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Till they [reveal] the causers of our smarts,
Which forced their hands divide united hearts:
Come, Katherine, our losses equal are,

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?
Both held in hand,2 and flatly both beguiled?


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!

Abig. Ha!

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,

2 "

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

to Mathia[s].

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?

Abig. Yes.


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,
That by my favour they should both be slain?
Admit thou lov'dst not Lodowick for his sire,2

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,
Because the Prior1 dispossessed thee once,
And could'st not 'venge it, but upon his son;
Nor on his son, but by Mathias' means;
Nor on Mathias, but by murdering me.
But I perceive there is no love on earth,
Pity in Jews, or piety in Turks.

But here comes cursed Ithamore, with the friar.


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.
My sinful soul, alas, hath paced too long

1 So the old ed. Cunningham boldly reads "Governor," which is certainly the word we should have expected.

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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?
Abig. The abbess of the house,
Whose zealous admonition I embrace:
O, therefore, Jacomo, let me be one,
Although unworthy, of that sisterhood.

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!
False and unkind; what, hast thou lost thy father?
And all unknown, and unconstrained of me,

Art thou again got to the nunnery?

Now here she writes, and wills me to repent.
Repentance! Spurca! what pretendeth 2 this?

1 Scene: a room in Barabas' house.
21.e. portendeth.

I fear she knows-'tis so-of my device

In Don Mathias' and Lodovico's deaths:
If so, 'tis time that it be seen into:

For she that varies from me in belief

Gives great presumption that she loves me not;
Or loving, doth dislike of something done.
But who comes here?


O Ithamore, come near;

Come near, my love; come near, thy master's life,
My trusty servant, nay, my second self:1

For I have now no hope but even in thee:

And on that hope my happiness is built;

When saw'st thou Abigail?

Itha. To-day.

Bar. With whom?

Itha. A friar.

Bar. A friar! false villain, he hath done the deed.
Itha. How, sir?

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 ;
Ne'er shall she live to inherit aught of mine,
Be blest of me, nor come within my gates,

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1 Old ed. "life."


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