The Jew of Malta
by Christopher Marlowe
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By Christopher Marlowe

Edited By The Rev. Alexander Dyce.

The Famous Tragedy of The Rich Iew of Malta. As it was playd before the King and Qveene, in His Majesties Theatre at White-Hall, by her Majesties Servants at the Cock-pit. Written by Christopher Marlo. London; Printed by I. B. for Nicholas Vavasour, and are to be sold at his Shop in the Inner-Temple, neere the Church. 1633. 4to.


This play, composed by so worthy an author as Master Marlowe, and the part of the Jew presented by so unimitable an actor as Master Alleyn, being in this later age commended to the stage; as I ushered it unto the court, and presented it to the Cock-pit, with these Prologues and Epilogues here inserted, so now being newly brought to the press, I was loath it should be published without the ornament of an Epistle; making choice of you unto whom to devote it; than whom (of all those gentlemen and acquaintance within the compass of my long knowledge) there is none more able to tax ignorance, or attribute right to merit. Sir, you have been pleased to grace some of mine own works [1] with your courteous patronage: I hope this will not be the worse accepted, because commended by me; over whom none can claim more power or privilege than yourself. I had no better a new-year's gift to present you with; receive it therefore as a continuance of that inviolable obligement, by which he rests still engaged, who, as he ever hath, shall always remain,

Tuissimus, Tho. Heywood. [2]


Gracious and great, that we so boldly dare ('Mongst other plays that now in fashion are) To present this, writ many years agone, And in that age thought second unto none, We humbly crave your pardon. We pursue The story of a rich and famous Jew Who liv'd in Malta: you shall find him still, In all his projects, a sound Machiavill; And that's his character. He that hath past So many censures [3] is now come at last To have your princely ears: grace you him; then You crown the action, and renown the pen.


It is our fear, dread sovereign, we have bin [4] Too tedious; neither can't be less than sin To wrong your princely patience: if we have, Thus low dejected, we your pardon crave; And, if aught here offend your ear or sight, We only act and speak what others write.


We know not how our play may pass this stage, But by the best of poets [5] in that age THE MALTA-JEW had being and was made; And he then by the best of actors [6] play'd: In HERO AND LEANDER [7] one did gain A lasting memory; in Tamburlaine, This Jew, with others many, th' other wan The attribute of peerless, being a man Whom we may rank with (doing no one wrong) Proteus for shapes, and Roscius for a tongue,— So could he speak, so vary; nor is't hate To merit in him [8] who doth personate Our Jew this day; nor is it his ambition To exceed or equal, being of condition More modest: this is all that he intends, (And that too at the urgence of some friends,) To prove his best, and, if none here gainsay it, The part he hath studied, and intends to play it.


In graving with Pygmalion to contend, Or painting with Apelles, doubtless the end Must be disgrace: our actor did not so,— He only aim'd to go, but not out-go. Nor think that this day any prize was play'd; [9] Here were no bets at all, no wagers laid: [10] All the ambition that his mind doth swell, Is but to hear from you (by me) 'twas well.


FERNEZE, governor of Malta. LODOWICK, his son. SELIM CALYMATH, son to the Grand Seignior. MARTIN DEL BOSCO, vice-admiral of Spain. MATHIAS, a gentleman. JACOMO, BARNARDINE, friars. BARABAS, a wealthy Jew. ITHAMORE, a slave. PILIA-BORZA, a bully, attendant to BELLAMIRA. Two Merchants. Three Jews. Knights, Bassoes, Officers, Guard, Slaves, Messenger, and Carpenters

KATHARINE, mother to MATHIAS. ABIGAIL, daughter to BARABAS. BELLAMIRA, a courtezan. Abbess. Nun.

MACHIAVEL as Prologue speaker.

Scene, Malta.



MACHIAVEL. Albeit the world think Machiavel is dead, Yet was his soul but flown beyond the Alps; And, now the Guise [11] is dead, is come from France, To view this land, and frolic with his friends. To some perhaps my name is odious; But such as love me, guard me from their tongues, And let them know that I am Machiavel, And weigh not men, and therefore not men's words. Admir'd I am of those that hate me most: Though some speak openly against my books, Yet will they read me, and thereby attain To Peter's chair; and, when they cast me off, Are poison'd by my climbing followers. I count religion but a childish toy, And hold there is no sin but ignorance. Birds of the air will tell of murders past! I am asham'd to hear such fooleries. Many will talk of title to a crown: What right had Caesar to the empery? [12] Might first made kings, and laws were then most sure When, like the Draco's, [13] they were writ in blood. Hence comes it that a strong-built citadel Commands much more than letters can import: Which maxim had [14] Phalaris observ'd, H'ad never bellow'd, in a brazen bull, Of great ones' envy: o' the poor petty wights Let me be envied and not pitied. But whither am I bound? I come not, I, To read a lecture here [15] in Britain, But to present the tragedy of a Jew, Who smiles to see how full his bags are cramm'd; Which money was not got without my means. I crave but this,—grace him as he deserves, And let him not be entertain'd the worse Because he favours me. [Exit.]

ACT I. [16]

BARABAS discovered in his counting-house, with heaps of gold before him.

BARABAS. So that of thus much that return was made; And of the third part of the Persian ships There was the venture summ'd and satisfied. As for those Samnites, [17] and the men of Uz, That bought my Spanish oils and wines of Greece, Here have I purs'd their paltry silverlings. [18] Fie, what a trouble 'tis to count this trash! Well fare the Arabians, who so richly pay The things they traffic for with wedge of gold, Whereof a man may easily in a day Tell [19] that which may maintain him all his life. The needy groom, that never finger'd groat, Would make a miracle of thus much coin; But he whose steel-barr'd coffers are cramm'd full, And all his life-time hath been tired, Wearying his fingers' ends with telling it, Would in his age be loath to labour so, And for a pound to sweat himself to death. Give me the merchants of the Indian mines, That trade in metal of the purest mould; The wealthy Moor, that in the eastern rocks Without control can pick his riches up, And in his house heap pearl like pebble-stones, Receive them free, and sell them by the weight; Bags of fiery opals, sapphires, amethysts, Jacinths, hard topaz, grass-green emeralds, Beauteous rubies, sparkling diamonds, And seld-seen [20] costly stones of so great price, As one of them, indifferently rated, And of a carat of this quantity, May serve, in peril of calamity, To ransom great kings from captivity. This is the ware wherein consists my wealth; And thus methinks should men of judgment frame Their means of traffic from the vulgar trade, And, as their wealth increaseth, so inclose Infinite riches in a little room. But now how stands the wind? Into what corner peers my halcyon's bill? [21] Ha! to the east? yes. See how stand the vanes— East and by south: why, then, I hope my ships I sent for Egypt and the bordering isles Are gotten up by Nilus' winding banks; Mine argosy from Alexandria, Loaden with spice and silks, now under sail, Are smoothly gliding down by Candy-shore To Malta, through our Mediterranean sea.— But who comes here?


How now!

MERCHANT. Barabas, thy ships are safe, Riding in Malta-road; and all the merchants With other merchandise are safe arriv'd, And have sent me to know whether yourself Will come and custom them. [22]

BARABAS. The ships are safe thou say'st, and richly fraught?

MERCHANT. They are.

BARABAS. Why, then, go bid them come ashore, And bring with them their bills of entry: I hope our credit in the custom-house Will serve as well as I were present there. Go send 'em threescore camels, thirty mules, And twenty waggons, to bring up the ware. But art thou master in a ship of mine, And is thy credit not enough for that?

MERCHANT. The very custom barely comes to more Than many merchants of the town are worth, And therefore far exceeds my credit, sir.

BARABAS. Go tell 'em the Jew of Malta sent thee, man: Tush, who amongst 'em knows not Barabas?


BARABAS. So, then, there's somewhat come.— Sirrah, which of my ships art thou master of?

MERCHANT. Of the Speranza, sir.

BARABAS. And saw'st thou not Mine argosy at Alexandria? Thou couldst not come from Egypt, or by Caire, But at the entry there into the sea, Where Nilus pays his tribute to the main, Thou needs must sail by Alexandria.

MERCHANT. I neither saw them, nor inquir'd of them: But this we heard some of our seamen say, They wonder'd how you durst with so much wealth Trust such a crazed vessel, and so far.

BARABAS. Tush, they are wise! I know her and her strength. But [23] go, go thou thy ways, discharge thy ship, And bid my factor bring his loading in. [Exit MERCHANT.] And yet I wonder at this argosy.

Enter a Second MERCHANT.

SECOND MERCHANT. Thine argosy from Alexandria, Know, Barabas, doth ride in Malta-road, Laden with riches, and exceeding store Of Persian silks, of gold, and orient pearl.

BARABAS. How chance you came not with those other ships That sail'd by Egypt?

SECOND MERCHANT. Sir, we saw 'em not.

BARABAS. Belike they coasted round by Candy-shore About their oils or other businesses. But 'twas ill done of you to come so far Without the aid or conduct of their ships.

SECOND MERCHANT. Sir, we were wafted by a Spanish fleet, That never left us till within a league, That had the galleys of the Turk in chase.

BARABAS. O, they were going up to Sicily. Well, go, And bid the merchants and my men despatch, And come ashore, and see the fraught [24] discharg'd.


BARABAS. Thus trolls our fortune in by land and sea, And thus are we on every side enrich'd: These are the blessings promis'd to the Jews, And herein was old Abraham's happiness: What more may heaven do for earthly man Than thus to pour out plenty in their laps, Ripping the bowels of the earth for them, Making the sea[s] their servants, and the winds To drive their substance with successful blasts? Who hateth me but for my happiness? Or who is honour'd now but for his wealth? Rather had I, a Jew, be hated thus, Than pitied in a Christian poverty; For I can see no fruits in all their faith, But malice, falsehood, and excessive pride, Which methinks fits not their profession. Haply some hapless man hath conscience, And for his conscience lives in beggary. They say we are a scatter'd nation: I cannot tell; but we have scambled [25] up More wealth by far than those that brag of faith: There's Kirriah Jairim, the great Jew of Greece, Obed in Bairseth, Nones in Portugal, Myself in Malta, some in Italy, Many in France, and wealthy every one; Ay, wealthier far than any Christian. I must confess we come not to be kings: That's not our fault: alas, our number's few! And crowns come either by succession, Or urg'd by force; and nothing violent, Oft have I heard tell, can be permanent. Give us a peaceful rule; make Christians kings, That thirst so much for principality. I have no charge, nor many children, But one sole daughter, whom I hold as dear As Agamemnon did his Iphigen; And all I have is hers.—But who comes here?

