Iachimo to Iliad

Iachimo [Yak-i-mo], an Italian libertine. When Posth umus, the husband of Imogen, was banished for marrying the king’s daughter, he went to Rome, and in the house of Philario the conversation fell on the fidelity of wives. Posthumus bet a diamond ring that nothing could change the fidelity of Imogen, and Iachamo accepted the wager. The libertine contrived to get into a chest in Imogen’s chamber, made himself master of certain details, and took away with him a bracelet belonging to Imogen. With these vouchers, Iachimo easily persuaded Posthumus that he had won the bet, and Posthumus handed over to him the ring. A battle subsequently ensued, in which Iachimo and other Romans, with Imogen disguised as a page, were made prisoners, and brought before king Cymbeline. Imogen was set free, and told to ask a boon. She asked that Iachimo might be compelled to say how he came by the ring which he had on his finger, and the whole villainy was brought to light. Posthumus was pardoned, and all ended happily.—Shakespeare: Cymbeline (1605).

The tale of Cymbeline is from the Decameron of Boccaccio (day ii. 9), in which Iachimo is called “Ambrose,” Imogen is “Zineura,” her husband Bernard “Lomellin,” and Cymbeline is the “sultan.” The assumed name of Imogen is “Fidelê,” but in Boccaccio it is “Sicurano da Finale.”

Iago (2 or 3 syl.), ancient of Othello commander of the Venetian army, and husband of Emilia. Iago hated Othello, both because Cassio (a Florentine) was promoted to the lieutenancy over his head, and also from a suspicion that the Moor had tampered with his wife; but he concealed his hatred so artfully that Othello felt confident of his “love and honesty.” Iago strung together such a mass of circumstantial evidence in proof of Desdemona’s love for Cassio, that the Moor killed her out of jealousy. One main argument was that Desdemona had given Cassio the very handkerchief which Othello had given her as a love-gift; but in reality Iago had induced his wife Emilia to purloin the handkerchief. When this villainy was-brought to light, Othello stabbed Iago; but his actual death is no incident of the tragedy.—Shakespeare: Othello (1611).

The cool malignity of Iago, silent in his resentment, subtle in his designs, and studious at once of his interest and his vengeance, … are such proofs of Shakespeare’s skill in human nature as it would be vain to seek in any modern writer.—Dr. Johnson.

(Byron, speaking of John P. Kemble, says, “Was not his ‘Iago’ perfection—particularly the last look? I was close to him, and I never saw an English countenance half so expressive.”)

Iambic Verse (The Father of), Archilochos of Paros (B.C. 714-676).

IANTHE (3 syl.), in The Sieg: of Rhodes, by sir William Davenant (1656).

Mrs. Betterton was called “Ianthe” by Pepys, in his Diary, as having performed that character to his great approval. The old gossip greatly admired her, and praised her “sweet voice and incomparable acting.”—W.C. Russell: Representative Actors.

Ianthe (3 syl.), to whom lord Byron dedicated his Childe Harold, was lady Charlotte Harley, daughter of the earl of Oxford (afterwards lady Charlotte Bacon), who was only eleven years old at the time (1809).

Ianthe. (See Iphis, p. 526.)

Ianthe, in Shelley’s Queen Mab. (See Mab.)

Iberia’s Pilot, Christopher Columbus. Spain is called “Iberia” and the Spaniards the “Iberi.” The river Ebro is a corrupt form of the Latin word Iberus.

Launched with Iberia’s pilot from the steep. To worlds unknown, and isles beyond the deep.
   —Campbell: The pleasures of Hope, ii. (1799).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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