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The London Prodigal
by William Shakespeare [Apocrypha]
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THE LONDON PRODIGAL, As it was played by the King's Majesties servants.



The Actor's Names in the London Prodigal.

M. FLOWERDALE (Senior), a Merchant trading at Venice. MATTH. FLOWERDALE, his Prodigal Son. M. FLOWERDALE (Junior), Brother to the Merchant. SIR LANCELOT SPURCOCK, of Lewsome in Kent. FRANCES, LUCY, DELIA, Daughters to Sir Lancelot Spurcock. DAFFODIL, ARTICHOKE, Servants to Sir Lancelot Spurcock. SIR ARTHUR GREENSHOOD, a Commander, in love with Lucy. OLIVER, a Devonshire Clothier, in love with Lucy. WEATHERCOCK, a Parasite to Sir Lancelot Spurcock. TOM CIVET, in love with Frances. DICK and RALPH, two cheating Gamesters. RUFFIAN, a Pander to Mistress Apricot a Bawd. SHERIFF and OFFICERS. A CITIZEN and his wife. Drawers.

The Scene: London (and the Parts adjacent).



ACT I.

SCENE I. London. A room in Flowerdale Junior's house.

[Enter old Flowerdale and his brother.]

FATHER. Brother, from Venice, being thus disguised, I come to prove the humours of my son. How hath he borne himself since my departure, I leaving you his patron and his guide?

UNCLE. Ifaith, brother, so, as you will grieve to hear, And I almost ashamed to report it.

FATHER. Why, how ist, brother? what, doth he spend beyond the allowance I left him?

UNCLE. How! beyond that? and far more: why, your exhibition is nothing. He hath spent that, and since hath borrowed; protested with oaths, alleged kindred to wring money from me,—by the love I bore his father, by the fortunes might fall upon himself, to furnish his wants: that done, I have had since his bond, his friend and friend's bond. Although I know that he spends is yours; yet it grieves me to see the unbridled wildness that reins over him.

FATHER. Brother, what is the manner of his life? how is the name of his offences? If they do not relish altogether of damnation, his youth may privilege his wantonness: I myself ran an unbridled course till thirty, nay, almost till forty;—well, you see how I am: for vice, once looked into with the eyes of discretion, and well-balanced with the weights of reason, the course past seems so abominable, that the Landlord of himself, which is the heart of the body, will rather entomb himself in the earth, or seek a new Tenant to remain in him:—which once settled, how much better are they that in their youth have known all these vices, and left it, than those that knew little, and in their age runs into it? Believe me, brother, they that die most virtuous hath in their youth lived most vicious, and none knows the danger of the fire more than he that falls into it. But say, how is the course of his life? let's hear his particulars.

UNCLE. Why, I'll tell you, brother; he is a continual swearer, and a breaker of his oaths, which is bad.

FATHER. I grant indeed to swear is bad, but not in keeping those oaths is better: for who will set by a bad thing? Nay, by my faith, I hold this rather a virtue than a vice. Well, I pray, proceed.

UNCLE. He is a mighty brawler, and comes commonly by the worst.

FATHER. By my faith, this is none of the worst neither, for if he brawl and be beaten for it, it will in time make him shun it: For what brings man or child more to virtue than correction? What reigns over him else?

UNCLE. He is a great drinker, and one that will forget himself.

FATHER. O best of all! vice should be forgotten; let him drink on, so he drink not churches. Nay, and this be the worst, I hold it rather a happiness in him, than any iniquity. Hath he any more attendants?

UNCLE. Brother, he is one that will borrow of any man.

FATHER. Why, you see, so doth the sea: it borrows of all the small currents in the world, to increase himself.

UNCLE. Aye, but the sea pales it again, and so will never your son.

FATHER. No more would the sea neither, if it were as dry as my son.

UNCLE. Then, brother, I see you rather like these vices in your son, than any way condemn them.

FATHER. Nay, mistake me not, brother, for tho I slur them over now, as things slight and nothing, his crimes being in the bud, it would gall my heart, they should ever reign in him.

FLOWERDALE. Ho! who's within? ho!

[Flowerdale knocks within.]

UNCLE. That's your son, he is come to borrow more money.

FATHER. For Godsake give it out I am dead; see how he'll take it. Say I have brought you news from his father. I have here drawn a formal will, as it were from my self, which I'll deliver him.

UNCLE. Go to, brother, no more: I will.

FLOWERDALE. [Within.] Uncle, where are you, Uncle?

UNCLE. Let my cousin in there.

FATHER. I am a sailor come from Venice, and my name is Christopher.

[Enter Flowerdale.]

FLOWERDALE. By the Lord, in truth, Uncle—

UNCLE. In truth would a served, cousin, without the Lord.

FLOWERDALE. By your leave, Uncle, the Lord is the Lord of truth. A couple of rascals at the gate set upon me for my purse.

UNCLE. You never come, but you bring a brawl in your mouth.

FLOWERDALE. By my truth, Uncle, you must needs lend me ten pound.

UNCLE. Give my cousin some small beer here.

FLOWERDALE. Nay, look you, you turn it to a jest now: by this light, I should ride to Croyden fair, to meet Sir Lancelot Spurcock. I should have his daughter Lucy, and for scurvy ten pound, a man shall lose nine hundred three-score and odd pounds, and a daily friend beside. By this hand, Uncle, tis true.

UNCLE. Why, any thing is true for ought I know.

FLOWERDALE. To see now! why, you shall have my bond, Uncle, or Tom White's, James Brock's, or Nick Hall's: as good rapier and dagger men, as any be in England. Let's be damned if we do not pay you: the worst of us all will not damn ourselves for ten pound. A pox of ten pound!

UNCLE. Cousin, this is not the first time I have believed you.

FLOWERDALE. Why, trust me now, you know not what may fall. If one thing were but true, I would not greatly care, I should not need ten pound, but when a man cannot be believed,—there's it.

UNCLE. Why, what is it, cousin?

FLOWERDALE. Marry, this, Uncle: can you tell me if the Katern-hue be come home or no?

UNCLE. Aye, marry, ist.

FLOWERDALE. By God I thank you for that news. What, ist in the pool, can you tell?

UNCLE. It is; what of that?

FLOWERDALE. What? why then I have six pieces of velvet sent me; I'll give you a piece, Uncle: for thus said the letter,—a piece of Ashcolour, a three piled black, a colour de roi, a crimson, a sad green, and a purple: yes, yfaith.

UNCLE. From whom should you receive this?

FLOWERDALE. From who? why, from my father; with commendations to you, Uncle, and thus he writes: I know, said he, thou hast much troubled thy kind Uncle, whom God-willing at my return I will see amply satisfied. Amply, I remember was the very word, so God help me.

UNCLE. Have you the letter here?

FLOWERDALE. Yes, I have the letter here, here is the letter: no, yes, no;—let me see, what breeches wore I a Saturday? let me see: a Tuesday my Salamanca; a Wednesday my peach colour Satin; a Thursday my Vellour; a Friday my Salamanca again; a Saturday—let me see—a Saturday,—for in those breeches I wore a Saturday is the letter: O, my riding breeches, Uncle, those that you thought been velvet; in those very breeches is the letter.

UNCLE. When should it be dated?

FLOWERDALE. Marry, Decimo tertio septembris—no, no—decimo tertio Octobris; Aye, Octobris, so it is.

UNCLE. Decimo tertio Octobris! and here receive I a letter that your father died in June: how say you, Kester?

FATHER. Yes, truly, sir, your father is dead, these hands of mine holp to wind him.

FLOWERDALE. Dead?

FATHER. Aye, sir, dead.

FLOWERDALE. Sblood, how should my father come dead?

FATHER. Yfaith, sir, according to the old Proverb: The child was born and cried, became man, After fell sick, and died.

UNCLE. Nay, cousin, do not take it so heavily.