Enter three JEWS. [26]

FIRST JEW. Tush, tell not me; 'twas done of policy.

SECOND JEW. Come, therefore, let us go to Barabas; For he can counsel best in these affairs: And here he comes.

BARABAS. Why, how now, countrymen! Why flock you thus to me in multitudes? What accident's betided to the Jews?

FIRST JEW. A fleet of warlike galleys, Barabas, Are come from Turkey, and lie in our road: And they this day sit in the council-house To entertain them and their embassy.

BARABAS. Why, let 'em come, so they come not to war; Or let 'em war, so we be conquerors.— Nay, let 'em combat, conquer, and kill all, So they spare me, my daughter, and my wealth. [Aside.]

FIRST JEW. Were it for confirmation of a league, They would not come in warlike manner thus.

SECOND JEW. I fear their coming will afflict us all.

BARABAS. Fond [27] men, what dream you of their multitudes? What need they treat of peace that are in league? The Turks and those of Malta are in league: Tut, tut, there is some other matter in't.

FIRST JEW. Why, Barabas, they come for peace or war.

BARABAS. Haply for neither, but to pass along, Towards Venice, by the Adriatic sea, With whom they have attempted many times, But never could effect their stratagem.

THIRD JEW. And very wisely said; it may be so.

SECOND JEW. But there's a meeting in the senate-house, And all the Jews in Malta must be there.

BARABAS. Hum,—all the Jews in Malta must be there! Ay, like enough: why, then, let every man Provide him, and be there for fashion-sake. If any thing shall there concern our state, Assure yourselves I'll look—unto myself. [Aside.] [28]

FIRST JEW. I know you will.—Well, brethren, let us go.

SECOND JEW. Let's take our leaves.—Farewell, good Barabas.

BARABAS. [29] Farewell, Zaareth; farewell, Temainte. [Exeunt JEWS.] And, Barabas, now search this secret out; Summon thy senses, call thy wits together: These silly men mistake the matter clean. Long to the Turk did Malta contribute; Which tribute all in policy, I fear, The Turk has [30] let increase to such a sum As all the wealth of Malta cannot pay; And now by that advantage thinks, belike, To seize upon the town; ay, that he seeks. Howe'er the world go, I'll make sure for one, And seek in time to intercept the worst, Warily guarding that which I ha' got: Ego mihimet sum semper proximus: [31] Why, let 'em enter, let 'em take the town. [Exit.] [32]

Enter FERNEZE governor of Malta, KNIGHTS, and OFFICERS; met by CALYMATH, and BASSOES of the TURK.

FERNEZE. Now, bassoes, [33] what demand you at our hands?

FIRST BASSO. Know, knights of Malta, that we came from Rhodes, ]From Cyprus, Candy, and those other isles That lie betwixt the Mediterranean seas.

FERNEZE. What's Cyprus, Candy, and those other isles To us or Malta? what at our hands demand ye?

CALYMATH. The ten years' tribute that remains unpaid.

FERNEZE. Alas, my lord, the sum is over-great! I hope your highness will consider us.

CALYMATH. I wish, grave governor, [34] 'twere in my power To favour you; but 'tis my father's cause, Wherein I may not, nay, I dare not dally.

FERNEZE. Then give us leave, great Selim Calymath.

CALYMATH. Stand all aside, [35] and let the knights determine; And send to keep our galleys under sail, For happily [36] we shall not tarry here.— Now, governor, how are you resolv'd?

FERNEZE. Thus; since your hard conditions are such That you will needs have ten years' tribute past, We may have time to make collection Amongst the inhabitants of Malta for't.

FIRST BASSO. That's more than is in our commission.

CALYMATH. What, Callapine! a little courtesy: Let's know their time; perhaps it is not long; And 'tis more kingly to obtain by peace Than to enforce conditions by constraint.— What respite ask you, governor?

FERNEZE. But a month.

CALYMATH. We grant a month; but see you keep your promise. Now launch our galleys back again to sea, Where we'll attend the respite you have ta'en, And for the money send our messenger. Farewell, great governor, and brave knights of Malta.

FERNEZE. And all good fortune wait on Calymath! [Exeunt CALYMATH and BASSOES.] Go one and call those Jews of Malta hither: Were they not summon'd to appear to-day?

FIRST OFFICER. They were, my lord; and here they come.

Enter BARABAS and three JEWS.

FIRST KNIGHT. Have you determin'd what to say to them?

FERNEZE. Yes; give me leave:—and, Hebrews, now come near. ]From the Emperor of Turkey is arriv'd Great Selim Calymath, his highness' son, To levy of us ten years' tribute past: Now, then, here know that it concerneth us.

BARABAS. Then, good my lord, to keep your quiet still, Your lordship shall do well to let them have it.

FERNEZE. Soft, Barabas! there's more 'longs to't than so. To what this ten years' tribute will amount, That we have cast, but cannot compass it By reason of the wars, that robb'd our store; And therefore are we to request your aid.

BARABAS. Alas, my lord, we are no soldiers! And what's our aid against so great a prince?

FIRST KNIGHT. Tut, Jew, we know thou art no soldier: Thou art a merchant and a money'd man, And 'tis thy money, Barabas, we seek.

BARABAS. How, my lord! my money!

FERNEZE. Thine and the rest; For, to be short, amongst you't must be had.

FIRST JEW. Alas, my lord, the most of us are poor!

FERNEZE. Then let the rich increase your portions.

BARABAS. Are strangers with your tribute to be tax'd?

SECOND KNIGHT. Have strangers leave with us to get their wealth? Then let them with us contribute.

BARABAS. How! equally?

FERNEZE. No, Jew, like infidels; For through our sufferance of your hateful lives, Who stand accursed in the sight of heaven, These taxes and afflictions are befall'n, And therefore thus we are determined.— Read there the articles of our decrees.


BARABAS. How! half his estate!—I hope you mean not mine. [Aside.]

FERNEZE. Read on.


BARABAS. How! a Christian!—Hum,—what's here to do? [Aside.]


THREE JEWS. O my lord, we will give half!

BARABAS. O earth-mettled villains, and no Hebrews born! And will you basely thus submit yourselves To leave your goods to their arbitrement?

FERNEZE. Why, Barabas, wilt thou be christened?

BARABAS. No, governor, I will be no convertite. [39]

FERNEZE. Then pay thy half.

BARABAS. Why, know you what you did by this device? Half of my substance is a city's wealth. Governor, it was not got so easily; Nor will I part so slightly therewithal.

FERNEZE. Sir, half is the penalty of our decree; Either pay that, or we will seize on all.

BARABAS. Corpo di Dio! stay: you shall have half; Let me be us'd but as my brethren are.

FERNEZE. No, Jew, thou hast denied the articles, And now it cannot be recall'd. [Exeunt OFFICERS, on a sign from FERNEZE]

BARABAS. Will you, then, steal my goods? Is theft the ground of your religion?

FERNEZE. No, Jew; we take particularly thine, To save the ruin of a multitude: And better one want for a common good, Than many perish for a private man: Yet, Barabas, we will not banish thee, But here in Malta, where thou gott'st thy wealth, Live still; and, if thou canst, get more.

BARABAS. Christians, what or how can I multiply? Of naught is nothing made.

FIRST KNIGHT. From naught at first thou cam'st to little wealth, ]From little unto more, from more to most: If your first curse fall heavy on thy head, And make thee poor and scorn'd of all the world, 'Tis not our fault, but thy inherent sin.

BARABAS. What, bring you Scripture to confirm your wrongs? Preach me not out of my possessions. Some Jews are wicked, as all Christians are: But say the tribe that I descended of Were all in general cast away for sin, Shall I be tried by their transgression? The man that dealeth righteously shall live; And which of you can charge me otherwise?

FERNEZE. Out, wretched Barabas! Sham'st thou not thus to justify thyself, As if we knew not thy profession? If thou rely upon thy righteousness, Be patient, and thy riches will increase. Excess of wealth is cause of covetousness; And covetousness, O, 'tis a monstrous sin!

BARABAS. Ay, but theft is worse: tush! take not from me, then, For that is theft; and, if you rob me thus, I must be forc'd to steal, and compass more.

FIRST KNIGHT. Grave governor, list not to his exclaims: Convert his mansion to a nunnery; His house will harbour many holy nuns.

FERNEZE. It shall be so.

Re-enter OFFICERS.

Now, officers, have you done?

FIRST OFFICER. Ay, my lord, we have seiz'd upon the goods And wares of Barabas, which, being valu'd, Amount to more than all the wealth in Malta: And of the other we have seized half.

FERNEZE. Then we'll take [40] order for the residue.

BARABAS. Well, then, my lord, say, are you satisfied? You have my goods, my money, and my wealth, My ships, my store, and all that I enjoy'd; And, having all, you can request no more, Unless your unrelenting flinty hearts Suppress all pity in your stony breasts, And now shall move you to bereave my life.

FERNEZE. No, Barabas; to stain our hands with blood Is far from us and our profession.

BARABAS. Why, I esteem the injury far less, To take the lives of miserable men Than be the causers of their misery. You have my wealth, the labour of my life, The comfort of mine age, my children's hope; And therefore ne'er distinguish of the wrong.

FERNEZE. Content thee, Barabas; thou hast naught but right.

BARABAS. Your extreme right does me exceeding wrong: But take it to you, i'the devil's name!

FERNEZE. Come, let us in, and gather of these goods The money for this tribute of the Turk.

FIRST KNIGHT. 'Tis necessary that be look'd unto; For, if we break our day, we break the league, And that will prove but simple policy. [Exeunt all except BARABAS and the three JEWS.]

BARABAS. Ay, policy! that's their profession, And not simplicity, as they suggest.— The plagues of Egypt, and the curse of heaven, Earth's barrenness, and all men's hatred, Inflict upon them, thou great Primus Motor! And here upon my knees, striking the earth, I ban their souls to everlasting pains, And extreme tortures of the fiery deep, That thus have dealt with me in my distress!

FIRST JEW. O, yet be patient, gentle Barabas!

BARABAS. O silly brethren, born to see this day, Why stand you thus unmov'd with my laments? Why weep you not to think upon my wrongs? Why pine not I, and die in this distress?

