Britain. A room in Cymbeline’s palace.
(Imogen; Pisanio; Helen)
Pisanio describes Posthumus’s departure to Imogen. She is distraught that they were separated by Cymbeline before she could finish saying her farewell properly. (48 lines)
Enter Imogen and Pisanio.
I would thou grew’st unto the shores o’ th’ haven,
And questionedst every sail. If he should write
And I not have it, ’twere a paper lost
As offer’d mercy is. What was the last
That he spake to thee?
It was his queen, his queen!
Then wav’d his handkerchief?
And kiss’d it, madam.
Senseless linen, happier therein than I!
And that was all?
No, madam; for so long
As he could make me with this eye or ear
Distinguish him from others, he did keep
The deck, with glove or hat or handkerchief
Still waving, as the fits and stirs of ’s mind
Could best express how slow his soul sail’d on,
How swift his ship.
Thou shouldst have made him
As little as a crow, or less, ere left
To after-eye him.
Madam, so I did.
I would have broke mine eye-strings, crack’d them, but
To look upon him, till the diminution
Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle;
Nay, followed him till he had melted from
The smallness of a gnat to air, and then
Have turn’d mine eye and wept. But, good Pisanio,
When shall we hear from him?
Be assur’d, madam,
With his next vantage.
I did not take my leave of him, but had
Most pretty things to say. Ere I could tell him
How I would think on him at certain hours
Such thoughts and such; or I could make him swear
The shes of Italy should not betray
Mine interest and his honor; or have charg’d him,
At the sixt hour of morn, at noon, at midnight,
T’ encounter me with orisons, for then
I am in heaven for him; or ere I could
Give him that parting kiss which I had set
Betwixt two charming words, comes in my father,
And like the tyrannous breathing of the north
Shakes all our buds from growing.
The Queen, madam,
Desires your Highness’ company.
Those things I bid you do, get them dispatch’d,
I will attend the Queen.
Madam, I shall.