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Till they [reveal] the causers of our smarts,
Then of true grief let us take equal share.
[Exeunt with the bodies.
Itha. Why, was there ever seen such villainy,
So neatly plotted, and so well performed?
Abig. Why, how now, Ithamore, why laugh'st thou so? Itha. O mistress, ha! ha! ha!
Abig. Why, what ail'st thou?
Itha. O my master!
Itha. O mistress! I have the bravest, gravest, secret, subtle, bottle-nosed knave to my master, that ever gentleman had.
Abig. Say, knave, why rail'st upon my father thus? Itha. O, my master has the bravest policy.
Abig. Wherein ?
Itha. Why, know you not?
Abig. Why, no.
Itha. Know you not of Mathia[s'] and Don Lodowick['s] disaster?
1 Scene: a room in Barabas' house,
Kept in expectation, having their hopes flattered."-Dyce.
Abig. No, what was it?
Itha. Why, the devil invented a challenge, my master
writ it, and I carried it, first to Lodowick, and imprimis
And then they met, [and,] as the story says,
In doleful wise they ended both their days.
Abig. And was my father furtherer of their deaths? Itha. Am I Ithamore?
Itha. So sure did your father write, and I carry the challenge.
Abig. Well, Ithamore, let me request thee this, Go to the new-made nunnery, and inquire
For any of the Friars of St. Jaques,1
And say, I pray them come and speak with me.
Itha. I pray, mistress, will you answer me but one question ?
Abig. Well, sirrah, what is't?
Itha. A very feeling one; have not the nuns fine sport with the friars now and then?
Abig. Go to, sirrah sauce, is this your question? get ye gone.
Itha. I will, forsooth, mistress.
Abig. Hard-hearted father, unkind Barabas,
Was this the pursuit of thy policy!
To make me show them favour severally,
1 Old ed. "Jaynes."
2 Dyce's correction: old ed. "sinne."
Yet Don Mathias ne'er offended thee:
But thou wert set upon extreme revenge,
But here comes cursed Ithamore, with the friar.
Enter ITHAMORE and FRIAR JACOMO.
F. Jac. Virgo, salve.
Itha. When! duck you ! 2
Abig. Welcome, grave friar; Ithamore begone.
Know, holy sir, I am bold to solicit thee.
F. Jac. Wherein ?
Abig. To get me be admitted for a nun.
F. Jac. Why, Abigail, it is not yet long since
That I did labour thy admission,
And then thou did'st not like that holy life.
Abig. Then were my thoughts so frail and unconfirmed, And I was chained to follies of the world :·
But now experience, purchasèd with grief,
Has made me see the difference of things.
1 So the old ed. Cunningham boldly reads "Governor," which is certainly the word we should have expected.
2 Dyce and the other editors give When duck you?" I take 66 "when" to be an abrupt exclamation denoting impatience, in which sense the word is often found (see Dyce's Shakespeare Glossary).
The fatal labyrinth of misbelief,
Far from the sun that gives eternal life.
F. Jac. Who taught thee this?
F. Jac. Abigail, I will, but see thou change no more, For that will be most heavy to thy soul.
Abig. That was my father's fault.
F. Jac. Thy father's! how?
Abig. Nay, you shall pardon me.-O Barabas, Though thou deservest hardly at my hands,
Yet never shall these lips bewray thy life.
F. Jac. Come, shall we go?
Abig. My duty waits on you.
Enter BARABAS, reading a letter.
Bar. What, Abigail become a nun again!
Art thou again got to the nunnery?
Now here she writes, and wills me to repent.
1 Scene: a room in Barabas' house.
I fear she knows-'tis so-of my device
In Don Mathias' and Lodovico's deaths:
For she that varies from me in belief
Gives great presumption that she loves me not;
O Ithamore, come near;
Come near, my love; come near, thy master's life,
For I have now no hope but even in thee:
And on that hope my happiness is built;
When saw'st thou Abigail?
Bar. With whom?
Itha. A friar.
Bar. A friar! false villain, he hath done the deed.
Bar. Why, made mine Abigail a nun.
Itha. That's no lie, for she sent me for him.
Bar. O unhappy day!
False, credulous, inconstant Abigail!
But let 'em go: and, Ithamore, from hence
Ne'er shall she grieve me more with her disgrace ;
1 Old ed. "life."