The Jew of Malta

Act IV

Enter BARABAS 125 and ITHAMORE. Bells within.

BARABAS. There is no music to 126 a Christian's knell:

How sweet the bells ring, now the nuns are dead,

That sound at other times like tinkers' pans!

I was afraid the poison had not wrought,

Or, though it wrought, it would have done no good,

For every year they swell, and yet they live:

Now all are dead, not one remains alive.


That's brave, master: but think you it will not be known?

BARABAS. How can it, if we two be secret?

ITHAMORE. For my part, fear you not.

BARABAS. I'd cut thy throat, if I did.

ITHAMORE. And reason too.

But here's a royal monastery hard by;

Good master, let me poison all the monks.

BARABAS. Thou shalt not need; for, now the nuns are dead,

They'll die with grief.

ITHAMORE. Do you not sorrow for your daughter's death?

BARABAS. No, but I grieve because she liv'd so long,

An Hebrew born, and would become a Christian:

Cazzo, 127 diabolo!


Look, look, master; here come two religious caterpillars.


BARABAS. I smelt 'em ere they came.

ITHAMORE. God-a-mercy, nose! 128 Come, let's begone.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Stay, wicked Jew; repent, I say, and stay.

FRIAR JACOMO. Thou hast offended, therefore must be damn'd.

BARABAS. I fear they know we sent the poison'd broth.

ITHAMORE. And so do I, master; therefore speak 'em fair.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Barabas, thou hast—

FRIAR JACOMO. Ay, that thou hast—

BARABAS. True, I have money; what though I have?


FRIAR JACOMO. Ay, that thou art, a—

BARABAS. What needs all this? I know I am a Jew.


FRIAR JACOMO. Ay, thy daughter—

BARABAS. O, speak not of her! then I die with grief.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Remember that—

FRIAR JACOMO. Ay, remember that—

BARABAS. I must needs say that I have been a great usurer.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Thou hast committed—

BARABAS. Fornication: but that was in another country;

And besides, the wench is dead.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Ay, but, Barabas,

Remember Mathias and Don Lodowick.

BARABAS. Why, what of them?


I will not say that by a forged challenge they met.

BARABAS. She has confess'd, and we are both undone,

My bosom inmate! 129 but I must dissemble.—

[Aside to ITHAMORE.]

O holy friars, the burden of my sins

Lie heavy 130 on my soul! then, pray you, tell me,

Is't not too late now to turn Christian?

I have been zealous in the Jewish faith,

Hard-hearted to the poor, a covetous wretch,

That would for lucre's sake have sold my soul;

A hundred for a hundred I have ta'en;

And now for store of wealth may I compare

With all the Jews in Malta: but what is wealth?

I am a Jew, and therefore am I lost.

Would penance serve [to atone] for this my sin,

I could afford to whip myself to death,—

ITHAMORE. And so could I; but penance will not serve.

BARABAS. To fast, to pray, and wear a shirt of hair,

And on my knees creep to Jerusalem.

Cellars of wine, and sollars 131 full of wheat,

Warehouses stuff'd with spices and with drugs,

Whole chests of gold in bullion and in coin,

Besides, I know not how much weight in pearl

Orient and round, have I within my house;

At Alexandria merchandise untold; 132

But yesterday two ships went from this town,

Their voyage will be worth ten thousand crowns;

In Florence, Venice, Antwerp, London, Seville,

Frankfort, Lubeck, Moscow, and where not,

Have I debts owing; and, in most of these,

Great sums of money lying in the banco;

All this I'll give to some religious house,

So I may be baptiz'd, and live therein.

FRIAR JACOMO. O good Barabas, come to our house!

FRIAR BARNARDINE. O, no, good Barabas, come to our house!

And, Barabas, you know—

BARABAS. I know that I have highly sinn'd:

You shall convert me, you shall have all my wealth.

FRIAR JACOMO. O Barabas, their laws are strict!

BARABAS. I know they are; and I will be with you.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. They wear no shirts, and they go bare-foot too.

BARABAS. Then 'tis not for me; and I am resolv'd

You shall confess me, and have all my goods.

FRIAR JACOMO. Good Barabas, come to me.

