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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)

    Enter the puritane.
    Florila What haue I done? put on too many clothes, the
    day is hote, and I am hoter clad then might suffice health,
    my conscience telles me that I haue offended, and Ile put
    200them off, that will aske time that might be better spent, one
    sin will draw another quickly so, see how the diuell tempts:
    but whats here? iewels? how should these come here?
    Enter Laberuele.
    La. Good
    dayes mirth.
    Lab. Good morrow louely wife, what hast thou there?
    205Flo. Iewels my Lord which here I strangely found.
    Lab. Thats strange indeede, what, where none comes
    but when your selfe is here? surely the heauens haue rained
    thee iewels for thy holy life, and vsing thy olde husbande
    louingly, or else doe Fairies haunt this holy greene, as euer-
    210more mine auncesters haue thought.
    Flo. Fairies were but in times of ignorance, not since the
    true pure light hath beene reuealed, and that they come
    from heauen I scarce beleeue: for iewels are vaine things,
    more gold is giuen for such fantastical and fruitlesse iewels,
    215and therfore heauen I know wil not maintain the vse of va-
    nitie, surely I feare I haue much sinned to stoupe and take
    them vp, bowing my bodie to an idle worke, the strength
    that I haue had to this verie deed might haue beene vsed to
    take a poore soule vp in the hie way.
    220Lab. You are too curious wife, behold your iewels: what
    me thinks therEs poises written on thē, dispaire not of chil-
    Then shee
    dren, loue with the longest, whē man is at the weakest, god
    is at the strongest; wonderfull rare and wittie, nay diuine,
    why this is heauenly cōfort for thee wife, what is this other?
    225God will reward her a thousand folde that takes what age
    can, and not what age would, the best that euer I heard, no
    mortall braine I thinke did euer vtter such conceit for good
    plaine matter, and for honest rime.
    Flo. Vaine Poetry, I pray you burne them sir.
    230La. You are to blame wife, heauen hath sent you them to
    decke your self withall, like to your self, not to go thus like a
    milk-maid, why there is difference in all estats by al religiō.
    Flo. There is no difference.
    Lab. I prethee wife be of another mind, and weare these
    235iewels and a veluet hood.
    Flo A veluet hood, O vaine diuelish deuise! a toy made
    with a superfluous flap, which being cut off my head, were
    still as warme. Diogenes did cast away his dish, because his
    hand will serue to help him drinke, surely these heathens
    B shall
    An humerous
    240shall rise vp against vs.
    Lab. Sure wife I thinke thy keeping alwaies close,
    making thee melancholy, is the cause we haue no children,
    and therefore if thou wilt, be mery, and keepe companie a
    gods name.
    245Flo. Sure my lord, if I thought I shold be rid of this same
    banishment of barrennes, and vse our marriage to the end
    it was made, which was for procreation, I should sinne, if
    by my keeping house I should neglect the lawful means to
    be a fruitful mother, & therfore if it please you ile vse resort
    250Lab. Gods my passion what haue I done? who woulde
    haue thought her purenesle would yeeld so soone to cour-
    ses of temptations? nay harke you wife, I am not sure that
    going abroad will cause fruitfulnesse in you, that you know
    none knowes but God himselfe.
    255Flo. I know my lord tis true, but the lawfull means must
    still be vsed.
    Lab. Yea, the lawfull meanes indeed must still, but now I
    remember that lawfull meanes is not abroad.
    Flo. Well, well, Ile keepe the house still.
    260Lab. Nay, heark you lady, I would not haue you thinke,
    mary, I must tel you this, if you shuld change the maner of
    your life, the world would think you changed religion too.
    Flo. Tis true, I will not go.
    Lab. Nay, if you haue a fancie.
    265Flo Yea a fancie, but thats no matter.
    La. Indeed fancies are not for iudicial & religious womē.
    Enter Catalian like a scholer.
    Cat. God saue your lordship, & you most religious lady.
    Lab. Sir you may say God saue vs well indeed that thus
    270are thrust vpon in priuate walkes.
