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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)

    Enter Civet, Frank, and Delia.
    Civ. By my troth this is good luck, I thank God for
    this. In good sooth I have even my hearts desire: sister
    Delia, now I may boldly call you so, for your father hath
    790frank and freely given me his daughter Franck.
    Fran. I by my troth, Tom, thou hast my good will too,
    for I thank God I longed for a husband, and would I
    might never stir, for one his name was Tom.
    Delia. Why, sister, now you have your wish.
    795Civ. You say very true, sister Delia, and I prethee call
    me nothing but Tom: and I'le call thee sweet heart, and
    Frank: will it not do well sister Delia?
    Delia. It will do very well with both of you.
    Fran. But Tom, must I go as I do now when I am
    Civ. No Franck, I'le have thee go like a Citizen
    In a garded gown, and a French-hood.
    Fran. By my troth that will be excellent indeed.
    Delia. Brother, maintain your wife to your estate,
    805Apparel you your self like to your father:
    And let her go like to your ancient mother,
    He sparing got his wealth, left it to you,
    Brother take heed of pride, some bids thrift adieu.
    Civ. So as my father and my mother went, that's a
    810jest indeed, why she went in a fringed gown, a single
    Ruffe, and a white Cap.
    And my father in a mocado coat, a pair of red Sattin
    Sleeves, and a Canvis back.
    Del. And yet his wealth was all as much as yours.
    815Civ. My estate, my estate, I thank God, is forty pound
    a year in good leases and tenements, besides twenty mark
    a year at Cuckolds-haven, and that comes to us all by
    inheritanc .
    Delia. That may indeed, 'tis very fitly plied,
    820I know not how it comes, but so it falls out
    That those whose Fathers have died wondrous rich,
    And took no pleasure but to gather wealth,
    Thinking of little that they leave behind:
    For them they hope, will be of their like minde.
    825But falls out contrary, forty years sparing
    Is scarce three seaven years spending, never caring
    What will ensue, when all their coyn is gone,
    And all to late, then Thrift is thought upon:
    Oft have I heard, that Pride and Riot kist,
    830And then repentance cryes, for had I wist.
    Civ. You say well, sister Delia, you say well: but I
    mean to live within my bounds: for look you, I have set
    down my rest thus far, but to maintain my wife in her
    French Hood, and her Coach, keep a couple of Geldings,
    835and a brace of Gray-hounds, and this is all I'le do.
    Del. And you'll do this with forty pound a year?
    Civ. I, and a better penny, sister.
    Fran. Sister, you forget that at Cuckolds-Haven.
    Civet. By my troth well remembred, Frank,
    840I'le give thee that to buy thee pinns.
    Delia. Keep you the rest for points, alas the day,
    Fools shall have wealth, though all the world say nay:
    Come, brother, will you in, dinner staies for us.
    Civ. I, good sister, with all my heart.
    845Fran. I by my troth, Tom, for I have a good stomack.
    Civ. And I the like, sweet Frank, no sister
    Do not think I'le go beyond my bounds.
    Delia. God grant you may not.