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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.
    1020Forbear, him then to day, do it to morrow,
    And this day mingle not his joy with sorrow.
    Fath. Brother, I'le have it done this very day,
    And in the view of all, as he comes from Church:
    Do but observe the course that he will take,
    1025Upon my life he will forswear the debt:
    And for we'll have the sum shall not be slight,
    Say that he owes you neer three thousand pound:
    Good brother let it be done immediately.
    Unc. Well, seeing you will have it so,-
    1030Brother I'le do't, and straight provide the Sheriff.
    Fath. So brother, by this means shall we perceive
    What Sir Lancelot in this pinch will do:
    And how
    his wife doth stand affected to him,
    Her love will then be tried to the uttermost:
    1035And all the rest of them. Brother, what I will do,
    Shall harm him much, and much avail him too.Exit.
    Oli. Cham ashured thick be the place, that the scoundrel
    Appointed to meet me, if a come, zo: if a come not, zo.
    And che war avise, he would make a Coystrel an us,
    1040Ched vese him, and che vang him in hand, che would
    Hoyst him, and give it him too and again, zo chud:
    Who bin a there, Sir Arthur, chill stay aside.
    Ar. I have dog'd the Devon-shire man into the field,
    For fear of any harme that should befall him:
    1045I had an inckling of that yesternight,
    That Flowerdale and he should meet this morning:
    Though of my soul, Oliver fears him not,
    Yet for I'd see fair play on either side,
    Made me to come, to see their valours tri'd.
    1050Good morrow to Master Oliver.
    Oli. God an good morrow.
    Arth. What Master Oliver, are you angry?
    Oli. What an it be, tyt and grieven you?
    Arth. Not me at all, sir, but I imagine
    1055By your being here thus armed,
    You stay for some that you should fight withall.
    Oli. Why and he do, che would not dezire you to take
    his part.
    Arth. No by my troth, I think you need it not,
    1060For he you look for, I think means not to come.
    Oli. No, and che war ashure of that, ched avese him
    in another place. Enter Daffidill.
    Daff. O, Sir Arthur, Master Oliver, aye me,
    Your Love, and yours, and mine, sweet Mistris Luce,
    1065This morning is married to young Flowerdale.
    Arth. Married to Flowerdale! 'tis impossible.
    Oli. Married man? che hope thou do'st but jest:
    To make an a volowten merriment of it.
    Daff. O 'tis too true. Here comes his Uncle.
    1070Enter Flowerdale, Sheriff, Officers.
    Unc. Good morrow, Sir Arthur, good morrow, M. Oliv.
    Oli. God and good morn, M. Flowerdale. I pray tellen (us,
    Is your scoundrel kinsman married?
    Ar. M. Oliver, call him what you will, but he is married
    1075To Sir Lancelot's daughter here.
    Unc. Sir Arthur, unto her?
    Oli. I, ha the old vellow zerved me thick a trick?
    Why man, he was a promise, chill chud a had her,
    Is a zitch a vox, chill look to his water che vor him.
    1080Unc. The musick playes; they are coming from the
    Sheriff, do your office: fellows, stand stoutly to it.
    Enter all to the Wedding.
    Oli. God give you joy, as the old zaid Proverb is, and
    1085some zorrow among. You met us well, did you not?
    Lance. Nay, be not angry, sir, the fault is in me,
    I have done all the wrong, kept him from coming to the
    field to you, as I might, sir, for I am a Justice, and sworn
    to keep the peace.
    1090Wea. I marry is he, sir, a very Justice, and sworn to
    keep the peace, you must not disturb the weddings.
    Lan. Nay, never frown nor storm, sir, if you do,
    I'le have an order taken for you.
    Oli. Well, well, chill be quiet.
    1095Wea. M. Flowerdale, Sir Lancelot, look you who here is?
    M. Flowerdale.
    Lance. M. Flowerdale, welcome with all my heart.
    Flow. Uncle, this is she ifaith: Master Under-sheriff
    Arrest me? at whose sute? draw Kit.
    1100Unc. At my sute, sir.
    Lan. Why what's the matter, M. Flowerdale?
    Unc. This is the matter, sir, this unthrift here,
    Hath cozened you, and hath had of me,
    In several sums three thousand pound.
    1105Flow. Why, Uncle, Uncle.
    Vnc. Cousin, Cousin, you have Uncled me,
    And if you be not staid, you'll prove
    A cozoner unto all that know you,
    Lance. Why, sir, suppose he be to you in debt
    1110Ten thousand pound, his state to me appears,
    To be at least three thousand by the year.
    Vnc. O, sir, I was too late informed of that plot,
    How that he went about to cozen you:
    And form'd a will, and sent it to your good
    1115Friend there Master Weathercock, in which was
    Nothing true, but brags and lies.
    Lan. Ha, hath he not such Lordships, Lands, and Ships?
    Vnc. Not worth, a groat, not worth a half-penny he.
    Lance. I pray tell us true, be plain, young Flowerdale.
    1120Lan. My Uncle here's mad, & disposed to do me wrong,
    But here's my man, an honest fellow
    By the Lord, and of good credit, knows all is true.
    Fath. Not I, sir, I am too old to lie, I rather know
    You forg'd a will, where every line you writ,
    1125You studied where to coat your Lands might lye.
    Wea. And I prithee, where be thy honest friends?
    Fath. Ifaith no where, sir, for he hath none at all.
    Wea. Benedicity, we are ore reached I believe.
    Lan. I am cozen'd, and my hopefull'st child undone.
    1130Flow. You are not cozen'd, nor is she undone,
    They slander me, by this light, they slander me:
    Look you, my Unkle here's an Usurer, & would undo me,
    But I'le stand in Law, do you but bail me, you shall do
    no more:
    1135You, brother Civet, and Master Weathercock, do but
    Bail me, and let me have my marriage money
    Paid me, and we'll ride down, and there your own
    Eyes shall see, how my poor Tenants there will welcome (me.
    You shall but bail me, you shall do no more,
    1140And you greedy gnat, their bail will serve.
    Unc. I sir, I'le ask no better bail.
    Lan. No, sir, you shall not take my bail, nor his,
    Nor, my son Civets, I'le not be cheated, I,
    Sheriff, take your prisoner, I'le not deal with him:
    1145Let's Uncle make false Dice with his false bones,
    I will not have to do with him: mocked, gull'd, & wrong'd.
    Come Girle, though it be late it falls out well,
    Thou shalt not live with him in beggers hell.
    Luc. He is my Husband, and high heaven doth know,
    1150With what unwillingnesse I went to Church,
    But you enforced me, you compelled me to it: