The Jew of Malta/Act 2

Scene 1Edit

Enter Barabas with a light.

Bar.

Thus, like the sad presaging raven, that tolls

The sick man's passport in her hollow beak,

And in the shadow of the silent night

Doth shake contagion from her sable wings;

Vexed and tormented runs poor Barabas

With fatal curses towards these Christians.

The uncertain 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 led'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 distempered thoughts,

Till I have answer of my Abigail.

Enter Abigail above.

Abig.

Now have I happily espied a time

To search the plank my father did appoint;

And here behold, unseen, where I have found

Bar.

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.

Abig.

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 the sudden wake,1

Come and receive the treasure I have found.

Bar.

Bueno para todos mi ganado no era:

As good go on as sit so sadly thus.

But stay, what star shines yonder in the east?3

The loadstar of my life, if Abigail.

Who's there?

Abig.

Who's that?

Bar.

Peace, Abigail, 'tis I.

Abig.

Then, father, here receive thy happiness.

Throws down bags.

Bar.

Hast thou't?

Abig.

Here,

Throws down the bags

hast thou't?

There's more, and more, and more.

Bar.

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 practise thy enlargement thence:

O girl! O gold! O beauty! O my bliss!

Hugs his bags.

Abig.

Father, it draweth towards midnight now,

And about this time the nuns begin to wake;

To shun suspicion, therefore, let us part.

Bar.

Farewell, my joy, and by my fingers take

A kiss from him that sends it from his soul.

Exit Abigail above.

Now Phœbus ope the eyelids1 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 Piarer de les Denirch.

Exit.

Scene 2Edit

Enter Governor, Martindel Bosco, and Knights.

Gov.

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?

Bosc.

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.

1 Knight.

'Tis true, my lord, therefore entreat him well.

Bosc.

Our fraught is Grecians, Turks, and Afric Moors.

For late upon the coast of Corsica,

Because we vailed1 not to the Turkish2 fleet,

Their creeping galleys had us in the chase:

But suddenly the wind began to rise,

And then we luffed and tacked, and fought at ease:

Some have we fired, 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.

Gov.

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.

1 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.

Bosc.

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 stated4 here

To be at deadly enmity with Turks.

Gov.

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

Bosc.

What is the sum that Calymath requires?

Gov.

A hundred thousand crowns.

Bosc.

My lord and king hath title to this isle,

And he means quickly to expel you hence;

Therefore be ruled by me, and keep the gold:

I'll write unto his majesty for aid,

And not depart until I see you free.

Gov.

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 barb'rous misbelieving Turks.

Bosc.

So shall you imitate those you succeed:

For when their hideous force environed Rhodes,

Small though the number was that kept the town,

They fought it out, and not a man survived

To bring the hapless news to Christendom.

Gov.

So will we fight it out; come, let's away:

Proud daring Calymath, instead of gold,

We'll send thee bullets wrapt1 in smoke and fire:

Claim tribute where thou wilt, we are resolved,

Honour is bought with blood and not with gold.

Exeunt.

Scene 3Edit

Enter Officers with Thamore and other slaves.

1 Off.

This is the market-place, here let 'em stand:

Fear not their sale, for they'll be quickly bought.

2 Off.

Every one's price is written on his back,

And so much must they yield or not be sold.

1 Off.

Here comes the Jew; had not his goods been seized,

He'd given us present money for them all.

EnterBarabas.

Bar.

In spite of these swine-eating Christians,—

Unchosen nation, never circumcised,

Such as (poor villains!) were ne'er thought upon

Till Titus and Vespasian conquered us,—

Am I become as wealthy as I was:

They hoped 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 learned in Florence how to kiss my hand,

Heave up my shoulders when they call me dog,

And duck as low as any barefoot friar;

Hoping to see them starve upon a stall,

Or else be gathered 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.

EnterLodowick.

Lod.

I hear the wealthy Jew walkèd this way:

I'll seek him out, and so insinuate,

That I may have a sight of Abigail;

Bar.

Now will I show myself

To have more of the serpent than the dove;

That is—more knave than fool.

Lod.

Yond' walks the Jew; now for fair Abigail.

Bar.

Ay, ay, no doubt but she's at your command.

Aside.

Lod.

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

Bar.

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.

Lod.

Whither walk'st thou, Barabas?

Bar.

No farther: 'tis a custom held with us,

That when we speak with Gentiles like to you,

We turn into the air to purge ourselves:

For unto us the promise doth belong.

Lod.

Well, Barabas, canst help me to a diamond?

Bar.

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 [?] for him,

And the white leprosy.

Aside.

Lod.

What sparkle does it give without a foil?

Bar.

The diamond that I talk of ne'er was foiled:—

But when he touches it, it will be foiled:—

Aside.

Lord Lodowick, it sparkles bright and fair.

Lod.

Is it square or pointed, pray let me know.

Bar.

Pointed it is, good sir—but not for you.

Aside.

Lod.

I like it much the better.

Bar.

