Digital Renaissance Editions

Author: George Chapman
Editor: Eleanor Lowe
Peer Reviewed

An Humorous Day's Mirth (Modern)

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.