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ACT II SCENE IVRome. Philario’s house.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSFear it not, sir: I would I were so sure
To win the king as I am bold her honour
Will remain hers.
PHILARIOWhat means do you make to him? 5
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSNot any, but abide the change of time,
Quake in the present winter’s state and wish
That warmer days would come: in these sear’d hopes,
I barely gratify your love; they failing,
I must die much your debtor. 10
PHILARIOYour very goodness and your company
O’erpays all I can do. By this, your king
Hath heard of great Augustus: Caius Lucius
Will do’s commission throughly: and I think
He’ll grant the tribute, send the arrearages, 15
Or look upon our Romans, whose remembrance
Is yet fresh in their grief.
Statist though I am none, nor like to be,
That this will prove a war; and you shall hear 20
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 order’d than when Julius Caesar
Smiled at their lack of skill, but found 25
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. 30
PHILARIOSee! Iachimo!
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSThe swiftest harts have posted you by land;
And winds of all the comers kiss’d your sails,
To make your vessel nimble.
PHILARIOWelcome, sir. 35
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSI hope the briefness of your answer made
The speediness of your return.
IACHIMOYour lady
Is one of the fairest that I have look’d upon.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSAnd therewithal the best; or let her beauty 40
Look through a casement to allure false hearts
And be false with them.
IACHIMOHere are letters for you.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSTheir tenor good, I trust.
IACHIMO‘Tis very like. 45
PHILARIOWas Caius Lucius in the Britain court
When you were there?
IACHIMOHe was expected then,
But not approach’d.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSAll is well yet. 50
Sparkles this stone as it was wont? or is’t not
Too dull for your good wearing?
IACHIMOIf I had lost it,
I should have lost the worth of it in gold.
I’ll make a journey twice as far, to enjoy 55
A second night of such sweet shortness which
Was mine in Britain, for the ring is won.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSThe stone’s too hard to come by.
IACHIMONot a whit,
Your lady being so easy. 60
Your loss your sport: I hope you know that we
Must not continue friends.
IACHIMOGood sir, we must,
If you keep covenant. Had I not brought 65
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 70
By both your wills.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSIf you can make’t 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 75
Your sword or mine, or masterless leaves both
To who shall find them.
IACHIMOSir, my circumstances,
Being so near the truth as I will make them,
Must first induce you to believe: whose strength 80
I will confirm with oath; which, I doubt not,
You’ll give me leave to spare, when you shall find
You need it not.
IACHIMOFirst, her bedchamber,– 85
Where, I confess, I slept not, but profess
Had that was well worth watching–it was hang’d
With tapesty of silk and silver; the story
Proud Cleopatra, when she met her Roman,
And Cydnus swell’d above the banks, or for 90
The press of boats or pride: a piece of work
So bravely done, so rich, that it did strive
In workmanship and value; which I wonder’d
Could be so rarely and exactly wrought,
Since the true life on’t was– 95
And this you might have heard of here, by me,
Or by some other.
IACHIMOMore particulars
Must justify my knowledge. 100
Or do your honour injury.
IACHIMOThe chimney
Is south the chamber, and the chimney-piece
Chaste Dian bathing: never saw I figures 105
So likely to report themselves: the cutter
Was as another nature, dumb; outwent her,
Motion and breath left out.
Which you might from relation likewise reap, 110
Being, as it is, much spoke of.
IACHIMOThe roof o’ the chamber
With golden cherubins is fretted: her andirons–
I had forgot them–were two winking Cupids
Of silver, each on one foot standing, nicely 115
Depending on their brands.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSThis is her honour!
Let it be granted you have seen all this–and praise
Be given to your remembrance–the description
Of what is in her chamber nothing saves 120
The wager you have laid.
IACHIMOThen, if you can,
Showing the bracelet
Be pale: I beg but leave to air this jewel; see!
And now ’tis up again: it must be married
To that your diamond; I’ll keep them. 125
Once more let me behold it: is it that
Which I left with her?
IACHIMOSir–I thank her–that:
She stripp’d it from her arm; I see her yet; 130
Her pretty action did outsell her gift,
And yet enrich’d it too: she gave it me, and said
She prized it once.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSMay be she pluck’d it off
To send it me. 135
IACHIMOShe writes so to you, doth she?
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSO, no, no, no! ’tis true. Here, take this too;
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; love, 140
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!
PHILARIOHave patience, sir, 145
And take your ring again; ’tis not yet won:
It may be probable she lost it; or
Who knows if one of her women, being corrupted,
Hath stol’n it from her?
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.
IACHIMOBy Jupiter, I had it from her arm.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSHark you, he swears; by Jupiter he swears. 155
‘Tis true:–nay, keep the ring–’tis true: I am sure
She would not lose it: her attendants are
All sworn and honourable:–they induced to steal it!
And by a stranger!–No, he hath enjoyed her:
The cognizance of her incontinency 160
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!
PHILARIOSir, be patient: 165
This is not strong enough to be believed
Of one persuaded well of–
She hath been colted by him.
IACHIMOIf you seek 170
For further satisfying, under her breast–
Worthy the pressing–lies a mole, right proud
Of that most delicate lodging: by my life,
I kiss’d it; and it gave me present hunger
To feed again, though full. You do remember 175
This stain upon her?
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSAy, and it doth confirm
Another stain, as big as hell can hold,
Were there no more but it.
IACHIMOWill you hear more? 180
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSSpare your arithmetic: never count the turns;
Once, and a million!
IACHIMOI’ll be sworn–
If you will swear you have not done’t, you lie; 185
And I will kill thee, if thou dost deny
Thou’st made me cuckold.
IACHIMOI’ll deny nothing.
POSTHUMUS LEONATUSO, that I had her here, to tear her limb-meal!
I will go there and do’t, i’ the court, before 190
Her father. I’ll do something–
PHILARIOQuite besides
The government of patience! You have won:
Let’s follow him, and pervert the present wrath
He hath against himself. 195
IACHIMOWith an my heart.

Cymbeline, Act 2, Scene 5