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This Jew, with others many, th' other wan
The attribute of peerless, being a man
Whom we may rank with (doing no one wrong)
Proteus for shapes, and Roscius for a tongue, -
So could he speak, so vary; nor is't hate
To merit in him * who doth personate
Our Jew this day; nor is it his ambition
To exceed or equal, being of condition
More modest : this is all that he intends,
(And that too at the urgence of some friends,)
To prove his best, and, if none here gainsay it,
The part he hath studied, and intends to play it.

EPILOGUE TO THE STAGE,

AT THE COCK-PIT,

In graving with Pygmalion to contend,
Or painting with Apelles, doubtless the end
Must be disgrace : our actor did not so,
He only aim'd to go, but not out-go.
Nor think that this day any prize was play'd ; t
Here were no bets at all, no wagers laid :
All the ambition that his mind doth swell,
Is but to hear from you (by me) 'twas well.

* him) “Perkins." Marg. note in old ed. —“This was Richard Perkins, one of the performers belonging to the Cock.pit theatre in Drury-Lane. His name is printed among those who acted in Hannibal and Scipio by Nabbes, The Weduling by Shirley, and The Fair Maid of the West by Heywood. After the play-houses were shut up on account of the confusion arising from the civil wars, Perkins and Sumner, who belonged to the same house, lived together at Clerkenwell, where they died and were buried. They both died some years before the Restoration. See The Dialogue on Plays and Players [Dodsley's Old Plays, l. clii., last ed.).” REED (apud Dodeley's 0. P.). Perkins acted a prominent part in Webster's White Devil, when it was first brought on the stage,—perhaps Brachiano (for Burbadge, who was celebrated in Brachiano, does not appear to have played it originally): in a notice to the reader at the end of that tragedy Webster says; “In particular I must remember the well-approved industry of my friend Master Perkins, and confess the worth of his action did crown both the beginning and end." About 1622-3 Perkins belonged to the Red Bull theatre: about 1637 he joined the company at Salisbury Court: see Webster's Works, note, p. 51, ed. Dyce, 1857.

+ prize was play'd] This expression (so frequent in our early writers) is properly applied to fencing: see Steevens's note on Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor, act. i. sc. 1.

I no wagers laid] “Wagers as to the comparative merits of rival actors in particular parts were not unfrequent of old," &c. COLLIER (apud Dodsley's 0. P.). See my ed. of Peele's Works, i. x. ed. 1829; and Collier's Memoirs of Alleyn, p. 11.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

FERNEZE, governor of Malta.
LODOWICK, his son.
SELIM CALYMATH, son to the Grand Seignior.
MARTIN DEL Bosco, vice-admiral of Spain.
MATHIAS, a gentleman.
ЈАСомо,
BARNARDINE,

friars.
BARABAS, a wealthy Jew.
ITHAMORE, a slave.
Pilia-Borza, a bully, attendant to BELLAMIRA.
Two Merchants.
Three Jews.
Knights, Bassnes, Officers, Guard, Slaves, Messenger, and Carpenters.

KATHARINE, mother to Mathias.
ABIGAIL, daughter to BARABAS.
BELLAMIRA, a courtezan.
Abbess.
Nun,

MACHIAVEL as Prologue-speaker.

Scene, Maita.

THE JEW OF MALTA.

I am asham'd to hear such fooleries,
Many will talk of title to a crown:
What right had Cæsar to the empery ? *
Might first made kings, and laws were then most

sure

Enter MACHIAVEL. Mach. Albeit the world think Machiavel is

dead, Yet was his soul but flown beyond the Alps; And, now the Guise * 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 Machia And weigh not men, and therefore not men's

words.
Admir'd I am of those that hate me most :
Though some speak openly against my books,
Yet will they read me, and thereby attain
To Peter's chair; and, when they cast me off,
Are poison'd by my climbing followers.
I count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance.
Birds of the air will tell of murders past !

When, like the Draco's,t they were writ in

blood. Hence comes it that a strong-built citadel Commands much more than letters can import : Which maxim had I Phalaris observ'd, H’ad never bellow'd, in a brazen bull, Of great ones' envy : o'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 Britain, But to present the tragedy of a Jew, Who smiles to see how full his bags are cramm'd; Which money was not got without my means. I crave but this,-grace him as he deserves, And let him not be entertain'd the worse Because he favours me.

[Exit.

ACT I.

