Match Me in London – Act One, Scene Four

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Flourish.  Enter KING, VALASCO, MARTINES, and ALPHONSO.

 VALASCO
And broad awake!

KING
As is that eye of heaven.

VALASCO
It spake not, did it?

KING
No, but with broad eyes,
Glass and fiery star’d upon me thus,
As black as is a soul new dipp’d in hell.
The t’other was all white, a beard and hair
Snowy like Portugal, and methought his look
But had no arms.

VALASCO
No arms!

KING
No, just my height,
Now, and ere this it was shot up so high,
Methought I heard the head knock at a star
Clean through the ceiling.

VALASCO
Fancy, fancy.

KING
I saw it.

VALASCO
A mere deceptio visius.

KING
A vice, ass.
Y’are an incredulous coxcomb; these saw it.

VALASCO
Well, they did, they did.

KING
I call’d for help;
These enter’d, found me dead with fear.

OMNES
‘Tis right, sir.

KING
Did not the spirits glide by thee?

MARTINES
Your grace must pardon me; I saw none.

KING
‘Sheart, do I lie?  Do you brave me, you base peasant?

MARTINES
No, my lord, but I must guard my life against an emperor.

KING
One of my wive’s men, is’t not?  Ha!
What a pox fawns the cur for here!  Away!
Her spy, sir, are you?                                                                   [Exit MARTINES.

VALASCO
Sooth him up.  Y’are fools!
If the lion say the ass’s ears are horns,
The ass, if he be wise, will swear it, la sir.
These tall me they all saw it.

OMNES
Yes, my lord.

Enter IAGO.

 KING
And yet I lie!  A whoreson buzzard!  Now, sir.

IAGO
Prince John is coming.

KING
When, sir?

IAGO
Instantly.

KING
Father, I’ll tell you a tale.  Upon a time
The lion, fox, and silly ass did jar,
Grew friends, and what they got, agreed to share.
A prey was ta’en, the bold ass did divide it
Into three equal parts; the lion spied it,
And scorning two such sharers, moody grew,
And pawing the ass, shook him as I shake you.

VALASCO
Not too hard, good my lord.  Alas, I am craz’d.

KING
And in rage tore him piecemeal.  The ass thus dead,
The prey was by the fox distributed
Into three parts again, of which the lion
Had two for his share, and the fox but one.
The lion, smiling, of the fox would know
Where he had this wit; he the dead ass did show.

VALASCO
An excellent tale.

KING
Thou art that ass.

VALASCO
I!

KING
Thou.
You and the fox my brother cut my kingdom
Into what shares you list.  I have no more
Then what you list to give.
You two broach war or peace; you plot, contrive;
You flea off the lion’s skin; you sell him alive,
But having torn the ass first limb from limb,
His death shall tell the fox I’ll so serve him.

VALASCO
I do all this!  ‘Tis false!  In Prince John’s face
I’ll spit if he dares speak it.  You might ride me
For a right ass indeed if I should kick
At you, undermine you, or blow you up.
In whom the hope of my posterity,
By marriage of my child, your wife, doth grow,
None but an ass would do it.

KING
If I know
Your little finger was but in’t, neither age,
Your place in court, and council, respect of honour,
Nor of my wife, your daughter, shall keep this head
Upon these shoulders.

Enter JOHN.

VALASCO
Take it.  Now here’s Prince John.

KING
How now, brother?  Sick!

JOHN
Not very well.

KING
Our court
Is some enchanted tower, you come not near it.
Are you troubled with some pain i’th’head?
Your night-cap shows you are.

JOHN
Yes, wonderously.
A kind of megrim, sir.

KING
I think to bind
Your temples with the crown of Spain would ease you.

JOHN
The crown of Spain!  My temples!

KING
Nay, I but jest.
A kingdom would make any sick man well,
And, John, I would thou hadst one.

JOHN
[Aside.] It shall go hard, else.

VALASCO
The king, I thank him, says that you and I—

KING
What?

VALASCO
Cut you out, sir, in stakes.  I’ll not be silent,
And that I am an ass, and a fox you,
Have I any dealings with you?

