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French. And then his banishment ----
this lamentable divorce under her colours, are wonderfully to extend him; be it but to fortifie her judgment, which eļse an easię battery might lay flat, for taking a beggar without more quality, But how comes it he is to sojourn with you? how creeps acquaintance?
Phil. His father and I were soldiers together, to whom I have been often bound for no less than
Enter Posthumus. Here comes the Britain. 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
French. Sir, we have been known together in Orleans.
Poft. 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 fo mortal a purpose, as then each bore, upon importance of so slight and trivial a nature.
Poft. By your pardon, Sir, I was then a young traveller; rather shụn'd to go even with what I heard, than in my every action to be guided by other 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 (words; and by such two, that would by all likelyhood have confounded one the other, or have faln both.
lach. Can we with manners ask what was the difference ? French. Safely, I think; 'twas a contention in publick, which
may without coritradi&tion fuffer 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, visa tuous, wise, chast, conftant, qualified, and lefs attemptable than any the rarest of our ladies, in France.
lach. That fady is not now living; or this gentleman's opinion by this worn out. Poft. She holds her virtue ftill, and I my
mind. lach. You must not so far prefer her, 'fore ours of Italy.
Poft. Being so far provok'd as I was in France, I would abate her nothing, tho' I profess my self her adorer, not her friend.
lach. As fair, and as good; a kind of hand-in-hand comparison had been something too fair and too good for any lady in Britawy: if the went before others I have seen, as that diamond of yours out-lufters many I have beheld, I could not believe she excelled many; but I have not seen the most precious diamond that is, nor
you Poft. I prais’d her, as I rated her; fo do I my stone. lach. What do you esteem it at ? Post. More than the world enjoys.
lach. Either your paragon'd mistress is dead, or she's out-priz'd by a trifle.
Poft. 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.
lach. Which the gods have given you? Post. Which by their graces I will keep.
lach. You may wear her in title yours; but, you know, strange fowl light upon neighbouring ponds. Your ring may be stoln too; so your brace of unprizeable estimations, the one is but frail and the other casual. A cunning thief, or a (that way) accom
plish'd courtier, would hazard the winning both of first and last.
Poft. Your Italy contains none so accomplish'd 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.
Phil. Let us leave here, gentlemen.
Poft. Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I thank him, makes no stranger of me, we are familiar at first.
lach. 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.
Posi. No, no.
lach. I dare thereupon pawn the moiety of my estate to your ring, which in my opinion o’er-values 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.
Poft. You are a great deal abus’d in too bold a perswasion; and I doubt not you'd sustain what you're worthy of, by your attempt.
lach. What's that:
Poft. A repulse; though your attempt, as you call it, deserves more; a punishment too.
Phil. 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 th’approbation of what I have spoke.
Post. What lady would you chuse to assail?
lach. Yours; who 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, I will bring from thence that honour of hers, which you imagine so reserv’d.
Poft. I will wage against your gold, gold to it: my ring I hold dear as my finger, 'tis part of it.
Iach. You are a friend, and therein the wiser ; if you buy ladies fesh at a million a dram, you cannot preserve it from tainting. But I see you have some religion in you, that you fear. Poft
. This is but a custom in your tongue; you bear a graver purpose, I hope.
IachI am the master of my speeches, and would undergo what's spoken, I swear.
Poft. 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 thoughts. I dare you to this match; here's my ring.
Phil. I will have it no lay.
lach. By the gods it is one. If I bring you not safficient testimony that I have enjoy'd the dearest bodily part of your mistress, my ten thousand ducats are yours: fo is 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 entertainment.
Poft. 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 prevaild, 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.
lach. 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.
French. Will this hold, think you? Vol. VI.
fo is your
Phil. Signior lachimo will not from it.
WHile yet the
S CE N E VII.
Cymbeline's Palace in Britain.
Make hafte. Who has the note of them?
Cor. Pleaseth your bighness, ay; here they are, madam;
Queen. I wonder, doctor,
To make perfumes? distil: preserve? yea so,