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Enter Friar JACOMO and Friar BARNARDINE.

F. Jac. O brother, brother, all the nuns are sick, And physic will not help them: they must die.

F. Barn. The abbess sent for me to be confessed: O, what a sad confession will there be !

F. Jac. And so did fair Maria send for me: I'll to her lodging: hereabouts she lies.



F. Barn. What, all dead, save only Abigail?
Abig. And I shall die too, for I feel death coming.
Where is the friar that conversed with me.

F. Barn. O, he is gone to see the other nuns.
Abig. I sent for him, but seeing you are come,
Be you my ghostly father: and first know,
That in this house I lived religiously,

Chaste, and devout, much sorrowing for my sins,
But ere I came

F. Barn. What then?

Abig. I did offend high Heaven so grievously,

As I am almost desperate for my sins:

And one offence torments me more than all.

You knew Mathias and Don Lodowick ?

F. Barn. Yes, what of them?

Abig. My father did contract me to 'em both:

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1 Scene: a room in the convent.-The stage direction in the 4to. is "Enter two Friars and Abigail."

First to Don Lodowick; him I never loved;

Mathias was the man that I held dear,

And for his sake did I become a nun.

F. Barn. So, say how was their end?

Abig. Both jealous of my love, envied each other, And by my father's practice, which is there

[Gives a paper.


Set down at large, the gallants were both slain.
F. Barn. O monstrous villainy!

Abig. To work my peace, this I confess to thee;
Reveal it not, for then my father dies.

F. Barn. Know that confession must not be revealed, The canon law forbids it, and the priest

That makes it known, being degraded first,

Shall be condemned, and then sent to the fire.

Abig. So I have heard; pray, therefore keep it close, Death seizeth on my heart, ah gentle friar!

Convert my father that he may be saved,

And witness that I die a Christian.

[Dies. 40

F. Barn. I, and a virgin too; that grieves me


But I must to the Jew and exclaim on him,

And make him stand in fear of me.

Enter Friar JACOMO.

F. Jac. O brother, all the nuns are dead, let's bury them.

F. Barn. First help to bury this, then go with me And help me to exclaim against the Jew.

F. Jac. Why, what has he done?

F. Barn. A thing that makes me tremble to unfold. F. Jac. What, has he crucified a child?

F. Barn. No, but a worse thing: 'twas told me in


Thou know'st 'tis death an if it be revealed.


Come, let's away.




Enter1 BARABAS and ITHAMORE. Bells within.

Bar. There is no music to 2 a Christian's knell : How sweet the bells ring now the nuns are dead, That sound at other times like tinkers' pans?

I was afraid the poison had not wrought;

Or, though it wrought, it would have done no good,
For every year they swell, and yet they live;

Now all are dead, not one remains alive.

lath. That's brave, master, but think you it will not

be known?

Bar. How can it, if we two be secret?

Itha. For my part fear you not.

Bar. I'd cut thy throat if I did.

Itha. And reason too.

But here's a royal monastery hard by ;

Good master, let me poison all the monks.

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Bar. Thou shalt not need, for now the nuns are dead

They'll die with grief.

1 Scene: a street.

2 I.e. compared to.

Itha. Do you not sorrow for your daughter's death? Bar. No, but I grieve because she lived so long. An Hebrew born, and would become a Christian! Cazzo,1 diabolo.


Enter the two Friars.

Itha. Look, look, master, here come two religious caterpillars.

Bar. I smelt 'em ere they came.

Itha. God-a-mercy, nose; come, let's begone.

F. Barn. Stay, wicked Jew, repent, I say, and stay.
F. Jac. Thou hast offended, therefore must be damned.
Bar. I fear they know we sent the poisoned broth.
Itha. And so do I, master, therefore speak 'em fair.
F. Barn. Barabas, thou hast-

F. Jac. I, that thou hast

Bar. True, I have money, what though I have?
F. Barn. Thou art a-

F. Jac. I, that thou art a

Bar. What needs all this? I know I am a Jew.

F. Barn. Thy daughter

F. Jac. I, thy daughter

Bar. O speak not of her, then I die with grief.
F. Barn. Remember that-

F. Jac. I, remember that



Bar. I must needs say that I have been a great usurer. F. Barn. Thou hast committed

Bar. Fornication-but that

1 A vulgar Italian oath. (Old ed. "Catho diabola.")

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