FIRST JEW. Why, Barabas, as hardly can we brook The cruel handling of ourselves in this: Thou seest they have taken half our goods.

BARABAS. Why did you yield to their extortion? You were a multitude, and I but one; And of me only have they taken all.

FIRST JEW. Yet, brother Barabas, remember Job.

BARABAS. What tell you me of Job? I wot his wealth Was written thus; he had seven thousand sheep, Three thousand camels, and two hundred yoke Of labouring oxen, and five hundred She-asses: but for every one of those, Had they been valu'd at indifferent rate, I had at home, and in mine argosy, And other ships that came from Egypt last, As much as would have bought his beasts and him, And yet have kept enough to live upon; So that not he, but I, may curse the day, Thy fatal birth-day, forlorn Barabas; And henceforth wish for an eternal night, That clouds of darkness may inclose my flesh, And hide these extreme sorrows from mine eyes; For only I have toil'd to inherit here The months of vanity, and loss of time, And painful nights, have been appointed me.

SECOND JEW. Good Barabas, be patient.

BARABAS. Ay, I pray, leave me in my patience. You, that Were ne'er possess'd of wealth, are pleas'd with want; But give him liberty at least to mourn, That in a field, amidst his enemies, Doth see his soldiers slain, himself disarm'd, And knows no means of his recovery: Ay, let me sorrow for this sudden chance; 'Tis in the trouble of my spirit I speak: Great injuries are not so soon forgot.

FIRST JEW. Come, let us leave him; in his ireful mood Our words will but increase his ecstasy. [41]

SECOND JEW. On, then: but, trust me, 'tis a misery To see a man in such affliction.— Farewell, Barabas.

BARABAS. Ay, fare you well. [Exeunt three JEWS.] [42] See the simplicity of these base slaves, Who, for the villains have no wit themselves, Think me to be a senseless lump of clay, That will with every water wash to dirt! No, Barabas is born to better chance, And fram'd of finer mould than common men, That measure naught but by the present time. A reaching thought will search his deepest wits, And cast with cunning for the time to come; For evils are apt to happen every day.


But whither wends my beauteous Abigail? O, what has made my lovely daughter sad? What, woman! moan not for a little loss; Thy father has enough in store for thee.

ABIGAIL. Nor for myself, but aged Barabas, Father, for thee lamenteth Abigail: But I will learn to leave these fruitless tears; And, urg'd thereto with my afflictions, With fierce exclaims run to the senate-house, And in the senate reprehend them all, And rent their hearts with tearing of my hair, Till they reduce [43] the wrongs done to my father.

BARABAS. No, Abigail; things past recovery Are hardly cur'd with exclamations: Be silent, daughter; sufferance breeds ease, And time may yield us an occasion, Which on the sudden cannot serve the turn. Besides, my girl, think me not all so fond [44] As negligently to forgo so much Without provision for thyself and me: Ten thousand portagues, [45] besides great pearls, Rich costly jewels, and stones infinite, Fearing the worst of this before it fell, I closely hid.

ABIGAIL. Where, father?

BARABAS. In my house, my girl.

ABIGAIL. Then shall they ne'er be seen of Barabas; For they have seiz'd upon thy house and wares.

BARABAS. But they will give me leave once more, I trow, To go into my house.

ABIGAIL. That may they not; For there I left the governor placing nuns, Displacing me; and of thy house they mean To make a nunnery, where none but their own sect [46] Must enter in; men generally barr'd.

BARABAS. My gold, my gold, and all my wealth is gone!— You partial heavens, have I deserv'd this plague? What, will you thus oppose me, luckless stars, To make me desperate in my poverty? And, knowing me impatient in distress, Think me so mad as I will hang myself, That I may vanish o'er the earth in air, And leave no memory that e'er I was? No, I will live; nor loathe I this my life: And, since you leave me in the ocean thus To sink or swim, and put me to my shifts, I'll rouse my senses, and awake myself.— Daughter, I have it: thou perceiv'st the plight Wherein these Christians have oppressed me: Be rul'd by me, for in extremity We ought to make bar of no policy.

ABIGAIL. Father, whate'er it be, to injure them That have so manifestly wronged us, What will not Abigail attempt?

BARABAS. Why, so. Then thus: thou told'st me they have turn'd my house Into a nunnery, and some nuns are there?


BARABAS. Then, Abigail, there must my girl Entreat the abbess to be entertain'd.

ABIGAIL. How! as a nun?

BARABAS. Ay, daughter; for religion Hides many mischiefs from suspicion.

ABIGAIL. Ay, but, father, they will suspect me there.

BARABAS. Let 'em suspect; but be thou so precise As they may think it done of holiness: Entreat 'em fair, and give them friendly speech, And seem to them as if thy sins were great, Till thou hast gotten to be entertain'd.

ABIGAIL. Thus, father, shall I much dissemble.

BARABAS. Tush! As good dissemble that thou never mean'st, As first mean truth and then dissemble it: A counterfeit profession is better Than unseen hypocrisy.

ABIGAIL. Well, father, say I be entertain'd, What then shall follow?

BARABAS. This shall follow then. There have I hid, close underneath the plank That runs along the upper-chamber floor, The gold and jewels which I kept for thee:— But here they come: be cunning, Abigail.

ABIGAIL. Then, father, go with me.

BARABAS. No, Abigail, in this It is not necessary I be seen; For I will seem offended with thee for't: Be close, my girl, for this must fetch my gold. [They retire.]


FRIAR JACOMO. Sisters, We now are almost at the new-made nunnery.

ABBESS. [48] The better; for we love not to be seen: 'Tis thirty winters long since some of us Did stray so far amongst the multitude.

FRIAR JACOMO. But, madam, this house And waters of this new-made nunnery Will much delight you.

ABBESS. It may be so.—But who comes here?

[ABIGAIL comes forward.]

ABIGAIL. Grave abbess, and you happy virgins' guide, Pity the state of a distressed maid!

ABBESS. What art thou, daughter?

ABIGAIL. The hopeless daughter of a hapless Jew, The Jew of Malta, wretched Barabas, Sometimes [49] the owner of a goodly house, Which they have now turn'd to a nunnery.

ABBESS. Well, daughter, say, what is thy suit with us?

ABIGAIL. Fearing the afflictions which my father feels Proceed from sin or want of faith in us, I'd pass away my life in penitence, And be a novice in your nunnery, To make atonement for my labouring soul.

FRIAR JACOMO. No doubt, brother, but this proceedeth of the spirit.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Ay, and of a moving spirit too, brother: but come, Let us entreat she may be entertain'd.

ABBESS. Well, daughter, we admit you for a nun.

ABIGAIL. First let me as a novice learn to frame My solitary life to your strait laws, And let me lodge where I was wont to lie: I do not doubt, by your divine precepts And mine own industry, but to profit much.

BARABAS. As much, I hope, as all I hid is worth. [Aside.]

ABBESS. Come, daughter, follow us.

BARABAS. [coming forward] Why, how now, Abigail! What mak'st thou 'mongst these hateful Christians?

FRIAR JACOMO. Hinder her not, thou man of little faith, For she has mortified herself.

BARABAS. How! mortified!

FRIAR JACOMO. And is admitted to the sisterhood.

BARABAS. Child of perdition, and thy father's shame! What wilt thou do among these hateful fiends? I charge thee on my blessing that thou leave These devils and their damned heresy!

ABIGAIL. Father, forgive me— [50]

BARABAS. Nay, back, Abigail, And think upon the jewels and the gold; The board is marked thus that covers it.— [Aside to ABIGAIL in a whisper.] Away, accursed, from thy father's sight!

FRIAR JACOMO. Barabas, although thou art in misbelief, And wilt not see thine own afflictions, Yet let thy daughter be no longer blind.

BARABAS. Blind friar, I reck not thy persuasions,— The board is marked thus [51] that covers it— [Aside to ABIGAIL in a whisper.] For I had rather die than see her thus.— Wilt thou forsake me too in my distress, Seduced daughter?—Go, forget not.— [52] [Aside to her in a whisper.] Becomes it Jews to be so credulous?— To-morrow early I'll be at the door.— [Aside to her in a whisper.] No, come not at me; if thou wilt be damn'd, Forget me, see me not; and so, be gone!— Farewell; remember to-morrow morning.— [Aside to her in a whisper.] Out, out, thou wretch! [Exit, on one side, BARABAS. Exeunt, on the other side, FRIARS, ABBESS, NUN, and ABIGAIL: and, as they are going out,]


MATHIAS. Who's this? fair Abigail, the rich Jew's daughter, Become a nun! her father's sudden fall Has humbled her, and brought her down to this: Tut, she were fitter for a tale of love, Than to be tired out with orisons; And better would she far become a bed, Embraced in a friendly lover's arms, Than rise at midnight to a solemn mass.


LODOWICK. Why, how now, Don Mathias! in a dump?

MATHIAS. Believe me, noble Lodowick, I have seen The strangest sight, in my opinion, That ever I beheld.

LODOWICK. What was't, I prithee?

MATHIAS. A fair young maid, scarce fourteen years of age, The sweetest flower in Cytherea's field, Cropt from the pleasures of the fruitful earth, And strangely metamorphos'd [to a] nun.

LODOWICK. But say, what was she?

MATHIAS. Why, the rich Jew's daughter.

LODOWICK. What, Barabas, whose goods were lately seiz'd? Is she so fair?

MATHIAS. And matchless beautiful, As, had you seen her, 'twould have mov'd your heart, Though countermin'd with walls of brass, to love, Or, at the least, to pity.

LODOWICK. An if she be so fair as you report, 'Twere time well spent to go and visit her: How say you? shall we?

MATHIAS. I must and will, sir; there's no remedy.

LODOWICK. And so will I too, or it shall go hard. Farewell, Mathias.

MATHIAS. Farewell, Lodowick. [Exeunt severally.]


Enter BARABAS, with a light. [53]

BARABAS. Thus, like the sad-presaging raven, that tolls The sick man's passport in her hollow beak, [54] And in the shadow of the silent night Doth shake contagion from her sable wings, Vex'd and tormented runs poor Barabas With fatal curses towards these Christians. The incertain pleasures of swift-footed time Have ta'en their flight, and left me in despair; And of my former riches rests no more But bare remembrance; like a soldier's scar, That has no further comfort for his maim.— O Thou, that with a fiery pillar ledd'st The sons of Israel through the dismal shades, Light Abraham's offspring; and direct the hand Of Abigail this night! or let the day Turn to eternal darkness after this!— No sleep can fasten on my watchful eyes, Nor quiet enter my distemper'd thoughts, Till I have answer of my Abigail.

