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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.
    Or as a Hawk, that never stoop'd to lure:
    The one must be tamed with an iron bit,
    230The other must be watch'd, or still she is wild,
    Such is my son, a while let him be so;
    For counsel still is follies deadly foe.
    I'le serve his youth, for youth must have his course,
    For being restrain'd, it makes him ten times worse:
    235His pride, his riot, all that may
    be nam'd,
    Time may recall, and all his madnesse tam'd.
    Enter Sir Lancelot, Master Weathercock, Daffidill,
    Artichoak, Luce, and Frank.
    Lance. Sirrha Artichoak, get you home before,
    240And as you proved your self a calf in buying,
    Drive home your fellow calfes that you have bought.
    Arti. Yes forsooth, shall not my fellow Daffidill go
    along with me.
    Lance. No, sir, no, I must have one to wait on me.
    245Arti. Daffadill, farewell, good fellow Daffidill,
    You may see, mistris, I am set up by the halves,
    nstead of waiting on you, I am sent to drive home calves.
    Lance. Ifaith Frank, I must turn away this Daffidill,
    He's grown a very foolish sawcy fellow.
    250Fran. Indeed-law, father, he was so since I had him:
    Before he was wise enough, for a foolish serving-man.
    Wea. But what say you to me, Sir Lancelot?
    Lan. O, about my daughters, well I will go forward,
    Here's two of them, God save them: but the third,
    255O she's a stranger in her course of life,
    She hath refused you, Master Weathercock.
    Wea. I by the Rood, Sir Lancelot, that she hath,
    But had she tri'd me, she should a found a man of me in- (deed.
    Lan. Nay be not angry, sir, at her danial,
    260She hath refus'd seaven of the worshipfull'st and wor-
    thiest house-keepers this day in Kent:
    Indeed she will not marry I suppose.
    Wea. The more fool she.
    Lance. What is it folly to love Charity?
    265Wea. No, mistake me not, Sir Lancelot,
    But 'tis an old proverb, and you know it well,
    That women dying maids, lead apes in hell.
    Lance. That's a foolish proverb, and a false.
    Wea. By the mass, I think it be, and therefore let it go:
    270But who shall marry with Mistris Frances?
    Fran. By my troth they are talking of marrying me, (sister.
    Luce. Peace, let them talk:
    Fools may have leave to prattle as they walk.
    Daff. Sentesses still, sweet Mistris,
    275You have a wit, and it were your Allablaster.
    Luce. Ifaith and thy tongue trips trench-more.
    Lance. No of my Knight-hood, not a suter yet:
    Alas God help her, silly girle, a fool, a very fool:
    But there's the other black-brows a shrewd girle,
    280She hath wit at will, and suters two or three:
    Sir Arthur Green-sheld one, a gallant Knight,
    A valiant Souldier, but his power but poor.
    Then there's young Oliver, the Devon-shire lad,
    A wary fellow, marry full of wit,
    285And rich by the Rood, but there's a third all aire,
    Light as a feather, changing as the wind: young Flower- (dale.
    Wea. O he, sir, he's a desperate dick indeed.
    Bar him your house.
    Lance. Fye, not so, he's of good parentage.
    290Wea. By my faie and so he is, and a proper man.
    Lance. I proper enough, had he good qualities.
    Wea. I marry, there's the point, Sir Lancelot:
    For there's an old saying,
    Be he rich, or be he poor,
    295Be he high, or be he low:
    Be he born in Barn or Hall,
    'Tis manners makes the man and all.
    Lance. You are in the right, Master Weathercock.
    Enter Mounsieur Civet.
    300Civet. Soul, I think I am sure crossed,
    Or witcht with an owle, I have haunted them, Inne after
    Inne, Booth after Booth, yet cannot find them; ha, yon-
    der they are, that's she, I hope to God 'tis she, nay I
    know 'tis she now, for she treads her shooe a little awry.
    305Lance. Where is this Inne? we are past it, Daffidill.
    Daff. The good signe is here, sir, but the black gate is
    Civet. Save you, sir, I pray may I borrow a piece of
    a word with you?
    310Daff. No pieces, sir.
    Civ. Why then the whole.
    I pray, sir, what may yonder Gentlewomen be?
    Daf. They may be Ladies, sir, if the destinies and mor-
    tality work.
    315Civ. What's her name, sir.
    Daff. Mistris Frances Spurcock, Sir Lancelot Spur-
    cock's daughter.
    Civ. Is she a maid, sir?
    Daff. You may ask Pluto, and dame Proserpine that:
    320I would be loth to be ridelled, sir.
    Civ. Is she married I mean, sir?
    Daff. The Fates know not yet what shooe-maker
    shall make her wedding shooes.
    Civ. I pray where Inne you sir? I would be very
    325glad to bestow the wine of that Gentlewoman.
    Daff. At the George, sir.
    Civ. God save you, sir.
    Daff. I pray your name, sir?
    Civ. My name is Master Civet, sir.
    330Daff. A sweet name, God be with you, good Master
    Civet.Exit Civet.
    Lance. A, have we spi'd you stout S. George?
    For all your dragon, you had best sell's good wine:
    That needs no Ivy-bush: well, we'll not sit by it,
    335As you do on your horse, this room shall serve:
    Drawer, let me have sack for us old men:
    For these girls and knaves small wines are best.
    A pinte of Sack, no more.
    Draw. A quart of Sack in the three Tuns,
    340Lance. A pinte, draw but a pinte, Daffidill,
    Call for wine to make your selves drink.
    Fran. And a cup of small beer, & a cake, good Daffidill.
    Enter young Flowerdale.
    Flow. How now, fie, sit in the open room, now good
    345Sir Lancelot, and my kind friend, worshipfull Master
    What at your pinte, a quart for shame.
    Lan. Nay Royster, by your leave we will away.
    Flow. Come, give's some Musick, we'll go dance,
    350Be gone Sir Lancelot, what, and fair day too?
    Lan. 'Twere fouly done, to dance within the fayr.
    Flow. Nay if you say so, fairest of all faires,
    Then I'le not dance, a pox upon my Taylor,
    He hath spoyl'd me a peach-colour sattin sute,
    355Cut upon cloth of silver, but if ever the Rascal serve me
    such another trick, I'le give him leave, ifaith, to put me
    in the calender of fools: and you, and you, Sir Lancelot;
    and Master Weathercock, my gold-smith too on tother
    side, I bespoke thee, Luce, a carkenet of gold, and thought