Cymbeline - Act 3, scene 2
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Act 3, scene 2
Pisanio receives two letters from Posthumus—one in which Pisanio is instructed to kill Imogen, and another written to Imogen, telling her to leave the court and travel with Pisanio to Milford Haven, where Posthumus claims to be waiting for her. Imogen makes excited plans for the journey.Enter Pisanio reading of a letter.
1460 How? Of adultery? Wherefore write you not
1461 What monsters her accuse? Leonatus,
1462 O master, what a strange infection
1463 Is fall’n into thy ear! What false Italian,
1464 5 As poisonous-tongued as handed, hath prevailed
1465 On thy too ready hearing? Disloyal? No.
1466 She’s punished for her truth and undergoes,
1467 More goddesslike than wifelike, such assaults
1468 As would take in some virtue. O my master,
1469 10 Thy mind to her is now as low as were
1470 Thy fortunes. How? That I should murder her,
1471 Upon the love and truth and vows which I
1472 Have made to thy command? I her? Her blood?
1473 If it be so to do good service, never
1474 15 Let me be counted serviceable. How look I
1475 That I should seem to lack humanity
1476 So much as this fact comes to? (⌜He reads:⌝) Do ’t!
1477 The letter
1478 That I have sent her, by her own command
1479 20 Shall give thee opportunity. O damned paper,
1480 Black as the ink that’s on thee! Senseless bauble,
1481 Art thou a fedary for this act, and look’st
1482 So virginlike without? Lo, here she comes.
1483 I am ignorant in what I am commanded.
IMOGEN 1484 25How now, Pisanio?
1485 Madam, here is a letter from my lord.
⌜He gives her a paper.⌝
1486 Who, thy lord that is my lord, Leonatus?
1488 That knew the stars as I his characters!
1489 30 He’d lay the future open. You good gods,
1490 Let what is here contained relish of love,
1491 Of my lord’s health, of his content (yet not
1492 That we two are asunder; let that grieve him.
1493 Some griefs are med’cinable; that is one of them,
1494 35 For it doth physic love) of his content
1495 All but in that. Good wax, thy leave.
⌜She opens the letter.⌝
1496 Blest be
1497 You bees that make these locks of counsel. Lovers
1498 And men in dangerous bonds pray not alike;
1499 40 Though forfeiters you cast in prison, yet
1500 You clasp young Cupid’s tables. Good news, gods!
1501 ⌜Reads.⌝ Justice and your father’s wrath, should he
1502 take me in his dominion, could not be so cruel to me
1503 as you, O the dearest of creatures, would even renew
1504 45 me with your eyes. Take notice that I am in Cambria
1505 at Milford Haven. What your own love will out of
1506 this advise you, follow. So he wishes you all happiness,
1507 that remains loyal to his vow, and your increasing
1508 in love.
1509 50 Leonatus Posthumus.
1510 O, for a horse with wings! Hear’st thou, Pisanio?
1511 He is at Milford Haven. Read, and tell me
1512 How far ’tis thither. If one of mean affairs
1513 May plod it in a week, why may not I
1514 55 Glide thither in a day? Then, true Pisanio,
1515 Who long’st like me to see thy lord, who long’st—
1516 O, let me bate—but not like me, yet long’st
1517 But in a fainter kind—O, not like me,
1518 For mine’s beyond beyond—say, and speak thick—
1519 60 Love’s counselor should fill the bores of hearing
1520 To th’ smothering of the sense—how far it is
1521 To this same blessèd Milford. And by th’ way
1523 T’ inherit such a haven. But first of all,
1524 65 How we may steal from hence, and for the gap
1525 That we shall make in time from our hence-going
1526 And our return, to excuse. But first, how get hence?
1527 Why should excuse be born or ere begot?
1528 We’ll talk of that hereafter. Prithee speak,
1529 70 How many ⌜score⌝ of miles may we well rid
1530 ’Twixt hour and hour?
PISANIO 1531 One score ’twixt sun and sun,
1532 Madam, ’s enough for you, and too much too.
1533 Why, one that rode to ’s execution, man,
1534 75 Could never go so slow. I have heard of riding wagers
1535 Where horses have been nimbler than the sands
1536 That run i’ th’ clock’s behalf. But this is fool’ry.
1537 Go, bid my woman feign a sickness, say
1538 She’ll home to her father; and provide me presently
1539 80 A riding suit no costlier than would fit
1540 A franklin’s huswife.
PISANIO 1541 Madam, you’re best consider.
1542 I see before me, man. Nor here, ⌜nor⌝ here,
1543 Nor what ensues, but have a fog in them
1544 85 That I cannot look through. Away, I prithee.
1545 Do as I bid thee. There’s no more to say.
1546 Accessible is none but Milford way.