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but I have not seen the most precious diamond that is, nor you the lady. Poft. I prais'd her, as I rated her: fo do I
stone. Iacb. What do you esteem it at? Post. More than the world enjoys.
lacb. Either your unparagon'd mistress is dead, or fhe's out-priz’d by a trifle. : Poft. You are mistaken: the one may be fold or given, if there were wealth enough for the purchase, or merit for the gift. The other is not a thing for fale, and only the gift of the gods.
lach. Which the gods hath given you? Poft. Which, by their graces, I will keep.
leck. You may wear her in title yours : but, you know, ftrange fowl light upon neighbouring ponds. Your ring may be stolen too: so, of your brace of
could he not believe she did excel them ? Nonsense. We must frike out the negative, and the sense will be this, “ I can
easily believe your mistress excels many, tho' fhe be not the “ most excellent; just as I see that diamond of yours
is of more " value than many I have beheld, though I know there are “ other diamonds of much greater value.” WARBURTON.
The old reading, I think, may very well stand ; and I have therefore replaced it. “ If (says Iachimo) your miftrefs went “ before fome others I have seen, only in the fame degree your “ diamond outluftres many I have likewise seen, I thould not “ admit on that account that the excelled many: but I ought
not to make myself the judge of who is the faireft lady, or “ which is the brightest diamond, till I have beheld the finest “ of either kind which nature has hitherto produced.” The passage is not nonsense. It was the business of Jachimo to appear on this occafion as as infidel to beauty, in order to spirit Poithumus to lay the wager, and therefore will not admit of her excellence on any comparison. The author of The Revisal would read,
" I couid but believe.”. STEEVENS. I fhould explain the sentence thus : “ Though your lady “ excelled as much as your diamond, I could not believe me 66 excelled
many ; that is, I too could yet believe that there are many whom she did not excel.” But I yet think Dr. Warburton right. JOHNSON.
unprizeable 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.
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.
Post. 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.
Post. 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 2 abus'd in too bold a persuasion; and, I doubt not, you'd sustain what you're worthy of, by your attempt.
lach. What's that?
Post. A repulse: though your attempt, as you call it, deserves more; a punishment too.
Phil. Gentlemen, enough of this: it came in too
1- to convince the honour of my mistress ;-) Corvince, for overcome.
their malady convinces
fuddenly; 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 3 approbation of what I have spoke.
Poft. What lady would you chuse to affail?
Iach. Yours; who in constancy, you think, stands so fafe. 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 fo reserv’d.
Poft. I will wage against your gold, gold to it: my ring I hold dear as my finger, 'tis part of it.
Tach. 4You are a friend, and therein the wiser. If you buy ladies' Aeth at a million a dram, you cannot preferve it from tainting. But, I fee, 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.
Iach. I 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 thinking. I dare you to this match; here's my ring
Phil. I will have it no lay.
approbation - Proof. Johnson, 4 You are a friend, and therein the wiser.—- ) I correct it,
You are afraid, and therein the wiser.
But, I see, you have some religion in you, that
Iach. By the gods it is one. s 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, fo is my 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
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 prevailid, 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 the allault you have made to her chastity, you shall answer me with your sword.
s Iach. — If I bring you no suficient teftimony that I have enjoy'd the deareft bodily part of your mistress, my ten thousand ducats are YOURS ; so is your diamond 100: if I come off, and leave her in such honour as you have truft in, she your jewel, this gour jewel, and my gold are yours, &c.
Post. I embrace these conditions, &c.] This was a wager be, tween the two speakers. Iachimo declares the conditions of it; and Posthumus embraces them: as well he might; for Iachimo mentions only that of the two conditions which was favourable to Posthumus, namely, that if his wife preserved her honour he should win: concerning the other, in case the preserved it not, Jachimo, the accurate expounder of the wager, is filent. To make him talk more in character, for we find him sharp enough in the prosecution of his bet, we should itrike out the negative, and read the rest thus : If I bring you fufficient teffimony that I have enjoy'd, &c. my ten thousand ducats are MINE; so is your diamond 100. If I come off
, and leave her in fuch honour, &c. fhe your jewel, &c. and my gold are your's.
WARBURTON. I once thought this emendation right, but am now of opinion, that Shakespeare intended that Iachimo, having gained his purpose, should designedly drop the invidious and offensive part of the wager, and to flatter Poithumus, dwell long upon the more pleasing part of the representation. One condition of a wager implies the other, and there is no need to mention both. Johnson.
· Iach. Your hand; a covenant. We will have these things set down by lawful counsel, and straight away for Britain ; left the bargain should catch cold, and starve. I will fetch my gold, and have our two
Post. Agreed. [Exit Posthumus and Iachimo.
Phil. Signior Iachimo will not from it.
i Lady. I, madam. Queen. Dispatch.
[Exeunt ladies. Now, master doctor ; you have brought those drugs? Cor. Pleaseth your highness, ay : here they are,
Queen. I wonder, doctor,
To make perfumes ? distil? preserve ? yea, so,