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An Apartment in Philario's House.

Enter Posthumus and Philario.

Post. Fear it not, si: I would, I were so sure
To win the king, as I am bold, her honour
Will remain hers.

Phil. What means do you make to him?

Post. Not any; but abide the change of time; Quake in the present winter's state, and wish That warmer days would come: In these fear'd hopes,

I barely gratify your love; they failing,

I must die much your debtor.

Phil. Your very goodness, and your company, O'erpays all I can do. By this, your king Hath heard of great Augustus: Caius Lucius Will do his commission throughly: And, I think, He'll grant the tribute; or your countrymen Will look upon our Romans, whose remembrance Is yet fresh in their grief.

Post. I do believe

(Statist though I am none, nor like to be,)
That this will prove a war; and you shall hear
The legions now in Gallia, sooner landed


In our not fearing Britain, than have tidings
Of any penny tribute paid. Our countrymen
Are men more ordered, than when Julius Cæsar
Smil'd at their lack of skill, but found their courage
Worthy his frowning at: Their discipline,

Now mingled with their courages, will make known
To their approvers, they are people, such

That mend upon the world: and more than that, They have a king, whose love and justice to them May ask, and have, their treasures, and their blood. Phil. See! Iachimo!

Enter Iachimo.

Post. The swiftest harts have posted you by land; And winds of all the corners kiss'd your sails, To make your vessel nimble.

Phil. Welcome, sir!

Post. I hope, the briefness of your answer made The speediness of your return.

Iach. Your lady

Is one, the fairest that I have look'd upon.

Post. And, therewithal, the best; or let her beauty Look through a casement, to allure false hearts,

And be false with them.

Iach. Here are letters for you.

Post. Their tenour good, I trust.

Iach. 'Tis very like.

[posthumus reads the Letters.

Post. Was Caius Lucius in the Britain Court,

When you were there?

Iach. He was, my lord :—but I

Left, ere I saw him.

Phil. All is well yet.—

Sparkles this stone as it was wont? or is't not
Too dull for your good wearing?

Iach. If I have lost it,

I should have lost the worth of it in gold.
I'll make a journey twice as far, to enjoy


A second night of such sweet shortness, which
Was mine in Britain; for the ring is won.
Post. The stone's too hard to come by.
Iach. Not a whit,

Your lady being so easy.

Post. Make not, sir,

Your loss your sport; I hope, you know, that we Must not continue friends.

Iach. Good sir, we must,

If you keep covenant: Had I not brought
The knowledge of your mistress home, I grant
We were to question further: but I now
Profess myself the winner of her honour,
Together with your ring; and not the wronger
Of her, or you, having proceeded but
By both your wills.

Post. If you can make it apparent

That you have tasted her in bed, my hand,
And ring, is yours: if not, the foul opinion
You had of her pure honour, gains, or loses,
Your sword, or mine; or masterless, leaves both
To who shall find them.

Iach. Sir, my circumstances

Being so near the truth, as I will make them,
Must first induce you to believe: whose strength
I will confirm with oath; which, I doubt nor,
You'll give me leave to spare, when you shall find
You need it not.

Post. Proceed.

Iach. First, her bed-chamber,

(Where, I confess, I slept not; but, profess,

Had that, was well worth watching,) It was hang'd
With tapestry of silk and silver; the story,
Proud Cleopatra, when she met her Roman;

A piece of work

So bravely done, so rich, that it did strive
In workmanship and value.

Post. This is true;

And this you might have heard of here, by me,

Or by some other.

Iach. More particulars
Must justify my knowledge.
Post. So they must,
Or do your honour injury.
Iach. The chimney

Is south the chamber; and the chimney-piece,
Chaste Dian, bathing: never saw I figures
So likely to report themselves; the cutter
Was as another nature, dumb; outwent her,
Motion and breath left out.

Post. This is a thing,

Which you might from relation likewise reap;
Being, as it is, much spoke of.

Iach. The roof o' the chamber
With golden cherubins is fretted.
Post. This is her honour!

Let if be granted, you have seen all this, (and praise
Be given to your remembrance,) the description
Of what is in her chamber, nothing saves

The wager you

have laid,

Iach. Then, if you can,

Be pale: I beg but leave to air this jewel—See!

And now 'tis up again.

Post. Jove!

[Pulling out the Bracelet.

Once more let me behold it: Is it that

Which I left with her?

Iach. Sir, I thank her, that:

She stripp'd it from her arm; I see her yet;
Her pretty action did outsell her gift,

And yet enrich'd it too: she gave it me,
And said, she priz'd it once.

Post. May be, she pluck'd it off,

To send it me.

Iach. She writes so to you—doth she?

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Post. Oh, bo, no, no! 'tis true! Here, take this [Gives the Ring.


It is a basilisk unto mine eye,

Kills me to look on't :—Let there be no honour, Where there is beauty; truth, where semblance;


Where there's another man: The vows of women
Of no more bondage be, to where they are made,
Than they are to their virtues; which is nothing:---
O, above measure, false !

Phil. Have patience, sir,

And take your ring again; 'tis not yet won;
It may be probable, she lost its or,

Who knows, if one of her women, being corrupted,
Hath stolen it from her?

Post. Very true;

And so, I hope, he came by't:—Back my ring ;—
Render to me some corporal sign about her,
More evident than this; for this was stolen.
Iach. By Jupiter, I had it from her arm!

Post. Hark you, he swears; by Jupiter, he swears! 'Tis true;—nay, keep the ring—'tis true: I am sure, She could not lose it: her attendants are

All sworn, and honourable :—They induced to steal it!
And by a stranger No; he hath enjoy'd her:
The cognizance of her incontinency

Is this, she hath bought the name of whore thus dearly.—

There, take thy hire; and all the fiends of hell
Divide themselves between you!

Phil. Sir, be patient;

This is not strong enough to be believ'd

Of one persuaded well of

Post. Never talk on't:

She hath been colted by him.

Iach. If you seek

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