Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

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

1 Jew. Yet, brother Barabas, remember Job. 180

Bar. What tell you me of Job? I wot his wealth
Was written thus: he had seven thousand sheep,
Three thousand camels, and two hundred yoke
Of labouring oxen, and five hundred
She-asses : but for every one of those,
Had they been valued at indifferent rate,
I had at home, and in mine argosy,
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 fatal birth-day, forlorn Barabas;
And henceforth wish for an eternal night,
That clouds of darkness may inclose my flesh,
And hide these extreme sorrows from mine eyes :
For only I have toiled to inherit here
The months of vanity and loss of time,
And painful nights, have been appointed me.

2 Jew. Good Barabas, be patient.

Bar. I, I; pray leave me in my patience.
You that were 1 ne'er possessed of wealth, are pleased with

want ;
But give him liberty at least to mourn,
That in a field amidst his enemies
Doth see his soldiers slain, himself disarmed,


1 Probably we should read~"You, ne'er possessed," etc.


And knows no means of his recovery:
I, let me sorrow for this sudden chance;
'Tis in the trouble of my spirit I speak;
Great injuries are not so soon forgot.

1 Jew. Come, let us leave him ; in his ireful mood Our words will but increase his ecstasy.

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

[Exeunt. Bar. I, fare you

See the simplicity of these base slaves,
Who, for the villains have no wit themselves,
Think me to be a senseless lump of clay
That will with every water wash to dirt :
No, Barabas is born to better chance,
And framed of finer mould than common men,
That measure naught 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-
But whither wends my beauteous Abigail ?


Enter ABIGAIL, the Jew's daughter.
O! what has made my lovely daughter sad?
What, woman! moan not for a little loss :
Thy father hath enough in store for thee.

Abig. Nor (not ?] for myself, but agèd Barabas :
Father, for thee lamenteth Abigail :
But I will learn to leave these fruitless tears,
And, urged thereto with my afflictions,




With fierce exclaims run to the senate-house,
And in the senate reprehend them all,
And rend their hearts with tearing of my hair,
Till they reduce the wrongs done to my father.

Bar. No, Abigail, things past recovery
Are hardly cured with exclamations.
Be silent, daughter, sufferance breeds ease,
And time may yield us an occasion
Which on the sudden cannot serve the turn.

Besides, my girl, think me not all so fond
As negligently to forego so much
Without provision for thyself and me.
Ten thousand portagues, besides great pearls,
Rich costly jewels, and stones infinite,
Fearing the worst of this before it fell,
I closely hid.

Abig. Where, father?
Bar. In my house, my girl.

Abig. Then shall they ne'er be seen of Barabas : 250
For they have seized upon thy house and wares.

Bar. But they will give me leave once more, I trow,
To go into my house.

Abig. That may they not :
For there I left the governor placing nuns,
Displacing me; and of thy house they mean
To make a nunnery, where none but their own sect
Must enter in; men generally barred.

| Dyce proposed “redress," 2 Portuguese gold coins. 3 Steevens (on 2 Henry IV. ii. 4, l. 42) quotes several passages where ** sect " is used for "sex.”



Bar. My gold ! my gold! and all my wealth is gone ! You partial heavens, have I deserved this plague? What, will you thus oppose me, luckless stars, 260 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 oppressed me:
Be ruled 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 ?

Bar. Why, so;
Then thus, thou told'st me they have turned my house
Into a nunnery, and some nuns are there?

Abig. I did.

Bar. Then, Abigail, there must my girl Entreat the abbess to be entertained.

280 Abig. How, as a nun?

Bar. I, daughter, for religion
Hides many mischiefs from suspicion.

Abig. I, but, father, they will suspect me there.
Bar. 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 entertained.

Abig. Thus, father, shall I much dissemble.

Bar. 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 [that] I be entertained,
What then shall follow ?

Bar. 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.
Bar. 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 draw back. Enter Friar Jacomo, Friar BERNARDINE, Abbess,

and a Nun. F. Jac. Sisters, we now are almost at the new-made


1 The passage is no doubt corrupt. Cunningham reads “unforeseen,” and explains the meaning to be “a steady consistent piece of acting is better than having to put on the hypocrite at a moment's warning."

2 Old ed. “ Enter three Fryars and two Nuns."

« ZurückWeiter »