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  • Title: An Humorous Day's Mirth (Quarto 1, 1599)
  • 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 (Quarto 1, 1599)

    1690Enter the Queene, and all that were in before.
    Le. This is the house where the mad Lord did vow to do
    the deed, draw all your swoords couragious gentlemen, Ile
    bring you there where you shall honor win, but I can tell
    you, you must breake your shinne.
    1695Ca. Who will not breake his necke to saue his King: set
    forward Lemot.
    Le. Yea, much good can I do with a wounded arme,
    Ile go and call more helpe.
    Qu. Others shall go, nay we will raise the streets, better
    1700dishonor, then destroy the King.
    Le. Sbloud I know not how to excuse my villany, I
    would faine be gone.
    Enter Dowsecer, and his friend.
    Dow. Ile geld the adulterous goate, and take from him
    1705the instrument, that plaies him such sweete musicke.
    La. O
    dayes mirth.
    La. O rare, this makes my fiction true: now ile stay.
    Quee. Arrest these faithlesse traitrous gentlemen.
    Dow. What is the reason that you call vs traitours?
    La. Nay, why do you attempt such violence against
    1710the person of the King?
    Dow. Against the King, why this is strange to me.
    Enter the King, and Martia.
    Ki. How now my masters, what? weapons drawne, come
    you to murder me.
    1715Qu. How fares my Lord?
    Ki. How fare I? well, but you yfaith shall get me speak
    for you another time; he got me here to wooe a curious
    Lady, and she temptes him, say what I can, ouer what
    state I will in your behalfe Lemot, she will not yeeld.
    1720Le, Yfaith my liege, what a hard heart hath she, well
    hearke you, I am content your wit shall saue your honesty
    for this once.
    Ki. Peace, a plague on you, peace; but wherefore asked
    you how I did?
    1725Queene. Because I feared that you were hurte my
    Ki. Hurt, how I pray?
    Lem. Why, hurt Madam, I am well againe.
    Quee. Do you aske? why he told me Dowsecer and this
    1730his friend, threatned to take away.
    Ki. To take away, what should they take away.
    Le. Name it Madam.
    Qu. Nay, I pray name it you.
    Le. Why then, thus it was my liege, I told her Dow-
    1735secer, and this his friende threatned to take away, and
    if they could the instrument of procreation, and what
    was that now, but Martia beeing a fayre woman, is
    not shee the instrument of procreation, as all women
    1740Qu. O wicked man.
    G 2 Lem.
    An humorous
    Le. Go to, go to, you are one of those fiddles too yfaith.
    Ki. Well pardon my minion, that hath frayd you thus,
    twas but to make you mery in the end.
    Qu. I ioy it endes so well, my gracious Lord.
    1745Fo. But say my gracious Lord, is no harme done, be-
    tweene my louing daughter, and your grace?
    Ki. No, of my honor and my soule Foyes.
    Dow. The fire of loue which she hath kindled in me be-
    ing greater then my heate of vanity, hath quite expelled.
    1750Ki. Come Dowsecer, receiue with your lost wittes your
    loue, though lost; I know youle yeeld, my lord and you her
    Both Most ioyfully my Lord.
    Ki. And for her part I know her dispositiō well enough.
    1755Lem.What, will you haue her?
    Dow.Yea mary will I.
    Le. Ile go and tell Labesha presently.
    Enter Iaquis, and my Host.
    Ia. Monsieur Lemot, I pray let me speake with you, I
    1760come to you from the Lord Moren, who would desire you
    to speake to the King for my masters lottery, and he hath
    my place to beare a torch, for bare faced hee dares not look
    vpon his wife, for his life.
    Le. O excellent, Ile further thy masters lottery and it be
    1765but for this iest only, harke you my liege, heres the poore
    man hath bin at great charges for the preparation of a lotte-
    ry, and he hath made the rarest deuice, that I know you wil
    take great pleasure in it, I pray let him present it before you
    at Valeres house.
