Study Guide

The Laboratory Stanza 6

By Robert Browning

Stanza 6

Line 21-22

Soon, at the King's, a mere lozenge to give
And Pauline should have just thirty minutes to live! 

  • Our speaker keeps spinning out her weird little serial killer fantasy as she imagines being back in court with all her poisons. 
  • With one little pill ("lozenge") she could kill Pauline in 30 minutes. We're not sure who Pauline is, or why she deserves to die, but we feel sort of bad for anyone who has to hang out with our speaker.

Line 23-24

But to light a pastile, and Elise, with her head
And her breast and her arms and her hands, should drop dead! 

  • The fun continues! With Pauline out of the way, the speaker goes on to imagine killing a woman named Elise. 
  • This one she deals with by lighting a thing called a "pastile," a kind of herbal medicine that you would burn like incense. 
  • Our speaker goes on to list the individual parts of Elise's body that would be destroyed by this poison pastile. How sweet. It sounds to us like she's pretty intensely jealous of her.