Match Me in London – Act Four, Scene One

Return to previous scene

Flourish.  Enter  KING, MALEVENTO, CORDOLENTE, IAGO, ALPHONSO, GAZETTO (disguised as LUPO), and TORMIELLO.

 KING
Y’are the best welcome which the court can yield,
For the king gives it you.

MALEVENTO
Your grace is gracious.

KING
[To TORMIELLA.] Is this your father?

MALEVENTO
My proper flash and blood, sir.

KING
And that your husband?

CORDOLENTE
Not I, sir.  I married an honest wench that went in a cap, no whim-whams.  I did but shuffle the first dealing, you cut last, and dealt last; by the same token you turn’d up a court card.

KING
Is the man jealous?

CORDOLENTE
No, but a little troubles with the yellow jaundice, and you know if it get to the crown of the head, a man’s gone.

KING
We send not for you hither to be brav’d,
Sirrah; cast your darts elsewhere.

CORDOLENTE
Amongst the wild Irish, sir, hereafter.

KING
‘Tis our queen’s pleasure that your wife be call’d
Her woman, and because she will not loose her,
She hath importun’d us to raise you both.
Your name, sir?

MALEVENTO
Mine, Andrada Malevento.

KING
Andrada Malevento, we make you
Vice-admiral of our navy.

CORDOLENTE
Oh, spiteful comedy.  He’s not a courtier of half an hour’s standing, and he’s made a vice already.

KING
We make thy husband—

CORDOLENTE
A cuckold, do you not?

MALEVENTO
Son, you forget yourself.

CORDOLENTE
Meddle with your own office; there’s one will look that none meddles with mine.

MALEVENTO
Is not a change good?

CORDOLENTE
Yes, of a lousy shirt.

KING
Take hence that fellow; he’s mad.

CORDOLENTE
I am indeed horn-mad.  Oh, me!  In the holiest place of the kingdom have I caught my undoing; the church gave me my banes.

TORMIELLA
What the church gave thee, thou hast still.

CORDOLENTE
Half parts; I thought one had ta’an thee up.

TORMIELLA
Take me home with thee.  I’ll not stay here.

KING
Ha!

TORMIELLA
Let me not come to court.

MALEVENTO
The king is vex’d; let me persuade thee, son,
To wink at small faults.

CORDOLENTE
What, Sir Pandarus?

TORMIELLA
Sends the king you to blush in’s room.

MALEVENTO
Y’are a baggage.

KING
Go tell the lunatic so.  Andrada, hark—

IAGO
The king bids me sing into your ear
Sweet notes of place and office which shall fall—

CORDOLENTE
Into my mouth.  I gape for ‘em.

IAGO
He bids me ask what will content you.

CORDOLENTE
Nothing, nothing; why, sir, the powers above cannot please us and can kings thank you?  When we are brought forth to the world we cry and bawl as if we were unwilling to be born; and when we are a-dying we are mad at that.

KING
Take hence that wolf that barks thus.

CORDOLENTE
I am muzzl’d, but one word with your majesty.  I am sober, sir.

KING
So, sir.

CORDOLENTE
You oft call parliaments, and there enact
Laws good and wholesome, such as who so break
Are hung by th’purse or neck.  But as the weak
And smaller flies i’th’spider’s web are ta’en
When great ones tear the web, and free remain,
So may that moral tale of you be told
Which once the wolf related:  in the fold
The shepherds kill’d a sheep and eat him there;
The wolf look’d in, and seeing them at such cheer,
“Alas,” quoth he, “should I touch the least part
Of what you tear, you would pluck out my heart.”
Great men make laws that whosoe’er draws blood
Shall die, but if they murder flocks, ‘tis good.
I’ll go eat my lamb at home, sir.

KING
Part, and thus reckon never to see her more.

CORDOLENE
Never!

TORMIELLA
Never thus, but thus a prince’s whore.

[Exeunt.  Manent CORDOLENTE and GAZETTO.

CORDOLENTE
Thou dar’st not, if thou do’st; my heart is great.
Thus wrong’d, thou canst do little if not threat.

GAZETTO
Ha, ha, ha, ha!

CORDOLENTE
At what dost laugh ?

GAZETTO
At a thing of nothing, at thee.  Why shouldst thou be afraid to fall into the cuckold’s disease?

CORDOLENTE
Because it makes a doctor an ass; nothing can cure it.  Are you answer’d, sir?

GAZETTO
Come, th’art a fool to grieve that thy wife is taken away by the king to his private bedchamber.
Now, like a book call’d in, she’ll sell better than ever she did.

CORDOLENTE
Right, sir, but could he choose no stock to graft upon, but that which was planted in my nursery?

GAZETTO
I’ll show thee a reason for that.

CORDOLENTE
Why?

GAZETTO
Leachers coming to women are like mice amongst many cheeses; they taste every one, but feed upon the best.  Horns rightly weigh’d are nothing.

CORDOLENTE
How, nothing!  Oh, sir, the smallest letters hurt your eyes most, and the last headache which come by a woman’s knocking hurts more than a cut to the skull by a man’s knocking.

GAZETTO
Yet I warrant thou dar’st swear thy party’s honest?

CORDOLENTE
Ha, swear!  Not I.  No man durst ever swear for his wife but Adam, nor any woman for her husband but Eve.  Fare you well, sir.

GAZETTO
Whither art flying?

CORDOLENTE
In pieces.  Dost not see I’m shot out of a cannon?

GAZETTO
Downwards I’ll shoot thee, but as devils use,
I’ll tickle at thy tortures, dance at thy stumbling,
Play with thee, and then paw thee.  Shalt make me merry.
The crown of black deeds that are hatch’d in hell
Is to outlive and laugh, and all’s play’d well.                             [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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