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

before him. Bara. So that of thus much that return was

made; And of the third part of the Persian ships

There was the venture summ'd and satisfied.
As for those Samnites,|| and the men of Uz,
That bought my Spanish oils and wines of

Greece,
Here have I purs'd their paltry silverlings. I

And see

our

* the Guise) “i.e. the Duke of Guise, who had been the principal contriver and actor in the horrid massacre of St. Bartholomew's day, 1572. He met with his deserved fate, being assassinated, by order of the French king, in 1588." REED (apud Dodsley's 0. P.). author's Massacre at Paris.

Act I.] The Scenes of this play are not marked in the old ed.; nor in the present edition, because occasionally (where the audience were to suppose a change of place, it was impossible to mark them.

* empery] Old ed. “Empire."

the Draco's] “i.e. the severe lawgiver of Athens ; "whose statutes,' said Demades, 'were not written with ink, but blood.'” STEEVENS (apud Dodsley's 0. P.).-Old ed. " the Drancus."

I had] Qy. had but”? § a lecture here] Qy. a lecture to you here"? || Samnites] Old ed. "Samintes." silverling8] When Steevens (apud Dodsley's 0. P.)

L

more

Fie, what a trouble 'tis to count this trash ! Are smoothly gliding down by Candy-shore
Well fare the Arabians, who so richly pay To Malta, through our Mediterranean sea.
The things they traffic for with wedge of gold, But who comes here?
Whereof a man may easily in a day
Tell * that which may maintain him all his life.

Brter a Merchant.
The needy groom, that never finger'd groat,

How now! Would make a miracle of thus much coin;

Merch. Barabas, thy ships are safe, But he whose steel-barr'd coffers are cramm'd Riding in Malta-road; and all the merchants full,

With other merchandise are safe arriv'd, And all his life-time hath been tired,

And have sent me to know whether yourself Wearying his fingers' ends with telling it,

Will come and custom them.* Would in his age be loath to labour so,

Bara. The ships are safe thou say'st, and And for a pound to sweat himself to death.

richly fraught? Give me the merchants of the Indian mines, Merch. They are. That trade in metal of the purest mould ;

Bara. Why, then, go bid them come ashore, The wealthy Moor, that in the eastern rocks And bring with them their bills of entry: Without control can pick his riches up,

I hope our credit in the custom-house And in his house heap pearl like pebble-stones, Will serve as well as I were present there. Receive them free, and sell them by the weight; Go send 'em threescore camels, thirty mules, Bags of fiery opals, sapphires, amethysts,

And twenty waggons, to bring up the ware. Jacinths, hard topaz, grass-green emeralds, But art thou master in a ship of mine, Beauteous rubies, sparkling diamonds,

And is thy credit not enough for that ? And seld-seen + costly stones of so great price, Merch. The very custom barely comes to As one of them, indifferently rated, And of a carat of this quantity,

Than many merchants of the town are worth, May serve, in peril of calamity,

And therefore far exceeds my credit, sir. To ransom great kings from captivity.

Bara. Go tell 'em the Jew of Malta sent thee, This is the ware wherein consists my wealth; And thus methinks should men of judgment Tush, who amongst 'em knows not Barabas? frame

Merch. I go. Their means of traffic from the vulgar trade, Bara. So, then, there's somewhat come. And, as their wealth increaseth, so inclose Sirrah, which of my ships art thou master of ? Infinite riches in a little room.

Merch. Of the Speranza, sir. But now how stands the wind ?

Bara. And saw'st thou not Into what corner peers my halcyon's bill ? I Mine argosy at Alexandria ? Ha! to the east ? yes. See how stand the vanes Thou couldst not come from Egypt, or by Caire, East and by south : why, then, I hope my ships But at the entry there into the sea, I sent for Egypt and the bordering isles

Where Nilus pays his tribute to the main, Are gotten up by Nilus' winding banks;

Thou needs must sail by Alexandria. Mine argosy from Alexandria,

Merch. I neither saw them, nor inquir'd of Loaden with spice and silks, now under sail,

them :

But this we heard some of our seamen say, called this “a diminutive, to express the Jew's contempt They wonder'd how you durst with so much of a metal inferior in value to gold," he did not know

wealth that the word occurs in Scripture : “a thousand vines

Trust such a crazed vessel, and so far. at a thousand silverlings." Isaiah, vii. 23.--Old od.

Bara. Tush, they are wise ! I know her and "siluerbings." Tell] i.e. count.

her strength. seld-seen) i.e. seldom-seen.

