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  • Title: An Humorous Day's Mirth (Modern)
  • Editor: Eleanor Lowe
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-513-1

    Copyright Digital Renaissance Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: George Chapman
    Editor: Eleanor Lowe
    Peer Reviewed

    An Humorous Day's Mirth (Modern)

    An Humorous Day’s Mirth
    0.01[Scene 1]
    1Enter the Count Labervele in his shirt and night-gown with two jewels in his hand.
    Labervele
    Yet hath the morning sprinkled thr’out the clouds
    5But half her tincture, and the soil of night
    Sticks still upon the bosom of the air.
    Yet sleep doth rest my love for nature’s debt,
    And through her window and this dim twilight
    Her maid, nor any waking I can see.
    This is the holy green, my wife’s close walk,
    — To which not any 10but herself alone
    Hath any key, only that I have clapped
    Her key in wax and made this counterfeit —
    To the which I steal access
    To work this rare and politic device.
    Fair is my wife, and young and delicate,
    Although too religious in the purist sort;
    But pure religion being but 15mental stuff,
    And sense, indeed, all for itself,
    Is to be doubted; that, when an object comes
    Fit to her humour, she will intercept
    Religious letters sent unto her mind,
    And yield unto the motion of her blood.
    Here have I brought, then, two rich agates for her,
    Graven with two posies of mine own 20devising,
    For poets I’ll not trust, nor friends, nor any.
    She longs to have a child, which yet, alas,
    I cannot get, yet long as much as she,
    And not to make her desperate, thus I write
    In this fair jewel, though it simple be,
    Yet ’tis mine own, that meaneth well enough:
    Despair not of children,
    Love 25with the longest;
    When man is at the weakest,
    God is at the strongest.
    I hope ’tis plain and knowing. In this other, that I write:
    God will reward her a thousandfold
    That takes what age can, and not what age would.
    I hope ’tis pretty and pathetical.
    Well, even here
    [Puts jewels down]
    Lie both together till my love arise
    And let her 30think you fall out of the skies.
    I will to bed again.
    Exit.
    30.1[Scene 2]
    Enter Lemot and Colinet.
    Lemot
    How like thou this morning, Colinet? What, shall we have a fair day?
    Colinet
    The sky hangs full of humour, and I think 35we shall have rain.
    Lemot
    Why, rain is fair weather when the ground is dry and barren, especially when it rains humour, for then do men like hot sparrows and pigeons open all their wings ready to receive them.
    40Colinet
    Why, then, we may chance to have a fair day, for we shall spend it with so humorous acquaintance as rains nothing but humour all their lifetime.
    Lemot
    True, Colinet, over which will I sit like an old king in an old-fashion play, having his wife, his council, his children, 45 and his fool about him, to whom he will sit and point very learnedly as followeth:
    My council grave, and you my noble peers,
    My tender wife, and you my children dear,
    And thou my fool —
    Colinet
    Not meaning me, sir, I hope.
    50Lemot
    No, sir, but thus will I sit, as it were, and point out all my humorous companions.
    Colinet
    You shall do marvellous well, sir.
    Lemot
    I thank you for your good encouragement. But, Colinet, thou shalt see Catalian bring me hither an odd gentleman55 presently to be acquainted withal, who in his manner of taking acquaintance will make us excellent sport.
    Colinet
    Why, Lemot, I think thou sendest about of purpose for young gallants to be acquainted withal, to make thyself merry in the manner of taking acquaintance.
    60Lemot
    By heaven I do, Colinet, for there is no better sport than to observe the complement, for that’s their word, complement, do you mark, sir?
    Colinet
    Yea, sir, but what humour hath this gallant in his manner of taking acquaintance?
    65Lemot Marry thus, sir: he will speak the very selfsame word to a syllable after him of whom he takes acquaintance, as if I should say, ‘I am marvellous glad of your acquaintance’, he will reply, ‘I am marvellous glad of your acquaintance’. 70‘I have heard much good of your rare parts and fine carriage’; ‘I have heard much good of your rare parts and fine carriage’. So long as the complements of a gentleman last, he is your complete ape.
    Colinet
    Why, this is excellent.
    75Lemot
    Nay, sirrah, here’s the jest of it: when he is past this gratulation, he will retire himself to a chimney or a wall standing folding his arms thus; and go you and speak to him so far as the room you are in will afford you, you shall never get him from that most gentlemanlike set or behaviour.
    80Colinet
    This makes his humour perfect. I would he would come once.
    Enter Catalian and Blanvel.
    Lemot
    [Aside to Colinet] See where he comes. Now must I say, Lupus est in fabula, for these Latin ends are part of a gentleman and a 85good scholar.
    Catalian
    Oh, good morrow Monsieur Lemot. Here is the gentleman you desired so much to be acquainted withal.
    Lemot
    He is marvellous welcome. [To Blanvel] I shall be exceeding proud of your acquaintance.
    90Blanvel
    I shall be exceeding proud of your acquaintance.
    Lemot
    I have heard much good of your rare parts and fine carriages.
    Blanvel
    I have heard much good of your rare parts and fine carriages.
    95Lemot
    I shall be glad to be commanded by you.
    Blanvel
    I shall be glad to be commanded by you.
    Lemot
    I pray do not you say so.
    Blanvel
    I pray do not you say so.
    Lemot
    Well, gentlemen, this day let’s consecrate to mirth.100 And Colinet, you know, no man better, that you are mightily in love with lovely Martia, daughter to old Foyes.
    Colinet
    I confess it. Here are none but friends.
    Lemot
    Well then, go to her this morning in Countess Moren’s name, and so perhaps you may get her company, though 105the old churl be so jealous that he will suffer no man to come at her but the vain gull Labesha for his living sake, and he, as yet, she will not be acquainted withal.
    Colinet
    Well, this I’ll do, whatsoever come on it.
    Lemot
    Why nothing but good will come of it, ne’er doubt 110it man.
    Catalian
    [Aside to Lemot] He hath taken up his stand. Talk a little further and see an you can remove him.
    Lemot
    [Aside] I will, Catalian. [Aloud] Now, Monsieur Blanvel, mark, I pray.
    Blanvel
    I do, sir, very well, I warrant you.
    115Lemot
    You know the old Count Labervele hath a passing fair young lady, that is a passing foul Puritan?
    Blanvel
    I know her very well, sir. She goes more like a milkmaid than a countess, for all her youth and beauty.
    120Lemot
    True, sir. Yet of her is the old Count so jealous that he will suffer no man to come at her. Yet I will find a means that two of us will have access to her, though before his face, which shall so heat his jealous humour till he be stark mad. But, Colinet, go you first to lovely Martia, for ’tis 125too soon for the old lord and his fair young lady to rise.
    Colinet
    Adieu, Monsieur Blanvel.
    Blanvel
    Adieu, good Monsieur Colinet.
    Exit Colinet.
    Lemot
    Monsieur Blanvel, your kindness in this will bind me much to you.
    130Blanvel
    Monsieur Lemot, your kindness in this will bind me much to you.
    Lemot
    I pray you do not say so, sir.
    Blanvel
    I pray you do not say so sir.
    Lemot
    Will’t please you to go in?
    135Blanvel
    Will’t please you to go in?
    Lemot
    I will follow you.
    Blanvel
    I will follow you.
    Lemot
    It shall be yours.
    Blanvel
    It shall be yours.
    140Lemot
    Kind Monsieur Blanvel.
    Blanvel
    Kind Monsieur Lemot.
    Exeunt.
    141.1[Scene 3]
    Enter Foyes and Martia and Labesha.
    Foyes
    Come on, fair daughter, fall to your work of mind, and make your body fit to embrace the body of this 145gentleman’s, ’tis art: happy are they, say I.
    Labesha
    I protest, sir, you speak the best that ever I heard.
    Foyes
    I pray, sir, take acquaintance of my daughter.
    Labesha
    I do desire you of more acquaintance.
    Foyes
    [To Martia] Why dost not thou say ‘Yea, and I the same of you’?
    150Martia
    That everybody says.
    Foyes
    Oh, you would be singular.
    Martia
    Single, indeed.
    Foyes
    ‘Single, indeed’: that’s a pretty toy! Your betters, dame, bear double, and so shall you.
    155Labesha
    Exceeding pretty, did you mark it, forsooth?
    Martia
    What should I mark, forsooth?
    Labesha
    Your bearing double, which equivocate is, and hath a fit allusion to a horse that bears double, for your good father means you shall endure your single life no longer, 160not in worse sense than bearing double, forsooth.
    Martia
    I cry you mercy, you know both belike.
    Labesha
    Knowledge, forsooth, is like a horse and you, that can bear double. It nourisheth both bee and spider: the bee honeysuckle, the spider, poison. I am that bee.
    165Martia
    I thought so by your stinging wit.
    Labesha
    Lady, I am a bee without a sting, no way hurting any, but good to all, and before all, to your sweet self.
    Foyes
    Afore God, daughter, thou art not worthy to hear him speake. But who comes here?
    Enter Colinet.
    170Colinet
    God save you, sir.
    Foyes
    You are welcome, sir, for aught that I know yet.
    Colinet
    I hope I shall be so still, sir.
    Foyes
    What is your business, sir, and then I’ll tell you?
    Colinet
    Marry thus, sir, the Countess Moren entreats your 175fair daughter to bear her company this forenoon.
    Foyes
    This forenoon, sir? Doth my lord or lady send for her, I pray?
    Colinet
    My lady, I assure you.
    Foyes
    My lady, you assure me. Very well, sir. Yet that house 180is full of gallant gentlemen, dangerous thorns to prick young maids, I can tell you.
    Colinet
    There are none but honest and honourable gentlemen.
    Foyes
    All is one, sir, for that. I’ll trust my daughter with any 185man, but no man with my daughter, only yourself Monsieur Besha, whom I will entreat to be her guardian and to bring her home again.
    Colinet
    I will wait upon her, an it please you.
    Foyes
    No, sir, your weight upon her will not be so good. Here, 190Monsieur Besha, I deliver my daughter unto you a perfect maid, and so I pray you look well unto her.
    Colinet
    Farewell, Monsieur Foyes.
    Labesha
    I warrant I’ll look unto her well enough. Mistress, will it please you to preambulate.
    195Martia
    With all my heart.
    Exeunt.
    195.1[Scene 4]
    Enter [Florila] the Puritan.
    Florila What have I done? Put on too many clothes.
    The day is hot, and I am hotter clad
    Than might suffice health.
    My conscience tells me that I have offended,
    And I’ll put 200them off.
    That will ask time that might be better spent.
    One sin will draw another quickly so.
    See how the Devil tempts. But what’s here?
    [Picks up jewels] Jewels?
    How should these come here?
    Enter Labervele.
    Labervele
    Good morrow, lovely wife. What hast thou there?
    205Florila
    Jewels, my lord, which here I strangely found.
    Labervele
    That’s strange indeed. What, where none comes
    But when yourself is here? Surely the heavens
    Have rained thee jewels for thy holy life,
    And using thy old husband lovingly,
    Or else do fairies haunt this holy green,
    As evermore 210mine ancestors have thought.
    Florila
    Fairies were but in times of ignorance,
    Not since the true pure light hath been revealed.
    And that they come from heaven I scarce believe.
    For jewels are vain things. Much gold is given
    For such fantastical and fruitless jewels,
    215And therefore heaven, I know, will not maintain
    The use of vanity. Surely I fear
    I have much sinned to stoop and take them up,
    Bowing my body to an idle work.
    The strength that I have had to this very deed
    Might have been used to take a poor soul up
    In the highway.
    220Labervele
    You are too curious, wife. Behold your jewels.
    What, methinks there’s posies written on them.
    Then he reads.
    Despair not of children,
    Love with the longest;
    When man is at the weakest,
    God is at the strongest.
    Wonderful rare and witty, nay, divine.
    Why, this is heavenly comfort for thee, wife.
    What is this other?
    225God will reward her a thousandfold
    That takes what age can, and not what age would.
    The best that ever I heard. No mortal brain,
    I think, did ever utter such conceit
    For good plain matter and for honest rhyme.
    Florila
    Vain poetry. I pray you burn them, sir.
    230Labervele
    You are to blame, wife. Heaven hath sent you them
    To deck yourself withal, like to yourself,
    Not to go thus like a milkmaid.
    Why there is difference in all estates
    By all religion.
    Florila
    There is no difference.
    Labervele
    I prithee, wife, be of another mind
    And wear these 235jewels and a velvet hood.
    Florila
    A velvet hood! O vain devilish device!