Enter ABIGAIL above.

ABIGAIL. Now have I happily espied a time To search the plank my father did appoint; And here, behold, unseen, where I have found The gold, the pearls, and jewels, which he hid.

BARABAS. Now I remember those old women's words, Who in my wealth would tell me winter's tales, And speak of spirits and ghosts that glide by night About the place where treasure hath been hid: And now methinks that I am one of those; For, whilst I live, here lives my soul's sole hope, And, when I die, here shall my spirit walk.

ABIGAIL. Now that my father's fortune were so good As but to be about this happy place! 'Tis not so happy: yet, when we parted last, He said he would attend me in the morn. Then, gentle Sleep, where'er his body rests, Give charge to Morpheus that he may dream A golden dream, and of [55] the sudden wake, [56] Come and receive the treasure I have found.

BARABAS. Bueno para todos mi ganado no era: [57] As good go on, as sit so sadly thus.— But stay: what star shines yonder in the east? [58] The loadstar of my life, if Abigail.— Who's there?

ABIGAIL. Who's that?

BARABAS. Peace, Abigail! 'tis I.

ABIGAIL. Then, father, here receive thy happiness.

BARABAS. Hast thou't?

ABIGAIL. Here.[throws down bags] Hast thou't? There's more, and more, and more.

BARABAS. O my girl, My gold, my fortune, my felicity, Strength to my soul, death to mine enemy; Welcome the first beginner of my bliss! O Abigail, Abigail, that I had thee here too! Then my desires were fully satisfied: But I will practice thy enlargement thence: O girl! O gold! O beauty! O my bliss! [Hugs the bags.]

ABIGAIL. Father, it draweth towards midnight now, And 'bout this time the nuns begin to wake; To shun suspicion, therefore, let us part.

BARABAS. Farewell, my joy, and by my fingers take A kiss from him that sends it from his soul. [Exit ABIGAIL above.] Now, Phoebus, ope the eye-lids of the day. And, for the raven, wake the morning lark, That I may hover with her in the air, Singing o'er these, as she does o'er her young. Hermoso placer de los dineros. [59] [Exit.]


FERNEZE. Now, captain, tell us whither thou art bound? Whence is thy ship that anchors in our road? And why thou cam'st ashore without our leave?

MARTIN DEL BOSCO. Governor of Malta, hither am I bound; My ship, the Flying Dragon, is of Spain, And so am I; Del Bosco is my name, Vice-admiral unto the Catholic King.

FIRST KNIGHT. 'Tis true, my lord; therefore entreat [61] him well.

MARTIN DEL BOSCO. Our fraught is Grecians, Turks, and Afric Moors; For late upon the coast of Corsica, Because we vail'd not [62] to the Turkish [63] fleet, Their creeping galleys had us in the chase: But suddenly the wind began to rise, And then we luff'd and tack'd, [64] and fought at ease: Some have we fir'd, and many have we sunk; But one amongst the rest became our prize: The captain's slain; the rest remain our slaves, Of whom we would make sale in Malta here.

FERNEZE. Martin del Bosco, I have heard of thee: Welcome to Malta, and to all of us! But to admit a sale of these thy Turks, We may not, nay, we dare not give consent, By reason of a tributary league.

FIRST KNIGHT. Del Bosco, as thou lov'st and honour'st us, Persuade our governor against the Turk: This truce we have is but in hope of gold, And with that sum he craves might we wage war.

MARTIN DEL BOSCO. Will knights of Malta be in league with Turks, And buy it basely too for sums of gold? My lord, remember that, to Europe's shame, The Christian isle of Rhodes, from whence you came, Was lately lost, and you were stated [65] here To be at deadly enmity with Turks.

FERNEZE. Captain, we know it; but our force is small.

MARTIN DEL BOSCO. What is the sum that Calymath requires?

FERNEZE. A hundred thousand crowns.

MARTIN DEL BOSCO. My lord and king hath title to this isle, And he means quickly to expel you hence; Therefore be rul'd by me, and keep the gold: I'll write unto his majesty for aid, And not depart until I see you free.

FERNEZE. On this condition shall thy Turks be sold.— Go, officers, and set them straight in show.— [Exeunt OFFICERS.] Bosco, thou shalt be Malta's general; We and our warlike knights will follow thee Against these barbarous misbelieving Turks.

MARTIN DEL BOSCO. So shall you imitate those you succeed; For, when their hideous force environ'd Rhodes, Small though the number was that kept the town, They fought it out, and not a man surviv'd To bring the hapless news to Christendom.

FERNEZE. So will we fight it out: come, let's away. Proud daring Calymath, instead of gold, We'll send thee bullets wrapt in smoke and fire: Claim tribute where thou wilt, we are resolv'd,— Honour is bought with blood, and not with gold. [Exeunt.]

Enter OFFICERS, [66] with ITHAMORE and other SLAVES.

FIRST OFFICER. This is the market-place; here let 'em stand: Fear not their sale, for they'll be quickly bought.

SECOND OFFICER. Every one's price is written on his back, And so much must they yield, or not be sold.

FIRST OFFICER. Here comes the Jew: had not his goods been seiz'd, He'd give us present money for them all.


BARABAS. In spite of these swine-eating Christians, (Unchosen nation, never circumcis'd, Poor villains, such as were [67] ne'er thought upon Till Titus and Vespasian conquer'd us,) Am I become as wealthy as I was. They hop'd my daughter would ha' been a nun; But she's at home, and I have bought a house As great and fair as is the governor's: And there, in spite of Malta, will I dwell, Having Ferneze's hand; whose heart I'll have, Ay, and his son's too, or it shall go hard. I am not of the tribe of Levi, I, That can so soon forget an injury. We Jews can fawn like spaniels when we please; And when we grin we bite; yet are our looks As innocent and harmless as a lamb's. I learn'd in Florence how to kiss my hand, Heave up my shoulders when they call me dog, And duck as low as any bare-foot friar; Hoping to see them starve upon a stall, Or else be gather'd for in our synagogue, That, when the offering-basin comes to me, Even for charity I may spit into't.— Here comes Don Lodowick, the governor's son, One that I love for his good father's sake.


LODOWICK. I hear the wealthy Jew walked this way: I'll seek him out, and so insinuate, That I may have a sight of Abigail, For Don Mathias tells me she is fair.

BARABAS. Now will I shew myself to have more of the serpent than the dove; that is, more knave than fool. [Aside.]

LODOWICK. Yond' walks the Jew: now for fair Abigail.

BARABAS. Ay, ay, no doubt but she's at your command. [Aside.]

LODOWICK. Barabas, thou know'st I am the governor's son.

BARABAS. I would you were his father too, sir! that's all the harm I wish you.—The slave looks like a hog's cheek new-singed. [Aside.]

LODOWICK. Whither walk'st thou, Barabas?

BARABAS. No further: 'tis a custom held with us, That when we speak with Gentiles like to you, We turn into [68] the air to purge ourselves; For unto us the promise doth belong.

LODOWICK. Well, Barabas, canst help me to a diamond?

BARABAS. O, sir, your father had my diamonds: Yet I have one left that will serve your turn.— I mean my daughter; but, ere he shall have her, I'll sacrifice her on a pile of wood: I ha' the poison of the city [69] for him, And the white leprosy. [Aside.]

LODOWICK. What sparkle does it give without a foil?

BARABAS. The diamond that I talk of ne'er was foil'd:— But, when he touches it, it will be foil'd.— [70] [Aside.] Lord Lodowick, it sparkles bright and fair.

LODOWICK. Is it square or pointed? pray, let me know.

BARABAS. Pointed it is, good sir,—but not for you. [Aside.]

LODOWICK. I like it much the better.

BARABAS. So do I too.

LODOWICK. How shews it by night?

BARABAS. Outshines Cynthia's rays:— You'll like it better far o' nights than days. [Aside.]

LODOWICK. And what's the price?

BARABAS. Your life, an if you have it [Aside].—O my lord, We will not jar about the price: come to my house, And I will give't your honour—with a vengeance. [Aside.]

LODOWICK. No, Barabas, I will deserve it first.

BARABAS. Good sir, Your father has deserv'd it at my hands, Who, of mere charity and Christian ruth, To bring me to religious purity, And, as it were, in catechising sort, To make me mindful of my mortal sins, Against my will, and whether I would or no, Seiz'd all I had, and thrust me out o' doors, And made my house a place for nuns most chaste.

LODOWICK. No doubt your soul shall reap the fruit of it.

BARABAS. Ay, but, my lord, the harvest is far off: And yet I know the prayers of those nuns And holy friars, having money for their pains, Are wondrous;—and indeed do no man good;— [Aside.] And, seeing they are not idle, but still doing, 'Tis likely they in time may reap some fruit, I mean, in fullness of perfection.

LODOWICK. Good Barabas, glance not at our holy nuns.

BARABAS. No, but I do it through a burning zeal,— Hoping ere long to set the house a-fire; For, though they do a while increase and multiply, I'll have a saying to that nunnery.— [71] [Aside.] As for the diamond, sir, I told you of, Come home, and there's no price shall make us part, Even for your honourable father's sake,— It shall go hard but I will see your death.— [Aside.] But now I must be gone to buy a slave.

LODOWICK. And, Barabas, I'll bear thee company.

BARABAS. Come, then; here's the market-place.— What's the price of this slave? two hundred crowns! do the Turks weigh so much?

FIRST OFFICER. Sir, that's his price.

BARABAS. What, can he steal, that you demand so much? Belike he has some new trick for a purse; An if he has, he is worth three hundred plates, [72] So that, being bought, the town-seal might be got To keep him for his life-time from the gallows: The sessions-day is critical to thieves, And few or none scape but by being purg'd.

LODOWICK. Rat'st thou this Moor but at two hundred plates?

FIRST OFFICER. No more, my lord.

BARABAS. Why should this Turk be dearer than that Moor?

FIRST OFFICER. Because he is young, and has more qualities.

BARABAS. What, hast the philosopher's stone? an thou hast, break my head with it, I'll forgive thee.

