Speeches (Lines) for Iachimo
in "Cymbeline"

Total: 77

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,4,323

(stage directions). [Enter PHILARIO, IACHIMO, a Frenchman, a]
Dutchman, and a Spaniard]

Iachimo. Believe it, sir, I have seen him in Britain: he was
then of a crescent note, expected to prove so worthy
as since he hath been allowed the name of; but I
could then have looked on him without the help of
admiration, though the catalogue of his endowments
had been tabled by his side and I to peruse him by items.


2

I,4,333

Frenchman. I have seen him in France: we had very many there
could behold the sun with as firm eyes as he.

Iachimo. This matter of marrying his king's daughter, wherein
he must be weighed rather by her value than his own,
words him, I doubt not, a great deal from the matter.


3

I,4,337

Frenchman. And then his banishment.

Iachimo. Ay, and the approbation of those that weep this
lamentable divorce under her colours are wonderfully
to extend him; be it but to fortify her judgment,
which else an easy battery might lay flat, for
taking a beggar without less quality. But how comes
it he is to sojourn with you? How creeps
acquaintance?


4

I,4,370

Frenchman. '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.

Iachimo. Can we, with manners, ask what was the difference?


5

I,4,380

Frenchman. 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.

Iachimo. That lady is not now living, or this gentleman's
opinion by this worn out.


6

I,4,383

Posthumus Leonatus. She holds her virtue still and I my mind.

Iachimo. You must not so far prefer her 'fore ours of Italy.


7

I,4,387

Posthumus Leonatus. Being so far provoked as I was in France, I would
abate her nothing, though I profess myself her
adorer, not her friend.

Iachimo. As fair and as good—a kind of hand-in-hand
comparison—had been something too fair and too good
for any lady in Britain. If she went before others
I have seen, as that diamond of yours outlustres
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.


8

I,4,395

Posthumus Leonatus. I praised her as I rated her: so do I my stone.

Iachimo. What do you esteem it at?


9

I,4,397

Posthumus Leonatus. More than the world enjoys.

Iachimo. Either your unparagoned mistress is dead, or she's
outprized by a trifle.


10

I,4,403

Posthumus Leonatus. 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.

Iachimo. Which the gods have given you?


11

I,4,405

Posthumus Leonatus. Which, by their graces, I will keep.

Iachimo. You may wear her in title yours: but, you know,
strange fowl light upon neighbouring ponds. Your
ring may be stolen too: so your brace of unprizable
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.


12

I,4,419

Posthumus Leonatus. Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I
thank him, makes no stranger of me; we are familiar at first.

Iachimo. 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.


13

I,4,423

Posthumus Leonatus. No, no.

Iachimo. 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.


14

I,4,432

Posthumus Leonatus. 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.

Iachimo. What's that?


15

I,4,438

Philario. Gentlemen, enough of this: it came in too suddenly;
let it die as it was born, and, I pray you, be
better acquainted.

Iachimo. Would I had put my estate and my neighbour's on the
approbation of what I have spoke!


16

I,4,441

Posthumus Leonatus. What lady would you choose to assail?

Iachimo. 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.


17

I,4,449

Posthumus Leonatus. I will wage against your gold, gold to it: my ring
I hold dear as my finger; 'tis part of it.

Iachimo. You are afraid, 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.


18

I,4,455

Posthumus Leonatus. This is but a custom in your tongue; you bear a
graver purpose, I hope.

Iachimo. I am the master of my speeches, and would undergo
what's spoken, I swear.


19

I,4,462

Philario. I will have it no lay.

Iachimo. 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 yours; 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
yours: provided I have your commendation for my more
free entertainment.


20

I,4,479

Posthumus Leonatus. 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 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.

Iachimo. 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.


21

I,6,614

Pisanio. Madam, a noble gentleman of Rome,
Comes from my lord with letters.

Iachimo. Change you, madam?
The worthy Leonatus is in safety
And greets your highness dearly.


22

I,6,620

Imogen. Thanks, good sir:
You're kindly welcome.

Iachimo. [Aside] All of her that is out of door most rich!
If she be furnish'd with a mind so rare,
She is alone the Arabian bird, and I
Have lost the wager. Boldness be my friend!
Arm me, audacity, from head to foot!
Or, like the Parthian, I shall flying fight;
Rather directly fly.


23

I,6,637

Imogen. [Reads] 'He is one of the noblest note, to whose
kindnesses I am most infinitely tied. Reflect upon
him accordingly, as you value your trust—
LEONATUS.'
So far I read aloud:
But even the very middle of my heart
Is warm'd by the rest, and takes it thankfully.
You are as welcome, worthy sir, as I
Have words to bid you, and shall find it so
In all that I can do.