    A toy made with a superfluous flap,
    Which being cut off, my head were still as warm.
    Diogenes did cast away his dish
    Because his hand would serve to help him drink.
    Surely these heathens 240shall rise up against us.
    Labervele
    Sure, wife, I think thy keeping always close,
    Making thee melancholy, is the cause
    We have no children, and therefore, if thou wilt,
    Be merry and keep company i’ God’s name.
    245Florila
    Sure, my lord, if I thought I should be rid
    Of this same banishment of barrenness,
    And use our marriage to the end it was made,
    Which was for procreation, I should sin,
    If by my keeping house I should neglect
    The lawful means to be a fruitful mother;
    And therefore if it please you I’ll use resort.
    250Labervele
    [Aside] God’s my passion, what have I done? Who would have thought her pureness would yield so soon to courses of temptations? [Aloud] Nay, hark you, wife, I am not sure that going abroad will cause fruitfulness in you. That, you know, none knows but God himself.
    255Florila
    I know, my lord, ’tis true, but the lawful means must still be used.
    Labervele
    Yea, the lawful means indeed must still, but now I remember that lawful means is not abroad.
    Florila
    Well, well, I’ll keep the house still.
    260Labervele
    Nay, hark you, lady, I would not have you think — marry, I must tell you this, if you should change the manner of your life, the world would think you changed religion too.
    Florila
    ’Tis true, I will not go.
    Labervele
    Nay, if you have a fancy.
    265Florila
    Yea, a fancy, but that’s no matter.
    Labervele
    Indeed, fancies are not for judicial and religious women.
    Enter Catalian like a scholar.
    Catalian
    God save your lordship, and you, most religious lady.
    Labervele
    Sir, you may say God save us well indeed
    270That thus are thrust upon in private walks.
    Catalian
    A slender thrust, sir, where I touched you not.
    Labervele
    Well, sir, what is your business?
    Catalian
    Why, sir, I have a message to my lady from Monsieur du Barte.
    275Labervele
    To ‘your lady’? Well, sir, speak your mind to ‘your lady’.
    Florila
    You are very welcome, sir, and I pray how doth he?
    Catalian
    In health, madam, thanks be to God, commending his duty to your ladyship, and hath sent you a message which I would desire your honour to hear in private.
    280Florila
    ‘My ladyship’, and ‘my honor’! They be words which I must have you leave. They be idle words, and you shall answer for them truly. ‘My duty to you’, or ‘I desire you’, were a great deal better than ‘my ladyship’, or ‘my honour’.
    Catalian
    I thank you for your Christian admonition.
    285Florila
    Nay, thank God for me. Come, I will hear your message with all my heart, and you are very welcome, sir.
    Labervele
    [Aside] ‘With all my heart, and you are very welcome, sir’, and go and talk with a young lusty fellow able to make a man’s hair stand upright on his head! What purity is there in this, 290trow you? Ha, what wench of the faculty could have been more forward? Well, sir, I will know your message. [Aloud] You, sir, you, sir, what says the holy man, sir? Come, tell true, for by heaven or hell I will have it out.
    Catalian
    Why you shall, sir, if you be so desirous.
    295Labervele
    Nay, sir, I am more than so desirous. Come, sir, study not for a new device now.
    Catalian
    Not I, my lord, this is both new and old. I am a scholar, and being spiritually inclined by your lady’s most godly life, I am to profess the ministry and to become her chaplain, 300 to which end Monsieur du Barte hath commended me.
    Labervele
    Her chaplain, in the Devil’s name, fit to be vicar of hell!
    Florila
    My good head, what are you afraid of? He comes with a godly and neighbourly suit. What, think you his words or his 305looks can tempt me? Have you so little faith? If every word he spake were a serpent as subtle as that which tempted Eve, he cannot tempt me, I warrant you.
    Labervele
    Well answered for him, lady, by my faith. Well, hark you, I’ll keep your chaplain’s place yonder for a while, and at 310length put in one myself.
    Enter Lemot.
    What, more yet? God’s my passion, whom do I see? The very imp of desolation, the minion of our King, whom no man sees to enter his house but he locks up his wife, his children, and his maids, for where he goes he carries his house upon his head like a 315snail. Now, sir, I hope your business is to me.
    Lemot
    No, sir, I must crave a word with my lady.
    Labervele
    These words are intolerable, and she shall hear no more.
    Lemot
    She must hear me speak.
    Labervele
    Must she, sir? Have you brought the King’s warrant 320for it?
    Lemot
    I have brought that which is above kings.
    Labervele
    Why, every man for her sake is a Puritan. The Devil I think will shortly turn Puritan, or the Puritan will turn devil.
    325Florila
    What have you brought, sir?
    Lemot
    Marry this, madam. You know we ought to prove one another’s constancy, and I am come in all chaste and honourable sort to prove your constancy.
    Florila
    You are very welcome, sir, and I will abide your 330proof. It is my duty to abide your proof.
    Labervele
    You’ll bide his proof? It is your duty to bide his proof! How the devil will you bide his proof?
    Florila
    My good head, no otherwise than before your face in all honourable and religious sort. I tell you I am constant 335to you, and he comes to try whether I be so or no, which I must endure. Begin your proof, sir.
    Lemot
    Nay, madam, not in your husband’s hearing, though in his sight, for there is no woman will show she is tempted from her constancy, though she be a little. Withdraw yourself,340 sweet lady.
    [They withdraw.]
    Labervele
    [Aside] Well, I will see though I do not hear. Women may be courted without offence, so they resist the courtier.
    Lemot
    Dear and most beautiful lady, of all the sweet honest and honourable means to prove the purity of a lady’s 345constancy, kisses are the strongest. I will therefore be bold to begin my proof with a kiss.
    Florila
    No, sir, no kissing.
    Lemot
    No kissing, madam? How shall I prove you then sufficiently not using the most sufficient proof? To flatter yourself 350by affection of spirit, when it is not perfectly tried, is sin.
    Florila
    You say well, sir. That which is truth is truth.
    Lemot
    Then do you well, lady, and yield to the truth.
    Florila
    By your leave, sir, my husband sees. Peradventure it may breed an offence to him.
    355Lemot
    How can it breed an offence to your husband to see your constancy perfectly tried?
    Florila
    You are an odd man, I see. But first, I pray, tell me how kissing is the best proof of chaste ladies.
    Lemot
    To give you a reason for that, you must give me 360leave to be obscure and philosophical.
    Florila
    I pray you be. I love philosophy well.
    Lemot
    Then thus, madam: every kiss is made, as the voice is, by imagination and appetite, and as both those are presented to the ear in the voice, so are they to the silent 365spirits in our kisses.
    Florila
    To what spirit mean you?
    Lemot
    To the spirits of our blood.
    Florila
    What if it do?
    Lemot
    Why then, my imagination and mine appetite 370working upon your ears in my voice, and upon your spirits in my kisses, piercing therein the more deeply, they give the stronger assault against your constancy.
    Florila
    Why then, to say, ‘prove my constancy’, is as much as to say, ‘kiss me’.
    375Lemot
    Most true, rare lady.
    Florila
    Then prove my constancy.
    Lemot
    Believe me, madam, you gather exceeding wittily upon it.
    [Kisses her]
    Labervele
    Oh my forehead, my very heart aches at a blow! [Aloud] 380What dost thou mean, wife? Thou wilt lose thy fame, discredit thy religion, and dishonour me forever.
    Florila
    Away, sir, I will abide no more of your proof, nor endure any more of your trial.
    Lemot
    Oh, she dares not, she dares not. I am as glad I have 385tried your purity as may be. You, the most constant lady in France? I know an hundred ladies in this town that will dance, revel all night amongst gallants, and in the morning go to bed to her husband as clear a woman as if she were new christened, kiss him, embrace him, and say, ‘no, 390no, husband, thou art the man’, and he takes her for the woman.
    Florila
    And all this can I do.
    Labervele
    Take heed of it, wife.
    Florila
    Fear not, my good head, I warrant you, for 395him.
    Lemot
    Nay, madam, triumph not before the victory. How can you conquer that against which you never strive, or strive against that which never encounters you? To live idle in this walk, to enjoy this company, to wear 400this habit, and have no more delights than those will afford you, is to make Virtue an idle housewife, and to hide herself in slothful cobwebs that still should be adorned with actions of victory. No, madam, if you will unworthily prove your constancy to your husband, you must 405put on rich apparel, fare daintily, hear music, read sonnets, be continually courted, kiss, dance, feast, revel all night amongst gallants. Then if you come to bed to your husband with a clear mind and a clear body, then are your virtues ipsissima, then have you passed the full test 410of experiment, and you shall have an hundred gallants fight thus far in blood for the defence of your reputation.
    Labervele
    O vanity of vanities!
    Florila
    Oh husband, this is perfect trial indeed.
    415Labervele
    And you will try all this now, will you not?
    Florila
    Yea, my good head, for it is written, we must pass to perfection through all temptation, Habbakuk the fourth.
    Labervele
    Habbakuk? Cuck me no cucks! In a’ doors, I say. Thieves, Puritans, murderers! In a’ doors, I 420say.
    Exit [with Florila].
    Lemot
    So now is he stark mad, i’faith. But, sirrah, as this is an old lord jealous of his young wife, so is ancient Countess Moren jealous of her young husband. We’ll thither to have some sport, i’faith.
    Exeunt.
    424.1[Scene 5]
    425Enter Labesha hanging upon Martia’s sleeve, and the Lord Moren comes to them.
    Moren
    I prithee, Besha, keep a little off.
    Hang not upon her shoulders thus for shame.
    Labesha
    My Lord, pardonnez-moi, I must not let her talk alone 430with anyone, for her father gave me charge.
    Moren
    Oh, you are a goodly charger for a goose.
    Labesha
    A goose! You are a gander to call me goose. I am a Christian gentleman as well as you.
    Moren
    Well, sirrah, get you hence, or by my troth I’ll have 435thee taken out in a blanket, tossed from forth our hearing.
    Labesha
    In a blanket? What, do you make a puppy of me? By skies and stones, I will go and tell your lady.
    Exit.
    Moren
    Nay, but Besha —
    Martia
    Nay, he will tell, my lord.
    440Enter the Countess Moren and Labesha.
    Countess
    Why, how now, my lord. What, thought you I was dead, that you are wooing of another thus, or are you laying plots to work my death?
    Moren
    Why neither, sweet bird. What need you move 445these questions unto me, whom you know loves you above all the women in the world?
    Countess
    How he can flatter now he hath made a fault.
    Labesha
    He can do little, an he cannot cog.
    Moren
    Out, you ass.
    450Countess
    Well, come tell me what you did entreat.
    Moren
    Nothing, by heaven, sweet bird, I swear, but to entreat her love —
    Countess
    But to entreat her love!
    Moren
    Nay, hear me out.
    455Countess
    Nay here you are out. You are out too much, methinks, and put me in —
    Moren
    And put you in?
    Countess
    In a fair taking, sir, I mean.
    Moren
    Oh, you may see what hasty taking is. You women 460evermore scramble for our words, and never take them mannerly from our mouths.
    Countess
    Come, tell me what you did entreat.
    Moren
    I did entreat her love to Colinet.
    Countess
    To Colinet? Oh, he is your dear cousin, and your 465kind heart, i’faith, is never well but when you are doing good for every man. Speak, do you love me?
    Moren
    I’faith, sweet bird.
    Countess
    Best of all others?
    Moren
    Best of all others.
    470Countess
    That’s my good bird, i’faith.
    Labesha
    Oh, mistress, will you love me so?
    Martia
    No, by my troth, will I not.
    Labesha
    ‘No, by my troth, will I not’? Why, that’s well said. I could never get her to flatter me yet.
    475Enter Lemot, Blanvel, and Catalian, and Colinet.
    Lemot
    Good morrow, my good lord, and these passing lovely ladies.
    Countess
    So now we shall have all manner of flattering with Monsieur Lemot.
    480Lemot
    You are all manner of ways deceived, madam, for I am so far from flattering you, that I do not a whit praise you.
    Countess
    Why do you call us passing lovely then?
    Lemot
    Because you are passing from your loveliness.
    485Martia
    Madam, we shall not have one mot of Monsieur Lemot, but it shall be as it were a moat to drown all our conceit in admiration.
    Lemot
    See what a mote her quick eye can spy in mine, before she looks in it.
    490Martia
    So mote I thee, thine answer is as good as mought be.
    Lemot
    Here’s a poor name run out of breath quickly.
    Countess
    Why, Monsieur Lemot, your name is run out of breath at every word you speak.
    495Lemot
    That’s because my name signifies ‘word’.
