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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.
    You know me well ivin, cha have three-score pack of
    karsay, and Blackem hall, and chief credit beside, and
    495my fortunes may be so good as an others, zo it may.
    Lance. 'Tis you I love, whatsoever others say?
    Arth. Thanks fairest.
    Flow. What would'st thou have me quarrel with him?
    Fath. Do but say he shall hear from you.
    500Lan. Yet Gentleman, howsoever I preferre this De-
    von-shire suter.
    I'le enforce no love, my daughter shall have liberty to
    choose whom she likes best: in your love-sute proceed.
    Not all of you, but onely one must speed.
    505Wea. You have said well: indeed right well.
    Enter Artichoak.
    Arti. Mistris, here's one would speak with you, my
    fellow Daffidill hath him in the seller already, he knows
    him, he met him at Croydon fair.
    510Lance. O, I remember, a little man.
    Arti. I a very little man.
    Lance. And yet a proper man.
    Arti. A very proper, very little man.
    Lance. His name is Mounsieur Civet.
    515Arti. The same, sir.
    Lance. Come Gentlemen, if other suters come,
    My foolish daughter will be fitted too:
    But Delia my faint, no man dare move,
    Eeunxt at all but young Flowerdale and Oliver,
    520, and old Flowerdale.
    Flow. Hark you, sir, a word.
    Oli. What ha an you say to me now?
    Flow. Ye shall hear from me, and that very shortly.
    Oli. Is that all, vare thee well, chee vere thee not a vig.
    525Exit Oliver.
    Flow. What if should come more? I am fairly drest.
    Fath. I do not mean that you shall meet with him,
    But presently we'll go and draw a Will:
    Where we'll set down Land, that we never saw,
    530And we will have it of so large a sum,
    Sir Lancelot shall intreat you take his daughter:
    This being formed, give it Master Weathercock,
    And make Sir Lancelots daughter heir of all:
    And make him swear never to show the Will
    535To any one, untill that you be dead.
    This done, the foolish changling Weathercock,
    Will straight discourse unto Sir Lancelot,
    The forme and tenor of your Testament,
    Nor stand to pause of it be rul'd by me:
    540What will ensue, that shall you quickly see.
    Flow. Come let's about it; if that a Will, sweet Kit,
    Can get the Wench, I shall renown thy wit.
    Enter Daffidill.
    545Daff. Mistris, still froward?
    No kind looks unto your Daffodill, now by the gods.
    Luce. Away you foolish knave, let my hand go.
    Daff. There is your hand, but this shall go with me:
    My heart is thine, this is my true loves fee.
    550Luce. I'le have your coat stript o're your ears for this,
    You sawcy rascall.
    Enter Lancelot and Weathercock.
    Lance. How now maid, what is the news with you?
    Luce. Your man is something sawcie.Exit Luce.
    555Lance. Go too, sirrha, I'le talk with you anon.
    Daff. Sir, I am a man to be talked withall,
    I am no horse I tro:
    I Know my strength, then no more then so.
    Wea. A by the matkins, good Sir Lancelot, I saw him
    560the other day hold up the Bucklers, like an Hercules,
    Ifaith God-a-mercy Lad, I like thee well.
    Lan. I, I, like him well, go sirrha, fetch me a cup of wine,
    That ere I part with Master Weathercock,
    We may drink down our farewell in French wine.
    565Wea. I thank you, sir, I thank you, friendly Knight,
    I'le come and visit you, by the mouse-foot I will:
    In the mean time, take heed of cutting Flowerdale,
    He is a desperate dick I warrant you,
    Lance.He is, he is: fill Daffidill, fill me some wine,
    570Ha, what wears he on his arme?
    My daughter Luces bracelet, I 'tis the same:
    Ha to you Master Weathercock.
    Wea. I thank you, sir: Here Daffidill, an honest fel-
    low and a tall thou art: well: I'le take my leave, good
    575night, and hope to have you and all your daughters at my
    poor house, in good sooth I must.
    Lance. Thanks Master Weathercock, I shall be bold
    to trouble you be sure.
    Wea. And welcome, heartily farewell.Exit Weath.
    580Lance. Sirrha, I saw my daughters wrong, and
    withall her Bracelet on your arme; off with it: and with
    it my livery too: have I care to see my daughter matched
    with men of Worship, and are you grown so bold? go,
    sirrha, from my house, or I'le whip you hence.
    585Daff. I'le not be whipt, sir, there's your Livery.
    This is a Servingmans reward, what care I,
    I have means to trust to: I scorn service I.
    Exit Daffidill.
    Lance. I a lusty knave, but I must let him go,
    590Our servants must be taught, what they should know.
    Enter Sir Arthur and Luce.
    Luce. Sir, as I am a maid, I do affect you above any
    Suter that I have, although that Souldiers scarce know
    how to love.
    595Arth. I am a Souldier, and a Gentleman,
    Knows what belongs to War, what to a Lady:
    What man offends me, that my sword shall right:
    What woman loves me, I am her faithfull Knight.
    Luce. I neither doubt your valour, nor your love, but
    600there be some that bares a Souldiers forme, that swears by
    him they never think upon, goes swaggering up and down
    from house to house, crying God payes and.
    Arth. Ifaith, Lady, I'le descry you such a man,
    Of them there be many which you have spoke of,
    605That bare the name and shape of Souldiers,
    Yet God knows very seldome saw the War:
    That hant your Taverns, and your ordinaries,
    Your Ale-houses sometimes, for all a-like
    To uphold the brutish humor of their minds,
    610Being marked down, for the bondmen of despair:
    Their mirth begins in wine, but ends in bloud,
    Their drink is clear, but their conceits are mud.
    Luce. Yet these are great Gentlemen Souldiers,
    Arth. No they are wretched slaves,
    615Whose desperate lives doth bring them timelesse graves.
    Luce. Both for your self, and for your forme of life,
    If I may choose, I'le be a Souldiers wife.
    Enter Sir Lancelot and Oliver.
    Oli. And tyt trust to it, so then.
    620Lance. Assure your self,
    You shall be married with all speed we may:
    One day shall serve for Frances and for Luce,
    Oli. Why che wood vain know the time, for provi-
    ding Wedding Rayments.