FLOWERDALE. Nay, I cannot weep you extempore: marry, some two or three days hence, I shall weep without any stintance. But I hope he died in good memory.

FATHER. Very well, sir, and set down every thing in good order; and the Katherine and Hue you talked of, I came over in: and I saw all the bills of lading, and the velvet that you talked of, there is no such aboard.

FLOWERDALE. By God, I assure you, then, there is knavery abroad.

FATHER. I'll be sworn of that: there's knavery abroad, Although there were never a piece of velvet in Venice.

FLOWERDALE. I hope he died in good estate.

FATHER. To the report of the world he did, and made his will, Of which I am an unworthy bearer.

FLOWERDALE. His will! have you his will?

FATHER. Yes, sir, and in the presence of your Uncle I was willed to deliver it.

UNCLE. I hope, cousin, now God hath blessed you with wealth, you will not be unmindful of me.

FLOWERDALE. I'll do reason, Uncle, yet, yfaith, I take the denial of this ten pound very hardly.

UNCLE. Nay, I denied you not.

FLOWERDALE. By God, you denied me directly.

UNCLE. I'll be judged by this good fellow.

FATHER. Not directly, sir.

FLOWERDALE. Why, he said he would lend me none, and that had wont to be a direct denial, if the old phrase hold. Well, Uncle, come, we'll fall to the Legacies: (reads) 'In the name of God, Amen. Item, I bequeath to my brother Flowerdale three hundred pounds, to pay such trivial debts as I owe in London. Item, to my son Matt Flowerdale, I bequeath two bale of false dice; Videlicet, high men and low men, fullomes, stop cater traies, and other bones of function.' Sblood, what doth he mean by this?

UNCLE. Proceed, cousin.

FLOWERDALE. "These precepts I leave him: let him borrow of his oath, for of his word no body will trust him. Let him by no means marry an honest woman, for the other will keep her self. Let him steal as much as he can, that a guilty conscience may bring him to his destinate repentance."—I think he means hanging. And this were his last will and Testament, the Devil stood laughing at his bed's feet while he made it. Sblood, what, doth he think to fop of his posterity with Paradoxes?

FATHER. This he made, sir, with his own hands.

FLOWERDALE. Aye, well; nay, come, good Uncle, let me have this ten pound. Imagine you have lost it, or been robbed of it, or misreckoned your self so much: any way to make it come easily off, good Uncle.

UNCLE. Not a penny.

FATHER. Yfaith, lend it him, sir. I my self have an estate in the City worth twenty pound: all that I'll engage for him; he saith it concerns him in a marriage.

FLOWERDALE. Aye, marry, it doth. This is a fellow of some sense, this: Come, good Uncle.

UNCLE. Will you give your word for it, Kester?

FATHER. I will, sir, willingly.

UNCLE. Well, cousin, come to me some hour hence, you shall have it ready.

FLOWERDALE. Shall I not fail?

UNCLE. You shall not, come or send.

FLOWERDALE. Nay, I'll come my self.

FATHER. By my troth, would I were your worship's man.

FLOWERDALE. What, wouldst thou serve?

FATHER. Very willingly, sir.

FLOWERDALE. Why, I'll tell thee what thou shalt do: thou saith thou hast twenty pound: go into Burchin Lane, put thy self into clothes; thou shalt ride with me to Croyden fair.

FATHER. I thank you, sir; I will attend you.

FLOWERDALE. Well, Uncle, you will not fail me an hour hence?

UNCLE. I will not, cousin.

FLOWERDALE. What's thy name? Kester?

FATHER. Aye, sir.

FLOWERDALE. Well, provide thy self: Uncle, farewell till anon.

[Exit Flowerdale.]

UNCLE. Brother, how do you like your son?

FATHER. Yfaith, brother, like a mad unbridled colt, Or as a Hawk, that never stooped to lure: The one must be tamed with an iron bit, The other must be watched, or still she is wild. Such is my son; awhile let him be so: For counsel still is folly's deadly foe. I'll serve his youth, for youth must have his course, For being restrained, it makes him ten times worse; His pride, his riot, all that may be named, Time may recall, and all his madness tamed.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE II. The high street in Croydon. An inn appearing, with an open drinking booth before it.

[Enter Sir Lancelot, Master Weathercock, Daffodil, Artichoke, Lucy, 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. Yfaith, 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 serving-man.

WEATHERCOCK. But what say you to me, Sir Lancelot?

LANCELOT. O, about my daughters? well, I will go forward. Here's two of them, God save them: but the third, O 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, they are talking of marrying me, sister.

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

DAFFODIL. Sentesses still, sweet mistress; You have a wit, and it were your Alliblaster.

LUCY. Yfaith, 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 girlie, 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. O he, sir, he's a desperate dick indeed. Bar him you house.

LANCELOT. Fie, not 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 riddled, 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.

DAFFODIL. A sweet name. God be with you, good Master Civet.

[Exit Civet.]

LANCELOT. Aye, have we spied you, stout Sir George? For all your 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. A quart of sack in the three Tuns.

LANCELOT. A pint, draw but a pint.—Daffodil, call for wine to make your selves drink.

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

[Enter young Flowerdale.]

FLOWERDALE. How now? fie, sit in the open room? now, good Sir Lancelot, & my kind friend worshipful Master Weathercock! What, at 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 fair day too?

LUCY. 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, yfaith, to put me in the calendar of fools: and you, and you, Sir Lancelot and Master Weathercock. My goldsmith too, on tother side—I bespoke thee, Lucy, a carkenet of gold, and thought thou shouldst a had it for a fairing, and the rogue 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 rennish 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. O 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 Master Civet.]

LANCELOT. I promise you, sir, you are at 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. Yfaith, 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.

[Exit Omnes.]

ACT II.

SCENE I. A road near Sir Lancelot Spurcock's house, in Kent.

[Enter Sir Arthur Greenshood, Oliver, Lieutenant and Soldiers.]

ARTHUR. Lieutenant, lead your soldiers to the ships, There let them have their coats, at their arrival They shall have pay: farewell, look to your charge.

SOLDIER. Aye, we are now sent away, and cannot so much as speak with our friends.

OLIVER. No, man; what, ere you used a zutch a fashion, thick you cannot take your leave of your vrens?

ARTHUR. Fellow, no more. Lieutenant, lead them off.

SOLDIER. Well, if I have not my pay and my clothes, I'll venture a running away tho I hang for't.

ARTHUR. Away, sirrah, charm your tongue.

[Exit Soldiers.]

OLIVER. Been you a presser, sir?

ARTHUR. I am a commander, sir, under the King.

OLIVER. Sfoot, man, and you be ne'er zutch a commander, should a spoke with my vrens before I should agone, so should.

ARTHUR. Content yourself, man, my authority will stretch to press so good a man as you.

OLIVER. Press me? I deuve ye, press scoundrels, and thy messels: Press me! chee scorns thee, yfaith: For seest thee, here's a worshipful knight knows cham not to be pressed by thee.

[Enter Sir Lancelot, Weathercock, young Flowerdale, old Flowerdale, Lucy, Frances.]

LANCELOT. Sir Arthur, welcome to Lewsome, welcome by my troth. What's the matter, man? why are you vexed?

OLIVER. Why, man, he would press me.

LANCELOT. O fie, Sir Arthur, press him? he is a man of reckoning.

WEATHERCOCK. Aye, that he is, Sir Arthur, he hath the nobles, The golden ruddocks he.

ARTHUR. The fitter for the wars: and were he not In favour with your worships, he should see, That I have power to press so good as he.

OLIVER. Chill stand to the trial, so chill.

FLOWERDALE. Aye, marry, shall he, press-cloth and karsie, white pot and drowsen broth: tut, tut, he cannot.

OLIVER. Well, sir, tho you see vlouten cloth and karsie, chee a zeen zutch a karsie coat wear out the town sick a zilken jacket, as thick a one you wear.

