Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Posthumus and Philario


Fear it not, sir: I would I were so sure

To win the king as I am bold her honour
bold (adj.) 1 confident, certain, sure

Will remain hers.
mean (n.) 6 mediation, intercession, intervention


                         What means do you make to him?


Not any: but abide the change of time,

Quake in the present winter's state, and wish

That warmer days would come: in these feared hopes,
feared (adj.) infused with fear, full of fear, frightened
seared (adj.) 1 withered, wilting, declining

I barely gratify your love; they failing,
gratify (v.) 1 reward, repay, show gratitude for

I must die much your debtor.


Your very goodness, and your company,
very (adj.) 3 mere, alone

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
throughly (adv.) thoroughly, fully, completely

He'll grant the tribute: send th' arrearages,
arrearage (n.) arrears, overdue payment, outstanding amount

Or look upon our Romans, whose remembrance
remembrance (n.) 1 memory, bringing to mind, recollection See Topics: Frequency count

Is yet fresh in their grief.


                         I do believe –

Statist though I am none, nor like to be –
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count
statist (n.) statesman, politician, man of affairs

That this will prove a war; and you shall hear

The legion now in Gallia sooner landed

In our not-fearing Britain than have tidings
not-fearing (adj.) fearless, unafraid, courageous

Of any penny tribute paid. Our countrymen

Are men more ordered than when Julius Caesar
ordered (adj.) organized, prepared, ready

Smiled at their lack of skill, but found their courage

Worthy his frowning at. Their discipline –

Now wing-led with their courages – will make known
courage (n.) 2 young man of bravado, man of spirit
wing-led (adj.) [unclear meaning] led on in organized formation

To their approvers they are people such
approver (n.) tester, someone who subjects others to the proof

That mend upon the world.

Enter Iachimo
mend (v.) 1 amend, improve, make better, put right


                         See! Iachimo!


The swiftest harts have posted you by land;
hart (n.) male deer
post (v.) 2 carry rapidly, convey swiftly

And winds of all the corners kissed your sails,
corner (n.) quarter, corner of the earth [as on a map showing winds]

To make your vessel nimble.


                         Welcome, sir.


I hope the briefness of your answer made

The speediness of your return.


                         Your lady,

Is one the fairest that I have looked upon –


And therewithal the best, or let her beauty

Look through a casement to allure false hearts,
allure (v.) entice, attract, tempt
casement (n.) 1 window [on hinges and able to be opened]
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful

And be false with them.


                         Here are letters for you.


Their tenour good, I trust.
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count
tenor, tenour (n.) 1 substance, content, matter, drift


                         'Tis very like.


Was Caius Lucius in the Britain court

When you were there?


                         He was expected then,

But not approached.
approach (v.) arrive, come, turn up


                         All is well yet.

Sparkles this stone as it was wont, or is't not
stone (n.) 2 precious stone, gem
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count

Too dull for your good wearing?


                         If I have lost it,

I should have lost the worth of it in gold –

I'll make a journey twice as far, t' enjoy

A second night of such sweet shortness which

Was mine in Britain; for the ring is won.


The stone's too hard to come by.


                         Not a whit,

Your lady being so easy.


                         Make not, sir,

Your loss your sport: I hope you know that we
sport (n.) 4 subject of sport

Must not continue friends.


                         Good sir, we must

If you keep covenant. Had I not brought
covenant (n.) contract, legal agreement, compact

The knowledge of your mistress home, I grant
knowledge (n.) 2 carnal knowledge, intimate acquaintance

We were to question farther; but I now
question (v.) 1 dispute, quarrel [over], call in question

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.


                         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 leave both

To who shall find them.
circumstance (n.) 1 detail(s), particular(s), specifics


                         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
spare (v.) 1 omit, avoid, refrain [from]

You need it not.