SLAVE. [73] No, sir; I can cut and shave.

BARABAS. Let me see, sirrah; are you not an old shaver?

SLAVE. Alas, sir, I am a very youth!

BARABAS. A youth! I'll buy you, and marry you to Lady Vanity, [74] if you do well.

SLAVE. I will serve you, sir.

BARABAS. Some wicked trick or other: it may be, under colour of shaving, thou'lt cut my throat for my goods. Tell me, hast thou thy health well?

SLAVE. Ay, passing well.

BARABAS. So much the worse: I must have one that's sickly, an't be but for sparing victuals: 'tis not a stone of beef a-day will maintain you in these chops.—Let me see one that's somewhat leaner.

FIRST OFFICER. Here's a leaner; how like you him?

BARABAS. Where wast thou born?

ITHAMORE. In Thrace; brought up in Arabia.

BARABAS. So much the better; thou art for my turn. An hundred crowns? I'll have him; there's the coin. [Gives money.]

FIRST OFFICER. Then mark him, sir, and take him hence.

BARABAS. Ay, mark him, you were best; for this is he That by my help shall do much villany.— [Aside.] My lord, farewell.—Come, sirrah; you are mine.— As for the diamond, it shall be yours: I pray, sir, be no stranger at my house; All that I have shall be at your command.


MATHIAS. What make the Jew and Lodowick so private? I fear me 'tis about fair Abigail. [Aside.]

BARABAS. [to LODOWICK.] Yonder comes Don Mathias; let us stay: [76] He loves my daughter, and she holds him dear; But I have sworn to frustrate both their hopes, And be reveng'd upon the—governor. [Aside.] [Exit LODOWICK.]

KATHARINE. This Moor is comeliest, is he not? speak, son.

MATHIAS. No, this is the better, mother, view this well.

BARABAS. Seem not to know me here before your mother, Lest she mistrust the match that is in hand: When you have brought her home, come to my house; Think of me as thy father: son, farewell.

MATHIAS. But wherefore talk'd Don Lodowick with you?

BARABAS. Tush, man! we talk'd of diamonds, not of Abigail.

KATHARINE. Tell me, Mathias, is not that the Jew?

BARABAS. As for the comment on the Maccabees, I have it, sir, and 'tis at your command.

MATHIAS. Yes, madam, and my talk with him was [77] About the borrowing of a book or two.

KATHARINE. Converse not with him; he is cast off from heaven.— Thou hast thy crowns, fellow.—Come, let's away.

MATHIAS. Sirrah Jew, remember the book.

BARABAS. Marry, will I, sir. [Exeunt KATHARlNE and MATHIAS.]

FIRST OFFICER. Come, I have made a reasonable market; let's away. [Exeunt OFFICERS with SLAVES.]

BARABAS. Now let me know thy name, and therewithal Thy birth, condition, and profession.

ITHAMORE. Faith, sir, my birth is but mean; my name's Ithamore; my profession what you please.

BARABAS. Hast thou no trade? then listen to my words, And I will teach [thee] that shall stick by thee: First, be thou void of these affections, Compassion, love, vain hope, and heartless fear; Be mov'd at nothing, see thou pity none, But to thyself smile when the Christians moan.

ITHAMORE. O, brave, master! [78] I worship your nose [79] for this.

BARABAS. As for myself, I walk abroad o' nights, And kill sick people groaning under walls: Sometimes I go about and poison wells; And now and then, to cherish Christian thieves, I am content to lose some of my crowns, That I may, walking in my gallery, See 'em go pinion'd along by my door. Being young, I studied physic, and began To practice first upon the Italian; There I enrich'd the priests with burials, And always kept the sexton's arms in ure [80] With digging graves and ringing dead men's knells: And, after that, was I an engineer, And in the wars 'twixt France and Germany, Under pretence of helping Charles the Fifth, Slew friend and enemy with my stratagems: Then, after that, was I an usurer, And with extorting, cozening, forfeiting, And tricks belonging unto brokery, I fill'd the gaols with bankrupts in a year, And with young orphans planted hospitals; And every moon made some or other mad, And now and then one hang himself for grief, Pinning upon his breast a long great scroll How I with interest tormented him. But mark how I am blest for plaguing them;— I have as much coin as will buy the town. But tell me now, how hast thou spent thy time?

ITHAMORE. Faith, master, In setting Christian villages on fire, Chaining of eunuchs, binding galley-slaves. One time I was an hostler in an inn, And in the night-time secretly would I steal To travellers' chambers, and there cut their throats: Once at Jerusalem, where the pilgrims kneel'd, I strewed powder on the marble stones, And therewithal their knees would rankle so, That I have laugh'd a-good [81] to see the cripples Go limping home to Christendom on stilts.

BARABAS. Why, this is something: make account of me As of thy fellow; we are villains both; Both circumcised; we hate Christians both: Be true and secret; thou shalt want no gold. But stand aside; here comes Don Lodowick.

Enter LODOWICK. [82]

LODOWICK. O, Barabas, well met; Where is the diamond you told me of?

BARABAS. I have it for you, sir: please you walk in with me.— What, ho, Abigail! open the door, I say!

Enter ABIGAIL, with letters.

ABIGAIL. In good time, father; here are letters come ]From Ormus, and the post stays here within.

BARABAS. Give me the letters.—Daughter, do you hear? Entertain Lodowick, the governor's son, With all the courtesy you can afford, Provided that you keep your maidenhead: Use him as if he were a Philistine; Dissemble, swear, protest, vow love to him: [83] He is not of the seed of Abraham.— [Aside to her.] I am a little busy, sir; pray, pardon me.— Abigail, bid him welcome for my sake.

ABIGAIL. For your sake and his own he's welcome hither.

BARABAS. Daughter, a word more: kiss him, speak him fair, And like a cunning Jew so cast about, That ye be both made sure [84] ere you come out. [Aside to her.]

ABIGAIL. O father, Don Mathias is my love!

BARABAS. I know it: yet, I say, make love to him; Do, it is requisite it should be so.— [Aside to her.] Nay, on my life, it is my factor's hand; But go you in, I'll think upon the account. [Exeunt ABIGAIL and LODOWICK into the house.] The account is made, for Lodovico [85] dies. My factor sends me word a merchant's fled That owes me for a hundred tun of wine: I weigh it thus much[snapping his fingers]! I have wealth enough; For now by this has he kiss'd Abigail, And she vows love to him, and he to her. As sure as heaven rain'd manna for the Jews, So sure shall he and Don Mathias die: His father was my chiefest enemy.


Whither goes Don Mathias? stay a while.

MATHIAS. Whither, but to my fair love Abigail?

BARABAS. Thou know'st, and heaven can witness it is true, That I intend my daughter shall be thine.

MATHIAS. Ay, Barabas, or else thou wrong'st me much.

BARABAS. O, heaven forbid I should have such a thought! Pardon me though I weep: the governor's son Will, whether I will or no, have Abigail; He sends her letters, bracelets, jewels, rings.

MATHIAS. Does she receive them?

BARABAS. She! no, Mathias, no, but sends them back; And, when he comes, she locks herself up fast; Yet through the key-hole will he talk to her, While she runs to the window, looking out When you should come and hale him from the door.

MATHIAS. O treacherous Lodowick!

BARABAS. Even now, as I came home, he slipt me in, And I am sure he is with Abigail.

MATHIAS. I'll rouse him thence.

BARABAS. Not for all Malta; therefore sheathe your sword; If you love me, no quarrels in my house; But steal you in, and seem to see him not: I'll give him such a warning ere he goes, As he shall have small hopes of Abigail. Away, for here they come.


MATHIAS. What, hand in hand! I cannot suffer this.

BARABAS. Mathias, as thou lov'st me, not a word.

MATHIAS. Well, let it pass; another time shall serve. [Exit into the house.]

LODOWICK. Barabas, is not that the widow's son?

BARABAS. Ay, and take heed, for he hath sworn your death.

LODOWICK. My death! what, is the base-born peasant mad?

BARABAS. No, no; but happily [86] he stands in fear Of that which you, I think, ne'er dream upon,— My daughter here, a paltry silly girl.

LODOWICK. Why, loves she Don Mathias?

BARABAS. Doth she not with her smiling answer you?

ABIGAIL. He has my heart; I smile against my will. [Aside.]

LODOWICK. Barabas, thou know'st I have lov'd thy daughter long.

BARABAS. And so has she done you, even from a child.

LODOWICK. And now I can no longer hold my mind.

BARABAS. Nor I the affection that I bear to you.

LODOWICK. This is thy diamond; tell me, shall I have it?

BARABAS. Win it, and wear it; it is yet unsoil'd. [87] O, but I know your lordship would disdain To marry with the daughter of a Jew: And yet I'll give her many a golden cross [88] With Christian posies round about the ring.

LODOWICK. 'Tis not thy wealth, but her that I esteem; Yet crave I thy consent.

BARABAS. And mine you have; yet let me talk to her.— This offspring of Cain, this Jebusite, That never tasted of the Passover, Nor e'er shall see the land of Canaan, Nor our Messias that is yet to come; This gentle maggot, Lodowick, I mean, Must be deluded: let him have thy hand, But keep thy heart till Don Mathias comes. [Aside to her.]

ABIGAIL. What, shall I be betroth'd to Lodowick?

BARABAS. It's no sin to deceive a Christian; For they themselves hold it a principle, Faith is not to be held with heretics: But all are heretics that are not Jews; This follows well, and therefore, daughter, fear not.— [Aside to her.] I have entreated her, and she will grant.

LODOWICK. Then, gentle Abigail, plight thy faith to me.

ABIGAIL. I cannot choose, seeing my father bids: Nothing but death shall part my love and me.

LODOWICK. Now have I that for which my soul hath long'd.

BARABAS. So have not I; but yet I hope I shall. [Aside.]

ABIGAIL. O wretched Abigail, what hast thou [89] done? [Aside.]

LODOWICK. Why on the sudden is your colour chang'd?

ABIGAIL. I know not: but farewell; I must be gone.

BARABAS. Stay her, but let her not speak one word more.

LODOWICK. Mute o' the sudden! here's a sudden change.

BARABAS. O, muse not at it; 'tis the Hebrews' guise, That maidens new-betroth'd should weep a while: Trouble her not; sweet Lodowick, depart: She is thy wife, and thou shalt be mine heir.

