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Home > Cymbeline > ACT I - SCENE IV. Rome. Philario's house.

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ACT I - SCENE IV. Rome. Philario's house.
IACHIMO
1    Believe it, sir, I have seen him in Britain: he was
2    then of a crescent note, expected to prove so worthy
3    as since he hath been allowed the name of; but I
4    could then have looked on him without the help of
5    admiration, though the catalogue of his endowments
6    had been tabled by his side and I to peruse him by items.
PHILARIO
7    You speak of him when he was less furnished than now
8    he is with that which makes him both without and within.
Frenchman
9    I have seen him in France: we had very many there
10   could behold the sun with as firm eyes as he.
IACHIMO
11   This matter of marrying his king's daughter, wherein
12   he must be weighed rather by her value than his own,
13   words him, I doubt not, a great deal from the matter.
Frenchman
14   And then his banishment.
IACHIMO
15   Ay, and the approbation of those that weep this
16   lamentable divorce under her colours are wonderfully
17   to extend him; be it but to fortify her judgment,
18   which else an easy battery might lay flat, for
19   taking a beggar without less quality. But how comes
20   it he is to sojourn with you? How creeps
21   acquaintance?
PHILARIO
22   His father and I were soldiers together; to whom I
23   have been often bound for no less than my life.
24   Here comes the Briton: let him be so entertained
25   amongst you as suits, with gentlemen of your
26   knowing, to a stranger of his quality.
Enter POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
27   I beseech you all, be better known to this
28   gentleman; whom I commend to you as a noble friend
29   of mine: how worthy he is I will leave to appear
30   hereafter, rather than story him in his own hearing.
Frenchman
31   Sir, we have known together in Orleans.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
32   Since when I have been debtor to you for courtesies,
33   which I will be ever to pay and yet pay still.
Frenchman
34   Sir, you o'er-rate my poor kindness: I was glad I
35   did atone my countryman and you; it had been pity
36   you should have been put together with so mortal a
37   purpose as then each bore, upon importance of so
38   slight and trivial a nature.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
39   By your pardon, sir, I was then a young traveller;
40   rather shunned to go even with what I heard than in
41   my every action to be guided by others' experiences:
42   but upon my mended judgment--if I offend not to say
43   it is mended--my quarrel was not altogether slight.
Frenchman
44   'Faith, yes, to be put to the arbitrement of swords,
45   and by such two that would by all likelihood have
46   confounded one the other, or have fallen both.
IACHIMO
47   Can we, with manners, ask what was the difference?
Frenchman
48   Safely, I think: 'twas a contention in public,
49   which may, without contradiction, suffer the report.
50   It was much like an argument that fell out last
51   night, where each of us fell in praise of our
52   country mistresses; this gentleman at that time
53   vouching--and upon warrant of bloody
54   affirmation--his to be more fair, virtuous, wise,
55   chaste, constant-qualified and less attemptable
56   than any the rarest of our ladies in France.
IACHIMO
57   That lady is not now living, or this gentleman's
58   opinion by this worn out.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
59   She holds her virtue still and I my mind.
IACHIMO
60   You must not so far prefer her 'fore ours of Italy.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
61   Being so far provoked as I was in France, I would
62   abate her nothing, though I profess myself her
63   adorer, not her friend.
IACHIMO
64   As fair and as good--a kind of hand-in-hand
65   comparison--had been something too fair and too good
66   for any lady in Britain. If she went before others
67   I have seen, as that diamond of yours outlustres
68   many I have beheld. I could not but believe she
69   excelled many: but I have not seen the most
70   precious diamond that is, nor you the lady.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
71   I praised her as I rated her: so do I my stone.
IACHIMO
72   What do you esteem it at?
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
73   More than the world enjoys.
IACHIMO
74   Either your unparagoned mistress is dead, or she's
75   outprized by a trifle.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
76   You are mistaken: the one may be sold, or given, if
77   there were wealth enough for the purchase, or merit
78   for the gift: the other is not a thing for sale,
79   and only the gift of the gods.
IACHIMO
80   Which the gods have given you?
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
81   Which, by their graces, I will keep.