BARABAS. You see I answer him, and yet he stays;

Rid him away, and go you home with me.

FRIAR JACOMO. I'll be with you to-night.

BARABAS. Come to my house at one o'clock this night.

FRIAR JACOMO. You hear your answer, and you may be gone.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Why, go, get you away.

FRIAR JACOMO. I will not go for thee.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Not! then I'll make thee go.

FRIAR JACOMO. How! dost call me rogue?

[They fight.]

ITHAMORE. Part 'em, master, part 'em.

BARABAS. This is mere frailty: brethren, be content.—

Friar Barnardine, go you with Ithamore:

You know my mind; let me alone with him.

FRIAR JACOMO. Why does he go to thy house? let him be gone. 133

BARABAS. I'll give him something, and so stop his mouth.


I never heard of any man but he

Malign'd the order of the Jacobins:

But do you think that I believe his words?

Why, brother, you converted Abigail;

And I am bound in charity to requite it,

And so I will. O Jacomo, fail not, but come.

FRIAR JACOMO. But, Barabas, who shall be your godfathers?

For presently you shall be shriv'd.

BARABAS. Marry, the Turk 134 shall be one of my godfathers,

But not a word to any of your covent. 135

FRIAR JACOMO. I warrant thee, Barabas.


BARABAS. So, now the fear is past, and I am safe;

For he that shriv'd her is within my house:

What, if I murder'd him ere Jacomo comes?

Now I have such a plot for both their lives,

As never Jew nor Christian knew the like:

One turn'd my daughter, therefore he shall die;

The other knows enough to have my life,

Therefore 'tis not requisite he should live. 136

But are not both these wise men, to suppose

That I will leave my house, my goods, and all,

To fast and be well whipt? I'll none of that.

Now, Friar Barnardine, I come to you:

I'll feast you, lodge you, give you fair 137 words,

And, after that, I and my trusty Turk—

No more, but so: it must and shall be done. 138


Ithamore, tell me, is the friar asleep?

ITHAMORE. Yes; and I know not what the reason is,

Do what I can, he will not strip himself,

Nor go to bed, but sleeps in his own clothes:

I fear me he mistrusts what we intend.

BARABAS. No; 'tis an order which the friars use:

Yet, if he knew our meanings, could he scape?

ITHAMORE. No, none can hear him, cry he ne'er so loud.

BARABAS. Why, true; therefore did I place him there:

The other chambers open towards the street.

ITHAMORE. You loiter, master; wherefore stay we thus?

O, how I long to see him shake his heels!

BARABAS. Come on, sirrah:

Off with your girdle; make a handsome noose.—

[ITHAMORE takes off his girdle, and ties a noose on it.]

Friar, awake! 139

[They put the noose round the FRIAR'S neck.]

FRIAR BARNARDINE. What, do you mean to strangle me?

ITHAMORE. Yes, 'cause you use to confess.

BARABAS. Blame not us, but the proverb,—Confess and be

hanged.—Pull hard.

FRIAR BARNARDINE. What, will you have 140 my life?

BARABAS. Pull hard, I say.—You would have had my goods.

ITHAMORE. Ay, and our lives too:—therefore pull amain.

[They strangle the FRIAR.]

'Tis neatly done, sir; here's no print at all.

BARABAS. Then is it as it should be. Take him up.

ITHAMORE. Nay, master, be ruled by me a little. [Takes the body,

sets it upright against the wall, and puts a staff in its hand.]

So, let him lean upon his staff; excellent! he stands as if he

were begging of bacon.

BARABAS. Who would not think but that this friar liv'd?

What time o' night is't now, sweet Ithamore?

ITHAMORE. Towards one. 141

BARABAS. Then will not Jacomo be long from hence.



FRIAR JACOMO. This is the hour wherein I shall proceed; 143

O happy hour, wherein I shall convert

An infidel, and bring his gold into our treasury!

But soft! is not this Barnardine? it is;

And, understanding I should come this way,

Stands here o' purpose, meaning me some wrong,

And intercept my going to the Jew.—


Wilt thou not speak? thou think'st I see thee not;

Away, I'd wish thee, and let me go by:

No, wilt thou not? nay, then, I'll force my way;

And, see, a staff stands ready for the purpose.

