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

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

Hugh, Preamble, Metaphor.

   Hugh. So, you are sure, Sir, to prevent 'hem all;
And throw a block i' the Bride-grooms way, John Clay,
That he will hardly leap o'er.
                                         Pre. I conceive you,
Sir Hugh; as if your Rhetorick would say,
Whereas the Father of her is a Turfe,
A very superficies of the earth;
He aims no higher, then to match in clay;
And there hath pitch'd his rest.
   Hug. Right Justice Bramble?
You ha' the winding wit, compassing all.
   Pre. Subtile Sir Hugh, you now are i' the wrong,
And err with the whole Neighbour-hood, I must tell you;
For you mistake my name. Justice Preamble
I write my self; which with the ignorant Clowns here,
(Because of my Profession of the Law,
And place o' the peace) is taken to be Bramble.
But all my warrants, Sir, do run Preamble:
Richard Preamble.
                            Hugh. Sir I thank you for't.
That your good worship, would not let me run
Longer in error, but would take me up thus �
   Pre. You are my learned, and canonick neighbour:
I would not have you stray; but the incorrigible
Knot-headed beast, the Clowns, or Constables,
Still let them graze; eat Salads; chew the Cud:
All the town-musick will not move a log.
   Hug. The Beetle and wedges will where you will have 'hem.
   Pre. True, true, Sir Hugh, here comes Miles Metaphor,
My Clerk: He is the man shall carry it, Canon,
By my instructions.
                             Hug. He will do't ad unguem:
Miles Metaphore: He is a pretty fellow.
   Pre. I love not to keep shadowes, or half-wits,
To foil a business. Metaphore! you ha' seen
A King ride fort hin* Printing error: should be 'forth in'* state.
                                       Met. Sir, that I have:
King Edward our late Leige, and soveraign Lord:
And have set down the pomp.
                                            Pre. Therefore I ask'd you,
Ha' you observ'd the Messengers o' the Chamber;
What habits they were in?
                                      Met. Yes, Minor Coats.
Unto the guard, a Dragon, and a grey-hound,
For the supporters of the Arms.
                                            Pre. Well mark'd;
You know not any of 'em?
                                       Met. Here's one dwells
In Maribone.
                    Pre. Ha' you acquaintance with him,
To borrow his coat an hour?
                                         Hug. Or but his badge,
'Twill serve: A little thing he wears on his breast.
   Pre. His coat, I say, is of more authority:
Borrow his coat for an hour. I do love
To do all things compleatly, Canon Hugh;
Borrow his coat, Miles Metaphor, or nothing.
   Met. The Taberd of his office, I will call it,
Or the Coat-armour of his place: and so
Insinuate with him by that Trope ��.
   Pre. I know your powers of Rhetorick, Metaphor.
Fetch him off in a fine figure for his coat I say.
                                                                   (Metaph. goes out.
   Hug. I'll take my leave, Sir, of your worship too:
Because I may expect the issue anon.
   Pre. Stay, my diviner Counsel, take your fee;
We that take fees, allow' hem to our Counsel;
And our prime learned Counsel, double fees:
There are a brace of Angels to support you
I' your Foot-walk this Frost, for fear of falling,
Or spraying of a point of Matrimony,
When you come at it.
                                 Hug. I' your Worships service:
That the Exploit is done, and you possest
Of Mrs. Awdrey Turfe. ��
                                      Pre. I like your Project.
                                                                 [Preamble goes out.
   Hug. And I, of this effect of two to one;
It worketh i' my Pocket, 'gainst the Squire,
And his half bottom here, of half a Piece:
Which was not worth the stepping o'er the Stile for:
His Mother has quite ma rr'd* Printing error: should be "marr'd"* him: Lady Tub,
She's such a Vessel of F�ces: all dry'd Earth!
Terra damnata! not a drop of Salt!
Or Petre in her! All her Nitre is gone[1]



  1. "Vessel of Feces", "Salt", "Petre", and "Nitre" are all references to explosives; "saltpetre" was created from a mixture of dung and earth. (see Act I, Scene I note)