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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    The London Prodigal.
    whipt: now I have my money again, I'le see thee hanged
    before I give thee a penny: secret service: on good Ale-
    xander.Exit both.
    Flow. This is villainous luck, I perceive dishonesty
    1680Will not thrive: here comes more, God forgive me,
    Sir Arthur, and M. Oliver, aforegod, I'le speak to them,
    God save you, Sir Arthur: God save you, M. Oliver.
    Oli. Bin you there, zirrha, come will you ytaken your self
    To your tools, Coystrel?
    1685Flow. Nay, M. Oliver, I'le not fight with you,
    Alas, sir, you know it was not my doings,
    It was onely a plot to get Sir Lancelot's daughter:
    By God, I never meant you harme.
    Oli. And whore is the Gentlewoman thy wife, Mezel?
    1690Whore is she, Zirrha, ha?
    Flow. By my troth, M. Oliver, sick, very sick;
    And God is my Judge, I know not what means to make
    for her, good Gentlewoman.
    Oli. Tell me true, is she sick? tell me true itch vise thee.
    1695Flow. Yes faith, tell you true: M. Oliver, if you would
    do me the small kindnesse, but to lend me forty shillings:
    So God help me, I will pay you so soon as my ability shall
    make me able, as I am a Gentleman.
    Oli. Well, thou zaist thy wife is zick: hold, there's vor-
    1700ty shillings, gived it to thy wife, look thou give it her, or
    I shall zo veze thee, thou wert not zo vezed this zeven
    year, look to it.
    Arth. Ifaith, M. Oliver, it is in vain
    To give to him that never thinks of her.
    1705Oli. Well, would che could yvind it.
    Flow. I tell you true, Sir Arthur, as I am a gentleman.
    Oli. Well, farewell zirrha: come, Sir Arthur.
    Exit both.
    Flow. By the Lord, this is excellent.
    1710Five golden Angels compast in an hour,
    If this trade hold, I'le never seek a new.
    Welcome sweet gold, and beggery adieu.

    Enter Uncle and Father.

    Unc. See, Kester, if you can find the house.
    1715Flow. Whose here, my Uncle, and my man Kester?
    By the Masse 'tis they.
    How do you, Uncle, how do'st thou, Kester?
    By my troth, Uncle, you must needs lend
    Me some money, the poor Gentlewoman
    1720My wife, so God help me, is very sick,
    I was rob'd of the hundred Angels
    You gave me, they are gone.
    Unc. I, they are gone indeed, come, Kester, away.
    Flow. Nay, Uncle, do you here? good Uncle.
    1725Unc. Out Hypocrite, I will not hear thee speak,
    Come leave him, Kester.
    Flow. Kester, honest Kester
    Fath. Sir, I have nought to say to you,
    Open the door to my kin, thou had'st best
    1730Lockt fast, for there's a false knave without.
    Flow. You are an old lying Rascal,
    So you are.
    Exit both.
    Enter Luce.

    1735Luce. Vat is de matter, Vat be you, yonker?
    Flow. By this light a Dutch Frow, they say they are (cal'd
    Kind, by this light I'le cry her.
    Luce. Vat be you, yonker, why do you not speak?
    Flow. By my troth, sweet heart, a poor Gentleman
    1740that would desire of you, if it stand with your liking, the
    bounty of your purse.
    Enter Father.
    Luce. O here God, so young an Armine.
    Flow. Armine, sweet-heart, I know not what you mean
    1745by that, but I am almost a beggar.
    Luce. Are you not a married man, vere bin your vife?
    Here is all I have, take dis.
    Flow. What gold, young Frow? this is brave.
    Fath. If he have any grace, he'll now repent.
    1750Luce. Why speak you not, were be your vife?
    Flow. Dead, dead, she's dead, 'tis she hath undone me?
    Spent me all I had, and kept Rascals under my nose to
    brave me.
    Luce. Did you use her vell?
    1755Flow. Use her, there's never a Gentlewoman in En-
    gland could be better used then I did her, I could but
    Coach her, her Diet stood me in forty pound a month,
    but she is dead and in her grave, my cares are buried.
    Luce. Indeed dat vas not scone.
    1760Fath. He is turned more devil then he was before.
    Flow. Thou do'st belong to Master Civet here, do'st
    thou not?
    Luce. Yes, me do.
    Flow. Why there's it, there's not a handfull of plate
    1765But belongs to me, God's my Judge:
    If I had such a wench as thou art,
    There's never a man in England would make more
    Of her, then I would do, so she had any stock.
    They call within.
    1770O why Tanikin.
    Luce. Stay, one doth call, I shall come by and by a-
    Flow. By this hand, this Dutch wench is in love with (me,
    Were it not admirall to make her steal
    1775All Civet's Plate, and run away.
    Fath. 'Twere beastly. O M. Flowerdale,
    Have you no fear of God, nor conscience:
    What do you mean, by this vild course you take?
    Flow. What do I mean? why, to live, that I mean.
    1780Fath. To live in this sort, fie upon the course,
    Your life doth show, you are a very coward.
    Flow. A coward, I pray in what?
    Fath. Why you will borrow six-pence of a boy.
    Flow. 'Snails, is there such a cowardise in that? I dare
    1785Borrow it of a man, I, and of the tallest man
    In England, if he will lend it me:
    Let me borrow it how I can, and let them come by it
    how they dare.
    And it is well known, I might a rid out a hundred times
    1790If I would, so I might.
    Fath. It was not want of will, but cowardise,
    There is none that lends to you, but know they gain:
    And what is that but onely stealth in you?
    Delia might hang you now, did not her heart
    1795Take pitty of you for her sisters sake.
    Go get you hence, least lingering here you stay,
    You fall into their hands you look not for.
    Flow. I'le tarry here, till the Dutch Frow
    Comes, if all the devils in hell were here.
    1800Exit Father.
    Enter Sir Lancelot, M. Weathercock,
    and Artichoak.

    Lan. Where is the door? are we not past it Artichoak?