As thou lik'st that, stop me another time!

[Takes the staff, and strikes down the body.]


BARABAS. Why, how now, Jacomo! what hast thou done?

FRIAR JACOMO. Why, stricken him that would have struck at me.

BARABAS. Who is it? Barnardine! now, out, alas, he is slain!

ITHAMORE. Ay, master, he's slain; look how his brains drop out

on's 144 nose.

FRIAR JACOMO. Good sirs, I have done't: but nobody knows it but

you two; I may escape.

BARABAS. So might my man and I hang with you for company.

ITHAMORE. No; let us bear him to the magistrates.

FRIAR JACOMO. Good Barabas, let me go.

BARABAS. No, pardon me; the law must have his course:

I must be forc'd to give in evidence,

That, being importun'd by this Barnardine

To be a Christian, I shut him out,

And there he sate: now I, to keep my word,

And give my goods and substance to your house,

Was up thus early, with intent to go

Unto your friary, because you stay'd.

ITHAMORE. Fie upon 'em! master, will you turn Christian, when

holy friars turn devils and murder one another?

BARABAS. No; for this example I'll remain a Jew:

Heaven bless me! what, a friar a murderer!

When shall you see a Jew commit the like?

ITHAMORE. Why, a Turk could ha' done no more.

BARABAS. To-morrow is the sessions; you shall to it.—

Come, Ithamore, let's help to take him hence.

FRIAR JACOMO. Villains, I am a sacred person; touch me not.

BARABAS. The law shall touch you; we'll but lead you, we:

'Las, I could weep at your calamity!—

Take in the staff too, for that must be shown:

Law wills that each particular be known.



BELLAMIRA. Pilia-Borza, didst thou meet with Ithamore?


BELLAMIRA. And didst thou deliver my letter?


BELLAMIRA. And what thinkest thou? will he come?

PILIA-BORZA. I think so: and yet I cannot tell; for, at the

reading of the letter, he looked like a man of another world.


PILIA-BORZA. That such a base slave as he should be saluted by

such a tall 146 man as I am, from such a beautiful dame as you.

BELLAMIRA. And what said he?

PILIA-BORZA. Not a wise word; only gave me a nod, as who should

say, "Is it even so?" and so I left him, being driven to a

non-plus at the critical aspect of my terrible countenance.

BELLAMIRA. And where didst meet him?

PILIA-BORZA. Upon mine own free-hold, within forty foot of the

gallows, conning his neck-verse, 147 I take it, looking of 148

a friar's execution; whom I saluted with an old hempen proverb,

Hodie tibi, cras mihi, and so I left him to the mercy of the

hangman: but, the exercise 149 being done, see where he comes.


ITHAMORE. I never knew a man take his death so patiently as

this friar; he was ready to leap off ere the halter was about

his neck; and, when the hangman had put on his hempen tippet,

he made such haste to his prayers, as if he had had another

cure to serve. Well, go whither he will, I'll be none of his

followers in haste: and, now I think on't, going to the

execution, a fellow met me with a muschatoes 150 like a raven's

wing, and a dagger with a hilt like a warming-pan; and he gave

me a letter from one Madam Bellamira, saluting me in such sort

as if he had meant to make clean my boots with his lips; the

effect was, that I should come to her house: I wonder what the

reason is; it may be she sees more in me than I can find in

myself; for she writes further, that she loves me ever since she

saw me; and who would not requite such love? Here's her house;

and here she comes; and now would I were gone! I am not worthy

to look upon her.

PILIA-BORZA. This is the gentleman you writ to.

ITHAMORE. Gentleman! he flouts me: what gentry can be in a poor

Turk of tenpence? 151 I'll be gone.


BELLAMIRA. Is't not a sweet-faced youth, Pilia?

ITHAMORE. Again, sweet youth! [Aside.]—Did not you, sir, bring

the sweet youth a letter?

PILIA-BORZA. I did, sir, and from this gentlewoman, who, as

myself and the rest of the family, stand or fall at your service.

BELLAMIRA. Though woman's modesty should hale me back,

I can withhold no longer: welcome, sweet love.

ITHAMORE. Now am I clean, or rather foully, out of the way.


