Match Me in London – Act Three, Scene Three

Return to previous scene

Enter QUEEN and TORMIELLA.

QUEEN
Make fast the closet.  So—give me the key;
I mean to kill thee.

TORMIELLA
Kill me!  For what cause?

QUEEN
Guess.

TORMIELLA
I know none, unless the lamb should ask
The butcher why he comes to cut his throat.

QUEEN
I could through loopholes hit thee, or hire slaves
And send death to thee twenty secret ways.

TORMIELLA
Why would you do all this?

QUEEN
Or, as the hart
Draws serpents from their den, with subtle breath
I could allure thee to sit down and banquet
With me as with the king thou hast.

TORMIELLA
Oh, never!

QUEEN
Yet poison you most sweetly.

TORMIELLA
Now you do it.

QUEEN
And I could make thee a queen’s bedfellow
As thou hast been a king’s.

TORMIELLA
Never, by—

QUEEN
Swear,
Yet stifle you in a pillow; but I scorn
To strike at thee blindfold; only thou shalt know
An eagle’s nest disdains to hatch a crow.
Why are all mouths in Spain fill’d to the brim,
Flowing o’er with court news only of you and him,
The king I mean, where lies the court?

TORMIELLA
Sure,  here.

QUEEN
It remov’d last, to th’shop of a milliner.
The guests are so set down, because you ride
Like us, and steal our fashions and our tires,
You’ll have our courtiers to turn shopkeepers,
And fall to trading with you, ha!

TORMIELLA
Alas,
The court to me is an enchanted tower
Wherein I’m lock’d by force, and bound by spells;
A heaven to some; to me ten thousand hells.
I drink but poison in gold, stick on the top
Of a high pinnacle like an idle vane,
As the wind turns, by every breath being toss’d,
And once blown down, not miss’d, but for ever lost.

QUEEN
Out, crocodile!                                                                    [Spurn her.

TORMIELLA
You will not murder me!

QUEEN
I’ll cure you of the king’s evil.                                      [Draw two knives.

TORMIELLA
To one woman,
Another should be pitiful.  Here me speak!

QUEEN
How dares so base a flower follow my sun
At’s rising to his setting?

TORMIELLA
I follow none.

QUEEN
How dar’st thou, serpent, wind about a tree
That’s mine?

TORMIELLA
I do not.

QUEEN
Or to shake the leaves?

TORMIELLA
By heaven, not any!

QUEEN
Or once to taste the fruit
Though thrown into thy lap; if from a harlot
Prayers ever came, pray, for thou diest.

TORMIELLA
Then kill me.

QUEEN
How did my husband win thee?

TORMIELLA
By mere force.
A bawd betray’d me to him.

QUEEN
Worse and worse.

TORMIELLA
If ever I have wrong’d your royal bed
In act, in thought, nail me for ever fast
To scape this tiger of the king’s fierce lust;
I will do anything; I will speak treason
Or drink a cup of poison, which may blast
My enticing face, and make it leprous foul.
Ruin you all this, so you keep up my soul.
That’s all the wealth I care for.

QUEEN
I have now
No heart left to kill thee.  Rise; thou and I
Will like two quarrelling gallants faster tie
A knot of love.  We both i’th’field being wounded.
Since we must needs be sharers, use me kindly
And play not the right citizen, to undo
Your partner, who i’th’stock has more than you.

A noise within.  Enter the KING.

KING
Must you be closeted?

QUEEN
No.

KING
What are you doing?

QUEEN
Not getting children.

KING
Naked knives; for what?
Speak, s’death, speak you.

TORMIELLA
They both fell from her side.

KING
[To the QUEEN.] You lie; away.

QUEEN
Must you be closeted?

KING
Yes.

QUEEN
When heart breakst thou, thou dost to much swell.
This aspish biting is incurable.                                                    [Exit.

KING
Be true to me, I charge you.  Did the Queen
Offer no violence to you.

TORMIELLA
None at all.

KING
Why were these drawn?

TORMIELLA
I know not.

KING
Know not.  What’s here?
Why is this rose dimm’d with a pearled tear
When the sun shines so warm; you know not that too.
The lamb has tam’d the lion; the vulture tires
Upon the eagle’s heart; these subtle wires
Chain Jove; these balls, from whose flames Cupid drew
His wild fire burns here; this you know not too?
I love you, that you knot not neither.  Y’are coy
And proud, and fair; you know this?

TORMIELLA
I beseech you,
Let me shake off the golden fetters you tie
About my body; you enjoy a body
Without a soul, for I am now not here.

KING
Where then?

TORMIELLA
At home in my poor husband’s arms.
This is your court, that mine.

KING
Your husband’s arms;
Thou art his whore.  He play’d the thief and robb’d
Another of thee, and to spoil the spoiler
Is kingly justice.  ‘Tis a lawful prize
That’s ta’an from pirates; theirs are fellow wives.

TORMIELLA
Which of your subjects, which abroad adore
Your state, your greatness, presence and your throne
Of sun beams, think you now are with a wanton,
Or working a chaste wife to become one?

KING
I work thee not to be so, for when time
Shall jog his glass and make those sands lie low
Which now are at the top, thyself shalt grow
In self same place my queen does.

TORMIELLA
What tree ever stood
Long and deep rooted that was set in blood?
I will not be your whore to wear your crown,
Nor call any king my husband, but mine own.

KING
No!

TORMIELLA
No, ‘twere shame ‘mongst all our city dames
If one could not scape free, their blasted fames.

KING
The sound of bells and timbrels make you mad
As it does a tiger; the softer that I stroke you
The worse you bite; your father and your husband
Are at my sending come to court.  I’ll lay
Honours on both their back here they shall stay
Because I’ll keep you here; if you do frown,
The engine which rears up, shall pluck all down.
I’ll fetch ‘em to you myself.                                                            [Exit.

TORMIELLA
Oh, who can stifling scape in baser throngs
When princes’ courts threaten the self same wrongs?              [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene

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