Match Me in London – Act Two, Scene Four

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Enter CORDOLENTE and MALEVENTO.

 CORDOLENTE
I dare now bestow on you a free
And hearty welcome to my poor house.

MALEVENTO
Thanks, son.
Good air, very good air; and son, I think
You stand well too for trading.

CORDOLENTE
Very well, sir.

MALEVENTO
I am glad on’t.

Enter LAZARILLO.

 CORDOLENTE
Sirrah, where’s your mistress?

MALEVENTO
Ay, ay, good youth, call her.
She plays the tortoise now; you shall ‘twixt her and me
See a rare combat.  Tell her here’s here father;
No, an old swaggering fencer dares her at the weapon
Which women put down men at, scolding.  Boy,
I will go chide her, son.

CORDOLENTE
Pray do, sir, go call her.

LAZARILLO
She’s forth, sir, with my fellow; a lady took her along.

MALEVENTO
Taken up already.  It’s well.  Yet I commend her;
She flies with birds that are of better wing
Than those she spreads herself.

CORDOLENTE
Right, sir.

MALEVENTO
Nay, she’s wise.
A subtle ape, but loving as the moon
Is to the sea.

CORDOLENTE
I hope she’ll prove more constant.

MALEVENTO
Then is the needle to the adamant,
The god of gold power down on both your heads
His comfortable showers.

CORDOLENTE
Thanks to your wishes.

MALEVENTO
May never gall be fill’d into your cup,
Nor wormwood strew your pillow; so live, so love,
That none may say a raven does kiss a dove.
I am sorry that I curst you, but the string
Sounds as ‘tis play’d on, as ‘tis set we sing.

Enter BILBO.

CORDOLENTE
Where’s thy mistress?

MALEVENTO
Oh, pray son, use Bilbo Caveare well.
Where’s thy mistress?

BILBO
She’s departed, sir.

CORDOLENTE
Departed!  Whither, prithee?

BILBO
It may be to a lord, for a lady had her away.  I came back to fetch a glove which dropp’d from the lady, but before I could overtake them, they were all dropp’d from me.  My mistress is to me, sir, the needle in the bottle you wot where.

MALEVENTO
Of hay, thou mean’st.  She’ll not be lost, I warrant.

Enter TORMIELLA, and passes over the stage.

 CORDOLENTE
Here she comes now, sir.  Tormiella!  Call her.

BILBO
What shall I call her?                                                                                [Exit.

MALEVENTO
Nothing, by no means;
No, let he flutter; now she’s fast i’th’net
On disobedience; a graceful shame is set.

CORDOLENTE
A strange dead palsy when a woman’s tongue
Has not the power to stir.  Dumb!  Call her, I say!

Enter BILBO.

BILBO
Strange news, sir!

CORDOLENTE
What is’t?

BILBO
Yonder’s a coach full of good faces.

CORDOLENTE
That so strange?

BILBO
Yes, to alight at our gate.  They are coming up as boldly as if they were landlords and came for rent.  See else.

Enter Gentlemen and Gentlewomen.

 FIRST GENTLEWOMAN
The woman of the house, sir, pray?

CORDOLENTE
She’s in her chamber.  Sirrah, show the way.

[Exeunt Gentlewomen with BILBO before; manent Gentleman and walk.

MALEVENTO
Do you know these?

CORDOLENTE
Troth, not I, sir.  I’m amaz’d
At this their strange arrival.

MALEVENTO
By their straight faces,
Small shanks, and blister’d shoe-knobs, they should be courtiers.

CORDOLENTE
Our Spanish mercers say, they’re the bravest fellows.

MALEVENTO
For brave men, they’re no less i’th’tailors’ books,
Courtiers in citizen’s houses are summer fires,
May well be spar’d, and being clean out are best.
They do the house no good, but help consume
They burn the wood up, and o’er-heat the room,
Sweetening only th’air a little, that’s all.
Play the right citizen then; whilst you gain by them,
Hug ‘em, if they pluck your feathers, come not nigh them.

CORDOLENTE
I’ll close with them.

MALEVENTO
Do.

CORDOLENTE
Welcome, gentlemen.

OMNES
Thanks.

CORDOLENTE
Prey, sir, what ladies may these be with my wife?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
Faith, sir, if they would cast themselves away upon knights, they may be knights’ ladies, but they are only gentlewomen of an exceeding sweet carriage and fashion, and ‘tis so, sir, that your wive’s doing being bruited and spread abroad to be rare for her handling the Spanish needle, these beauties are come only to have your wife prick out a thing, which must be done out of hand; that’s the whole business, sir.

CORDOLENTE
In good time, sir.

MALEVENTO
Of court, I pray, sir, are you?

SECOND GENTLEMAN
Yes, sir.  We follow the court now and then, as others follow us.

CORDOLENTE
He means those they owe money to.

MALEVENTO
Pray, sir, what news at court?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
Faith, sir, the old stale news; black jacks are fill’d and standing cups emptied.

MALEVENTO
I see then jacks are saucy in every corner; I have given it him under the list of the ear.

CORDOLENTE
‘Twas soundly, you see he’s struck dead.

MALEVENTO
Dancing baboon!

Enter TORMIELLA, mask’d, and in other garments, the Gentlewomen with her, and Gentlemen leading her away.

TORMIELLA
Farewell.

OMNES
To coach; away!

FIRST GENTLEMAN
The Welch Embassador has a message to you, sir.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
He will be with you shortly, when the moon’s horns are i’th’full.

[Exeunt Gentlemen.

MALEVENTO
What’s that they talk?

CORDOLENTE
Nothing but this, they have given it me soundly.  I feel it under the lists of both ears.  Where’s my wife?

Enter BILBO.

BILBO
She’s fall’n sick, sir.

CORDOLENTE
The night-mare rides her.

MALEVENTO
Ha!  Sick!  How sick?

BILBO
Of the falling sickness.  You and my master have us’d her to run away, that she has show’d you another light pair of heels.  She’s gone, sir.

CORDOLENTE
Thou liest.

BILBO
It may be she lies by this time, but I stand to my words.  I say again, she’s gone, sir.  Cast your cap at her, but she’s gone; hurried into a coach drawn with four horses.

CORDOLENTE
These hear oaths, vows, protestations, damnations; a serpent kiss’d the first woman, and ever since the whole sex have given suck to adders.

MALEVENTO
Run into th’street, and if thou seest the privilege’d  bawdy house she went into—

BILBO
That runs on four wheels, the coach, sir.

CORDOLENTE
Cry to the whole city to stop her.

BILBO
I will, sir.  ‘Tis every man’s cast i’th’city t have his wife stopp’d.         [Exit.

MALEVENTO
Well, what wilt thou say if this be a plot
Of merriment betwixt thy wife and them,
For them to come thus and disguise her thus,
Thus whorry her away to some by-town
But four or five miles distance from the city;
Then must we hunt on horseback, find out game,
See and not know her in this strange disguise,
But the jest smelt out, shouts, and plaudities
Must ring about the table where she sits,
Then you kissing her, I must applaud your wits.

CORDOLENTE
Well, I will once be gull’d in this your comedy.
A while I’ll play the wital, I will wink, sir,
One bird you see is flown out of the nest.

MALEVENTO
What bird?

CORDOLENTE
A wagtail.  After, fly all the rest.

MALEVENTO
Come then.                                                                               [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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