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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)

    769.1[Scene 7]
    770Enter the King and all the lords [Lemot and Catalian], with the trumpets.
    Why sound these trumpets, in the Devil始s name?
    To show the King comes.
    To show the King comes?
    Go hang the 775trumpeters. They mock me boldly,
    And every other thing that makes me known,
    Not telling what I am, but what I seem:
    A king of clouts, a scarecrow, full of cobwebs,
    Spiders and earwigs, that sets jackdaw始s long tongue
    In my bosom and upon my head.
    And such are all the affections of love
    780Swarming in me, without command or reason.
    How now, my liege! What, quagmired in philosophy,
    Bound with love始s whipcord, and quite robbed of reason?
    And I始ll give you a receipt for this presently.
    Peace, Lemot. They say the young Lord Dowsecer
    Is rarely learned, and nothing lunatic
    As men suppose,
    But hateth company and worldly trash.
    The judgement and the just contempt of them
    Have in reason arguments that break affection,
    As the most sacred poets write, and 790still the roughest wind.
    And his rare humour come we now to hear.
    Yea, but hark you, my liege, I始ll tell you a better humour than that. Here presently will be your fair love, Martia, to see his humour, and from thence, fair countess 795Florila and she will go unto Verone's ordinary, where none but you and I and Count Moren will be most merry.
    Why, Count Moren, I hope, dares not adventure into any woman始s company but his wife始s.
    Yes, as I will work, my liege, and then let me alone 800to keep him there till his wife comes.
    That will be royal sport.
    Enter Labervele, Labesha, and all the rest [the Countess, Moren, Foyes, Martia and Florila].
    See where all comes. Welcome, fair lords and ladies.
    My liege, you are welcome to my poor house.
    [Presenting Labesha] I pray, my liege, know this gentleman especially. He is a gentleman born, I can tell you.
    With all my heart. What might I call your name?
    Monsieur Labesha, Seigneur de Foulasa.
    De Foulasa? An ill-sounding baronry, of my word. But 810to the purpose. Lord Labervele, we are come to see the humour of your rare son, which by some means I pray let us partake.
    Your highness shall too unworthily partake the sight which I with grief and tears daily behold, seeing in him 815the end of my poor house.
    You know not that, my lord. Your wife is young, and he perhaps hereafter may be moved to more society.
    Would to God he would, that we might do to your crown of France more worthy and more acceptable820 service.
    Thanks, good my lord. See where he appears.
    Enter Lavel with a picture, and a pair of large hose, and a codpiece, and a sword.
    Say, Lavel, where is your friend, the young Lord Dowsecer?
    I look, my liege, he will be here anon, but then I must entreat your majesty and all the rest to stand unseen, for he as yet will brook no company.
    We will stand close, Lavel, but wherefore bring you this apparel, that picture, and that sword?
    To put him, by the sight of them, in mind of their brave states that use them, or that at the least of the true use they should be put unto.
    Indeed, the sense doth still stir up the soul, and though these objects do not work, yet it is very probable 835in time she may. At least, we shall discern his humour of them.
    Enter Dowsecer.
    See where he comes contemplating. Stand close.
    Quid ei potest videri magnum in rebus humanis cui aeternitas omnis totiusque nota sit mundi magnitudo.
    ‘What840 can seem strange to him on earthly things
    To whom the whole course of eternity,
    And the round compass of the world is known?始
    A speech divine, but yet I marvel much
    How it should spring from thee, Mark Cicero,
    That sold for glory the sweet peace of life,
    And made a torment of rich 845nature始s work,
    Wearing thyself by watchful candle-light,
    When all the smiths and weavers were at rest,
    And yet was gallant, ere the day bird sung,
    To have a troop of clients at thy gates,
    Armed with religious supplications,
    Such as would make stern Minos laugh to read.
    Look on our lawyers始 bills: not 850one contains
    Virtue or honest drifts, but snares, snares, snares.