LODOWICK. O, is't the custom? then I am resolv'd: [90] But rather let the brightsome heavens be dim, And nature's beauty choke with stifling clouds, Than my fair Abigail should frown on me.— There comes the villain; now I'll be reveng'd.

Re-enter MATHIAS.

BARABAS. Be quiet, Lodowick; it is enough That I have made thee sure to Abigail.

LODOWICK. Well, let him go. [Exit.]

BARABAS. Well, but for me, as you went in at doors You had been stabb'd: but not a word on't now; Here must no speeches pass, nor swords be drawn.

MATHIAS. Suffer me, Barabas, but to follow him.

BARABAS. No; so shall I, if any hurt be done, Be made an accessary of your deeds: Revenge it on him when you meet him next.

MATHIAS. For this I'll have his heart.

BARABAS. Do so. Lo, here I give thee Abigail!

MATHIAS. What greater gift can poor Mathias have? Shall Lodowick rob me of so fair a love? My life is not so dear as Abigail.

BARABAS. My heart misgives me, that, to cross your love, He's with your mother; therefore after him.

MATHIAS. What, is he gone unto my mother?

BARABAS. Nay, if you will, stay till she comes herself.

MATHIAS. I cannot stay; for, if my mother come, She'll die with grief. [Exit.]

ABIGAIL. I cannot take my leave of him for tears. Father, why have you thus incens'd them both?

BARABAS. What's that to thee?

ABIGAIL. I'll make 'em friends again.

BARABAS. You'll make 'em friends! are there not Jews enow in Malta, But thou must dote upon a Christian?

ABIGAIL. I will have Don Mathias; he is my love.

BARABAS. Yes, you shall have him.—Go, put her in.

ITHAMORE. Ay, I'll put her in. [Puts in ABIGAIL.]

BARABAS. Now tell me, Ithamore, how lik'st thou this?

ITHAMORE. Faith, master, I think by this You purchase both their lives: is it not so?

BARABAS. True; and it shall be cunningly perform'd.

ITHAMORE. O, master, that I might have a hand in this!

BARABAS. Ay, so thou shalt; 'tis thou must do the deed: Take this, and bear it to Mathias straight, [Giving a letter.] And tell him that it comes from Lodowick.

ITHAMORE. 'Tis poison'd, is it not?

BARABAS. No, no; and yet it might be done that way: It is a challenge feign'd from Lodowick.

ITHAMORE. Fear not; I will so set his heart a-fire, That he shall verily think it comes from him.

BARABAS. I cannot choose but like thy readiness: Yet be not rash, but do it cunningly.

ITHAMORE. As I behave myself in this, employ me hereafter.

BARABAS. Away, then! [Exit ITHAMORE.] So; now will I go in to Lodowick, And, like a cunning spirit, feign some lie, Till I have set 'em both at enmity. [Exit.]


Enter BELLAMIRA. [91]

BELLAMIRA. Since this town was besieg'd, my gain grows cold: The time has been, that but for one bare night A hundred ducats have been freely given; But now against my will I must be chaste: And yet I know my beauty doth not fail. ]From Venice merchants, and from Padua Were wont to come rare-witted gentlemen, Scholars I mean, learned and liberal; And now, save Pilia-Borza, comes there none, And he is very seldom from my house; And here he comes.


PILIA-BORZA. Hold thee, wench, there's something for thee to spend. [Shewing a bag of silver.]

BELLAMIRA. 'Tis silver; I disdain it.

PILIA-BORZA. Ay, but the Jew has gold, And I will have it, or it shall go hard.

BELLAMIRA. Tell me, how cam'st thou by this?

PILIA-BORZA. Faith, walking the back-lanes, through the gardens, I chanced to cast mine eye up to the Jew's counting-house, where I saw some bags of money, and in the night I clambered up with my hooks; and, as I was taking my choice, I heard a rumbling in the house; so I took only this, and run my way.—But here's the Jew's man.

BELLAMIRA. Hide the bag.


PILIA-BORZA. Look not towards him, let's away. Zoons, what a looking thou keepest! thou'lt betray's anon. [Exeunt BELLAMIRA and PILIA-BORZA.]

ITHAMORE. O, the sweetest face that ever I beheld! I know she is a courtezan by her attire: now would I give a hundred of the Jew's crowns that I had such a concubine. Well, I have deliver'd the challenge in such sort, As meet they will, and fighting die,—brave sport! [Exit.]


MATHIAS. This is the place: [92] now Abigail shall see Whether Mathias holds her dear or no.


What, dares the villain write in such base terms? [Looking at a letter.]

LODOWICK. I did it; and revenge it, if thou dar'st! [They fight.]

Enter BARABAS above.

BARABAS. O, bravely fought! and yet they thrust not home. Now, Lodovico! [93] now, Mathias!—So; [Both fall.] So, now they have shew'd themselves to be tall [94] fellows.

[Cries within] Part 'em, part 'em!

BARABAS. Ay, part 'em now they are dead. Farewell, farewell! [Exit above.]


FERNEZE. What sight is this! [95] my Lodovico [96] slain! These arms of mine shall be thy sepulchre. [97]

KATHARINE. Who is this? my son Mathias slain!

FERNEZE. O Lodowick, hadst thou perish'd by the Turk, Wretched Ferneze might have veng'd thy death!

KATHARINE. Thy son slew mine, and I'll revenge his death.

FERNEZE. Look, Katharine, look! thy son gave mine these wounds.

KATHARINE. O, leave to grieve me! I am griev'd enough.

FERNEZE. O, that my sighs could turn to lively breath, And these my tears to blood, that he might live!

KATHARINE. Who made them enemies?

FERNEZE. I know not; and that grieves me most of all.

KATHARINE. My son lov'd thine.

FERNEZE. And so did Lodowick him.

KATHARINE. Lend me that weapon that did kill my son, And it shall murder me.

FERNEZE. Nay, madam, stay; that weapon was my son's, And on that rather should Ferneze die.

KATHARINE. Hold; let's inquire the causers of their deaths, That we may venge their blood upon their heads.

FERNEZE. Then take them up, and let them be interr'd Within one sacred monument of stone; Upon which altar I will offer up My daily sacrifice of sighs and tears, And with my prayers pierce impartial heavens, Till they [reveal] the causers of our smarts, Which forc'd their hands divide united hearts. Come, Katharine; [98] our losses equal are; Then of true grief let us take equal share. [Exeunt with the bodies.]

Enter ITHAMORE. [99]

ITHAMORE. Why, was there ever seen such villany, So neatly plotted, and so well perform'd? Both held in hand, [100] and flatly both beguil'd?


ABIGAIL. Why, how now, Ithamore! why laugh'st thou so?

ITHAMORE. O mistress! ha, ha, ha!

ABIGAIL. Why, what ail'st thou?

ITHAMORE. O, my master!


ITHAMORE. O mistress, I have the bravest, gravest, secret, subtle, bottle-nosed [101] knave to my master, that ever gentleman had!

ABIGAIL. Say, knave, why rail'st upon my father thus?

ITHAMORE. O, my master has the bravest policy!

ABIGAIL. Wherein?

ITHAMORE. Why, know you not?

ABIGAIL. Why, no.

ITHAMORE. Know you not of Mathias and Don Lodowickś disaster?

ABIGAIL. No: what was it?

ITHAMORE. Why, the devil inverted a challenge, my master writ it, and I carried it, first to Lodowick, and imprimis to Mathia[s]; And then they met, [and], as the story says, In doleful wise they ended both their days.

ABIGAIL. And was my father furtherer of their deaths?

ITHAMORE. Am I Ithamore?


ITHAMORE. So sure did your father write, and I carry the challenge.

ABIGAIL. Well, Ithamore, let me request thee this; Go to the new-made nunnery, and inquire For any of the friars of Saint Jaques, [102] And say, I pray them come and speak with me.

ITHAMORE. I pray, mistress, will you answer me to one question?

ABIGAIL. Well, sirrah, what is't?

ITHAMORE. A very feeling one: have not the nuns fine sport with the friars now and then?

ABIGAIL. Go to, Sirrah Sauce! is this your question? get ye gone.

ITHAMORE. I will, forsooth, mistress. [Exit.]

ABIGAIL. Hard-hearted father, unkind Barabas! Was this the pursuit of thy policy, To make me shew them favour severally, That by my favour they should both be slain? Admit thou lov'dst not Lodowick for his sire, [103] Yet Don Mathias ne'er offended thee: But thou wert set upon extreme revenge, Because the prior dispossess'd thee once, And couldst not venge it but upon his son; Nor on his son but by Mathias' means; Nor on Mathias but by murdering me: But I perceive there is no love on earth, Pity in Jews, nor piety in Turks.— But here comes cursed Ithamore with the friar.


FRIAR JACOMO. Virgo, salve.

ITHAMORE. When duck you?

ABIGAIL. Welcome, grave friar.—Ithamore, be gone. [Exit ITHAMORE.] Know, holy sir, I am bold to solicit thee.


ABIGAIL. To get me be admitted for a nun.

FRIAR JACOMO. Why, Abigail, it is not yet long since That I did labour thy admission, And then thou didst not like that holy life.

ABIGAIL. Then were my thoughts so frail and unconfirm'd As [104] I was chain'd to follies of the world: But now experience, purchased with grief, Has made me see the difference of things. My sinful soul, alas, hath pac'd too long The fatal labyrinth of misbelief, Far from the sun that gives eternal life!

FRIAR JACOMO. Who taught thee this?

ABIGAIL. The abbess of the house, Whose zealous admonition I embrace: O, therefore, Jacomo, let me be one, Although unworthy, of that sisterhood!

FRIAR JACOMO. Abigail, I will: but see thou change no more, For that will be most heavy to thy soul.

ABIGAIL. That was my father's fault.

FRIAR JACOMO. Thy father's! how?

ABIGAIL. Nay, you shall pardon me.—O Barabas, Though thou deservest hardly at my hands, Yet never shall these lips bewray thy life! [Aside.]

FRIAR JACOMO. Come, shall we go?

ABIGAIL. My duty waits on you. [Exeunt.]

Enter BARABAS, [105] reading a letter.

