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  • Title: The London Prodigal (Folio 3, 1664)

  • Copyright Digital Renaissance Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Authors: Anonymous, William Shakespeare
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    The London Prodigal (Folio 3, 1664)

    The London Prodigal.
    360thou should'st a had it for a Fayring, and the Rogue puts
    me in rerages for Orient Pearle: but thou shalt have it
    by sunday night, wench.
    Enter the Drawer.
    Draw. Sir, here is one that hath sent you a pottle of
    365rennish wine, brewed with Rose-water.
    Flow. To me?
    Draw. No, sir, to the Knight; and desires his more
    Lance. To me? what's he that proves so kind?
    370Daff. I have a trick to know his name, sir,
    He hath a months mind here to Mistris Frances, his name
    Is Master Civet.
    Lance. Call him in, Daffidill.
    Flow. O, I know him, sir, he is a fool,
    375But reasonable rich, his father was one of these lease-mon-,
    gers, these corn-mongers, these mony-mongers, but he
    never had the wit to be a whore-monger.
    Enter Master Civet.
    Lan. I promise you, sir, you are at too much charge.
    380Civ. The charge is small charge, sir,
    I thank God my father left me where withall, if it please
    you, sir, I have a great mind to this Gentlewoman here,
    in the way of marriage.
    Lan. I thank you, sir: please you to come to Lewsome
    385to my poor house, you shall be kindly welcome: I knew
    your father, he was a wary husband: to pay here Drawer.
    Draw. All is paid, sir: this Gentleman hath paid all.
    Lance. Ifaith you do us wrong,
    But we shall live to make amends ere long:
    390Master Flowerdale, is that your man?
    Flow. Yes faith, a good old knave.
    Lance. Nay then I think you will turn wise,
    Now you take such a servant:
    Come, you'll ride with us to Lewsome, let's away,
    395'Tis scarce two hours to the end of day.
    Enter Sir Arthur Green-shood, Oliver, Lieu-
    tenant and Souldiers.
    Arth. Lieutenant lead your Souldiers to the ships,
    There let them have their coats, at their arrival
    400They shall have pay: farewell, look to your charge.
    Sol. I, we are now sent away, and cannot so much as
    speak with our friends.
    Oli. No man what ere you used a zutch a fashion,
    thick you cannot take your leave of your vreens.
    405Arth. Fellow no more, Lieutenant lead them off.
    Sol. Well, if I have not my pay and my cloaths,
    I'le venture a running away, though I hang for't.
    Arth. Away sirrha, charme your tongue.
    Exeunt Souldiers.
    410Oli. Bin you a presser, sir?
    Arth. I am a commander, sir, under the King.
    Oli. Sfoot man, and you be nere zutch a commander
    Shud a spoke with my vreens before I chid agone, so shud.
    Arth. Content your self man, my authority will
    415stretch to presse so good a man as you.
    Oli. Presse me? I devy, presse scoundrels, and thy
    messels: presse me, chee scorns thee ifaith: For seest thee,
    here's a worshipfull knight knows, cham not to be pres-
    sed by thee.
    Enter Sir Lancelot Weathercock, young Flowerdale,
    old Flowerdale, Luce, Frank.
    Lan. Sir Arthur, welcome to Lewsome, welcome by my
    What's the matter man, why are you vext?
    Oli. Why man he would presse me.
    425Lan. Ofie, Sir Arthur, press him? he is a man of rec-
    Wea. I that he is, Sir Arthur, he hath the nobles,
    The golden ruddocks he.
    Ar. The fitter for the warrs: and were he not in fa-
    430With your worships, he should see,
    That I have power to presse so good as he.
    Oli. Chill stand to the triall, so chill.
    Flow. I marry shall he, presse-cloath and karsie,
    White pot and drowsen broth: tut, tut, he cannot.
    435Oli. Well, sir, though you see vlouten cloth and karsie,
    chee a zeen zutch a karsie coat wear out the town sick a
    zilken Jacket, as thick a one you wear.
    Flow. Well sed vlitan vlattan.
    Oli. A and well sed cocknell, and boe-bell too: what
    440doest think cham aveard of thy zilken coat, no fer vere
    Lance. Nay come no more, be all lovers and friends.
    Wea. I 'tis best so, good Master Oliver.
    Flow. Is your name Master Oliver I pray you?
    445Oly. What tit and be tit, and grieve you.
    Flow. No but I'd gladly know if a man might not
    have a foolish plot out of Master Oliver to work upon.
    Oli. Work thy plots upon me, stand a side, work thy
    foolish plots upon me, chill so use thee, thou wert never so
    450used since thy dam bound thy head, work upon me?
    Flow. Let him come, let him come.
    Oli. Zyrrha, zyrrha, if it were not for shame, chee
    would a given thee zutch a whister poop under the ear,
    chee would have made thee a vanged another at my feet:
    455stand a side let me loose, cham all of a vlaming fire-brand;
    stand aside.
    Flow. Well I forbear you for your friends sake.
    Oli. A vig for all my vreens, do'st thou tell me of my
    460Lan. No more, good master Oliver, no more, Sir Arthur.
    And maiden, here in the sight of all your suters, every
    man of worth, I'le tell you whom I fainest would preferre
    to the hard bargain of your marriage bed: shall I be plain
    among you Gentlemen?
    465Arth. I, sir, 'tis best.
    Lance. Then, sir, first to you, I do confesse you a most
    gallant Knight, a worthy Souldier, and an honest man:
    but honesty maintains a French-hood, goes very seldome
    in a Chain of Gold, keeps a small train of servants: hath
    470few friends: and for this wilde oats here, young Flower-
    dale, I will not judge, God can work myracles, but he
    were better make a hundred new, then thee a thrifty and
    an honest one.
    Wea. Believe me he hath hit you there, he hath touch-
    475ed you to the quick, that he hath.
    Flow. Woodcock a my side, why, Master Weather-
    cock, you know I am honest, howsoever trifles.
    Wea. Now by my troth, I know no otherwise,
    O, your old mother was a dame indeed:
    480Heaven hath her soul, and my wives too I trust:
    And your good father, honest Gentleman,
    He is gone a journey as I hear, far hence.
    Flow. I God be praised; he is far enough,
    He is gone a pilgrimage to Paradise.
    485And left me to cut a caper against care,
    Luce look on me that am as light aire.
    Luce. Ifaith I like not shadows, bubbles, broth,
    I hate a light a love, as I hate death.
    Lance. Girle, hold thee there: look on this Devon-
    490shire lad:
    Fat, fair, and lovely, both in purse and person.
    Oli.Well, sir, cham as the Lord hath made me,