    Martia
    Well hit, Monsieur Verbum.
    Lemot
    What, are you good at Latin, lady?
    Martia
    No, sir, but I know what verbum is.
    Lemot
    Why, ’tis green bum: vert is green, and you know 500what bum is, I am sure of that.
    Martia
    No, sir, ’tis a verb, and I can decline you.
    Lemot
    That you can, I’ll be sworn.
    Martia
    What can I do?
    Lemot
    Decline me, or take me a hole lower, as the 505proverb is.
    Martia
    Nay, sir, I mean plain grammatical declination.
    Lemot
    Well, let’s hear your scholarship, and decline me.
    Martia
    I will, sir, moto, motas.
    Labesha
    Oh excellent! She hath called him ass in Latin.
    510Lemot
    Well, sir, forward.
    Martia
    Nay, there’s enough to try both our scholarships
    Lemot
    Moto, motas. Nay, faith, forward to motavi, or motandi.
    Martia
    Nay, sir, I’ll leave when I am well.
    Countess
    Why, Monsieur Lemot, your name being in word 515general, is in ninny, or in hammer, or in cock, or in buzzard.
    Lemot
    Or in wagtail, or in woodcock, or in dotterel, or in dizzard.
    Martia
    Or in clot, or in head, or in cow, or in baby.
    Lemot
    Or in malkin, or in trash, or in pap, or in lady.
    520Countess
    Or, indeed, in everything.
    Lemot
    Why, then ’tis in thing.
    Martia
    Then, good Monsieur Thing, there let it rest.
    Lemot
    Then, above all things, I must have a word with you.
    525Labesha
    Hands off, sir, she is not for your mowing.
    Lemot
    She is for your mocking.
    Labesha
    An she mock me, I’ll tell her father.
    Lemot
    That’s a good child, thou smellest of the mother, and she was a fool, I warrant you.
    530Labesha
    Meddle with me, but do not meddle with my mother.
    Lemot
    That’s a good child. [To Martia] Come, I must needs have a word with you.
    [They withdraw.]
    Labesha
    You shall do none of your needs with her, sir.
    535Catalian
    Why, what will you do?
    Labesha
    What will I do? You shall see what I’ll do.
    Then he offereth to draw [his sword].
    Blanvel
    Go to, you ass! Offer to draw here, and we’ll draw thee out of the house by the heels.
    Labesha
    What, three against one? Now was ever proper 540hard-favoured gentleman so abused?
    Go to, Mistress Martia, I see you well enough. Are you not ashamed to stand talking alone with such a one as he?
    Lemot
    How, sir? With such a one as I, sir?
    545Labesha
    Yea, sir, with such a one as you, sir.
    Lemot
    Why, what am I?
    Labesha
    What are you, sir? Why, I know you well enough.
    Lemot
    Sirrah, tell me what you know me for, or else by heaven I’ll make thee better thou hadst never known how to 550speak.
    Labesha
    Why, sir, if you will needs know, I know you for an honourable gentleman and the King’s minion, and were it not to you, there’s ne’er a gentleman in Paris should have had her out of my hands.
    555Martia
    Nay, he’s as tall a gentleman of his hands as any is in Paris.
    Colinet
    There’s a favour for you, sir.
    Lemot
    But I can get no favour for you, sir.
    Blanvel
    I pray, my lord, entreat for your cousin Colinet.
    560Moren
    Alas, man, I dare not for my wife.
    Catalian
    Why, my lord, she thinks it is for nothing, but to speak for your cousin.
    Moren
    I pray you, bird, give me leave to speak for my cousin.
    565Countess
    I am content for him.
    Moren
    Then one word with you more, courteous Lady Martia.
    Labesha
    Not an you were my father!
    Moren
    Gentlemen, for God’s sake thrust this ass out of the 570doors.
    [Moren moves to Martia.]
    Lemot
    Nay, by’rlady, he’ll run home and tell her father.
    Catalian
    Well, go to her. I warrant he shall not trouble you. [To Labesha] Kind gentleman, how we dote on thee. Embrace him, 575gentlemen.
    Blanvel
    Oh, sweet Besha, how we honour thee.
    Colinet
    Nay gentlemen, look what a piercing eye he hath.
    Labesha
    An eye? I have an eye an it were a pole-cat.
    580Catalian
    Nay, look what a nose he hath.
    Labesha
    My nose is neat crimson.
    Blanvel
    Nay, look what a handsome man he is. O Nature, Nature,
    Thou never madest man of so pure a feature.
    585Labesha
    Truly, truly, gentlemen, I do not deserve this kindness.
    Catalian
    Oh lord, sir, you are too modest. Come shall we walk?
    Labesha
    Whither? To the alehouse?
    590Lemot
    Hark you, madam, have you no more care of the right of your husband, than to let him talk thus affectionately with another?
    Countess
    Why, he speaks not for himself, but for his cousin Colinet.
    595Lemot
    God’s my life! He tells you so. Nay, an these excuses may serve I have done.
    Countess
    By the mass, now I observe him, he looks very suspiciously indeed. Ne’er trust me if his lookes and his gesture do not plainly show himself to swear, ‘By this 600light, I do love thee’.
    Lemot
    By’rlady, madam, you guess shrewdly indeed. But hark you, madam, I pray let not me be the author of discord between my good lord and you.
    Countess
    No, no, Monsieur Lemot, I were blind if I could 605not see this. I’ll slit her nose, by Jesus.
    [Starting for Martia.]
    Moren
    How now, what’s the matter?
    Countess
    What’s the matter? If I could come at your mistress, she should know what’s the matter.
    Moren
    My mistress?
    610Countess
    Yea, your mistress. Oh, here’s fair dissimulation! [To Martia] Oh, ye impudent gossip, do I send for you to my house to make you my companion, and do you use me thus? Little dost thou know what ’tis to love a man truly, for if thou didst, thou wouldst be ashamed to wrong me so.
    615Martia
    You wrong me, madam, to say I wrong you.
    Countess
    Go to, get you out of my house.
    Martia
    I am gone, madam.
    [Makes as if to leave.]
    Moren
    Well, come in, sweet bird and I’ll persuade thee there’s no harm done.
    620Countess
    Well, we shall hear your persuasions.
    [Exeunt Countess and Moren.]
    Lemot
    Well, God knows and I can partly guess what he must do to persuade her. Well, take your fair charge, fair and manly Lord Monsieur Labesha.
    Colinet
    One word with you more, fair lady.
    625Lemot
    Not a word. No man on pain of death, not a word. He comes upon my rapier’s point, that comes within forty foot on her.
    Labesha
    Thanks, good Lemot, and thanks gentlemen all, and her father shall thank you.
    [Exeunt Labesha and Martia.]
    630Colinet
    Much good do it you, sir. Come, gentlemen, let’s go wait upon the King, and see the humour of the young Lord Dowsecer.
    Lemot
    Excuse me to the King, and tell him I will meet 635him there.
    [Exeunt Colinet, Catalian and Blanvel.]
    So, this is but the beginning of sport between this fine lord and his old lady. But this wench Martia hath happy stars reigned at the disposition of her beauty, for the King himself doth mightily dote on her. Now to my Puritan, and see if I can make up my full proof of her.
    [Exit.]
    639.1[Scene 6]
    640Enter [Florila] the Puritan in her best attire.
    Florila
    Now am I up and ready. Ready? Why?
    Because my clothes once on, that call we ready.
    But readiness I hope hath reference
    To some fit action for our several state.
    For when I am attired thus, countess-like,
    ’Tis not to work, 645for that befits me not.
    ’Tis on some pleasure, whose chief object is
    One man’s content, and he my husband is.
    But what need I thus be attired,
    For that he would be pleased with meaner weed?
    Besides, I take no pleasure thus to please him
    I am content, because it is my duty
    To keep to him, and 650not to seek no further.
    But if that pleasure be a thing that makes
    The time seem short, if it do laughter cause,
    If it procure the tongue but heartily
    To say, ‘I thank you’, I have no such thing,
    Nor can the godliest woman in the world
    against her nature please her sense or soul.
    She may say, ‘this 655I will’, or ‘this I will not’.
    But what shall she reap hereby?
    Comfort in another world, if she will stay till then.
    Enter [Labervele] her husband behind her.
    Labervele [Aside] Yea, marry, sir, now I must look about.
    Now if her desolate prover come again,
    Shall I admit him to make 660farther trial?
    I’ll have a dialogue between myself
    And manly reason to that special end:
    ‘Reason, shall I endure a desolate man to come
    And court my wife, and prove her constancy?’
    Reason: ‘To court and prove her you may bear, my lord,
    For perfect things are not the worse for trial.
    Gold will 665not turn to dross for deepest trial’.
    Before God a comfortable saying.
    Thanks, gentle Reason, I’ll trouble you no more.
    [Aloud] God save, sweet wife. Look up, thy tempter comes.
    Florila
    Let him, my lord. I hope I am more blessed
    Than to 670relent in thought of lewd suggestion.
    Labervele
    But if by frailty you should yield in thought,
    What will you do?
    Florila
    Then shall you keep me close,
    And never let me see man but your self.
    If not, then boldly may I go abroad.
    675Labervele
    But how shall I know whether you yield or no?
    Florila
    Hear us yourself, my lord.
    Labervele
    Tut, that were gross,
    For no woman will yield in her husband’s hearing.
    Florila
    Then to assure you if I yield or no,
    Mark but 680these signs: as he is proving me,
    If I do yield, you shall perceive my face
    Blush and look pale, and put on heavy looks.
    If I resist, I will triumph, and smile,
    And when I hold but up my finger,
    Stop his vain lips, or thrust him on the breast,
    Then is he overthrown both horse and 685foot.
    Labervele
    Why, this doth satisfy me mightily.
    [Enter Lemot.]
    See, he is come.
    Lemot
    Honour to my good lord and his fair young lady.
    Labervele
    Now, Monsieur Satan, you are come to 690tempt
    And prove at full the spirit of my wife.
    Lemot
    I am, my lord, but vainly, I suppose.
    Labervele
    You see she dares put on this brave attire,
    Fit with the fashion, which you think serves much
    To lead a woman into light desires.
    695Lemot
    My lord, I see it, and the sight thereof
    Doth half dismay me to make further proof.
    Labervele
    Nay, prove her, prove her, sir, and spare not.
    What, doth the witty minion of our King
    Think any dame in France will say him nay?
    But prove her, prove her, sir, 700and spare not.
    Lemot
    Well, sir, though half discouraged in my coming,
    Yet I’ll go forward. Lady, by your leave.
    [He crosses to Florila.]
    Florila
    Now, sir, your cunning in a lady’s proof.
    705Lemot
    Madam, in proving you I find no proof
    Against your piercing glancings,
    But swear I am shot thorough with your love.
    Florila
    I do believe you. Who will swear he loves
    To get the thing he loves not? If he love,
    What needs more perfect 710trial?
    Lemot
    Most true rare lady.
    Florila
    Then are we fitly met. I love you too.
    Lemot
    Exceeding excellent.
    Florila
    Nay, I know you will applaud me in this 715course.
    But to let common circumstances pass,
    Let us be familiar.
    Lemot
    Dear life, you ravish my conceit with joy.
    Labervele
    [Aside] I long to see the signs that she will make.
    Florila
    I told my husband I would make these signs:
    If I 720resisted, first, hold up my finger,
    As if I said, ‘i’faith, sir, you are gone’,
    But it shall say, ‘i’faith, sir, we are one’.
    Labervele
    [Aside] Now she triumphs and points to heaven, I warrant you.
    Florila
    Then must I seem as if I would hear no more
    725And stop your vain lips.
    Go, cruel lips, you have bewitched me, go.
    Labervele
    [Aside] Now she stops in
    His scornèd words and rates him for his pains.
    Florila
    And when I thrust you thus against the breast,
    Then 730are you overthrown both horse and foot.
    Labervele
    [Aside] Now is he overthrown both horse and foot.
    Florila
    [Aloud] Away, vain man, have I not answered you?
    Lemot
    Madam, I yield and swear I never saw
    So constant nor so virtuous a lady.
    735Labervele
    [To Lemot] Now, speak, I pray, and speak but truly,
    Have you not got a wrong sow by the ear?
    Lemot
    My lord, my labour is not altogether lost,
    For now I find that which I never thought.
    Labervele
    Ah, sirrah, is the edge of your steel wit
    Rebated then 740against her adamant?
    Lemot
    It is, my lord. Yet one word more, fair lady.
    Labervele
    [Aside] Fain would he have it do, and it will not be. [To Florila] Hark you, wife, what sign will you make me now if you relent not?
