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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)

    1330Enter Sir Lancelot, Master Weathercock and them.
    Oli. Well, cha a bin zerved many a sluttish trick,
    But such a lerripoop as thick ych was ne're a sarved.
    Lance. Son Civet, Daughter Frances, bear with me,
    You see how I am pressed down with inward grief,
    1335About that lucklesse Girl, your sister Luce:
    But 'tis faln out with me, as with many families beside,
    They are most unhappy, that are most beloved.
    Civ. Father, 'tis so, 'tis even faln out so,
    But what remedy? set hand to your heart, and let it pass:
    1340Here is your Daughter Frances and I, and we'll not say,
    We'll bring forth as witty Children, but as pretty
    Children as ever she was: tho she had the prick
    And praise for a pretty wench: But, Father, done is
    The mouse, you'll come?
    1345Lance. I, son Civet, I'le come.
    Civ. And you, Master Oliver?
    Oli. I, for che a vext out this veast, chill see if a gan
    Make a better veast there.
    Civ. And you, Sir Arthur?
    1350Ar.I, sir, although my heart be full,
    I'le be a partner at your wedding feast.
    Civ. And welcome all indeed, and welcome, come,
    Franck, are you ready?
    Fran.Jeshue how hasty these Husbands are, I pray,
    1355Father, pray to God to blesse me.
    Lance. God blesse thee, and I doe: God make thee (wise,
    Send you both joy, I wish it with wet eyes.
    Fran. But, Father, shall not my sister Delia go along
    with us?
    1360She is excellent good at Cookery, and such things.
    Lance. Yes marry shall she: Delia, make you ready.
    Deli. I am ready, sir, I will first go to Greenwitch,
    From thence to my Cousin Chesterfield, and so to Lon-
    1365Civ. It shall suffice, good sister Delia, it shall suffice,
    But fail us not, good sister, give order to Cooks, and o-(thers,
    For I would not have my sweet Franck
    To soile her fingers.
    Fran. No by my troth not I, a Gentlewoman, and a
    1370married Gentlewoman too, to be companions to Cooks,
    And Kitchin-boyes, not I, ifaith, I scorn that.
    Civ. Why, I doe not mean thou shalt, sweet heart,
    Thou seest I doe not go about it: well, farewell too:
    You, Gods pitty M. Weathercock, we shall have your
    1375company too?
    Wea.Withall my heart, for I love good cheer.
    Civ. Well, God be with you all, come, Franck.
    Fra. God be with you, Father, God be with you, sir Ar-
    thur, Master Oliver, and Master Weathercock, Sister,
    1380God be with you all: God be with you, Father, God be
    with you every one.
    Wea. Why, how now, Sir Arthur? all a mort, Ma-
    ster Oliver, how now man?
    Cheerely, sir Lancelot, and merily say,
    1385Who can hold that will away.
    Lance. I, she is gone indeed, poor Girl, undone,
    But when these be self-willed, children must smart.
    Ar. But, sir, that she is wronged, you are the chiefest (cause,
    Therefore 'tis reason you redresse her wrong.
    1390Wea. Indeed you must, Sir Lancelot, you must.
    Lance. Must? who can compell me, M. Weathercock?
    I hope I may doe what I list.
    Wea. I grant you may, you may do what you list.
    Oli. Nay, but and you be well evisen, it were not good,
    1395By this vrampolnesse, and vrowardnesse, to cast away
    As prety a dowssabell, as am chould chance to see
    In a summers day: chill tell you what chall doe,
    Chill go spy up and down the Town, and see if I
    Can hear any tale or tidings of her,
    1400And take her away from thick a messell, vor cham
    Ashured, heel but bring her to the spoile,
    And so var you well, we shall meet at your son Civets.
    Lance. I thank you, sir, I take it very kindly.
    Arti. To find her out, I'le spend my dearest blood.
    1405Exit both.
    So well I loved her, to affect her good.
    Lance. O, Master Weathercock, what hap had I, to
    force my Daughter.
    From Master Oliver, and this good Knight?
    1410To one that hath no goodnesse in his thought.
    Wea. Ill luck, but what remedy?
    Lance. Yes, I have almost devised a remedy,
    Young Flowerdale is shure a prisoner.
    Wea. Shure, nothing more shure.
    1415Lance. And yet perhaps his Unkle hath released him.
    Wea. It may be very like, no doubt he hath.
    Lance. Well if he be in prison, i'le have warrants
    To tache my daughter till the law be tried,
    For I will shue him upon cozenage.
    1420Wea. Marry may you, and overthrow him too.
    Lance. Nay that's not so; I may chance be scoft,
    And sentence past with him.
    Wea. Believe me, so he may, therefore take heed.
    Lance. Well howsoever, yet I will have warrants,
    1425In prison, or at liberty, all's one:
    You will help to serve them, master Weathercock?
    Exeunt omnes.