BELLAMIRA. Whither so soon?

ITHAMORE. I'll go steal some money from my master to make me

handsome [Aside].—Pray, pardon me; I must go see a ship


BELLAMIRA. Canst thou be so unkind to leave me thus?

PILIA-BORZA. An ye did but know how she loves you, sir!

ITHAMORE. Nay, I care not how much she loves me.—Sweet

Bellamira, would I had my master's wealth for thy sake!

PILIA-BORZA. And you can have it, sir, an if you please.

ITHAMORE. If 'twere above ground, I could, and would have it;

but he hides and buries it up, as partridges do their eggs,

under the earth.

PILIA-BORZA. And is't not possible to find it out?

ITHAMORE. By no means possible.

BELLAMIRA. What shall we do with this base villain, then?

[Aside to PILIA-BORZA.]

PILIA-BORZA. Let me alone; do but you speak him fair.—

[Aside to her.]

But you know 152 some secrets of the Jew,

Which, if they were reveal'd, would do him harm.

ITHAMORE. Ay, and such as—go to, no more! I'll make him 153

send me half he has, and glad he scapes so too: I'll write unto

him; we'll have money straight.

PILIA-BORZA. Send for a hundred crowns at least.

ITHAMORE. Ten hundred thousand crowns.—[writing] MASTER BARABAS,—

PILIA-BORZA. Write not so submissively, but threatening him.


PILIA-BORZA. Put in two hundred at least.




PILIA-BORZA. Tell him you will confess.


Vanish, and return in a twinkle.

PILIA-BORZA. Let me alone; I'll use him in his kind.

ITHAMORE. Hang him, Jew!

[Exit PILIA-BORZA with the letter.]

BELLAMIRA. Now, gentle Ithamore, lie in my lap.—

Where are my maids? provide a cunning 154 banquet;

Send to the merchant, bid him bring me silks;

Shall Ithamore, my love, go in such rags?

ITHAMORE. And bid the jeweller come hither too.

BELLAMIRA. I have no husband; sweet, I'll marry thee.

ITHAMORE. Content: but we will leave this paltry land,

And sail from hence to Greece, to lovely Greece;—

I'll be thy Jason, thou my golden fleece;—

Where painted carpets o'er the meads are hurl'd,

And Bacchus' vineyards overspread the world;

Where woods and forests go in goodly green;—

I'll be Adonis, thou shalt be Love's Queen;—

The meads, the orchards, and the primrose-lanes,

Instead of sedge and reed, bear sugar-canes:

Thou in those groves, by Dis above,

Shalt live with me, and be my love. 155

BELLAMIRA. Whither will I not go with gentle Ithamore?


ITHAMORE. How now! hast thou the gold [?]


ITHAMORE. But came it freely? did the cow give down her milk


PILIA-BORZA. At reading of the letter, he stared and stamped,

and turned aside: I took him by the beard, 156 and looked upon

him thus; told him he were best to send it: then he hugged and

embraced me.

ITHAMORE. Rather for fear than love.

PILIA-BORZA. Then, like a Jew, he laughed and jeered, and told

me he loved me for your sake, and said what a faithful servant

you had been.

ITHAMORE. The more villain he to keep me thus: here's goodly

'parel, is there not?

PILIA-BORZA. To conclude, he gave me ten crowns.

[Delivers the money to ITHAMORE.]

ITHAMORE. But ten? I'll not leave him worth a grey groat. Give

me a ream of paper: we'll have a kingdom of gold for't. 157

PILIA-BORZA. Write for five hundred crowns.



I must have't.

PILIA-BORZA. I warrant, your worship shall have't.

ITHAMORE. And, if he ask why I demand so much, tell him I scorn

to write a line under a hundred crowns.

PILIA-BORZA. You'd make a rich poet, sir. I am gone.

[Exit with the letter.]

ITHAMORE. Take thou the money; spend it for my sake.

BELLAMIRA. 'Tis not thy money, but thyself I weigh:

Thus Bellamira esteems of gold;

[Throws it aside.]

But thus of thee.

[Kisses him.]

ITHAMORE. That kiss again!—She runs division 158 of my

lips. What an eye she casts on me! it twinkles like a star.


