Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Philario, Iachimo, a Frenchman, a Dutchman,

and a Spaniard


Believe it sir, I have seen him in Britain: he was then

of a crescent note, expected to prove so worthy as
crescent (adj.) growing, developing, increasing
note (n.) 1 attention, notice, regard

since he hath been allowed the name of. But I could

then have looked on him without the help of admiration,
admiration (n.) 1 amazement, astonishment, wonder

though the catalogue of his endowments had

been tabled by his side and I to peruse him by items.
item (n.) 1 entry, detail, point
table (v.) tabulate, list, itemize


You speak of him when he was less furnished than
furnish (v.) 4 endow, equip, have qualities

now he is with that which makes him both without
without (adv.) externally, on the outside

and within.


I have seen him in France: we had very many

there could behold the sun with as firm eyes as he.


This matter of marrying his king's daughter, wherein

he must be weighed rather by her value than his
value (n.) worth, estimation, valuation

own, words him – I doubt not – a great deal from the
word (v.) 2 represent in words, give a reputation



And then his banishment.


Ay, and the approbation of those that weep this
approbation (n.) 1 expression of approval, pleasurable confirmation, ready sanctioning

lamentable divorce under her colours are wonderfully
colours (n.) 1 battle-flags, ensigns, standards, banners See Topics: Frequency count

to extend him; be it but to fortify her judgement,
extend (v.) 1 exaggerate, magnify, blow up

which else an easy battery might lay flat, for
battery (n.) 1 assault, bombardment, blitz

taking a beggar without less quality. But how comes
quality (n.) 3 rank, standing, position

it he is to sojourn with you? How creeps
creep (v.) 1 steal into, worm one's way into
sojourn (v.) 1 pause, reside, stay for a while



His father and I were soldiers together, to whom I

have been often bound for no less than my life. –

Here comes the Briton. Let him be so entertained

amongst you as suits, with gentlemen of your knowing,
knowing (n.) 2 knowledge of the world, experience, savoir-faire

to a stranger of his quality.
quality (n.) 3 rank, standing, position

Enter Posthumus

I beseech you all be better known to this gentleman,

whom I commend to you as a noble friend of mine.
commend (v.) 3 present, introduce, bring [for favourable acceptance]

How worthy he is I will leave to appear hereafter,

rather than story him in his own hearing.
story (v.) give an account of, portray


Sir, we have known together in Orleans.
know (v.) 3 be acquainted, meet before


Since when I have been debtor to you for courtesies

which I will be ever to pay, and yet pay still.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


Sir, you o'er-rate my poor kindness: I was glad I

did atone my countryman and you: it had been pity
atone (v.) 1 unite, join, reconcile

you should have been put together, with so mortal a
put together (v.) set against each other, oppose in combat

purpose as then each bore, upon importance of so
importance (n.) 1 import, subject-matter
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

slight and trivial a nature.


By your pardon, sir, I was then a young traveller,
young (adj.) 1 immature, inexperienced, raw

rather shunned to go even with what I heard than in
go even agree, give assent [to]
shun (v.) 1 refuse, avoid, refrain from

my every action to be guided by others' experiences:

but upon my mended judgement – if I offend not to
mended (adj.) improved, made better

say it is mended – my quarrel was not altogether



Faith yes, to be put to the arbitrement of swords,
arbitrament, arbitrement (n.) 1 deciding of a dispute, determination, settlement

and by such two, that would by all likelihood have

confounded one the other, or have fallen both.
confound (v.) 1 destroy, overthrow, ruin


Can we with manners ask what was the difference?
difference (n.) 2 cause of argument, nature of disagreement


Safely, I think: 'twas a contention in public,
contention (n.) quarrel, dispute, strife

which may – without contradiction – suffer the report.
suffer (v.) 4 bear, endure, stand

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
warrant (n.) 1 assurance, pledge, guarantee

fair, virtuous, wise, chaste, constant, qualified and
constant (adj.) 1 faithful, steadfast, true
qualified (adj.) 1 endowed with good qualities, accomplished

less attemptable than any the rarest of our ladies in
attemptable (adj.) capable of being seduced
rare (adj.) 1 marvellous, splendid, excellent



That lady is not now living; or this gentleman's

opinion, by this, worn out.


She holds her virtue still, and I my mind.
still (adv.) 2 ever, now [as before]


You must not so far prefer her 'fore ours of Italy.
prefer (v.) 1 promote, advance, recommend


Being so far provoked as I was in France, I would

abate her nothing, though I profess myself her
abate (v.) 1 lessen, lower, diminish

adorer, not her friend.
friend (n.) 1 lover, sweetheart, suitor


As fair, and as good – a kind of hand-in-hand
hand-in-hand (adj.) claiming equality, equally balanced

comparison – had been something too fair, and too good
something (adv.) 1 somewhat, rather See Topics: Frequency count

for any lady in Britany. If she went before others I

have seen, as that diamond of yours outlustres many

I have beheld, I could not believe she excelled many:

but I have not seen the most precious diamond that

is, nor you the lady.


