The London Prodigal – Act Four, Scene Three

Return to the previous scene

Enter FATHER, LUCE like a Dutch Frau, CIVET, and his wife, MISTRESS FRANCES.

CIVET
By my troth, god ‘a mercy for this, good Christopher.  I thank thee for my maid.  I like her very well.  How dost thou like her, Frances.

FRANCES
In good sadness, Tom, very well, excellent well.  She speaks so prettily.  I pray, what’s your name.

LUCE
My name, forsooth, be called Tanikin.

FRANCES
By my troth, a fine name.  Oh, Tanikin, you are excellent for dressing one’s head a new fashion.

LUCE
My sall do every ting about da head.

CIVET
What countrywoman is she, Kester?

FATHER
A Dutch woman, sir.

CIVET
Why then she is outlandish, is she not?

FATHER
Ay, sir, she is.

FRANCES
Oh, then, thou canst tell how to help me to cheeks and ears?

LUCE
Yes, mistress, very vell.

FATHER
Cheeks and ears!  Why, Mistress Frances, want you cheeks and ears?  Methinks you have very fair ones.

FRANCES
Thou art a fool indeed.  Tom, thou knowest what I mean.

CIVET
Aye, are, Kester, ‘tis such as they wear a’ their heads.  I prithee, Kit, have her in and show her my house.

FATHER
I will, sir.  Come, Tanikin.

FRANCES
Oh, Tom, you have not bussed me today, Tom.

CIVET
No, Frances, we must not kiss afore folks.  God save me, Frances.

Enter DELIA, and ARTCHOKE.

See yonder my sister Delia is come.  Welcome, good sister.

FRANCES
Welcome, good sister.  How do you like the tire of my head?

DELIA
Very well, sister.

CIVET
I am glad you’re come, sister Delia, to give order for supper.  They will be here soon.

ARTICHOKE
Aye, but if good luck had not served, she had not been here now.  Filching Flowerdale had like to peppered us, but for Master Oliver, we had been robbed.

DELIA
Peace, sirrah, no more.

FATHER
Robbed!  By whom?

ARTICHOKE
Marry, by none bur by Flowerdale; he is turned thief.

CIVET
By my faith, but that is not well.  But God be praised for your escape.  Will you draw near, sister?

FATHER
Sirrah, come hither.  Would Flowerdale, he what was my master, a’ robbed you?  I prithee, tell me true.

ARTICHOKE
Yes, i’faith, even that Flowerdale that was thy master.

FATHER
[Aside to ARTICHOKE.] Hold thee, there is a French crown, and speak no more of this.

ARTICHOKE
Not I, not a word.  [Aside.] Now do I small knavery.
In every purse Flowerdale takes, he is half,
And gives me this to keep counsel.  [Aloud.] No, not a word I.

FATHER
Why, God-a-mercy!

FRANCES
Sister, look here, I have a new Dutch maid, and she speaks so fine, it would do your heart good.

CIVET
How do you like her, sister?

DELIA
I like your maid well.

CIVET
Well, dear sister, will you draw near, and give directions for supper?  Guests will be here presently.

DELIA
Yes, brother, lead the way.  I’ll follow you.     [Exeunt all but DELIA and LUCE.
Hark you, Dutch frau, a word.

LUCE
Vat is your vill wit me?

DELIA
Sister Luce, ‘tis not your broken language
Nor this same habit can disguise your face
From I that know you.  Pray tell me, what means this?

LUCE
Sister, I see you know me; yet be secret.
This borrowed shape that I have ta’en upon me
Is but to keep myself a space unknown,
Both from my father and my nearest friends.
Until I see how time will bring to pass
The desperate course of Master Flowerdale.

DELIA
Oh, he is worse than bad.  I prithee leave him,
And let not once thy heart to think on him.

LUCE
Do not persuade me once to such a thought.
Imagine yet, that he is worse than naught.
Yet one hour’s time may all that ill undo,
That all his former life did run into.
Therefore, kind sister, do not disclose my estate.
If ere he heart doth turn, ‘tis ne’er too late.

DELIA
Well, seeing no counsel can remove your mind,
I’ll not disclose you that art wilful blind.

LUCE
Delia, I thank you.  I now must please her eyes.
My sister Frances, neither fair nor wise.                                                     [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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