    745Florila
    Lend him my handkerchief to wipe his lips of their last disgrace.
    Labervele
    Excellent good. Go forward, sir, I pray.
    Florila
    [To Lemot] Another sign, i’faith, love, is required.
    Lemot
    Let him have signs enough, my heavenly love.
    750Then know there is a private meeting
    This day at Verone’s ordinary,
    Where if you will do me the grace to come,
    And bring the beauteous Martia with you,
    I will provide a fair and private room,
    Where you shall be unseen of any man,
    Only of me, and of the King himself,
    Whom I will cause 755to honour your repair
    With his high presence,
    And there with music and quick revellings
    You may revive your spirits so long time dulled.
    Florila
    I’ll send for Martia then, and meet you there,
    And tell my husband I will lock myself
    In my close walk 760till supper-time.
    [Aloud] We pray, sir, wipe your lips of the disgrace
    They took in their last labour.
    Lemot
    [Going] Marry, the Devil was never so despited.
    Labervele
    Nay, stay, sir.
    Lemot
    No, no, my Lord, you have the constantest wife that 765ever — well, I’ll say no more.
    Exit.
    Labervele
    Never was minion so disminionèd.
    Come, constancy, come, my girl, I’ll leave thee
    Loose to twenty of them, i’faith.
    Then he sighs.
    Florila
    Come, my good head, come.
    Exeunt.
    769.1[Scene 7]
    770Enter the King and all the lords [Lemot and Catalian], with the trumpets.
    King
    Why sound these trumpets, in the Devil’s name?
    Catalian
    To show the King comes.
    King
    To show the King comes?
    Go hang the 775trumpeters. They mock me boldly,
    And every other thing that makes me known,
    Not telling what I am, but what I seem:
    A king of clouts, a scarecrow, full of cobwebs,
    Spiders and earwigs, that sets jackdaw’s long tongue
    In my bosom and upon my head.
    And such are all the affections of love
    780Swarming in me, without command or reason.
    Lemot
    How now, my liege! What, quagmired in philosophy,
    Bound with love’s whipcord, and quite robbed of reason?
    And I’ll give you a receipt for this presently.
    785King
    Peace, Lemot. They say the young Lord Dowsecer
    Is rarely learned, and nothing lunatic
    As men suppose,
    But hateth company and worldly trash.
    The judgement and the just contempt of them
    Have in reason arguments that break affection,
    As the most sacred poets write, and 790still the roughest wind.
    And his rare humour come we now to hear.
    Lemot
    Yea, but hark you, my liege, I’ll tell you a better humour than that. Here presently will be your fair love, Martia, to see his humour, and from thence, fair countess 795Florila and she will go unto Verone's ordinary, where none but you and I and Count Moren will be most merry.
    King
    Why, Count Moren, I hope, dares not adventure into any woman’s company but his wife’s.
    Lemot
    Yes, as I will work, my liege, and then let me alone 800to keep him there till his wife comes.
    King
    That will be royal sport.
    Enter Labervele, Labesha, and all the rest [the Countess, Moren, Foyes, Martia and Florila].
    See where all comes. Welcome, fair lords and ladies.
    Labervele
    My liege, you are welcome to my poor house.
    805Lemot
    [Presenting Labesha] I pray, my liege, know this gentleman especially. He is a gentleman born, I can tell you.
    King
    With all my heart. What might I call your name?
    Labesha
    Monsieur Labesha, Seigneur de Foulasa.
    King
    De Foulasa? An ill-sounding baronry, of my word. But 810to the purpose. Lord Labervele, we are come to see the humour of your rare son, which by some means I pray let us partake.
    Labervele
    Your highness shall too unworthily partake the sight which I with grief and tears daily behold, seeing in him 815the end of my poor house.
    King
    You know not that, my lord. Your wife is young, and he perhaps hereafter may be moved to more society.
    Labervele
    Would to God he would, that we might do to your crown of France more worthy and more acceptable820 service.
    King
    Thanks, good my lord. See where he appears.
    Enter Lavel with a picture, and a pair of large hose, and a codpiece, and a sword.
    Say, Lavel, where is your friend, the young Lord Dowsecer?
    825Lavel
    I look, my liege, he will be here anon, but then I must entreat your majesty and all the rest to stand unseen, for he as yet will brook no company.
    King
    We will stand close, Lavel, but wherefore bring you this apparel, that picture, and that sword?
    830Lavel
    To put him, by the sight of them, in mind of their brave states that use them, or that at the least of the true use they should be put unto.
    King
    Indeed, the sense doth still stir up the soul, and though these objects do not work, yet it is very probable 835in time she may. At least, we shall discern his humour of them.
    Enter Dowsecer.
    Lemot
    See where he comes contemplating. Stand close.
    Dowsecer
    Quid ei potest videri magnum in rebus humanis cui aeternitas omnis totiusque nota sit mundi magnitudo.
    ‘What840 can seem strange to him on earthly things
    To whom the whole course of eternity,
    And the round compass of the world is known?’
    A speech divine, but yet I marvel much
    How it should spring from thee, Mark Cicero,
    That sold for glory the sweet peace of life,
    And made a torment of rich 845nature’s work,
    Wearing thyself by watchful candle-light,
    When all the smiths and weavers were at rest,
    And yet was gallant, ere the day bird sung,
    To have a troop of clients at thy gates,
    Armed with religious supplications,
    Such as would make stern Minos laugh to read.
    Look on our lawyers’ bills: not 850one contains
    Virtue or honest drifts, but snares, snares, snares.
    For acorns now no more are in request;
    But when the oak’s poor fruit did nourish men,
    Men were like oaks of body, tough, and strong.
    Men were like giants then, but pygmies now,
    Yet full of villainies as their skin can hold.
    855Lemot
    How like you this humour, my liege?
    King
    This is no humour; this is but perfect judgement.
    Countess
    Is this a frenzy?
    Martia
    Oh were all men such,
    Men were no men but gods, this earth a heaven.
    860Dowsecer
    [Noticing the sword] See, see, the shameless world,
    That dares present her mortal enemy
    With these gross ensigns of her lenity,
    Iron and steel, uncharitable stuff,
    Good spital-founders, enemies to whole skins,
    As if there were not ways enough to die
    By natural and casual accidents,
    Diseases, surfeits, brave 865carouses,
    Old aqua-vitae, and too base wines,
    And thousands more. Hence with this art of murder!
    [Noticing the hose and codpiece]
    But here is goodly gear, the soul of man,
    For ’tis his better part. Take away this,
    And take away their merits and their spirits.
    Scarce dare they come in any public view
    Without this countenance870-giver,
    And some dares not come, because they have it, too,
    For they may sing, in written books they find it.
    What is it then, the fashion or the cost?
    The cost doth match, but yet the fashion more,
    For let it be but mean, so in the fashion,
    And ’tis most gentleman-like. Is it so?
    Make a hand in the margin875, and burn the book,
    A large hose and a codpiece makes a man.
    A codpiece, nay indeed, but hose must down.
    Well for your gentle forgers of men,
    And for you come to wrest me into fashion,
    I’ll wear you thus, and sit upon the matter.
    880Labervele
    And so he doth despise our purposes.
    Catalian
    Bear with him yet, my lord, he is not resolved.
    Lavel
    I would not have my friend mock worthy men,
    For the vain pride of some that are not so.
    885Dowsecer
    I do not here deride difference of states,
    No, not in show, but wish that such as want show
    Might not be scorned with ignorant Turkish pride,
    Being pompous in apparel and in mind
    Nor would I have with imitated shapes
    Men make their native land the land of apes,
    Living like 890strangers when they be at home,
    And so perhaps bear strange hearts to their home;
    Nor look a-snuff like a piannet’s tail,
    For nothing but their curls and formal locks,
    When, like to cream bowls, all their virtues swim
    In their set faces, all their in-parts then
    Fit to serve peasants or make 895curds for daws.
    [Noticing the picture] But what a stock am I thus to neglect
    This figure of man’s comfort, this rare piece?
    Labervele
    Heavens grant that make him more humane, and sociable.
    Nay, he’s more humane than all we are.
    900Labervele
    I fear he will be too sharp to that sweet sex.
    Dowsecer
    She is very fair. I think that she be painted.
    An if she be, sir, she might ask of me,
    ‘How many is there of our sex that are not?’
    ’Tis a sharp question. Marry and I think
    They have small skill. If they were all of painting,
    905’Twere safer dealing with them. And indeed.
    Were their minds strong enough to guide their bodies,
    Their beauteous deeds should match with their heavenly looks,
    ’Twere necessary they should wear them.
    An would they vouchsafe it, even I
    Would joy in their society.
    910Martia
    And who would not die with such a man?
    Dowsecer
    But to admire them as our gallants do,
    ‘Oh, what an eye she hath! Oh, dainty hand!
    Rare foot and leg!’ and leave the mind respectless.
    This is a plague that, in both men and women,
    Make such pollution of our earthly being.
    Well, I 915will practise yet to court this piece.
    Labervele
    Oh, happy man, now have I hope in her.
    Methinks I could endure him days and nights.
    Dowsecer
    Well, sir, now thus must I do, sir, ere it come towomen. ‘Now, sir’ — a plague upon it, ’tis so ridiculous I can no 920further. What poor ass was it that set this in my way? Now if my father should be the man — [Sees Labervele] God’s precious coals, ’tis he!
    Labervele
    Good son, go forward in this gentle humour.
    Observe this picture. It presents a maid
    Of noble birth and 925excellent of parts,
    Whom for our house and honour sake, I wish
    Thou wouldst confess to marry.
    Dowsecer
    To marry father? Why, we shall have children.
    Labervele
    Why, that’s the end of marriage, and the joy of men.
    930Dowsecer
    Oh, how you are deceived. You have but me,
    And what a trouble am I to your joy!
    But, father, if you long to have some fruit of me,
    See, father, I will creep into this stubborn earth
    And mix my flesh with it, and they shall breed grass
    To fat oxen, asses and such-like,
    And when they in the 935grass the spring converts
    Into beasts’ nourishment,
    Then comes the fruit of this my body forth.
    Then may you well say,
    Seeing my race is so profitably increased,
    That good fat ox and that same large-eared ass
    Are my son’s sons, that calf with a white face
    Is his fair daughter, with which, 940when your fields
    Are richly filled, then will my race content you.
    But for the joys of children, tush, ’tis gone.
    Children will not deserve, nor parents take it.
    Wealth is the only father and the child,
    And but in wealth no man hath any joy.
    Labervele
    Some course, dear son, take for thy honour sake.
    945Dowsecer
    Then, father, here’s a most excellent corse.
    Labervele
    This is some comfort yet.
    Dowsecer
    If you will straight be gone and leave me here,
    I’ll stand as quietly as any lamb,
    And trouble none of you.
    [Sees Martia]
    Labervele
    An hapless man.
    950Lemot
    How like you this humour yet, my liege?
    As of a holy fury, not a frenzy.
    Moren
    See, see, my liege, he hath seen us sure.
    Nay, look how he views Martia and makes him fine.
    Lemot
    Yea, my liege, and she, as I hope well observed, hath uttered many kind conceits of hers.
    Well, I’ll be gone, and when she comes to Verone’s ordinary, I’ll have her taken to my custody.
    960Lemot
    I’ll stay, my liege, and see the event of this.
    Do so, Lemot.
    Exit the King.
    Dowsecer
    What have I seen? How am I burnt to dust
    With a new sun, and made a novel phoenix!
    Is she a woman that objects this sight,
    Able to work the chaos of the 965world
    Into gestion? O divine aspect,
    The excellent disposer of the mind
    Shines in thy beauty, and thou hast not changed
    My soul to sense, but sense unto my soul,
    And I desire thy pure society,
    But even as angels do to angels fly.
    Exit.
    Martia
    Fly soul and follow him.
    970Labervele
    I marvel much at my son’s sudden strange behaviour.
    Lemot
    Bear with him yet, my lord, ’tis but his humour. Come. What, shall we go to Verone’s ordinary?
    Labesha
    Yea, for God’s sake, for I am passing hungry.
    975Moren
    Yea, come, Monsieur Lemot, will you walk?
    Countess
    What, will you go?
    Moren
    Yea, sweet bird, I have promised so.
    Countess
    Go to, you shall not go and leave me alone.
    Moren
    For one meal, gentle bird. Verone invites us to buy 980some jewels he hath brought of late from Italy. I’ll buy the best and bring it thee, so thou wilt let me go.
