The London Prodigal – Act One, Scene Two

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Enter SIR LANCELOT, MASTER WEATHERCOCK, DAFODIL, ARTICHOKE, LACY and FRANCES.

 LANCELOT
Sirrah Artichoke, get you home before,
And as you proved yourself a calf in buying,
Drive home your fellow calves that you have bought.

ARTICHOKE
Yes, forsooth.  Shall not my fellow Daffodil go along with me?

LANCELOT
No, sir, no.  I must have one to wait on me.

ARTICHOKE
Daffodil, farewell, good fellow Daffodil.
You may see, mistress, I am set up by the halves
Instead of waiting on you, I am sent to drive home calves.

LANCELOT
I’faith, Frances, I must turn away this Daffodil.
He’s grown a very foolish saucy fellow.

FRANCES
Indeed law, father, he was so since I had him.
Before he was wise enough for a foolish servingman.

WEATHERCOCK
But what say you to me, Sir Lancelot?

LANCELOT
Oh, about my daughters?  Well, I will go forward.
Here’s two of them, God save them!  But the third,
Oh, she’s a stranger in her course of life.
She hath refused you, Master Weathercock.

WEATHERCOCK
Aye, by the rood, Sir Lancelot, that she hath.
But had she tried me,
She should a found a man of me indeed.

LANCELOT
Nay, be not angry, sir, at her denial.
She hath refused seven of the worshipfulest
And worthiest housekeepers this day in Kent.
Indeed, she will not marry, I suppose.

WEATHERCOCK
The more fool she.

LANCELOT
What, is it folly to love chastity?

WEATHERCOCK
No, mistake me not, Sir lancelot,
But ‘tis an old proverb, and you know it well,
That women dying maids lead apes in hell.

LANCELOT
That’s a foolish proverb and a false.

WEATHERCOCK
By the mass, I think it be, and therefore let it go.
But who shall marry with Mistress Frances?

FRANCES
By my troth, there are talking of marrying me, sister.

LUCE
Peace, let them talk.
Fools may have leave to prattle as they walk.

DAFFODIL
Sentenses still, sweet mistress.
You have a wit, and were your Alliblaster.

LUCE
I’faith, and thy tongue trips trenchmore.

LANCELOT
No, of my knighthood, not a suitor yet.
Alas, God help her, silly girl; a fool, a very fool;
But there’s the other black-brows, a shrewd girl.
She hath wit at will, and suitors two or three
Sir Arthur Greenshield one, a gallant knight,
A valiant soldier, but his power but poor.
Then there’s young Oliver, the Devonshire lad,
A wary fellow, marry, full of wit,
And rich, by the rood.  But there’s a third all air,
Light as a feather, changing as the wind.
Young Flowerdale.

WEATHERCOCK
Oh he, sir, he’s a desperate dick indeed.
Bar him you house.

LANCELOT
Fie, no so, he’s of good parentage.

WEATHERCOCK
By my fai,’ and so he is, and a proper man.

LANCELOT
Aye, proper enough, had he good qualities.

WEATHERCOCK
Aye, marry, there’s the point, Sir Lancelot,
For there’s an old saying:
“Be he rich, or be he poor,
Be he high, or be he low,
Be he born in barn or hall,
‘Tis manners makes the man and all.”

LANCELOT
You are in the right, Master Weathercock.

Enter MONSIEUR CIVET.

CIVET
Soul, I think I am sure crossed, or witched with an owl.  I have haunted them, inn after inn, booth after booth, yet cannot find them.  Ha, yonder they are.  That’s she.  I hope to God ‘tis she!  Nay, I know ‘tis she now, for she treads her shoe a little awry.

LANCELOT
Where is this inn?  We are past it, Daffodil.

DAFFODIL
The good sign is here, sir, but the back gate is before.

CIVET
Save you, sir, I pray, may I borrow a piece of a word with you?

DAFFODIL
No pieces, sir.

CIVET
Why, then, the whole, I pray, sir.  What may yonder gentlewomen be?

DAFFODIL
They may be ladies, sir, if the destinies and mortalities work.