IACHIMO
82   You may wear her in title yours: but, you know,
83   strange fowl light upon neighbouring ponds. Your
84   ring may be stolen too: so your brace of unprizable
85   estimations; the one is but frail and the other
86   casual; a cunning thief, or a that way accomplished
87   courtier, would hazard the winning both of first and last.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
88   Your Italy contains none so accomplished a courtier
89   to convince the honour of my mistress, if, in the
90   holding or loss of that, you term her frail. I do
91   nothing doubt you have store of thieves;
92   notwithstanding, I fear not my ring.
PHILARIO
93   Let us leave here, gentlemen.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
94   Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I
95   thank him, makes no stranger of me; we are familiar at first.
IACHIMO
96   With five times so much conversation, I should get
97   ground of your fair mistress, make her go back, even
98   to the yielding, had I admittance and opportunity to friend.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
99   No, no.
IACHIMO
100  I dare thereupon pawn the moiety of my estate to
101  your ring; which, in my opinion, o'ervalues it
102  something: but I make my wager rather against your
103  confidence than her reputation: and, to bar your
104  offence herein too, I durst attempt it against any
105  lady in the world.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
106  You are a great deal abused in too bold a
107  persuasion; and I doubt not you sustain what you're
108  worthy of by your attempt.
IACHIMO
109  What's that?
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
110  A repulse: though your attempt, as you call it,
111  deserve more; a punishment too.
PHILARIO
112  Gentlemen, enough of this: it came in too suddenly;
113  let it die as it was born, and, I pray you, be
114  better acquainted.
IACHIMO
115  Would I had put my estate and my neighbour's on the
116  approbation of what I have spoke!
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
117  What lady would you choose to assail?
IACHIMO
118  Yours; whom in constancy you think stands so safe.
119  I will lay you ten thousand ducats to your ring,
120  that, commend me to the court where your lady is,
121  with no more advantage than the opportunity of a
122  second conference, and I will bring from thence
123  that honour of hers which you imagine so reserved.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
124  I will wage against your gold, gold to it: my ring
125  I hold dear as my finger; 'tis part of it.
IACHIMO
126  You are afraid, and therein the wiser. If you buy
127  ladies' flesh at a million a dram, you cannot
128  preserve it from tainting: but I see you have some
129  religion in you, that you fear.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
130  This is but a custom in your tongue; you bear a
131  graver purpose, I hope.
IACHIMO
132  I am the master of my speeches, and would undergo
133  what's spoken, I swear.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
134  Will you? I shall but lend my diamond till your
135  return: let there be covenants drawn between's: my
136  mistress exceeds in goodness the hugeness of your
137  unworthy thinking: I dare you to this match: here's my ring.
PHILARIO
138  I will have it no lay.
IACHIMO
139  By the gods, it is one. If I bring you no
140  sufficient testimony that I have enjoyed the dearest
141  bodily part of your mistress, my ten thousand ducats
142  are yours; so is your diamond too: if I come off,
143  and leave her in such honour as you have trust in,
144  she your jewel, this your jewel, and my gold are
145  yours: provided I have your commendation for my more
146  free entertainment.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
147  I embrace these conditions; let us have articles
148  betwixt us. Only, thus far you shall answer: if
149  you make your voyage upon her and give me directly
150  to understand you have prevailed, I am no further
151  your enemy; she is not worth our debate: if she
152  remain unseduced, you not making it appear
153  otherwise, for your ill opinion and the assault you
154  have made to her chastity you shall answer me with
155  your sword.
IACHIMO
156  Your hand; a covenant: we will have these things set
157  down by lawful counsel, and straight away for
158  Britain, lest the bargain should catch cold and
159  starve: I will fetch my gold and have our two
160  wagers recorded.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
161  Agreed.
Exeunt POSTHUMUS LEONATUS and IACHIMO

Frenchman
162  Will this hold, think you?
PHILARIO
163  Signior Iachimo will not from it.
164  Pray, let us follow 'em.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT I, SCENE IIIACT I, SCENE V (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V

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