Iachimo. Thanks, fairest lady.
What, are men mad? Hath nature given them eyes
To see this vaulted arch, and the rich crop
Of sea and land, which can distinguish 'twixt
The fiery orbs above and the twinn'd stones
Upon the number'd beach? and can we not
Partition make with spectacles so precious
'Twixt fair and foul?


24

I,6,646

Imogen. What makes your admiration?

Iachimo. It cannot be i' the eye, for apes and monkeys
'Twixt two such shes would chatter this way and
Contemn with mows the other; nor i' the judgment,
For idiots in this case of favour would
Be wisely definite; nor i' the appetite;
Sluttery to such neat excellence opposed
Should make desire vomit emptiness,
Not so allured to feed.


25

I,6,655

Imogen. What is the matter, trow?

Iachimo. The cloyed will,
That satiate yet unsatisfied desire, that tub
Both fill'd and running, ravening first the lamb
Longs after for the garbage.


26

I,6,661

Imogen. What, dear sir,
Thus raps you? Are you well?

Iachimo. Thanks, madam; well.
[To PISANIO]
Beseech you, sir, desire
My man's abode where I did leave him: he
Is strange and peevish.


27

I,6,670

Imogen. Continues well my lord? His health, beseech you?

Iachimo. Well, madam.


28

I,6,672

Imogen. Is he disposed to mirth? I hope he is.

Iachimo. Exceeding pleasant; none a stranger there
So merry and so gamesome: he is call'd
The Briton reveller.


29

I,6,678

Imogen. When he was here,
He did incline to sadness, and oft-times
Not knowing why.

Iachimo. I never saw him sad.
There is a Frenchman his companion, one
An eminent monsieur, that, it seems, much loves
A Gallian girl at home; he furnaces
The thick sighs from him, whiles the jolly Briton—
Your lord, I mean—laughs from's free lungs, cries 'O,
Can my sides hold, to think that man, who knows
By history, report, or his own proof,
What woman is, yea, what she cannot choose
But must be, will his free hours languish for
Assured bondage?'


30

I,6,690

Imogen. Will my lord say so?

Iachimo. Ay, madam, with his eyes in flood with laughter:
It is a recreation to be by
And hear him mock the Frenchman. But, heavens know,
Some men are much to blame.


31

I,6,695

Imogen. Not he, I hope.

Iachimo. Not he: but yet heaven's bounty towards him might
Be used more thankfully. In himself, 'tis much;
In you, which I account his beyond all talents,
Whilst I am bound to wonder, I am bound
To pity too.


32

I,6,701

Imogen. What do you pity, sir?

Iachimo. Two creatures heartily.


33

I,6,705

Imogen. Am I one, sir?
You look on me: what wreck discern you in me
Deserves your pity?

Iachimo. Lamentable! What,
To hide me from the radiant sun and solace
I' the dungeon by a snuff?


34

I,6,711

Imogen. I pray you, sir,
Deliver with more openness your answers
To my demands. Why do you pity me?

Iachimo. That others do—
I was about to say—enjoy your—But
It is an office of the gods to venge it,
Not mine to speak on 't.


35

I,6,722

Imogen. You do seem to know
Something of me, or what concerns me: pray you,—
Since doubling things go ill often hurts more
Than to be sure they do; for certainties
Either are past remedies, or, timely knowing,
The remedy then born—discover to me
What both you spur and stop.

Iachimo. Had I this cheek
To bathe my lips upon; this hand, whose touch,
Whose every touch, would force the feeler's soul
To the oath of loyalty; this object, which
Takes prisoner the wild motion of mine eye,
Fixing it only here; should I, damn'd then,
Slaver with lips as common as the stairs
That mount the Capitol; join gripes with hands
Made hard with hourly falsehood—falsehood, as
With labour; then by-peeping in an eye
Base and unlustrous as the smoky light
That's fed with stinking tallow; it were fit
That all the plagues of hell should at one time
Encounter such revolt.


36

I,6,738

Imogen. My lord, I fear,
Has forgot Britain.

Iachimo. And himself. Not I,
Inclined to this intelligence, pronounce
The beggary of his change; but 'tis your graces
That from pay mutest conscience to my tongue
Charms this report out.


37

I,6,744

Imogen. Let me hear no more.

Iachimo. O dearest soul! your cause doth strike my heart
With pity, that doth make me sick. A lady
So fair, and fasten'd to an empery,
Would make the great'st king double,—to be partner'd
With tomboys hired with that self-exhibition
Which your own coffers yield! with diseased ventures
That play with all infirmities for gold
Which rottenness can lend nature! such boil'd stuff
As well might poison poison! Be revenged;
Or she that bore you was no queen, and you
Recoil from your great stock.


