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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)

    1689.1[Scene 14]
    1690Enter the Queen, and all that were in before [Lemot, with arm in sling, Foyes, Labervele and the Countess].
    This is the house
    Where the mad lord did vow to do the deed.
    Draw all your swords, courageous gentlemen.
    I始ll bring you there where you shall honour win.
    But I can tell you, you must break your shin.
    Who will not break his neck to save his king?
    Set forward, Lemot.
    Yea, much good can I do with a wounded arm.
    I始ll go and call more help.
    Others shall go, nay, we will raise the streets.
    Better 1700dishonour than destroy the King.
    [Aside] 始Sblood, I know not how to excuse my villainy. I would fain be gone.
    Enter Dowsecer and his friend [Lavel].
    I始ll geld the adulterous goat, and take from him
    1705The instrument that plays him such sweet music.
    [Aside] Oh, rare! This makes my fiction true. Now I始ll stay.
    Arrest these faithless traitorous gentlemen.
    What is the reason that you call us traitors?
    Nay, why do you attempt such violence against 1710the person of the King?
    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?
    How fares my lord?
    How fare I? Well. [To Lemot] But you, i始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.
    I始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?
    Because I feared that you were hurt, my lord.
    Hurt, how, I pray?
    Why, hurt, madam? I am well again.
    Do you ask? Why, he told me Dowsecer and this 1730his friend, threatened to take away —
    To take away? What should they take away?
    Name it, madam.
    Nay, I pray, name it you.
    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?
    O wicked man!
    Go to, go to, you are one of those fiddles too, i始faith.
    Well, pardon my minion that hath frayed you thus.
    始Twas but to make you merry in the end.
    I joy it ends so well, my gracious lord.
    But say, my gracious lord, is no harm done
    Between my loving daughter and your grace?
    No, of my honour and my soul, Foyes.
    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始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.
    What, will you have her?
    Yea, marry will I.
    I始ll go and tell Labesha presently.
    Enter Jaques and [Verone] my Host.
    [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始s lottery, and he hath my place to bear a torch, for bare-faced he dares not look upon his wife, for his life.
    [Aside to Jaques] Oh, excellent. I始ll further thy master始s lottery an it be 1765but for this jest only. [Aloud to King] Hark you, my liege, here始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始s house.
    With all my heart. Can you be ready so soon?
    Presently, an if it like your grace.
    [Exit with Jaques.]
    But hark you, Lemot, how shall we do for every man始s posy?
    Will you all trust me with the making of them?
    With all our hearts.
    Why, then, I始ll go to make the posies and bring Labesha to the lottery presently.
    Enter Florila like a Puritan.
    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始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始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?
    Yea, would not you be pure?
    No, Puritan.
    You must be then a devil, I can tell you.
    Oh, wife, where hast thou been?
    Where did I tell you I would be, I pray.
    In thy close walk, thou saidst.
    And was I not?
    Truly, I know not. I neither looked nor knocked, 1795for Labesha told me that you and fair Martia were at Verone始s ordinary.
    Labesha? My lord, you are a wise man to believe a fool.
    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 始twixt man and wife,
    There始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.
    She doth, my liege. And, dear wife, pardon this,
    And I will never be suspicious more.
    Why, I say I do.
    Enter [Catalian and] Lemot leading Labesha in a halter.
    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.
    And doth my mistress live?
    She doth, O noble knight, but not your 1815mistress now.
    始Sblood, but she shall for me, or for nobody else.
    [Drawing his sword]
    How now. What, a traitor! Draw upon the King!
    Yea, or upon any woman here in a good cause.
    Well, sweet Besha, let her marry Dowsecer. I始ll get 1820thee a wife worth fifteen of her. Wilt thou have one that cares not for thee?
    Not I, by the Lord, I scorn her. I始ll have her better if I can get her.
    Why, that始s well said.
    [Aside to Florila] What, madam, are you turned Puritan again?
    [Aside to Lemot] When was I other, pray?
    [Aside to Florila] Marry, I始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.
    [Aside to Lemot] Cursed be he that maketh debate 始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始s son, my liege.
    What shall he do?
    Speak some speech that his father hath made for him.
    Why, is he good at speeches?
    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始?
    An it shall please your Grace, to be slender is to be proper, and therefore where my boy says ‘nobles most slender始, it is as much to say, fine and proper nobles.
    Yea, but why do you call us ‘gentles whose wits are scarce始?
    To be scarce is to be rare, and therefore, whereas he says ‘gentles whose wits be scarce始, 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.
    [To Verone] Come hither. Are you a schoolmaster? Where was Fortune queen, of what country or kingdom?
    Why, sir, Fortune was Queen over all the world.
    That始s a lie: there始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.
    I始ll alter it, if it please your grace.
    No, 始tis very well.
    Father, I must begin again. They interrupt me so.
    I beseech your grace, give the boy leave to begin again.
    With all my heart. 始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 始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?
    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 始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?
    I始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始s mine and the Queen始s.
    There始s ours.
    And there is mine and Martia始s.
    Come, Labesha, thy money.
    You must lend me some, for my boy is run away with my purse.
    Thy boy? I never knew any that thou hadst.
    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始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.
    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始s: ‘At the fairest, so it be not Martia始.
    A plague upon you, you are still playing the 1915villain始s with me.
    This is the Queen始s: ‘Obey the Queen始, an she speaks it to her husband, or to Fortune, which she will.
    A prize. Your majesty始s is the sum of four shillings in gold.
    Why, how can that be? There is no such coin.
    [Offering gold] Here is the worth of it, if it please your Grace.
    Well, what始s for me?
    A heart of gold.
    A goodly jewel.
    Count Labervele and Florila.
    What始s my posy, sir, I pray?
    Marry, this, my Lord:
    Of all Fortune始s friends that hath joy in this life,
    He is most happy that puts a sure trust in his wife.
    A very good one, sir. I thank you for it.
    What始s mine I pray?
    Marry this, madam:
    Good Fortune, be thou my good fortune-bringer,
    And make me amends for my poor bitten finger.
    Who bit your finger, wife?
    Nobody, 始tis vain posy.
    Blank for my Lord Labervele; for his wife a posy, a pair of holy beads with a crucifix.
    O bomination idol! I始ll none of them.
    Keep them thyself, Verone, she will not have them.
    Dowsecer and Martia. I have fitted your lordship for a posy.
    Why, what is it?
    Ante omnia una.
    And what is mine, sir?
    A serious one, I warrant you: ‘Change for the better始.
    That始s not amiss.
    A prize! Dowsecer hath a caduceus, or Mercury始s rod of gold, set with jacinths and emeralds.
    What is for Martia?
    Martia hath the two serpents始 heads set with diamonds.
    What my host Verone?
    What, is he in for his own jewels?
    Oh, what else, my liege. 始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?
    I am abused, an if it please your majesty.
    I始ll play no more.
    No, faith, you need not now, you have played your bellyful already.
    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.
    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?始 ‘Masked始, says the echo. ‘But in what place, sweet Fortune? Let me hear始. ‘Here始, 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. 始Tis one of them that carries the torches. No, that cannot be 1980neither, and yet, by the mass, here始s Jaques. Why, my host, did not you tell me that Jaques should be a torchbearer? Who is this? [Revealing Moren] God始s my life, my lord!
    [Trying to leave] An you be gentlemen, let me go.
    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?
    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.
    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.