The Jew of Malta

Act V


FERNEZE. Now, gentlemen, betake you to your arms,

And see that Malta be well fortified;

And it behoves you to be resolute;

For Calymath, having hover'd here so long,

Will win the town, or die before the walls.

FIRST KNIGHT. And die he shall; for we will never yield.


BELLAMIRA. O, bring us to the governor!

FERNEZE. Away with her! she is a courtezan.

BELLAMIRA. Whate'er I am, yet, governor, hear me speak:

I bring thee news by whom thy son was slain:

Mathias did it not; it was the Jew.

PILIA-BORZA. Who, besides the slaughter of these gentlemen,

Poison'd his own daughter and the nuns,

Strangled a friar, and I know not what

Mischief beside.

FERNEZE. Had we but proof of this——

BELLAMIRA. Strong proof, my lord: his man's now at my lodging,

That was his agent; he'll confess it all.

FERNEZE. Go fetch him 180 straight [Exeunt OFFICERS].

I always fear'd that Jew.


BARABAS. I'll go alone; dogs, do not hale me thus.


Nor me neither; I cannot out-run you, constable.—O, my belly!

BARABAS. One dram of powder more had made all sure:

What a damn'd slave was I!


FERNEZE. Make fires, heat irons, let the rack be fetch'd.

FIRST KNIGHT. Nay, stay, my lord; 't may be he will confess.

BARABAS. Confess! what mean you, lords? who should confess?

FERNEZE. Thou and thy Turk; 'twas that slew my son.

ITHAMORE. Guilty, my lord, I confess. Your son and Mathias

were both contracted unto Abigail: [he] forged a counterfeit


BARABAS. Who carried that challenge?


I carried it, I confess; but who writ it? marry, even he that

strangled Barnardine, poisoned the nuns and his own daughter.

FERNEZE. Away with him! his sight is death to me.

BARABAS. For what, you men of Malta? hear me speak.

She is a courtezan, and he a thief,

And he my bondman: let me have law;

For none of this can prejudice my life.

FERNEZE. Once more, away with him!—You shall have law.

BARABAS. Devils, do your worst!—'ll live in spite of you.—


As these have spoke, so be it to their souls!—

I hope the poison'd flowers will work anon.





KATHARINE. Was my Mathias murder'd by the Jew?

Ferneze, 'twas thy son that murder'd him.

FERNEZE. Be patient, gentle madam: it was he;

He forg'd the daring challenge made them fight.

KATHARINE. Where is the Jew? where is that murderer?

FERNEZE. In prison, till the law has pass'd on him.


FIRST OFFICER. My lord, the courtezan and her man are dead;

So is the Turk and Barabas the Jew.


FIRST OFFICER. Dead, my lord, and here they bring his body.

MARTIN DEL BOSCO. This sudden death of his is very strange.

Re-enter OFFICERS, carrying BARABAS as dead.

FERNEZE. Wonder not at it, sir; the heavens are just;

Their deaths were like their lives; then think not of 'em.—

Since they are dead, let them be buried:

For the Jew's body, throw that o'er the walls,

To be a prey for vultures and wild beasts.—

So, now away and fortify the town.

Exeunt all, leaving BARABAS on the floor. 181

BARABAS. [rising] What, all alone! well fare, sleepy drink!

I'll be reveng'd on this accursed town;

For by my means Calymath shall enter in:

I'll help to slay their children and their wives,

To fire the churches, pull their houses down,

Take my goods too, and seize upon my lands.

I hope to see the governor a slave,

And, rowing in a galley, whipt to death.


CALYMATH. Whom have we there? a spy?

BARABAS. Yes, my good lord, one that can spy a place

Where you may enter, and surprize the town:

My name is Barabas; I am a Jew.

CALYMATH. Art thou that Jew whose goods we heard were sold

For tribute-money?

BARABAS. The very same, my lord:

And since that time they have hir'd a slave, my man,

To accuse me of a thousand villanies:

I was imprisoned, but scap [']d their hands.

CALYMATH. Didst break prison?

BARABAS. No, no:

I drank of poppy and cold mandrake juice;

And being asleep, belike they thought me dead,

And threw me o'er the walls: so, or how else,

The Jew is here, and rests at your command.

CALYMATH. 'Twas bravely done: but tell me, Barabas,

Canst thou, as thou report'st, make Malta ours?

BARABAS. Fear not, my lord; for here, against the trench, 183

The rock is hollow, and of purpose digg'd,

To make a passage for the running streams

And common channels 184 of the city.

Now, whilst you give assault unto the walls,

I'll lead five hundred soldiers through the vault,

And rise with them i' the middle of the town,

Open the gates for you to enter in;

And by this means the city is your own.

CALYMATH. If this be true, I'll make thee governor.

