The London Prodigal – Act Two, Scene Three

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Sir, as I am a maid, I do affect
You above any suitor that I have,
Although that soldiers scarce knows how to love.

I am a soldier, 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 faithful knight.

I neither doubt your valour, nor your love,
But there be some that bears a soldier’s form,
That swears by him they never think upon,
Goes swaggering up and down from house to house,
Crying “God peace,” and—

I’faith, lady, I’ll discry you such a man.
Of them there be many which you have spoke of
That bear the name and shape of soldiers
Yet god knows very seldom saw the war;
That haunt your taverns and your ordinaries,
Your ale-houses sometimes, for all alike
To uphold the brutish humour of their minds,
Being marked down, for the bondman of despair.
Their mirth begins in wine, but ends in blood,
Their drink is clear, but their conceits are mud.

Yet these are great gentlemen soldiers.

No, they are wretched slaves
Whose desperate lives doth bring them timeless graves.

Both for yourself, and for your form of life,
If I may chose, I’ll be a soldier’s wife.                                                            [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene

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