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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Wea. What hath he kill'd his father?
    Lance. I, sir, with conceit of his vild courses.
    Fath. Sir, you are misinformed.
    1935Lan. Why, thou old knave, thou told'st me so thy self.
    Fath. I wrong'd him then: and toward my Master's (Stock,
    There's twenty Nobles for to make amends.
    Flow. No Kester, I have troubled thee, and wrong'd
    thee more,
    1940What thou in love gives, I in love restore.
    Fran. Ha, ha, sister, there you plaid bo-peep with
    Tom, what shall I give her toward houshold?
    Sister Delia, shall I give her my Fan?
    Del. You were best ask your husband.
    1945Fran. Shall I, Tom?
    Civ. I do Frank, I'le buy thee a new one, with a longer (handle.
    Fran. A russet one, Tom.
    Civ. I with russet feathers.
    Fran. Here, sister, there's my Fan toward houshold,
    1950to keep you warme.
    Luce. I thank you, sister.
    Wea. Why this is well, and toward fair Luces Stock,
    here's forty shillings: and forty good shillings more, I'le
    give her marry. Come Sir Lancelot, I must have you
    Lance. Not I, all this is counterfeit,
    He will consume it, were it a Million.
    Fath. Sir, what is your daughters dower worth?
    Lance. Had she been married to an honest man,
    1960It had been better then a thousand pound.
    Fath. Pay it him, and I'le give you my bond,
    To make her joynter better worth then three.
    Lance. Your bond, sir, why what are you?
    Fath. One whose word in London though I say it,
    1965Will passe there for as much as yours.
    Lan. Wert not thou late that unthrifts serving-man?
    Fath. Look on me better, now my scar is off.
    Nere muse man at this metamorphosie.
    Lance. Master Flowerdale.
    1970Flow. My father, O I shame to look on him.
    Pardon, dear father, the follies that are past.
    Fath. Son, son, I do, and joy at this thy change,
    And applaud thy fortune in this vertuous maid,
    Whom heaven hath sent to thee to save thy soul.
    1975Luce. This addeth joy to joy, high heaven be prais'd.
    Wea. M. Flowerdale, welcome from death, good Mr.
    'Twas sed so here, 'twas sed so here good faith.
    Fath. I caus'd that rumour to be spread my self,
    1980Because I'd see the humours of my son,
    Which to relate the circumstance is needlesse:
    And sirrha, see you run no more into that same disease:
    For he that's once cured of that maladie,
    Of Riot, Swearing, Drunkenness, and Pride,
    1985And falls again into the like distresse,
    That fever is deadly, doth till death indure:
    Such men die mad as of a calenture.
    Flow. Heaven helping me, I'le hate the course as hell.
    Unc. Say it, and do it Cousin, all is well.
    1990Lan. Well, being in hope you'll prove an honest man,
    I take you to my favour. Brother Flowerdale,
    Welcome with all my heart: I see your care
    Hath brought these acts to this conclusion,
    And I am glad of it, come let's in and feast.
    1995Oli. Nay zoft you a while, you promised to make
    Sir Arthur and me amends, here is your wisest
    Daughter, see which an's she'll have.
    Lan. A Gods name, you have my good will, get hers.
    Oli. How say you then Damsel, tyters hate?
    2000Delia. I sir, am yours.
    Oli. Why, then send for a Vicar, and chill have it
    Dispatched in a trice, so chill.
    Del. Pardon me, sir, I mean I am yours,
    In love, in duty: and affection.
    2005But not to love as wife, shall nere be said,
    Delia was buried, married, but a maid.
    Arth. Do not condemne your self for ever
    Vertuous fair, you were born to love.
    Oli. Why you say true, Sir Arthur, she was ybore to it,
    2010So well as her mother: but I pray you shew us
    Some zamples or reasons why you will not marry?
    Del. Not that I do condemne a married life,
    For 'tis no doubt a sanctimonious thing:
    But for the care and crosses of a wife,
    2015The trouble in this world that children bring,
    My vow is in heaven in earth to live alone,
    Husbands howsoever good, I will have none.
    Oli. Why then, chill live a Batchelor too,
    Che zet not a vig by a wife, if a wife zet not a vig
    2020By me: Come, shall's go to dinner?
    Fath. To morrow I crave your companies in Mark-lane:
    To night we'll frolick in M. Civet's house,
    And to each health drink down a full Carouse,