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

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




Lady Tub, Pol-Martin.

   Lady. Is the Nag ready Martin? call the Squire.
 This frosty morning we will take the Air,
About the Fields: for I do mean to be
Some-bodies Valentine, i' my Velvet Gown,
This morning, though it be but a Beggarman.
Why stand you still, and do not call my Son?
   Pol. Madam, if he had couched with the Lamb,
He had no doubt been stirring with the Lark:
But he sat up at Play, and watch'd the Cock,
Till his first warning chid him off to rest.
Late Watchers are no early Wakers, Madam:
But if your Ladiship will have him call'd.
   Lad. Will have him call'd? Wherefore did I, Sir, bid him
Be call'd, you Weazel, Vermine of an Huisher?
You will return your Wit to your first stile
Of Marten Polcat, by these stinking Tricks,
If you do use 'em: I shall no more call you
Pol-martin, by the Title of a Gentleman,
If you go on thus ��
                                 Pol. I am gone.
                                                                [Pol-martin goes out.
   Lad. Be quick then,
I' your come off: and make amends you Stote!
Was ever such a Full-mart for an Huisher,
To a great worshipful Lady, as my self;
Who, when I heard his Name first, Martin Polcat,
A stinking Name, and not to be pronounc'd
                                                              [Without a Reverence.
In any Ladies presence: my very heart e'en earn'd, seeing the Fellow
Young, pretty and handsome; being then, I say,
A Basket-Carrier, and a man condemn'd
To the Salt-peter Works; made it my Suit
To Mr. Peter Tub, that I might change it;
And call him as I do now, by Pol-martin,
To have it sound like a Gentleman in an Office,
And made him mine own Fore-man, daily Waiter,
And he to serve me thus! Ingratitude!
Beyond the Courseness yet of any Clownage,
Shew'n to a Lady! what now, is he stirring?
                                                                          [He returns.
   Pol. Stirring betimes out of his Bed, and ready.
   Lad. And comes he then?
   Pol. No, Madam, he is gone.
   Lad. Gone? whither? ask the Porter: Where's he gone?
   Pol. I met the Porter, and have ask'd him for him;
He says, he let him forth an hour a-go.
   Lad. An hour ago! what business could he have
So early? Where is his Man, grave Basket Hilts?
His Guide and Governour?
   Pol. Gone with his Master.
   Lad. Is he gone too? O that same surly Knave,
Is his right hand; and leads my Son amiss.
He has carried him to some drinking Match, or other:
Pol-martin, I will call you so again:
I' am Friends with you now. Go, get your Horse, and ride
To all the Towns about here, where his haunts are;
And cross the Fields to meet, and bring me word:
He cannot be gone far, being a foot.
Be curious to inquire him: and bid Wispe,
My Woman, come, and wait on me. The love
We Mothers bear our Sons, we ha' bought with pain,
Makes us oft view them, with too careful Eyes,
And over-look 'em with a jealous fear,
Out-fitting Mothers.