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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
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The London Prodigal (Folio 3, 1664)

    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.