    1770Ki. Whith all my heart, can you be ready so soone?
    Host. Presently and if it like your grace.
    Ki. But hearke you Lemot, how shall we do for euery
    mans posie.
    Le. Will you all trust me with the making of them?
    1775All. With all our hearts.
    Le. Why then Ile go to make the poses and bring Labe-
    sha to the lottery presently.
    dayes mirth.
    Enter Florila like a Puritan.
    Flo. Surely the world is full of vanitie, a woman must take
    1780heed she do not heare a lewd man speake, for euery woman
    cannot when shee is tempted, when the wicked fiend gets
    her into his snares escape like me, for graces measure is not
    so filled vp, nor so prest downe in euery one as me, but yet I
    promise you a little more: well, Ile go seeke my head, who
    1785shal take me in the gates of his kind armes vntoucht of any.
    King. What Madam are you so pure now?
    Flo. Yea, would not you be pure?
    King. No puritane.
    Flo. You must be then a diuell, I can tell you.
    1790Lab. O wife where hast thou beene?
    Flo. where did I tell you I would be I pray.
    Lab. In thy close walke thou saidst.
    Flo. And was I not?
    Lab. Truly I know not, I neither looked nor knocked,
    1795for Labesha told me that you, and faire Martia were at Ve-
    rones ordinarie.
    Ki. Labesha? my lord you are a wise man to beleeue a fool.
    Flo. Well my good head, for my part I forgiue you: but
    surely you do much offend to be suspicious: where there is
    1800no trust, there is no loue, and where there is no loue twixt
    man and wife, theres no good dealing surely: for as men
    should euer loue their wiues, so should they euer trust thē,
    for what loue is there where there is no trust?
    King. She tels you true, my lord.
    1805Lab. Shee doth my liege; and deare wife pardon this
    and I will neuer be suspicious more.
    Flo. Why I say, I do.
    Enter Lemot, leading Labesha in a halter.
    Lem. Looke you my liege, I haue done simple seruice
    1810amongest you, here is one had hanged himselfe for loue,
    thinking his Mistresse had done so for him: well, see your
    Mistresse liues.
    Labesh. And doth my Mistresse liue?
    G 3 King.
    An humorous
    King. Shee doth, O noble knight, but not your Mi-
    1815stresse now.
    Lab. Sblood, but she shall for me, or for no body else.
    Lem. How now, what a traitor, draw vpon the King.
    Lab. Yea, or vpon any woman here in a good cause.
    King. Well sweete Besha let her marry Dowsecer, Ile get
    1820thee a wife worth fifteene of her, wilt thou haue one that
    cares not for thee?
    Lab. Not I by the Lord, I scorne her, Ile haue her better
    if I can get her.
    King. Why thats well said.
    1825Lem. What Madam, are you turned puritan againe?
    Elo. When was I other, pray?
    Lem. Marie Ile tell you when, when you went to the
    Ordinarie, and when you made false signes to your hus-
    band, which I could tell him all.
    1830Flo. Cursed be he that maketh debate twixt man & wife.
    Lem. O rare scripturian! you haue sealed vp my lips, a
    hall, a hall, the pageant of the Butterie.
    Enter two with torches, the one of them Moren, then my host
    and his son, then his maid drest like Queene For-
    1835tune, with two pots in her hands.
    King. What is he?
    Lem. This is Verones sonne, my liege.
    King. What shall he do?
    Cat. Speak some speach that his father hath made for him
    1840Qu. Why is he good at speeches?
    Cat. O he is rare at speaches.
    Boy. Faire ladies most tender, and nobles most slender,
    and gentles whose wits be scarce.
    Ki. My host, why do you call vs nobles most slender?
    1845Host. And it shall please your Grace, to be slender is to be
    proper, and therfore where my boy saies nobles most slen-
    der, it is as much to say, fine and proper nobles.
