Cymbeline

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POSTHUMUS. This is but a custom in your tongue; you bear a graver purpose, I hope.

IACHIMO. I am the master of my speeches, and would undergo what's spoken, I swear.

POSTHUMUS. Will you? I shall but lend my diamond till your return. Let there be covenants drawn between's. My mistress exceeds in goodness the hugeness of your unworthy thinking. I dare you to this match: here's my ring.

PHILARIO. I will have it no lay.

IACHIMO. By the gods, it is one. If I bring you no sufficient testimony that I have enjoy'd the dearest bodily part of your mistress, my ten thousand ducats are yours; so is your diamond too. If I come off, and leave her in such honour as you have trust in, she your jewel, this your jewel, and my gold are yours; provided I have your commendation for my more free entertainment.

POSTHUMUS. I embrace these conditions; let us have articles betwixt us. Only, thus far you shall answer: if you make your voyage upon her and give me directly to understand you have prevail'd, I am no further your enemy; she is not worth our debate. If she remain unseduc'd, you not making it appear otherwise, for your ill opinion and the assault you have made to her chastity you shall answer me with your sword.

IACHIMO. Your hand; a covenant. We will have these things set down by lawful counsel, and straight away for Britain, lest the bargain should catch cold and starve. I will fetch my gold and have our two wagers recorded.

POSTHUMUS. Agreed.

[Exeunt POSTHUMUS and IACHIMO.]

FRENCHMAN. Will this hold, think you?

PHILARIO. Signior Iachimo will not from it. Pray, let us follow 'em.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE V.

Britain. A room in CYMBELINE'S palace.

[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 these 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 judgement 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 practice but make hard your heart. Besides, the seeing these effects will be Both noisome and infectious.

QUEEN. O, content thee.

[Enter PISANIO.]

[Aside.]

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 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 a while, 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.

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