The London Prodigal – Act Five, Scene One

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Enter FLOWERDALE solus.

FLOWERDALE
On goes he that knows no end of his journey.  I have passed the very utmost bounds of shifting.  I have lived since yesterday two a’ clock of a spice-cake I had at a burial; and for drink I got it at an alehouse among porters such as will bear out a man if he have no money indeed; I mean out of their companies for they are men of good carriage.  Who comes here?  The two conycatchers that won all my money of me.  I’ll try if they’ll lend me any.

Enter DICK and RAFE.

What, Master Richard, how do you?  How dost thou, Rafe?  By God, gentlemen, the world grows bare with me.  Will you do as much as lend me an angel between you both?  You know you won a hundred of me the other day.

RAFE
How, an angel?  God damn us if we lost not every penny within an hour after thou wert gone!

FLOWERDALE
I prithee, lend me so much as will pay for my supper.
I’ll pay you again, as I am a gentleman.

RAFE
I’faith, we have not a farthing, not a mite.
I wonder at it, Master Flowerdale
You will so carelessly undo yourself.
Why, you will lose more money in an hour
Than any honest man spend in a year.
For shame, betake you to some honest trade,
And live not thus so like a vagabond.                                              [Exeunt both.

FLOWERDALE
A vagabond indeed!  More villains you!
They give me counsel that first cozened me.
Those devils first brought me to this I am
And being thus the first that do me wrong.
Well yet I have one friend left in store
Not far from hence there dwells a cockatrice
One that I first put in a satin gown
And not a tooth that dwells within her head
But stands me at the least in twenty pound.
Her will I visit now my coin is gone
And as I take it, here dwells the gentlewoman.
What ho, is Mistress Apricot within?

Enter Ruffian.

RUFFIAN
What saucy rascal is that which knocks so boldly?
Oh, is it you?  Old spend-thrift, are you here?
One that is turned cozener about this town.
My mistress saw you and send this word by me:
Either be packing quickly from the door
Or you shall have such a greeting sent you straight
As you will little like on.  You had best be gone.                                     [Exit.

FLOWERDALE
Why so, this is as it should be.  Being poor
Thus art thou served by a vile painted whore.
Well, since thy damned crew do so abuse thee
I’ll try of honest men how they will use me.

Enter an Ancient Citizen.

Sir, I beseech you to take compassion of a man; one whose fortunes have been better than at this instant they seem to be; but if I might crave of you some such little portion, as would bring me to my friends I should rest thankful, until I had requited so great a courtesy.

CITIZEN
Fie, fie, young man this course is very bad.
Too many such have we about this city,
Yet for I have no seen you in this sort
Nor noted you to be a common beggar:
Hold, there’s an angel to bear your charges down.
Go to your friends, do not on this depend.
Such bad beginnings oft have worser end.                                            [Exit.

FLOWERDALE
Worser ends.  Nay, if it fall out no worse than in old angels I care not.  Nay, now I have had such a fortunate beginning, I’ll not let a sixpenny-purse escape me.  By the mass here comes another.

Enter Citizen’s Wife and a Servant with a torch before her.

God bless you, fair mistress!  Now, would it please you gentlewoman, to look into the wants of a poor gentleman; a younger brother, I doubt not but God will treble restore it back again; one that never before this time demanded penny, halfpenny, nor farthing.

CITIZEN’S WIFE
Stay Alexander.  Now by my troth, a very proper man and ‘tis great pity.  Hold, my friend, there’s all the money I have about me; a couple of shillings, and God bless thee!

FLOWERDALE
Now, God thank you sweet lady!  If you have any friend or garden-house, where you may employ a poor gentleman as your friend, I am yours to command in all secret service.

CITIZEN’S WIFE
I thank you, good friend.  I prithee, let me see that again I gave thee.  There is one of them a brass shilling.  Give me them and here is half a crown in gold.  [He gives it her.] Now, out upon thee, rascal!  Secret service!  What dost thou make of me?  It were a good deed to have thee whipped.  Now I have my money again, I’ll see thee hanged before I give thee a penny.  Secret service!  On good Alexander.                                                                    [Exeunt Wife and Servant.

