The London Prodigal – Act Four, Scene One

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Enter SIR LANCELOT, SIR ARTHUR, OLIVER, WEATHERCOCK, CIVET, FRANCES and DELIA.

OLIVER
Well, cha a bin zerved many a sluttish trick, but such a lerripoop as thick yeh was ne’er a sarved.

LANCELOT
Son, Civet, daughter Frances, bear with me,
You see how I am pressed down with inward grief,
About that luckless girl, your sister Luce.
But ‘tis fallen out with me,
As with many families beside
They are most unhappy, that are most beloved.

CIVET
Father, ‘tis so, ‘tis even fallen out so, but what remedy?  Set hand to your heart, ad let it pass.  Here 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, though she had the prick and praise for a pretty wench.  But, father, done is the mouse.  You’ll come?

LANCELOT
Aye, son Civet, I’ll come.

CIVET
And you, Master Oliver?

OLIVER
Aye, for che a vext out this veast, chill see if a gan make a better veast there.

CIVET
And you, Sir Arthur?

ARTHUR
Aye, sir, although my heart be full,
I’ll be a partner at your wedding feast.

CIVET
And welcome all indeed, and welcome.  Come, Frances, are you ready?

FRANCES
Jesu, how hasty these husbands are.  I pray, father, pray to God to bless me.

LANCELOT
God bless thee, and I do.  God make thee wise,
Send you both joy.  I wish it with wet eyes.

FRANCES
But, father, shall not my sister Delia go along with us?
She is excellent good at cookery and such things.

LANCELOT
Yes, marry shall she.  Delia, make you ready.

DELIA
I am ready, sir.  I will first go to Greenwich, from thence to my cousin Chesterfields, and so to London.

CIVET
It shall suffice, good sister Delia, it shall suffice.  But fail us not, good sister, give order to cooks, and others, for I would not have my sweet Frances to soil her fingers.

FRANCES
No, by my troth, not I.  A gentlewoman, and a married gentlewoman too, to be companions to cooks and kitchen-boys!  Not I, i’faith.  I scorn that.

CIVET
Why, I do not mean thou shalt, sweet heart; thou seest
I do not go about it.  Well, farewell to you.  God’s pity,
Master Weathercock, we shall have your company too?

WEATHERCOCK
With all my heart, for I love good cheer.

CIVET
Well, God be with you all.  Come, Frances.

FRANCES
God be with you, Father, God be with you, Sir Arthur, Master Oliver, and Master Weathercock, sister, God be with you all.  God be with you, Father, God be with you every one.                                                        [Exeunt CIVET and FRANCES.

WEATHERCOCK
Why, how now, Sir Arthur?  All a mort?  Master Oliver, how now, man?
Cheerily, Sir Lancelot, and merrily say,
Who can hold that will away?

LANCELOT
Aye, she is gone indeed, poor girl, undone,
But when they’ll be self-willed, children must smart.

ARTHUR
But, sir, that she is wronged, you are the chiefest cause,
Therefore ‘tis reason, you redress her wrong.

WEATHERCOCK
Indeed you must, Sir Lancelot, you must.

LANCELOT
Must?  Who can compel me, Master Weathercock?
I hope I may do what I list.

WEATHEROCK
I grant you may, you mad do what you list.

OLIVER
Nay, but and you be well evisen, it were not good by this vrampolness and vrowardness, to cast away as pretty a dowsabell as any chould chance to see in a sommer’s day.  Chil tell you what chall do.  Chil to spy up and down the town, and see if I can hear any tale or tidings of her, and take her away from thick a messell, vor cham ashured, he’ll but bring her to the spoil.  And so var you well, we shall meet at your son Civet’s.

LANCELOT
I thank you, sir, I take it very kindly.

ARTHUR
To find her out, I’ll spend my dearest blood.
So well I love her, to affect her good.                 [Exit OLIVER and SIR ARTHUR.

LANCELOT
Oh, Master Weathercock,
What hap had I, to force my daughter
From Master Oliver, and this good night
To one that hath no goodness in his thought?

WEATHERCOCK
Ill luck, but what remedy?

LANCELOT
Yes, I have almost devised a remedy.
Young Flowerdale is sure a prisoner.

WEATHERCOCK
Sure, nothing more sure.

LANCELOT
And yet perhaps his uncle released him.

WEATHERCOCK
It may be very like, no doubt he hath.

LANCELOT
Well, if he be in prison, I’ll have warrants
To ‘tach my daughter till the law be tried,
For I will sue him upon cozenage.

WEATHERCOCK
Marry, may you, and overthrow him too.

LANCELOT
Nay, that’s not so.  I may chance be soft,
And sentence past with him.

WEATHERCOCK
Believe me, sir, so he may.  Therefore take heed

LANCELOT
Well, howsoever, yet I will have warrants.
In prison, or at liberty, all’s one.
You will help to serve them, Master Weathercock?                              [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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