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Post. I praised her, as I rated her : so do I my stone.

lach. What do you esteem it at? Post. More than the world enjoys.

Iach. Either your unparagoned mistress is dead, or she's outpriz’d 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.

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, of 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.

Post. Your Italy contains none so accomplished a courtier, to convince 3 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, thereon, 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,

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3 Overcome.

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. 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 a my ring I hold dear as my finger; 'tis part of it.

kach. You are a friend, and therein the wiser.

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.

Past. Will you ? - I shall but lend my dianiond 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 your mistress, my ten thousand ducats are yours; so is your

4 Proof.


you make

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 anIf

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,



Britain. A Room in Cymbeline's Palace.

Enter Queen, Ladies, and CORNELIUS. Queen. Whiles yet the dew's on ground, gather Queen. Despatch.

those flowers; Make haste: Who has the note of them ? 1 Lady.

I, madam,

5 Recommendation.

[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? Queen.

I do 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 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. Cor.

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

0, content thee.


Here comes a flattering rascal ; upon him [ Aside,
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.

• Experiments,


I do suspect you, madam ; But you shall do no harm.

[Aside. Queen.

Hark thee, a word.

[To Pisanio. Cor. [Asirle.] I do not like her. She doth think,

she has
Strange lingering poisons : I do know her spirit,
And will not trust one of her malice with
A drug of such a nature: Those, she has,
Will stupify and dull the sense awhile :
Which first, perchance, shell prove on cats and

Then afterward up higher; but there is
No danger in what show of death it makes,
More than the locking up the spirits a time,
To be more fresh, reviving. She is foold
With a most false effect; and I the truer,
So to be false with her.

No further service, doctor,
Until I send for thee.
I humbly take my leave.

[Exit. Queen. Weeps she still, say'st thou? Dost thou

think, in time
She will not quench ; and let instructions enter
Where folly now possesses ? Do thou work ;
When thou shalt bring me word, she loves my son,
I'll tell thee, on the instant, thou art then
As great as is thy master: greater ;

His fortunes all lie speechless, and his name
Is at last gasp: Return he cannot, nor
Continue where he is : to shift his being ?,
Is to exchange one misery with another;
And every day, that comes, comes to decay
A day's work in him: What shalt thou expect,
To be depender on a thing that leans ?

7 To change his abode.

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