Act One, Scene OneEnter Barabas in his Counting-house, with heapes of gold before him.
So that of thus much that returne was made:
And of the third part of the Persian ships,
There was the venture summ'd and satisfied.
As for those Samnites and the men of Uzz
That bought my Spanish Oyles, and Wines of Greece,
Here have I purst their paltry silverlings.
Eye; what a trouble tis to count this trash.
Well fare the Arabians who so richly pay
The things they traffique for with wedge of gold,
Whereof a man may easily in a day
Tell that which may maintaine him all his life.
The needy groome that never fingred groat,
Would make a miracle of thus much coyne:
But he whose steele-bard coffers are cramb'd full,
And all his life time hath bin tired,
Wearying his fingers ends with telling it,
Would in his age be loath to labour so,
And for a pound to sweat himselfe to death:
Give me the Merchants of the Indian Mynes,
That trade in mettall of the purest mould;
The wealthy Moore, that in the Easterne rockes
Without controule can picke his riches up,
And in his house heape pearle like pibble-stones,
Receive them free, and sell them by the weight;
Bags of fiery Opals, Saphires, Amatists,
Jacints, hard Topas, grasse-greene Emeraulds,
Beauteous Rubyes, sparkling Diamonds,
And seildsene costly stones of so great price,
As one of them indifferently rated,
And of a Carrect of this quantity,
May serve in perill of calamity
To ransome great Kings from captivity.
This is the ware wherein consists my wealth:
And thus me thinkes should men of judgement frame
Their meanes of traffique from the vulgar trade,
And as their wealth increaseth, so inclose
Infinite riches in a little roome.
But now how stands the wind?
Into what corner peeres my Halcions bill?
Ha, to the East? yes: See how stands the Vanes?
East and by-South: why then I hope my ships
I sent for Egypt and the bordering Iles
Are gotten up by Nilus winding bankes:
Mine Argosie from Alexandria,
Loaden with Spice and Silkes, now under saile,
Are smoothly gliding downe by Candie shoare
To Malta, through our Mediterranean sea.
But who comes heare? How now.
Enter a Merchant.
Thy ships are safe,riding in Malta Rhode:
And all the Merchants with other Merchandize
Are safe arriv'd, and have sent me to know
Whether your selfe will come and custome them.
The ships are safe thou saist, and richly fraught.
Why then goe bid them come ashore,
And bring with them their bils of entry:
I hope our credit in the Custome-house
Will serve as well as I were present there.
Goe send 'um 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?
The very Custome barely comes to more
Then many Merchants of the Towne are worth,
And therefore farre exceeds my credit, Sir.
Goe tell 'em the Jew of Malta sent thee, man:
Tush, who amongst 'em knowes not Barrabas?
So then, there's somewhat come.
Sirra, which of my ships art thou Master of?
Of the Speranza, Sir.
And saw'st thou not
Mine Argosie at Alexandria?
Thou couldst not come from Egypt, or by Caire
But at the entry there into the sea,
Where Nitus payes his tribute to the maine,
Thou needs must saile by Alexandria.
I neither saw them, nor inquir'd of them.
But this we heard some of our sea-men say,
They wondred how you durst with so much wealth
Trust such a crazed Vessell, and so farre.
Tush, they are wise; I know her and her strength:
But goe, goe thou thy wayes, discharge thy Ship,
And bid my Factor bring his loading in.
[Exit 1. Merchant.]
And yet I wonder at this Argosie.
Enter a second Merchant.
Thine Argosie from Alexandria,
Know Barabas, cloth ride in Malta Rhode,
Laden with riches, and exceeding store
Of Persian silkes, of gold, and Orient Perle.
How chance you came not with those other ships
That sail'd by Egypt?
Sir we saw 'em not.
Belike they coasted round by Candie shoare
About their Oyles, or other businesses.
But 'twas ill done of you to come so farre
Without the ayd or conduct of their ships.
Sir, we were wafted by a Spanish Fleet
That never left us till within a league,
That had the Gallies of the Turke in chase.
Oh they were going up to Sicily:
And bid the Merchants and my men dispatch
And come ashore, and see the fraught discharg'd.
Thus trowles our fortune in by land and Sea,
And thus are wee on every side inrich'd:
These are the Blessings promis'd to the Jewes,
And herein was old Abrams happinesse:
What more may Heaven doe for earthly man
Then thus to powre out plenty in their laps,
Ripping the bowels of the earth for them,
Making the Sea their servant, and the winds
To drive their substance with successefull blasts?
Who hateth me but for my happinesse?
Or who is honour'd now but for his wealth?
Rather had I a Jew be hated thus,
Then pittied in a Christian poverty:
For I can see no fruits in all their faith,
But malice, falsehood, and excessive pride?
Which me thinkes fits not their profession.
Happily some haplesse man hath conscience,
And for his conscience lives in beggery.
They say we are a scatter'd Nation:
I cannot tell, but we have scambled up
More wealth by farre then those that brag of faith.
There's Kirriah Jairim, the great Jew of Greece,
Obed in Bairseth, Bairseth in Portugall,
My selfe in Malta, some in Italy,
Many in France, and wealthy every one:
I, wealthier farre then any Christian.
I must confesse we come not to be Kings:
That's not our fault: Alas, our number's few,
And Crownes come either by succession,
Or urg'd by force; and nothing violent,
Oft have I heard tell, can be permanent.
Give us a peacefull 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 deare
As Agamemnon did his Iphigen:
And all I have is hers. But who comes here?
Enter three Jewes.
Tush, tell not me 'twas done of policie.
Come therefore let us goe to Barrabas;
For he can counsell best in these affaires;
And here he comes.
Why, how now Countrymen?
Why flocke you thus to me in multitudes?
What accident's betided to the Jewes?
A Fleet of warlike Gallyes, Barabas,
Are come from Turkey, and lye in our Rhode:
And they this day sit in the Counsell-house
To entertaine them and their Embassie.
Why let 'em come, so they come not to warre;
Or let 'em warre, so we be conquerors:
Nay let 'em combat, conquer, and kill all,
So they spare me, my daughter, and my wealth.
Were it for confirmation of a League,
They would not come in warlike manner thus.
I feare their comming will afflict us all.
Fond men, what dreame you of their multitudes ?
What need they treat of peace that are in league?
The Turkes and those of Malta are in league.
Tut, tut, there is some other matter in't.
Why, Barabas, they come for peace or warre.
Happily for neither, but to passe along
Towards Venice by the Adriatick Sea;
With whom they have attempted many times,
But never could effect their Stratagem.
And very wisely sayd, it may be so.
But there's a meeting in the Senate-house,
And all the Jewes in Malta must be there.
Umh; All the Jewes in Malta must be there?
I, like enough, why then let every man
Provide him, and be there for fashion-sake.
If any thing shall there concerne our state
Assure your selves I'le looke—unto my selfe.
I know you will; well brethren let us goe.
Let's take our leaves; Farewell good Barabas.
Doe so; Farewell Zaareth farewell Temainte.
[Exeunt three Jewes.]
And Barabas now search this secret out.
Summon thy sences, call thy wits together:
These silly men mistake the matter cleane.
Long to the Turke did Malta contribute;
Which Tribute all in policie, I feare,
The Turkes have let increase to such a summe,
As all the wealth of Malta cannot pay;
And now by that advantage thinkes, belike,
To seize upon the Towne: I, that he seekes.
How ere the world goe, I'le make sure for one,
And seeke in time to intercept the worst,
Warily yarding that which I ha got.
Ego mihimet sum semper proximus.
Why let 'em enter, let 'em take the Towne.