    Cat, A slender thrust sir, where I toucht you not.
    Lab. Well sir what is your busines?
    Cat. Why sir, I haue a message to my ladie from Mon-
    sier du Barto.
    275Lab. To your lady, wel sir, speake your mind to your lady.
    dayes mirth.
    Flo. You are very welcome sir, and I pray how doth he.
    Cat. In health Madam, thanks be to God, commending
    his dutie to your ladiship, & hath sent you a message which
    I would desire your honour to heare in priuate.
    280Flo. My ladiship, and my honor, they be words which I
    must haue you leaue, they be ydle woordes, and you shal
    answere for them truly: my dutye to you, or I desire you,
    were a great deale better, then, my ladiship, or my honour.
    Cat. I thanke you for your christian admonition.
    285Flo. Nay thanke God for me: Come I will heare your
    message with all my heart, and you are very welcome sir.
    Lab. With all my heart, and you are very welcome sir, and
    go and talke with a yong lustie fellow able to make a mans
    haire stand vpright on his head, what puritie is there in this
    290trow you? ha, what wench of the facultie could haue beene
    more forward? Well sir, I will know your message, you sir,
    you sir, what sayes the holy man sir, come tell true, for by
    heauen or hell I will haue it out.
    Cat. Why you shall sir, if you be so desirous.
    295Lab. Nay sir, I am more then so desirous: come sir, study
    not for a new deuice now.
    Cat. Not I my lord, this is both new and old, I am a scho-
    ler, and being spiritually inclined by your ladies most godly
    life, I am to professe the ministerie, & to become her chap-
    300laine, to which end monsier du Barte hath commended me.
    Lab. Her chaplaine in the diuels name, fit to be vickar
    of hell.
    Flo. My good head, what are you afraid of? he comes with
    a godly & neighborly sute: what think you his words or his
    305looks can tempt me? haue you so litle faith? if euery word he
    spake were a serpent, as suttle as that which tempted Eue, he
    cannot tempt me I warrant you.
    La. Wel answered for him lady by my faith: wel hark you
    Ile keepe your chaplaines place yonder for a while, and at
    310length put in one my self: what more yet? Gods my passion
    whom do I see, the very imp of desolation, the miniō of our
    B 2 Kings
    An humorous
    King, whome no man sees to enter his house but hee
    lookes vp, his wife, his children, and his maides, for
    where hee goes hee carries his house vppon his head like a
    315snaile: now sir I hope your busines is to me.
    Lem. No sir, I must craue a word with my ladie.
    La. These words are intollerable, & she shal hear no more
    Lem. She must heare me speake.
    Lab. Must she sir, haue you brought the kings warrant
    320for it?
    Le. I haue brought that which is aboue Kings.
    Lab. Why euery man for her sake is a puritan. The Di-
    uill I thinke wil shortly turne Puritan, or the Puritan wil
    turne Diuell.
    325Flo. What haue you brought sir?
    Lem. Mary this Madam, you know we ought to proue
    one anothers constancie, and I am come in all chast and
    honourable sort to proue your constancie.
    Flo. You are verie welcome sir, and I will abide your
    330proofe: it is my dutie to abide your proofe.
    Lab. You'le bide his proofe, it is your dutie to bide his
    proofe, how the diuell will you bide his proofe?
    Flo. My good head, no other wise then before your face
    in all honorable and religious sort, I tell you I am constant
    335to you, and he comes to trie whether I be so or no, which I
    must indure, begin your proofe sir.
    Le. Nay Madam, not in your husbands hearing, thogh in
    his sight for there is no woman wil shewe shee is tempted
    from her constancie, though she be a little: withdraw your
    340selfe sweete ladie.
    Lab. Well I will see though I do not heare, women may
    be courted without offence, so they resist the Cortier.
    Lem. Deare and most beautifull ladie, of al the sweet ho-
    nest and honorable meanes to proue the puritie of a ladies
    345constancy, kisses are the strongest, I will therefore be bold
    to begin my proofe with a kisse.
