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Act One, Scene Two

Enter [Ferneze] Governor of Malta, Knights [and Officers,] met by [Callapine and other] Bassoes of the Turke; Calymath.

Now Bassoes, what demand you at our hands?

Know Knights of Malta, that we came from Rhodes,
From Cyprus, Cyprus, and those other Iles
That lye betwixt the Mediterranean seas.

What's Cyprus, Cyprus, and those other Iles
To us, or Malta? What at our hands demand ye?

The ten yeares tribute that remaines unpaid.

Alas, my Lord, the summe is overgreat,
I hope your Highnesse will consider us.

I wish, grave Governour,'twere in my power
To favour you, but 'tis my fathers cause,
Wherein I may not, nay I dare not dally.

Then give us leave, great Selim-Calymath.

Stand all aside, and let the Knights determine,
And send to keepe our Gallies under-saile,
For happily we shall not tarry here:
Now Governour,how are you resolv'd?

Thus: Since your hard conditions are such
That you will needs have ten yeares tribute past,
We may have time to make collection
Amongst the Inhabitants of Malta for't.

That's more then is in our Commission.

What Callapine, a little curtesie.
Let's know their time, perhaps it is not long;
And 'tis more Kingly to obtaine by peace
Then to enforce conditions by constraint.
What respit aske you Governour?

But a month.

We grant a month, but see you keep your promise.
Now ranch our Gallies backe againe to Sea,
Where wee'll attend the respit you have sane,
And for the mony send our messenger.
Farewell great Governor, and brave Knights of Malta.
Exeunt [Turkes].

And all good fortune wait on Calymath.
Goe one and call those Jewes of Malta hither:
Were they not summon'd to appeare to day?

They were, my Lord, and here they come.
Enter Barabas, and three Jewes.

1. Knight
Have you determin'd what to say to them?

Yes, give me leave, and Hebrews now come neare.
From the Emperour of Turkey is arriv'd
Great Selim-Calymath, his Highnesse sonne,
To levie of us ten yeares tribute past,
Now then here know that it concerneth us

Then good my Lord, to keepe your quiet still,
Your Lordship shall doe well to let them have it.

Soft Barabas, there's more longs too't than so.
To what this ten yeares tribute will amount
That we have cast, but cannot compasse it
By reason of the warres, that robb'd our store;
And therefore are we to request your ayd.

Alas, my Lord, we are no souldiers:
And what's our aid against so great a Prince?

1. Knight
Tut, Jew, we know thou art no souldier;
Thou art a Merchant, and a monied man,
And 'tis thy mony, Barabas, we seeke.

How, my Lord, my mony?

Thine and the rest.
For to be short, amongst you 'tmust be had.

1. Jew
Alas, my Lord, the most of us are poore!

Then let the rich increase your portions.

Are strangers with your tribute to be tax'd?

2. Knight
Have strangers leave with us to get their wealth?
Then let them with us contribute.

How, equally?

No, Jew, like infidels.
For through our sufferance of your hatefull lives,
Who stand accursed in the sight of heaven,
These taxes and affiictions are befal'ne,
And therefore thus we are determined;
Reade there the Articles of our decrees.

First, the tribute mony of the Turkes shall all be levyed
amongst the Jewes, and each of them to pay one halfe of his

How, halfe his estate? I hope you meane not mine.


Read on.

Secondly, hee that denies to pay, shal straight become a

How, a Christian? Hum, what's here to doe?


Lastly, he that denies this, shall absolutely lose al he has.

All 3 Jewes.
Oh my Lord we will give halfe.

Oh earth-mettall'd villaines, and no Hebrews born!
And will you basely thus submit your selves
To leave your goods to their arbitrament?

Why Barabas wilt thou be christened?

No, Governour, I will be no convertite.

Then pay thy halfe.

Why know you what you did by this device?
Halfe of my substance is a Cities wealth.
Governour, it was not got so easily;
Nor will I part so slightly therewithall.

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

Corpo di dio; stay, you shall have halfe,
Let me be us'd but as my brethren are.

No, Jew, thou has denied the Articles
And now it cannot be recall'd.
[Exeunt Officers]

Will you then steale my goods
Is theft the ground of your Religion?

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

Christians; what, or how can I multiply?
Of nought is nothing made.

1. Knight
From nought at first thou camst to little welth,
From little unto more, from more to most:
If your first curse fall heavy on thy head,
And make thee poore and scorn'd of all the world,
'Tis not our fault, but thy inherent sinne.

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

Out wretched Barabas,
Sham'st thou not thusto justifie thy selfe,
As if we knew not
thy profession?
If thou rely upon thy righteousnesse,
Be patient and thy riches will increase.
Excesse of wealth is cause of covetousnesse:
And covetousnesse, oh 'tis a monstrous sinne.

I, 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 steale and compasse more.

1. Knight
Governor, list not to his exclames:
Convert his mansion to a Nunnery,
His house will harbour many holy Nuns.
Enter Officers.

It shall be so: now Officers have you done?

