Anonymous

PATER, FILIUS ET UXOR, or
THE PRODIGAL SON
[adapted from Textor's Juvenis, Pater, Uxor]

The only extant fragment of this interlude is in two halves of a folio leaf in the Cambridge University Library.

circa 1530–1534

a synoptic, alphabetical character list

FATHER

A "ghost character" in the extant fragment of this interlude, though he may have appeared in the full version. Filius's father. He is only referred to by Filius. Father will beat him up if he does not sell his faggots before the end of the day.

FILIUS

Filius is trying to sell some faggots, unsuccessfully, to Uxor and Pater. Then he walks up and down the streets with similar fortune, since he is unable to sell a single faggot. His despair grows when he thinks of his going back home, since he fears his father's reaction. Filius would rather the earth gaped him, as he knows his father is going to beat him when he returns with all his unsold merchandise. Thus, he begs Pater, again, to buy him some faggots, and explains to him that, otherwise, he will be killed by his own father. When Servus comes, speaking in some strange language, the boy admits his own lack of education and his poor mastery of language. Suddenly the latter is nicely surprised when Servus expresses his wish to buy his faggots. Filius, overwelmed with gratitude, wants to know the name of his customer before he leaves.

HUMFREY HATTLES

A "ghost character." Humfrey does not physically appear in the fragment of this interlude that has been preserved. He is mentioned by Servus, who affirms that Humfrey was beaten by his wife, sometimes even twice a day.

PATER

Pater is incensed, due to the fact that he is having a row with Uxor on unfaithful women and cuckolded husbands. He is not going to buy Filius's faggots.

ROBYN TEN AWAY

And alternate name for Servus. When he is asked his name, he replies he is called Robyn ten away, but not happy with that, he provides the names of the previous nine.

SERVUS

Servus is introduced by a stage direction, which explains that he arrives speaking in a strange language. He is a little pedantic, since he corrects Filius when the boy mispronounces the word the former has just uttered. Besides, when he is asked his name, he replies he is called Robyn ten away, but not happy with that, he provides the names of the previous nine. He buys all the faggots for his master, Humfrey Hattles, thus preventing Filius from being severely punished.

SIR JOHN KOSE

A "ghost character." Sir John Kose does not physically appear in the extant text of this interlude. He is only mentioned by Uxor, and we infer he may be one of her probable lovers.

UXOR

Uxor, arguing with Pater, affirms that she could have lovers and make her husband a cuckold. When their argument is interrupted by the arrival of Filius, who wants to sell them some faggots, she resolves to sit down and sew a napkin for Sir John Kose to blow his nose. She explains that her husband is a knave, and therefore she will take revenge on him by making him die a cuckold.