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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Marlowe, The Jew of Malta, and the Siege of Lisa Hopkins. You are advised to consult the publisher's version if you wish to cite from it. Re Soundings, 1 2. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain.

O, muse not at it; 'tis the Hebrews' guise, That maidens new-betroth'd should weep a while: Trouble her not; sweet Lodowick, depart: She is thy wife, and thou shalt be mine heir. O, is't the custom? Be quiet, Lodowick; it is enough That I have made thee sure to Abigail.

Well, let him go. Well, but for me, as you went in at doors You had been stabb'd: Suffer me, Barabas, but to follow him. No; so shall I, if any hurt be done, Be made an accessary of your deeds: Revenge it on him when you meet him next. For this I'll have his heart. Do so. Lo, here I give thee Abigail! What greater gift can poor Mathias have? Shall Lodowick rob me of so fair a love? My life is not so dear as Abigail. My heart misgives me, that, to cross your love, He's with your mother; therefore after him.

What, is he gone unto my mother? Nay, if you will, stay till she comes herself. I cannot stay; for, if my mother come, She'll die with grief. I cannot take my leave of him for tears. Father, why have you thus incens'd them both? What's that to thee? I'll make 'em friends again.

You'll make 'em friends! I will have Don Mathias; he is my love. Yes, you shall have him. Ay, I'll put her in. Now tell me, Ithamore, how lik'st thou this? Faith, master, I think by this You purchase both their lives: True; and it shall be cunningly perform'd. O, master, that I might have a hand in this! Ay, so thou shalt; 'tis thou must do the deed: Take this, and bear it to Mathias straight, [Giving a letter.

No, no; and yet it might be done that way: It is a challenge feign'd from Lodowick. Fear not; I will so set his heart a-fire, That he shall verily think it comes from him. I cannot choose but like thy readiness: Yet be not rash, but do it cunningly. As I behave myself in this, employ me hereafter. Away, then! Since this town was besieg'd, my gain grows cold: The time has been, that but for one bare night A hundred ducats have been freely given; But now against my will I must be chaste: And yet I know my beauty doth not fail.

Hold thee, wench, there's something for thee to spend. Ay, but the Jew has gold, And I will have it, or it shall go hard. Tell me, how cam'st thou by this?

Faith, walking the back-lanes, through the gardens, I chanced to cast mine eye up to the Jew's counting-house, where I saw some bags of money, and in the night I clambered up with my hooks; and, as I was taking my choice, I heard a rumbling in the house; so I took only this, and run my way. Hide the bag. Look not towards him, let's away.

Zoons, what a looking thou keepest! O, the sweetest face that ever I beheld! I know she is a courtezan by her attire: Well, I have deliver'd the challenge in such sort, As meet they will, and fighting die,--brave sport!

This is the place: What, dares the villain write in such base terms? I did it; and revenge it, if thou dar'st! O, bravely fought! Now, Lodovico! Ay, part 'em now they are dead. Farewell, farewell! What sight is this! These arms of mine shall be thy sepulchre. Who is this? O Lodowick, hadst thou perish'd by the Turk, Wretched Ferneze might have veng'd thy death! Thy son slew mine, and I'll revenge his death. Look, Katharine, look! O, leave to grieve me!

I am griev'd enough. O, that my sighs could turn to lively breath, And these my tears to blood, that he might live! Who made them enemies? I know not; and that grieves me most of all. My son lov'd thine. And so did Lodowick him. Lend me that weapon that did kill my son, And it shall murder me. Nay, madam, stay; that weapon was my son's, And on that rather should Ferneze die. Hold; let's inquire the causers of their deaths, That we may venge their blood upon their heads.

Then take them up, and let them be interr'd Within one sacred monument of stone; Upon which altar I will offer up My daily sacrifice of sighs and tears, And with my prayers pierce impartial heavens, Till they [reveal] the causers of our smarts, Which forc'd their hands divide united hearts.

Why, was there ever seen such villany, So neatly plotted, and so well perform'd? Why, how now, Ithamore! O mistress! Why, what ail'st thou? O, my master! Say, knave, why rail'st upon my father thus? O, my master has the bravest policy! Why, know you not? Why, no. Know you not of Mathia[s'] and Don Lodowick['s] disaster? Why, the devil inverted 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.

And was my father furtherer of their deaths? Am I Ithamore? So sure did your father write, and I carry the challenge. I pray, mistress, will you answer me to one question?

Well, sirrah, what is't? A very feeling one: Go to, Sirrah Sauce!

The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe

I will, forsooth, mistress. Hard-hearted father, unkind Barabas! Was this the pursuit of thy policy, To make me shew them favour severally, That by my favour they should both be slain? But thou wert set upon extreme revenge, Because the prior dispossess'd thee once, And couldst 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, nor piety in Turks.

Virgo, salve. When duck you? Welcome, grave friar. To get me be admitted for a nun. Why, Abigail, it is not yet long since That I did labour thy admission, And then thou didst not like that holy life. But now experience, purchased with grief, Has made me see the difference of things. My sinful soul, alas, hath pac'd too long The fatal labyrinth of misbelief, Far from the sun that gives eternal life!