So do I too.

Lod.

How shows it by night?

Bar.

Outshines Cynthia's rays:

You'll like it better far o' nights than days.

Aside.

Lod.

And what's the price?

Bar.

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.

Lod.

No, Barabas, I will deserve it first.

Bar.

Good sir,

Your father has deserved it at my hands,

Who, of mere charity and Christian truth,

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,

Lod.

No doubt your soul shall reap the fruit of it.

Bar.

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 fulness of perfection.

Lod.

Good Barabas, glance not at our holy nuns.

Bar.

No, but I do it through a burning zeal,—

Hoping ere long to set the house afire;

For though they do a while increase and multiply,

I'll have a saying to1 that nunnery.—

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.

Lod.

And, Barabas, I'll bear thee company.

Bar.

Come then—here's the market-place.

What's the price of this slave? Two hundred crowns!

Do the Turks weigh so much?

1 Off.

Sir, that's his price.

Bar.

What, can he steal that you demand so much?

Belike he has some new trick for a purse;

And if he has, he is worth three hundred plates,2

So that, being bought, the town-seal might be got

To keep him for his lifetime from the gallows:

The sessions day is critical to thieves,

And few or none 'scape but by being purged.

Lod.

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

1 Off.

No more, my lord.

Bar.

Why should this Turk be dearer than that Moor?

1 Off.

Because he is young and has more qualities.

Bar.

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

Slave.1

No, sir; I can cut and shave.

Bar.

Let me see, sirrah, are you not an old shaver?2

Slave 3

Alas, sir! I am a very youth.

Bar.

A youth? I'll buy you, and marry you to Lady Vanity,4 if you do well.

Slave. 3.

I will serve you, sir.

Bar.

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. 3.

Ay, passing well.

Bar.

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.

1 Off.

Here's a leaner, how like you him?

Bar.

Where wast thou born?

Itha.

In Thrace; brought up in Arabia.

Bar.

So much the better, thou art for my turn.

An hundred crowns? I'll have him; there's the coin.

1 Off.

Then mark him, sir, and take him hence.

Bar.

Ay, mark him, you were best, for this is he

That by my help shall do much villainy.

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.

Enter Mathias and his Mother.

Math.

What makes the Jew and Lodowick so private?

I fear me 'tis about fair Abigail.

Aside.

Bar.

Yonder comes Don Mathias, let us stay;

Exit Lodowick

He loves my daughter, and she holds him dear:

But I have sworn to frustrate both their hopes,

And be revenged upon the Governor.

Moth.

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

Math.

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

Bar.

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.

Math.

But wherefore talked Don Lodowick with you?

Bar.

Tush! man, we talked of diamonds, not of Abigail.

Moth.

Tell me, Mathias, is not that the Jew?

Bar.

As for the comment on the Maccabees,

I have it, sir, and 'tis at your command.

Math.

Yes, madam, and my talk with him was [but]1

About the borrowing of a book or two.

Moth.

Converse not with him, he's cast off from heaven.

Thou hast thy crowns, fellow; come, let's away.

Math.

Sirrah, Jew, remember the book.

Bar.

Marry will I, sir.

Exeunt Mathias and his Mother. Off.

Come, I have made

A reasonable market; let's away.

Exeunt Officers with slaves.

Bar.

Now let me know thy name, and therewithal

Thy birth, condition, and profession.

Itha.

Faith, sir, my birth is but mean: my name's

Ithamore, my profession what you please.

Bar.

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 moved at nothing, see thou pity none,

But to thyself smile when the Christians moan.

Itha.

O brave! master, I worship your nose2 for this.

Bar.

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 pinioned along by my door.

Being young, I studied physic, and began

To practise first upon the Italian;

There I enriched the priests with burials,

And always kept the sextons' arms in ure2

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 filled the jails 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?

Itha.

'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 kneeled,

I strewèd powder on the marble stones,

And therewithal their knees would rankle so

That I have laughed a-good1 to see the cripples

Go limping home to Christendom on stilts.

Bar.

Why this is something: make account of me

As of thy fellow; we are villains both:

Both circumcisèd, we hate Christians both:

Be true and secret, thou shalt want no gold.

But stand aside, here comes Don Lodowick.

Enter Lodowick.

Lod.

O Barabas, well met;

Where is the diamond you told me of?

Bar.

I have it for you, sir; please you walk in with me:

What ho, Abigail! open the door, I say.

EnterAbigail.

Abig.

In good time, father; here are letters come

From Ormus, and the post stays here within.

Bar.

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 love1 to him,

He is not of the seed of Abraham.

Aside.

I am a little busy, sir, pray pardon me.

Abigail, bid him welcome for my sake.

Abig.

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

Bar.

Daughter, a word more; kiss him, speak him fair,

And like a cunning Jew so cast about,

That ye be both made sure2 ere you come out.

Aside.

Abig.

O father! Don Mathias is my love.

Bar.

