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

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




Hilts bearded, booted and spurr'd.[To them.



   Hil. Well over-taken, Gentlemen! I pray you,
        Which is the Queens High Constable a-
            mong you?
   Pup. The tallest Man: who should be else, do you
            think?
   Hil. It is no matter what I think, young Clown:
Your answer savours of the Cart.
   Pup. How? Cart?
And Clown? Do you know whose Team you speak to?
   Hi. No: nor I care not: VVhose Jade may you be?
   Pup. Jade? Cart? and Clown? O for a lash of
            VVhip-cord!
Three-knotted Cord!
   Hil. Do you mutter? Sir, snorle this way,
That I may hear, and answer what you say,
VVith my School-dagger, 'bout your Costard, Sir.
Look to't, young Growse: I'll lay it on, and sure;
Take't off who's wull.
   Cle. Nay, 'pray you Gentleman
   Hil. Go to: I will not bate him an ace on't.
VVhat? Rowle-powle? Maple-face? All Fellows?
   Pup. Do you hear, Friend? I would wish you vor
            your good,
Tie up your brended Bitch there, your Dun rusty
Pannier-hilt Poinard: and not vex the Youth
VVith shewing the Teeth of it. VVe now are going
To Church, in way of Matrimony, some on us.
Th'a'rung all in a' ready. If it had not,
All the Horn-Beasts are grazing i' this Close,
Should not ha' pull'd me hence, till this Ash-plant
Had rung Noon o' your Pate, Mr. Broom-beard.
   Hil. That would I fain zee, quoth the blind George
Of Holloway: Come, Sir.
   Awd. O their naked weapons!
   Pan. For the Passion of Man, hold Gentleman, and Puppy.
   Cla. Murder, O Murder!
   Awd. O my Father and Mother!
   D. Tur. Husband, what do you mean? Son Clay, for
            God's sake
   Tur. I charge you in the Queens Name, keep the peace.
   Hil. Tell me o' no Queen, or Keysar: I must have
A Leg, or a Hanch of him, e're I go.
   Med. But, Zir,
You must obey the Queens High Officers.
   Hil. VVhy must I, Goodman Must?
   Med. You must, an' your wull.
   Tur. Gentleman, I'm here for Fault, High Con-
            stable
   Hil. Are you zo? what then?
   Tur. I pray you, Sir, put up
Your Weapons; do, at my Request: For him,
On my Authority, he shall lie by the heels,
Verbatim continente, an' I live.
   D. Tur. Out on him for a Knave: what a dead fright
He has put me into: Come, Awdrey, do not shake.
   Awd. But is not Puppy hurt? nor the t' other man?
   Cla. No Bun; but had not I cry'd Murder, I wuss
   Pup. Sweet Goodman Clench, I pray you revise my
            Master,
I may not zit i' the Stocks, till the Wedding be past,
Dame, Mrs. Awdrey: I shall break the Bride-Cake else.
   Cle. Zomething must be to save Authority, Puppy.
   D. Tur. HusbandCle. And Gossip
   Awd. FatherTur. 'Treat me not.
It is i' vain. If he lie not by the heels,
I'll lie there for 'un. I'll teach the Hine,
To carry a Tongue in his Head to his Superiours.
   Hil. This 's a wise Constable! where keeps he School?
   Cle. In Kentish-Town; a very survere man.
   Hil. But as survere as he is, let me, Sir, tell him,
He sha' not lay his Man by the heels for this.
This was my Quarrel: And by his Office leave,
If't carry 'un for this, it shall carry double;
Vor he shall carry me too.
   Tur. Breath of Man!
He is my Chattel, mine own hired Goods:
An' if you do abet 'un in this matter,
I'll clap you both by the heels, ankle to ankle.
   Hilt. You'll clap a Dog of Wax as soon, old Blurt?
Come, spare not me, Sir; I am no Man's Wife:
I care not, I, Sir, not three skips of a Louse for you,
And you were Ten tall Constables, not I.
   Tur. Nay, pray you, Sir, be not angry; but content:
My Man shall make you what amends you'll ask 'un.
   Hil. Let 'hun mend his Manners then, and know his
            Betters:
It's all I ask 'un: and 'twill be his own,
And's Master's too, another day. Che vore 'hun.
   Med. As right as a Club still. Zure this angry man
Speaks very near the mark, when he is pleas'd.
   Pup. I thank you, Sir; an' I meet you at Kentish-Town,
I ha' the Courtesie o' Hundred for you.
   Hil. Gramercy, good High Constables Hine. But
            hear you?
Mass Constable, I have other manner o' matter,
To bring you about, than this. And so it is,
I do belong to one o' the Queens Captains;
A Gent'man o' the Field, one Captain Thum's,
I know not whether you know 'un, or no: It may be
You do, and't may be you do not again.
   Tur. No, I assure you on my Constable-ship,
I do not know 'un. Hil. Nor I neither, i' faith.
It skills not much; my Captain, and my self,
Having occasion to come riding by, here,
This morning, at the corner of Saint John's Wood,
Some mile o' this Town, were set upon
By a sort of Countrey Fellows; that not only