FLOWERDALE. Well said, vlitan vlattan.

OLIVER. Aye, and well said, cocknell, and bo-bell too: what, doest think cham a veard of thy zilken coat? nefer vere thee.

LANCELOT. Nay, come, no more, be all lovers and friends.

WEATHERCOCK. Aye, tis best so, good master Oliver.

FLOWERDALE. Is your name master Oliver, I pray you?

OLIVER. What tit and be tit, and grieve you.

FLOWERDALE. No, but I'd gladly know if a man might not have a foolish plot out of master Oliver to work upon.

OLIVER. Work thy plots upon me! stand aside:—work thy foolish plots upon me! chill so use thee, thou weart never so used since thy dame bound thy head. Work upon me?

FLOWERDALE. Let him come, let him come.

OLIVER. Zirrah, zirrah, if it were not vor shame, chee would a given thee zutch a whisterpoop under the ear, chee would a made thee a vanged an other at my feet: stand aside, let me loose, cham all of a vlaming fire-brand; Stand aside.

FLOWERDALE. Well, I forbear you for your friend's sake.

OLIVER. A vig for all my vrens! doest thou tell me of my vrens?

LANCELOT. No more, good master Oliver; no more, Sir Arthur. And, maiden, here in the sight Of all your suitors, every man of worth, I'll tell you whom I fainest would prefer To the hard bargain of your marriage bed.— Shall I be plain among you, gentlemen?

ARTHUR. Aye, sir, tis best.

LANCELOT. Then, sir, first to you:— I do confess you a most gallant knight, A worthy soldier, and an honest man: But honesty maintains not a french-hood, Goes very seldom in a chain of gold, Keeps a small train of servants: hath few friends.— And for this wild oats here, young Flowerdale, I will not judge: God can work miracles, But he were better make a hundred new, Then thee a thrifty and an honest one.

WEATHERCOCK. Believe me, he hath bit you there, he hath touched you to the quick, that hath he.

FLOWERDALE. Woodcock a my side! why, master Weathercock, you know I am honest, however trifles—

WEATHERCOCK. Now, by my troth, I know no otherwise. O your old mother was a dame indeed: Heaven hath her soul, and my wives too, I trust: And your good father, honest gentleman, He is gone a Journey, as I hear, far hence.

FLOWERDALE. Aye, God be praised, he is far enough. He is gone a pilgrimage to Paradice, And left me to cut a caper against care. Lucy, look on me that am as light as air.

LUCY. Yfaith, I like not shadows, bubbles, breath I hate a light a love, as I hate death.

LANCELOT. Girl, hold thee there: look on this Devonshire lad: Fat, fair, and lovely, both in purse and person.

OLIVER. Well, sir, cham as the Lord hath made me. You know me well, uyine: cha have three-score pack a karsie, and black-em hal, and chief credit beside, and my fortunes may be so good as an others, zo it may.

LUCY. [Aside to Arthur.] Tis you I love, whatsoever others say.

ARTHUR. Thanks, fairest.

FLOWERDALE. [Aside to Father.] What, wouldnst thou have me quarrel with him?

FATHER. Do but say he shall hear from you.

LANCELOT. Yet, gentleman, howsoever I prefer This Devonshire suitor, I'll enforce no love; My daughter shall have liberty to choose Whom she likes best; in your love suit proceed: Not all of you, but only one must speed.

WEATHERCOCK. You have said well: indeed, right well.

[Enter Artichoke.]

ARTICHOKE. Mistress, here's one would speak with you. My fellow Daffodil hath him in the cellar already: he knows him; he met him at Croyden fair.

LANCELOT. O, I remember, a little man.

ARTICHOKE. Aye, a very little man.

LANCELOT. And yet a proper man.

ARTICHOKE. A very proper, very little man.

LANCELOT . His name is Monsieur Civet.

ARTICHOKE. The same, sir.

LANCELOT. Come, Gentlemen, if other suitors come, My foolish daughter will be fitted too: But Delia my saint, no man dare move.

[Exeunt all but young Flowerdale and Oliver, and old Flowerdale.]

FLOWERDALE. Hark you, sir, a word.

OLIVER. What haan you to say to me now?

FLOWERDALE. Ye shall hear from me, and that very shortly.

OLIVER. Is that all? vare thee well, chee vere thee not a vig.

[Exit Oliver.]

FLOWERDALE. What if he should come now? I am fairly dressed.

FATHER. I do not mean that you shall meet with him, But presently we'll go and draw a will: Where we'll set down land that we never saw, And we will have it of so large a sum, Sir Lancelot shall entreat you take his daughter: This being formed, give it Master Weathercock, And make Sir Lancelot's daughter heir of all: And make him swear never to show the will To any one, until that you be dead. This done, the foolish changing Weathercock Will straight discourse unto Sir Lancelot The form and tenor of your Testament. Nor stand to pause of it, be ruled by me: What will ensue, that shall you quickly see.

FLOWERDALE. Come, let's about it: if that a will, sweet Kit, Can get the wench, I shall renown thy wit.

[Exit Omnes.]

SCENE II. A room in Sir Lancelot's house.

[Enter Daffodil.]

DAFFODIL. Mistress, still froward? No kind looks Unto your Daffodil? now by the Gods—

LUCY. Away, you foolish knave, let my hand go.

DAFFODIL. There is your hand, but this shall go with me: My heart is thine, this is my true love's fee.

LUCY. I'll have your coat stripped o'er your ears for this, You saucy rascal.

[Enter Lancelot and Weathercock.]

LANCELOT. How now, maid, what is the news with you?

LUCY. Your man is something saucy.

[Exit Lucy.]

LANCELOT. Go to, sirrah, I'll talk with you anon.

DAFFODIL. Sir, I am a man to be talked withal, I am no horse, I tro: I know my strength, then no more than so.

WEATHERCOCK. Aye, by the matkins, good Sir Lancelot, I saw him the other day hold up the bucklers, Like an Hercules. Yfaith, God a mercy, lad, I like thee well.

LANCELOT. Aye, I like him well: go, sirrah, fetch me a cup of wine, That ere I part with Master Weathercock, We may drink down our farewell in French wine.

WEATHERCOCK. I thank you, sir, I thank you, friendly knight, I'll come and visit you, by the mouse-foot I will: In the meantime, take heed of cutting Flowerdale. He is a desperate dick, I warrant you.

LANCELOT. He is, he is: fill, Daffodil, fill me some wine. Ha, what wears he on his arm? My daughter Lucy's bracelet. Aye, tis the same.—Ha to you, Master Weathercock.

WEATHERCOCK. I thank you, sir: Here, Daffodil, an honest fellow and a tall thou art. Well, I'll take my leave, good knight, and hope to have you and all your daughters at my poor house; in good sooth I must.

LANCELOT. Thanks, Master Weathercock, I shall be bold to trouble you, be sure.

WEATHERCOCK. And welcome heartily; farewell.

[Exit Weathercock.]

LANCELOT. Sirrah, I saw my daughter's wrong, and withal her bracelet on your arm: off with it, and with it my livery too. have I care to see my daughter matched with men of worship, and are you grown so bold? Go, sirrah, from my house, or I'll whip you hence.

DAFFODIL. I'll not be whipped, sir, there's your livery. This is a servingman's reward: what care I? I have means to trust to: I scorn service, I.

[Exit Daffodil.]

LANCELOT. Aye, a lusty knave, but I must let him go, Our servants must be taught what they should know.

[Exit.]

SCENE III. The same.

[Enter Sir Arthur and Lucy.]

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

ARTHUR. 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.

LUCY. I neither doubt your valour, nor your love, But there be some that bares 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—

ARTHUR. Yfaith, 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 a-like To uphold the brutish humour of their minds, Being marked down, for the bondmen of despair: Their mirth begins in wine, but ends in blood, Their drink is clear, but their conceits are mud.

LUCY. Yet these are great gentlemen soldiers.