    Countess
    Well said, flattering Fabian. But tell me, then, what ladies will be there?
    Moren
    Ladies? Why, none.
    985Lemot
    No ladies use to come to ordinaries, madam.
    Countess
    Go to, bird, tell me now the very truth.
    Moren
    None of mine honour, bird. You never heard that ladies came to ordinaries.
    Countess
    Oh, that’s because I should not go with you.
    990Moren
    Why, ’tis not fit you should.
    Countess
    Well, hark you, bird, of my word you shall not go, unless you will swear to me, you will neither court nor kiss a dame in any sort, till you come home again.
    995Moren
    Why, I swear I will not.
    Countess
    Go to, by this kiss.
    Moren
    Yea, by this kiss.
    Foyes
    Martia, learn by this when you are a wife.
    Labesha
    I like the kissing well.
    1000Florila
    My lord, I’ll leave you. Your son Dowsecer hath made me melancholy with his humour, and I’ll go lock myself in my close walk till supper-time.
    Labervele
    What, and not dine today?
    Florila
    No, my good head. Come, Martia, you and I will 1005fast together.
    Martia
    With all my heart, madam.
    Exit [with Florila].
    Labervele
    Well, gentlemen, I’ll go see my son.
    Exit.
    Foyes
    By’rlady, gentlemen, I’ll go home to dinner.
    Labesha
    Home to dinner? By’rlord, but you shall not. You 1010shall go with us to the ordinary, where you shall meet gentlemen of so good carriage and passing complements it will do your heart good to see them. Why, you never saw the
    best sort of gentlemen if not at ordinaries.
    Foyes
    I promise you that’s rare, my lord. And, Monsieur 1015Lemot, I’ll meet you there presently.
    Lemot
    We’ll expect your coming.
    Exeunt all.
    1017.1[Scene 8]
    Enter Verone with his napkin upon his shoulder, and his man Jaques with another, and his son [Boy] bringing 1020in cloth and napkins.
    Verone
    Come on, my masters, shadow these tables with their white veils, accomplish the court-cupboard, wait diligently today for my credit and your own, that if the 1025meat should chance to be raw, yet your behaviours being neither rude nor raw, may excuse it. Or if the meat should chance to be tough, be you tender over them in your attendance, that the one may bear with the other.
    Jaques
    Faith, some of them be so hard to please, finding 1030fault with your cheer and discommending your wine, saying they fare better at Valere’s for half the money.
    Besides, if there be any chibols in your napkins, they say your nose or ours have dropped on them, and then they throw them about the house.
    1035Verone
    But these be small faults. You may bear with them. Young gentlemen and wild heads will be doing.
    Enter [Jaquena] the Maid.
    Jaquena
    Come, whose wit was it to cover in this room, in the name of God, I trow?
    Why, I hope this room is as fair as the other.
    Jaquena
    In your foolish opinion. You might have told a wise body so and kept yourself a fool still.
    I cry you mercy. How bitter you are in your proverbs.
    1045Jaquena
    So bitter I am, sir.
    [Jaquena removes the cloth from the table nearest her]
    Verone
    [Aside] Oh, sweet Jaquena, I dare not say I love thee.
    Jaques
    Must you control us, you proud baggage, you?
    Jaquena
    Baggage? You are a knave to call me baggage.
    Jaques
    A knave? My master shall know that.
    1050Verone
    [Aside] I will not see them.
    Jaques
    Master, here is your maid uses herself so saucily that one house shall not hold us two long, God willing.
    Verone
    Come hither, hussy. [Aside to Jaquena] Pardon me, sweet Jaquena. 1055I must make an angry face outwardly, though I smile inwardly.
    Jaquena
    Say what you will to me, sir.
    Verone
    [Aloud] Oh, you are a fine gossip. Can I not keep honest servants in my house, but you must control them, you 1060must be their mistress?
    Jaquena
    Why, I did but take up the cloth, because my mistress would have the dinner in another room, and he called me baggage.
    1065Jaques
    You called me knave and fool, I thank you, small bones.
    Jaquena
    Go to, go to, she were wise enough would talk with you.
    Go thy ways for the proudest harlotry that ever 1070came in our house.
    [Exit Jaquena.]
    Verone
    Let her alone, boy. I have schooled her, I warrant thee. She shall not be my maid long, if I can help it.
    No, I think so, sir. But what, shall I take up the cloth?
    1075Verone
    No, let the cloth lie. Hither they’ll come first, I am sure of it. Then if they will dine in the other room, they shall.
    Enter Rowley.
    Rowley
    Good morrow, my host. Is nobody come yet?
    Verone
    Your worship is the first, sir.
    1080Rowley
    I was invited by my cousin, Colinet to see your jewels.
    Verone
    I thank his worship and yours.
    Rowley
    Here’s a pretty place for an ordinary. I am very sorry I have not used to come to ordinaries.
    1085Verone
    I hope we shall have your company hereafter.
    Rowley
    You are very like to.
    Enter Berger.
    Berger
    Good morrow, my host, good morrow, good Monsieur Rowley.
    1090Rowley
    Good morrow to you, sir.
    Berger
    What, are we two the first? Give’s the cards, here. Come, this gentleman and I will go to cards while dinner be ready.
    Rowley
    No, truly, I cannot play at cards.
    1095Berger
    How! Not play? Oh, for shame, say not so. How can a young gentleman spend his time but in play and in courting his mistress? Come, use this, lest youth take too much of the other.
    Rowley
    Faith, I cannot play, and yet I care not so much to venture two or three crowns with you.
    Berger
    Oh, I thought what I should find of you. I pray God I have not met with my match.
    Rowley
    No, trust me, sir, I cannot play.
    1105Berger
    Hark you, my host, have you a pipe of good tobacco?
    Verone
    The best in the town. Boy, dry a leaf.
    [Aside] There’s none in the house, sir.
    Verone
    [Aside] Dry a dock leaf.
    [Boy exits and returns with a pipe.]
    1110Berger
    My host, do you know Monsieur Blanvel?
    Verone
    Yea, passing well, sir.
    Berger
    Why, he was taken learning tricks at old Lucilla’s house, the muster-mistress of all the smock-tearers in Paris, and both the bawd and the pander were carried to the 1115dungeon.
    Verone
    There was dungeon upon dungeon. But call you her the muster-mistress of all the smock-tearers in Paris?
    Berger
    Yea, for she hath them all trained up afore her.
    Enter Blanvel.
    1120Blanvel
    Good morrow, my host; good morrow, gentlemen all.
    Verone
    Good morrow, Monsieur Blanvel. I am glad of your quick delivery.
    Blanvel
    Delivery? What, didst thou think I was with child?
    Verone
    Yea, of a dungeon.
    1125Blanvel
    Why, how knew you that?
    Rowley
    Why, Berger told us.
    Blanvel
    Berger, who told you of it?
    Berger
    One that I heard, by the Lord.
    Blanvel
    Oh, excellent. You are still playing the wag.
    1130Enter Lemot and Moren.
    Lemot
    Good morrow, gentlemen all; good morrow, good Monsieur Rowley.
    Rowley
    At your service.
    Lemot
    I pray, my lord, look what a pretty falling-band he hath. 1135’Tis pretty fantastical, as I have seen, made with good judgement, great show, and but little cost.
    Moren
    And so it is, I promise you. Who made it, I pray?
    Rowley
    I know not, i’faith. I bought it by chance.
    1140Lemot
    It is a very pretty one; make much of it.
    Enter Catalian sweating.
    Catalian
    Boy, I prithee call for a coarse napkin. [Exit Boy.] Good morrow, gentlemen. I would you had been at the tennis-court: you should have seen me abeat Monsieur Besan, and I 1145gave him fifteen and all his faults.
    Lemot
    Thou didst more for him than ever God will do for thee.
    Catalian
    Jaques, I prithee fill me a cup of canary, three parts water.
    [Exit Jaques.]
    1150Lemot
    You shall have all water, an if it please you.
    Enter [Jaquena the] Maid.
    Jaquena
    Who called for a coarse napkin?
    Catalian
    Marry I, sweetheart. Do you take the pains to bring it yourself? Have at you, by my host’s leave.
    [He kisses her.]
    1155Jaquena
    Away, sir, fie, for shame.
    Catalian
    Hark you, my host, you must marry this young wench. You do her mighty wrong else.
    Verone
    Oh, sir, you are a merry man.
    [Exit Verone and Jaquena.]
    Enter Foyes and Labesha
    1160Foyes
    Good morrow, gentlemen. You see I am as good as my word.
    Moren
    You are, sir, and I am very glad of it.
    Lemot
    You are welcome, Monsieur Foyes. [To Labesha] But you are not, no, not you.
    1165Labesha
    No? Welcome that gentleman, ’tis no matter for me.
    Lemot
    How, sir? No matter for you. By this rush, I am angry with you, as if all our loves protested unto you were dissembled. No matter for you?
    Labesha
    Nay, sweet Lemot, be not angry. I did but jest, as I am 1170a gentleman.
    Lemot
    Yea, but there’s a difference of jesting. You wrong all our affections in so doing.
    Labesha
    Faith and troth, I did not, and I hope sirs you take it not so.
    ‘No matter for me’, ’twas very unkindly said, I must needs say so.
    Labesha
    You see how they love me.
    Foyes
    I do, sir, and I am very glad of it.
    Labesha
    And I hope, Lemot, you are not angry with me still.
    1180Lemot
    No, faith, I am not so very a fool to be angry with one that cares not for me.
    Labesha
    Do not I care for you? Nay, then.
    [He weeps.]
    Catalian
    What, dost thou cry?
    Labesha
    Nay, I do not cry, but my stomach waters to think 1185that you should take it so heavily. If I do not wish that I were cut into three pieces, and that these pieces were turned into three black puddings, and that these three black puddings were turned into three of the fairest ladies in the land for your sake, I would I were hanged. What a devil can 1190you have more than my poor heart?
    Catalian
    Well, hark you, Lemot, in good faith you are to blame to put him to this unkindness. I prithee, be friends with him.
    Lemot
    Well, I am content to put up this unkindness for 1195this once. But while you live take heed of ‘no matter for me’.
    Labesha
    Why, is it such a heinous word?
    Lemot
    Oh, the heinousest word in the world.
    Labesha
    Well, I’ll never speak it more, as I am a gentleman.
    1200Lemot
    No, I pray do not.
    Foyes
    My lord, will your lordship go to cards?
    Moren
    Yea, with you, Monsieur Foyes.
    Rowley
    Lemot, will you play?
    Lemot
    Pardon, good Monsieur Rowley. If I had any 1205disposition to gaming your company should draw me beforeany man’s here.
    Foyes
    Labesha, what, will you play?
    Labesha
    Play, yea, with all my heart. I pray lend me threepence.
    1210Rowley
    I’ll play no more.
    Catalian
    Why, have you won or lost?
    Rowley
    Faith, I have lost two or three crowns.
    Catalian
    Well, to him again, I’ll be your half.
    Lemot
    Sirrah Catalian, while they are playing at cards, 1215thou and I will have some excellent sport. [Aside to Catalian] Sirrah, dost thou know that same gentleman there? [Indicating Rowley]
    Catalian
    [Aside to Lemot] No, i’faith, what is he?
    Lemot
    [Aside to Catalian] A very fine gull and a neat reveller, one that’s heir to a great living, yet his father keeps him so short, that his
    1220shirts will scant cover the bottom of his belly, for all his gay outside; but the linings be very foul and sweaty, yea, and perhaps lousy, with despising the vain shifts of the world.
    Catalian
    [Aside to Lemot] But he hath gotten good store of money now, 1225methinks.
    Lemot
    [Aside to Catalian] Yea, and I wonder of it. Some ancient serving-man of his father’s that hath gotten forty shillings in fifty years upon his great good husbandry, he swearing monstrous oaths to pay him again, and besides to do him a good 1230turn (when God shall hear his prayer for his father) hath lent it him, I warrant you. But, howsoever, we must speak him fair.
    Catalian
    [Aside to Lemot] Oh, what else!
    Lemot
    [Aloud] God save sweet Monsieur Rowley. What, lose or 1235win, lose or win?
    Rowley
    Faith, sir, save myself and lose my money.
    Lemot
    There’s a proverb hit dead in the neck like a cony. [Aside to Catalian] Why, hark thee, Catalian; I could have told thee before what he would have said.
    1240Catalian
    [Aside to Lemot] I do not think so.
    Lemot
    [Aside to Catalian] No? Thou seest here’s a fine plump of gallants, such as think their wits singular, and their selves rarely accomplished. Yet to show thee how brittle their wits be, I will 1245speak to them severally, and I will tell thee before what they shall answer me.