    Le. Yea, but why do you call vs gentles whose wits are
    dayes mirth.
    1850Host. To be scarce, is to be rare: and therefore where as
    he sayes Gentles whose wits be scarce, is as much as to say,
    Gentles whose wits be rare.
    Lem. Well, forwards trunchman.
    Boy. Faire ladies most tender, and nobles most slender,
    1855and gentles whose wittes bee scarce, Queene Fortune
    doth come with her trumpe, and her drumme, as it may ap-
    peare by my voice.
    Lab. Come hither, are you a schoolemaister, where was
    Fortune Queene, of what countrey or kingdome?
    1860Host. Wy sir, Fortune was Queene ouer all the world.
    Lab. Thats a lie, theres none that euer conquered all the
    world, but maister Alisander, I am sure of that.
    Lem. O rare Monsieur Labesha, who would haue thought
    hee could haue found so rare a fault in the speach.
    1865Host. Ile alter it if it please your grace.
    King. No, tis very well.
    Boy. Father I must begin againe they interrupt me so.
    Ho. I beseech your grace giue the boy leaue to begin again.
    King. With all my heart, tis so good we cannot heare
    1870it too oft.
    Boy. Faire ladies most tender, and nobles most slender,
    and gentles whose wittes are scarce, Queene Fortune doth
    come with her Fife, and her Drum, as it doth appeare by
    my voice, here is Fortune good, but il by the rood, and this
    1875naught but good shall do you, dealing the lots out of our
    pots, and so good Fortune to you sir.
    Lem. Looke you my liege, how hee that caries the torch
    trembles extreamly.
    Kin. I warrant tis with care to carie his torch well.
    1880Lem. Nay there is something else in the wind: why my
    host, what meanes thy man Iaques to tremble so?
    Host. Hold still thou knaue, what art thou afraid to looke
    vpon the goodly presence of a king: hold vp for shame.
    Lem. Alas poore man, he thinks tis Iaques his man: poore
    1885lord, how much is he bound to suffer for his wife?
    An humorous
    King Hearke you mine host, what goodly person is that?
    is it Fortune her selfe?
    Host. Ile tell your Maiestie in secrete who it is, it is my
    maide Iaquena.
    1890King. I promise you she becomes her state rarely.
    Lem. Well my liege, you were all content that I should
    make your poses: well here they be euery one: giue Ma-
    ster Verone his fiue crownes.
    King. Theres mine and the Queenes.
    1895Labesh. Theirs ours.
    Dow. And there is mine and Martias.
    Lem. Come Labesha thy money.
    Lab You must lend me some, for my boy is runne away
    with my purse.
    1900Le. Thy boy? I neuer knew any that thou hadst.
    Lab. Had not I a boy three or foure yeares ago, and he
    ran away.
    Lem. And neuer since he went thou hadst not a peny,
    but stand by, Ile excuse you. But sirrah Catalian, thou shalt
    1905stand on one side and reade the prises, and I will stand on
    the other and read the Poses.
    Cat. Content Lemot.
    Lem. Come on Queene Fortune, tell euery man his
    posie, this is orderly, the King and Queene are first.
    1910King. Come let vs see what goodly poses you haue gi-
    uen vs.
    Lem. This is your Maiesties, At the fairest, so it bee not
    King. A plague vpon you, you are still playing the vil-
    1915laines with me.
    Le. This is the Queenes, Obey the Queene: and she
    speakes it to her husband, or to Fortune, which she will.
    Cat. A prise: your Maiesties is the summe of foure shil-
    lings in gold
    1920King. Why how can that be, there is no such coyne.
    Host. Here is the worth of it, if it please your grace.
    dayes mirth.
    Quee. Well, whats for me?
    Ca. A heart of gold.
    Quee. A goodly iewell.
    1925Le. Count Laberuele and Florila.
    La. Whats my posie sir I pray?