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

LUCY. Both for your self, and for your form of life, If I may choose, I'll be a soldier's wife.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE IV. The same.

[Enter Sir Lancelot and Oliver.]

OLIVER. And tyt trust to it, so then.

LANCELOT. Assure your self, You shall be married with all speed we may: One day shall serve for Frances and for Lucy.

OLIVER. Why che would vain know the time, for providing wedding raiments.

LANCELOT. Why, no more but this: first get your assurance made, touching my daughter's jointer; that dispatched, we will in two days make provision.

OLIVER. Why, man, chil have the writings made by tomorrow.

LANCELOT. Tomorrow be it then: let's meet at the king's head in fish street.

OLIVER. No, fie, man, no, let's meet at the Rose at Temple-Bar, That will be nearer your counsellor and mine.

LANCELOT. At the Rose be it then, the hour nine: He that comes last forfeits a pint of wine.

OLIVER. A pint is no payment, let it be a whole quart or nothing.

[Enter Artichoke.]

ARTICHOKE. Master, here is a man would speak with Master Oliver: he comes from young Master Flowerdale.

OLIVER. Why, chill speak with him, chill speak with him.

LANCELOT. Nay, son Oliver, I'll surely see what young Flowerdale hath sent to you. I pray God it be no quarrel.

OLIVER. Why, man, if he quarrel with me, chill give him, his hands full.

[Enter old Flowerdale.]

FATHER. God save you, good Sir Lancelot.

LANCELOT. Welcome, honest friend.

FATHER. To you and yours my master wisheth health, But unto you, sir, this, and this he sends: There is the length, sir, of his rapier, And in that paper shall you know his mind.

OLIVER. Here, chill meet him, my vrend, chill meet him.

LANCELOT. Meet him! you shall not meet the ruffian, fie.

OLIVER. And I do not meet him, chill give you leave to call me cut; where ist, sirrah, where ist? where ist?

FATHER. The letter shows both the time and place, And if you be a man, then keep your word.

LANCELOT. Sir, he shall not keep his word, he shall not meet.

FATHER. Why, let him choose, he'll be the better known For a base rascal, and reputed so.

OLIVER. Zirrah, zirrah: and tweare not an old fellow, and sent after an arrant, chid give thee something, but chud be no money: But hold thee, for I see thou art somewhat testorne; hold thee, there's vorty shillings: bring thy master a veeld, chil give thee vorty more; look thou bring him: chil mall him, tell him, chill mar his dauncing tressels, chil use him, he was ne'er so used since his dam bound his head; chill make him for capyring any more, chy vor thee.

FATHER. You seem a man, stout and resolute, And I will so report, what ere befall.

LANCELOT. And fall out ill, assure your master this, I'll make him fly the land, or use him worse.

FATHER. My master, sir, deserves not this of you, And that you'll shortly find.

LANCELOT. Thy master is an unthrift, you a knave, And I'll attach you first, next clap him up Or have him bound unto his good behavior.

OLIVER. I would you were a sprite, if you do him any harm for this. And you do, chill ne'er see you, nor any of yours, while chill have eyes open: what, do you think, chil be abaffled up and down the town for a messell and a scoundrel? no, chy vor you: zirrah, chil come; zay no more, chil come, tell him.

FATHER. Well, sir, my Master deserves not this of you, And that you'll shortly find.

[Exit.]

LANCELOT. No matter, he's an unthrift; I defy him. Now, gentle son, let me know the place.

OLIVER. No, chy vore you.

LANCELOT. Let me see the note.

OLIVER. Nay, chill watch you for zutch a trick. But if che meet him, zoe, if not, zoe: chill make him know me, or chill know why I shall not, chill vare the worse.

LANCELOT. What, will you then neglect my daughter's love? Venture your state and hers, for a loose brawl?

OLIVER. Why, man, chill not kill him; marry, chill veze him too, and again; and zoe God be with you, vather. What, man, we shall meet tomorrow.

[Exit.]

LANCELOT. Who would a thought he had been so desperate. Come forth, my honest servant Artichoke.

[Enter Artichoke.]

ARTICHOKE. Now, what's the matter? some brawl toward, I warrant you.

LANCELOT. Go get me thy sword bright scoured, thy buckler mended. O for that knave, that villain Daffodil would have done good service. But to thee.

ARTICHOKE. Aye, this is the tricks of all you gentlemen, when you stand in need of a good fellow. O for that Daffodil, O where is he? but if you be angry, and it be but for the wagging of a straw, then: out a doors with the knave, turn the coat over his ears. This is the humour of you all.

LANCELOT. O for that knave, that lusty Daffodil.

ARTICHOKE. Why, there tis now: our year's wages and our vails will scarce pay for broken swords and bucklers that we use in our quarrels. But I'll not fight if Daffodil be a tother side, that's flat.

LANCELOT. Tis no such matter, man. Get weapons ready, and be at London ere the break of day: watch near the lodging of the Devonshire youth, but be unseen: and as he goes out, as he will go out, and that very early without doubt—

ARTICHOKE. What, would you have me draw upon him, as he goes in the street?

LANCELOT. Not for a world, man: into the fields; for to the field he goes, there to meet the desperate Flowerdale. Take thou the part of Oliver my son, for he shall be my son, and marry Lucy. Doest understand me, knave?

ARTICHOKE. Aye, sir, I do understand you, but my young mistress might be better provided in matching with my fellow Daffodil.

LANCELOT. No more; Daffodil is a knave: That Daffodil is a most notorious knave.

[Exit Artichoke.]

[Enter Weathercock.]

Master Weathercock, you come in happy time. The desperate Flowerdale hath writ a challenge: And who think you must answer it, but the Devonshire man, my son Oliver?

WEATHERCOCK. Marry, I am sorry for it, good Sir Lancelot, But if you will be ruled by me, we'll stay the fury.

LANCELOT. As how, I pray?

WEATHERCOCK. Marry, I'll tell you: by promising young Flowerdale the red lipped Lucy.

LANCELOT. I'll rather follow her unto her grave.

WEATHERCOCK. Aye, Sir Lancelot, I would have thought so too, but you and I have been deceived in him: come read this will, or deed, or what you call it, I know not. Come, come, your spectacles I pray.

LANCELOT. Nay, I thank God, I see very well.

WEATHERCOCK. Marry, bless your eyes, mine hath been dim almost this thirty years.

LANCELOT. Ha, what is this? what is this?

WEATHERCOCK. Nay, there is true love, indeed: He gave it to me but this very morn, And bid me keep it unseen from any one. Good youth, to see how men may be deceived!

LANCELOT. Passion of me, what a wretch am I To hate this loving youth: he hath made me, Together with my Lucy he loves so dear, Executors of all his wealth.

WEATHERCOCK. All, all, good man; he hath given you all.

LANCELOT. Three ships now in the straits & homeward bound, Two Lordships of two hundred pound a year, The one in Wales, the other in Glostershire: Debts and accounts are thirty thousand pound; Plate, money, jewels, 16 thousand more; Two housen furnished well in Cole-man street: Beside whatsoever his Uncle leaves to him, Being of great demeans and wealth at Peckham.

WEATHERCOCK. How like you this, good knight? how like you this?

LANCELOT. I have done him wrong, but now I'll make amends, The Devonshire man shall whistle for a wife: He marry Lucy! Lucy shall be Flowerdale's.

WEATHERCOCK. Why, that is friendly said. Let's ride to London and prevent their match, By promising your daughter to that lovely lad.

LANCELOT. We'll ride to London:—or it shall not need, We'll cross to Dedfort-strand, and take a boat. Where be these knaves? what, Artichoke? what, Fop?

[Enter Artichoke.]

ARTICHOKE. Here be the very knaves, but not the merry knaves.

LANCELOT. Here, take my cloak, I'll have a walk to Dedford.

ARTICHOKE. Sir, we have been scouring of our swords and bucklers in your defence.

