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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
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The London Prodigal (Folio 3, 1664)

    Civ. By my troth God a mercy for this, good Chri-
    1500I thank thee for my maid, I like her very well,
    How doest thou like her, Frances?
    Fran. In good sadness, Tom, very well, excellent well,
    She speaks so prettily, I pray what's your name?
    Luce. My name, forsooth, be called Tanikin.
    1505Fran. By my troth a fine name: O Tanikin, you are
    excellent for dressing one head a new fashion.
    Luce. Me fall doe every ting about da head.
    Civ. What Countrey woman is she, Kester?
    Fath. A Dutch woman, sir.
    1510Civ. Why then she is outlandish, is she not?
    Fath. I, Sir, she is.
    Fran. O then thou canst tell how to help me to cheeks
    and ears?
    Luce. Yes, mistresse, very vell.
    1515Fath. Cheeks and ears, why, mistresse Frances, want
    you cheeks and ears? me thinks you have very fair ones.
    Fran. Thou art a fool indeed, Tom, thou knowest
    what I mean.
    Civ. I, I, Kester, 'tis such as they wear a their heads,
    1520I prethee, Kit, have her in, and shew her my house.
    Fath. I will, sir, come Tanikin.
    Fran. O Tom, you have not bussed me to day, Tom.
    Civ. No Frances, we must not kisse afore folkes,
    God save my Franck,
    Enter Delia, and Artichoak.
    See yonder, my sister Delia is come, welcome, good sister.
    Fran. Welcome, good sister, how do you like the
    tire of my head?
    Delia. Very well, sister.
    1530Civ. I am glad you're come, sister Delia, to give or-
    der for Supper, they will be here soon.
    Arti. I, but if good luck had not served, she had
    Not bin here now, filching Flowerdale had like
    To pepper'd us, but for master Oliver, we had bin robbed.
    1535Delia. Peace, sirrah, no more.
    Fath. Robbed! by whom?
    Arti. Marry by none but by Flowerdale, he is turned
    Civ. By my faith, but that is not well, but God be
    1540For your escape, will you draw near, sister?
    Fath. Sirrah, come hither, would Flowerdale, he that
    was my master, a robbed you, I prethee tell me true?
    Arti. Yes ifaith, even that Flowerdale, that was thy
    1545Fath. Hold thee, there is a French Crown, and speak
    no more of this.
    Arti. Not I, not a word, now do I smell knavery:
    In every purse Flowerdale takes, he is halfe:
    And gives me this to keep counsel, not a word I.
    1550Fath. Why God a mercy.
    Fran. Sister, look here, I have a new Dutch maid,
    And she speaks so fine, it would do your heart good.
    Civ. How do you like her, sister?
    Del. I like your maid well.
    1555Civ. Well, dear sister, will you draw near, and give
    directions for supper, guesse will be here presently.
    Del. Yes, brother, lead the way, I'le follow you.
    Exit all but Delia and Luce.
    Hark you, Dutch Frow, a word.
    1560Luce. Vat is your villwit me?
    Del. Sister Luce, 'tis not your broken language,
    Nor this same habit, can disguise your face
    From I that know you: pray tell me, what means this?
    Luce. Sister, I see you know me, yet be secret:
    1565This borrowed shape that I have tane upon me,
    Is but to keep my self a space unknown,
    Both from my father, and my nearest fri
    Untill I see how time will bring to passe,
    The desperate course of Master Flowerdale.
    1570Del. O he is worse then bad, I prithee leave him,
    And let not once thy heart to think on him.
    Luce. Do not perswade me once to such a thought,
    Imagine yet, that he is worse then nought:
    Yet one lovers time may all that ill undo,
    1575That all his former life did run into.
    Therefore, kind sister, do not disclose my estate,
    If e're his heart doth turn, 'tis n'ere too late.
    Del. Well, seeing no counsel can remove your mind,
    I'le not disclose you, that art wilfull blind.
    1580Luce. Delia, I thank you, I now must please her eyes,
    My sister Frances, neither fair nor wise.