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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)

    770Enter the King and all the lords, with the Trumpets.
    King. Why sound these Trumpets in the Diuelles
    C. To shew the King comes.
    King. To shew the King comes Go hang the Trum-
    775petters, they mocke me boldly, and euery other thing that
    dayes mirth.
    makes me knowne, not telling what I am, but what I seem,
    a King of clouts, a scarcrow, full of cobwebs, spiders and
    earewigs, that sets Iackdawes long tongue in my bosome,
    and vpon my head, and such are all the affections of loue
    780swarming in me, without commaund or reason.
    Lem. Howe nowe my liege! what quackemyred in
    Philosophie, bounde with loues whipcorde, and quite
    robbed of reason: and Ile giue you a receyte for this pre-
    785King. Peace Lemot, they say the yong lord Dowseger is
    rarely learned, and nothing lunatike as men suppose, but
    hateth companie, and worldly trash, the iudgement and
    the iust contempt of them, haue in reason arguments that
    breake affection (as the most sacred Poets write) and
    790still the roughest wind: and his rare humour come we now
    to heare.
    Lem. Yea, but hearke you my liege, Ile tell you a better
    humour then that, here presently will be your faire loue
    Martia, to see his humour, and from thence faire countesse
    795Florula, & she will go vnto Verones ordinarie, where none
    but you and I, and Count Moren, will be most merry.
    King. Why Count Moren I hope dares not aduenture
    into any womans companie, but his wiues.
    Lem. Yes, as I will worke, my liege, and then let me alone
    800to keepe him there till his wife comes.
    King. That will be royall sport: see where all comes:
    welcome faire lords and ladies.
    Enter Laberuele, Labesha, and all the rest.
    Lab. My liege you are welcome to my poore house.
    805Lem. I pray, my liege know this Gentleman especially,
    he is a Gentleman borne I can tell you.
    King. With all my heart: what might I call your name?
    Lab. Monsieur Labesha, siniora defoulasa.
    Ki. Defoulasa, an il sounding barrendrie of my word: bur
    810to the purpose, lord Laberuele, we are come to see the hu-
    D mour
    An humerous
    mour of your rare sonne, which by some meanes I pray let
    vs pertake.
    La. Your highnes shal too vnworthily pertake the sight
    which I with griefe and teares daily behold, seeing in him
    815the end of my poore house.
    King. You know not that (my lord) your wife is yong,
    and he perhaps hereafter may be mooued to more societie.
    La. Would to God hee would, that wee might do to
    your crowne of France, more worthy and more accepta-
    820ble seruice.
    King. Thanks good my lord, see where he appeeres.
    Enter Lauele with a picture, and a paire of large hose, and a
    codpeece, and a sword.
    K. Say Lauel, where is your friend the yong lord Dowsecer?
    825La. I looke my liege he will be here anone, but then I
    must intreat your Maiestie and all the rest, to stand vnseen,
    for he as yet will brooke no companie.
    King. We will stand close Lauele, but wherefore bring
    you this apparell, that picture, and that sword?
    830Lau. To put him by the sight of them in mind of their
    braue states that vse them, or that at the least of the true vse
    they should be put vnto.
    King. Indeede the sence doth still stir vp the soule, and
    though these obiects do not worke, yet it is very probable
    835in time she may, at least, we shal discerne his humor of thē.
    Lem. See where he comes contemplating, stand close.
    Enter Dowsecer.
    Quid Dei potes videri magnum in rebus humanis quaeterni
    omnes to thy ousque notas sic omnibus magna tutor, what
    840can seeme strange to him on earthly things to whom the
    whole course of eternitie, and the round compasse of the
    world is knowne? a speech diuine, but yet I maruaile much
    how it should spring from thee, Marke Cicero that sold for
    glory the sweet peece of life, & make a torment of rich na-
    845tures work, wearing thy self by watchful candel light, when
    all the Smithes & Weauers were at rest, and yet was gallant
    dayes mirth.
    ere the day bird sung to haue a troope of clyents at thy
    gates, armed with religious suplicatiōs, such as wold make
    sterne Minos laugh to reade: look on our lawyers billes, not
    850one containes virtue or honest drifts; but he cares, he cares,
    he cares; for acorns now are in request, but the okes poore
    fruite did nourish men, men were like okes of body, tough,
    and strong men were like Gyants then, but Pigmies now,
    yet full of villanies as their skinne can hold.
