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Post. I praised her as I rated her: so do I my stone.
Iach. What do you esteem it at?
Post. More than the world enjoys.
Iach. Either your unparagoned mistress is dead, or she's outprized by a trifle.
Post. You are mistaken: the one may be sold, or given, if(12) 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.
Iach. Which the gods have given you?
Iach. You may wear her in title yours: but, you know, strange fowl light upon neighbouring ponds. Your ring may be stolen too: so, (13) 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.
Post. 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.
Phi. Let us leave here, gentlemen.
Post. Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I thank him, makes no stranger of me; we are familiar at first.
Iach. 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.
Post. No, no.
Iach. 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.
Post. 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.
Iach. What's that?
Post. A repulse: though your attempt, as you call it, deserve more, a punishment too.
Phi. Gentlemen, enough of this: it came in too suddenly; let it die as it was born, and, I pray you, be better acquainted.
lach. Would I had put my estate and my neighbour's on the approbation of what I have spoke!
Post. What lady would you choose to assail?
Iach. 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.
Post. I will wage against your gold, gold to it: my ring I hold dear as my finger; 'tis part of it.
Iach. You are afraid,(14) 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.
Post. This is but a custom in your tongue; you bear a graver purpose, I hope.
Iach. I am the master of my speeches; and would undergo what's spoken, I swear.
Post. 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.
Phi. I will have it no lay.
Iach. 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.
Post. 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.
Iach. 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 :(15) I will fetch my gold, and have our two wagers recorded.
Post. Agreed. [Exeunt Posthumus and Iachimo. French. Will this hold, think you? Phi. Signior Iachimo will not from it. low 'em.
Pray, let us fol[Exeunt.
SCENE V. Britain. A room in CYMBELINE's palace.
Queen. Whiles yet the dew's on ground, gather those
Make haste: who has the note of them?
Now, master doctor, have you brought those drugs? Cor. Pleaseth your highness, ay: here they are, madam : [Presenting a small box.
But I beseech your grace, without offence,—
Other conclusions? I will try the forces
We count not worth the hanging,—but none human,—
Shall from this practice but make hard your heart :
Both noisome and infectious.
O, content thee.-
How now, Pisanio!Doctor, your service for this time is ended; Take your own way.
Cor. [aside] I do suspect you, madam; But you shall do no harm.
Until I send for thee.
Hark thee, a word.
[To Pisanio. Cor. [aside] I do not like her. She doth think she has Strange lingering poisons: I do know her spirit, And will not trust one of her malice with
A drug of such damn'd nature. Those she has
No further service, doctor,
I humbly take my leave. [Exit. Queen. Weeps she still, say'st thou? Dost thou think in time
She will not quench, and let instructions enter
When thou shalt bring me word she loves my son,
Who cannot be new built, nor has no friends,
[The Queen drops the box: Pisanio takes it up.
That I mean to thee. Tell thy mistress how
The hand-fast to her lord.-I have given him that,
Re-enter PISANIO and Ladies.
So, so; well done, well done: