A line-by-line translation

Cymbeline

Cymbeline Translation Act 1, Scene 3

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Enter IMOGEN and PISANIO

IMOGEN

I would thou grew'st unto the shores o' the haven, And question'dst every sail: if he should write And not have it, 'twere a paper lost, As offer'd mercy is. What was the last That he spake to thee?

IMOGEN

I wish you had stayed longer on shore and asked every sail of every boat for information about Posthumus. If he wrote to me and I didn't get the letter it would be as bad to lose that paper as to miss an offer of mercy from someone who defeated you. What was the last thing he said to you?

PISANIO

It was his queen, his queen!

PISANIO

It was "my queen, my queen!"

IMOGEN

Then waved his handkerchief?

IMOGEN

Then he waved his handkerchief?

PISANIO

And kiss'd it, madam.

PISANIO

And kissed it, ma'am.

IMOGEN

Senseless Linen! happier therein than I!And that was all?

IMOGEN

That unfeeling piece of cloth was luckier than I am! And that was all?

PISANIO

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.

PISANIO

No, ma'am. For as long as I could tell him apart from the others by sight or sound, he stayed on deck waving his glove, hat, or handkerchief. He kept waving, as though expressing his restless mind through this action could show how slowly his soul sailed on, and how quickly his ship did.

IMOGEN

Thou shouldst have made himAs little as a crow, or less, ere leftTo after-eye him.

IMOGEN

You should have kept watching him until he seemed as small as a crow, or smaller.

PISANIO

Madam, so I did.

PISANIO

I did, ma'am.

IMOGEN

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, follow'd 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?

IMOGEN

I would have broken my eyes, let them crack, just to keep looking at him until he was so far away that he was as small as the point of one of my needles. No, I would have looked at him until he had melted from the size of a mosquito into air, and then I would have looked away and cried. Good Pisanio, when will we hear from him?

PISANIO

Be assured, madam,With his next vantage.

PISANIO

Definitely as soon as he lands somewhere, ma'am.

IMOGEN

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 honour, or have charged him, At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight, To 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.

IMOGEN

I didn't say goodbye to him, even though I had planned to say the prettiest things. My father came in before I could tell Posthumus I would think specific thoughts about him at specific times. And before I could make him promise not to cheat on me with Italian women, which would be bad for me and for his honor. And before I could tell him to pray for me at six in the morning, at noon, and at midnight, which would be like being in heaven with him. And before I could give him that goodbye kiss which I had planned to give him between two charming words. My father interrupted us like the cruel north wind that kills flowers before they can grow.

Enter a Lady

LADY

The queen, madam,Desires your highness' company.

LADY

The queen would like to see you, your highness.

IMOGEN

Those things I bid you do, get them dispatch'd.I will attend the queen.

IMOGEN

[To PISANIO] Do the things I told you to do.

[To the LADY] I will go see the queen.

PISANIO

Madam, I shall.

PISANIO

I will, ma'am.

Exeunt

Cymbeline
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