38

I,6,760

Imogen. Revenged!
How should I be revenged? If this be true,—
As I have such a heart that both mine ears
Must not in haste abuse—if it be true,
How should I be revenged?

Iachimo. Should he make me
Live, like Diana's priest, betwixt cold sheets,
Whiles he is vaulting variable ramps,
In your despite, upon your purse? Revenge it.
I dedicate myself to your sweet pleasure,
More noble than that runagate to your bed,
And will continue fast to your affection,
Still close as sure.


39

I,6,769

Imogen. What, ho, Pisanio!

Iachimo. Let me my service tender on your lips.


40

I,6,785

Imogen. Away! I do condemn mine ears that have
So long attended thee. If thou wert honourable,
Thou wouldst have told this tale for virtue, not
For such an end thou seek'st,—as base as strange.
Thou wrong'st a gentleman, who is as far
From thy report as thou from honour, and
Solicit'st here a lady that disdains
Thee and the devil alike. What ho, Pisanio!
The king my father shall be made acquainted
Of thy assault: if he shall think it fit,
A saucy stranger in his court to mart
As in a Romish stew and to expound
His beastly mind to us, he hath a court
He little cares for and a daughter who
He not respects at all. What, ho, Pisanio!

Iachimo. O happy Leonatus! I may say
The credit that thy lady hath of thee
Deserves thy trust, and thy most perfect goodness
Her assured credit. Blessed live you long!
A lady to the worthiest sir that ever
Country call'd his! and you his mistress, only
For the most worthiest fit! Give me your pardon.
I have spoke this, to know if your affiance
Were deeply rooted; and shall make your lord,
That which he is, new o'er: and he is one
The truest manner'd; such a holy witch
That he enchants societies into him;
Half all men's hearts are his.


41

I,6,799

Imogen. You make amends.

Iachimo. He sits 'mongst men like a descended god:
He hath a kind of honour sets him off,
More than a mortal seeming. Be not angry,
Most mighty princess, that I have adventured
To try your taking a false report; which hath
Honour'd with confirmation your great judgment
In the election of a sir so rare,
Which you know cannot err: the love I bear him
Made me to fan you thus, but the gods made you,
Unlike all others, chaffless. Pray, your pardon.


42

I,6,811

Imogen. All's well, sir: take my power i' the court
for yours.

Iachimo. My humble thanks. I had almost forgot
To entreat your grace but in a small request,
And yet of moment to, for it concerns
Your lord; myself and other noble friends,
Are partners in the business.


43

I,6,817

Imogen. Pray, what is't?

Iachimo. Some dozen Romans of us and your lord—
The best feather of our wing—have mingled sums
To buy a present for the emperor
Which I, the factor for the rest, have done
In France: 'tis plate of rare device, and jewels
Of rich and exquisite form; their values great;
And I am something curious, being strange,
To have them in safe stowage: may it please you
To take them in protection?


44

I,6,830

Imogen. Willingly;
And pawn mine honour for their safety: since
My lord hath interest in them, I will keep them
In my bedchamber.

Iachimo. They are in a trunk,
Attended by my men: I will make bold
To send them to you, only for this night;
I must aboard to-morrow.


45

I,6,835

Imogen. O, no, no.

Iachimo. Yes, I beseech; or I shall short my word
By lengthening my return. From Gallia
I cross'd the seas on purpose and on promise
To see your grace.


46

I,6,841

Imogen. I thank you for your pains:
But not away to-morrow!

Iachimo. O, I must, madam:
Therefore I shall beseech you, if you please
To greet your lord with writing, do't to-night:
I have outstood my time; which is material
To the tender of our present.


47

II,2,933

(stage directions). [Sleeps. IACHIMO comes from the trunk]