I, my Lord, we have seiz'd upon the goods
And wares of Barabas, which being valued
Amount to more then all the wealth in Malta.
And of the other we have seized halfe.

Then wee'll take order for the residue.

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

No, Barabas, to staine our hands with blood
Is farre from us and our profession.

Why I esteeme the injury farre lesse,
To take the lives of miserable men,
Then be the causers of their misery.
You have my wealth, the labour of my life,
The comfort of mine age, my childrens hope,
And therefore ne're distinguish of the wrong.

Content thee, Barabas, thou hast nought but right.

Your extreme right does me exceeding wrong:
But take it to you i'th devils name.

Come, let us in, and gather of these goods
The mony for this tribute of the Turke.

1 Knight
Tis necessary that be look'd unto:
For if we breake our day, we breake the league,
And that will prove but simple policie.
Exeunt. [Manent Barabas and the three Jewes.]

I, policie? that's their profession,
And not simplicity, as they suggest.
The plagues of Egypt, and the curse of heaven,
Earths barrennesse, and all mens hatred
Inflict upon them, thou great Primus Motor.
And here upon my knees, striking the earth,
I banne their soules to everlasting paines
And extreme tortures of the fiery deepe,
That thus have dealt with me in my distresse.

1. Jew
Oh yet be patient, gentle Barabas.

Oh silly brethren, borne to see this day!
Why stand you thus unmov'd with my laments?
Why weepe you not to thinke upon my wrongs?
Why pine not I, and dye in this distresse?

1. Jew
Why, Barabas, as hardly can we brooke
The quell handling of our selves in this:
Thou seest they have taken halfe our goods.

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

1. Jew
Yet brother Barabas remember Job.

What tell you me of Job? I wot his wealth
Was written thus: he had seven thousand sheepe,
Three thousand Camels, and two hundred yoake
Of labouring Oxen, and five hundred
Shee Asses: but for every one of those,
Had they beene valued at indifferent rate,
I had at home, and in mine Argosie
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 fatall birth-day, forlorne Barabas;
And henceforth wish for an eternall night,
That clouds of darkenesse may inclose my flesh,
And hide these extreme sorrowes from mine eyes:
For onely I have toyl'd to inherit here
The months of vanity and losse of time,
And painefull nights have bin appointed me.

2. Jew
Good Barabas be patient.

I,, I,
Pray leave me in my patience. You that
ne're possess of wealth, are pleas'd with want.
But give him liberty at least to mourne,
That in a field amidst his enemies,
Doth see his souldiers slaine, himselfe disarm'd,
And knowes no meanes of his recoverie:
I, let me sorrow for this sudden chance,
'Tis in the trouble of my spirit I speake;
Great injuries are not so soone forgot.

1. Jew
Come, let us leave him in his irefull mood,
Our words will but increase his extasie.

2 Jew
On then: but trust me 'tis a misery
To see a man in such affliction:
Farewell Barabas.

I, fare you well.
See the simplicitie of these base slaves,
Who for the villaines have no wit themselves,
Thinke me to be a senselesse lumpe of clay
That will with every water wash to dirt:
No, Barabas is borne to better chance,
And fram'd of finer mold then common men,
That measure nought 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
Enter Abigall the Jewes daughter.
But whither wends my beauteous Abigall?
Oh what has made my lovely daughter sad ?
What, woman, moane not for a little losse:
Thy father has enough in store for thee.

Not for my selfe, but aged Barabas:
Father, for thee lamenteth Abigaile:
But I will learne to leave these fruitlesse teares,
And urg'd thereto with my afflictions,
With fierce exclaimes run to the Senate-house,
And in the Senate reprehend them all,
And rent their hearts with tearing of my haire,
Till they reduce the wrongs done to my father.

No, Abigail, things past recovery
Are hardly cur'd with exclamations.
Be silent, Daughter, sufferance breeds ease,
And time may yeeld us an occasion
Which on the sudden cannot serve the turne.
Besides, my girle, thinke me not all so fond
As negligently to forgoe so much
Without provision for thy selfe and me.
Ten thousand Portagues besides great Perles,
Rich costly Jewels, and Stones infinite,
Fearing the worst of this before it fell,
I closely hid.

Where father?

In my house, my girle.

Then shall they ne're be seene of Barrabas:
For they have seiz'd upon thy house and wares.

But they will give me leave once more, I bow,
To goe into my house.

That may they not:
For there I left the Governour placing Nunnes,
Displacing me; and of thy house they meane
To make a Nunnery, where none but their owne sect
Must enter in; men generally barr'd.

My gold, my gold, and all my wealth is gone.
You partiall heavens, have I deserv'd this plague?
What, will you thus oppose me, lucklesse Starres,
To make me desperate in my poverty?
And knowing me impatient in distresse
Thinke me so mad as I will hang my selfe,
That I may vanish ore the earth in ayre,
And leave no memory that e're I was.
No, I will live; nor loath I this my life:
And since you leave me in the Ocean thus
To sinke or swim, and put me to my shifts,
I'le rouse my senses, and awake my selfe.
Daughter, I have it: thou perceiv'st the plight
Wherein these Christians have oppressed me:
Be rul'd by me, for in extremitie
We ought to make barre of no policie.

