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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.
    throw them at a cast at Dice, as I have done a thousand
    of their fellowes.
    Fath. Nay then I will be plain degenerate, boy,
    1285Thou hadst a Father would have been ashamed.
    Flow. My Father was an Asse, an old Asse.
    Fath. Thy Father? proud licentious villain:
    What are you at your foyles? I'le foyle with you.
    Luc. Good sir, forbear him.
    1290Fath. Did not this whining woman hang on me,
    I'de teach thee what it was to abuse thy Father:
    Go hang, beg, starve, Dice, Game, that when all is gone
    Thou may'st after despaire and hang thy self.
    Luce. O doe not curse him.
    1295Fath. I doe not curse him, and to pray for him were (vain,
    It grieves me that he beares his Fathers name.
    Flow. Well, you old Rascall, I shall meet with you:
    Sirrah, get you gone, I will not strip the livery
    Over your eares, because you paid for it:
    1300But doe not use my name, sirrah, doe you hear? look you (doe not
    Use my name, you were best.
    Fath. Pay me the twenty pound then that I lent you,
    Or give me security when I may have it.
    Flow. I'le pay thee not a penny, and for security, I'le
    1305give thee none.
    Minckins, look you doe not follow me, look you doe not:
    If you doe, Beggar, I shall slit your nose.
    Luce. Alass, what shall I doe?
    Flow. Why turn whore, that's a good trade,
    1310And so perhaps I'le see thee now and then.
    Exit Flowerdale.
    Luce. Alass-the-day that ever I was born.
    Fath. Sweet Mistresse, doe not weep, I'le stick to you.
    Luce. Alass, my friend, I know not what to doe,
    1315My Father and my friends, they have despised me:
    And I a wretched Maid, thus cast away,
    Knows neither where to go, nor what to say.
    Fath. It grieves me at the soul, to see her teares
    Thus stain the crimson Roses of her cheeks:
    1320Lady, take comfort, doe not mourn in vain,
    I have a little living in this Town,
    The which I think comes to a hundred pound,
    All that and more shall be at you dispose;
    I'le strait go help you to some strange disguise,
    1325And place you in a service in this Town:
    Where you shall know all, yet your self unknown:
    Come grieve no more, where no help can be had,
    Weep not for him, that is more worse then bad.
    Luce. I thank you, sir.
    1330Enter Sir Lancelot, Master Weathercock and them.
    Oli. Well, cha a bin zerved many a sluttish trick,
    But such a lerripoop as thick ych was ne're a sarved.
    Lance. Son Civet, Daughter Frances, bear with me,
    You see how I am pressed down with inward grief,
    1335About that lucklesse Girl, your sister Luce:
    But 'tis faln out with me, as with many families beside,
    They are most unhappy, that are most beloved.
    Civ. Father, 'tis so, 'tis even faln out so,
    But what remedy? set hand to your heart, and let it pass:
    1340Here is your Daughter Frances and I, and we'll not say,
    We'll bring forth as witty Children, but as pretty
    Children as ever she was: tho she had the prick
    And praise for a pretty wench: But, Father, done is
    The mouse, you'll come?
    1345Lance. I, son Civet, I'le come.
    Civ. And you, Master Oliver?
    Oli. I, for che a vext out this veast, chill see if a gan
    Make a better veast there.
    Civ. And you, Sir Arthur?
    1350Ar.I, sir, although my heart be full,
    I'le be a partner at your wedding feast.
    Civ. And welcome all indeed, and welcome, come,
    Franck, are you ready?
    Fran.Jeshue how hasty these Husbands are, I pray,
    1355Father, pray to God to blesse me.
    Lance. God blesse thee, and I doe: God make thee (wise,
    Send you both joy, I wish it with wet eyes.
    Fran. But, Father, shall not my sister Delia go along
    with us?
    1360She is excellent good at Cookery, and such things.
    Lance. Yes marry shall she: Delia, make you ready.
    Deli. I am ready, sir, I will first go to Greenwitch,
    From thence to my Cousin Chesterfield, and so to Lon-
    1365Civ. It shall suffice, good sister Delia, it shall suffice,
    But fail us not, good sister, give order to Cooks, and o-(thers,
    For I would not have my sweet Franck
    To soile her fingers.
    Fran. No by my troth not I, a Gentlewoman, and a
    1370married Gentlewoman too, to be companions to Cooks,
    And Kitchin-boyes, not I, ifaith, I scorn that.
    Civ. Why, I doe not mean thou shalt, sweet heart,
    Thou seest I doe not go about it: well, farewell too:
    You, Gods pitty M. Weathercock, we shall have your
    1375company too?
    Wea.Withall my heart, for I love good cheer.
    Civ. Well, God be with you all, come, Franck.
    Fra. God be with you, Father, God be with you, sir Ar-
    thur, Master Oliver, and Master Weathercock, Sister,
    1380God be with you all: God be with you, Father, God be
    with you every one.
    Wea. Why, how now, Sir Arthur? all a mort, Ma-
    ster Oliver, how now man?
    Cheerely, sir Lancelot, and merily say,
    1385Who can hold that will away.
    Lance. I, she is gone indeed, poor Girl, undone,
    But when these be self-willed, children must smart.
    Ar. But, sir, that she is wronged, you are the chiefest (cause,
    Therefore 'tis reason you redresse her wrong.
    1390Wea. Indeed you must, Sir Lancelot, you must.
    Lance. Must? who can compell me, M. Weathercock?
    I hope I may doe what I list.
    Wea. I grant you may, you may do what you list.
    Oli. Nay, but and you be well evisen, it were not good,
    1395By this vrampolnesse, and vrowardnesse, to cast away
    As prety a dowssabell, as am chould chance to see
    In a summers day: chill tell you what chall doe,
    Chill go spy up and down the Town, and see if I
    Can hear any tale or tidings of her,
    1400And take her away from thick a messell, vor cham
    Ashured, heel but bring her to the spoile,
    And so var you well, we shall meet at your son Civets.
    Lance. I thank you, sir, I take it very kindly.
    Arti. To find her out, I'le spend my dearest blood.
    1405Exit both.
    So well I loved her, to affect her good.
    Lance. O, Master Weathercock, what hap had I, to
    force my Daughter.
    From Master Oliver, and this good Knight?
    1410To one that hath no goodnesse in his thought.
    Wea. Ill luck, but what remedy?
    Lance. Yes, I have almost devised a remedy,
    Young Flowerdale is shure a prisoner.