Digital Renaissance Editions

About this text

  • Title: An Humorous Day's Mirth (Modern)
  • Editor: Eleanor Lowe
  • Coordinating editor: Brett Greatley-Hirsch
  • General textual editor: Helen Ostovich
  • 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)

    1473.1[Scene 11]
    Enter [Verone] my host, Catalian, Blanvel, Berger, Jaques, Jaquena, 1475and Boy.
    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始s my man, my maid, and my boy. [To them] Now, if you saw any, speak boldly before 1480these gentlemen.
    I saw none, sir.
    Nor I, by my maidenhead.
    Nor I, as I am a man.
    Well, my host, we始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].
    Peradventure the more beholding to him, but I lay my life Lemot hath devised some jest. He gave 1490us the slip before dinner.
    Well, gentlemen, since we are so fitly met, I始ll tell you an excellent subject for a fit of mirth, an if it be well handled.
    Why, what is it?
    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.
    Why, this is excellent. I始ll go fetch the cream.
    And I the cake.
    And I the spoon.
    Exeunt, and come in again [and put props down].
    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.
    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?
    [Aside to all but Labesha] He is strongly tempted, the Lord strengthen him. See what a vein he hath.
    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始s spite.
    Choke I, or burst I, mistress, for thy sake,
    To end my life eat I this cream and cake.
    [Aside to all but Labesha] So he hath done. His melancholy is well eased, I warrant you.
    [Advancing] God始s my life, gentlemen, who hath been at this cream?
    Cream, had you cream? Where is your cream? 1535I始ll spend my penny at your cream.
    Why, did not you eat this cream?
    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始 eyes.
    [He starts to leave.]
    Nay, stay, Labesha.
    No, not I, not I.
    Oh, he is ashamed, i始faith. But I will tell thee how thou shalt make him mad indeed: say his mistress for love of him hath drowned herself.
    始Sblood, that will make him hang himself.
    Exeunt omnes.