BARABAS. What, Abigail become a nun again! False and unkind! what, hast thou lost thy father? And, all unknown and unconstrain'd of me, Art thou again got to the nunnery? Now here she writes, and wills me to repent: Repentance! Spurca! what pretendeth [106] this? I fear she knows—'tis so—of my device In Don Mathias' and Lodovico's deaths: If so, 'tis time that it be seen into; For she that varies from me in belief, Gives great presumption that she loves me not, Or, loving, doth dislike of something done.— But who comes here?


O Ithamore, come near; Come near, my love; come near, thy master's life, My trusty servant, nay, my second self; [107] For I have now no hope but even in thee, And on that hope my happiness is built. When saw'st thou Abigail?


BARABAS. With whom?

ITHAMORE. A friar.

BARABAS. A friar! false villain, he hath done the deed.

ITHAMORE. How, sir!

BARABAS. Why, made mine Abigail a nun.

ITHAMORE. That's no lie; for she sent me for him.

BARABAS. O unhappy day! False, credulous, inconstant Abigail! But let 'em go: and, Ithamore, from hence Ne'er shall she grieve me more with her disgrace; Ne'er shall she live to inherit aught of mine, Be bless'd of me, nor come within my gates, But perish underneath my bitter curse, Like Cain by Adam for his brother's death.

ITHAMORE. O master—

BARABAS. Ithamore, entreat not for her; I am mov'd, And she is hateful to my soul and me: And, 'less [108] thou yield to this that I entreat, I cannot think but that thou hat'st my life.

ITHAMORE. Who, I, master? why, I'll run to some rock, And throw myself headlong into the sea; Why, I'll do any thing for your sweet sake.

BARABAS. O trusty Ithamore! no servant, but my friend! I here adopt thee for mine only heir: All that I have is thine when I am dead; And, whilst I live, use half; spend as myself; Here, take my keys,—I'll give 'em thee anon; Go buy thee garments; but thou shalt not want: Only know this, that thus thou art to do— But first go fetch me in the pot of rice That for our supper stands upon the fire.

ITHAMORE. I hold my head, my master's hungry [Aside].—I go, sir. [Exit.]

BARABAS. Thus every villain ambles after wealth, Although he ne'er be richer than in hope:— But, husht!

Re-enter ITHAMORE with the pot.

ITHAMORE. Here 'tis, master.

BARABAS. Well said, [109] Ithamore! What, hast thou brought The ladle with thee too?

ITHAMORE. Yes, sir; the proverb says, [110] he that eats with the devil had need of a long spoon; I have brought you a ladle.

BARABAS. Very well, Ithamore; then now be secret; And, for thy sake, whom I so dearly love, Now shalt thou see the death of Abigail, That thou mayst freely live to be my heir.

ITHAMORE. Why, master, will you poison her with a mess of rice- porridge? that will preserve life, make her round and plump, and batten [111] more than you are aware.

BARABAS. Ay, but, Ithamore, seest thou this? It is a precious powder that I bought Of an Italian, in Ancona, once, Whose operation is to bind, infect, And poison deeply, yet not appear In forty hours after it is ta'en.

ITHAMORE. How, master?

BARABAS. Thus, Ithamore: This even they use in Malta here,—'tis call'd Saint Jaques' Even,—and then, I say, they use To send their alms unto the nunneries: Among the rest, bear this, and set it there: There's a dark entry where they take it in, Where they must neither see the messenger, Nor make inquiry who hath sent it them.


BARABAS. Belike there is some ceremony in't. There, Ithamore, must thou go place this pot: [112] Stay; let me spice it first.

ITHAMORE. Pray, do, and let me help you, master. Pray, let me taste first.

BARABAS. Prithee, do.[ITHAMORE tastes.] What say'st thou now?

ITHAMORE. Troth, master, I'm loath such a pot of pottage should be spoiled.

BARABAS. Peace, Ithamore! 'tis better so than spar'd. [Puts the powder into the pot.] Assure thyself thou shalt have broth by the eye: [113] My purse, my coffer, and myself is thine.

ITHAMORE. Well, master, I go.

BARABAS. Stay; first let me stir it, Ithamore. As fatal be it to her as the draught Of which great Alexander drunk, and died; And with her let it work like Borgia's wine, Whereof his sire the Pope was poisoned! In few, [114] the blood of Hydra, Lerna's bane, The juice of hebon, [115] and Cocytus' breath, And all the poisons of the Stygian pool, Break from the fiery kingdom, and in this Vomit your venom, and envenom her That, like a fiend, hath left her father thus!

ITHAMORE. What a blessing has he given't! was ever pot of rice-porridge so sauced? [Aside].—What shall I do with it?

BARABAS. O my sweet Ithamore, go set it down; And come again so soon as thou hast done, For I have other business for thee.

ITHAMORE. Here's a drench to poison a whole stable of Flanders mares: I'll carry't to the nuns with a powder.

BARABAS. And the horse-pestilence to boot: away!

ITHAMORE. I am gone: Pay me my wages, for my work is done. [Exit with the pot.]

BARABAS. I'll pay thee with a vengeance, Ithamore! [Exit.]


FERNEZE. Welcome, great basso: [117] how fares Calymath? What wind drives you thus into Malta-road?

BASSO. The wind that bloweth all the world besides, Desire of gold.

FERNEZE. Desire of gold, great sir! That's to be gotten in the Western Inde: In Malta are no golden minerals.

BASSO. To you of Malta thus saith Calymath: The time you took for respite is at hand For the performance of your promise pass'd; And for the tribute-money I am sent.

FERNEZE. Basso, in brief, shalt have no tribute here, Nor shall the heathens live upon our spoil: First will we raze the city-walls ourselves, Lay waste the island, hew the temples down, And, shipping off our goods to Sicily, Open an entrance for the wasteful sea, Whose billows, beating the resistless banks, [118] Shall overflow it with their refluence.

BASSO. Well, governor, since thou hast broke the league By flat denial of the promis'd tribute, Talk not of razing down your city-walls; You shall not need trouble yourselves so far, For Selim Calymath shall come himself, And with brass bullets batter down your towers, And turn proud Malta to a wilderness, For these intolerable wrongs of yours: And so, farewell.

FERNEZE. Farewell. [Exit BASSO.] And now, you men of Malta, look about, And let's provide to welcome Calymath: Close your port-cullis, charge your basilisks, [119] And, as you profitably take up arms, So now courageously encounter them, For by this answer broken is the league, And naught is to be look'd for now but wars, And naught to us more welcome is than wars. [Exeunt.]


FRIAR JACOMO. O brother, brother, all the nuns are sick, And physic will not help them! they must die.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. The abbess sent for me to be confess'd: O, what a sad confession will there be!

FRIAR JACOMO. And so did fair Maria send for me: I'll to her lodging; hereabouts she lies. [Exit.]


FRIAR BARNARDINE. What, all dead, save only Abigail!

ABIGAIL. And I shall die too, for I feel death coming. Where is the friar that convers'd with me? [121]

FRIAR BARNARDINE. O, he is gone to see the other nuns.

ABIGAIL. I sent for him; but, seeing you are come, Be you my ghostly father: and first know, That in this house I liv'd religiously, Chaste, and devout, much sorrowing for my sins; But, ere I came—


ABIGAIL. I did offend high heaven so grievously As I am almost desperate for my sins; And one offense torments me more than all. You knew Mathias and Don Lodowick?

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Yes; what of them?

ABIGAIL. My father did contract me to 'em both; First to Don Lodowick: him I never lov'd; Mathias was the man that I held dear, And for his sake did I become a nun.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. So: say how was their end?

ABIGAIL. Both, jealous of my love, envied [122] each other; And by my father's practice, [123] which is there [Gives writing.] Set down at large, the gallants were both slain.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. O, monstrous villany!

ABIGAIL. To work my peace, this I confess to thee: Reveal it not; for then my father dies.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Know that confession must not be reveal'd; The canon-law forbids it, and the priest That makes it known, being degraded first, Shall be condemn'd, and then sent to the fire.

ABIGAIL. So I have heard; pray, therefore, keep it close. Death seizeth on my heart: ah, gentle friar, Convert my father that he may be sav'd, And witness that I die a Christian! [Dies.]

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Ay, and a virgin too; that grieves me most. But I must to the Jew, and exclaim on him, And make him stand in fear of me.


FRIAR JACOMO. O brother, all the nuns are dead! let's bury them.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. First help to bury this; then go with me, And help me to exclaim against the Jew.

FRIAR JACOMO. Why, what has he done?

FRIAR BARNARDINE. A thing that makes me tremble to unfold.

FRIAR JACOMO. What, has he crucified a child? [124]

FRIAR BARNARDINE. No, but a worse thing: 'twas told me in shrift; Thou know'st 'tis death, an if it be reveal'd. Come, let's away. [Exeunt.]


Enter BARABAS [125] and ITHAMORE. Bells within.

BARABAS. There is no music to [126] a Christian's knell: How sweet the bells ring, now the nuns are dead, That sound at other times like tinkers' pans! I was afraid the poison had not wrought, Or, though it wrought, it would have done no good, For every year they swell, and yet they live: Now all are dead, not one remains alive.

ITHAMORE. That's brave, master: but think you it will not be known?

BARABAS. How can it, if we two be secret?

ITHAMORE. For my part, fear you not.

BARABAS. I'd cut thy throat, if I did.

ITHAMORE. And reason too. But here's a royal monastery hard by; Good master, let me poison all the monks.

BARABAS. Thou shalt not need; for, now the nuns are dead, They'll die with grief.

ITHAMORE. Do you not sorrow for your daughter's death?

BARABAS. No, but I grieve because she liv'd so long, An Hebrew born, and would become a Christian: Cazzo, [127] diabolo!

ITHAMORE. Look, look, master; here come two religious caterpillars.


BARABAS. I smelt 'em ere they came.

ITHAMORE. God-a-mercy, nose! [128] Come, let's begone.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Stay, wicked Jew; repent, I say, and stay.

FRIAR JACOMO. Thou hast offended, therefore must be damn'd.

BARABAS. I fear they know we sent the poison'd broth.

ITHAMORE. And so do I, master; therefore speak 'em fair.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Barabas, thou hast—

FRIAR JACOMO. Ay, that thou hast—

BARABAS. True, I have money; what though I have?


FRIAR JACOMO. Ay, that thou art, a—

BARABAS. What needs all this? I know I am a Jew.


