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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.
    Wea. All, all, good man, he hath given you all.
    Lan. Three ships now in the Straits, & homeward bound,
    Two Lordships of two hundred pound a year:
    760The one in Wales, the other in Gloster-shire:
    Debts and accounts are thirty thousand pound,
    Plate, Money, Jewels, sixteen thousand more,
    Two housen furnished well in Cole-man street:
    Beside whatsoever his Uncle leaves to him,
    765Being of great demeans and wealth at Peckham.
    Wea. How like you this good Knight? how like you this
    Lan. I have done him wrong, but now I'le make amends,
    The Devon-shire man shall whistle for a wife,
    He marry Luce, Luce shall be Flowerdale's.
    770Wea. Why that is friendly said, let's ride to London
    and prevent their match, by promising your daughter to
    that lovely Lad.
    Lance. We'll ride to London, or it shall not need,
    We'll crosse to Dedford-strand, and take a boat:
    775Where be these knaves? what Artichoak, what Fop?
    Enter Artichoak.
    Ar. Here be the very knaves, but not the merry knaves.
    Lan. Here take my Cloak, I'le have a walk to Dedford.
    Arti. Sir, we have be been scouring of our Swords
    780and Bucklers for your defence.
    Lance. Defence me no defence, let your swords rust,
    I'le have no fighting: I, let blows alone, bid Delia see
    all things be in readinesse against the wedding, we'll have
    two at once, and that will save charges, Master Weather-
    785cock. Arti. Well we will do it sir.Exeunt.
    Enter Civet, Frank, and Delia.
    Civ. By my troth this is good luck, I thank God for
    this. In good sooth I have even my hearts desire: sister
    Delia, now I may boldly call you so, for your father hath
    790frank and freely given me his daughter Franck.
    Fran. I by my troth, Tom, thou hast my good will too,
    for I thank God I longed for a husband, and would I
    might never stir, for one his name was Tom.
    Delia. Why, sister, now you have your wish.
    795Civ. You say very true, sister Delia, and I prethee call
    me nothing but Tom: and I'le call thee sweet heart, and
    Frank: will it not do well sister Delia?
    Delia. It will do very well with both of you.
    Fran. But Tom, must I go as I do now when I am
    Civ. No Franck, I'le have thee go like a Citizen
    In a garded gown, and a French-hood.
    Fran. By my troth that will be excellent indeed.
    Delia. Brother, maintain your wife to your estate,
    805Apparel you your self like to your father:
    And let her go like to your ancient mother,
    He sparing got his wealth, left it to you,
    Brother take heed of pride, some bids thrift adieu.
    Civ. So as my father and my mother went, that's a
    810jest indeed, why she went in a fringed gown, a single
    Ruffe, and a white Cap.
    And my father in a mocado coat, a pair of red Sattin
    Sleeves, and a Canvis back.
    Del. And yet his wealth was all as much as yours.
    815Civ. My estate, my estate, I thank God, is forty pound
    a year in good leases and tenements, besides twenty mark
    a year at Cuckolds-haven, and that comes to us all by
    inheritanc .
    Delia. That may indeed, 'tis very fitly plied,
    820I know not how it comes, but so it falls out
    That those whose Fathers have died wondrous rich,
    And took no pleasure but to gather wealth,
    Thinking of little that they leave behind:
    For them they hope, will be of their like minde.
    825But falls out contrary, forty years sparing
    Is scarce three seaven years spending, never caring
    What will ensue, when all their coyn is gone,
    And all to late, then Thrift is thought upon:
    Oft have I heard, that Pride and Riot kist,
    830And then repentance cryes, for had I wist.
    Civ. You say well, sister Delia, you say well: but I
    mean to live within my bounds: for look you, I have set
    down my rest thus far, but to maintain my wife in her
    French Hood, and her Coach, keep a couple of Geldings,
    835and a brace of Gray-hounds, and this is all I'le do.
    Del. And you'll do this with forty pound a year?
    Civ. I, and a better penny, sister.
    Fran. Sister, you forget that at Cuckolds-Haven.
    Civet. By my troth well remembred, Frank,
    840I'le give thee that to buy thee pinns.
    Delia. Keep you the rest for points, alas the day,
    Fools shall have wealth, though all the world say nay:
    Come, brother, will you in, dinner staies for us.
    Civ. I, good sister, with all my heart.
    845Fran. I by my troth, Tom, for I have a good stomack.
    Civ. And I the like, sweet Frank, no sister
    Do not think I'le go beyond my bounds.
    Delia. God grant you may not.Exeunt.
    Enter young Flowerdale and his Father, with
    850foyles in their hands.
    Flow. Sirrha Kit, tarry thou there, I have spied Sir
    Lancelot, and old Weathercock coming this way, they are
    hard at hand, I will by no means be spoken withall.
    Fath. I'le warrant you, go get you in.
    855Enter Lancelot and Weathercock.
    Lan. Now, my honest friend, thou dost belong to Mr. (Flowerdale?
    Fath. I do, sir.
    Lance. Is he within, my good fellow?
    Fath. No, sir, he is not within.
    860Lan. I prethee if he be within, let me speak with him.
    Fath. Sir, to tell you true, my Master is within, but
    indeed would not be spoke withall: there be some termes
    that stands upon his reputation, therefore he will not ad-
    mit any conference till he hath shook them off.
    865Lance. I prithee tell him his very good friend Sir
    Lancelot Spurcock, intreats to speak with him.
    Fath. By my troth, sir, if you come to take up the
    matter between my Master and the Devon-shire man, you
    do but beguile your hopes, and loose your labour.
    870Lan. Honest friend, I have not any such thing to him,
    I come to speak with him about other matters.
    Fath. For my Master, sir, hath set down his resolution,
    Either to redeem his honor, or leave his life behind him.
    Lance. My friend, I do not know any quarrel, touch-
    875ing thy Master or any other person, my businesse is of a
    different nature to him, and I prithee to tell him.
    Fath. For howsoever the Denon-shire man is, my Ma-(sters
    Mind is bloudy: that's a round O,
    And therefore, sir, intreaties is but vain:
    880Lan. I have no such thing to him, I tell thee once again.
    Fath. I will then so signifie to him.Exit Father.
    Lance. A sirrha, I see this matter is hotly carried.
    But I'le labour to disswade him from it,
    Enter Flowerdale.
    885Good morrow Master Flowerdale.
    Flow. Good morrow, good Sir Lancelot, good mor-
    row, Master Weathercock.
    By my troth, Gentlemen, I have been a reading over