Digital Renaissance Editions

Author: George Chapman
Editor: Eleanor Lowe
Peer Reviewed

An Humorous Day's Mirth (Modern)

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.