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)

    639.1[Scene 6]
    640Enter [Florila] the Puritan in her best attire.
    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,
    始Tis not to work, 645for that befits me not.
    始Tis on some pleasure, whose chief object is
    One man始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始, 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始, or ‘this I will not始.
    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始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?始
    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始.
    Before God a comfortable saying.
    Thanks, gentle Reason, I始ll trouble you no more.
    [Aloud] God save, sweet wife. Look up, thy tempter comes.
    Let him, my lord. I hope I am more blessed
    Than to 670relent in thought of lewd suggestion.
    But if by frailty you should yield in thought,
    What will you do?
    Then shall you keep me close,
    And never let me see man but your self.
    If not, then boldly may I go abroad.
    But how shall I know whether you yield or no?
    Hear us yourself, my lord.
    Tut, that were gross,
    For no woman will yield in her husband始s hearing.
    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.
    Why, this doth satisfy me mightily.
    [Enter Lemot.]
    See, he is come.
    Honour to my good lord and his fair young lady.
    Now, Monsieur Satan, you are come to 690tempt
    And prove at full the spirit of my wife.
    I am, my lord, but vainly, I suppose.
    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.
    My lord, I see it, and the sight thereof
    Doth half dismay me to make further proof.
    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.
    Well, sir, though half discouraged in my coming,
    Yet I始ll go forward. Lady, by your leave.
    [He crosses to Florila.]
    Now, sir, your cunning in a lady始s proof.
    Madam, in proving you I find no proof
    Against your piercing glancings,
    But swear I am shot thorough with your love.
    I do believe you. Who will swear he loves
    To get the thing he loves not? If he love,
    What needs more perfect 710trial?
    Most true rare lady.
    Then are we fitly met. I love you too.
    Exceeding excellent.
    Nay, I know you will applaud me in this 715course.
    But to let common circumstances pass,
    Let us be familiar.
    Dear life, you ravish my conceit with joy.
    [Aside] I long to see the signs that she will make.
    I told my husband I would make these signs:
    If I 720resisted, first, hold up my finger,
    As if I said, ‘i始faith, sir, you are gone始,
    But it shall say, ‘i始faith, sir, we are one始.
    [Aside] Now she triumphs and points to heaven, I warrant you.
    Then must I seem as if I would hear no more
    725And stop your vain lips.
    Go, cruel lips, you have bewitched me, go.
    [Aside] Now she stops in
    His scornèd words and rates him for his pains.
    And when I thrust you thus against the breast,
    Then 730are you overthrown both horse and foot.
    [Aside] Now is he overthrown both horse and foot.
    [Aloud] Away, vain man, have I not answered you?
    Madam, I yield and swear I never saw
    So constant nor so virtuous a lady.
    [To Lemot] Now, speak, I pray, and speak but truly,
    Have you not got a wrong sow by the ear?
    My lord, my labour is not altogether lost,
    For now I find that which I never thought.
    Ah, sirrah, is the edge of your steel wit
    Rebated then 740against her adamant?
    It is, my lord. Yet one word more, fair lady.
    [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?
    Lend him my handkerchief to wipe his lips of their last disgrace.
    Excellent good. Go forward, sir, I pray.
    [To Lemot] Another sign, i始faith, love, is required.
    Let him have signs enough, my heavenly love.
    750Then know there is a private meeting
    This day at Verone始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.
    I始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.
    [Going] Marry, the Devil was never so despited.
    Nay, stay, sir.
    No, no, my Lord, you have the constantest wife that 765ever — well, I始ll say no more.
    Never was minion so disminionèd.
    Come, constancy, come, my girl, I始ll leave thee
    Loose to twenty of them, i始faith.
    Then he sighs.
    Come, my good head, come.