CIVET
What’s her name, sir?

DAFFODIL
Mistress Frances Spurcock, Sir Lancelot Spurcock’s daughter.

CIVET
Is she a maid, sir?

DAFFODIL
You may ask Pluto, and Dame Proserpine that.  I would be loath to be riddles, sir.

CIVET
Is she married, I mean, sir?

DAFFODIL
The Fates knows not yet what shoemaker shall make her wedding shoes.

CIVET
I pray, where inn you, sir?  I would be very glad to bestow the wine of that gentlewoman.

DAFFODIL
At the George, sir.

CIVET
God save you, sir.

DAFFODIL
I pray your name, sir?

CIVET
My name is Master Civet, sir.

DAFODIL
A sweet name.  God be with you, good Master Civet.                  [Exit CIVET.

LANCELOT
Aye, have we spied you, stout Sir George?
For all you dragon, you had best sells good wine
That needs no yule-bush.  Well, we’ll not sit by it,
As you do on your horse.  This room shall serve.
Drawer, let me have sack for us old men.
For these girls and knaves small wines are best.
A pint of sack, no more.

DRAWER
[Within.] A quart of sack in the Three Tuns.

LANCELOT
A pint, draw but a pint.  Daffodil, call for wine to make yourselves drink.

FRANCES
And a cup of small beer, and a cake, good Daffodil.

Enter FLOWERDALE.

FLOWERDALE
How now?  Fie, sit in the open room?  Now, good Sir Lancelot, and my kind friend worshipful Master Weathercock!  What, as your pint?  A quart for shame.

LANCELOT
Nay, Royster, by your leave we will away.

FLOWERDALE
Come, give’s some music, we’ll go dance.  Begone, Sir Lancelot?   What, and air day too?

LUCE
‘Twere foully done, to dance within the fair.

FLOWERDALE
Nay, if you say so, fairest of all fairs, then I’ll not dance.  A pox upon my tailor; he hath spoiled me a peach-colour satin shirt, cut upon cloth of silver, but if ever the rascal serve me such another trick, I’ll give him leave, i’faith, to put me in the calendar of fools.  And you, and you, Sir Lancelot, and Master Weathercock.  My goldsmith too, on t’other side.  I bespoke thee, Luce, a carkenet of gold, and thought thou shouldst a’ had it for a fairing, and the rougue puts me in rearages for Orient pearl.  But thou shalt have it by Sunday night, wench.

Enter the Drawer.

DRAWER
Sir, here is one hath sent you a pottle of Rhenish wine brewed with rosewater.

FLOWERDALE
To me?

DRAWER
No, sir, to the knight, and desires his more acquaintance.

LANCELOT
To me?  What’s he that proves so kind?

DAFFODIL
I have a trick to know his name, sir.  He hath a month’s mind here to Mistress Frances.  His name is Master Civet.

LANCELOT
Call him in, Daffodil.

FLOWERDALE
Oh, I know him, sir.  He is a fool, but reasonable rich.  His father was one of these lease-mongers, these corn-mongers, these money-mongers, but he never had the wit to be a whore-monger.

Enter CIVET.

 LANCELOT
I promise you, sir, you are too much charge.

CIVET
The charge is small charge, sir.  I thank God my father left me wherewithal.  If it please you, sir, I have a great mind to this gentlewoman here, in the way of marriage.

LANCELOT
I thank you, sir.  Please you come to Lewsome,
To my poor house, you shall be kindly welcome.
I knew your father, he was a wary husband.
To pale here, Drawer.

DRAWER
All is paid, sir.  This gentleman hath paid all.

LANCELOT
I’faith, you do us wrong,
But we shall live to make amends ere long.
Master Flowerdale, is that your man?

FLOWERDALE
Yes, faith, a good old knave.

LANCELOT
Nay, then I think
You will turn wise, now you take such a servant.
Come, you’ll ride with us to Lewsome.  Let’s away.
‘Tis scarce two hours to the end of day.                                                   [Exeunt.

Proceed to next scene

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