Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

To make a nunnery, where none but their own sect*
Must enter in ; men generally barr’d.
Bara. 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 oppressèd me:
Be rul'd by me, for in extremity
We ought to make bar of no policy.

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

Bara. Why, so.
Then thus : thou told'st me they have turn'd my

house
Into a nunnery, and some nuns are there?

ABIG. I did.
BARA, Then, Abigail, there must my girl

* sect] “i.e. sex. Sect and ser were, in our ancient dramatic writers, used synonymously.” Reed (apud Dodsley's 0. P.).

Entreat the abbess to be entertain'd.

ABIG. How, as a nun?

Bara. Ay, daughter; for religion
Hides many mischiefs from suspicion.
ABIG. Ay, but, father, they will suspect me

there.
BARA. 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.

ABIG. Thus, father, shall I much dissemble.

Bara. 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.

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

Bara. 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.

ABIG. Then, father, go with me.

Bara. 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.

VOL. I.

Enter Friar Jacomo*, FRIAR BARNARDINE,

Abbess, and a Nun.
Friar Jac. Sisters,
We now are almost at the new-made nunnery.

ABBt. 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 Jac. But, madam, this house
And waters of this new-made nunnery
Will much delight you.
ABB. It may be so. But who comes here?

[Abigail comes forward. ABIG. Grave abbess, and you, happy virgins'guide, Pity the state of a distressèd maid !

Abb. What art thou, daughter ? ABIG. The hopeless daughter of a hapless Jew, The Jew of Malta, wretched Barabas, Sometimes | the owner of a goodly house, Which they have now turn’d to a nunnery.

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

ABIG. Fearing the afflictions which my father feels Proceed from sin or want of faith in us,

* Enter Friar Jacomo, &c.] Old ed. « Enter three Fryars and two Nuns:" hut assuredly only two Friars figure in this play.

+ Abb.] In the old ed. the prefix to this speech is “1 Nun," and to the next speech but one “ Nun." That both speeches belong to the Abbess is quite evident.

Sometimes] Equivalent here (as frequently in our early writers) to-Sometime.

I'd pass away my life in penitence,
And be a novice in your nunnery,
To make atonement for my labouring soul.
FRIAR Jac. No doubt, brother, but this proceedeth

of the spirit.
Friar Barn. Ay, and of a moving spirit too,

brother : but come,
Let us entreat she may be entertain'd.

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

ABIG. 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 precèpts
And mine own industry, but to profit much.
Bara. As much, I hope, as all I hid is worth.

[Aside. ABB. Come, daughter, follow us.

Bara. [coming forward] Why, how now, Abigail ! What mak'st thou amongst these hateful Christians ? FRIAR Jac. Hinder her not, thou man of little

faith,
For she has mortified herself.

BARA. How! mortified !
Friar Jac. And is admitted to the sisterhood.

BARA. 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 !

Abig. Father, forgive me—*

[ocr errors]

Bara. 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 Jac. Barabas, although thou art in misbe

lief, And wilt not see thine own afflictions, Yet let thy daughter be no longer blind.

Bara. Blind friar, I reck 'not thy persuasions,The board is marked thus* 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.

[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, begone!-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, and Nun: and, as they are going out,

* thus) After this word the old ed. has “+”,—to signify, perhaps, the motion which Barabas was to make here with his hand.

« ZurückWeiter »