FLOWERDALE
This is villainous luck.  I perceive dishonesty will not thrive.  Here comes more.  God forgive me, Sir Arthur and Master Oliver.  Afore God, I’ll speak to them.

Enter SIR ARTHUR and OLIVER.

God save you Sir Arthur.  God save you, Master Oliver.

OLIVER
Been you there zirrah?  Come will you ytaken yourself to your tools coystrell?

FLOWERDALE
Nay, Master Oliver I’ll not fight with you.
Alas sir, you know it was not my doings.
It was only a plot to get Sir Lancelot’s daughter.
By God, I never meant you harm.

OLIVER
And whore is the gentlewoman thy wife, mezel?  Whore is she, zirrah, ha?

FLOWERDALE
By my troth, Master Oliver, sick, very sick; and God is my judge, I know not what means to make for her, good gentlewoman.

OLIVER
Tell me true, is she sick?  Tell me true, itch vise thee.

FLOWERDALE
Yes faith I tell you true Master Oliver.  If you would do me the small kindness but to lend me forty shillings; so God help me, I will pay you so soon as my ability shall make me able, as I am a gentleman

OLIVER
Well thou zaist thy wife is sick.  Hold, there’s forty shillings.  Give it to thy wife.  Look thou give it her, or I shall zo veze thee, thou wert not so vezed this zeven year.  Look to it.

ARTHUR
I’faith, Master Oliver, it is in vain
To give to him that never thinks of her.

OLIVER
Well, would che could yvind it.

FLOWERDALE
I tell you true, Sir Arthur, as I am a gentleman.

OLIVER
Well, fare you well, zirrah.  Come, Sir Arthur.

[Exeunt SIR ARTHUR and OLIVER.

FLOWERDALE
By the lord, this is excellent.
Five golden angels compassed in an hour!
If this trade hold, I’ll never seek a new.
Welcome, sweet gold; and beggary adieu!

Enter UNCLE and FATHER.

 UNCLE
See, Kester, if you can find the house.

FLOWERDALE
Who’s here?  My Uncle and my man Kester?  By the mass, ‘tis they.  How do you, Uncle?  How dost thou, Kester?  By my troth, Uncle, you must needs lend me some money.  The poor gentlewoman my wife, so God help me, is very sick.  I was robbed of the hundred angels you gave me; they are gone.

UNCLE
Are they gone indeed?  Come, Kester, away.

FLOWERDALE
Nay, Uncle, do you hear?  Good Uncle.

UNCLE
Out, hypocrite!  I will not hear thee speak.  Come, leave him, Kester.

FLOWERDALE
Kester, honest Kester!

FATHER
Sir, I have naught to say to you.  Open the door, Tanikin.  Thou hadst better lock it fact, for there’s a false knave without.

FLOWERDALE
You are an old lying rascal, so you are.              [Exeunt UNCLE and FATHER.

Enter LUCE.

LUCE
Vat is de matter?  Vat be you, yonker?

FLOWERDALE
By this light, a Dutch Frau.  They say they are called kind.  By this light, I’ll try her.

LUCE
Vat bin you, yonker?  Why do you not speak?

FLOWERDALE
By my troth, sweet heart, a poor gentleman that would desire of you, if it stant with your liking, the bounty of your purse.

Enter FATHER.

 LUCE
Oh here, God, you young an armin!

FLOWERDALE
Armine, sweetheart?  I know not what you mean by that, but I am almost a beggar.

LUCE
Are you not a married man?  Vere bin your vife?  Here is all I have.  Take dis.

FLOWERDALE
What, gold, young Frau?  This is brave.

FATHER
[Aside.] If he have any grace, he’ll now repent.

LUCE
Why speak you not?  Were be your vife?

FLOWERDALE
Dead, dead, she’s dead.  ‘Tis she hath undone me; spent me all I had and kept rascals under mine nose to brave me.

LUCE
Did you use her vell?

FLOWERDALE
Use her?  There’s never a gentlewoman in England could be better used than I did her.  I could but coach her; her diet stood me in forty pound a month, but she is dead and in her grave my care are buried.