Iachimo. The crickets sing, and man's o'er-labour'd sense
Repairs itself by rest. Our Tarquin thus
Did softly press the rushes, ere he waken'd
The chastity he wounded. Cytherea,
How bravely thou becomest thy bed, fresh lily,
And whiter than the sheets! That I might touch!
But kiss; one kiss! Rubies unparagon'd,
How dearly they do't! 'Tis her breathing that
Perfumes the chamber thus: the flame o' the taper
Bows toward her, and would under-peep her lids,
To see the enclosed lights, now canopied
Under these windows, white and azure laced
With blue of heaven's own tinct. But my design,
To note the chamber: I will write all down:
Such and such pictures; there the window; such
The adornment of her bed; the arras; figures,
Why, such and such; and the contents o' the story.
Ah, but some natural notes about her body,
Above ten thousand meaner moveables
Would testify, to enrich mine inventory.
O sleep, thou ape of death, lie dull upon her!
And be her sense but as a monument,
Thus in a chapel lying! Come off, come off:
[Taking off her bracelet]
As slippery as the Gordian knot was hard!
'Tis mine; and this will witness outwardly,
As strongly as the conscience does within,
To the madding of her lord. On her left breast
A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops
I' the bottom of a cowslip: here's a voucher,
Stronger than ever law could make: this secret
Will force him think I have pick'd the lock and ta'en
The treasure of her honour. No more. To what end?
Why should I write this down, that's riveted,
Screw'd to my memory? She hath been reading late
The tale of Tereus; here the leaf's turn'd down
Where Philomel gave up. I have enough:
To the trunk again, and shut the spring of it.
Swift, swift, you dragons of the night, that dawning
May bare the raven's eye! I lodge in fear;
Though this a heavenly angel, hell is here.
[Clock strikes]
One, two, three: time, time!


48

II,4,1208

Posthumus Leonatus. I hope the briefness of your answer made
The speediness of your return.

Iachimo. Your lady
Is one of the fairest that I have look'd upon.


49

II,4,1213

Posthumus Leonatus. And therewithal the best; or let her beauty
Look through a casement to allure false hearts
And be false with them.

Iachimo. Here are letters for you.


50

II,4,1215

Posthumus Leonatus. Their tenor good, I trust.

Iachimo. 'Tis very like.


51

II,4,1218

Philario. Was Caius Lucius in the Britain court
When you were there?

Iachimo. He was expected then,
But not approach'd.


52

II,4,1223

Posthumus Leonatus. All is well yet.
Sparkles this stone as it was wont? or is't not
Too dull for your good wearing?

Iachimo. If I had 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.


53

II,4,1229

Posthumus Leonatus. The stone's too hard to come by.

Iachimo. Not a whit,
Your lady being so easy.


54

II,4,1234

Posthumus Leonatus. Make not, sir,
Your loss your sport: I hope you know that we
Must not continue friends.

Iachimo. 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.


55

II,4,1248

Posthumus Leonatus. If 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
Your sword or mine, or masterless leaves both
To who shall find them.

Iachimo. 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 not,
You'll give me leave to spare, when you shall find
You need it not.


56

II,4,1255

Posthumus Leonatus. Proceed.

Iachimo. First, her bedchamber,—
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
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—


57

II,4,1269

Posthumus Leonatus. This is true;
And this you might have heard of here, by me,
Or by some other.

Iachimo. More particulars
Must justify my knowledge.


58

II,4,1273

Posthumus Leonatus. So they must,
Or do your honour injury.

Iachimo. 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.


59

II,4,1282

Posthumus Leonatus. This is a thing
Which you might from relation likewise reap,
Being, as it is, much spoke of.

Iachimo. The 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
Depending on their brands.


60

II,4,1292

Posthumus Leonatus. This 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
The wager you have laid.

Iachimo. Then, 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.


61

II,4,1300

Posthumus Leonatus. Jove!
Once more let me behold it: is it that
Which I left with her?

Iachimo. 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 prized it once.


62

II,4,1307

Posthumus Leonatus. May be she pluck'd it off
To send it me.

Iachimo. She writes so to you, doth she?


63

II,4,1326

Posthumus Leonatus. 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.

Iachimo. By Jupiter, I had it from her arm.


64

II,4,1342

Posthumus Leonatus. Never talk on't;
She hath been colted by him.

Iachimo. If you seek
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
This stain upon her?


65

II,4,1352

Posthumus Leonatus. Ay, and it doth confirm
Another stain, as big as hell can hold,
Were there no more but it.

Iachimo. Will you hear more?


66

II,4,1355

Posthumus Leonatus. Spare your arithmetic: never count the turns;
Once, and a million!

Iachimo. I'll be sworn—


67

II,4,1360

Posthumus Leonatus. No swearing.
If you will swear you have not done't, you lie;
And I will kill thee, if thou dost deny
Thou'st made me cuckold.

Iachimo. I'll deny nothing.


68

II,4,1369

Philario. Quite besides
The government of patience! You have won:
Let's follow him, and pervert the present wrath
He hath against himself.

Iachimo. With an my heart.


