Page images

That thirst so much for principality.
I have no charge, nor many children,
But one sole daughter, whom I hold as dear
As Agamemnon did his Iphigene:
And all I have is hers. But who comes here?
Enter three Jews.

1 Jew. Tush! tell not me 'twas done of policy.

2 Jew. Come therefore let us go to Barabas; For he can counsel best in these affairs;

And here he comes.

Ba». Why how now countrymen? Why flock you thus to me in multitudes? What accident's betided to the Jews?

1 Jew. A fleet of warlike gallies, Barabas, Are come from Turkey, and lie in our road: And they this day sit in the council-house To entertain them and their embassy.

Bar. Why let 'em come, so they come not to war; Or let 'em war, so we be conquerors: Nay, let 'em combat, conquer, and kill all, So they spare me, my daughter, and my wealth.


1 Jew. Were it for confirmation of a league, They would not come in warlike manner thus.

2 Jew. I fear their coming will afflict us all. BAB.Fond men! what dreamyou of their multitudes,

What need they treat of peace that are in league?
The Turks and those of Malta are in league.
Tut, tut, there is some other matter in't.

1 Jew. Why, Barabas, they come for peace or war.

Bar. Happily for neither, but to pass along
Towards Venice by the Adriatick sea;
"With whom they have attempted many times,
But never could effect their stratagem.

3 Jew. And very wisely said, it may be so.

2 Jew. But there's a meeting in the senate-house, And all the Jews in Malta must be there.

Bar. Hum ; all the Jews in Malta must be there? Aye, like enough, why then let every man Provide him, and be there for fashion-sake. If any thing shall there concern our state Assure yourselves I'll look unto myself.

1 Jew. I know you will; well brethren let us go.

2 Jew. Let's take our leaves; farewell good


Bar. Do so ; farewell Zaareth, farewell Temainte.

[Exeunt Jews.

And Barabas now search this secret out.
Summon thy senses, call thy wits together;
These silly men mistake the matter clean.
Long to the Turk did Malta contribute;
Which tribute all in policy, I fear,
The Turk has let increase to such a sum,
As all the wealth of Malta cannot pay;
And now by that advantage thinks, belike,
To seize upon the town: Aye, that he seeks.
Howe'er the world go, I'll make sure for one,
And seek in time to intercept the worst,
Warily guarding that which I have got.
Ego mihimet sum semper proximus.
Why let 'em enter, let 'em take the town. [Exit.

SCENE II. Enter Governor of Malta, Knights, met by

Bashaws of the Turk; Calymath, and


Gov. Now Bashaws, what demand you at our hands?

Bas. Know Knights of Malta, that we came

from Rhodes

From Cyprus, Candy, and those other Isles
That lie betwixt the Mediterranean seas.

Gov. What's Cyprus, Candy, and those other

Isles To us, or Malta? What at our hands demand ye?

Cal. The ten years tribute that remains unpaid.

Gov. Alas! my lord, the sum is over great, I hope your highness will consider us.

Cal. I wish, grave governors, 'twere in ray


To favour you, but 'tis my father's cause,
Wherein I may not. nay I dare not dally.

Gov. Then give us leave, great Selim Calymath.

Cal. Stand all aside, and let the knights determine,

And send to keep our gallies under sail,
For hapily we shall not tarry here:
Now governors how are you resolv'd?

Gov. Thus: since your hard conditions are such
That you will needs have ten years tribute past,
We may have time to make collection
Amongst the inhabitants of Malta for't.

Bass. That's more than is in our commission.

Cal. What, Callapine! a little courtesy.
Let's know their time, perhaps it is not long;
And 'tis more kingly to obtain by peace
Than to enforce conditions by constraint.
What respite ask you governors?

Gov. But a month.

Cal. We grant a month, but see you keep your


Now launch our gallies back again, to sea,
Where we'll attend the respite you have ta'en,
And for the money send our messenger.
Farewell great governors, and brave Knights of
Malta. [Exeunt.

Gov. And all good fortune wait on Calymath.
Go one and call those Jews of Malta hither:
Were they not summon'd to appear to day?

Off. They were my lord, and here they come.
Enter Barabas, and three Jews.

1 Knight. Have you determin'd what to say to them?

Gov. Yes, give me leave, and Hebrews, now come


From the emperor of Turkey is arriv'd
Great Selim Calymath, his highness' son,
To levy of us ten years' tribute past,
Now then, here know that it concerneth us.

Bar. Then, good my lord, to keep your quiet

still, Your lordship shall do well to let them have it.

Gov.Soft, Barabas, there's more 'longs to't than so. To what this ten years' tribute will amount That wetave cast, but cannot compass it By reason of the wars, that robb'd our store; And therefore are we to request your aid.

Bab. Alas, my lord, we are no soldiers: And what's our aid against so great a prince?

1 Knight. Tut, Jew, we know thou art no


Thou art a merchant, and a monied man,
And 'tis thy money, Barabas, we seek.

Bar. How, my lord, my money?

Gov. Thine and the rest.
For, to be short, amongst you 't must be had,

Bar. Alas, my lord, the most of us are poor.

Gov. Then let the rich increase your portions.

Bar. Are strangers with your tribute to be tax'd?

2 Knight. Have strangers leave with us to get

their wealth? Then let them with us contribute.

Bar. How, equally?

Gov. No, Jew, like infidels.
For through our sufferance of your hateful lives,
Who stand accursed in the sight of heaven,
These taxes and afflictions are befall'n,
And therefore thus we are determined.
Read there the articles of our decrees.

Reader. First, the tribute money of the Turks shall all be levied amongst the Jews, and each of them to pay one half of his estate.

« PreviousContinue »