LUCE
Indeed, dat vas not scone.

FATHER
[Aside.] He is turned more devil than he was before.

FLOWERDALE
Thou dost belong to Master Civet here, dost thou not?

LUCE
Yes, me do.

FLOWERDALE
Why, there’s it.  There’s not a handful of plate but belongs to me, God’s my judge.  If I had but such a wench as thou art, there’s never a man in England would make more of her than I would do, so she had any stock.

[They call within, “O, why, Tanikin?”

LUCE
Stay, one doth call.  I shall come by and by again.                                     [Exit.

FLOWERDALE
By this hand, this Dutch wench is in love with me.
Were it not admiral to make her steal all Civet’s plate and run away?

FATHER
‘Twere beastly.  Oh, Master Flowerdale,
Have you no fear of God, nor conscience?
What do you mean by this wild course you take?

FLOWERDALE
What do I mean?  Why, to live, that I mean.

FATHER
To live in this sort?  Fie upon the course!
Your life doth show you are a very coward.

FLOWERDALE
A coward?  I pray, in what?

FATHER
Why, you will borrow sixpence of a boy.

FLOWERDALE
‘Snails, is there such cowardice in that?  I dare borrow it of a man, I, and of the tallest man in England, if he will lend it me.  Let me borrow how I can, and let them come by it how they dare.  And it is well-known, I might have rid out a hundred times if I would, so I might.

FATHER
It was not want of will, but cowardice.
There is none that lends to you, but know they gain:
And what is that buy only stealth in you?
Delia might hang you now, did not her heart
Take pity of you for her sister’s sake.
Go, get you hence, lest ling’ring where your stay,
You fall into their hands you look not for.

FLOWERDALE
I’ll tarry here till the Dutch frau comes, if all the devils in hell were here.

[Exit FATHER.

Enter SIR LANCELOT, MASTER WEATHERCOCK, and ARTICHOKE.

 LANCELOT
Where is the door?  Are we not past it, Artichoke?

ARTICHOKE
B’th’mass, here’s one.  I’ll ask him.  [To FLOWERDALE.] Do you hear, sir?  What, are you so proud?  Do you hear?  Which is the way to Master Civet’s house?  What, will you not speak?  Oh me!  This is filching Flowerdale!

LANCELOT
Oh wonderful!  Is this lewd villain here?
Oh, you cheating rogue, you cutpurse cony-catcher!
What ditch, you villain, is my daughter’s grave?
A cozening rascal that must make a will,
Take on him that strict habit, very that,
When he should turn to angel.  A dying grace.
I’ll father-in-law you, sir, I’ll make a will!
Speak, villain, where’s my daughter?
Poisoned, I warrant you, or knocked a’ the head;
And to abuse good Master Weathercock,
With his forged will, and Master Weathercock,
To make my grounded resolution
Then to abuse the Devonshire gentleman.
Go, away with him to prison.

FLOWERDALE
Wherefore to prison?  Sir, I will not go.

Enter MASTER CIVET, his WIFE, OLIVER, SIR ARTHUR, FATHER, UNCLE, and DELIA.

LANCELOT
Oh, here’s his uncle!  Welcome, gentlemen, welcome all.  Such a cozener, gentlemen, a murderer too, for any thing I know.  My daughter is missing; hath been looked for; cannot be found.  A vild upon thee!

UNCLE
He is my kinsman, although his life be wild;
Therefore, in God’s name, do with him what you will.

LANCELOT
Marry, to prison.

FLOWERDALE
Wherefore to prison?  Snick up, I owe you nothing.

LANCELOT
Bring forth my daughter then.  Away with him.

FLOWERDALE
Go seek your daughter.  What, do you lay to my charge?

LANCELOT
Suspicion of murder.  Go, away with him.

FLOWERDALE
Murder, you dogs?  I murder your daughter!
Come, Uncle, I know you’ll bail me.

UNCLE
Not I, were there no more than I the gaoler, thou the prisoner.

LANCELOT
Go, away with him.

Enter LUCE.

LUCE
Oh, my life, here.  Where to ha’ de man?
Vat ha de yonker done?