LANCELOT. Defence me no defence! let your swords rust, I'll have no fighting: Aye, let blows alone; bid Delia see all things be in readiness against the wedding. We'll have two at once, and that will save charges, Master Weathercock.

ARTICHOKE. Well, we will do it, sir.

[Exit Omnes.]

ACT III.

SCENE I. A walk before Sir Lancelot's house.

[Enter Civet, Frances, and Delia.]

CIVET. By my truth, this is good luck, I thank God for this. In good sooth, I have even my heart's desire: sister Delia, now I may boldly call you so, for your father hath frank and freely given me his daughter Frances.

FRANCES. Aye, by my troth, Tom; thou hast my good will too, for I thank God I longed for a husband, and, would I might never stir, for one his name was Tom.

DELIA. Why, sister, now you have your wish.

CIVET. You say very true, sister Delia: and I prithee call me nothing but Tom and I'll call thee sweetheart, and Frances: will it not do well, sister Delia?

DELIA. It will do very well with both of you.

FRANCES. But, Tom, must I go as I do now when I am married?

CIVET. No, Frances, I'll have thee go like a Citizen In a garded gown, and a French-hood.

FRANCES. By my troth, that will be excellent indeed.

DELIA. Brother, maintain your wife to your estate: Apparel you yourself like to your father, And let her go like to your ancient mother. He sparing got his wealth, left it to you; Brother, take heed of pride, it soon bids thrift adieu.

CIVET. So as my father and my mother went! that's a jest indeed: why she went in a fringed gown, a single ruffle, and a white cap; and my father in a mocado coat, a pair of red satin sleeves, and a canvas back.

DELIA. And yet his wealth was all as much as yours,

CIVET. My estate, my estate, I thank God, is forty pound a year, in good leases and tenements, besides twenty mark a year at cuckolds-haven, and that comes to us all by inheritance.

DELIA. That may, indeed, tis very fitly plied. I know not how it comes, but so it falls out, That those whose fathers have died wondrous rich, And took no pleasure but to gather wealth, Thinking of little that they leave behind For them, they hope, will be of their like mind,— But it falls out contrary: forty years sparing Is scarce three seven years spending,—never caring What will ensue, when all their coin is gone, And all too late, then thrift is thought upon: Oft have I heard, that pride and riot kissed, And then repentence cries, 'for had I wist.'

CIVET. You say well, sister Delia, you say well: but I mean to live within my bounds: for look you, I have set down my rest thus far, but to maintain my wife in her French-hood, and her coach, keep a couple of geldings, and a brace of gray hounds, and this is all I'll do.

DELIA. And you'll do this with forty pound a year?

CIVET. Aye, and a better penny, sister.

FRANCES. Sister, you forget that at cuckolds-haven.

CIVET. By my troth, well remembered, Frances; I'll give thee that to buy thee pins.

DELIA. Keep you the rest for points: alas the day. Fools shall have wealth, tho all the world say nay: Come, brother, will you in? dinner stays for us.

CIVET. Aye, good sister, with all my heart.

FRANCES. Aye, by my troth, Tom, for I have a good stomach.

CIVET. And I the like, sweet Frances. No, sister, do not think I'll go beyond my bounds.

DELIA. God grant you may not.

[Exit Omnes.]

SCENE II. London. The street before young Flowerdale's house.

[Enter young Flowerdale and his father, with foils in their hands.]

FLOWERDALE. Sirrah Kit, tarry thou there, I have spied Sir Lancelot, and old Weathercock coming this way; they are hard at hand. I will by no means be spoken withal.

FATHER. I'll warrant you; go, get you in.

[Enter Lancelot and Weathercock.]

LANCELOT. Now, my honest friend, thou doest belong to Master Flowerdale.

FATHER. I do, sir.

LANCELOT. Is he within, my good fellow?

FATHER. No, sir, he is not within.

LANCELOT. I prithee, if he be within, let my speak with him.

FATHER. Sir, to tell you true, my master is within, but indeed would not be spoke withal: there be some terms that stands upon his reputation, therefore he will not admit any conference till he hath shook them off.

LANCELOT. I prithee tell him his very good friend, Sir Lancelot Spurcock, entreats to speak with him.

FATHER. By my troth, sir, if you come to take up the matter between my master and the Devonshire man, you do not but beguile your hopes, and lose your labour.

LANCELOT. Honest friend, I have not any such thing to him; I come to speak with him about other matters.

FATHER. For my master, sir, hath set down his resolution, either to redeem his honour, or leave his life behind him.

LANCELOT. My friend, I do not know any quarrel touching thy master or any other person: my business is of a different nature to him, and I prithee so tell him.

FATHER. For howsoever the Devonshire man is, my master's mind is bloody: that's a round o, And therefore, sir, entreat is but vain:

LANCELOT. I have no such thing to him, I tell thee once again.

FATHER. I will then so signify to him.

[Exit Father.]

LANCELOT. Aye, sirrah, I see this matter is hotly carried, But I'll labour to dissuade him from it.—

[Enter Flowerdale.]

Good morrow, Master Flowerdale.

FLOWERDALE. Good morrow, good Sir Lancelot; good morrow, Master Weathercock. By my troth, gentlemen, I have been a reading over Nick Matchivill; I find him good to be known, not to be followed: a pestilent humane fellow. I have made certain annotations of him such as they be.—And how ist Sir Lancelot? ha? how ist? A mad world, men cannot live quiet in it.

LANCELOT. Master Flowerdale, I do understand there is Some jar between the Devonshire man and you.

FATHER. They, sir? they are good friends as can be.

FLOWERDALE. Who? Master Oliver and I? as good friends as can be.

LANCELOT. It is a kind of safety in you to deny it, and a generous silence, which too few are indued withal: But, sir, such a thing I hear, and I could wish it otherwise.

FLOWERDALE. No such thing, Sir Lancelot, a my reputation, as I am an honest man.

LANCELOT. Now I do believe you, then, if you do Engage your reputation there is none.

FLOWERDALE. Nay, I do not engage my reputation there is not. You shall not bind me to any condition of hardness: but if there be anything between us, then there is; if there be not, then there is not: be or be not, all is one.

LANCELOT. I do perceive by this, that there is something between you, and I am very sorry for it.

FLOWERDALE. You may be deceived, Sir Lancelot. The Italian hath a pretty paying, Questo—I have forgot it too, tis out of my head, but in my translation, ift hold, thus: If thou hast a friend, keep him; if a foe, trip him.

LANCELOT. Come, I do see by this there is somewhat between you, and, before God, I could wish it other wise.

FLOWERDALE. Well what is between us can hardly be altered. Sir Lancelot, I am to ride forth tomorrow. That way which I must ride, no man must deny me the sun; I would not by any particular man be denied common and general passage. If any one saith, Flowerdale, thou passest not this way: my answer is, I must either on or return, but return is not my word, I must on: if I cannot, then, make my way, nature hath done the last for me, and there's the fine.

LANCELOT. Master Flowerdale, every man hath one tongue, and two ears: nature, in her building, is a most curious work-master.

FLOWERDALE. That is as much as to say, a man should hear more than he should speak.

LANCELOT. You say true, and indeed I have heard more than at this time I will speak.

FLOWERDALE. You say well.

LANCELOT. Slanders are more common than truths, Master Flowerdale: but proof is the rule for both.

FLOWERDALE. You say true; what do you call him hath it there in his third canton.

LANCELOT. I have heard you have been wild: I have believed it.

FLOWERDALE. Twas fit, twas necessary.

LANCELOT. But I have seen somewhat of late in you, that hath confirmed in my an opinion of goodness toward you.

FLOWERDALE. Yfaith, sir, I am sure I never did you harm: some good I have done, either to you or yours, I am sure you know not; neither is it my will you should.

LANCELOT. Aye, your will, sir.

FLOWERDALE. Aye, my will, sir? sfoot, do you know ought of my will? Begod, and you do, sir, I am abused.