    Catalian
    [Aside to Lemot] That’s excellent, let’s see that, i’faith.
    Lemot
    [Aside to Catalian] Whatsoever I say to Monsieur Rowley, he shall say, ‘Oh, sir, you may see an ill weed grows apace’.
    1250Catalian.
    [Aside to Lemot] Come, let’s see.
    Lemot
    [Aloud] Now, Monsieur Rowley, methinks you are exceedingly grown since your to Paris.
    Rowley
    Oh, sir, you may see an ill weed grows apace.
    Catalian
    [Aside to Lemot] This is excellent, forward, sir, I pray.
    1255Lemot
    [Aside to Catalian] Whatsoe’er I say to Labesha, he shall answer me, ‘Black will bear no other hue’, and that same old Justice, as greedy of a stale proverb, he shall come in the neck of that and say, ‘Black is a pearl in a woman’s eye’.
    Catalian
    [Aside to Lemot] Yea, much, i’faith.
    1260Lemot
    [Aside to Catalian] Look thee, here comes hither Labesha. [Aloud] Catalian and I have been talking of thy complexion, and I say that all the fair ladies in France would have been in love with thee, but that thou art so black.
    Labesha
    Oh, sir, black will bear no other hue.
    1265Foyes
    Oh, sir, black is a pearl in a woman’s eye.
    Lemot
    You say true, sir, you say true, sir. [Aside to Catalian] Sirrah Catalian, whatsoe’er I say to Berger that is so busy at cards, he shall answer me, ‘’Sblood, I do not mean to die as long as I can see one alive’.
    1270Catalian
    [Aside to Lemot] Come, let us see you.
    Lemot
    [Aloud] Why, Berger, I thought thou hadst been dead. I have not heard thee chide all this while.
    Berger
    ’Sblood, I do not mean to die as long as I can see one alive.
    1275Catalian
    [Aside to Lemot] Why, but hark you, Lemot, I hope you cannot make this lord answer so roundly.
    Lemot
    [Aside to Catalian] Oh, as right as any of them all, and he shall answer me with an old Latin proverb, that is, usus promptos facit.
    1280Catalian
    [Aside to Lemot] Once more, let’s see.
    Lemot
    [Aloud] My lord, your lordship could not play at this game very lately, and now methinks you are grown exceeding perfect.
    Moren
    Oh, sir, you may see, usus promptos facit.
    1285Enter Jaques.
    Jaques
    Monsieur Lemot, here is a gentleman and two gentlewomen do desire to speak with you.
    Lemot
    What, are they come? Jaques, convey them into the inward parlour by the inwarde room, and there is a 1290brace of crowns for thy labour,
    but let nobody know of their being here.
    Jaques
    I warrant you, sir.
    [Exit Jaques.]
    Lemot
    See where they come. Welcome, my good lord and ladies, I’ll come to you presently. [Aside] So, now the sport begins, 1295I shall start the disguised King plaguily. Nay, I shall put the lady that loves me in a monstrous fright when her husband comes and finds her here.
    [Enter Boy.]
    [To Lemot] The gentleman and the two gentlewomen desires your company.
    1300Lemot
    I’ll come to them presently.
    The Boy speaks in Foyes’s ear.
    Foyes
    Gentlemen, I’ll go speak with one, and come to you presently.
    [Exit Foyes.]
    Lemot
    My lord, I would speak a word with your lordship, if it were not for interrupting your game.
    1305Moren
    No, I have done, Lemot.
    Lemot
    My lord, there must a couple of ladies dine with us today.
    Moren
    Ladies? God’s my life, I must be gone.
    Lemot
    Why, hark you, my lord, I knew not of 1310their coming, I protest to your lordship, and would you have me turn such fair ladies as these are away?
    Moren
    Yea, but hark you, Lemot, did not you hear me swear to my wife that I would not tarry if there 1315were any women? I wonder you would suffer any to come there.
    Lemot
    Why, you swore but by a kiss, and kisses are no holy things, you know that.
    Moren
    Why, but hark you, Lemot, indeed I would be 1320very loath to do anything, that, if my wife should know it, should displease her.
    Lemot
    Nay, then you are to obsequious. Hark you, let me entreat you, and I’ll tell you in secret, you shall have no worse company than the King’s.
    1325Moren
    Why, will the King be there?
    Lemot
    Yea, though disguised.
    Moren
    Who are the ladies?
    Lemot
    The flowers of Paris, I can tell you: fair countess Florila and the lady Martia.
    1330Enter Jaques.
    Jaques
    Monsieur Lemot, the gentleman and the two gentlewomen desire your company.
    Lemot
    I’ll come to them straight. But, Jaques, come hither, I prithee. Go to Labesha and tell him that the Countess 1335Florila and the lady Martia be here at thy master’s house, and if it come in question hereafter, deny that thou told him any such thing.
    Jaques
    What, is this all? ’Sblood, I’ll deny it and forswear it too.
    1340Lemot
    My lord, I’ll go and see the room be neat and fine, and come to you presently.
    Moren
    Yea, but, hark you, Lemot, I prithee take such order that they be not known of any women in the house.
    Lemot
    Oh, how should they? [Aside] Now to his wife go, i’faith!
    Exit.
    1345Jaques
    Hark you, Monsieur Labesha, I pray let me speak a word with you.
    Labesha
    With all my heart. I pray look to my stake, there’s threepence under the candlestick.
    Jaques
    I pray, sir, do you know the Countess Florila and 1350the Lady Martia?
    Labesha
    Do I know the Lady Martia? I knew her before she was borne. Why do you ask me?
    Jaques
    Why, they are both here at my master’s house.
    Labesha
    What, is Mistress Martia at an ordinary?
    1355Jaques
    Yea, that she is.
    Labesha
    By skies and stones, I’ll go and tell her father.
    Exit.
    1356.1[Scene 9]
    Enter Lemot and the Countess.
    Countess
    What, you are out of breath, methinks, Monsieur Lemot?
    1360Lemot
    It is no matter, madam, it is spent in your service, that bear your age with your honesty better than an hundred of these nice gallants, and indeed it is a shame for your husband, that, contrary to his oath made to you before dinner, he should be now at the ordinary with that light hussy 1365Martia, which I could not choose but come and tell you. For indeed it is a shame that your motherly care should be so slightly regarded.
    Countess
    Out on thee, strumpet, and accurst and miserable dame!
    1370Lemot
    Well, there they are. Nothing else. [Aside] Now to her husband go I.
    Exit.
    Countess
    ‘Nothing else’, quoth you. Can there be more?
    Oh, wicked man, would he play false
    That would so simply vow, and swear his faith,
    And would not let me be displeased a 1375minute,
    But he would sigh and weep till I were pleased?
    I have a knife within that’s razor-sharp,
    And I will lay an iron in the fire,
    Making it burning hot to mark the strumpet.
    But ’twill be cold too, ere I can come thither.
    Do something, wretched woman; stays thou here?
    Exit.
    1379.1[Scene 8 continues]
    1380Enter Lemot.
    Lemot
    My lord, the room is neat and fine. Will’t please you go in?
    [Enter Verone.]
    Verone
    Gentlemen, your dinner is ready.
    All [but Verone]
    And we are ready for it.
    1385Lemot
    Jaques, shut the doors. Let nobody come in.
    Exeunt omnes.
    1386.1[Scene 10]
    Enter Labervele, Foyes, Labesha, and the Countess.
    Labervele
    [Knocking at door] Where be these puritans, these murderers? Let me 1390come in here.
    Foyes
    Where is the strumpet?
    Countess
    Where is this harlot? Let us come in here.
    Labervele
    What shall we do? The streets do wonder at us,
    And we do make our shame known to the world.
    Let us go and 1395complain us to the King.
    Foyes
    Come, Labesha, will you go?
    Labesha
    No, no, I scorn to go. No king shall hear my plaint.
    I will in silence live a man forlorn,
    Mad, and melancholy as a cat
    And never more wear hat-band on my hat.
    [Exeunt.]
    1400Enter Moren and Martia.
    Moren
    What dost thou mean? Thou must not hang on me.
    Martia
    Oh, good Lord Moren, have me home with you.
    You may excuse all to my father for me.
    1405Enter Lemot.
    Lemot
    Oh, my lord, be not so rude to leave her now.
    Moren
    Alas, man, an if my wife should see it, I were undone.
    [Exeunt Moren and Martia.]
    Enter the King and another.
    Pursue them, sirs, and taking Martia from him,
    Convey her presently to Valere’s house.
    [Exeunt the King and another.]
    Enter [Florila] the Puritan to Lemot.
    Florila
    What villain was it that hath uttered this?
    Lemot
    Why, ’twas even I. I thank you for your gentle 1415terms. You give me villain at the first. I wonder where’s this old doter? What, doth he think we fear him?
    Florila
    Oh, monstrous man. What, wouldst thou have him take us?
    Lemot
    Would I, quoth you? Yea, by my troth would I. I know 1420he is but gone to call the constable or to raise the streets.
    Florila
    What means the man, trow? Is he mad?
    Lemot
    No, no, I know what I do, I do it of purpose. I long to see him come and rail at you, to call you harlot, and to spurn you too. Oh, you’ll love me a great deal the 1425better. And yet, let him come, and if he touch but one thread of you, I’ll make that thread his poison.
    Florila
    I know not what to say.
    Lemot
    Speak, do you love me?
    Florila
    Yea, surely do I.
    1430Lemot
    Why, then have not I reason that love you so dearly as I do, to make you hateful in his sight that I might more freely enjoy you.
    Florila
    Why, let us be gone, my kind Lemot, and not be wondered at in the open streets.
    1435Lemot
    I’ll go with you through fire, through death, through hell.
    Come, give me your own hand, my own dear heart,
    This hand that I adore and reverence,
    And loath to have it touch an old man’s bosom.
    Oh, let me sweetly kiss it.
    He bites.
    1440Florila
    Out on thee, wretch. He hath bit me to the bone.
    Oh, barbarous cannibal. Now I perceive
    Thou wilt make me a mocking-stock to all the world.
    Lemot
    Come, come, leave your passions, they cannot move me. My father and my mother died both in a day, 1445and I rung me a peal for them, and they were no sooner brought to the church and laid in their graves, but I fetched me two or three fine capers aloft and took my leave of them, as men do of their mistresses at the ending of a galliard. Beso las manos.
    1450Florila
    Oh, brutish nature, how accurst was I ever to endure the sound of this damned voice.
    Lemot
    Well, an you do not like my humour, I can be but sorry for it. I bit you for good will, an if you accept it, so; if no, go.
    1455Florila
    Villain, thou didst it in contempt of me.
    Lemot
    Well, an you take it so, so be it. Hark you, madam, your wisest course is even to become Puritan again. Put off this vain attire, and say, ‘I have despised all, thanks my God. Good husband, I do love thee in the Lord’, and he 1460(good man) will think all this you have done was but to show thou couldst govern the world, and hide thee as a rainbow doth a storm. My dainty wench, go go. What, shall the flattering words of a vain man make you forget your duty to your husband? Away, repent, amend your life. 1465You have discredited your religion forever.
    Florila
    Well, wretch, for this foul shame thou puttest on me, the curse of all affection light on thee.
    Exit.
    Lemot
    Go, Habbakuk, go. Why, this is excellent. I shall shortly become a schoolmaster, to whom men will put their 1470wives to practise. Well, now will I go set the Queen upon the King, and tell her where he is close with his wench. And he that mends my humour, take the spurs. Sit fast, for by heaven, I’ll jerk the horse you ride on.
    [Exit.]
    1473.1[Scene 11]
    Enter [Verone] my host, Catalian, Blanvel, Berger, Jaques, Jaquena, 1475and Boy.
    Verone
    Well, gentlemen, I am utterly undone without your good helps. It is reported that I received certain ladies or gentlewomen into my house. Now, here’s my man, my maid, and my boy. [To them] Now, if you saw any, speak boldly before 1480these gentlemen.
    Jaques
    I saw none, sir.
    Jaquena
    Nor I, by my maidenhead.
    Nor I, as I am a man.
    Catalian
    Well, my host, we’ll go answer for your house at 1485this time, but if at other times you have had wenches, and would not let us know it, we are the less beholding to you.
    Exeunt all but [Verone] my host and the gentlemen [Berger and Catalian].
    Berger
    Peradventure the more beholding to him, but I lay my life Lemot hath devised some jest. He gave 1490us the slip before dinner.