Father, what e're it be to injure them
That have so manifestly wronged us,
What will not Abigall attempt?

Why so,
Then thus;thou toldst me they have turn'd my house
Into a Nunnery, and some Nuns are there.

I did.

Then Abigall, there must my girle
Intreat the Abbasse to be entertain'd.

How, as a Nunne?

I, Daughter, for Religion
Hides many mischiefes from suspition.

I, but father they will suspect me there.

Let 'em suspect, but be thou so precise
As they may thinke it done of Holinesse.
Intreat 'em faire, and give them friendly speech,
And seeme to them as if thy sinnes were great,
Till thou hast gotten to be entertain'd.

Thus father shall I much dissemble.

As good dissemble that thou never mean'st
As first meane truth, and then dissemble it,
A counterfet profession is better
Then unseene hypocrisie.

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

This shall follow then;
There have I hid close underneath the plancke
That runs along the upper chamber floore,
The gold and Jewels which I kept for thee.
But here they come; be cunning Abigall

Then father, goe with me.

No, Abigeal, in this
It is not necessary I be seene.
For I will seeme offended with thee for't.
Be close, my girle, for this must fetch my gold.
Enter twoFryars and threeNuns [, one the Abbasse].

1. Fryar
We now are almost at the new made Nunnery.

The better; for we love not to be seene:
'Tis thirtie winters long since some of us
Did stray so farre amongst the multitude.

1. Fryar
But, Madam, this house
And waters of this new made Nunnery
Will much delight you.

It may be so: but who comes here?

Grave Abbasse, and you happy Virgins guide,
Pitty the state of a distressed Maid.

What art thou, daughter?

The hopelesse daughter of a haplesse Jew,
The Jew of Malta, wretched Barabas;
Sometimes the owner of a goodly house,
Which they have now turn'd to a Nunnery.

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

Fearing the afflictions which my father feeles,
Proceed from sinne, or want of faith in us,
I'de passe away my life in penitence,
And be a Novice in your Nunnery,
To make attonement for my labouring soule.

1. Fryar
No doubt, brother, but this proceedeth of the spirit.

2. Fryar
I, and of a moving spirit too, brother; but come,
Let us intreat she may be entertain'd.

Well, daughter, we admit you for a Nun.

First let me as a Novice learne to frame
My solitary life to your streight lawes,
And let me lodge where I was wont to lye.
I doe not doubt by your divine precepts
And mine owne industry, but to profit much.

As much I hope as all I hid is worth.Aside.

Come daughter, follow us.

Why how now Abigall, what mak'st thou
Amongst these hateful Christians?

1. Fryar
Hinder her not, thou man of little faith,
For she has mortified her selfe.

How, mortified!

1. Fryar
And is admitted to the Sister-hood.

Child of perdition, and thy fathers shame,
What wilt thou doe among these hatefull fiends?
I charge thee on my blessing that thou leave
These divers, and their damned heresie.

Father, give meβ€”

Nay backe, Abigall, Whispers to her.

And thinke upon the Jewels and the gold,
The boord is marked thus that covers it.
Away accursed from thy fathers sight.

1. Fryar.
Barabas, although thou art in mis-beleefe,
And wilt not see thine owne afflictions,
Yet let thy daughter be no longer blinde.

Blind, Fryer, I wrecke not thy perswasions.
The boord is marked thus that covers it,[Aside to her.]

For I had rather dye, then see her thus.
Wilt thou forsake mee too in my distresse,
Seduced Daughter, Goe, forget not.Aside to her.

Becomes it Jewes to be so credulous,
To morrow early I'le be at the doore.Aside to her.

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.

Out, out thou wretch.
[As they are leaving] Enter Mathias.

Whose this? Faire Abigall the rich Jewes daughter
Become a Nun
? her fathers sudden fall
Has humbled her and brought her downe to this:
Tut, she were fitter for a tale of love
Then to be tired Out with Orizons:
And better would she farre become a bed
Embraced in a friendly lovers armes,
Then rise at midnight to a solemne masse.
Enter Lodowicke.

Why how now Don Mathias, in a dump?

Beleeve me, Noble Lodowicke, I have seene
The strangest sight, in my opinion,
That ever I beheld.

What west I prethe?

A faire young maid scarce fourteene yeares of age,
The sweetest flower in Citherea's field,
Cropt from the pleasures of the fruitfull earth,
And strangely metamorphis'd Nun.

But say, what was she?

Why, the rich Jewes daughter.

What, Barabas, whose goods were lately seiz'd?
Is she so faire?

And matchlesse beautifull;
As had you seene her 'twould have mov'd your heart,
Tho countermin'd with walls of brasse, to love,
Or at the least to pitty.

And if she be so faire as you report,
'Twere time well spent to goe and visit her:
How say you, shall we?

I must and will, Sir, there's no remedy.

And so will I too, or it shall goe hard.β€”[Aside.]

Farewell Mathias.

Farewell Lodowicke.

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