WEATHERCOCK
Woman, he hath killed his wife.

LUCE
His vife.  Dat is not good, dat is not seen.

LANCELOT
Hang not upon him, huswife.  If you do, I’ll lay you by him.

LUCE
Have me to oder way dan you have him.
He tell me dat he love me heartily.

FLOWERDALE
Lead away my maid to prison?  Why, Tom, will you suffer that?

CIVET
No, by your leave, father, she is no vagrant.  She is my wife’s chambermaid, and as true as the skin between any man’s brows here.

LANCELOT
Go to, you’re both fools.
Son Civet, of my life, this is a plot,
Some straggling counterfeit preferred to you,
No doubt to rob you of your plate and jewels.
I’ll have you led away to prison, trull.

LUCE
I am no trull, neither outlandish frau.
Nor he nor I shall to the prison go.                       [Removes her Dutch disguise.
Know you me now?  Nay, never stand amazed.
Father, I know I have offended you,
And though that duty wills me bend my knees
To you in duty and obedience.
Yet this ways do I turn, and to him yield
My love, my duty, and my humbleness.

LANCELOT
Bastard in nature!  Kneel to such a slave?

LUCE
Oh, Master Flowerdale, if too much grief
Have not stopped up the organs of your voice,
Then speak to her that is thy faithful wife,
Or doth comtempt of me thus tie thy tongue?
Turn not away.  I am no Æthiop,
No wanton Cressid, nor a changing Helen;
But rather one made wretched by thy loss.
What, turnest thou still from me?  Oh, then
I guess thee woefulst among hapless men.

FLOWERDALE
I am, indeed, wife, wonder among wives!
Thy chastity and virtue hath infused
Another soul in me, red with defame,
For in my blushing cheeks is seen my shame.

LANCELOT
Out, hypocrite!  I charge thee, trust him not!

LUCE
Not trust him?  By the hopes of after bliss,
I know no sorrow can be compared to his.

LANCELOT
Well, since thou wert ordained to beggary,
Follow thy fortune.  I defy thee, I.

OLIVER
I would che were so well ydoussed as was ever white cloth in a tocking mill, and che ha’ not made me weep.

FATHER
If he hath any grace, he’ll now repent.

ARTHUR
It moves my heart.

WEATHERCOCK
By my troth, I must weep, I cannot choose.

UNCLE
None but a beast would such a maid misuse.

FLOWERDALE
Content thyself, I hope to win his favour,
And to redeem my reputation lost.
And, gentlemen, believe me, I beseech you.
I hope your eyes shall behond such change
As shall deceive your expectation.

OLIVER
I would che were ysplit now, but she believe him.

LANCELOT
How, believe him?

WEATHERCOCK
By the mackins, I do.

OLIVER
Well, che vor ye, he is changed; and Master Flowerdale, in hope you been so, hold, there’s vorty pound toward your setting up.  What, be not ashamed.  Vang it, man, vang it.  Be a good husband, loven your wife, and you shall not want for vorty more, i che vor thee.

ARTHUR
My means are little, but if you’ll follow me,
I will instruct my ablest power.
But to your wife I give this diamond,
And prove true diamond fair in all your life.

FLOWERDALE
Thanks, good Sir Arthur.  Master Oliver,
You being my enemy, and grown so kind,
Binds me in all endeavour to restore—

OLIVER
What!  Restore me no restorings, man.  I have vorty pound more for Luce.  Here, vang it.  Zouth chill defy all London else.  What, do you think me a Mezel or a scoundrel to throw away my money?  Che have a hundred pount more to pace of any good spotation.  I hope you vader and your uncle here will vollow my examples.

UNCLE
You have guessed right of me.  If he leave of this course of life, he shall be mine heir.

LANCELOT
But he shall never get a groat of me.
A cozener, a deceiver, one that killed
His painful father, honest gentleman
That passed the fearful danger of the sea,
To get him living and maintain him brave.

WEATHERCOCK
What, hath he killed his father?

LANCELOT
Aye, sir, with conceit of of wild courses.

FATHER
Sir, you are misinformed.

