceeded,
    (Vnlesse thou think'st me diuellish) is't not meete
    That I did amplifie my iudgement in
    510Other Conclusions? I will try the forces
    Of these thy Compounds, on such Creatures as
    We count not worth the hanging (but none humane)
    To try the vigour of them, and apply
    Allayments to their Act, and by them gather
    515Their seuerall vertues, and effects.
    Cor. Your Highnesse
    Shall from this practise, but make hard your heart:
    Besides, the seeing these effects will be
    Both noysome, and infectious.
    520Qu. O content thee.
    Enter Pisanio.
    Heere comes a flattering Rascall, vpon him
    Will I first worke: Hee's for his Master,
    And enemy to my Sonne. How now Pisanio?
    525Doctor, your seruice for this time is ended,
    Take your owne way.
    Cor. I do suspect you, Madam,
    But you shall do no harme.
    Qu. Hearke thee, a word.
    530Cor. I do not like her. She doth thinke she ha's
    Strange ling'ring poysons: I do know her spirit,
    And will not trust one of her malice, with
    A drugge of such damn'd Nature. Those she ha's,
    Will stupifie and dull the Sense a-while,
    535Which first (perchance) shee'l proue on Cats and Dogs,
    Then afterward vp higher: but there is
    No danger in what shew of death it makes,
    More then the locking vp the Spirits a time,
    To be more fresh, reuiuing. She is fool'd
    540With a most false effect: and I, the truer,
    So to be false with her.
    Qu. No further seruice, Doctor,
    Vntill I send for thee.
    Cor. I humbly take my leaue. Exit.
    545Qu. Weepes she still (saist thou?)
    Dost thou thinke in time
    She will not quench, and let instructions enter
    Where Folly now possesses? Do thou worke:
    When thou shalt bring me word she loues my Sonne,
    550Ile tell thee on the instant, thou art then
    As great as is thy Master: Greater, for
    His Fortunes all lye speechlesse, and his name
    Is at last gaspe. Returne he cannot, nor
    Continue where he is: To shift his being,
    555Is to exchange one misery with another,
    And euery day that comes, comes to decay
    A dayes worke in him. What shalt thou expect
    To be depender on a thing that leanes?
    Who cannot be new built, nor ha's no Friends
    560So much, as but to prop him? Thou tak'st vp
    Thou know'st not what: But take it for thy labour,
    It is a thing I made, which hath the King
    Fiue times redeem'd from death. I do not know
    What is more Cordiall. Nay, I prythee take it,
    565It is an earnest of a farther good
    That I meane to thee. Tell thy Mistris how
    The case stands with her: doo't, as from thy selfe;
    Thinke what a chance thou changest on, but thinke
    Thou hast thy Mistris still, to boote, my Sonne,
    570Who shall take notice of thee. Ile moue the King
    To any shape of thy Preferment, such
    As thou'lt desire: and then my selfe, I cheefely,
    That set thee on to this desert, am bound
    To loade thy merit richly. Call my women. Exit Pisa.
    575Thinke on my words. A slye, and constant knaue,
    Not to be shak'd: the Agent for his Master,
    And the Remembrancer of her, to hold
    The hand-fast to her Lord. I haue giuen him that,
    Which if he take, shall quite vnpeople her
    580Of Leidgers for her Sweete: 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:
    585The Violets, Cowslippes, and the Prime-Roses
    Beare to my Closset: Fare thee well, Pisanio.
    Thinke on my words. Exit Qu. and Ladies
    Pisa. And shall do:
    But when to my good Lord, I proue vntrue,
    590Ile choake my selfe: there's all Ile do for you. Exit.
    374The Tragedy of Cymbeline.