PHI. Let us leave here, gentlemen. POST. Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I thank him, makes no stranger of me; we are familiar at first.

IACH. 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.

POST. No, no.

IACH. I dare, thereon, 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.

POST. You are a great deal abused1 in too bold a persuasion; and I doubt not you sustain what you're worthy of, by your attempt.

IACH. What's that?

POST. A repulse: Though your attempt, as you call it, deserve more; a punishment too.

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

LACH. 'Would I had put my estate, and my neighbour's, on the approbation2 of what I have spoke.


POST. What lady would you choose to assail? IACH. Your's; whom in constancy, you think,

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So, in Othello:


"The Moor's abus'd by some most villainous knave."

approbation - Proof. JOHNSON.

So, in King Henry V.:


how many, now in health,

"Shall drop their blood in approbation


"Of what your reverence shall incite us to." STEEVENS.

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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.

POST. I will wage against your gold, gold to it: my ring I hold dear as my finger; 'tis part of it. IACH. You are a friend, and therein the wiser 3.

3 You are a FRIEND, and therein the wiser.] I correct it: "You are afraid, and therein the wiser." What Iachimo says, in the close of his speech, determines this to have been our poet's reading:


But, I see, you have some religion in you, that you fear." WARBURTON.

You are a friend to the lady, and therein the wiser, as you will not expose her to hazard; and that you fear is a proof of your religious fidelity. JOHNSON.

Though Dr. Warburton affixed his name to the preceding note, it is taken verbatim from one written by Mr. Theobald on this passage.

[But let it be remembered, that Dr. Warburton communicated many notes to Theobald before he published his own edition, and complains that he was not fairly dealt with concerning them.


A friend in our author's time often signified a lover, lachimo therefore might mean that Posthumus was wise in being only the lover of Imogen, and not having bound himself to her by the indissoluble ties of marriage. But unluckily Posthumus has already said he is not her friend, but her adorer: this therefore could hardly have been lachimo's meaning.

I cannot say that I am entirely satisfied with Dr. Johnson's interpretation; yet I have nothing better to propose. "You are a friend to the lady, and therefore will not expose her to hazard. This snrely is not warranted by what Posthumus has just said. He is ready enough to expose her to hazard. He has actually exposed her to hazard by accepting the wager. He will not indeed risk his diamond, but has offered to lay a sum of money, that Iachimo, "with all appliances and means to boot," will not be able to corrupt her. I do not therefore see the force of lachimo's observation. It would have been more "german to the matter" to have said, in allusion to the former words of Posthumus-You are not a friend, i. e. a lover, and therein the wiser: for all women are corruptible. MALONE.

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.

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

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

POST. Will you ?-I shall but lend my diamond till your return :-Let there be covenants drawn between us: My mistress exceeds in goodness the hugeness of your unworthy thinking: I dare you to this match: here's my ring.

PHI. I will have it no lay.

LACH. 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.


PosT. I embrace these conditions ; let us have

See p. 30, and 31, n. 6. Though the reply of Iachimo may not have been warranted by the preceding words of Posthumus, it was certainly meant by the speaker as a provoking circumstance, a circumstance of incitation to the wager. STEEVENS.

Does it not mean-You shew yourself a friend to your ring which you have described as being so dear to you, by not risking it on such a wager, and your prudence is evinced by your caution? BOSWELL.

4 I am the master of my speeches ;] i. e. I know what I have said; I said no more than I meant. STEEVENS.

s Iach. 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, &C.

Post. I embrace these conditions ; &c.] This was a wager between the two speakers. Iachimo declares the conditions of it; and Posthumus embraces them, as well he might; for Iachimo

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.

IACH. 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.

POST. Agreed.


FRENCH. Will this hold, think you?
PHI. Signior Iachimo will not from it.

us follow 'em.

Pray, let [Exeunt.

mentions only that of the two conditions which was favourable to Posthumus: namely, that if his wife preserved her honour he should win concerning the other, in case she preserved it not, lachimo, the accurate expounder of the wager, is silent. To make him talk more in character, for we find him sharp enough in the prosecution of his bet; we should strike out the negative, and read the rest thus: "If I bring you sufficient testimony that I have enjoyed, &c. my ten thousand ducats are mine; so is your diamond too. If I come off, and leave her in such honour, &c. she your jewel, &c. and my gold are yours." WARBURTON.

I once thought this emendation right, but am now of opinion, that Shakspeare intended that lachimo having gained his purpose, should designedly drop the invidious and offensive part of the wager, and to flatter Posthumus, dwell long upon the more pleasing part of the representation. One condition of a wager implies the other, and there is no need to mention both. JOHNSON.


Britain. A Room in CYMBELINE'S Palace.

Enter Queen, Ladies, and CORNELIUS.

QUEEN. Whiles yet the dew's on ground, gather those flowers;

Make haste: Who has the note of them?


QUEEN. Despatch.

I, madam. [Exeunt Ladies.

Now, master doctor; have you brought those


madam :

COR. Pleaseth your highness, ay: here they are, [Presenting a small box. But I beseech your grace, (without offence; My conscience bids me ask ;) wherefore you have Commanded of me these most poisonous com


Which are the movers of a languishing death;
But, though slow, deadly?

I wonder, doctor,
Thou ask'st me such a question: Have I not been
Thy pupil long? Hast thou not learn'd me how
To make perfumes? distil? preserve? yea, so,
That our great king himself doth woo me oft
For my confections? Having thus far proceeded,
(Unless thou think'st me devilish,) is't not meet
That I did amplify my judgment in

Other conclusions'? I will try the forces

6 I Do wonder, doctor,] I have supplied the verb do for the sake of measure, and in compliance with our author's practice when he designs any of his characters to speak emphatically: Thus, in Much Ado About Nothing: I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool," &c.

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7 Other CONCLUSIONS ?] Other experiments. I commend," says Walton," an angler that trieth conclusions, and improves his art." JOHNSON.

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