    Catalian
    Well, gentlemen, since we are so fitly met, I’ll tell you an excellent subject for a fit of mirth, an if it be well handled.
    Berger
    Why, what is it?
    1495Catalian
    Why man, Labesha is grown marvellous malcontent upon some amorous disposition of his mistress, and you know he loves a mess of cream and a spice-cake with his heart, and I am sure he hath not dined today, and he hath taken on him the humour of the young Lord Dowsecer, and 1500we will set a mess of cream, a spice-cake, and a spoon, as the armour, picture, and apparel was set in the way of Dowsecer, which I doubt not but will work a rare cure upon his melancholy.
    Verone
    Why, this is excellent. I’ll go fetch the cream.
    1505Catalian
    And I the cake.
    Berger
    And I the spoon.
    Exeunt, and come in again [and put props down].
    Catalian
    See where he comes, as like the Lord Dowsecer as may be. Now you shall hear him begin with some Latin 1510sentence that he hath remembered ever since he read his accidence.
    Enter Labesha.
    Labesha
    Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum. Oh, silly state of things, for things they be that cause this silly state. And 1515what is a thing? A bauble, a toy, that stands men in small stead.
    He spies the cream.
    But what have we here? What vanities have we here?
    Verone
    [Aside to all but Labesha] He is strongly tempted, the Lord strengthen him. See what a vein he hath.
    Labesha
    Oh, cruel fortune, and dost thou spit thy spite at my 1520poor life? But oh, sour cream, what thinkest thou that I love thee still? No, no, fair and sweet is my mistress. If thou hadst strawberries and sugar in thee — but it may be thou art set with stale cake to choke me. Well, taste it, and try it, [He starts to eat.] spoonful by spoonful: bitterer and bitterer still. But oh, 1525sour cream, wert thou an onion. Since Fortune set thee for me, I will eat thee, and I will devour thee in spite of Fortune’s spite.
    Choke I, or burst I, mistress, for thy sake,
    To end my life eat I this cream and cake.
    1530Catalian
    [Aside to all but Labesha] So he hath done. His melancholy is well eased, I warrant you.
    Verone
    [Advancing] God’s my life, gentlemen, who hath been at this cream?
    Labesha
    Cream, had you cream? Where is your cream? 1535I’ll spend my penny at your cream.
    Catalian
    Why, did not you eat this cream?
    Labesha
    Talk not to me of cream, for such vain meat
    I do despise as food. My stomach dies
    Drowned in the cream bowls of my mistress’ eyes.
    [He starts to leave.]
    1540Catalian
    Nay, stay, Labesha.
    Labesha
    No, not I, not I.
    [Exit.]
    Verone
    Oh, he is ashamed, i’faith. But I will tell thee how thou shalt make him mad indeed: say his mistress for love of him hath drowned herself.
    1545Catalian
    ’Sblood, that will make him hang himself.
    Exeunt omnes.
    1546.1[Scene 12]
    Enter the Queen, Lemot, and all the rest of the lords [Foyes and Labervele], and the Countess; Lemot’s [right] arm in a scarf.
    1550Lemot
    [Aside] Have at them, i’faith, with a lame counterfeit humour.
    [Aloud] Ache on, rude arm, I care not for thy pain,
    I got it nobly in the King’s defence,
    And in the guardiance of my fair Queen’s right.
    Queen
    Oh, tell me, sweet Lemot, how fares the King?
    Or what 1555my right was that thou didst defend?
    Lemot
    That you shall know when other things are told.
    Labervele
    Keep not the Queen too long without her longing.
    Foyes
    No, for I tell you it is a dangerous thing.
    1560Countess
    Little care cruel men how women long.
    Lemot
    What, would you have me then put poison in my breath,
    And burn the ears of my attentive Queen.
    Queen
    Tell me whate’er it be, I’ll bear it all.
    Lemot
    Bear with my rudeness, then, in telling it,
    For, alas, 1565you see I can but act it with the left hand.
    This is my gesture now.
    Queen
    ’Tis well enough.
    Lemot
    Yea, well enough, you say
    This recompense have I for all my wounds.
    Then thus:
    The King, enamoured1570 of another lady,
    Compares your face to hers, and says that yours
    Is fat and flat, and that your nether lip
    Was passing big.
    Queen
    Oh, wicked man.
    Doth he so suddenly condemn my beauty,
    That, when he married me, he thought divine?
    1575Forever blasted be that strumpet’s face,
    As all my hopes are blasted, that did change them.
    Lemot
    Nay, madam, though he said your face was fat,
    And flat, and so forth, yet he liked it best,
    And said a perfect beauty should be so.
    1580Labervele
    Oh, did he so? Why, that was right even as it should be.
    Foyes
    You see now, madam, how much too hasty you were in your griefs.
    Queen
    If he did so esteem of me indeed, happy am I.
    Countess
    So may your highness be that hath so good a 1585husband, but hell hath no plague to such an one as I.
    Lemot
    Indeed, madam, you have a bad husband. Truly, then did the King
    Grow mightily in love with the other lady,
    And swore no king could more enrichèd be,
    Than to enjoy so fair a dame as she.
    1590Queen
    O, monstrous man, and accurst, most miserable dame!
    Lemot
    ‘But’, says the King, ‘I do enjoy as fair,
    And though I love her in all honoured sort,
    Yet I'll not wrong my wife for all the world’.
    Foyes
    This proves his constancy as firm as brass.
    Queen
    It doth, it doth. Oh, pardon me, my lord,
    That I 1595mistake thy royal meaning so.
    Countess
    In heaven your highness lives, but I in hell.
    Lemot
    But when he viewed her radiant eyes again,
    Blind was he strucken with her fervent beams.
    And now, good King, he gropes about in corners,
    Void of the cheerful 1600light should guide us all.
    Queen
    Oh, dismal news! What, is my sovereign blind?
    Lemot
    Blind as a beetle, madam, that, a while
    Hovering aloft, at last in cow-shards fall.
    Labervele
    Could her eyes blind him?
    1605Lemot
    Eyes, or what it was, I know not,
    But blind I am sure he is as any stone.
    Queen
    Come, bring me to my prince, my lord, that I may lead him. None alive but I may have the honour to direct his feet.
    1610Lemot
    How lead him, madam? Why, he can go as right as you, or any here, and is not blind of eyesight.
    Queen
    Of what then?
    Lemot
    Of reason.
    Queen
    Why, thou saidst he wanted his cheerful light.
    1615Lemot
    Of reason still I meant, whose light you know
    Should cheerfully guide a worthy king;
    For he doth love her, and hath forcèd her
    Into a private room where now they are.
    Queen
    What mocking changes is there in thy words,
    1620Fond man. Thou murderest me with these exclaims.
    Lemot
    Why, madam, ’tis your fault. You cut me off before my words be half done.
    Queen
    Forth, and unlade the poison of thy tongue.
    Lemot
    Another lord did love this curious lady,
    Who 1625hearing that the King had forcèd her
    As she was walking with another earl,
    Ran straightways mad for her, and with a friend
    Of his, and two or three black ruffians more,
    Broke desperately upon the person of the King,
    Swearing to take from him, in traitorous fashion,
    The instrument of procreation1630
    With them I fought a while and got this wound,
    But being unable to resist so many,
    Came straight to you to fetch you to his aid.
    Labervele
    Why raised you not the streetes?
    Lemot
    That I forbore,
    Because I would not have the 1635world to see
    What a disgrace my liege was subject to,
    Being with a woman in so mean a house.
    Foyes
    Whose daughter was it that he forced, I pray?
    Lemot
    Your daughter, sir.
    Labervele
    Whose son was it that ran so mad for her?
    1640Lemot
    Your son, my lord.
    Labervele
    O gods and fiends forbid!
    Countess
    I pray, sir, from whom did he take the lady?
    Lemot
    From your good lord.
    Countess
    O Lord, I beseech thee, no!
    1645Lemot
    ’Tis all too true. Come, follow the Queen and I where I shall lead you.
    Queen
    Oh, wretched Queen, what would they take from him?
    Lemot
    The instrument of procreation.
    [Exeunt omnes.]
    1649.1[Scene 13]
    1650Enter Moren.
    Moren
    Now was there ever man so much accurst that, when his mind misgave him, such a man was hapless to keep him company? Yet who would keep him company but I? O vile Lemot, my wife and I are bound to curse thee 1655while we live, but chiefly I. Well, seek her or seek her not; find her, or find her not, I were as good see how hell opens as look upon her.
    Enter Catalian and Berger behind him.
    Catalian
    [Aside to Berger] We have him, i’faith. Stop thou him there, and I will meet 1660him here.
    Moren
    Well, I will venture once to seek her.
    Berger
    God’s lord, my lord! Come you this way? Why, your wife runs ranging like as if she were mad, swearing to slit your nose if she can catch you.
    Exit.
    1665Moren
    What shall I do at the sight of her and hern?
    Catalian
    God’s precious, my lord! Come you this way? Your wife comes ranging with a troop of dames, like Bacchus’ drunken frows, just as you go. Shift for yourself, my lord.
    Moren
    Stay, good Catalian.
    1670Catalian
    No, not I, my lord.
    Exit.
    Enter Jaques.
    Moren
    How now, Jaques, what’s the news?
    Jaques
    None but good, my lord.
    Moren
    Why, hast not seen my wife run round about the 1675streets?
    Jaques
    Not I, my lord. I come to you from my master, who would pray you to speak to Lemot, that Lemot might speak to the King, that my master’s lottery for his jewels may go forward. He hath made the rarest device that ever 1680you heard. We have Fortune in it, and she our maid plays, and I and my fellow carry two torches, and our boy goes before and speaks a speech. ’Tis very fine, i’faith, sir.
    Moren
    Sirrah, in this thou mayst highly pleasure me. Let me have thy place to bear a torch, that I may look on my wife, 1685an she not see me. For if I come into her sight abruptly, I were better be hanged.
    Jaques
    Oh, sir, you shall, or anything that I can do. I’ll send for your wife too.
    Moren
    I prithee do.
    Exeunt both.
    1689.1[Scene 14]
    1690Enter the Queen, and all that were in before [Lemot, with arm in sling, Foyes, Labervele and the Countess].
    Lemot
    This is the house
    Where the mad lord did vow to do the deed.
    Draw all your swords, courageous gentlemen.
    I’ll bring you there where you shall honour win.
    But I can tell you, you must break your shin.
    1695Countess
    Who will not break his neck to save his king?
    Set forward, Lemot.
    Lemot
    Yea, much good can I do with a wounded arm.
    I’ll go and call more help.
    Queen
    Others shall go, nay, we will raise the streets.
    Better 1700dishonour than destroy the King.
    Lemot
    [Aside] ’Sblood, I know not how to excuse my villainy. I would fain be gone.
    Enter Dowsecer and his friend [Lavel].
    Dowsecer
    I’ll geld the adulterous goat, and take from him
    1705The instrument that plays him such sweet music.
    Lemot
    [Aside] Oh, rare! This makes my fiction true. Now I’ll stay.
    Queen
    Arrest these faithless traitorous gentlemen.
    Dowsecer
    What is the reason that you call us traitors?
    Labervele
    Nay, why do you attempt such violence against 1710the person of the King?
    Dowsecer
    Against the King? Why this is strange to me.
    Enter the King and Martia.
    How now, my masters? What? Weapons drawn!
    Come you to murder me?
    1715Queen
    How fares my lord?
    How fare I? Well. [To Lemot] But you, i’faith, shall get me speak for you another time. [To company] He got me here to woo a curious
    lady, and she tempts him. Say what I can, offer what state I will in your behalf, Lemot, she will not yield.
    1720Lemot
    I’faith, my liege, what a hard heart hath she. [Aside to the King] Well, hark you, I am content your wit shall save your honesty for this once.
    [Aside] Peace, a plague on you, peace. [To the Queen] But wherefore asked you how I did?
    1725Queen
    Because I feared that you were hurt, my lord.
    Hurt, how, I pray?
    Lemot
    Why, hurt, madam? I am well again.
    Queen
    Do you ask? Why, he told me Dowsecer and this 1730his friend, threatened to take away —
    To take away? What should they take away?
    Lemot
    Name it, madam.
    Queen
    Nay, I pray, name it you.
    Lemot
    Why then, thus it was, my liege. I told her 1735Dowsecer, and this his friend, threatened to take away, an if they could, the instrument of procreation. And what was that now but Martia? Being a fair woman, is not she the instrument of procreation, as all women are?
    1740Queen
    O wicked man!
    Lemot
    Go to, go to, you are one of those fiddles too, i’faith.
    Well, pardon my minion that hath frayed you thus.