BELLAMIRA. Come, my dear love, let's in and sleep together.

ITHAMORE. O, that ten thousand nights were put in one, that

we might sleep seven years together afore we wake!

BELLAMIRA. Come, amorous wag, first banquet, and then sleep.


Enter BARABAS, 159 reading a letter.


Plain Barabas! O, that wicked courtezan!

He was not wont to call me Barabas;—

OR ELSE I WILL CONFESS;—ay, there it goes:

But, if I get him, coupe de gorge for that.

He sent a shaggy, tatter'd, 160 staring slave,

That, when he speaks, draws out his grisly beard,

And winds it twice or thrice about his ear;

Whose face has been a grind-stone for men's swords;

His hands are hack'd, some fingers cut quite off;

Who, when he speaks, grunts like a hog, and looks

Like one that is employ'd in catzery 161

And cross-biting; 162 such a rogue

As is the husband to a hundred whores;

And I by him must send three hundred crowns.

Well, my hope is, he will not stay there still;

And, when he comes—O, that he were but here!


PILIA-BORZA. Jew, I must ha' more gold.

BARABAS. Why, want'st thou any of thy tale? 163

PILIA-BORZA. No; but three hundred will not serve his turn.

BARABAS. Not serve his turn, sir!


No, sir; and therefore I must have five hundred more.

BARABAS. I'll rather——

PILIA-BORZA. O, good words, sir, and send it you were best! see,

there's his letter.

[Gives letter.]

BARABAS. Might he not as well come as send? pray, bid him come

and fetch it: what he writes for you, 164 ye shall have


PILIA-BORZA. Ay, and the rest too, or else——

BARABAS. I must make this villain away [Aside].—Please you dine

with me, sir—and you shall be most heartily poisoned.


PILIA-BORZA. No, God-a-mercy. Shall I have these crowns?

BARABAS. I cannot do it; I have lost my keys.

PILIA-BORZA. O, if that be all, I can pick ope your locks.


Or climb up to my counting-house window: you know my meaning.

PILIA-BORZA. I know enough, and therefore talk not to me of

your counting-house. The gold! or know, Jew, it is in my power

to hang thee.

BARABAS. I am betray'd.—


'Tis not five hundred crowns that I esteem;

I am not mov'd at that: this angers me,

That he, who knows I love him as myself,

Should write in this imperious vein. Why, sir,

You know I have no child, and unto whom

Should I leave all, but unto Ithamore?

PILIA-BORZA. Here's many words, but no crowns: the crowns!

BARABAS. Commend me to him, sir, most humbly,

And unto your good mistress as unknown.

PILIA-BORZA. Speak, shall I have 'em, sir?

BARABAS. Sir, here they are.—

[Gives money.]

O, that I should part 165 with so much gold!—


Here, take 'em, fellow, with as good a will——

As I would see thee hang'd [Aside]. O, love stops my breath!

Never lov'd man servant as I do Ithamore.

PILIA-BORZA. I know it, sir.

BARABAS. Pray, when, sir, shall I see you at my house?

PILIA-BORZA. Soon enough to your cost, sir. Fare you well.


BARABAS. Nay, to thine own cost, villain, if thou com'st!

Was ever Jew tormented as I am?

To have a shag-rag knave to come [force from me]

Three hundred crowns, and then five hundred crowns!

Well; I must seek a means to rid 166 'em all,

And presently; for in his villany

He will tell all he knows, and I shall die for't.

I have it:

I will in some disguise go see the slave,

And how the villain revels with my gold.



BELLAMIRA. I'll pledge thee, love, and therefore drink it off.

ITHAMORE. Say'st thou me so? have at it! and do you hear?

[Whispers to her.]

BELLAMIRA. Go to, it shall be so.

ITHAMORE. Of 168 that condition I will drink it up:

Here's to thee.

BELLAMIRA. 169 Nay, I'll have all or none.

ITHAMORE. There, if thou lov'st me, do not leave a drop.

BELLAMIRA. Love thee! fill me three glasses.

ITHAMORE. Three and fifty dozen: I'll pledge thee.

PILIA-BORZA. Knavely spoke, and like a knight-at-arms.

