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Enter Governor, Knights, and MARTIN DEL BOSCO.

Gov. Now, gentlemen, betake you to your arms, And see that Malta be well fortified;

And it behoves you to be resolute;

For Calymath, having hovered here so long,

Will win the town or die before the walls.

Knights. And die he shall, for we will never yield.


Bell. O, bring us to the Governor.

Gov. Away with her; she is a courtesan.

Bell. Whate'er I am, yet, Governor, hear me speak ;

I bring thee news by whom thy son was slain :
Mathias did it not; it was the Jew.


Pilia. Who, besides the slaughter of these gentlemen, Poisoned his own daughter and the nuns,

Strangled a friar, and I know not what

Mischief besides.

1 Scene: the Senate-house.

Gov. Had we but proof of this

Bell. Strong proof, my lord; his man's now at my


That was his agent; he'll confess it all.

Gov. Go fetch him straight [Exeunt Officers]; I always feared that Jew.

Enter Officers with BARABAS and ITHAMORE.

Bar. I'll go alone; dogs, do not hale me thus.


Itha. Nor me neither, I cannot outrun you, constable : O my belly!

Bar. One dram of powder more had made all sure; What a damned slave was I!

[Aside. Gov. Make fires, heat irons, let the rack be fetched. Knights. Nay, stay, my lord, 't may be he will confess? Bar. Confess! what mean you, lords, who should confess?

Gov. Thou and thy Turk; 'twas you that slew my son. Itha. Guilty, my lord, I confess your son and Mathias were both contracted unto Abigail; [he] forged a counterfeit challenge.

Bar. Who carried that challenge?


Itha. I carried it, I confess; but who writ it? Marry, even he that strangled Barnardine, poisoned the nuns, and his own daughter.

Gov. Away with him, his sight is death to me.

Bar. For what, you men of Malta? hear me speak:

She is a courtesan, and he a thief,

And he my bondman. Let me have law,

For none of this can prejudice my life.




Gov. Once more, away with him; you shall have law. Bar. Devils, do your worst, I live in spite of you. [Aside.

As these have spoke, so be it to their souls!—

I hope the poisoned flowers will work anon.

Enter the Mother of MATHIAS.

[Aside. [Exeunt.

Mother. Was my Mathias murdered by the Jew? Ferneze, 'twas thy son that murdered him.

Gov. Be patient, gentle madam, it was he. He forged the daring challenge made them fight. Mother. Where is the Jew? where is that murderer ? Gov. In prison till the law has past on him. Enter Officer.

Off. My lord, the courtesan and her man are dead : So is the Turk and Barabas the Jew.

Gov. Dead!

Off. Dead, my lord, and here they bring his body.
Bosco. This sudden death of his is very strange.

Re-enter Officers carrying BARABAS as dead.


Gov. Wonder not at it, sir, the heavens are just; Their deaths were like their lives, then think not of 'em ; Since they are dead, let them be buried.

For the Jew's body, throw that o'er the walls,

To be a prey for vultures and wild beasts.

So now away, and fortify the town.


[Exeunt all, leaving BARABAS on the floor.1

1 We are to suppose that Barabas' body had been thrown "o'er the walls," according to the Governor's order. The scene is now changed from the Senate-house to the outside of the city.

Bar. [Rising.] What, all alone? well fare, sleepy drink. I'll be revenged on this accursed town ; For by my means Calymath shall enter in. I'll help to slay their children and their wives, To fire the churches, pull their houses down, Take my goods too, and seize upon my lands: I hope to see the Governor a slave,

And, rowing in a galley, whipt to death.

Enter CALYMATH, Bassoes, and Turks.

Caly. Whom have we here, a spy?

Bar. Yes, my good lord, one that can spy a place Where you may enter, and surprise the town:

My name is Barabas: I am a Jew.


Caly. Art thou that Jew whose goods we heard were sold

For tribute-money?

Bar. The very same, my lord:

And since that time they have hired a slave, my man,

To accuse me of a thousand villanies:

I was imprisoned, but escaped their hands.

Caly. Did'st break prison?

Bar. No, no;

I drank of poppy and cold mandrake juice: 1


1 A herb of powerful soporific qualities. Shakespeare couples it with

"poppy" in Othello:

"Not poppy nor mandragora,

Nor all the powerful syrups of the world,

Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou ow'dst yesterday."

And being asleep, belike they thought me dead,
And threw me o'er the walls: so, or how else,
The Jew is here, and rests at your command.

Caly. 'Twas bravely done: but tell me, Barabas,
Canst thou, as thou report'st, make Malta ours?
Bar. Fear not, my lord, for here against the sluice,1
The rock is hollow, and of purpose digged,

To make a passage for the running streams
And common channels of the city.

Now, whilst you give assault unto the walls,
I'll lead five hundred soldiers through the vault,
And rise with them i' the middle of the town,
Open the gates for you to enter in,

And by this means the city is your own.

Caly. If this be true, I'll make thee governor.
Bar. And if it be not true, then let me die.
Caly. Thou'st doomed thyself.


Assault it presently.



Alarms. Enter 2 Turks, BARABAS, &c.; Governor and Knights prisoners.

Caly. Now vail3 your pride, you captive Christians,

And kneel for mercy to your conquering foe :

Now where's the hope you had of haughty Spain?

1 Old ed. "truce." The correction is Collier's. Dyce reads "trench." 2 Scene: a square in the city.

3 Lower.

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