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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)

    Enter Sir Arthur Green-shood, Oliver, Lieu-
    tenant and Souldiers.
    Arth. Lieutenant lead your Souldiers to the ships,
    There let them have their coats, at their arrival
    400They shall have pay: farewell, look to your charge.
    Sol. I, we are now sent away, and cannot so much as
    speak with our friends.
    Oli. No man what ere you used a zutch a fashion,
    thick you cannot take your leave of your vreens.
    405Arth. Fellow no more, Lieutenant lead them off.
    Sol. Well, if I have not my pay and my cloaths,
    I'le venture a running away, though I hang for't.
    Arth. Away sirrha, charme your tongue.
    Exeunt Souldiers.
    410Oli. Bin you a presser, sir?
    Arth. I am a commander, sir, under the King.
    Oli. Sfoot man, and you be nere zutch a commander
    Shud a spoke with my vreens before I chid agone, so shud.
    Arth. Content your self man, my authority will
    415stretch to presse so good a man as you.
    Oli. Presse me? I devy, presse scoundrels, and thy
    messels: presse me, chee scorns thee ifaith: For seest thee,
    here's a worshipfull knight knows, cham not to be pres-
    sed by thee.
    420Enter Sir Lancelot Weathercock, young Flowerdale,
    old Flowerdale, Luce, Frank.
    Lan. Sir Arthur, welcome to Lewsome, welcome by my (troth,
    What's the matter man, why are you vext?
    Oli. Why man he would presse me.
    425Lan. Ofie, Sir Arthur, press him? he is a man of rec-
    Wea. I that he is, Sir Arthur, he hath the nobles,
    The golden ruddocks he.
    Ar. The fitter for the warrs: and were he not in fa-(vour
    430With your worships, he should see,
    That I have power to presse so good as he.
    Oli. Chill stand to the triall, so chill.
    Flow. I marry shall he, presse-cloath and karsie,
    White pot and drowsen broth: tut, tut, he cannot.
    435Oli. Well, sir, though you see vlouten cloth and karsie,
    chee a zeen zutch a karsie coat wear out the town sick a
    zilken Jacket, as thick a one you wear.
    Flow. Well sed vlitan vlattan.
    Oli. A and well sed cocknell, and boe-bell too: what
    440doest think cham aveard of thy zilken coat, no fer vere
    Lance. Nay come no more, be all lovers and friends.
    Wea. I 'tis best so, good Master Oliver.
    Flow. Is your name Master Oliver I pray you?
    445Oly. What tit and be tit, and grieve you.
    Flow. No but I'd gladly know if a man might not
    have a foolish plot out of Master Oliver to work upon.
    Oli. Work thy plots upon me, stand a side, work thy
    foolish plots upon me, chill so use thee, thou wert never so
    450used since thy dam bound thy head, work upon me?
    Flow. Let him come, let him come.
    Oli. Zyrrha, zyrrha, if it were not for shame, chee
    would a given thee zutch a whister poop under the ear,
    chee would have made thee a vanged another at my feet:
    455stand a side let me loose, cham all of a vlaming fire-brand;
    stand aside.
    Flow. Well I forbear you for your friends sake.
    Oli. A vig for all my vreens, do'st thou tell me of my
    460Lan. No more, good master Oliver, no more, Sir Arthur.
    And maiden, here in the sight of all your suters, every
    man of worth, I'le tell you whom I fainest would preferre
    to the hard bargain of your marriage bed: shall I be plain
    among you Gentlemen?
    465Arth. I, sir, 'tis best.
    Lance. Then, sir, first to you, I do confesse you a most
    gallant Knight, a worthy Souldier, and an honest man:
    but honesty maintains a French-hood, goes very seldome
    in a Chain of Gold, keeps a small train of servants: hath
    470few friends: and for this wilde oats here, young Flower-
    dale, I will not judge, God can work myracles, but he
    were better make a hundred new, then thee a thrifty and
    an honest one.
    Wea. Believe me he hath hit you there, he hath touch-
    475ed you to the quick, that he hath.
    Flow. Woodcock a my side, why, Master Weather-
    cock, you know I am honest, howsoever trifles.
    Wea. Now by my troth, I know no otherwise,
    O, your old mother was a dame indeed:
    480Heaven hath her soul, and my wives too I trust:
    And your good father, honest Gentleman,
    He is gone a journey as I hear, far hence.
    Flow. I God be praised; he is far enough,
    He is gone a pilgrimage to Paradise.
    485And left me to cut a caper against care,
    Luce look on me that am as light aire.
    Luce. Ifaith I like not shadows, bubbles, broth,
    I hate a light a love, as I hate death.
    Lance. Girle, hold thee there: look on this Devon-
    490 shire lad:
    Fat, fair, and lovely, both in purse and person.
    Oli.Well, sir, cham as the Lord hath made me,
    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.