    For acorns now no more are in request;
    But when the oak始s poor fruit did nourish men,
    Men were like oaks of body, tough, and strong.
    Men were like giants then, but pygmies now,
    Yet full of villainies as their skin can hold.
    How like you this humour, my liege?
    This is no humour; this is but perfect judgement.
    Is this a frenzy?
    Oh were all men such,
    Men were no men but gods, this earth a heaven.
    [Noticing the sword] See, see, the shameless world,
    That dares present her mortal enemy
    With these gross ensigns of her lenity,
    Iron and steel, uncharitable stuff,
    Good spital-founders, enemies to whole skins,
    As if there were not ways enough to die
    By natural and casual accidents,
    Diseases, surfeits, brave 865carouses,
    Old aqua-vitae, and too base wines,
    And thousands more. Hence with this art of murder!
    [Noticing the hose and codpiece]
    But here is goodly gear, the soul of man,
    For 始tis his better part. Take away this,
    And take away their merits and their spirits.
    Scarce dare they come in any public view
    Without this countenance870-giver,
    And some dares not come, because they have it, too,
    For they may sing, in written books they find it.
    What is it then, the fashion or the cost?
    The cost doth match, but yet the fashion more,
    For let it be but mean, so in the fashion,
    And 始tis most gentleman-like. Is it so?
    Make a hand in the margin875, and burn the book,
    A large hose and a codpiece makes a man.
    A codpiece, nay indeed, but hose must down.
    Well for your gentle forgers of men,
    And for you come to wrest me into fashion,
    I始ll wear you thus, and sit upon the matter.
    And so he doth despise our purposes.
    Bear with him yet, my lord, he is not resolved.
    I would not have my friend mock worthy men,
    For the vain pride of some that are not so.
    I do not here deride difference of states,
    No, not in show, but wish that such as want show
    Might not be scorned with ignorant Turkish pride,
    Being pompous in apparel and in mind
    Nor would I have with imitated shapes
    Men make their native land the land of apes,
    Living like 890strangers when they be at home,
    And so perhaps bear strange hearts to their home;
    Nor look a-snuff like a piannet始s tail,
    For nothing but their curls and formal locks,
    When, like to cream bowls, all their virtues swim
    In their set faces, all their in-parts then
    Fit to serve peasants or make 895curds for daws.
    [Noticing the picture] But what a stock am I thus to neglect
    This figure of man始s comfort, this rare piece?
    Heavens grant that make him more humane, and sociable.
    Nay, he始s more humane than all we are.
    I fear he will be too sharp to that sweet sex.
    She is very fair. I think that she be painted.
    An if she be, sir, she might ask of me,
    ‘How many is there of our sex that are not?始
    始Tis a sharp question. Marry and I think
    They have small skill. If they were all of painting,
    905始Twere safer dealing with them. And indeed.
    Were their minds strong enough to guide their bodies,
    Their beauteous deeds should match with their heavenly looks,
    始Twere necessary they should wear them.
    An would they vouchsafe it, even I
    Would joy in their society.
    And who would not die with such a man?
    But to admire them as our gallants do,
    ‘Oh, what an eye she hath! Oh, dainty hand!
    Rare foot and leg!始 and leave the mind respectless.
    This is a plague that, in both men and women,
    Make such pollution of our earthly being.
    Well, I 915will practise yet to court this piece.
    Oh, happy man, now have I hope in her.
    Methinks I could endure him days and nights.
    Well, sir, now thus must I do, sir, ere it come towomen. ‘Now, sir始 — a plague upon it, 始tis so ridiculous I can no 920further. What poor ass was it that set this in my way? Now if my father should be the man — [Sees Labervele] God始s precious coals, 始tis he!
    Good son, go forward in this gentle humour.
    Observe this picture. It presents a maid
    Of noble birth and 925excellent of parts,
    Whom for our house and honour sake, I wish
    Thou wouldst confess to marry.
    To marry father? Why, we shall have children.
    Why, that始s the end of marriage, and the joy of men.