Butt go, go thou thy ways, discharge thy ship, Into what corner peers my halcyon's bill?] "It was

And bid my factor bring his loading in. anciently believed that this bird (the king-fisher), if hung up, would vary with the wind, and by that means

[E.cit Merch. shew from what quarter it blew." Steevens (apud And yet I wonder at this argosy. Dodsley's 0. P.), -who refers to the note on the following passage of Shakespeare's King Lear, act ii. sc. 2;

cuelom them] “i.e. enter the goods they contain at · Ronege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks

the Custom-house." STEEVENS (apud Dodsley's 0. P.). With every gale and vary of their masters," &c.

But] Old ed. “By."

man:

Well, go,

Enter a Second Merchant.

Ay, wealthier far than any Christian.
Sec. Merch. Thine argosy from Alexandria, I must confess we come not to be kings:
Know, Barabas, doth ride in Malta-road,

That's not our fault : alas, our number's few ! Laden with riches, and exceeding store

And crowns come either by succession, Of Persian silks, of gold, and orient pearl. Or urg'd by force; and nothing violent, Bara. How chance you came not with those Oft have I heard tell, can be permanent. other ships

Give us a peaceful rule; make Christians kings, That sail'd by Egypt?

That thirst so much for principality. Sec. Merch. Sir, we saw 'em not.

I have no charge, nor many children, Bara. Belike they coasted round by Candy. But one sole daughter, whom I hold as dear shore

As Agamemnon did his Iphigen ; About their oils or other businesses.

And all I have is hers. But who comes here? But 'twas ill done of you to come so far Without the aid or conduct of their ships.

Enter three Jews.* Sec. Merch. Sir, we were wafted by a Spanish First Jew. Tush, tell not me; 'twas done of fleet,

policy. That never left us till within a league,

Sec. Jew. Come, therefore, let us go to Barabas ; That had the galleys of the Turk in chase. For he can counsel best in these affairs : Bara. 0, they were going up to Sicily.

And here he comes.

Bara. Why, how now, countrymen ! And bid the merchants and my men despatch, Why flock you thus to me in multitudes ? And come ashore, and see the fraught * dis What accident's betided to the Jews? charg'd.

First Jew. A fleet of warlike galleys, Barabas, Sec. Merch. I go.

[Erit. Are come from Turkey, and lie in our road : Bara. Thus trolls our fortune in by land and And they this day sit in the council-house sea,

To entertain them and their embassy. And thus are we on every side enrich'd:

Bara. Why, let 'em come, so they come not to These are the blessings promis'd to the Jews,

war; And herein was old Abraham's happiness: Or let 'em war, so we be conquerors.What more may heaven do for earthly man Nay, let 'em combat, conquer, and kill all, Than thus to pour out plenty in their laps, So they spare me, my daughter, and my wealth. Ripping the bowels of the earth for them,

(Aside. Making the sea [s] their servants, and the winds First Jew. Were it for confirmation of a league, To drive their substance with successful blasts? They would not come in warlike manner thus. Who hateth me but for my happiness?

Sec. Jew. I fear their coming will afflict us all. Or who is honour'd now but for his wealth ? Bara. Fondt men, what dream you of their Rather had I, a Jew, be hated thus,

multitudes? Than pitied in a Christian poverty;

What need they treat of peace that are in league? For I can see no fruits in all their faith,

The Turks and those of Malta are in league: But malice, falsehood, and excessive pride, Tut, tut, there is some other matter in't. Which methinks fits not their profession.

First Jew. Why, Barabas, they come for peace Haply some hapless man hath conscience, And for his conscience lives in beggary.

Bara. Haply for neither, but to pass along, They say we are a scatter'd nation :

Towards Venice, by the Adriatic sea, I cannot tell; but we have scambled + up With whom they have attempted many times, More wealth by far than those that brag of faith: But never could effect their stratagem. There's Kirriah Jairim, the great Jew of Greece, Third Jew. And very wisely said ; it

may Obed in Bairseth, Nones in Portugal,

Sec. Jew. But there's a meeting in the senateMyself in Malta, some in Italy,

house, Many in France, and wealthy every one;

And all the Jews in Malta must be there.

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or war.

be so

* fraught] i.e. freight.

scambled] i.e. scrambled. (Coles gives in his Dict. “ To scamble, certatim arripere"; and afterwards ronders " To scramble" by the very same Latin words.)

* Enter three Jeres] A change of scene is supposed here, -to a street or to the Exchange. Fond] i.e. Foolish.

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