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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 I be entertain'd,
What then shall follow?

Bar. This shall follow then;
There bave 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.

Enter three FRIARS and two Nuns.
I Fei. Sisters, we now are almost at the new-made

nunnery. I Nun. The better; for we love not to be seen : 'Tis thirty winters long since some of us Did stray so far amongst the multitude.

i Fri. But, madam, this house And waters of this new-made nunnery Will much delight you.

Nun. It may be so; but who comes here?

ABIG. Grave abbess, and you, happy virgins guide, Pity the state of a distressed maid. VOL. I.

14

Abs. What art thou daughter?

Abig. The hopeless daughter of a hapless Jew, The Jew of Malta, wretched Barabas; Sometime the owner of a goodly house, Which ther have now turn'd to a nunnery. Abb. Well, daughter, say, what is thy suit with

us? Arie. Fearing the afflictions which my father

feels. Proceed from sin, or want of faith in us, I'd pass away my life in penitence, And be a novice in your nunnery, To make atonement for my bouring scul. I Fri. No doubt, brother, but this proceedeth of

the spirit. 2 Fri. Aye, and of a moving spirit too, brother

but come, Let us intreat she may be entertain'd.

ABB. Well, daughter, we admit you for a nun.

ABIG, First let me as a novice learn to frame
My solitary life to your strait laws,
And let me lodge where I was wont to lie,
I do not doubt, by your divine precepts
And mine own industry, but to profit much.

BAR. As much I hope as all I bid is worth. [Aside.
Abs. Come, daughter, follow us.

BAR. Why bow now, Abigail, what mak'st thou Amongst these hateful Christians?

i Fri. Hinder her not, thou man of little faith, For she has mortified herself.

Bar. How, mortified !
1 FRI. And is admitted to the sisterhood.

Bar. Child of perdition, and thy father's shame!
What wilt thou do among these hateful fiends ?
I charge thee on my blessing that thou leave
These devils, and their damned heresy.
ABIG. Father, give me

[She goes to him. BAR. (Whispers to her.] Nay, back, Abigail, And think upon the jewels and the gold, The board is marked thus that covers it. Away accursed from thy father's sight.

i Fri. Barabas, although thou art in misbelief, And wilt not see thine own afflictions, Yet let thy daughter be no longer blind.

Bar. Blind friar, I reck not thy persuasions, The board is marked thus + that covers it,)

(Aside to his daughter. For I had rather die, than see her thus. Wilt thou forsake me too in my distress, Seduced daughter? (Go, forget not.) [Aside to her. Becomes it Jews to be so credulous ? (To-morrow early rll be at the door.) [Aside to her. No, come not at me, if thou wilt be damn'd, Forget me see me not, and so be gone. (Farewell, remember to-morrow morning.) [Aside.

Enter MATHIAS. Math. Who's this? fair Abigail, the rich Jew's

daughter Become a nun, her father's sudden fall H as humbled her and brought her down to this :

Tut, she were fitter for a iale of love,
Than to be tired out with orisons:
And better would she far become a bed,
Embraced in a friendly lover's arms,
Than rise at midnight to a solemn mass.

Enter LODOWICK.
Lod. Why, how now, Don Mathias in a dump?

Math. Believe me, noble Lodowick, I have seen
The strangest sight, in my opinion,
That ever I beheld.

Lod. What was't, I pry'thee?
Math. A fair young maid, scarce fourteen years

of age,

The sweetest flower in Cytherea's field,
Cropt from the pleasures of the fruitful earth,
And strangely metamorphos'd nun.

Lod. But say, what was she?
Math. Why, the rich Jew's daughter.
Lod. What, Barabas, whose goods were lately

seiz'd ? Is she so fair?

Math. And matchless beautiful; As had you seen her 'twould have mov'd your

heart, Though countermin'd with walls of brass, to love, Or at the least to pity.

Lod. And if she be so fair as you report, 'Twere time well spent to go and visit her: How say you, shall we?

Math. I must and will, sir, there's no remedy.

LOD. And so will I too, or it shall go hard.
Farewell Mathias.
Math. Farewell, Lodowick.

[Ereunt.

ACT THE SECOND.

SCENE I.

Enter BARABAS, with a light. Bar. Thus like the sad presaging raven that tolla The sick man's passport in her hollow beak, And in the shadow of the silent night Doth shake contagion from her sable wings; Vex'd and tormented runs poor Barabas With fatal curses towards these Christians. The uncertain pleasures of swift-footed time Have ta'en their flight, and left me in despair; And of

my

former riches rests no more
But bare remembrance; like a soldier's scar,
That hath no further comfort for his maim.
Oh thou, that with a fiery pillar led'st
The sons of Israel through the dismal shades,
Light Abraham's offspring; and direct the hand
Of Abigail this night; or let the day
Turn to eternal darkness after this:
No sleep can fasten on my watchful

eyes, Nor quiet enter my distemper'd thoughts, Till I have answer of my Abigail.

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