    ’Twas but to make you merry in the end.
    Queen
    I joy it ends so well, my gracious lord.
    1745Foyes
    But say, my gracious lord, is no harm done
    Between my loving daughter and your grace?
    No, of my honour and my soul, Foyes.
    Dowsecer
    The fire of love which she hath kindled in me
    Being greater than my heat of vanity,
    Hath quite expelled —
    Come, Dowsecer, receive with your lost wits your love, thought lost. I know you’ll yield, my lord, and you, her father.
    Both [Dowsecer and Foyes]
    Most joyfully, my lord.
    And for her part I know her disposition well enough.
    1755Lemot
    What, will you have her?
    Dowsecer
    Yea, marry will I.
    Lemot
    I’ll go and tell Labesha presently.
    Enter Jaques and [Verone] my Host.
    Jaques
    [Aside to Lemot] Monsieur Lemot, I pray let me speak with you. I 1760come to you from the Lord Moren, who would desire you to speak to the King for my master’s lottery, and he hath my place to bear a torch, for bare-faced he dares not look upon his wife, for his life.
    Lemot
    [Aside to Jaques] Oh, excellent. I’ll further thy master’s lottery an it be 1765but for this jest only. [Aloud to King] Hark you, my liege, here’s the poor man hath been at great charges for the preparation of a lottery, and he hath made the rarest device that I know you will take great pleasure in it. I pray let him present it before you at Verone’s house.
    With all my heart. Can you be ready so soon?
    Verone
    Presently, an if it like your grace.
    [Exit with Jaques.]
    But hark you, Lemot, how shall we do for every man’s posy?
    Lemot
    Will you all trust me with the making of them?
    With all our hearts.
    Lemot
    Why, then, I’ll go to make the posies and bring Labesha to the lottery presently.
    [Exit.]
    Enter Florila like a Puritan.
    Florila
    Surely the world is full of vanity.
    A woman must take 1780heed she do not hear
    A lewd man speak, for every woman cannot
    When she is tempted, when the wicked fiend
    Gets her into his snares, escape like me.
    For grace’s measure is not so filled up,
    Nor so pressed down in everyone as me.
    But yet I promise you a little more.
    Well, I’ll go seek my head, who 1785shall take me in
    The gates of his kind arms, untouched of any.
    What, madam, are you so pure now?
    Florila
    Yea, would not you be pure?
    King
    No, Puritan.
    Florila
    You must be then a devil, I can tell you.
    1790Labervele
    Oh, wife, where hast thou been?
    Florila
    Where did I tell you I would be, I pray.
    Labervele
    In thy close walk, thou saidst.
    Florila
    And was I not?
    Labervele
    Truly, I know not. I neither looked nor knocked, 1795for Labesha told me that you and fair Martia were at Verone’s ordinary.
    Labesha? My lord, you are a wise man to believe a fool.
    Florila
    Well, my good head, for my part I forgive you.
    But surely you do much offend to be
    Suspicious: where there is 1800no trust, there is no love,
    And where there is no love ’twixt man and wife,
    There’s no good dealing surely. For as men
    Should ever love their wives, so should they ever trust them.
    For what love is there where there is no trust?
    She tells you true, my lord.
    1805Labervele
    She doth, my liege. And, dear wife, pardon this,
    And I will never be suspicious more.
    Florila
    Why, I say I do.
    Enter [Catalian and] Lemot leading Labesha in a halter.
    Lemot
    Look you, my liege, I have done simple service 1810amongst you. Here is one had hanged himself for love, thinking his mistress had done so for him. Well, see, your mistress lives.
    Labesha
    And doth my mistress live?
    She doth, O noble knight, but not your 1815mistress now.
    Labesha
    ’Sblood, but she shall for me, or for nobody else.
    [Drawing his sword]
    Lemot
    How now. What, a traitor! Draw upon the King!
    Labesha
    Yea, or upon any woman here in a good cause.
    Well, sweet Besha, let her marry Dowsecer. I’ll get 1820thee a wife worth fifteen of her. Wilt thou have one that cares not for thee?
    Labesha
    Not I, by the Lord, I scorn her. I’ll have her better if I can get her.
    Why, that’s well said.
    1825Lemot
    [Aside to Florila] What, madam, are you turned Puritan again?
    Florila
    [Aside to Lemot] When was I other, pray?
    Lemot
    [Aside to Florila] Marry, I’ll tell you when: when you went to the ordinary, and when you made false signs to your husband, which I could tell him all.
    1830Florila
    [Aside to Lemot] Cursed be he that maketh debate ’twixt man and wife.
    [Aside to Florila] O rare scripturian! You have sealed up my lips. [Aloud] A hall, a hall! The pageant of the buttery.
    Enter two with torches, the one of them Moren, then [Verone] my host and his son [Boy], then his Maid [Jaquena] dressed like Queen 1835Fortune, with two pots in her hands.
    What is he?
    This is Verone’s son, my liege.
    What shall he do?
    Catalian
    Speak some speech that his father hath made for him.
    Why, is he good at speeches?
    Catalian
    Oh, he is rare at speeches.
    Fair ladies most tender,
    And nobles most slender,
    And gentles whose wits be scarce —
    My host, why do you call us ‘nobles most slender’?
    1845Verone
    An it shall please your Grace, to be slender is to be proper, and therefore where my boy says ‘nobles most slender’, it is as much to say, fine and proper nobles.
    Yea, but why do you call us ‘gentles whose wits are scarce’?
    1850Verone
    To be scarce is to be rare, and therefore, whereas he says ‘gentles whose wits be scarce’, is as much as to say, gentles whose wits be rare.
    Well, forwards, truchman.
    Fair ladies most tender,
    And nobles most slender,
    1855And gentles whose wits be scarce;
    Queen Fortune doth come
    With her trump and her drum,
    As it may appear by my verse.
    Labesha
    [To Verone] Come hither. Are you a schoolmaster? Where was Fortune queen, of what country or kingdom?
    1860Verone
    Why, sir, Fortune was Queen over all the world.
    Labesha
    That’s a lie: there’s none that ever conquered all the world, but master Alexander. I am sure of that.
    O rare Monsieur Labesha! Who would have thought he could have found so rare a fault in the speech.
    1865Verone
    I’ll alter it, if it please your grace.
    No, ’tis very well.
    Father, I must begin again. They interrupt me so.
    Verone
    I beseech your grace, give the boy leave to begin again.
    With all my heart. ’Tis so good we cannot hear 1870it too oft.
    Fair ladies most tender,
    And nobles most slender,
    And gentles whose wits are scarce;
    Queen Fortune doth come
    With her fife and her drum,
    As it doth appear by my voice.
    Here is Fortune good,
    But ill by the rood,
    And this 1875naught but good shall do you, sir;
    Dealing the lots
    Out of our pots,
    And so good Fortune to you, sir.
    Look you, my liege, how he that carries the torch trembles extremely.
    I warrant ’tis with care to carry his torch well.
    Nay, there is something else in the wind. Why, my host, what means thy man Jaques to tremble so?
    Verone
    Hold still, thou knave. What, art thou afraid to look upon the goodly presence of a king? Hold up, for shame.
    [Aside] Alas, poor man, he thinks ’tis Jaques his man. Poor 1885lord, how much is he bound to suffer for his wife?
    Hark you, mine host, what goodly person is that? Is it Fortune herself?
    Verone
    I’ll tell your majesty in secret who it is: it is my maid, Jaquena.
    I promise you she becomes her state rarely.
    Well, my liege, you were all content that I should make your posies. Well, here they be, every one. Give Master Verone his five crowns.
    There’s mine and the Queen’s.
    1895Labervele
    There’s ours.
    Dowsecer
    And there is mine and Martia’s.
    Come, Labesha, thy money.
    Labesha
    You must lend me some, for my boy is run away with my purse.
    Thy boy? I never knew any that thou hadst.
    Labesha
    Had not I a boy three or four years ago, and he ran away?
    And never since he went thou hadst not a penny? But stand by, I’ll excuse you. But, sirrah Catalian, thou shalt 1905stand on one side and read the prizes, and I will stand on the other and read the posies.
    Catalian
    Content, Lemot.
    Come on, Queen Fortune, tell every man his posy. This is orderly, the King and Queen are first.
    Come, let us see what goodly posies you have given us.
    This is your majesty’s: ‘At the fairest, so it be not Martia’.
    A plague upon you, you are still playing the 1915villain’s with me.
    This is the Queen’s: ‘Obey the Queen’, an she speaks it to her husband, or to Fortune, which she will.
    Catalian
    A prize. Your majesty’s is the sum of four shillings in gold.
    Why, how can that be? There is no such coin.
    Verone
    [Offering gold] Here is the worth of it, if it please your Grace.
    Well, what’s for me?
    Catalian
    A heart of gold.
    A goodly jewel.
    Count Labervele and Florila.
    Labervele
    What’s my posy, sir, I pray?
    Marry, this, my Lord:
    Of all Fortune’s friends that hath joy in this life,
    He is most happy that puts a sure trust in his wife.
    1930Labervele
    A very good one, sir. I thank you for it.
    Florila
    What’s mine I pray?
    Marry this, madam:
    Good Fortune, be thou my good fortune-bringer,
    And make me amends for my poor bitten finger.
    1935Labervele
    Who bit your finger, wife?
    Florila
    Nobody, ’tis vain posy.
    Catalian
    Blank for my Lord Labervele; for his wife a posy, a pair of holy beads with a crucifix.
    Florila
    O bomination idol! I’ll none of them.
    Keep them thyself, Verone, she will not have them.
    Dowsecer and Martia. I have fitted your lordship for a posy.
    Dowsecer
    Why, what is it?
    Ante omnia una.
    1945Martia
    And what is mine, sir?
    A serious one, I warrant you: ‘Change for the better’.
    Martia
    That’s not amiss.
    Catalian
    A prize! Dowsecer hath a caduceus, or Mercury’s rod of gold, set with jacinths and emeralds.
    1950Dowsecer
    What is for Martia?
    Catalian
    Martia hath the two serpents’ heads set with diamonds.
    What my host Verone?
    What, is he in for his own jewels?
    Oh, what else, my liege. ’Tis our bounty, and his posy is:
    To tell you the truth in words plain and mild,
    Verone loves his maid, and she is great with child.
    What, Queen Fortune with child! Shall we have young fortunes, my host?
    1960Verone
    I am abused, an if it please your majesty.
    Jaquena
    I’ll play no more.
    No, faith, you need not now, you have played your bellyful already.
    Verone
    Stand still, good Jaquena, they do but jest.
    1965Jaquena Yea, but I like no such jesting.
    [Enter Jaques.]
    Come, great Queen Fortune, let see your posies. [To the Countess] What, madam, alas, your ladyship is one of the last.
    Countess
    What is my posy, sir, I pray?
    Marry, madam, your posy is made in manner and 1970form of an echo, as if you were seeking your husband, and Fortune should be the echo, and this you say: ‘Where is my husband hid so long unmasked?’ ‘Masked’, says the echo. ‘But in what place, sweet Fortune? Let me hear’. ‘Here’, says the echo.
    There you lie, echo, for if he were here we must needs see him.
    Indeed, sweet King, there methinks the echo must needs lie. If he were here, we must needs see him. ’Tis one of them that carries the torches. No, that cannot be 1980neither, and yet, by the mass, here’s Jaques. Why, my host, did not you tell me that Jaques should be a torchbearer? Who is this? [Revealing Moren] God’s my life, my lord!
    [Trying to leave] An you be gentlemen, let me go.
    Countess
    Nay, come your way, you may be well enough 1985ashamed to show your face that is a perjured wretch. Did not you swear, if there were any wenches at the ordinary, you would straight come home?
    Why, who told you, madam, there were any there?
    1990Countess
    He that will stand to it: Lemot, my liege.
    Who? I stand to it? Alas, I told you in kindness and good will, because I would not have you company long from your husband.
    Why, lo you, bird, how much you are deceived.
    1995Countess
    Why, wherefore were you afraid to be seen?
    Who? I afraid? Alas, I bore a torch to grace this honourable presence. For nothing else, sweet bird.
    Thanks, good Moren. See, lady, with what wrong
    You have pursued your most enamoured lord.
    But come, now 2000all are friends, now is this day
    Spent with unhurtful motives of delight,
    And overjoys more my senses at the night.
    And now for Dowsecer: if all will follow my device,
    His beauteous love and he shall married be,
    And here I solemnly invite you all
    Home to my court, where with feasts we will crown
    2005This mirthful day, and vow it to renown.
    [Exeunt.]