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Bar. Then, good my lord, to keep your quiet still, Your lordship shall do well to let them have it.

Gov. Soft, Barabas, there's more 'longs to 't than so. To what this ten years' tribute will amount, That we have cast, but cannot compass it By reason of the wars that robbed our store; And therefore are we to request your aid.

50 Bar. Alas, my lord, we are no soldiers : And what's our aid against so great a prince ?

1 Knight. Tut, Jew, we know thou art no soldier ; Thou art a merchant and a moneyed man, And 'tis thy money, Barabas, we seek.

Bar. How, my lord ! my money?

Gov. Thine and the rest.
For, to be short, amongst you’t must be had.

1 Jew. Alas, my lord, the most of us are poor.
Gov. Then let the rich increase your portions.
Bar. Are strangers with your tribute to be taxed ? 60
2 Knight. Have strangers leave with us to get their

wealth ? Then let them with us contribute.

Bar. How ! equally ?

Gov. No, Jew, like infidels.
For through our sufferance of your hateful lives,
Who stand accursèd in the sight of Heaven,
These taxes and afflictions are befallen,
And therefore thus we are determined.
Read there the articles of our decrees.

Reader. First, the tribute-money of the Turks shall all be levied amongst the Jews, and each of them to pay one half of his estate.

70 Bar. How, half his estate? I hope you mean not mine.

[Aside. Gov. Read on.

Reader. Secondly, he that denies to pay shall straight become a Christian. Bar. How ! a Christian? Hum, what's here to do?

[Aside. Reader. Lastly, he that denies this shall absolutely lose all he has.

All 3 Jews. O my lord, we will give half.

Bar. O earth-mettled villains, and no Hebrews born! And will you basely thus submit yourselves

80 To leave your goods to their arbitrament ?

Gov. Why, Barabas, wilt thou be christened ?
Bar. No, governor, I will be no convertitel
Gov. Then pay thy half.

Bar. Why, know you what you did by this device?
Half of my substance is a city's wealth.
Governor, it was not got so easily;
Nor will I part so slightly therewithal.

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

Bar. Corpo di Dio! stay! you shall have the half; 90 Let me be used but as my brethren are.

Gov. No, Jew, thou hast denied the articles, And now it cannot be recalled.

1 Convert. The word occurs in As You Like It, King John, &c.

100

Bar. Will you then steal my goods ?
Is theft the ground of your religion ?

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

Bar, Christians, what or how can I multiply?
Of naught is nothing made.
1 Knight. From naught at first thou cam’st to little

wealth,
From little unto more, from more to most :
If your first curse fall heavy on thy head,
And make thee poor and scorned of all the world,
'Tis not our fault, but thy inherent sin.
Bar. What, bring you scripture to confirm your

wrongs?
Preach me not out of my possessions.
Some Jews are wicked, as all Christians are:
But say the tribe that I descended of
Were all in general cast away for sin,
Shall I be tried by their transgression ?
The man that dealeth righteously shall live :
And which of you can charge me otherwise ?

Gov. Out, wretched Barabas !
Sham'st thou not thus to justify thyself,
As if we knew not thy profession?
If thou rely upon thy righteousness,

IIO

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Be patient and thy riches will increase.
Excess of wealth is cause of covetousness :
And covetousness, O, 'tis a monstrous sin.

Bar. I, but theft is worse: tush! take not from me then,
For that is theft! and if you rob me thus,
I must be forced to steal and compass more.

i Knight. Grave governor, listen not to his exclaims. Convert his mansion to a nunnery; His house will harbour many holy nuns.

130 Gov. It shall be so.

Enter Officers.

Now, officers, have you done? Off. I, my lord, we have seized upon the goods And wares of Barabas, which being valued, Amount to more than all the wealth in Malta, And of the other we have seized half.

Gov.2 Then we'll take order for the residue.

Bar. Well then, my lord, say, are you satisfied ?
You have my goods, my money, and my wealth,
My ships, my store, and all that I enjoyed ;
And, having all, you can request no more;

140
Unless your unrelenting flinty hearts
Suppress all pity in your stony breasts,
And now shall move you to bereave my life.

Gov. No, Barabas, to stain our hands with blood Is far from us and our profession.

Bar. Why, I esteem the injury far less To take the lives of miserable men

1 Old ed. “governours.” ? In the 4to. this line is given to the Officer.

Than be the causes of their misery.
You have my wealth, the labour of my life,
The comfort of mine age, my children's hope, 150
And therefore ne'er distinguish of the wrong.

Gov. Content thee, Barabas, thou hast naught but right.

Bar. Your extreme right does me exceeding wrong : But take it to you, i' the devil's name.

Gov. Come, let us in, and gather of these goods The money for this tribute of the Turk.

i Knight. 'Tis necessary that be looked unto : For if we break our day, we break the league, And that will prove but simple policy.

[Exeunt, all except BARABAS and the Jews. Bar. I, policy! that's their profession,

160 And not simplicity, as they suggest. The plagues of Egypt, and the curse of Heaven, Earth's barrenness, and all men's hatred Inflict upon them, thou great Primus Motor ! And here upon my knees, striking the earth, I ban their souls to everlasting pains And extreme tortures of the fiery deep, That thus have dealt with

my

distress. 1 Jew. O yet be patient, gentle Barabas.

Bar. O silly brethren, born to see this day; 170 Why stand you thus unmoved with my laments ? Why weep ye not to think upon my wrongs? Why pine not I, and die in this distress ?

1 Jew. Why, Barabas, as hardly can we brook The cruel handling of ourselves in this; Thou seest they have taken half our goods.

me in

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