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ABIG. Thus father shall I much dissemble.
Abig. Well father, say I be entertain'd,
Bar. This shall follow then;
ABIG, Then father go with me.
BAR. No, Abigail, in this
Enter three FRIARS and two Nuns.
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.
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
BAR. As much I hope as all I bid is worth. [Aside.
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 !
Bar. Child of perdition, and thy father's shame!
[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,
Math. Believe me, noble Lodowick, I have seen
Lod. What was't, I pry'thee?
The sweetest flower in Cytherea's field,
Lod. But say, what was she?
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.
ACT THE SECOND.
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
former riches rests no more
eyes, Nor quiet enter my distemper'd thoughts, Till I have answer of my Abigail.