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


What do you esteem it at?


More than the world enjoys.
enjoy (v.) 1 possess, have, own


Either your unparagoned mistress is dead, or she's
unparagoned (adj.) unsurpassable, matchless, not able to be excelled

outprized by a trifle.


You are mistaken: the one may be sold or given, or

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.


Which the gods have given you?


Which by their graces I will keep.


You may wear her in title yours: but you know
title (n.) 1 [legal] right, claim, entitlement
wear (v.) 4 possess, enjoy, have

strange fowl light upon neighbouring ponds. Your

ring may be stolen too: so your brace of unprizable
unprizable (adj.) 1 inestimable, beyond price

estimations, the one is but frail and the other casual;
casual (adj.) accidental, subject to mischance
estimation (n.) 3 valued object, treasure

a cunning thief, or a – that way – accomplished courtier,

would hazard the winning both of first and last.


Your Italy contains none so accomplished a courtier

to convince the honour of my mistress, if in the holding
convince (v.) 1 defeat, overcome, overpower

or loss of that, you term her frail: I do nothing

doubt you have store of thieves; notwithstanding, I
store (n.) 1 abundance, plenty, surplus, quantity

fear not my ring.


Let us leave here, gentlemen.
leave (v.) 1 cease, stop, give up


Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I thank

him, makes no stranger of me; we are familiar at
first, at at once, immediately, from the start



With five times so much conversation, I should get
conversation (n.) 2 social interaction, society, dealings

ground of your fair mistress; make her go back,
ground (n.) 3 advantage, upper hand, edge

even to the yielding, had I admittance, and opportunity
yielding (n.) consent, compliance, agreement

to friend.
friend (v.) 2 befriend, become intimate


No, no.


I dare thereupon pawn the moiety of my estate, to
moiety (n.) 2 half, equal share

your ring, which in my opinion o'ervalues it something:
overvalue (v.) exceed in value

but I make my wager rather against your

confidence than her reputation. And to bar your
bar (v.) 1 prevent, obstruct, block

offence herein too, I durst attempt it against any
attempt (v.) 1 endeavour, venture, strive [for]

lady in the world.


You are a great deal abused in too bold a persuasion,
abuse (v.) 1 deceive, mislead, fool, cheat
persuasion (n.) 1 conviction, principle, opinion

and I doubt not you sustain what you're
sustain (v.) 1 receive, undergo, experience

worthy of by your attempt.


What's that?


A repulse: though your attempt – as you call it –

deserve more; a punishment too.


Gentlemen, enough of this, it came in too suddenly;

let it die as it was born, and I pray you be better



Would I had put my estate and my neighbour's on

th' approbation of what I have spoke!
approbation (n.) 2 proof, confirmation, attestation


What lady would you choose to assail?


Yours, whom in constancy you think stands so safe.

I will lay you ten thousand ducats to your ring, that,
lay (v.) 12 wager, stake, bet

commend me to the court where your lady is, with
commend (v.) 3 present, introduce, bring [for favourable acceptance]
commend (v.) 3 present, introduce, bring [for favourable acceptance]

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.


I will wage against your gold, gold to it: my ring I
wage (v.) 2 stake, hazard

hold dear as my finger, 'tis part of it.


You are a friend, and therein the wiser. If you buy

ladies' flesh at a million a dram, you cannot preserve
dram (n.) 1 tiny amount, small quantity

it from tainting; but I see you have some religion in
religion (n.) 2 religious belief; or: fear, superstition
taint (v.) 1 sully, infect, stain

you, that you fear.


This is but a custom in your tongue: you bear a
custom (n.) 1 habit, usual practice, customary usage

graver purpose I hope.
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count


I am the master of my speeches, and would undergo
undergo (v.) 1 undertake, carry out, perform

what's spoken, I swear.


Will you? I shall but lend my diamond till your

return: let there be covenants drawn between's.
covenant (n.) contract, legal agreement, compact

My mistress exceeds in goodness the hugeness of

your unworthy thinking. I dare you to this match:

here's my ring.


I will have it no lay.
lay (n.) 2 wager, stake, bet


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
come off (v.) 1 come away, leave

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
commendation (n.) 1 introduction, approval, endorsement
free (adj.) 1 liberal, lavish, generous

free entertainment.
entertainment (n.) 2 pleasant reception, favourable welcome


I embrace these conditions, let us have articles betwixt
article (n.) 1 clause, term, provision

us. Only, thus far you shall answer: if you

make your voyage upon her, and give me directly
directly (adv.) 3 plainly, clearly, evidently

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 th' assault you have
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count

made to her chastity, you shall answer me with your
answer (v.) 3 satisfy, discharge, requite



Your hand, a covenant: we will have these things
covenant (n.) contract, legal agreement, compact

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
starve (v.) 1 die, perish

wagers recorded.



Exeunt Posthumus and Iachimo


Will this hold, think you?


Signior Iachimo will not from it. Pray, let us follow



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