LANCELOT. Go, Master Flowerdale; what I know, I know: and know you thus much out of my knowledge, that I truly love you. For my daughter, she's yours. And if you like a marriage better than a brawl, all quirks of reputation set aside, go with me presently: And where you should fight a bloody battle, you shall be married to a lovely lady.

FLOWERDALE. Nay but, Sir Lancelot—

LANCELOT. If you will not embrace my offer, yet assure your self thus much, I will have order to hinder your encounter.

FLOWERDALE. Nay, but hear me, Sir Lancelot.

LANCELOT. Nay, stand not you upon imputative honour. Tis merely unsound, unprofitable, and idle inferences: your business is to wed my daughter, therefore give me your present word to do it. I'll go and provide the maid, therefore give me your present resolution, either now or never.

FLOWERDALE. Will you so put me to it?

LANCELOT. Aye, afore God, either take me now, or take me never. Else what I thought should be our match, shall be our parting; so fare you well forever.

FLOWERDALE. Stay: fall out what may fall, my love is above all: I will come.

LANCELOT. I expect you, and so fare you well.

[Exit Sir Lancelot.]

FATHER. Now, sir, how shall we do for wedding apparel?

FLOWERDALE. By the mass, that's true: now help, Kit; The marriage ended, we'll make amends for all.

FATHER. Well, no more, prepare you for your bride, We will not want for clothes, what so ere betide.

FLOWERDALE. And thou shalt see, when once I have my dower, In mirth we'll spend full many a merry hour: As for this wench I not regard a pin, It is her gold must bring my pleasures in.

[Exit.]

FATHER. Ist possible, he hath his second living, Forsaking God, himself to the devil giving? But that I knew his mother firm and chaste, My heart would say my head she had disgraced: Else would I swear he never was my son, But her fair mind so foul a deed did shun.

[Enter Uncle.]

UNCLE. How now, brother, how do you find your son?

FATHER. O brother, heedless as a libertine, Even grown a master in the school of vice, One that doth nothing but invent deceit: For all the day he humours up and down, How he the next day might deceive his friend. He thinks of nothing but the present time: For one groat ready down, he'll pay a shilling, But then the lender must needs stay for it. When I was young, I had the scope of youth, Both wild, and wanton, careless and desperate: But such made strains as he's possessed withal, I thought it wonder for to dream upon.

UNCLE. I told you so, but you would not believe it.

FATHER. Well, I have found it, but one thing comforts me: Brother, tomorrow he's to be married To beauteous Lucy, Sir Lancelot Spurcock's daughter.

UNCLE. Ist possible?

FATHER. Tis true, and thus I mean to curb him. This day, brother, I will you shall arrest him: If any thing will tame him, it must be that, For he is ranked in mischief, chained to a life, That will increase his shame, and kill his wife.

UNCLE. What, arrest him on his wedding day? That were unchristian, and an unhumane part: How many couple even for that very day Hath purchased 7 year's sorrow afterward? Forbear him then today, do it tomorrow, And this day mingle not his joy with sorrow.

FATHER. Brother, I'll have it done this very day, And in the view of all, as he comes from Church: Do but observe the course that he will take. Upon my life he will forswear the debt: And for we'll have the sum shall not be slight, Say that he owes you near three thousand pound: Good brother, let it be done immediately.

UNCLE. Well, seeing you will have it so, Brother, I'll do it, and straight provide the Sheriff.

FATHER. So, brother, by this means shall we perceive What Sir Lancelot in this pinch will do: And how his wife doth stand affected to him— Her love will then be tried to the uttermost— And all the rest of them. Brother, what I will do, Shall harm him much, and much avail him too.

[Exit.]

SCENE III. A high road near London.

[Enter Oliver: afterwards Sir Arthur Greenshood.]

OLIVER. Cham assured thick be the place, that the scoundrel appointed to meet me: if a come, zo: if a come not, zo. And che war avise, he should make a coystrell an us, ched vese him, and che vang him in hand; che would hoist him, and give it him to and again, zo chud: Who bin a there? Sir Arthur! chil stay aside.

ARTHUR. I have dogged the Devonshire man into the field, For fear of any harm that should befall him: I had an inkling of that yesternight, That Flowerdale and he should meet this morning: Tho, of my soul, Oliver fears him not, Yet for I'd see fair play on either side, Made me to come, to see their valours tried. God morrow to Master Oliver.

OLIVER. God an good morrow.

ARTHUR. What, Master Oliver, are you angry?

OLIVER. Why an it be, tit and grieven you?

ARTHUR. Not me at all, sir, but I imagine by Your being here thus armed, you stay for some That you should fight withall.

OLIVER. Why, and he do, che would not dezire you to take his part.

ARTHUR. No, by my troth, I think you need it not, For he you look for, I think means not to come.

OLIVER. No, and che war assur a that, ched avese him in another place.

[Enter Daffodil.]

DAFFODIL. O Sir Arthur, Master Oliver, aye me! Your love, and yours, and mine, sweet mistress Lucy, This morn is married to young Flowerdale.

ARTHUR. Married to Flowerdale! tis impossible.

OLIVER. Married, man, che hope thou doest but jest, To make an a volowten merriment of it.

DAFFODIL. O, tis too true. Here comes his Uncle.

[Enter Flowerdale, Sheriff, Officers.]

UNCLE. God morrow, Sir Arthur, good morrow, master Oliver.

OLIVER. God and good morn, Master Flowerdale. I pray you tellen us, Is your scoundrel kinsman married?

UNCLE. Master Oliver, call him what you will, but he is married to Sir Lancelot's daughter here.

ARTHUR. Unto her?

OLIVER. Aye, ha the old yellow zarved me thick trick? Why, man, he was a promise, chil chud a had her. Is a zitch a vox? chil look to his water, che vor him.

UNCLE. The music plays, they are coming from the Church. Sheriff, do your Office: fellows, stand stoutly to it.

[Enter all to the Wedding.]

OLIVER. God give you joy, as the old zaid Proverb is, and some zorrow among. You met us well, did you not?

LANCELOT. Nay, be not angry, sir, the fault is in me. I have done all the wrong, kept him from coming to the field to you, as I might, sir, for I am a Justice, and sworn to keep the peace.

WEATHERCOCK. Aye, marry, is he, sir, a very Justice, and sworn to keep the peace: you must not disturb the wedding.

LANCELOT. Nay, never frown nor storm, sir; if you do, I'll have an order taken for you.

OLIVER. Well, well, chill be quiet.

WEATHERCOCK. Master Flowerdale! Sir Lancelot, look you who here is. Master Flowerdale.

LANCELOT. Master Flowerdale, welcome with all my heart.

FLOWERDALE. Uncle, this is she, yfaith: master under-sheriff, Arrest me? at whose suit? draw, Kit.

UNCLE. At my suit, sir.

LANCELOT. Why, what's the matter, Master Flowerdale?

UNCLE. This is the matter, sir: this unthrift here hath cozened you, and hath had of me, in several sums, three thousand pound.

FLOWERDALE. Why, Uncle, Uncle.

UNCLE. Cousin, cousin, you have uncled me, and if you be not staid, you'll prove a cozener unto all who know you.

LANCELOT. Why, sir, suppose he be to you in debt Ten thousand pound, his state to me appears, To be at least three thousand a year.

UNCLE. O sir, I was too late informed of that plot, How that he went about to cozen you: And formed a will, and sent it To your good friend here, Master Weathercock, In which was nothing true, but brags and lies.

LANCELOT. Ha, hath he not such Lordships, lands, and ships?

UNCLE. Not worth a groat, not worth a halfpenny, he.

LANCELOT. I pray, tell us true, be plain, young Flowerdale?

FLOWERDALE. My uncle here's mad, and disposed to do my wrong, but here's my man, an honest fellow, by the lord, and of good credit, knows all is true.

