Match Me in London – Act One, Scene One

Return to Dramatis Personæ

Enter MALEVENTO.

MALEVENTO

Tormiella, daughter.  Nor in this room.  Peace                       [Clock strikes.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve.
The dawn of midnight, and the drunkards’ noon.
No honest souls up now, but vintners, midwives,
The nodding watch, and piteous constable.
Ha!  Bilbo!
My street door open!  Bilbo, Puskeena, Bilbo!
Bawds, panders, to a young whore.

Enter BILBO.

BILBO
Thieves, thieves, thieves!  Where are they, master?

MALEVENTO
Where are they, Bilbo?  What thief seest thou?

BILBO
That ill-favour’d thief in your candle, sir.  None else, not I.

MALEVENTO
Why didst thou cry “thieves” then?

BILBO
Because you cried “whores.”  I knew a thief was always within a stone’s cast of a whore.

MALEVENTO
What makst thou up at midnight?

BILBO
I make them which are made every hour i’th’day; patches.

MALEVENTO
Slave, what art doing?

BILBO
That which few men can do; mending, sir.

MALEVENTO
What art mending?

BILBO
That which few men care to mend; a bad sole.

MALEVENTO
Look here.  Come hither.  Dost thou see what’s this?

BILBO
I see ‘tis our wicket, master.

MALEVENTO
Stop there and tell me:  is Tomeilla forth?

BILBO
I heard Puskeena our kitchen-maid say she was going about a murder.

MALEVENTO
A murder!  Of whom?

BILBO
Of certain skippers.  She was fleeing herself.

MALEVENTO
She dwells not in her chamber, for my ghost,
Call’d from his rest, from room to room has stalk’d,
Yet met no Tormeilla.
Was not her sweet heart here tonight, Gazetto?

BILBO
Gazetto!  No, sir, here was no Gazetto here.

MALEVENTO
Walk round the orchard.  Holla for her there.

BILBO
So ho, ho, ho, ho!                                                                                        [Exit.

MALEVENTO
She’s certain with Gazetto.
Should he turn villain, train my poor child forth,
Though she’s contracted to him, and rob her youth
Of that gem none can prize, because ne’er seen,
The virgin’s riches, chastity, and then,
When he has left her ugly to all eyes,
His own should loath her.  Ud’s death!  I would dray
An old man’s nerves up into this arm,
And nail him to the bed.

Enter BILBO.

BILBO
So, ho, ho, ho!  The conies use to feed most i’th’night, sir,
Yet I cannot see my young mistress in our warren.

MALEVENTO
No!

BILBO
No, nor you neither, ‘tis so dark.

MALEVENTO
Where should this foolish girl be?  ‘Tis past twelve.
Who has invited her forth to her quick ruin?

BILBO
My memory jogs me by the elbow, and tells me—

MALEVENTO
What, Bilbo?  Out with all!

BILBO
A barber stood with her on Saturday night very late, when he had shav’d all this customers, and as I think, came to trim her.

MALEVENTO
A barber!  To trim her!  Sawst thou the muskcod?

BILBO
A checker’d apron gentleman, I assure you.  He smelt horrible strong of camphire, bay leaves and rose water, and he stood fiddling with Tormiella.

MALEVENTO
Ha?

BILBO
Fiddling at least half an hour on a cittern with a man’s broken head at it, so that I think ‘twas a barber-surgeon, and there’s one Cinamomo, a shopkeeper, come hither a batfowling every moonshine night too.

MALEVENTO
What’s he?  Cinamomo!

BILBO
I take him to be a comfitmaker with rotten teeth, for he never comes till the barber’s gone.

MALEVENTO
A comfitmaker!

BILBO
Yes, sir, for he gave Tormiella a candied root once, and she swore ‘twas the sweestest thing—

MALEVENTO
Dwells he here i’th’city?

BILBO
He has a house i’th’city, but I know not where he lives.

MALEVENTO
She’ll follow her kind, turn monster.  Get a light.

BILBO
My sconce is ready, sir.

MALEVENTO
Call at Gazetto’s lodging; ask how he dares
Make a harlot of my child.  Slave, say no more.
Begone; beat boldly.

BILBO
I’ll beat down the door and put him in mind of a Shrove Tuesday; the fatal day for doors to be broken open.                                                                                           [Exit.

MALEVENTO
For this night I’m her porter.  Oh, hapless creatures!
There is in woman a devil from her birth;
Of bad ones we have shoals, of good a dearth.                                                           [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene

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