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PERSONS REPRESENTED.

} Friars.

FERNEZE, Governor of Malta.
SELIM CALYMATH, Son of the Grand Seignior.
DON LODOWICK, the Governor's Son, in love with

ABIGAIL.
Don MATHIAS, also in love with her.
MARTIN DEL Bosco, Vice-Admiral of Spain.
BARABAS, the Jew of Malta.
ITHAMORE, Barabas' slave.
BARNARDINE,
ЈАСомо,
PILIA-BORSA, à Bully.
Two Merchants.
Three Jews.
Bassoes, Knights, Officers, Reader, Messengers, Slaves,

and Carpenters. KATHARINE, mother of Don MATHIAS. ABIGAIL, the Jew's Daughter. Abbess. Two Nuns, BELLAMIRA, a Courtesan. MACHIAVEL, the Prologue.

Scene-Malta.

!

THE JEW OF MALTA.

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Enter MACHIAVEL.
Machiavel. Albeit the world thinks Machiavel is dead,
Yet was his soul but flown beyond the Alps;
And now the Guise 1 is dead, is come from France,
To view this land, and frolic with his friends.
To some perhaps my name is odious,
But such as love me guard me from their tongues ;
And let them know that I am Machiavel,
And weigh not men, and therefore not men's words.
Admired I am of those that hate me most.
Though some speak openly against my books,
Yet they will read me, and thereby attain
To Peter's chair: and when they cast me off,
Are poisoned by my climbing followers.

count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance.
Birds of the air will tell of murders past !
I am ashamed to hear such fooleries.
Many will talk of title to a crown:

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The Duc de Guise, who organised the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. He was assassinated in 1588.

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The Jew of Malta.
What right had Cæsar to the empery 21
Might first made kings, and laws were then most sure 20
When like the Draco's ? they were writ in blood.
Hence comes it that a strong-built citadel
Commands much more than letters can import;
Which maxim had [but ] Phalaris observed,
He had never bellowed, in a brazen bull,
Of great one's envy. Of the poor petty wights
Let me be envied and not pitièd !
But whither am I bound? I come not, I,
To read a lecture here in Britainy,
But to present the tragedy of a Jew,
Who smiles to see how full his bags are crammed,
Which money was not got without my means.
I crave but this-grace him as he deserves,
And let him not be entertained the worse
Because he favours me.

[Exit.

Content

30

1 This is Dyce's correction for “empire." 2 Old ed. “the Drancus."

3 As a word is required to complete the verse, I have followed Cunningham in inserting “but.”

4 All the editions give “ Britain." For the sake of the metre I read “Britainy”-a form found in Edward II., ii, 2, l. 42.

( )

ACT THE FIRST.

SCENE I.

Enter BARABAS in his counting-house, with heaps of gold

before him.

Bar. So that of thus much that return was made :
And of the third part of the Persian ships,
There was the venture summed and satisfied.
As for those Sabans, and the men of Uz,
That bought my Spanish oils and wines of Greece,
Here have I purst their paltry silverlings.2

what a trouble 'tis to count this trash.
Well fare the Arabians, who so richly pay
The things they traffic for with wedge of gold,
Whereof a man may easily in a day
Tell that which may maintain him all his life.
The needy groom that never fingered groat,

Fie;

10

i Old ed. “Samintes," for which the modern editors give " Samnites." Between the "Samnites" and the “ men of Uz" there can be no possible connection. My emendation suits the context. We have Saba for Sabæa in Faustus, xii. 25, &c.

3 Old ed. "silverbings." Dyce observes that the word “silverling" occurs in Isaiah (vii. 23) :-"A thousand vines at a thousand silverlings.”

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"

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Would make a miracle of thus much coin :
But he whose steel-barred coffers are crammed full,
And all his lifetime hath been tired,
Wearying his fingers' ends with telling it,
Would in his age be loth to labour so,
And for a pound to sweat himself to death.
Give me the merchants of the Indian mines,
That trade in metal of the purest mould ;
The wealthy Moor, that in the eastern rocks
Without control can pick his riches up,
And in his house heap pearls like pebble-stones,
Receive them free, and sell them by the weight;
Bags of fiery opals, sapphires, amethysts,
Jacinths, hard topaz, grass-green emeralds,
Beauteous rubies, sparkling diamonds,
And seld-seen costly stones of so great price,
As one of them indifferently rated,
And of a carat of this quantity,
May serve in peril of calamity
To ransom.great kings from Captivity.
This is the ware wherein consists my wealth ;
And thus methinks should men of judgment frame
Their means of traffic from the vulgar trade,
And as their wealth increaseth, so inclose
Infinite riches in a little room.
But now how stands the wind ?
Into what corner peers my halcyon's 1 bill?

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i It was a common belief that a stuffed halcyon (i.e., kingfisher), sus. pended by the bill, showed from what quarter the wind blew. Shakespeare alludes to the superstition in Lear, ii, 2,

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