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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Arti. By th'Masse here's one, I'le ask him, do you
    1805hear, sir?
    What, are you so proud? do you hear, which is the way
    To M. Civet's house? what, will you not speak?
    O me, this is filching Flowerdale.
    Lance. O wonderful, is this lewde villain here?
    1810O you cheating Rogue, you Cut-purse, Cony-catcher,
    What ditch, you villain, is my Daughters grave?
    A cozening rascal, that must make a will,
    Take on him that strict habit, very that:
    When he should turn to angel, a dying grace,
    1815I'le Father-in-Law you, sir, I'le make a will:
    Speak villain, where's my Daughter?
    Poysoned, I warrant you, or knocked a the head:
    And to abuse good Master Weathercock, with his forged
    1820And Master Weathercock, to make my grounded resolu-(tion,
    Then to abuse the Devonshire Gentlemen:
    Go, away with him to prison.
    Flow. Wherefore to prison? sir, I will not go.

    Enter Master Civet, his Wife, Oliver, Sir Arthur,
    1825 Father, Vnckle, and Delia.

    Lance. O here's his Unckle, welcome, Gentlemen,
    welcome all:
    Such a cozener, Gentlemen, a murderer too
    For any thing I know, my Daughter is missing,
    1830Hath been looked for, cannot be found, a vild upon thee.
    Vnc. He is my kinsman, although his life be vild,
    Therefore, in Gods name, doe with him what you will.
    Lance. Marry to prison.
    Flow. Wherefore to prison, snick-up? I owe you
    1835 nothing.
    Lan. Bring forth my daughter then, away with him.
    Flow. Go seek your daughter, what do you lay to my
    Lance. Suspition of murder, go, away with him.
    1840Flow. Murder your dogs, I murder your daughter?
    Come, Uncle, I know you'll bail me.
    Unc Not I, were there no more,
    Then I the Jaylor, thou the prisoner.
    Lance. Go, away with him.

    1845Enter Luce like a Frow.

    Luce. O my life, where will you ha de man?
    Vat ha de yonker done?
    Wea. Woman, he hath kill'd his wife.
    Luce. His wife, dat is not good, dat is not seen.
    1850Lance. Hang not upon him, huswife, if you do I'le lay
    you by him.
    Luce. Have me no, and or way do you have him,
    He tell me dat he love me heartily.
    Fran. Lead away my maid to prison, why, Tom, will
    1855 you suffer that?
    Civ. No, by your leave, Father, she is no vagrant:
    She is my Wives Chamber-maid, and as true as the skin
    between any mans browes here.
    Lance. Go to, you're both fooles: Son Civet,
    1860Of my life this is a plot,
    Some stragling counterfeit profer'd to you:
    No doubt to rob you of your Plate and Jewels:
    I'le have you led away to prison, Trull.
    Luce. I am no Trull, neither outlandish Frow,
    1865Nor he, nor I shall to the prison go:
    Know you me now? nay never stand amazed.
    Father, I know I have offended you,
    And though that duty wills me bend my knees
    To you in duty and obedience;
    1870Yet this wayes do I turn, and to him yield
    My love, my duty, and my humblenesse.
    Lance. Bastard in nature, kneel to such a slave?
    Luce. O M. Flowerdale, if too much grief
    Have not stopt up the organs of your voice,
    1875Then speak to her that is thy faithfull wife,
    Or doth contempt of me thus tie thy tongue:
    Turn not away, I am no Æthiope,
    No wanton Cressed, nor a changing Hellen:
    But rather one made wretched by thy loss.
    1880What turn'st thou still from me? O then
    I guess thee wofull'st among haplesse men.
    Flow. I am indeed, wife, wonder among wives!
    Thy chastity and vertue hath infused
    Another soul in me, red with defame,
    1885For in my blushing cheeks is seen my shame.
    Lance. Out Hypocrite, I charge thee trust him not.
    Luce. Not trust him, by the hopes after bliss,
    I know no sorrow can be compar'd to his.
    Lan. Well, since thou wert ordain'd to beggery,
    1890Follow thy fortune, I defie thee.
    Oli.Ywood che were so well ydoussed as was ever white
    cloth in tocking mill, an che ha not made me weep.
    Fath. If he hath any grace he'll now repent.
    Arth. It moves my heart.
    1895Wea. By my troth I must weep, I cannot choose.
    Unc. None but a beast would such a maid misuse.
    Flow. Content thy self, I hope to win his favour,
    And to redeem my reputation lost:
    And, Gentlemen, believe me, I beseech you,
    1900I hope your eyes shall behold such change,
    As shall deceive your expectation.
    Oli. I would che were split now, but che believe him.
    Lance. How, believe him.
    Wea. By the Matkins, I do.
    1905Lan. What do you think that e're he will have grace?
    Wea. By my faith it will go hard.
    Oli. Well, che vor ye he is changed: and, M. Flower-
    dale, in hope you been so, hold there's vorty pound to-
    ward your zetting up: what be not ashamed, vang it
    1910man, vang it, be a good husband, loven to your wife:
    and you shall not want for vorty more, I che vor thee.
    Arth. My means are little, but if you'll follow me,
    I will instruct you in my ablest power:
    But to your wife I give this Diamond,
    1915And prove true Diamond fair in all your life.
    Flow. Thanks, good Sir Arthur: M. Oliver,
    You being my enemy, and grown so kind,
    Binds me in all endeavour to restore.
    Oli. What, restore me no restorings, man,
    1920I have vorty pound more here, vang it:
    Zouth chill devie London else: what, do not think me
    A Mezel or a Scoundrel, to throw away my money? che
    have an hundred pound more to pace of any good spota-
    tion: I hope your under and your Uncle will vollow my
    Unc. You have guest right of me, if he leave off this
    course of life, he shall be mine Heir.
    Lan. But he shall never get groat of me;
    A Cozener, a Deceiver, one that kill'd his painfull
    1930Father, honest Gentleman, that passed the fearfull
    Danger of the sea, to get him living & maintain him brave.