    Flo. No sir, no kissing.
    dayes mirth.
    Lem. No kissing Madam? how shall I proue you thē suf-
    ficiently, not vsing the most sufficient proofe to flatter your
    350selfe by affection of spirit, when it is not perfitly tried, is sin.
    Flo, You say well sir, that which is truth is truth.
    Le. Then do you wel Lady and yeeld to the truth.
    Flo. By your leaue sir, my husband sees, peraduenture
    it may breed an offence to him.
    355Lem. How can it breed an offence to your husband to
    see your constancie perfectly tried.
    Flo. You are an odde man I see, but first I pray tel me
    how kissing is the best proofe of chast Ladies.
    Lem. To giue you a reason for that, you must giue me
    360leaue to be obscure and Philosophicall.
    Flo. I pray you be, I loue Philosophie well.
    Lem. Then thus Madam, euery kisse is made as the
    voice is by imagination and appetite, and as both those are
    presented to the eare in the voyce, so are they to the silent
    365spirites in our kisses.
    Flo. To what spirit meane you?
    Lem. To the spirites of our bloud.
    Flo. What if it doe?
    Lem. Why then my imagination, and mine appetite
    370working vpon your eares in my voyce, and vpon your spi-
    rites in my kisses, pearcing therein the most deeply, they
    giue the stronger assault against your constancie.
    Flo. Why then to say, proue my constancy, is as much
    as to say, kisse me.
    375Lem. most true, rare Ladie.
    Flo. Then prooue my constancie.
    Lem. Beleeue me Madam, you gather exceeding witti-
    ly vpon it.
    Lab. O my forehead, my very heart akes at a blowe,
    380what dost thou meane wife? thou wilt loose thy fame, dis-
    credite thy religion, and dishonour me for euer.
    Flo. Away sir, I wil abide no more of your proofe, nor
    endure any more of your triall.
    B 3 Lem.
    An humerous
    Lem. O she dares not, she dares not; I am as glad I haue
    385tride your puritie as may be: you the most constant Lady
    in France? I know an hundred Ladies in this towne that
    wil dance, reuill all night amongst gallants, and in the mor-
    ning goe to bed to her husband as cleere a woman as if she
    were new christned, kisse him, imbrace him, and say, no,
    390no husband, thou art the man, and he takes her for the wo-
    Flo. And all this can I doe.
    La. Take heede of it wife.
    Flo. Feare not my good heade, I warrant you for
    Lem. Nay Madam, triumph not before the victorie,
    howe can you conquer that, against which you neuer
    striue, or striue against that which neuer incounters you
    To liue idle in this walke, to inioy this companie, to weare
    400this habite, and haue no more delights then those will af-
    foorde you, is to make vertue an idle huswife, and to hide
    herselfe slouthfull cobwebbes that still should be ado-
    rned with actions of victorie: no Madam, if you wil vnwor-
    thilly prooue your constancie to your husband, you must
    405put on rich apparrell, fare daintily, heare musique, reade
    Sonetes be continually courted, kisse, daunce, feast, reuell
    all night amongst gallants, then if you come to bed to
    your husband with a cleere minde, and a cleere body, then
    are your vertues ipsissima; then haue you passed the ful test
    410of experiment, and you shall haue an hundred gallants
    fight thus farre in bloud for the defence of your reputati-
    Lab. O vanitie of vanities!
    Flo. O husband this is perfect tryall indeede.
    415La. And you wil try all this now, wil you not?
    Flo Yea my good head, for it is written, we must passe
    to perfection through al temptation, Abacuke the fourth.
    Lab. Abacucke, cucke me no cuckes, in a doores I
    saye, theeues, Puritanes, murderers, in a doores I
    dayes mirth.
    Le. So now is he start mad yfaith: but sirra, as this is an
    old Lorde iealous of his yong wife, so is antient Countesse
    Moren iealous of her yong husband, weele thither to haue
    some sport yfaith.Exit.