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an easy battery might lay flat, for taking a beggar without more 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 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 not offend R 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?
authority, are approbations for "approbation,” and and her dolours for “ under her colours." The last has been explained to mean “ under her banner, or influ. ence;” and although unsatisfactory, we still think it only expedient to give the proposed change in a note. Approbations for “approbation" seems also, like “ wont,” required. “To extend him” means to enlarge his merits.
3 – without more quality.] It is "less quality" in all the old copies, but "more" cannot be wrong, and perhaps the stumbling printer became confounded between “ and less, and printed the latter for the former.
4 - I did ATONE] i.e. Reconcile. See various former instances in Vol. ii. p. 430, Vol. ii. p. 225, Vol. iv. p. 694, and Vol. v. p. 289.
upon IMPORTANCE of so slight and trivial a nature.] “Importance" is here used (as in Vol. iii. p. 105) in the sense of carrying away-upon urgency, or provocation of so slight and trivial a nature.
(if I not offend] The negative is deficient in the old copies : the corr. fo. 1632 puts it before the verb, instead of after it.
French. 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.
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.
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-in-hand comparison) had been something too fair, and too good, for any lady in Britany. If she went before others I have seen, as that diamond of your's out-lustres many I have beheld, I could not but believe? she excelled many; but I have 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. 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 ?
Iach. You may wear her in title your's; but, you know, strange fowl light upon neighbouring ponds. Your ring may be stolen, too: so, your brace of unprizeable 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.
7- I could not but believe] The folios all read “ I could not believe :" War. burton left out the negative, and Heath substituted but for “not.” Malone's emendation, wbich is our text, seems preferable to any other.
8 – OR if there were] So all the folios : “or” is here obviously to be taken in the sense of either," either if there were," &c. The use of “or” in this manner is scriptural, and it is also countenanced by some of our best writers of the time : modern editors unceremoniously omit "or.” The old copies (which are very carelessly printed in this part of the play, most of the faults originating in the folio, 1623,) read purchases for “ purchase."
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.
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. Your's; 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
to convince the honour of my mistress,] To “convince" here, as in various other places, means to conquer or overcome. See Vol. ii. p. 174; Vol. v. pp. 403. 445.
and I doubt not you sustain] It is “ you'll sustain" in the corr. fo. 1632, but the alteration is, perhaps, not required.
on the APPROBATION] i. e. On the proof. See Vol. ji. p. 274; Vol. iii. pp. 38. 546. Near the opening of this scene we have had “approbation" in the ordinary sense of approval.
will bring from thence that honour of her's, 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 afeard, 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 your's; 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 your's;—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 your voyage upon her", and give me directly to understand you have prevail'd, I am no farther 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 şet down by lawful counsel, and straight away for Britain,
3 You are ApEARD, and therein the wiser.] The old text is, “ You are a friend," &c., and it has long been disputed whether we ought not to read “ You are afraid," or afeard, instead of it. The corr. fo. 1632 reduces this doubt to a certainty, by the erasure of a friend and the substitution of "afeard."
If you make your voyage upon her,] This is an instance where we decline to alter the received and intelligible text, although the emendation in the corr. fo. 1632 is extremely plausible : it is vauntage for “ voyage,” in reference to the vaunt of Iachimo, that he would "convince" the honour of Imogen. The text of the old annotator is, “ If you make good your vaunlage upon her," and we formerly thought that it might be adopted. VOL. VI.
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.
Britain. A Room in CYMBELINE's Palace.
Enter Queen, Ladies, and CORNELIUS.
Queen. Whiles yet the dew's on ground, gather those
flowers : Make haste. Who has the note of them ? 1 Lady.
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 bor. 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? Queen.
I wonder, doctor,
lest the bargain should catch cold, and staRVE.] In the folio, 1623, " starve
is printed sterve; but “ starve and sterve are the same word, and why are we here to abandon not merely modern, but ancient orthography? Those who have complained that recent editors erroneously print "starve" could hardly have been aware that such is the spelling in the folio, 1664.
Other CONCLUSIONS ?] “ Conclusions" here, and in many other places, means what is to be concluded from certain experiments : to try conclusions" is