Match Me in London – Act Four, Scene Two

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Enter BILBO and COXCOMB.

 BILBO
I have not pass’d by a don to touch whose hand mine own was never more troubled with a more terrible itch.

COXCOMB
I have not met a signior at whom mine own eyes, as if roasted enough, did ever burn more in desire to fly out; so that whether to recoil or advance on, I am between hawk and buzzard.

BILBO
The honey of sweet compliment so turn up your tusks or mochatoes that they be not too stiff, to bristle against my acquaintance.

COXCOMB
Your acquaintance is a limbeck, out of which runneth a perfum’d water, bathing my nostrils in a strong scent of your embracings.  Are you of court, Signior?

BILBO
No, Signior, of the city.  Are you a don of the city?

COXCOMB
No, Signior, of the court.  City, I smile.

BILBO
Why?

COXCOMB
I assure you, Signior, you are to us of the court but animals.  You are held but as shoeing horns to wait on great lords’ heels.

BILBO
Let ‘em pay us what they owe then, and pull on their shoes, and we’ll wait no more.

COXCOMB
You are our apes.

BILBO
But you are fuller of apish tricks.

COXCOMB
No sooner leap our ladies into a fashion but your wives are ready to creep into the same.

BILBO
Why not?  For though some of your ladies invent the fashion, some of our wives’ husbands are never pay’d for the stuff or making.

COXCOMB
Give way with your poor scull to our oars, for I tell thee, Signior, you of the city are the flatten milk of the kingdom and we of the court the cream.

BILBO
I tell thee, Signior, we of the city eat none of your court butter, but some of you munch up our flatten milk cheese.

COXCOMB
Be not too loud; for you might be good singers at court but that most of you are spoiled in learning your pricksong.

BILBO
Be not you too loud; though you are good ringers in the city, for most of you have bells at your doors.

COXCOMB
Be temperate.  I will show you your city cinquipace; you bear, swear, tear, rear, and wear; you bear the tankard, swear shop oaths, tear money out of debtors’ throats, rear rich estates, wear good clothes, but carry your conscience in torn pockets.

BILBO
Be attentive.  I will show you your court coranto pace; it consisteth of five B’s and three C’s.  You borrow of any man, are brave on any terms, brag at any hand to pay, bellow at any that demands it, bite any catchpole that fangs you, but carry neither conscience nor coin in your whole pockets.

COXCOMB
Tell me, Signior, tell me why in the city does a harmless sign hang at the door of a subtle Nicodemus sitting in a shop?

BILBO
And tell me, Signior, tell me, why when you eat our good cheer i’th’city, have you handsome wide chops, but meeting us at court, none.  Your gum’s glue’d up, your lips coop’d like a ferret, not so much as the corner of a custard.  If a could cup and a dry cheat loaf, ‘tis well.

COXCOMB
Come, come.  You are acorns and your sons the prodigals that eat you up.

BILBO
Go, go.  You are prodigals and glad of the yellow acorns we leave our sons

COXCOMB
I will cross myself when I owe money to a citizen and pass by his door.

BILBO
I will bless myself when a courtier owing me no money comes near my door.

COXCOMB
You are descended from the tankard generation.

BILBO
You are ascended up to what you are, from the black Jack and bumbard distillation.

COXCOMB
Dear Signior!

BILBO
Delicious don!                                                                                                   [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene.

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