A Tale of a Tub (Jonson)/Act I/Scene II

This text follows the original spelling of the 1640 folio. Roll-over notes have been added to translate some obscure spellings and queer speech.




Clench, Medlay, Scriben, Pan, Puppy.


  Cle. Why, 'tis thirty year, e'en as this day now,
Zin Valentine's day, of all days kursin'd, look you;
And the zame day o' the Month, as this Zin Valentine,
Or I am vowly deceiv'd.
  Med. That our High Constable,
Mr. Tobias Turfe, and his Dame were married.
I think you are right. But what was that Zin Valentine?
Did you ever know 'um, Good-man Clench?
  Cle. Zin Valentine,
He was a deadly Zin, and dwelt at High-gate,
As I have heard; but 'twas avore my time:
He was a Cooper too, as you are, Medlay,
An' In-an-In: A woundy brag young vellow:
As th' port went o' hun then, and i' those days.
  Scri. Did he not write his Name, Sim Valentine?
Vor I have met no Sin in Finsbury Books;
And yet I have writ 'em six or seven times over.
  Pan. O' you mun look for the Nine deadly Sims,
I' the Church-books, D'oge; not the high Constables;
Nor i' the Counties: Zure, that same Zin Valentine,
He was a stately Zin: an' he were a Zin,
And kept brave house.
  Cle. At the Cock and Hen in High-gate.
You ha' 'fresh'd my rememory well in't! neighbour Pan:
He had a Place in last King Harry's time,
Of sorting all the young Couples; joyning 'em,
And putting 'em together; which is yet
Praform'd, as on his day �� Zin Valentine;
As being the Zin o' the Shire, or the whole County:
I am old Rivet still, and bear a Brain,
The Clench, the Varrier, and true Leach of Hamsted.
  Pan. You are a shrewd Antiquity, neighbour Clench!
And a great Guide to all the Parishes!
The very Bell-weather of the Hundred, here,
As I may zay. Mr. Tobias Turfe,
High Constable, would not miss you, for a Score on us,
When he doe'scourse of the great Charty to us.
  Pup. What's that, a Horse? Can 'scourse nought but a Horse?
I ne're read o' hun, and that in Smith-veld Charty:
I' the old Fabians Chronicles: nor I think
In any new. He may be a Giant there,
For ought I know.
  Scri. You should do well to study
Records, Fellow Ball, both Law and Poetry.
  Pup. Why, all's but writing, and reading, is it Scriben?
An't be any more, it's meer cheating zure.
Vlat cheating: all your Law, and Poets too.
  Pan. Mr. High Constable comes.
  Pup. I'll zay't avore 'hun.