I know it: yet I say, make love to him;

Do, it is requisite it should be so—

Nay, on my life, it is my factor's hand—

But go you in, I'll think upon the account.

Exeunt Abigai land Lodowick.

The account is made, for Lodowick [he] 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 kissed Abigail;

And she vows love to him, and he to her.

As sure as heaven rained manna for the Jews,

So sure shall he and Don Mathias die:

His father was my chiefest enemy.

Enter Mathias.

Whither goes Don Mathias? stay awhile.

Math.

Whither, but to my fair love Abigail?

Bar.

Thou know'st, and Heaven can witness this is true,

That I intend my daughter shall be thine.

Math.

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

Bar.

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.

Math.

Does she receive them?

Bar.

She? No, Mathias, no, but sends them back,

And when he comes, she locks herself up fast;

Yet through the keyhole will he talk to her,

While she runs to the window looking out,

When you should come and hale him from the door.

Math.

O treacherous Lodowick!

Bar.

Even now as I came home, he slipt me in,

And I am sure he is with Abigail.

Math.

I'll rouse him thence.

Bar.

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.

Enter Lodowick and Abigail.

Math.

What, hand in hand! I cannot suffer this.

Bar.

Mathias, as thou lovest me, not a word.

Math.

Well, let it pass, another time shall serve.

Exit.

Lod.

Barabas, is not that the widow's son?

Bar.

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

Lod.

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

Bar.

No, no, but happily he stands in fear

Of that which you, I think, ne'er dream upon,

My daughter here, a paltry silly girl.

Lod.

Why, loves she Don Mathias?

Bar.

Doth she not with her smiling answer you?

Abig.

He has my heart; I smile against my will.

Aside.

Lod.

Barabas, thou know'st I've loved thy daughter long.

Bar.

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

Lod.

And now I can no longer hold my mind.

Bar.

Nor I the affection that I bear to you.

Lod.

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

Bar.

Win it, and wear it, it is yet unsoiled.

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 cross1

With Christian posies round about the ring.

Lod.

'Tis not thy wealth, but her that I esteem.

Yet crave I thy consent.

Bar.

And mine you have, yet let me talk to her.—

This offspring of Cam, 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.

Abig.

What, shall I be betrothed to Lodowick?

Bar.

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.

I have entreated her, and she will grant.

Lod.

Then, gentle Abigail, plight thy faith to me.

Abig.

I cannot choose, seeing my father bids.—

Nothing but death shall part my love and me.

Aside.

Lod.

Now have I that for which my soul hath longed.

Bar.

So have not I, but yet I hope I shall.

Aside.

Abig.

O wretched Abigail, what hast thou1 done?

Aside.

Lod.

Why on the sudden is your colour changed?

Abig.

I know not, but farewell, I must be gone.

Bar.

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

Lod.

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

Bar.

O, muse not at it, 'tis the Hebrews' guise,

That maidens new betrothed should weep awhile:

Trouble her not; sweet Lodowick, depart:

She is thy wife, and thou shalt be mine heir.

Lod.

O, is't the custom? then I am resolved:

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 revenged.

Enter Mathias.

Bar.

Be quiet, Lodowick, it is enough

That I have made thee sure to Abigail.

Lod.

Well, let him go.

Exit.

Bar.

Well, but for me, as you went in at doors

You had been stabbed, but not a word on't now;

Math.

Suffer me, Barabas, but to follow him.

Bar.

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.

Math.

For this I'll have his heart.

Bar.

Do so; lo here I give thee Abigail.

Math.

What greater gift can poor Mathias have?

Shall Lodowick rob me of so fair a love?

My life is not so dear as Abigail.

Bar.

My heart misgives me, that, to cross your love,

He's with your mother; therefore after him.

Math.

What, is he gone unto my mother?

Bar.

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

Math.

I cannot stay; for if my mother come,

She'll die with grief.

Exit.

Abig.

I cannot take my leave of him for tears:

Father, why have you thus incensed them both?

Bar.

What's that to thee?

Abig.

I'll make 'em friends again.

Bar.

You'll make 'em friends!

Are there not Jews enow in Malta,

Abig.

I will have Don Mathias, he is my love.

Bar.

Yes, you shall have him: go put her in.

Itha.

Ay, I'll put her in.

Puts her in.

Bar.

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

Itha.

Faith, master, I think by this

You purchase both their lives; is it not so?

Bar.

True; and it shall be cunningly performed.

Itha.

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

Bar.

Ay, so thou shalt, 'tis thou must do the deed:

Take this, and bear it to Mathias straight,

Gives a letter.

And tell him that it comes from Lodowick.

Itha.

'Tis poisoned, is it not?

Bar.

No, no, and yet it might be done that way:

It is a challenge feigned from Lodowick.

Itha.

Fear not; I will so set his heart afire,

That he shall verily think it comes from him.

Bar.

I cannot choose but like thy readiness:

Yet be not rash, but do it cunningly.

Itha.

As I behave myself in this, employ me hereafter.

Bar.

Away then.

Exit.

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.