FATHER. Not I, sir. I am too old to lie, I rather know You forged a will, where every line you writ, You studied where to coat your lands might lie.

WEATHERCOCK. And I prithee, where be they, honest friend?

FATHER. Yfaith, no where, sir, for he hath none at all.

WEATHERCOCK. Benedicite, we are o'er wretched, I believe.

LANCELOT. I am cozened, and my hopefulst child undone.

FLOWERDALE. You are not cozened, nor is she undone. They slander me, by this light they slander me: Look you, my uncle here's an usurer, and would undo me, but I'll stand in law; do you but bail me, you shall do no more: you, brother Civet, and Master Weathercock, do but bail me, and let me have my marriage money paid me, and we'll ride down, and there your own eyes shall see, how my poor tenants there will welcome me. You shall but bail me, you shall do no more, and, you greedy gnat, their bail will serve.

UNCLE. Aye, sir, I'll ask no better bail.

LANCELOT. No, sir, you shall not take my bail, nor his, Nor my son Civet's; I'll not deal with him: Let's Uncle make false dice with his false bones, I will not have to do with him: mocked, gulled, & wronged! Come, girl, though it be late, it falls out well, Thou shalt not live with him in beggar's hell.

LUCY. He is my husband, & high heaven doth know, With what unwillingness I went to Church. But you enforced me, you compelled me to it: The holy Church-man pronounced these words but now: I must not leave my husband in distress, Now I must comfort him, not go with you.

LANCELOT. Comfort a cozener? on my curse, forsake him.

LUCY. This day you caused me on your curse to take him: Do not, I pray, my grieved soul oppress, God knows my heart doth bleed at his distress.

LANCELOT. O Master Weathercock, I must confess I forced her to this match, Led with opinion his false will was true.

WEATHERCOCK. Aye, he hath over-reached me too.

LANCELOT. She might have lived like Delia, in a happy virgin's state.

DELIA. Father, be patient, sorrow comes too late.

LANCELOT. And on her knees she begged & did entreat, If she must needs taste a sad marriage life, She craved to be Sir Arthur Greenshood's wife.

ARTHUR. You have done her & me the greater wrong.

LANCELOT. O, take her yet.

ARTHUR. Not I.

LANCELOT. Or, Master Oliver, accept my child, And half my wealth is yours.

OLIVER. No, sir, chil break no laws.

LUCY. Never fear, she will not trouble you.

DELIA. Yet, sister, in this passion, Do not run headlong to confusion. You may affect him, though not follow him.

FRANCES. Do, sister; hang him, let him go.

WEATHERCOCK. Do, faith, Mistress Lucy, leave him.

LUCY. You are three gross fools, let me alone. I swear I'll live with him in all his moan.

OLIVER. But an he have his legs at liberty, Cham averd he will never live with you.

ARTHUR. Aye, but he is now in hucksters handling for running away.

LANCELOT. Huswife, you hear how you and I am wronged, And if you will redress it yet you may: But if you stand on terms to follow him, Never come near my sight nor look on me, Call me not father, look not for a groat, For all thy portion I will this day give Unto thy sister Frances.

FRANCES. How say you to that, Tom, I shall have a good deal. Besides I'll be a good wife: and a good wife is a good thing, I can tell.

CIVET. Peace Frances, I would be sorry to see thy sister cast away, as I am a gentleman.

LANCELOT. What, are you yet resolved?

LUCY. Yes, I am resolved.

LANCELOT. Come then, away; or now, or never, come.

LUCY. This way I turn, go you unto your feast, And I to weep, that am with grief oppressed.

LANCELOT. For ever fly my sight: come, gentlemen, Let's in, I'll help you to far better wives than her. Delia, upon my blessing talk not to her. Bace Baggage, in such hast to beggary?

UNCLE. Sheriff, take your prisoner to your charge.

FLOWERDALE. Uncle, be-god you have used me very hardly, By my troth, upon my wedding day.

[Exit all but Lucy, young Flowerdale, his father, Uncle, Sheriff, and Officers.]

LUCY. O Master Flowerdale, but hear me speak; Stay but a little while, good Master Sheriff, If not for him, for my sake pity him: Good sir, stop not your ears at my complaint, My voice grows weak, for women's words are faint.

FLOWERDALE. Look you, Uncle, she kneels to you.

UNCLE. Fair maid, for you, I love you with my heart, And grieve, sweet soul, thy fortune is so bad, That thou shouldst match with such a graceless youth. Go to thy father, think not upon him, Whom hell hath marked to be the son of shame.

LUCY. Impute his wildness, sir, unto his youth, And think that now is the time he doth repent: Alas, what good or gain can you receive, To imprison him that nothing hath to pay? And where nought is, the king doth lose his due; O, pity him, as God shall pity you.

UNCLE. Lady, I know his humours all too well, And nothing in the world can do him good, But misery it self to chain him with.

LUCY. Say that your debts were paid, then is he free?

UNCLE. Aye, virgin, that being answered, I have done, But to him that is all as impossible, As I to scale the high Pyramids. Sheriff, take your prisoner: Maiden, fare thee well.

LUCY. O go not yet, good Master Flowerdale: Take my word for the debt, my word, my bond.

FLOWERDALE. Aye, by God, Uncle, and my bond too.

LUCY. Alas, I ne'er ought nothing but I paid it, And I can work; alas, he can do nothing: I have some friends perhaps will pity me, His chiefest friends do seek his misery. All that I can or beg, get, or receive, Shall be for you: O do not turn away; Methinks, within, a face so reverent, So well experienced in this tottering world, Should have some feeling of a maiden's grief: For my sake, his father's, and your brother's sake, Aye, for your soul's sake that doth hope for joy, Pity my state: do not two souls destroy.

UNCLE. Fair maid, stand up; not in regard of him, But in pity of thy hapless choice, I do release him. Master Sheriff, I thank you: And, officers, there is for you to drink. Here, maid, take this money; there is a 100 angels: And for I will be sure he shall not have it, Here, Kester, take it you, and use it sparingly, But let not her have any want at all. Dry your eyes, niece, do not too much lament For him, whose life hath been in riot spent: If well he useth thee, he gets him friends, If ill, a shameful end on him depends.

[Exit Uncle.]

FLOWERDALE. A plague go with you for an old fornicator. Come, Kit, the money; come, honest Kit.

FATHER. Nay, by my faith, sir, you shall pardon me.

FLOWERDALE. And why, sir, pardon you? give me the money, you old rascal, or I shall make you.

LUCY. Pray, hold your hands: give it him, honest friend.

FATHER. If you be so content, with all my heart.

FLOWERDALE. Content, sir: sblood, she shall be content, whether she will or no. A rattle baby come to follow me! Go, get you gone to the greasy chuff your father, bring me your dowry, or never look on me.

FATHER. Sir, she hath forsook her father and all her friends for you.

FLOWERDALE. Hang thee, her friends and father altogether.

FATHER. Yet part with something to provide her lodging.

FLOWERDALE. Yes, I mean to part with her and you, but if I part with one angel, hang me at a post. I'll rather throw them at a cast at dice, as I have done a thousand of their fellows.

FATHER. Nay, then, I will be plain, degenerate boy. Thou hadst a father would have been ashamed.

FLOWERDALE. My father was an ass, an old ass.

FATHER. Thy father? proud, licentious villain! What, are you at your foils? I'll foil with you.

LUCY. Good sir, forbear him.

FATHER. Did not this whining woman hang on me, I'd teach thee what it was to abuse thy father: Go! hang, beg, starve, dice, game, that when all is gone, Thou mayest after despair and hang thyself.

LUCY. O, do not curse him.

FATHER. I do not curse him, and to pray for him were vain; It grieves me that he bears his father's name.

FLOWERDALE. Well, you old rascal, I shall meet with you. Sirrah, get you gone; I will not strip the livery over your ears, because you paid for it: but do not use my name, sirrah, do you hear? look you do not use my name, you were best.

