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But perish underneath my bitter curse,
Like Cain by Adam, for his brother's death.

Itha. O master !

Bar. Ithamore, entreat not for her, I am moved,
And she is hateful to my soul and me :
And 'less 1 thou yield to this that I entreat,
I cannot think but that thou hat’st my life.

Itha. Who, I, master? Why, I'll run to some rock,
And throw myself headlong into the sea ;
Why, I'll do anything for your sweet sake.

Bar. O trusty Ithamore, no servant, but my friend: I here adopt thee for mine only heir, All that I have is thine when I am dead, And whilst I live use half; spend as myself; Here take my keys, I'll give 'em thee anon: Go buy thee garments : but thou shall not want: Only know this, that thus thou art to do: But first go fetch me in the pot of rice That for our supper stands upon the fire.

50 Itha. I hold my head my master's hungry. I go, sir.

[Exit. Bar. Thus every villain ambles after wealth, Although he ne'er be richer than in hope: But, husht!

Enter ITHAMORE with the pot. Itha. Here 'tis, master.

Bar. Well said, Ithamore; what, hast thou brought The ladle with thee too?

i Old ed. "least."

Itha. Yes, sir, the proverb says he that eats with the devil had need of a long spoon. I have brought you a ladle.

60 Bar. Very well, Ithamore, then now be secret; And for thy sake, whom I so dearly love, Now shalt thou see the death of Abigail, That thou may’st freely live to be my heir.

Itha. Why, master, will you poison her with a mess of rice porridge ? that will preserve life, make her round and plump, and batten more than you are aware.

Bar. I, but, Ithamore, seest thou this?
It is a precious powder that I bought
Of an Italian, in Ancona, once,

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Whose operation is to bind, infect,
And poison deeply, yet not appear
In forty hours after it is ta’en.

Itha. How, master ?

Bar. Thus, Ithamore.
This even they use in Malta here,—'tis called
Saint Jacques' Even,--and then I say they use
To send their alms unto the nunneries :
Among the rest bear this, and set it there;
There's a dark entry where they take it in,

80 Where they must neither see the messenger, Nor make inquiry who hath sent it them.

Itha. How so?
Bar. Belike there is some ceremony in't.

? A very old proverb ; it is found in Chaucer's Squieres Tale, John Heywood's Proverbs, Comedy of Errors, &c.

90

There, Ithamore, must thou go place this pot !!
Stay, let me spice it first.

Itha. Pray do, and let me help you, master. Pray let me taste first.

Bar. Prythee do: what say'st thou now?

Itha. Troth, master, I'm loth such a pot of pottage should be spoiled.

Bar. Peace, Ithamore, 'tis better so than spared. Assure thyself thou shalt have broth by the eye.? My purse, my coffer, and myself is thine.

Itha. Well, master, I go.

Bar. Stay, first let me stir it, Ithamore.
As fatal be it to her as the draught
Of which great Alexander drunk and died :
And with her let it work like Borgia's wine,
Whereof his sire, the Pope, was poisoned.
In few, the blood of Hydra, Lerna's bane:
The juice of hebon, and Cocytus' breath,
And all the poisons of the Stygian pool
Break from the fiery kingdom ; and in this
Vomit your venom and invenom her
That like a fiend hath left her father thus.

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i Old ed. "plot."

9 1.c. in abundance. Dyce compares Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle, ii, 2 :-" Here's money and gold by th' eye, my boy."

3 Briefly.

• The juice of ebony (variously written "hebon" or "hebenon ") was thought to be a strong poison. Cf. Hamlet, i. 5:

“ Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole

With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial.”

IIO

Itha. What a blessing has he given 't! was ever pot of rice porridge so sauced! What shall I do with it?

Bar. O, my sweet Ithamore, go set it down, And come again so soon as thou hast done, For I have other business for thee.

Itha. Here's a drench to poison a whole stable of Flanders mares : I'll carry ’t to the nuns with a powder.

Bar. And the horse pestilence to boot; away.

Itha. I am gone. Pay me my wages, for my work is done. [Exit. Bar. I'll pay

with a vengeance, Ithamore. [Exit.

SCENE V.

Enter 1 Governor, Del Bosco, Knights, Basso.

Gov. Welcome, great Basso ;? how fares Calymath, What wind thus drives you into Malta Road ?

Bas. The wind that bloweth all the world besides,
Desire of gold.

Gov. Desire of gold, great sir ?
That's to be gotten in the Western Ind :
In Malta are no golden minerals.

Bas. To you of Malta thus saith Calymath :
The time you took for respite is at hand,
For the performance of your promise passed,
And for the tribute-money I am sent.

IO 20

1 Scene : the Senate-house.

2 Old ed. " Bashaws." (I have kept the spelling “Basso ” throughout.)

Gov. Basso, in brief, 'shalt have no tribute here,
Nor shall the heathens live upon our spoil :
First will we raze the city walls ourselves,
Lay waste the island, hew the temples down,
And, shipping off our goods to Sicily,
Open an entrance for the wasteful sea,
Whose billows beating the resistless banks,
Shall overflow it with their refluence.

Bas. Well, Governor, since thou hast broke the league
By flat denial of the promised tribute,
Talk not of razing down your city walls,
You shall not need trouble yourselves so far,
For Selim Calymath shall come himself,
And with brass bullets batter down your towers,
And turn proud Malta to a wilderness
For these intolerable wrongs of yours;
And so farewell.

Gov. Farewell :
And now, ye men of Malta, look about,
And let's provide to welcome Calymath :

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Close your portcullis, charge your basilisks,
And as you profitably take up arms,
So now courageously encounter them;
For by this answer, broken is the league,
And naught is to be looked for now but wars,
And naught to us more welcome is than wars.

[Exeunt.

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