BARABAS. And, if it be not true, then let me die.

CALYMATH. Thou'st doom'd thyself.—Assault it presently.


Alarums within. Enter CALYMATH, 185 BASSOES, TURKS, and

BARABAS; with FERNEZE and KNIGHTS prisoners.

CALYMATH. Now vail 186 your pride, you captive Christians,

And kneel for mercy to your conquering foe:

Now where's the hope you had of haughty Spain?

Ferneze, speak; had it not been much better

To kept 187 thy promise than be thus surpris'd?

FERNEZE. What should I say? we are captives, and must yield.

CALYMATH. Ay, villains, you must yield, and under Turkish yokes

Shall groaning bear the burden of our ire:—

And, Barabas, as erst we promis'd thee,

For thy desert we make thee governor;

Use them at thy discretion.

BARABAS. Thanks, my lord.

FERNEZE. O fatal day, to fall into the hands

Of such a traitor and unhallow'd Jew!

What greater misery could heaven inflict?

CALYMATH. 'Tis our command:—and, Barabas, we give,

To guard thy person, these our Janizaries:

Entreat 188 them well, as we have used thee.—

And now, brave bassoes, 189 come; we'll walk about

The ruin'd town, and see the wreck we made.—

Farewell, brave Jew, farewell, great Barabas!

BARABAS. May all good fortune follow Calymath!


And now, as entrance to our safety,

To prison with the governor and these

Captains, his consorts and confederates.

FERNEZE. O villain! heaven will be reveng'd on thee.

BARABAS. Away! no more; let him not trouble me.

[Exeunt TURKS with FERNEZE and KNIGHTS.]

Thus hast thou gotten, 190 by thy policy,

No simple place, no small authority:

I now am governor of Malta; true,—

But Malta hates me, and, in hating me,

My life's in danger; and what boots it thee,

Poor Barabas, to be the governor,

Whenas 191 thy life shall be at their command?

No, Barabas, this must be look'd into;

And, since by wrong thou gott'st authority,

Maintain it bravely by firm policy;

At least, unprofitably lose it not;

For he that liveth in authority,

And neither gets him friends nor fills his bags,

Lives like the ass that Aesop speaketh of,

That labours with a load of bread and wine,

And leaves it off to snap on thistle-tops:

But Barabas will be more circumspect.

Begin betimes; Occasion's bald behind:

Slip not thine opportunity, for fear too late

Thou seek'st for much, but canst not compass it.—

Within here! 192

Enter FERNEZE, with a GUARD.

FERNEZE. My lord?

BARABAS. Ay, LORD; thus slaves will learn.

Now, governor,—stand by there, wait within,—

[Exeunt GUARD.]

This is the reason that I sent for thee:

Thou seest thy life and Malta's happiness

Are at my arbitrement; and Barabas

At his discretion may dispose of both:

Now tell me, governor, and plainly too,

What think'st thou shall become of it and thee?

FERNEZE. This, Barabas; since things are in thy power,

I see no reason but of Malta's wreck,

Nor hope of thee but extreme cruelty:

Nor fear I death, nor will I flatter thee.

BARABAS. Governor, good words; be not so furious

'Tis not thy life which can avail me aught;

Yet you do live, and live for me you shall:

And as for Malta's ruin, think you not

'Twere slender policy for Barabas

To dispossess himself of such a place?

For sith, 193 as once you said, within this isle,

In Malta here, that I have got my goods,

And in this city still have had success,

And now at length am grown your governor,

Yourselves shall see it shall not be forgot;

For, as a friend not known but in distress,

I'll rear up Malta, now remediless.

FERNEZE. Will Barabas recover Malta's loss?

Will Barabas be good to Christians?

BARABAS. What wilt thou give me, governor, to procure

A dissolution of the slavish bands

Wherein the Turk hath yok'd your land and you?

What will you give me if I render you

The life of Calymath, surprise his men,

And in an out-house of the city shut

His soldiers, till I have consum'd 'em all with fire?

What will you give him that procureth this?

FERNEZE. Do but bring this to pass which thou pretendest,

Deal truly with us as thou intimatest,

And I will send amongst the citizens,

And by my letters privately procure

Great sums of money for thy recompense:

Nay, more, do this, and live thou governor still.

BARABAS. Nay, do thou this, Ferneze, and be free:

Governor, I enlarge thee; live with me;

Go walk about the city, see thy friends:

Tush, send not letters to 'em; go thyself,

And let me see what money thou canst make:

Here is my hand that I'll set Malta free;

And thus we cast 194 it: to a solemn feast

I will invite young Selim Calymath,

Where be thou present, only to perform

One stratagem that I'll impart to thee,

Wherein no danger shall betide thy life,

And I will warrant Malta free for ever.