    855Le. How like you this humor my liege?
    King. This is no humour, this is but perfit iudgement.
    Coun. Is this a frensie?
    Mar. O were al men such, men were no men but gods:
    this earth a heauen.
    860Do. See see the shamelesse world, that dares present her
    mortall enemie with these grose ensignes of her lenity, yron
    and steele, vncharitable stuffe, good spittle-founders, ene-
    mies to whole skinnes, as if there were not waies enow to
    die by natural and casuall accidents, diseases, surfeits, braue
    865carowses, old aquavitae, and too base wiues, and thousands
    more hence with this art of murder. But here is goodly
    geare, the soule of man, for tis his better part, take away
    this, and take away their merites, and their spirites, scarce
    dare they come in any publike view, without this counte-
    870nance giuer, and some dares not come, because they haue 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 meane, so in the fashion,
    & tis most gentleman like, is it so? make a hand in the mar-
    875gent, and burne the booke, a large house and a codpeece
    makes a man a codpece, nay indeed but house must down:
    well for your gentle forgers of men, and for you come to
    rest me into fashion, Ile weare you thus, and sit vpon the
    880La. And he doth despise our purposes.
    Ca. Beare with him yet my Lorde, hee is not resol-
    D 2 La. I
    An humorous
    La. I would not haue my friend mocke worthy men,
    for the vaine pride of some that are not so.
    885Dow. I do not here deride difference of states, no not
    in shew, but wish that such as want shew might not be scor-
    ned with ignorant Turkish pride, beeing pompous in ap-
    parel, and in mind: nor would I haue with imitated shapes
    menne make their natiue land, the land of apes, liuing like
    890strangers when they be at home, and so perhaps beare
    strange hearts to their home, nor looke a snuffe like a pian-
    ncts taile, for nothing but their tailes and formall lockes,
    when like to creame boules all their vertues swim in their
    set faces, all their in parts then fit to serue pesants or make
    895curdes for dawes: but what a stocke am I thus to neglect
    this figure of mans comfort this rare peece?
    La. Heauens grant that make him more humane, and
    King. Nay hees more humane then all we are.
    900La. I feare he will be too sharp to that sweete sex.
    Dow. She is very faire, I thinke that she be painted; and
    if she be sir, she might aske of mee, how many is there of
    our sexe that are not? tis a sharpe question: marry and I
    thinke they haue small skill, if they were all of painting,
    905twere safer dealing with them, and indeed were their minds
    strong enough to guide their bodies, their beuteous deeds
    shoulde match with their heauenly lookes, twere necessa-
    rie they should weare them, and would they vouchsafe it,
    euen I would ioy in their societie.
    910Ma. And who would not die with such a man?
    Dow. But to admire them as our gallants do, O what an
    eie she hath, O dainty hand, rare foote and legge, and leaue
    the minde respectles, this is a plague, that in both men and
    women make such pollution of our earthly beeing: well I
    915will practice yet to court this peece.
    La. O happie man, now haue I hope in her.
    King. Me thinkes I could indure him daies and nights.
    Dow. Well sir, now thus must I do sir, ere it come to
    dayes mirth.
    women; now sir a plague vpon it, tis so ridiculous I can no
    920further: what poore asse was it that set this in my way? now
    if my father should be the man: Gods precious coles tis
    Lab. Good sonne go forward in this gentle humor, ob-
    serue this picture, it presents a maide of noble birth and ex-
    925cellent of parts, whom for our house and honor sake, I wish
    thou wouldst confesse to marrie.
    Dow. To marrie father? why we shall haue children.
