Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > Cymbeline > Act I, scene IV

	[Enter PHILARIO, IACHIMO, a Frenchman, a
	Dutchman, and a Spaniard]

IACHIMO: Believe it, sir, I have seen him in Britain: he was
	then of a crescent note, expected to prove so worthy
	as since he hath been allowed the name of; but I
	could then have looked on him without the help of
	admiration, though the catalogue of his endowments
	had been tabled by his side and I to peruse him by items.

PHILARIO: You speak of him when he was less furnished than now
	he is with that which makes him both without and within.

Frenchman: I have seen him in France: we had very many there
	could behold the sun with as firm eyes as he.

IACHIMO: This matter of marrying his king's daughter, wherein
	he must be weighed rather by her value than his own,
	words him, I doubt not, a great deal from the matter.

Frenchman: And then his banishment.

IACHIMO: Ay, and the approbation of those that weep this
	lamentable divorce under her colours are wonderfully
	to extend him; be it but to fortify her judgment,
	which else an easy battery might lay flat, for
	taking a beggar without less quality. But how comes
	it he is to sojourn with you? How creeps

PHILARIO: His father and I were soldiers together; to whom I
	have been often bound for no less than my life.
	Here comes the Briton: let him be so entertained
	amongst you as suits, with gentlemen of your
	knowing, to a stranger of his quality.


	I beseech you all, be better known to this
	gentleman; whom I commend to you as a noble friend
	of mine: how worthy he is I will leave to appear
	hereafter, rather than story him in his own hearing.

Frenchman: Sir, we have known together in Orleans.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: Since when I have been debtor to you for courtesies,
	which I will be ever to pay and yet pay still.

Frenchman: Sir, you o'er-rate my poor kindness: I was glad I
	did atone my countryman and you; it had been pity
	you should have been put together with so mortal a
	purpose as then each bore, upon importance of so
	slight and trivial a nature.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: By your pardon, sir, I was then a young traveller;
	rather shunned to go even with what I heard than in
	my every action to be guided by others' experiences:
	but upon my mended judgment--if I offend not to say
	it is mended--my quarrel was not altogether slight.

Frenchman: 'Faith, yes, to be put to the arbitrement of swords,
	and by such two that would by all likelihood have
	confounded one the other, or have fallen both.

IACHIMO: Can we, with manners, ask what was the difference?

Frenchman: Safely, I think: 'twas a contention in public,
	which may, without contradiction, suffer the report.
	It was much like an argument that fell out last
	night, where each of us fell in praise of our
	country mistresses; this gentleman at that time
	vouching--and upon warrant of bloody
	affirmation--his to be more fair, virtuous, wise,
	chaste, constant-qualified and less attemptable
	than any the rarest of our ladies in France.

IACHIMO: That lady is not now living, or this gentleman's
	opinion by this worn out.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: She holds her virtue still and I my mind.

IACHIMO: You must not so far prefer her 'fore ours of Italy.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: Being so far provoked as I was in France, I would
	abate her nothing, though I profess myself her
	adorer, not her friend.

IACHIMO: As fair and as good--a kind of hand-in-hand
	comparison--had been something too fair and too good
	for any lady in Britain. If she went before others
	I have seen, as that diamond of yours outlustres
	many I have beheld. I could not but believe she
	excelled many: but I have not seen the most
	precious diamond that is, nor you the lady.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: I praised her as I rated her: so do I my stone.

IACHIMO: What do you esteem it at?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: More than the world enjoys.

IACHIMO: Either your unparagoned mistress is dead, or she's
	outprized by a trifle.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: You are mistaken: the one may be sold, or given, if
	there were wealth enough for the purchase, or merit
	for the gift: the other is not a thing for sale,
	and only the gift of the gods.

IACHIMO: Which the gods have given you?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: Which, by their graces, I will keep.

IACHIMO: You may wear her in title yours: but, you know,
	strange fowl light upon neighbouring ponds. Your
	ring may be stolen too: so your brace of unprizable
	estimations; the one is but frail and the other
	casual; a cunning thief, or a that way accomplished
	courtier, would hazard the winning both of first and last.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: Your Italy contains none so accomplished a courtier
	to convince the honour of my mistress, if, in the
	holding or loss of that, you term her frail. I do
	nothing doubt you have store of thieves;
	notwithstanding, I fear not my ring.

PHILARIO: Let us leave here, gentlemen.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I
	thank him, makes no stranger of me; we are familiar at first.

IACHIMO: With five times so much conversation, I should get
	ground of your fair mistress, make her go back, even
	to the yielding, had I admittance and opportunity to friend.


IACHIMO: I dare thereupon pawn the moiety of my estate to
	your ring; which, in my opinion, o'ervalues it
	something: but I make my wager rather against your
	confidence than her reputation: and, to bar your
	offence herein too, I durst attempt it against any
	lady in the world.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: You are a great deal abused in too bold a
	persuasion; and I doubt not you sustain what you're
	worthy of by your attempt.

IACHIMO: What's that?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: A repulse: though your attempt, as you call it,
	deserve more; a punishment too.

PHILARIO: Gentlemen, enough of this: it came in too suddenly;
	let it die as it was born, and, I pray you, be
	better acquainted.

IACHIMO: Would I had put my estate and my neighbour's on the
	approbation of what I have spoke!

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: What lady would you choose to assail?

IACHIMO: Yours; whom in constancy you think stands so safe.
	I will lay you ten thousand ducats to your ring,
	that, commend me to the court where your lady is,
	with no more advantage than the opportunity of a
	second conference, and I will bring from thence
	that honour of hers which you imagine so reserved.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: I will wage against your gold, gold to it: my ring
	I hold dear as my finger; 'tis part of it.

IACHIMO: You are afraid, and therein the wiser. If you buy
	ladies' flesh at a million a dram, you cannot
	preserve it from tainting: but I see you have some
	religion in you, that you fear.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: This is but a custom in your tongue; you bear a
	graver purpose, I hope.

IACHIMO: I am the master of my speeches, and would undergo
	what's spoken, I swear.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: Will you? I shall but lend my diamond till your
	return: let there be covenants drawn between's: my
	mistress exceeds in goodness the hugeness of your
	unworthy thinking: I dare you to this match: here's my ring.

PHILARIO: I will have it no lay.

IACHIMO: By the gods, it is one. If I bring you no
	sufficient testimony that I have enjoyed the dearest
	bodily part of your mistress, my ten thousand ducats
	are yours; so is your diamond too: if I come off,
	and leave her in such honour as you have trust in,
	she your jewel, this your jewel, and my gold are
	yours: provided I have your commendation for my more
	free entertainment.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: I embrace these conditions; let us have articles
	betwixt us. Only, thus far you shall answer: if
	you make your voyage upon her and give me directly
	to understand you have prevailed, I am no further
	your enemy; she is not worth our debate: if she
	remain unseduced, you not making it appear
	otherwise, for your ill opinion and the assault you
	have made to her chastity you shall answer me with
	your sword.

IACHIMO: Your hand; a covenant: we will have these things set
	down by lawful counsel, and straight away for
	Britain, lest the bargain should catch cold and
	starve: I will fetch my gold and have our two
	wagers recorded.



Frenchman: Will this hold, think you?

PHILARIO: Signior Iachimo will not from it.
	Pray, let us follow 'em.



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