FERNEZE. Here is my hand; believe me, Barabas,

I will be there, and do as thou desirest.

When is the time?

BARABAS. Governor, presently;

For Calymath, when he hath view'd the town,

Will take his leave, and sail toward Ottoman.

FERNEZE. Then will I, Barabas, about this coin,

And bring it with me to thee in the evening.

BARABAS. Do so; but fail not: now farewell, Ferneze:—


And thus far roundly goes the business:

Thus, loving neither, will I live with both,

Making a profit of my policy;

And he from whom my most advantage comes,

Shall be my friend.

This is the life we Jews are us'd to lead;

And reason too, for Christians do the like.

Well, now about effecting this device;

First, to surprise great Selim's soldiers,

And then to make provision for the feast,

That at one instant all things may be done:

My policy detests prevention.

To what event my secret purpose drives,

I know; and they shall witness with their lives.



CALYMATH. Thus have we view'd the city, seen the sack,

And caus'd the ruins to be new-repair'd,

Which with our bombards' shot and basilisk[s] 196

We rent in sunder at our entry:

And, now I see the situation,

And how secure this conquer'd island stands,

Environ'd with the Mediterranean sea,

Strong-countermin'd with other petty isles,

And, toward Calabria, 197 back'd by Sicily

(Where Syracusian Dionysius reign'd),

Two lofty turrets that command the town,

I wonder how it could be conquer'd thus.


MESSENGER. From Barabas, Malta's governor, I bring

A message unto mighty Calymath:

Hearing his sovereign was bound for sea,

To sail to Turkey, to great Ottoman,

He humbly would entreat your majesty

To come and see his homely citadel,

And banquet with him ere thou leav'st the isle.

CALYMATH. To banquet with him in his citadel!

I fear me, messenger, to feast my train

Within a town of war so lately pillag'd,

Will be too costly and too troublesome:

Yet would I gladly visit Barabas,

For well has Barabas deserv'd of us.

MESSENGER. Selim, for that, thus saith the governor,—

That he hath in [his] store a pearl so big,

So precious, and withal so orient,

As, be it valu'd but indifferently,

The price thereof will serve to entertain

Selim and all his soldiers for a month;

Therefore he humbly would entreat your highness

Not to depart till he has feasted you.

CALYMATH. I cannot feast my men in Malta-walls,

Except he place his tables in the streets.

MESSENGER. Know, Selim, that there is a monastery

Which standeth as an out-house to the town;

There will he banquet them; but thee at home,

With all thy bassoes and brave followers.

CALYMATH. Well, tell the governor we grant his suit;

We'll in this summer-evening feast with him.

MESSENGER. I shall, my lord.


CALYMATH. And now, bold bassoes, let us to our tents,

And meditate how we may grace us best,

To solemnize our governor's great feast.



FERNEZE. In this, my countrymen, be rul'd by me:

Have special care that no man sally forth

Till you shall hear a culverin discharg'd

By him that bears the linstock, 199 kindled thus;

Then issue out and come to rescue me,

For happily I shall be in distress,

Or you released of this servitude.

FIRST KNIGHT. Rather than thus to live as Turkish thralls,

What will we not adventure?

FERNEZE. On, then; be gone.

KNIGHTS. Farewell, grave governor.

[Exeunt, on one side, KNIGHTS and MARTIN DEL BOSCO;

on the other, FERNEZE.]

Enter, above, 200 BARABAS, with a hammer, very busy;


BARABAS. How stand the cords? how hang these hinges? fast?

Are all the cranes and pulleys sure?

FIRST CARPENTER. 201 All fast.

BARABAS. Leave nothing loose, all levell'd to my mind.

Why, now I see that you have art, indeed:

There, carpenters, divide that gold amongst you;

[Giving money.]

Go, swill in bowls of sack and muscadine;

Down to the cellar, taste of all my wines.

FIRST CARPENTER. We shall, my lord, and thank you.


BARABAS. And, if you like them, drink your fill and die;

For, so I live, perish may all the world!

Now, Selim Calymath, return me word

That thou wilt come, and I am satisfied.


Now, sirrah; what, will he come?

MESSENGER. He will; and has commanded all his men

To come ashore, and march through Malta-streets,

That thou mayst feast them in thy citadel.

BARABAS. Then now are all things as my wish would have 'em;

There wanteth nothing but the governor's pelf;

And see, he brings it.


Now, governor, the sum?

FERNEZE. With free consent, a hundred thousand pounds.

BARABAS. Pounds say'st thou, governor? well, since it is no more,

I'll satisfy myself with that; nay, keep it still,

For, if I keep not promise, trust not me:

And, governor, now partake my policy.