FRIAR JACOMO. Ay, thy daughter—

BARABAS. O, speak not of her! then I die with grief.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Remember that—

FRIAR JACOMO. Ay, remember that—

BARABAS. I must needs say that I have been a great usurer.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Thou hast committed—

BARABAS. Fornication: but that was in another country; And besides, the wench is dead.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Ay, but, Barabas, Remember Mathias and Don Lodowick.

BARABAS. Why, what of them?

FRIAR BARNARDINE. I will not say that by a forged challenge they met.

BARABAS. She has confess'd, and we are both undone, My bosom inmate! [129] but I must dissemble.— [Aside to ITHAMORE.] O holy friars, the burden of my sins Lie heavy [130] on my soul! then, pray you, tell me, Is't not too late now to turn Christian? I have been zealous in the Jewish faith, Hard-hearted to the poor, a covetous wretch, That would for lucre's sake have sold my soul; A hundred for a hundred I have ta'en; And now for store of wealth may I compare With all the Jews in Malta: but what is wealth? I am a Jew, and therefore am I lost. Would penance serve [to atone] for this my sin, I could afford to whip myself to death,—

ITHAMORE. And so could I; but penance will not serve.

BARABAS. To fast, to pray, and wear a shirt of hair, And on my knees creep to Jerusalem. Cellars of wine, and sollars [131] full of wheat, Warehouses stuff'd with spices and with drugs, Whole chests of gold in bullion and in coin, Besides, I know not how much weight in pearl Orient and round, have I within my house; At Alexandria merchandise untold; [132] But yesterday two ships went from this town, Their voyage will be worth ten thousand crowns; In Florence, Venice, Antwerp, London, Seville, Frankfort, Lubeck, Moscow, and where not, Have I debts owing; and, in most of these, Great sums of money lying in the banco; All this I'll give to some religious house, So I may be baptiz'd, and live therein.

FRIAR JACOMO. O good Barabas, come to our house!

FRIAR BARNARDINE. O, no, good Barabas, come to our house! And, Barabas, you know—

BARABAS. I know that I have highly sinn'd: You shall convert me, you shall have all my wealth.

FRIAR JACOMO. O Barabas, their laws are strict!

BARABAS. I know they are; and I will be with you.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. They wear no shirts, and they go bare-foot too.

BARABAS. Then 'tis not for me; and I am resolv'd You shall confess me, and have all my goods.

FRIAR JACOMO. Good Barabas, come to me.

BARABAS. You see I answer him, and yet he stays; Rid him away, and go you home with me.

FRIAR JACOMO. I'll be with you to-night.

BARABAS. Come to my house at one o'clock this night.

FRIAR JACOMO. You hear your answer, and you may be gone.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Why, go, get you away.

FRIAR JACOMO. I will not go for thee.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Not! then I'll make thee go.

FRIAR JACOMO. How! dost call me rogue?

[They fight.]

ITHAMORE. Part 'em, master, part 'em.

BARABAS. This is mere frailty: brethren, be content.— Friar Barnardine, go you with Ithamore: You know my mind; let me alone with him.

FRIAR JACOMO. Why does he go to thy house? let him be gone. [133]

BARABAS. I'll give him something, and so stop his mouth. [Exit ITHAMORE with Friar BARNARDINE.] I never heard of any man but he Malign'd the order of the Jacobins: But do you think that I believe his words? Why, brother, you converted Abigail; And I am bound in charity to requite it, And so I will. O Jacomo, fail not, but come.

FRIAR JACOMO. But, Barabas, who shall be your godfathers? For presently you shall be shriv'd.

BARABAS. Marry, the Turk [134] shall be one of my godfathers, But not a word to any of your covent. [135]

FRIAR JACOMO. I warrant thee, Barabas. [Exit.]

BARABAS. So, now the fear is past, and I am safe; For he that shriv'd her is within my house: What, if I murder'd him ere Jacomo comes? Now I have such a plot for both their lives, As never Jew nor Christian knew the like: One turn'd my daughter, therefore he shall die; The other knows enough to have my life, Therefore 'tis not requisite he should live. [136] But are not both these wise men, to suppose That I will leave my house, my goods, and all, To fast and be well whipt? I'll none of that. Now, Friar Barnardine, I come to you: I'll feast you, lodge you, give you fair [137] words, And, after that, I and my trusty Turk— No more, but so: it must and shall be done. [138]


Ithamore, tell me, is the friar asleep?

ITHAMORE. Yes; and I know not what the reason is, Do what I can, he will not strip himself, Nor go to bed, but sleeps in his own clothes: I fear me he mistrusts what we intend.

BARABAS. No; 'tis an order which the friars use: Yet, if he knew our meanings, could he scape?

ITHAMORE. No, none can hear him, cry he ne'er so loud.

BARABAS. Why, true; therefore did I place him there: The other chambers open towards the street.

ITHAMORE. You loiter, master; wherefore stay we thus? O, how I long to see him shake his heels!

BARABAS. Come on, sirrah: Off with your girdle; make a handsome noose.— [ITHAMORE takes off his girdle, and ties a noose on it.] Friar, awake! [139] [They put the noose round the FRIAR'S neck.]

FRIAR BARNARDINE. What, do you mean to strangle me?

ITHAMORE. Yes, 'cause you use to confess.

BARABAS. Blame not us, but the proverb,—Confess and be hanged.—Pull hard.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. What, will you have [140] my life?

BARABAS. Pull hard, I say.—You would have had my goods.

ITHAMORE. Ay, and our lives too:—therefore pull amain. [They strangle the FRIAR.] 'Tis neatly done, sir; here's no print at all.

BARABAS. Then is it as it should be. Take him up.

ITHAMORE. Nay, master, be ruled by me a little. [Takes the body, sets it upright against the wall, and puts a staff in its hand.] So, let him lean upon his staff; excellent! he stands as if he were begging of bacon.

BARABAS. Who would not think but that this friar liv'd? What time o' night is't now, sweet Ithamore?

ITHAMORE. Towards one. [141]

BARABAS. Then will not Jacomo be long from hence. [Exeunt.]

Enter FRIAR JACOMO. [142]

FRIAR JACOMO. This is the hour wherein I shall proceed; [143] O happy hour, wherein I shall convert An infidel, and bring his gold into our treasury! But soft! is not this Barnardine? it is; And, understanding I should come this way, Stands here o' purpose, meaning me some wrong, And intercept my going to the Jew.— Barnardine! Wilt thou not speak? thou think'st I see thee not; Away, I'd wish thee, and let me go by: No, wilt thou not? nay, then, I'll force my way; And, see, a staff stands ready for the purpose. As thou lik'st that, stop me another time! [Takes the staff, and strikes down the body.]


BARABAS. Why, how now, Jacomo! what hast thou done?

FRIAR JACOMO. Why, stricken him that would have struck at me.

BARABAS. Who is it? Barnardine! now, out, alas, he is slain!

ITHAMORE. Ay, master, he's slain; look how his brains drop out on's [144] nose.

FRIAR JACOMO. Good sirs, I have done't: but nobody knows it but you two; I may escape.

BARABAS. So might my man and I hang with you for company.

ITHAMORE. No; let us bear him to the magistrates.

FRIAR JACOMO. Good Barabas, let me go.

BARABAS. No, pardon me; the law must have his course: I must be forc'd to give in evidence, That, being importun'd by this Barnardine To be a Christian, I shut him out, And there he sate: now I, to keep my word, And give my goods and substance to your house, Was up thus early, with intent to go Unto your friary, because you stay'd.

ITHAMORE. Fie upon 'em! master, will you turn Christian, when holy friars turn devils and murder one another?

BARABAS. No; for this example I'll remain a Jew: Heaven bless me! what, a friar a murderer! When shall you see a Jew commit the like?

ITHAMORE. Why, a Turk could ha' done no more.

BARABAS. To-morrow is the sessions; you shall to it.— Come, Ithamore, let's help to take him hence.

FRIAR JACOMO. Villains, I am a sacred person; touch me not.

BARABAS. The law shall touch you; we'll but lead you, we: 'Las, I could weep at your calamity!— Take in the staff too, for that must be shown: Law wills that each particular be known. [Exeunt.]


BELLAMIRA. Pilia-Borza, didst thou meet with Ithamore?


BELLAMIRA. And didst thou deliver my letter?


BELLAMIRA. And what thinkest thou? will he come?

PILIA-BORZA. I think so: and yet I cannot tell; for, at the reading of the letter, he looked like a man of another world.


PILIA-BORZA. That such a base slave as he should be saluted by such a tall [146] man as I am, from such a beautiful dame as you.

BELLAMIRA. And what said he?

PILIA-BORZA. Not a wise word; only gave me a nod, as who should say, "Is it even so?" and so I left him, being driven to a non-plus at the critical aspect of my terrible countenance.

BELLAMIRA. And where didst meet him?

PILIA-BORZA. Upon mine own free-hold, within forty foot of the gallows, conning his neck-verse, [147] I take it, looking of [148] a friar's execution; whom I saluted with an old hempen proverb, Hodie tibi, cras mihi, and so I left him to the mercy of the hangman: but, the exercise [149] being done, see where he comes.


ITHAMORE. I never knew a man take his death so patiently as this friar; he was ready to leap off ere the halter was about his neck; and, when the hangman had put on his hempen tippet, he made such haste to his prayers, as if he had had another cure to serve. Well, go whither he will, I'll be none of his followers in haste: and, now I think on't, going to the execution, a fellow met me with a muschatoes [150] like a raven's wing, and a dagger with a hilt like a warming-pan; and he gave me a letter from one Madam Bellamira, saluting me in such sort as if he had meant to make clean my boots with his lips; the effect was, that I should come to her house: I wonder what the reason is; it may be she sees more in me than I can find in myself; for she writes further, that she loves me ever since she saw me; and who would not requite such love? Here's her house; and here she comes; and now would I were gone! I am not worthy to look upon her.

PILIA-BORZA. This is the gentleman you writ to.

ITHAMORE. Gentleman! he flouts me: what gentry can be in a poor Turk of tenpence? [151] I'll be gone. [Aside.]

BELLAMIRA. Is't not a sweet-faced youth, Pilia?

ITHAMORE. Again, sweet youth! [Aside.]—Did not you, sir, bring the sweet youth a letter?

PILIA-BORZA. I did, sir, and from this gentlewoman, who, as myself and the rest of the family, stand or fall at your service.

BELLAMIRA. Though woman's modesty should hale me back, I can withhold no longer: welcome, sweet love.

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