    Oh, how you are deceived. You have but me,
    And what a trouble am I to your joy!
    But, father, if you long to have some fruit of me,
    See, father, I will creep into this stubborn earth
    And mix my flesh with it, and they shall breed grass
    To fat oxen, asses and such-like,
    And when they in the 935grass the spring converts
    Into beasts始 nourishment,
    Then comes the fruit of this my body forth.
    Then may you well say,
    Seeing my race is so profitably increased,
    That good fat ox and that same large-eared ass
    Are my son始s sons, that calf with a white face
    Is his fair daughter, with which, 940when your fields
    Are richly filled, then will my race content you.
    But for the joys of children, tush, 始tis gone.
    Children will not deserve, nor parents take it.
    Wealth is the only father and the child,
    And but in wealth no man hath any joy.
    Some course, dear son, take for thy honour sake.
    Then, father, here始s a most excellent corse.
    This is some comfort yet.
    If you will straight be gone and leave me here,
    I始ll stand as quietly as any lamb,
    And trouble none of you.
    [Sees Martia]
    An hapless man.
    How like you this humour yet, my liege?
    As of a holy fury, not a frenzy.
    See, see, my liege, he hath seen us sure.
    Nay, look how he views Martia and makes him fine.
    Yea, my liege, and she, as I hope well observed, hath uttered many kind conceits of hers.
    Well, I始ll be gone, and when she comes to Verone始s ordinary, I始ll have her taken to my custody.
    I始ll stay, my liege, and see the event of this.
    Do so, Lemot.
    Exit the King.
    What have I seen? How am I burnt to dust
    With a new sun, and made a novel phoenix!
    Is she a woman that objects this sight,
    Able to work the chaos of the 965world
    Into gestion? O divine aspect,
    The excellent disposer of the mind
    Shines in thy beauty, and thou hast not changed
    My soul to sense, but sense unto my soul,
    And I desire thy pure society,
    But even as angels do to angels fly.
    Fly soul and follow him.
    I marvel much at my son始s sudden strange behaviour.
    Bear with him yet, my lord, 始tis but his humour. Come. What, shall we go to Verone始s ordinary?
    Yea, for God始s sake, for I am passing hungry.
    Yea, come, Monsieur Lemot, will you walk?
    What, will you go?
    Yea, sweet bird, I have promised so.
    Go to, you shall not go and leave me alone.
    For one meal, gentle bird. Verone invites us to buy 980some jewels he hath brought of late from Italy. I始ll buy the best and bring it thee, so thou wilt let me go.
    Well said, flattering Fabian. But tell me, then, what ladies will be there?
    Ladies? Why, none.
    No ladies use to come to ordinaries, madam.
    Go to, bird, tell me now the very truth.
    None of mine honour, bird. You never heard that ladies came to ordinaries.
    Oh, that始s because I should not go with you.
    Why, 始tis not fit you should.
    Well, hark you, bird, of my word you shall not go, unless you will swear to me, you will neither court nor kiss a dame in any sort, till you come home again.
    Why, I swear I will not.
    Go to, by this kiss.
    Yea, by this kiss.
    Martia, learn by this when you are a wife.
    I like the kissing well.
    My lord, I始ll leave you. Your son Dowsecer hath made me melancholy with his humour, and I始ll go lock myself in my close walk till supper-time.
    What, and not dine today?
    No, my good head. Come, Martia, you and I will 1005fast together.
    With all my heart, madam.
    Exit [with Florila].
    Well, gentlemen, I始ll go see my son.
    By始rlady, gentlemen, I始ll go home to dinner.
    Home to dinner? By始rlord, but you shall not. You 1010shall go with us to the ordinary, where you shall meet gentlemen of so good carriage and passing complements it will do your heart good to see them. Why, you never saw the
    best sort of gentlemen if not at ordinaries.
    I promise you that始s rare, my lord. And, Monsieur 1015Lemot, I始ll meet you there presently.
    We始ll expect your coming.
    Exeunt all.