                                                         First, her bedchamber –

Where, I confess, I slept not, but profess

Had that was well worth watching – it was hanged
watch (v.) 1 stay awake, keep vigil

With tapesty of silk and silver, the story

Proud Cleopatra, when she met her Roman,

And Cydnus swelled above the banks, or for

The press of boats, or pride. A piece of work

So bravely done, so rich, that it did strive
bravely (adv.) 1 splendidly, worthily, excellently
strive (v.) compete, contend, vie

In workmanship and value; which I wondered

Could be so rarely and exactly wrought,
rarely (adv.) 1 splendidly, beautifully, excellently

Since the true life on't was –


                         This is true:

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

Or by some other.


                         More particulars

Must justify my knowledge.
justify (v.) 2 prove, confirm, demonstrate


                         So they must,

Or do your honour injury.
chimney (n.) fireplace, hearth


                         The chimney

Is south the chamber, and the chimney-piece,

Chaste Dian, bathing: never saw I figures

So likely to report themselves; the cutter
cutter (n.) carver, sculptor, engraver
report (v.) give an account [of], describe in words

Was as another Nature, dumb; outwent her,
outgo (v.) 1 outdo, outstrip, surpass

Motion and breath left out.


                         This is a thing

Which you might from relation likewise reap,
relation (n.) 1 report, account, narration

Being, as it is, much spoke of.


                         The roof o'th' chamber

With golden cherubins is fretted. Her andirons –
andiron (n.) ornamental iron support in a fireplace
cherubin (n.) 1 cherub, angel; or: cherubim, angels
fret (v.) 7 adorn elaborately, decorate ornately [as a carved ceiling]

I had forgot them – were two winking Cupids
winking (adj.) 2 with closed eyes

Of silver, each on one foot standing, nicely
nicely (adv.) 3 carefully, skilfully, ingeniously

Depending on their brands.
brand (n.) 1 ornamental flaming torch [associated with Cupid]
depend (v.) 3 lean, rest, recline


                         This is her honour!

Let it be granted you have seen all this – and praise

Be given to your remembrance – the description
remembrance (n.) 1 memory, bringing to mind, recollection See Topics: Frequency count

Of what is in her chamber nothing saves

The wager you have laid.


                         Then, if you can,

Showing the bracelet
air (v.) 2 bring into public view, expose, show

Be pale, I beg but leave to air this jewel: see!

And now 'tis up again: it must be married
up (adv.) 5 hidden, concealed, shut up

To that your diamond, I'll keep them.



Once more let me behold it: is it that

Which I left with her?


                         Sir – I thank her – that!

She stripped it from her arm: I see her yet:

Her pretty action did outsell her gift,
outsell (v.) exceed in value, surpass

And yet enriched it too: she gave it me,

And said she prized it once.


                         May be she plucked it off

To send it me.


                         She writes so to you? Doth she?


O, no, no, no, 'tis true. Here, take this too;

Gives the ring
basilisk (n.) 1 mythical serpent which killed with its look

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,
semblance (n.) 1 appearance, outward show

Where there's another man. The vows of women

Of no more bondage be to where they are made
bondage (n.) 3 binding power, obligatory force

Than they are to their virtues, which is nothing.

O, above measure false!
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful


                         Have patience, sir,

And take your ring again, 'tis not yet won:

It may be probable she lost it: or
probable (adj.) 1 provable, demonstrable, attestable

Who knows if one of her women, being corrupted,

Hath stolen it from her?


                         Very true,

And so, I hope, he came by't. Back my ring,

Render me some corporal sign about her
render (v.) 4 declare, state, give an account

More evident than this: for this was stolen.
evident (adj.) 1 certain, conclusive, definite


By Jupiter, I had it from her arm.


Hark you, he swears: by Jupiter he swears.

