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Quotation from A history of the cries of London ancient (p23).

old newspaper clipping

... famous theatre afterwards to be so widely known. The sunshiny time of our literature and life, making a red-letter period in happy old England's history. We were interrupted by a kindly-faced, round-shouldered man of the bargee type, who asked us ‘if it was Shakespeare, him as writ plays, we was a torkin’ on ; if so be it were, he could show us the werry ’ouse he used, least ways, all as is left on it.’ After a twisting tramp through Cardinal Cap Ally, we were brought out opposite the public-house known by the name of the ‘ Smith Arms,’ which had just then only escaped entire demolition from fire by a very near chance—(the damage done has since necessitated the rebuilding ; so the sketch stands as a bit of rescued old London.)

Especially,I don't know what is meant by “him as writ plays” and “the wery ’ouse”:

who asked us ‘if it was Shakespeare, him as writ plays, we was a torkin’ on ; if so be it were, he could show us the wery ’ouse he used, least ways, all as is left on it.’

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This is not Old English, which is the language of Beowulf and which must today be learned as a foreign language by English spakers. It is not even Early Modern English, as Shakespeare wrote in. It is merely colloquial English from the streets of London. –  tchrist Mar 11 '13 at 11:32

2 Answers 2

An educated guess is that the quotation might be translated as:

[A man asked us] if it was Shakespeare - the one who wrote plays - that we were talking about, and if so, could he show us the very house he used, or at very least, all that was left of it.

In other words, the man speaking is offering to show off the place where presumably Shakespeare used to drink. Note that a "public house" is a bar, which would be called just a pub these days.

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Thank you for helping me! –  user25049 Mar 11 '13 at 8:55
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@user25049 Consider accepting an answer by clicking on the tick when you are satisfied with it! –  0a -archy Mar 11 '13 at 9:11

"The wery 'ouse" is a typical Cockney phrase. Dropped aitches were and are a feature of less educated English accents, and exchanging w's for v's was supposed to be the mark of the East Ender. (I've never spoken to anyone who's actually heard this, but Dickens, who was an acute observer, made Sam Weller pronounce his name Veller.)

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