Act I, Scene 4
Rome. A room in Pilario’s house.
- Enter Philario, Jachimo, a Frenchman, a Dutchman, and a
Jachimo1 - 6
- 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 allow’d the name of. But I could then have look’d
- 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.
Philario7 - 8
- You speak of him when he was less furnish’d than now he is
- with that which makes him both without and within.
Frenchman9 - 10
- I have seen him in France. We had very many there could
- behold the sun with as firm eyes as he.
Jachimo11 - 13
- This matter of marrying his king’s daughter, wherein he must
- be weigh’d rather by her value than his own, words him, I
- doubt not, a great deal from the matter.
- And then his banishment.
Jachimo15 - 20
- Ay, and the approbation of those that weep this lamentable
- divorce under her colors 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
Philario21 - 28
- His father and I were soldiers together, to whom I have been
- often bound for no less than my life.
- Enter Posthumus.
- Here comes the Britain. Let him be so entertain’d 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.
- Sir, we have known together in Orléans.
Posthumus30 - 31
- Since when I have been debtor to you for courtesies, which I
- will be ever to pay and yet pay still.
Frenchman32 - 35
- Sir, you o’errate 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.
Posthumus36 - 40
- By your pardon, sir, I was then a young traveler, rather
- shunn’d 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.
Frenchman41 - 43
- Faith, yes, to be put to the arbiterment of swords, and by
- such two that would by all likelihood have confounded one
- the other, or have fall’n both.
- Can we, with manners, ask what was the difference?
Frenchman45 - 52
- 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.
Jachimo53 - 54
- That lady is not now living; or this gentleman’s opinion by
- this worn out.
- She holds her virtue still, and I my mind.
- You must not so far prefer her ’fore ours of Italy.
Posthumus57 - 58
- Being so far provok’d as I was in France, I would abate her
- nothing, though I profess myself her adorer, not her friend.
Jachimo59 - 64
- As fair and as good—a kind of hand-in-hand comparison—had
- been something too fair and too good for any lady in
- Brittany. If she went before others I have seen, as that
- diamond of yours outlustres many I have beheld, I could not
- but believe she excell’d many. But I have not seen the most
- precious diamond that is, nor you the lady.
- I prais’d her as I rated her: so do I my stone.
- What do you esteem it at?
- More than the world enjoys.
Jachimo68 - 69
- Either your unparagon’d mistress is dead, or she’s outpriz’d
- by a trifle.
Posthumus70 - 73
- 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
- Which the gods have given you?
- Which, by their graces, I will keep.
Jachimo76 - 81
- You may wear her in title yours; but you know strange fowl
- light upon neighboring ponds. Your ring may be stol’n too:
- so your brace of unprizable estimations, the one is but
- frail and the other casual. A cunning thief, or a (that way)
- accomplish’d courtier, would hazard the winning both of
- first and last.
Posthumus82 - 85
- Your Italy contains none so accomplish’d a courtier to
- convince the honor 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.
- Let us leave here, gentlemen.
Posthumus87 - 88
- Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I thank him,
- makes no stranger of me: we are familiar at first.
Jachimo89 - 91
- 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.
- No, no.
Jachimo93 - 97
- I dare thereupon pawn the moi’ty 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 offense herein too, I durst attempt it
- against any lady in the world.
Posthumus98 - 99
- You are a great deal abus’d in too bold a persuasion, and I
- doubt not you sustain what y’ are worthy of by your attempt.
- What’s that?
Posthumus101 - 102
- A repulse, though your attempt (as you call it) deserve
- more—a punishment too.
Philario103 - 104
- Gentlemen, enough of this. It came in too suddenly, let it
- die as it was born, and I pray you be better acquainted.
Jachimo105 - 106
- Would I had put my estate and my neighbor’s on th’
- approbation of what I have spoke!
- What lady would you choose to assail?
Jachimo108 - 113
- 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 honor of hers which you imagine so
Posthumus114 - 115
- I will wage against your gold, gold to it. My ring I hold
- dear as my finger, ’tis part of it.
Jachimo116 - 119
- You are a friend, 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
Posthumus120 - 121
- This is but a custom in your tongue; you bear a graver
- purpose, I hope.
Jachimo122 - 123
- I am the master of my speeches, and would undergo what’s
- spoken, I swear.
Posthumus124 - 127
- 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.
- I will have it no lay.
Jachimo129 - 135
- By the gods, it is one. If I bring you no sufficient
- testimony that I have enjoy’d 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 honor 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.
Posthumus136 - 142
- 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
- prevail’d, I am no further your enemy; she is not worth our
- debate. If she remain unseduc’d, you not making it appear
- otherwise, for your ill opinion and th’ assault you have
- made to her chastity, you shall answer me with your sword.
Jachimo143 - 146
- 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.
- Exeunt Posthumus and Jachimo.
- Will this hold, think you?
- Signior Jachimo will not from it. Pray let us follow ’em.