69

V,2,2993

(stage directions). [Enter, from one side, LUCIUS, IACHIMO, and]
the Roman Army: from the other side, the
British Army; POSTHUMUS LEONATUS following,
like a poor soldier. They march over and go
out. Then enter again, in skirmish, IACHIMO
and POSTHUMUS LEONATUS he vanquisheth and disarmeth
IACHIMO, and then leaves him]

Iachimo. The heaviness and guilt within my bosom
Takes off my manhood: I have belied a lady,
The princess of this country, and the air on't
Revengingly enfeebles me; or could this carl,
A very drudge of nature's, have subdued me
In my profession? Knighthoods and honours, borne
As I wear mine, are titles but of scorn.
If that thy gentry, Britain, go before
This lout as he exceeds our lords, the odds
Is that we scarce are men and you are gods.
[Exit]
[The battle continues; the Britons fly; CYMBELINE is]
taken: then enter, to his rescue, BELARIUS,
GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS]


70

V,2,3017

Caius Lucius. Away, boy, from the troops, and save thyself;
For friends kill friends, and the disorder's such
As war were hoodwink'd.

Iachimo. 'Tis their fresh supplies.


71

V,5,3540

Cymbeline. That diamond upon your finger, say
How came it yours?

Iachimo. Thou'lt torture me to leave unspoken that
Which, to be spoke, would torture thee.


72

V,5,3543

Cymbeline. How! me?

Iachimo. I am glad to be constrain'd to utter that
Which torments me to conceal. By villany
I got this ring: 'twas Leonatus' jewel;
Whom thou didst banish; and—which more may
grieve thee,
As it doth me—a nobler sir ne'er lived
'Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, my lord?


73

V,5,3551

Cymbeline. All that belongs to this.

Iachimo. That paragon, thy daughter,—
For whom my heart drops blood, and my false spirits
Quail to remember—Give me leave; I faint.


74

V,5,3557

Cymbeline. My daughter! what of her? Renew thy strength:
I had rather thou shouldst live while nature will
Than die ere I hear more: strive, man, and speak.

Iachimo. Upon a time,—unhappy was the clock
That struck the hour!—it was in Rome,—accursed
The mansion where!—'twas at a feast,—O, would
Our viands had been poison'd, or at least
Those which I heaved to head!—the good Posthumus—
What should I say? he was too good to be
Where ill men were; and was the best of all
Amongst the rarest of good ones,—sitting sadly,
Hearing us praise our loves of Italy
For beauty that made barren the swell'd boast
Of him that best could speak, for feature, laming
The shrine of Venus, or straight-pight Minerva.
Postures beyond brief nature, for condition,
A shop of all the qualities that man
Loves woman for, besides that hook of wiving,
Fairness which strikes the eye—


75

V,5,3575

Cymbeline. I stand on fire:
Come to the matter.

Iachimo. All too soon I shall,
Unless thou wouldst grieve quickly. This Posthumus,
Most like a noble lord in love and one
That had a royal lover, took his hint;
And, not dispraising whom we praised,—therein
He was as calm as virtue—he began
His mistress' picture; which by his tongue
being made,
And then a mind put in't, either our brags
Were crack'd of kitchen-trolls, or his description
Proved us unspeaking sots.


76

V,5,3587

Cymbeline. Nay, nay, to the purpose.

Iachimo. Your daughter's chastity—there it begins.
He spake of her, as Dian had hot dreams,
And she alone were cold: whereat I, wretch,
Made scruple of his praise; and wager'd with him
Pieces of gold 'gainst this which then he wore
Upon his honour'd finger, to attain
In suit the place of's bed and win this ring
By hers and mine adultery. He, true knight,
No lesser of her honour confident
Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring;
And would so, had it been a carbuncle
Of Phoebus' wheel, and might so safely, had it
Been all the worth of's car. Away to Britain
Post I in this design: well may you, sir,
Remember me at court; where I was taught
Of your chaste daughter the wide difference
'Twixt amorous and villanous. Being thus quench'd
Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain
'Gan in your duller Britain operate
Most vilely; for my vantage, excellent:
And, to be brief, my practise so prevail'd,
That I return'd with simular proof enough
To make the noble Leonatus mad,
By wounding his belief in her renown
With tokens thus, and thus; averting notes
Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet,—
O cunning, how I got it!—nay, some marks
Of secret on her person, that he could not
But think her bond of chastity quite crack'd,
I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon—
Methinks, I see him now—


77

V,5,3877

Posthumus Leonatus. I am, sir,
The soldier that did company these three
In poor beseeming; 'twas a fitment for
The purpose I then follow'd. That I was he,
Speak, Iachimo: I had you down and might
Have made you finish.

Iachimo. [Kneeling] I am down again:
But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee,
As then your force did. Take that life, beseech you,
Which I so often owe: but your ring first;
And here the bracelet of the truest princess
That ever swore her faith.


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