'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?
sworn (adj.) 1 bound by an oath of loyalty

And by a stranger? No, he hath enjoyed her:

The cognizance of her incontinency
cognizance (n.) badge, sign, token
incontinency (n.) lack of sexual restraint, sexual indulgence, infidelity

Is this: she hath bought the name of whore, thus dearly.
dearly (adv.) 3 grievously, at great cost

There, take thy hire, and all the fiends of hell
hire (n.) wages, payment, earnings

Divide themselves between you!


                         Sir, be patient:

This is not strong enough to be believed

Of one persuaded well of.


                         Never talk on't:

She hath been colted by him.
colt (v.) 2 have sexual intercourse


                         If you seek

For further satisfying, under her breast –

Worthy her pressing – lies a mole, right proud
right (adv.) 1 very, altogether, properly

Of that most delicate lodging. By my life,

I kissed it, and it gave me present hunger

To feed again, though full. You do remember

This stain upon her?


                         Ay, and it doth confirm

Another stain, as big as hell can hold,

Were there no more but it.


                         Will you hear more?


Spare your arithmetic, never count the turns:

Once, and a million!


                         I'll be sworn –


                                                         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.
cuckold (n.) [mocking name] man with an unfaithful wife See Topics: Frequency count


                         I'll deny nothing.


O, that I had her here, to tear her limb-meal!
limb-meal (adv.) limb from limb, to pieces

I will go there and do't, i'th' court, before

Her father. I'll do something –

besides (prep.) beside, beyond


                         Quite besides

The government of patience! You have won:
government (n.) 1 control, charge, management

Let's follow him, and pervert the present wrath
pervert (v.) 1 divert, turn aside, redirect

He hath against himself.


                         With all my heart.


Enter Posthumus


Is there no way for men to be, but women

Must be half-workers? We are all bastards,
half-worker (n.) co-worker, co-operator, collaborator

And that most venerable man, which I

Did call my father, was I know not where

When I was stamped. Some coiner with his tools
stamp (v.) 3 make an impression of, mint, conceive

Made me a counterfeit: yet my mother seemed
counterfeit (n.) 1 false imitation, spurious image

The Dian of that time: so doth my wife

The nonpareil of this. O vengeance, vengeance!
nonpareil (n.) person without equal, unique one, paragon

Me of my lawful pleasure she restrained

And prayed me oft forbearance: did it with
forbearance (n.) 1 patience, restraint, moderation
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

A pudency so rosy, the sweet view on't
pudency (n.) modesty, bashfulness, shyness

Might well have warmed old Saturn; that I thought her

As chaste as unsunned snow. O, all the devils!

This yellow Iachimo, in an hour, was't not?
yellow (adj.) sallow, pasty-faced; or: jealous

Or less; at first? Perchance he spoke not, but
perchance (adv.) 1 perhaps, maybe See Topics: Frequency count

Like a full-acorned boar, a German one,
full-acorned (adj.) fed full of acorns

Cried ‘ O!’ and mounted; found no opposition

But what he looked for should oppose and she
look for (v.) 1 expect, hope for, anticipate

Should from encounter guard. Could I find out

The woman's part in me – for there's no motion
motion (n.) 4 cause, prompting, provocation

That tends to vice in man, but I affirm

It is the woman's part: be it lying, note it,

The woman's: flattering, hers; deceiving, hers;

Lust and rank thoughts, hers, hers; revenges, hers:
rank (adj.) 7 lascivious, lustful, lewd

Ambitions, covetings, change of prides, disdain,
change (n.) 2 variety, assortment, range
pride (n.) 7 sexual desire, lustful excess

Nice longing, slanders, mutability;
mutability (n.) fickleness, inconstancy, caprice
nice (adj.) 9 lustful, lecherous, lascivious, wanton

All faults that name, nay, that hell knows, why, hers

In part, or all: but rather all. For even to vice

They are not constant, but are changing still;
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

One vice, but of a minute old, for one

Not half so old as that. I'll write against them,

Detest them, curse them: yet 'tis greater skill

In a true hate, to pray they have their will:

The very devils cannot plague them better.


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