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SCENE II.-The same. A public Place.

Enter CLOTEN and Two Lords.

1 LORD. Sir, I would advise you to shift a shirt; the violence of action hath made you reek as a sacrifice: where air comes out, air comes in: there's none abroad so wholesome as that you


CLO. If my shirt were bloody, then to shift it. -Have I hurt him?

2 LORD. [Aside.] No, faith; not so much as his patience.

1 LORD. Hurt him! his body's a passable carcass if he be not hurt: it is a throughfare for steel, if it be not hurt.

2 LORD. [Aside.] His steel was in debt; it went o' the backside the town.

CLO. The villain would not stand me.

2 LORD. [Aside.] No; but he fled forward still, toward your face.

1 LORD. Stand you! You have land enough of your own but he added to your having; gave you some ground.

2 LORD. [Aside.] As many inches as you have oceans..-Puppies!

CLO. I would they had not come between us. 2 LORD. [Aside.] So would I, till you had measured how long a fool you were upon the ground.

CLO. And that she should love this fellow, and refuse me!

2 LORD. [Aside.] If it be a sin to make a true election, she is damned.

1 LORD. Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and her brain go not together: she's a good sign, but I have seen small reflection of her wit.

2 LORD. [Aside.] She shines not upon fools, lest the reflection should hurt her.

CLO. Come, I'll to my chamber. Would there had been some hurt done!

2 LORD. [Aside.] I wish not so; unless it had been the fall of an ass, which is no great hurt. CLO. You'll go with us?

1 LORD. I'll attend your lordship. CLO. Nay, come, let's go together. 2 LORD. Well, my lord.


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(*) Old copies omit, I.

the haven,

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IACH. 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.

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

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

IACH. 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.

FRENCH. And then his banishment

IACH. 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 acquaintance?

PHI. 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.

a Iachimo,-] Probably borrowed from the Italian Giacomo. It should be pronounced as a trisyllable, Yachimo.

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b Without less quality.] This is usually printed after Rowe more quality," and that apparently, though by no means certainly, was the meaning intended. As Malone rem rks, however, "whenever less or more is to be joined with a verb denoting want, or a preposition of a similar import, Shakespeare never fails to be entangled in a grammatical inaccuracy."

© Atone-] Reconcile; make at one.

d Rather shunned to go even with what I heard,-] Should we not read sinned? The meaning being, I was then a young traveller, and wilfully preferred rather to go by what I heard than to be


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.

FRENCH. Sir, we have known together in Orleans.

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


FRENCH. 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.

POST. 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.

FRENCH. 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.

IACH. Can we, with manners, ask what was the difference?

FRENCH. Safely, I think: 't was 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.

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

POST. She holds her virtue still, and I my mind. IACH. You must not so far prefer her 'fore ours of Italy.

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

IACH. As fair, and as good,-a kind of handin-hand comparison,-had been something too fair,

(*) Old text omits, no!.

guided by the experience of others.

e I would abate her nothing, though I profess myself her adorer, not her friend.] The sense of this has been somewhat misunderstood, and hence the discussion the passage has provoked. Posthumus, we apprehend, does not mean,-I avow myself, not simply her admirer, but her worshipper; but stung by the scornful tone of Iachimo's remark, he answers, - Provoked as I was in France, I would abate her nothing, though the declaration of my opinion proclaimed me her idolater rather than her lover.

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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, or 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.

IACH. Which the gods have given you? POST. Which, by their graces, I will keep. IACH. 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.


POST. Your Italy contains none so accomplished a courtier to convince the honour of my mistress; if, in the holding or the 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?

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IACH. 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; 't is part of it. IACH. 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.

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 us: 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. 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. Pray let us follow 'em.


"For God doth know, how many, now in health,
Shall drop their blood in approbation

Of what your reverence shall incite us to."

d You are afraid,-] In the old copies, "You are a Friend.”— We are not altogether satisfied with the emendation, which is Warburton's, but are unable to suggest any word more likely.

e And starve.] That is, and perish.

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QUEEN. Whiles yet the dew's on ground, gather those flowers;

Make haste: who has the note of them?
I, madam.
QUEEN. Dispatch.-
[Exeunt Ladies.
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-
My conscience bids me ask,-wherefore you have
Commanded of me these most poisonous compounds,
Which are the movers of a languishing death;
But though slow, deadly?

I wonder, doctor,
Thou ask'st me such a question. Have I not been
Thy pupil long? Hast thou not learn'd me how
To make perfumes? distil? preserve? yea, so
That our great king himself doth woo me oft
For my confections? Having thus far proceeded,-
Unless thou think'st me devilish,-is't not meet
That I did amplify my judgment in
Other conclusions? I will try the forces
Of these thy compounds on such creatures as

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a Conclusions?] Experiments.

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We count not worth the hanging,- but none human,

To try the vigour of them, and apply

Allayments to their act; and by them gather
Their several virtues and effects.


Your highness

Shall from this practice but make hard your heart:
Besides, the seeing these effects will be
Both noisome and infectious.

O, content thee.

[Aside.] Here comes a flattering rascal; upon him Will I first work: he's for his master, And enemy to my son.


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.

QUEEN. Hark thee, a word.-[To PISANIO.
COR. [Aside.] I do not like her. She doth think

she has

Strange ling'ring 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
Will stupify and dull the sense awhile; [dogs,
Which first, perchance, she'll prove on cats and
Then afterward up higher; but there is

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