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Enter BARABAs in his counting-house, with heaps of gold
Bar. So that of thus much that return was made:
i Old ed. "Samintes," for which the modern editors give "Samnites." Between the “Samnites" and the "men of Uz” there can be no possible connection. My emendation suits the context. We have Saba for Sabæa in Faustus, xii. 25, &c.
2 Old ed. "silverbings.” Dyce observes that the word "silverling" occurs in Isaiah (vii. 23) :—“A thousand vines at a thousand silver. lings."
Would make a miracle of thus much coin :
i It was a common belief that a stuffed halcyon (i.e., kingfisher), suspended by the bill, showed from what quarter the wind blew. Shakespeare alludes to the superstition in Lear, ii. 2,
Ha! to the east? yes : see how stands the vanes ?
Enter a Merchant.
Merch. Barabas, thy ships are safe,
Bar. The ships are safe thou say'st, and richly fraught.
Bar. Why then go bid them come ashore,
Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With every gale and vary of their master.” Sir Thomas Browne, who discusses the subject in Vulgar Errors (iii, 10), says that “the eldest custom of hanging up these birds was founded upon a tradition that they would renew their feathers every year as though they were alive."
1 Pay the duty on them.
And twenty waggons to bring up the ware.
Merch. The very custom barely comes to more
Bar. Go tell 'em the Jew of Malta sent thee, man: Tush! who amongst 'em knows not Barabas?
Merch. I go.
70 Sirrah, which of my ships art thou master of?
Merch. Of the Speranza, sir.
Bar. And saw'st thou not
Merch. I neither saw them, nor inquired of them :
80 They wondered how you durst with so inuch wealth Trust such a crazed vessel, and so far.
Bar. Tush, they are wise! I know her and her strength. But 1 go, go thou thy ways, discharge thy ship, And bid my factor bring his loading in. [Exit Merch. And yet I wonder at this argosy.
1 Old ed. “By" (which might perhaps be defended, as meaning "good-bye.” Cf. Shirley's Constant Maid, i. 1,—" Buoy, Close, buoy, honest Close : we are blanks, blanks.")
Enter a second Merchant.
90 Bar. How chance you came not with those other ships That sailed by Eygpt ?
2 Merch. Sir, we saw 'em not.
Bar. Belike they coasted round by Candy shore
2 Merch. Sir, we were wasted by a Spanish fleet,
Bar. 0 !-they were going up to Sicily :-