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Can we with manners ask what was the difference?

Can we with manners ask what was the difference?
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.

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.

That lady is not now living, or this gentleman’s
opinion by this worn out.
She holds her virtue still, and I my mind.
You must not so far prefer her ’fore ours of Italy.
Being so far provoked as I was in France,
I would abate her nothing, though I profess myself
her adorer, not her friend.
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 outlusters
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.
I praised her as I rated her. So do I my stone.
What do you esteem it at?
More than the world enjoys.
Either your unparagoned mistress is dead, or
she’s 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 strange fowl light upon neighboring 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.
Your Italy contains none so accomplished
a courtier to convince the honor of my mistress, if
in the holding or loss of that, you term her frail. I
do nothing doubt you have store of thieves;
notwithstanding, I fear not my ring.
Let us leave here, gentlemen.
Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior,

I thank him, makes no stranger of me. We are
familiar at first.
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.
No, no.

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 offense herein too, I durst attempt it against
any lady in the world.

Act 1
Scene 4
Line 56

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