Beat us, but robb'd us most sufficiently;
And bound us to our behaviour, hand and foot;
And so they left us. Now, Don Constable,
I am to charge you in her Majesties Name,
As you will answer it at your apperil,
That forthwith you raise Hue and Cry i' the Hundred,
For all such persons as you can despect,
By the length and breadth o' your Office: vor I tell you,
The loss is of some value; therefore look to't.
   Tur. As Fortune mend me, now, or any Office
Of a thousand pound, if I know what to zay,
Would I were dead; or vaire hang'd up at Tiburn,
If I do know what course to take; or how
To turn my self; just at this time too, now,
My Daughter is to be married: I'll but go
To Pancridge-Church, hard by, and return instantly,
And all my Neighbourhood shall go about it.
   Hil. Tut, Pancridge, me no Pancridge; if you let it
Slip, you will answer it, and your Cap be of Wool;
Therefore take heed, you'll feel the smart else, Constable.
   Tur. Nay, good Sir, stay. Neighbours! what think
            you o' this?
   D. Tur. Faith, Man
* 'Tur.' omitted* Odd, precious Woman, hold your tongue,
And mind your Pigs o' the Spit at home; you must
Have Ore in every thing. Pray you, Sir, what kind
Of fellows were they?
   Hil. Thieve's kind, I ha' told you.
   Tur. I mean, what kind of Men?
   Hil. Men of our make.
   Tur. Nay, but with patience, Sir; we that are Officers
Must 'quire the special marks, and all the tokens
Of the despected parties; or perhaps else
Be ne'er the near of our purpose in 'prehending 'em.
Can you tell, what 'parrel any of them wore?
   Hil. Troth no: there were so many o' un, all like
So one another: Now I remember me,
There was one busie Fellow was their Leader;
A blunt squat swad, but lower than your self,
He' had on a Leather Doublet, with long points,
And a pair of pinn'd-up breeches, like Pudding bags:
With yellow stockings, and his Hat turn'd up
With a Silver Claspe on his leer side.D. Tur. By these
Marks it should be John Clay, now bless the man!
   Tur. Peace, and be nought: I think the Woman be
            phrensick.
   Hil. John Clay? what's he, good Mistris?
   Awd. He that shall be
My HusbandHil. How! your Husband, pretty one?
   Awd. Yes, I shall anon be married: That's he.
   Tur. Passion o' me, undone!
   Pup. Bless Master's Son!
   Hil. O you are well 'prehended: know you me, Sir?
   Clay. No's my Record: I never zaw you avore.
   Hil. You did not? where were your Eyes then? out
           at washing?
   Tur. What should a man zay? who should he trust
In these days? Hark you, John Clay, if you have
Done any such thing, tell troth, and shame the Devil.
   Cle. Vaith do: my Gossip Turfe zays well to you, John.
   Med. Speak, man, but do not convess, nor be avraid.
   Pan. A man is a man, and a beast's a beast, look to't.
   D. Tur. I' the name of men or beasts! what do you do?
Hare the poor fellow out on his five Wits,
And seven Senses? Do not weep, John Clay.
I swear the poor wretch is as guilty from it,
As the Child was, was born this very morning.
   Cla. No, as I am a kyrsin Soul, would I were hang'd,
If ever I alas, I! would I were out
Of my life, so I would I were, and in again
   Pup. Nay, Mrs. Awdrey will say nay to that.
No, In-and-out? an' you were out o' your life,
How should she do for a Husband? who should fall
Aboard o' her then, Ball? He's a Puppy?
No; Hannibal has no breeding: well! I say little;
But hitherto all goes well, pray it prove no better.
   Awd. Come, Father; I would we were married: I
           am a cold.
   Hil. Well, Mr. Constable, this your fine Groom here,
Bridegroom, or what Groom else, soe'er he be,
I charge him with the Felony; and charge you
To carry him back forthwith to Paddington,
Unto my Captain, who stays my return there:
I am to go to the next Justice of Peace,
To get a Warrant to raise Hue and Cry,
And bring him and his Fellows all afore 'un.
Fare you well, Sir, and look to 'un, I charge you,
As yo'll answer it. Take heed, the business,
If you defer, may prejudicial you
More than you think for; zay I told you so.
[Hilts goes out.
   Tur. Here's a Bride-ale indeed? Ah zon John, zon Clay!
I little thought you would ha' prov'd a piece
Of such false Metal.
   Cla. Father, will you believe me?
Would I might never stir i' my new shooes,
If ever I would do so voul a Fact.
   Tur. Well, Neighbours, I do charge you to assist me
With 'un to Paddington. Be he a true man, so:
The better for 'un. I will do mine Office,
An' he were my own begotten a thousand times.
   D. Tur. Why, do you hear man? Husband? Mr. Turfe?
What shall my Daughter do? Puppy, stay here.
[She follows her Husband and Neighbour's.
   Awd. Mother, I'll go with you, and with my Father.