First, for his army, they are sent before,

Enter'd the monastery, and underneath

In several places are field-pieces pitch'd,

Bombards, whole barrels full of gunpowder,

That on the sudden shall dissever it,

And batter all the stones about their ears,

Whence none can possibly escape alive:

Now, as for Calymath and his consorts,

Here have I made a dainty gallery,

The floor whereof, this cable being cut,

Doth fall asunder, so that it doth sink

Into a deep pit past recovery.

Here, hold that knife; and, when thou seest he comes,

[Throws down a knife.]

And with his bassoes shall be blithely set,

A warning-piece shall be shot off 202 from the tower,

To give thee knowledge when to cut the cord,

And fire the house. Say, will not this be brave?

FERNEZE. O, excellent! here, hold thee, Barabas;

I trust thy word; take what I promis'd thee.

BARABAS. No, governor; I'll satisfy thee first;

Thou shalt not live in doubt of any thing.

Stand close, for here they come.

[FERNEZE retires.]

Why, is not this

A kingly kind of trade, to purchase towns

By treachery, and sell 'em by deceit?

Now tell me, worldlings, underneath the sun 203

If greater falsehood ever has been done?


CALYMATH. Come, my companion-bassoes: see, I pray,

How busy Barabas is there above

To entertain us in his gallery:

Let us salute him.—Save thee, Barabas!

BARABAS. Welcome, great Calymath!

FERNEZE. How the slave jeers at him!


BARABAS. Will't please thee, mighty Selim Calymath,

To ascend our homely stairs?

CALYMATH. Ay, Barabas.—

Come, bassoes, ascend. 204

FERNEZE. [coming forward] Stay, Calymath;

For I will shew thee greater courtesy

Than Barabas would have afforded thee.

KNIGHT. [within] Sound a charge there!

[A charge sounded within: FERNEZE cuts the cord; the floor

of the gallery gives way, and BARABAS falls into a caldron

placed in a pit.


CALYMATH. How now! what means this?

BARABAS. Help, help me, Christians, help!

FERNEZE. See, Calymath! this was devis'd for thee.

CALYMATH. Treason, treason! bassoes, fly!

FERNEZE. No, Selim, do not fly:

See his end first, and fly then if thou canst.

BARABAS. O, help me, Selim! help me, Christians!

Governor, why stand you all so pitiless?

FERNEZE. Should I in pity of thy plaints or thee,

Accursed Barabas, base Jew, relent?

No, thus I'll see thy treachery repaid,

But wish thou hadst behav'd thee otherwise.

BARABAS. You will not help me, then?

FERNEZE. No, villain, no.

BARABAS. And, villains, know you cannot help me now.—

Then, Barabas, breathe forth thy latest fate,

And in the fury of thy torments strive

To end thy life with resolution.—

Know, governor, 'twas I that slew thy son,—

I fram'd the challenge that did make them meet:

Know, Calymath, I aim'd thy overthrow:

And, had I but escap'd this stratagem,

I would have brought confusion on you all,

Damn'd Christian 206 dogs, and Turkish infidels!

But now begins the extremity of heat

To pinch me with intolerable pangs:

Die, life! fly, soul! tongue, curse thy fill, and die!


CALYMATH. Tell me, you Christians, what doth this portend?

FERNEZE. This train 207 he laid to have entrapp'd thy life;

Now, Selim, note the unhallow'd deeds of Jews;

Thus he determin'd to have handled thee,

But I have rather chose to save thy life.

CALYMATH. Was this the banquet he prepar'd for us?

Let's hence, lest further mischief be pretended. 208

FERNEZE. Nay, Selim, stay; for, since we have thee here,

We will not let thee part so suddenly:

Besides, if we should let thee go, all's one,

For with thy galleys couldst thou not get hence,

Without fresh men to rig and furnish them.

CALYMATH. Tush, governor, take thou no care for that;

My men are all aboard,

And do attend my coming there by this.

FERNEZE. Why, heard'st thou not the trumpet sound a charge?

CALYMATH. Yes, what of that?

FERNEZE. Why, then the house was fir'd,

Blown up, and all thy soldiers massacred.

CALYMATH. O, monstrous treason!

FERNEZE. A Jew's courtesy;

For he that did by treason work our fall,

By treason hath deliver'd thee to us:

Know, therefore, till thy father hath made good

The ruins done to Malta and to us,

Thou canst not part; for Malta shall be freed,

Or Selim ne'er return to Ottoman.

CALYMATH. Nay, rather, Christians, let me go to Turkey,

In person there to mediate 209 your peace:

To keep me here will naught advantage you.

FERNEZE. Content thee, Calymath, here thou must stay,

And live in Malta prisoner; for come all 210 the world

To rescue thee, so will we guard us now,

As sooner shall they drink the ocean dry,

Than conquer Malta, or endanger us.

So, march away; and let due praise be given

Neither to Fate nor Fortune, but to Heaven.