LANCELOT
Why, thou old knave, thou toldst me so thyself.

FATHER
I wronged him then; and toward my master’s stock,
There’s twenty nobles for to make amends.

FLOWERDALE
No, Kester, I have troubled thee, and wronged thee more.
What thou in love gives, I in love restore.

FRANCES
Ha, ha, sister, there you played bo-peep with Tom.  What shall I give her toward household?  Sister Delia, shall I give her my fan?

DELIA
You were best ask your husband.

FRANCES
Shall I, Tom?

CIVET
Aye, do, Frances.  I’ll buy thee a new one with a longer handle.

FRANCES
A russet one, Tom.

CIVET
Aye, with russet feathers.

FRANCES
Here, sister, there’s my fan toward household, to keep you warm.

LUCE
I thank you, sister.

WEATHERCOCK
Why, this is well, and toward fair Luce’s stock, here’s forty shillings; and forty good shillings more, I’ll give her, marry.  Come, Sir Lancelot, I must have you friends.

LANCELOT
Not I.  All this is counterfeit.
He will consume it were it a million.

FATHER
Sir, what is your daughter’s dower worth?

LANCELOT
Had she been married to an honest man,
It had been better than a thousand pound.

FATHER
Pay it him, and I’ll give you my bond,
To make her jointer better worth than three.

LANCELOT
Your bond, sir?  Why, what are you?

FATHER
One whose word in London, though I say it,
Will pass there for as much as yours.

LANCELOT
Wert not thou late that unthrift’s serving-man?

FATHER
Look on me better, now my scar is off.
Ne’er muse, man, at this metamorphosis.

LANCELOT
Master Flowerdale!

FLOWERDALE
My father!  Oh, I shame to look on him.
Pardon, dear father, the follies that are past.

FATHER
Son, son, I do, and joy at this thy change,
And applaud thy fortune in this virtuous maid,
Whom heaven hath sent to thee to save thy soul.

LUCE
This addest joy to joy, high heaven be praised!

FATHER
I caused that rumour to be spread myself,
Because I’d see the humours of my son,
Which to relate the circumstance is needless.
And, sirrah, see you run no more into
That same disease.
For he that’s once cured of that malady
Of riot, swearing, drunkenness, and pride,
And falls again into the like distress,
That fever is deadly, doth till death endure.
Such men die mad as of a calenture.

FLOWERDALE
Heaven helping me, I’ll hate the course as hell.

UNCLE
Say it and do it, cousin, all is well.

LANCELOT
Well, being in hope you’ll prove an honest man,
I take you to my favour.  Brother Flowerdale,
Welcome with all my heart.  I see your care
Hath brought these acts to this conclusion,
And I am glad of it.  Come, let’s in and feast.

OLIVER
Nay, zoft you awhile.  You promised to make Sir Arthur and me amends.   Here is your wisest daughter.  See which on us she’ll have.

LANCELOT
A God’s  name,  you have my good will, get hers.

OLIVER
How say you then, damsel, tyters hate?

DELIA
I, sir, am yours.

OLIVER
Why then, send for a vicar, and chill have it dispatched in a trice, so chill.

DELIA
Pardon me, sir, I mean I am yours
In love, and duty, and affection,
But not to love as wife.  Shall ne’er be said
Delia was buried married, but a maid.

ARTHUR
Do not condemn yourself forever,
Virtuous fair, you were born to love.

OLIVER
Why, you say true, Sir Arthur, she was ybore to it, so well as her mother.  But, I pray you show us some samples or reasons why you will not marry.

DELIA
Not that I do condemn a married life,
For ‘tis no doubt a sanctimonious thing,
But for the care and crosses of a wife,
The trouble in that world that children bring.
My vow is in heaven and earth to live alone.
Husbands, howsoever good, I will have none.

OLIVER
Why, then che will live bachelor too.  Chez et not a vig by a wife, if a wife zet not a vig by me.  Come, shall’s to to dinner?

FATHER
Tomorrow I crave your companies in Mark-lane.
Tonight we’ll frolic in Master Civet’s house,
And to each health drink down a full carouse.

F I N I S.

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