ITHAMORE. Hey, Rivo Castiliano! 170 a man's a man.

BELLAMIRA. Now to the Jew.

ITHAMORE. Ha! to the Jew; and send me money he 171 were best.

PILIA-BORZA. What wouldst thou do, if he should send thee none?

ITHAMORE. Do nothing: but I know what I know; he's a murderer.

BELLAMIRA. I had not thought he had been so brave a man.

ITHAMORE. You knew Mathias and the governor's son; he and I

killed 'em both, and yet never touched 'em.

PILIA-BORZA. O, bravely done!

ITHAMORE. I carried the broth that poisoned the nuns; and he

and I, snicle hand too fast, strangled a friar. 172

BELLAMIRA. You two alone?


We two; and 'twas never known, nor never shall be for me.

PILIA-BORZA. This shall with me unto the governor.

[Aside to BELLAMIRA.]

BELLAMIRA. And fit it should: but first let's ha' more gold.—

[Aside to PILIA-BORZA.]

Come, gentle Ithamore, lie in my lap.

ITHAMORE. Love me little, love me long: let music rumble,

Whilst I in thy incony 173 lap do tumble.

Enter BARABAS, disguised as a French musician, with a lute,

and a nosegay in his hat.

BELLAMIRA. A French musician!—Come, let's hear your skill.

BARABAS. Must tuna my lute for sound, twang, twang, first.

ITHAMORE. Wilt drink, Frenchman? here's to thee with a—Pox on

this drunken hiccup!

BARABAS. Gramercy, monsieur.

BELLAMIRA. Prithee, Pilia-Borza, bid the fiddler give me the

posy in his hat there.

PILIA-BORZA. Sirrah, you must give my mistress your posy.

BARABAS. A votre commandement, madame.

[Giving nosegay.]

BELLAMIRA. How sweet, my Ithamore, the flowers smell!

ITHAMORE. Like thy breath, sweetheart; no violet like 'em.

PILIA-BORZA. Foh! methinks they stink like a hollyhock. 174

BARABAS. So, now I am reveng'd upon 'em all:

The scent thereof was death; I poison'd it.



Play, fiddler, or I'll cut your cat's guts into chitterlings.


Pardonnez moi, be no in tune yet: so, now, now all be in.

ITHAMORE. Give him a crown, and fill me out more wine.

PILIA-BORZA. There's two crowns for thee: play.

[Giving money.]

BARABAS. How liberally the villain gives me mine own gold!

[Aside, and then plays.]

PILIA-BORZA. Methinks he fingers very well.

BARABAS. So did you when you stole my gold.


PILIA-BORZA. How swift he runs!

BARABAS. You run swifter when you threw my gold out of my window.


BELLAMIRA. Musician, hast been in Malta long?

BARABAS. Two, three, four month, madam.

ITHAMORE. Dost not know a Jew, one Barabas?

BARABAS. Very mush: monsieur, you no be his man?


ITHAMORE. I scorn the peasant: tell him so.

BARABAS. He knows it already.


ITHAMORE. 'Tis a strange thing of that Jew, he lives upon

pickled grasshoppers and sauced mushrooms. 175

BARABAS. What a slave's this! the governor feeds not as I do.


ITHAMORE. He never put on clean shirt since he was circumcised.

BARABAS. O rascal! I change myself twice a-day.


ITHAMORE. The hat he wears, Judas left under the elder when he

hanged himself. 176

BARABAS. 'Twas sent me for a present from the Great Cham.


PILIA-BORZA. A nasty 177 slave he is.—Whither now, fiddler?

BARABAS. Pardonnez moi, monsieur; me 178 be no well.

PILIA-BORZA. Farewell, fiddler [Exit BARABAS.] One letter more

to the Jew.

BELLAMIRA. Prithee, sweet love, one more, and write it sharp.

ITHAMORE. No, I'll send by word of mouth now.

—Bid him deliver thee a thousand crowns, by the same token

that the nuns loved rice, that Friar Barnardine slept in his

own clothes; any of 'em will do it.

PILIA-BORZA. Let me alone to urge it, now I know the meaning.

ITHAMORE. The meaning has a meaning. Come, let's in:

To undo a Jew is charity, and not sin.