Sir, you o'er-rate my poor kindness: I was glad I
did atone my countryman and you; it had been pity
should have been put together with so mortal a
purpose as then each bore, upon importance of so
and trivial a nature.
By your pardon, sir, I was then a young traveller;
rather shunned to go even with what I heard than in
every action to be guided by others' experiences:
but upon my mended judgmentif I offend not to say
mendedmy quarrel was not altogether slight.
'Faith, yes, to be put to the arbitrement of swords,
and by such two that would by all likelihood have
one the other, or have fallen both.
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
vouchingand upon warrant of bloody
affirmationhis to be more fair, virtuous, wise,
constant-qualified and less attemptable
than any the rarest of our ladies in France.
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
not her friend.
As fair and as gooda kind of hand-in-hand
comparisonhad been something too fair and too good
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.
I praised her as I rated her: so do I my stone.
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