Digital Renaissance Editions

Become a FriendSign in

About this text

  • 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)

    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.]