1601

1601
Conversation as it was by the Social Fireside in the Time of the Tudors

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4.5
(2 Reviews)
1601 by Mark Twain

Published:

1880

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1601
Conversation as it was by the Social Fireside in the Time of the Tudors

By

4.5
(2 Reviews)

Book Excerpt

yeres of age; ye Countesse of Granby, twenty-six; her doter, ye Lady Helen, fifteen; as also these two maides of honor, to-wit, ye Lady Margery Boothy, sixty-five, and ye Lady Alice Dilberry, turned seventy, she being two yeres ye queenes graces elder.

I being her maites cup-bearer, had no choice but to remaine and beholde rank forgot, and ye high holde converse wh ye low as uppon equal termes, a grete scandal did ye world heare thereof.

In ye heat of ye talk it befel yt one did breake wind, yielding an exceding mightie and distresfull stink, whereat all did laugh full sore, and then--

Ye Queene.--Verily in mine eight and sixty yeres have I not heard the fellow to this fart. Meseemeth, by ye grete sound and clamour of it, it was male; yet ye belly it did lurk behinde shoulde now fall lean and flat against ye spine of him yt hath bene delivered of so stately and so waste a bulk, where as ye guts of them yt doe quiff-splitters bear, stand comely still and rounde. Prithee let ye author confess ye offspring. Will my Lady Alice testify?

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Well, this one really took me by surprise. I even had to check to see that this was really by Mark Twain and not a piece of sabotage by a frustrated scribe. It turns out that this is, indeed, by Twain, though he didn't own up to its authorship until 26 years after it was written (1880);it's a story in which Shakespeare and Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth I, aongst others, are trying to work out who farted so thunderously, while discussing, in graphic detail, various sexual practises, including rams masturbating after copulating one hundred times, and the wearing of phallus-shaped hats. If you're offended by the 'c' word, stick to Tom Sawyer.

It's only twelve pages but it's packed with jokes, and literary criticism: "...Shaxpur did rede a part of his 'King Henry IV', ye which, it seemeth unto me, is not of ye value of an arsefull of ashes..." Poor Shakespeare.