FATHER. Pay me the twenty pound, then, that I lent you, Or give me security, when I may have it.

FLOWERDALE. I'll pay thee not a penny, and for security, I'll give thee none. Minckins, look you do not follow me, look you do not: If you do, beggar, I shall slit your nose.

LUCY. Alas, what shall I do?

FLOWERDALE. Why, turn whose, that's a good trade, And so perhaps I'll see thee now and then.

[Exit Flowerdale.]

LUCY. Alas the day that ever I was born.

FATHER. Sweet mistress, do not weep, I'll stick to you.

LUCY. Alas, my friend, I know not what to do. My father and my friends, they have despised me: And I, a wretched maid, thus cast away, Knows neither where to go, nor what to say.

FATHER. It grieves me at the soul, to see her tears Thus stain the crimson roses of her cheeks.— Lady, take comfort, do not mourn in vain. I have a little living in this town, The which I think comes to a hundred pound, All that and more shall be at your dispose. I'll straight go help you to some strange disguise, And place you in a service in this town, Where you shall know all, yet yourself unknown: Come, grieve no more, where no help can be had, Weep not for him that is more worse than bad.

LUCY. I thank you, sir.

[Exeunt.]

ACT IV.

SCENE I. A room in Sir Lancelot Spurcock's house in Kent.

[Enter Sir Lancelot, Master Weathercock and them.]

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 Lucy. 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, and 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: tho 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, yfaith: 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? Cheerly, 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.

WEATHERCOCK. I grant you may, you may 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 Sommers day. Chil tell you what chall do. Chil go 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 loved her, to affect her good.

[Exit both.]

LANCELOT. O Master Weathercock, What hap had I, to force my daughter From Master Oliver, and this good knight 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 hath 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, 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?

[Exit Omnes.]

SCENE II. A street in London.

[Enter Flowerdale.]

FLOWERDALE. A plague of the devil! the devil take the dice! The dice, and the devil, and his dam go together. Of all my hundred golden angels, I have not left me one denier: A pox of come a five, what shall I do? I can borrow no more of my credit: there's not any of my acquaintance, man, nor boy, but I have borrowed more or less off: I would I knew where to take a good purse, and go clear away; by this light, I'll venture for it. God's lid, my sister Delia! I'll rob her, by this hand.

[Enter Delia, and Artichoke.]

DELIA. I prithee, Artichoke, go not so fast: The weather is hot, and I am something weary.

ARTICHOKE. Nay, I warrant you, mistress Delia, I'll not tire you with leading; we'll go a extreme moderate pace.

FLOWERDALE. Stand, deliver your purse.

ARTICHOKE. O lord, thieves, thieves!

[Exit Artichoke.]

FLOWERDALE. Come, come, your purse, lady, your purse.

DELIA. That voice I have heard often before this time. What, brother Flowerdale become a thief?

FLOWERDALE. Aye, a plague on't, I thank your father. But, sister, come, your money, come! What, The world must find me, I am borne to live, Tis not a sin to steal, when none will give.

DELIA. O God, is all grace banished from they heart? Think of the shame that doth attend this fact.

FLOWERDALE. Shame me no shame; come, give me your purse. I'll bind you, sister, least I fair the worse.

DELIA. No, bind me not! hold, there is all I have, And would that money would redeem thy shame.

[Enter Oliver, Sir Arthur, and Artichoke.]

ARTICHOKE. Thieves, thieves, thieves!

OLIVER. Thieves? where, man? why, how now mistress Delia? Ha you a liked to bin a robbed?

DELIA. No, Master Oliver; tis Master Flowerdale, he did but jest with me.

OLIVER. How, Flowerdale, that scoundrel? sirrah, you meeten us well: vang thee that.

FLOWERDALE. Well, sir, I'll not meddle with you, because I have a charge.

DELIA. Here, brother Flowerdale, I'll lend you this same money.

FLOWERDALE. I thank you, sister.

OLIVER. I wad you were ysplit, and you let the mezell have a penny. But since you cannot keep it, chil keep it myself.

ARTHUR. Tis pity to relieve him in this sort, Who makes a triumphant life his daily sport.

DELIA. Brother, you see how all men censure you, Farewell, and I pray God amend your life.

OLIVER. Come, chill bring you along, and you safe enough from twenty such scoundrels as thick a one is. Farewell and be hanged, zirrah, as I think so thou wilt be shortly. Come, Sir Arthur.

[Exit all but Flowerdale.]

FLOWERDALE. A plague go with you for a karsie rascal. This Devonshire man, I think, is made all of pork, His hands made only for to heave up packs: His heart as fat and big as his face; As differing far from all brave gallant minds As I to serve the hogs, and drink with hinds, As I am very near now. Well, what remedy? When money, means, and friends do grow so small, Then farewell life, and there's an end of all.

[Exit.]

SCENE III. Another street. Before Civet's house.

[Enter Father, Lucy 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 doest thou like her, Frances?

FRANCES. In good sadness, Tom, very well, excellent well; she speaks so prettily.—I pray what's your name?

LUCY. My name, forsooth, be called Tanikin.

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

LUCY. Me 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. I, sir, she is.

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

LUCY. 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, aye, Kester, tis such as they wear a their heads. I prithee, Kit, have her in, and shew her my house.

FATHER. I will, sir. Come, Tanikin.

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

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

[Enter Delia, and Artichoke.]

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

FRANCES. Welcome, good sister, how do you like the tier 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 but 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 that was my master, a robbed you? I prithee, tell me true.

ARTICHOKE. Yes, yfaith, even that Flowerdale, that was thy master.

FATHER. Hold thee, there is a French crown, and speak no more of this.

ARTICHOKE. Not I, not a word.—Now do I smell knavery: In every purse Flowerdale takes, he is half: And gives me this to keep counsel.—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.

[Exit all but Delia and Lucy.]

Hark you, Dutch frau, a word.

LUCY. Vat is your vill wit me?

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

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

LUCY. 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 his heart doth turn, tis nere too late.

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

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

[Exit Omnes.]

ACT V.

SCENE I. Scene before Civet's house.

[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 no course now but to hang myself: 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 Ale-house 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 doest 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. Yfaith, 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.

[Exit both.]

FLOWERDALE. A Vagabond, indeed! more villains you: They gave 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 20 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? O, is it you? old spend-thrift, are you here? One that is turned Cozener about this town: My Mistress saw you, and sends 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.

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 not 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 ends.

[Exit Citizen.]

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 a Citizen's wife with a torch before her.]

God bless you, fair mistress. Now would it please you, gentlewoman, to look into the wants of a poor Gentle-Man, 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 doest 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.

[Exit both.]

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 M. Oliver.]

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

OLIVER. Byn 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 Gentle-woman thy wife, Mezell? Whore is shee, 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 Gentle-woman.

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 zick: hold, there's vorty 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. Yfaith, 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.

[Exit both.]

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. Aye, they are 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 nought to say to you. Open the door, Tanikin: thou hadst best lock it fast, for there's a false knave without.

FLOWERDALE. You are an old lying Rascal, so you are.

[Exit both.]

[Enter Lucy.]

LUCY. 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.

LUCY. 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 stand with your liking, the bounty of your purse.

[Enter Father.]

LUCY. O here, God, so young an armine.

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

LUCY. Are you not a married man? vere bin your wife? Here is all I have: take dis.

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

FATHER. —If he have any grace, he'll now repent.

LUCY. 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.

LUCY. Did you use her vell?

FLOWERDALE. Use her? there's never a gentle-woman 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.

LUCY. Indeed, dat vas not scone.

FATHER. —He is turned more devil than he was before.

FLOWERDALE. Thou doest belong to Master Civet here, doest thou not?

LUCY. 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.]

LUCY. Stay, one doth call; I shall come by and by again.

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. O 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 a 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 but 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, least, lingering where you 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?

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