    Le. Mary this my Lord,
    Of all fortunes friends, that hath ioy in this life,
    He is most happy that puts a sure trust in his wife.
    1930La. A very good one sir, I thanke you for it.
    Flo. Whats mine I pray?
    Le. Mary this Madam,
    Good fortune be thou my good fortune bringer,
    And make me amends for my poore bitten finger.
    1935La. Who bit your finger wife?
    Flo. No body; tis vaine posie.
    Ca. Blanke for my lord Laberuele, for his wife a posie,
    a paire of holy beades with a crucifix.
    Flo. O bommination Idole, Ile none of them.
    1940Ki. Keepe them thy self Veron, she will not haue them.
    Le. Dowsecer and Martia I haue fitted your lordship
    for a posie.
    Dow. Why what is it?
    Le. Ante omnia vna.
    1945Ma. And what is mine sir?
    Le. A serious one I warrant you change: for the better.
    Ma. Thats not amisse.
    Ca. A price: Dowsecer hath a cats eyes or Mercuries rod
    of gold, set with Iacinths and Emeralds.
    1950Dow. What is for Martia?
    Ca. Martia hath the two serpents heades set with Dia-
    Le. What my host Uerone?
    Ki. What? is he in for his owne iewells.
    1955Le. O what els my liege, tis our bountie, and his posie is
    To tel you the truth in words plaine and mild,
    Verone loues his maide, and she is great with child.
    H Ki. What
    An humorous
    Ki. What Queene fortune with child, shall we haue
    yong fortunes my host?
    1960Host. I am abused, and if it please your Maiestie.
    Maid. Ile play no more.
    Lem. No faith you need not now, you haue plaid your
    bellie full alreadie.
    Host. Stand still good Iaquena, they do but ieast.
    1965Maid. Yea, but I like no such ieasting.
    Lem. Come great Queene Fortune, let see your posies,
    what madam, alas, your ladiship is one of the last.
    Coun. What is my posie sir I pray?
    Lem. Marie Madam your posie is made in maner and
    1970forme of an Eccho, as if you were seeking your husbande,
    and fortune should be the Eccho, and this you say: where is
    my husband hid so long vnmaskt, maskt? sayes the Eccho,
    but in what place sweete Fortune? let me heare: heare sayes
    the Eccho.
    1975King. There you lie Eccho, for if he were here we must
    needes see him.
    Lem. Indeed sweete King, there me thinkes the Eccho
    must needes lie, if hee were here wee must needes see him,
    tis one of thē that caries the torches: no that cannot be nei-
    1980ther, and yet by the Masse heres Iaques, why my host, did
    not you tell me that Iaques should be a torchbearer: who
    is this? Gods my life, my lord.
    Mor. And you be Gentlemen let me go.
    Coun. Nay come your way, you may be well enough a-
    1985shamed to shew your face that is a periured wretch, did
    not you sweare, if there were any wenches at the ordinarie,
    you yould straight come home.
    King. Why, who tolde you Madam, there were any
    1990Coun. He that will stand to it, Lemot my liege.
    Lem. who I stand to it, alas, I tolde you in kindnesse,
    and good will, because I would not haue you companie
    long from your husband.
    dayes mirth.
    Mor. Why loe you bird, how much you are deceiued.
    1995Co. Why wherefore were you afraid to be seene?
    Mor. Who I afraid? alas I bore a torch to grace this
    honorable presence, for nothing els sweete bird.
    King. Thanks good Moren, see lady with what wrong
    you haue pursued your most inamored lord: but come now
    2000al are friends, now is this day spent with an hurtfull motiues
    of delight, and ouer ioyes more my senses at the night: and
    now for Dowsecer, if all will follow my deuise, his beauteous
    loue and he shal married be, and here I solemnly inuite you
    all home to my court, where with feastes wee will crowne
    2005this myrthfull day, and vow it to renowne.