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Imo. Senseless linen! happier therein than I! And that was all?


No, madam; for so long
As he could make me with this eye or ear
Distinguish him from others, he did keep
The deck, with glove, or hat, or handkerchief,
Still waving, as the fits and stirs of's mind
Could best express how slow his soul sail'd on,
How swift his ship.

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Imo. I would have broke mine eye-strings;

crack'd them, but

To look upon him, till the diminution

Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle,
Nay, follow'd him, till he had melted from

The smallness of a gnat to air, and then

Have turn'd mine eye and wept. But, good


When shall we hear from him?


With his next vantage.

Be assured, madam,

Imo. I did not take my leave of him, but had Most pretty things to say: ere I could tell him How I would think on him at certain hours

4. offer'd mercy; probably, mercy offered when it is too late, -the 'remorseful pardon slowly carried' of All's Well, v. 3. 58.

9. this, Ff his.
19. space, size.

24. vantage, opportunity.



Such thoughts and such, or I could make him


The shes of Italy should not betray

Mine interest and his honour, or have charged

At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight,
To encounter me with orisons, for then

I am in heaven for him; or ere I could

Give him that parting kiss which I had set
Betwixt two charming words, comes in my father
And like the tyrannous breathing of the north
Shakes all our buds from growing.



Enter a Lady.

The queen, madam,

Desires your highness' company.

Imo. Those things I bid you do, get them


I will attend the queen.


Madam, I shall. [Exeunt. 40

SCENE IV. Rome. Philario's house.

Enter PHILARIO, IACHIMO, a Frenchman, a
Dutchman, and a Spaniard.

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.

32. encounter, join.

35. charming words, words which should give him a charmed

security from evil influences.
2. crescent note, growing

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 20 are wonderfully to extend him; be it but to fortify her judgement, 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.


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

16. words him ... from the matter, extends his fame beyond his merits (cf. the converse image of i. 1. 25).

20. under her colours, under her authority and prestige; her attendant ladies and courtiers.

21. are, is (by attraction to the plural, colours).


23. less (put idiomatically in a negative sentence for more).

25. How creeps acquaintance? How have you stolen into acquaintance? Creeps hints at the stealthy process implied in the unexpected result.

30. knowing, breeding and accomplishment.

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 judgement-if I offend not to say it is mended-my 50 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: 'twas a contention in public, which may, without contradiction, suffer the report. It was much like an argument that 60 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 affirm42. atone, reconcile. 45. importance, cause.

47. to go even with what I heard, i.e. 'to be guided by others' experiences.' Posthumus says that, far from making this course

54. confounded, destroyed.
57. difference, ground of

62. our country mistresses,
the ladies of our nation.

his invariable rule, he regularly ing it with his blood.

63. bloody affirmation, attest

avoided it.

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ation-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 70 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 hand-inhand 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 80 not seen the most precious diamond that is, nor you the lady.

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 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.

65. constant-qualified, composed of constancy. Ff constant, qualified, which may possibly be right, taking qualified to mean

of tempered, restrained, passions.' The hyphen was first proposed by Capell.


74. her adorer, not her friend, her idolatrous worshipper, not her lover.

75. hand-in-hand, balanced; assigning equal merit to each side. 79. could not but; Malone's correction for Ff could not.

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