JOHN
When I am to deal, sir,
A wiser man than you shall hold the cards.

VALASCO
Now, I’m call’d fool too.

KING
Sir, if you remember
Before he came, you buzz’d into mine ear
Tunes that did sound but scurvily.

VALASCO
I buzz!  What buzz?

KING
That he should sell me to the Portugal.

VALASCO
Wert thou as big as all the kings i’th’world,
‘Tis false and I defy thee.

KING
Nay, sir, and more—

VALASCO
Out with’t.  No whispering.

KING
I shall blush to speak it.
Hark you, a pox upon’t.   Cannot you sooth
His sullen lordship up.  You see I do.
Flatter him; confess any thing.

VALASCO
A good jest!
I should confess to him I know not what,
And have my throat cut, but I know not why.

JOHN
Would your grace
Would license me a while to leave the court
To attend my health.

KING
Do.

JOHN
I take my leave, as for you, sir.                                                           [Exit.

KING
My lord, do you see this change i’th’moon; sharp horns
Do threaten windy weather.  Shall I rule you?
Send to him dead words; write to him your mind
And if your hearts be unsound, purge both; all humours
That are corrupt within you.

VALASCO
I’ll never write, but to him in person.                                                        [Exit.

Enter LADY DILDOMAN.

 KING
Pray, madam, rise.                                                                [She whispers him.

IAGO
Do you know this old fury?

ALPHONSO
No; what is she?

IAGO
She’s the king’s nuthook, if report has not a blister on her tongue, hat when any filbred-tree is ripe, pulls down the bravest bows to his hand; a lady Pandress, and, as this year’s almanac says, has a private hot-house for his grace only to sweat in; her name the Lady Dildoman; the poor knight her husband is troubled with the city gout, lies i’th’Counter.

KING
I’ll hang him that stirs in’t.  The proudest falcon that’s perch’d up nearest the eagle, if he dare, make this his prey.  How many years?

LADY DILDOMAN
Fifteen and upwards, if it please your grace.

KING
Some two-footed devil in our court
Would thrust you of of all.  Enclos’d!  Or common!

LADY DILDOMAN
‘Tis yet enclos’d, if it like your grace.

KING
Entail’d!

LADY DILDOMAN
Newly entail’d, as there ‘tis to be seen in black and white.

KING
This case myself will handle.  Fee no lawyer.
I’ll stand for you, ha!  Servants of mine turn’d grinders
To oppress the weak!  What slave is’t?  From my sight,
Lest my heav’d hand swerve awry and innocence smite.

ALPHONSO
This bawd belike has her house pull’d down.   [Exeunt ALPHONSO and IAGO.

KING
So, come hither, nearer; where shines this star?

LADY DILDOMAN
I’th’city, brightly, sprightly, bravely; oh, ‘tis a creature!

KING
Young?

LADY DILDOMAN
Delicate, piercing eye, enchanting voice, lip red and moist, skin soft and white; she’s amorous, delicious, inciferous, tender, neat.

KING
Thou mad’st me newly married.

LADY DILDOMAN
New married; that’s all the hole you can find in her coat; but so newly, the poesy of her wedding ring is scarce warm with the heat of her finger.  Therefore, my lord, fasten this wagtail as soon as you can lime your bush, for women are Venice-glasses:  one knock spoils ‘em.

KING
How shall I get a sight of this rich diamond?

LADY DILDOMAN
I would have you first disguis’d go along with me and buy some toy in her shop, and then if you like Danæ, fall into her lap like Jove; a net of goldsmith’s work will pluck up more women at one draught than a fisherman does salmons at fifteen.

KING
What’s her husband?

LADY DILDOMAN
A flatcap, pish!  If he storm, give him a court-loaf; stop his mouth with a monopoly.

KING
Th’ast fir’d me.

LADY DILDOMAN
You know where to quench you.

KING
I’ll stead from court in some disguise presently.

LADY DILDOMAN
Stand on no ground, good your highness.

KING
Away, I’ll follow thee; speak not of haste.
Thou tiest but wings to a swift gray hound’s heel,
And addst to a running chariot a fifth wheel.
Thou now dost hinder me; away, away!                                        [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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