    La. Why that's the ende of marriage, and the ioye of
    930Do. O how you are deceiued, you haue but me, & what
    a trouble am I to your ioy? but father, if you long to haue
    some fruite of me, see father I will creepe into this stuborne
    earth and mixe my flesh with it, and they shall breede
    grasse, to fat oxen, asses and such like, and when they in the
    935grasse the spring conuerts into beasts nourishment, then
    comes the fruite of this my body forth; then may you well
    say, seeing my race is so profitably increased, that good fat
    oxe, and that same large eard asse are my sonne sonnes, that
    caulfe with a white face is his faire daughter, with which,
    940when your fields are richly filled, then will my race content
    you, but for the ioyes of children, tush tis gone, children
    will not deserue, nor parents take it: wealth is the onely
    father & the child, and but in wealth no man hath any ioy.
    La. Some course deare sonne take for thy honor sake.
    945Dow. Then father heres a most excellent course.
    La. This is some comfort yet.
    Dow. If you will strait be gone and leaue me here, Ile
    stand as quietlye as anye lambe, and trouble none of you
    La. An haplesse man.
    950Le. How like you this humour yet my liege?
    King. As of a holy fury, not a frensie.
    Mor. See see my liege, he hath seene vs sure.
    King. Nay looke how he viewes Martia and makes
    him fine.
    955D 3 Le. Yea
    An humerous
    Lem. Yea my liege, and she as I hope wel obserued, hath
    vttered many kind conceits of hers.
    King. Well Ile be gone, and when shee comes to Ve-
    rones ordinarie, Ile haue her taken to my custodie.
    960Lem, Ile stay my liege, and see the euent of this.
    King. Do so Lemot.Exit the king.
    Dow. What haue I seene? howe am I burnt to dust
    with a new Sun, and made a nouell Phoenix, is she a wo-
    man that obiects this sight, able to worke the chaos of the
    965world into gestion? O diuine aspect, the excellent disposer
    of the mind shines in thy beautie, and thou hast not chaun-
    ged my soule to sense, but sense vnto my soule, and I desire
    thy pure societie, but euen as angels do, to angels flie.Exit.
    Mar. Flie soule and follow him.
    970Lab. I maruaile much at my sonnes sodaine straunge
    Lem. Beare with him yet my Lord, tis but his humour:
    come, what shall we go to Verones ordinarie?
    Lab. Yea for Gods sake, for I am passing hungry.
    975Mor. Yea, come Monsieur Lemot, will you walke?
    Count. What, will you go?
    Mor. Yea sweet bird, I haue promised so.
    Count. Go to, you shall not go and leaue me alone.
    Mor. For one meale gentle bird: Veron inuites vs to buy
    980some iewels he hath brought of late from Italie: Ile buy the
    best, and bring it thee, so thou wilt let me go.
    Count. Well said flattering Fabian, but tel me then what
    ladies will be there?
    Mor. Ladies? why none.
    985Lem. No ladies vse to come to ordinaries, Madam.
    Count. Go to bird, tell me now the very truth.
    Mor. None of mine honour bird, you neuer heard that
    ladies came to ordinaries.
    Count O thats because I should not go with you.
    990Mar. Why tis not fit you should.
    Cou. Well heark you bird, of my word you shall not go,
    dayes mirth.
    vnlesse you will sweare to me, you will neither court nor
    kisse a dame in any sort, till you come home againe.
    995Mar. Why I sweare I will not.
    Count. Go to, by this kisse.
    Mar. Yea, by this kisse.
    Foies. Martia, learne by this when you are a wife.
    Lab. I like the kissing well.
    1000Flo. My lord Ile leaue you, your sonne Dowsecer hath
    made me melancholy with his humour, and Ile go locke
    my selfe in my close walke till supper time.
    Lab. What, and not dine to day?
    Flo. No my good head: come Martia, you and I will
    1005fast togither.
    Mar. With all my heart Madam.Exit.
    Lab. Well Gentlemen Ile go see my sonne.Exit.
    Foy. Birlady Gentlemen Ile go home to dinner.
    Labe. Home to dinner? birlord but you shall not, you
    1010shall go with vs to the ordinarie, where you shall meete
    Gentlemen of so good carriage, and passing cōplements, it
    will do your hart good to see them, why you neuer saw the
    best sort of Gentlemen if not at ordinaries.
    Foy. I promise you thats rare, my lord, and Monsieur Le-
    1015mot, Ile meet you there presently.
    Lem. Weele expect your comming.Exeunt all.