Who taught thee this? The abbess of the house, Whose zealous admonition I embrace: O, therefore, Jacomo, let me be one, Although unworthy, of that sisterhood! Abigail, I will: That was my father's fault. Thy father's! Nay, you shall pardon me. Come, shall we go? My duty waits on you. What, Abigail become a nun again! False and unkind! And, all unknown and unconstrain'd of me, Art thou again got to the nunnery?

Now here she writes, and wills me to repent: 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.

When saw'st thou Abigail? With whom?

A friar. A friar! How, sir! Why, made mine Abigail a nun. That's no lie; for she sent me for him.

The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe

O unhappy day! False, credulous, inconstant Abigail! But let 'em go: Ithamore, entreat not for her; I am mov'd, And she is hateful to my soul and me: Who, I, master? O trusty Ithamore! I here adopt thee for mine only heir: All that I have is thine when I am dead; And, whilst I live, use half; spend as myself; Here, take my keys,--I'll give 'em thee anon; Go buy thee garments; but thou shalt not want: Only know this, that thus thou art to do-- But first go fetch me in the pot of rice That for our supper stands upon the fire.

I hold my head, my master's hungry [Aside]. Thus every villain ambles after wealth, Although he ne'er be richer than in hope: Here 'tis, master. What, hast thou brought The ladle with thee too? Very well, Ithamore; then now be secret; And, for thy sake, whom I so dearly love, Now shalt thou see the death of Abigail, That thou mayst freely live to be my heir.

Why, master, will you poison her with a mess of rice- porridge? Ay, but, Ithamore, seest thou this? It is a precious powder that I bought Of an Italian, in Ancona, once, Whose operation is to bind, infect, And poison deeply, yet not appear In forty hours after it is ta'en. How, master? Thus, Ithamore: This even they use in Malta here,--'tis call'd Saint Jaques' Even,--and then, I say, they use To send their alms unto the nunneries: Among the rest, bear this, and set it there: There's a dark entry where they take it in, Where they must neither see the messenger, Nor make inquiry who hath sent it them.

How so? Belike there is some ceremony in't. There, Ithamore, must thou go place this pot: Pray, do, and let me help you, master. Pray, let me taste first.

Prithee, do. Troth, master, I'm loath such a pot of pottage should be spoiled. Peace, Ithamore! Well, master, I go. Stay; first let me stir it, Ithamore. As fatal be it to her as the draught Of which great Alexander drunk, and died; And with her let it work like Borgia's wine, Whereof his sire the Pope was poisoned!

What a blessing has he given't! O my sweet Ithamore, go set it down; And come again so soon as thou hast done, For I have other business for thee.

Here's a drench to poison a whole stable of Flanders mares: I'll carry't to the nuns with a powder. And the horse-pestilence to boot: I am gone: Pay me my wages, for my work is done. I'll pay thee with a vengeance, Ithamore! Welcome, great basso: What wind drives you thus into Malta-road? The wind that bloweth all the world besides, Desire of gold.

Desire of gold, great sir! That's to be gotten in the Western Inde: In Malta are no golden minerals. To you of Malta thus saith Calymath: The time you took for respite is at hand For the performance of your promise pass'd; And for the tribute-money I am sent.

Basso, in brief, shalt have no tribute here, Nor shall the heathens live upon our spoil: Well, governor, since thou hast broke the league By flat denial of the promis'd tribute, Talk not of razing down your city-walls; You shall not need trouble yourselves so far, For Selim Calymath shall come himself, And with brass bullets batter down your towers, And turn proud Malta to a wilderness, For these intolerable wrongs of yours: And so, farewell.

O brother, brother, all the nuns are sick, And physic will not help them! The abbess sent for me to be confess'd: O, what a sad confession will there be! And so did fair Maria send for me: I'll to her lodging; hereabouts she lies. What, all dead, save only Abigail! And I shall die too, for I feel death coming.

Where is the friar that convers'd with me? O, he is gone to see the other nuns. I sent for him; but, seeing you are come, Be you my ghostly father: What then? I did offend high heaven so grievously As I am almost desperate for my sins; And one offense torments me more than all. You knew Mathias and Don Lodowick? Yes; what of them? My father did contract me to 'em both; First to Don Lodowick: O, monstrous villany! To work my peace, this I confess to thee: Reveal it not; for then my father dies.

Know that confession must not be reveal'd; The canon-law forbids it, and the priest That makes it known, being degraded first, Shall be condemn'd, and then sent to the fire. So I have heard; pray, therefore, keep it close. Death seizeth on my heart: Ay, and a virgin too; that grieves me most.

But I must to the Jew, and exclaim on him, And make him stand in fear of me. O brother, all the nuns are dead! First help to bury this; then go with me, And help me to exclaim against the Jew. Why, what has he done? A thing that makes me tremble to unfold. What, has he crucified a child? No, but a worse thing: Come, let's away. Bells within. 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: How can it, if we two be secret?

For my part, fear you not. I'd cut thy throat, if I did. And reason too. But here's a royal monastery hard by; Good master, let me poison all the monks. Thou shalt not need; for, now the nuns are dead, They'll die with grief. Do you not sorrow for your daughter's death? No, but I grieve because she liv'd so long, An Hebrew born, and would become a Christian: Look, look, master; here come two religious caterpillars.

I smelt 'em ere they came. God-a-mercy, nose! Stay, wicked Jew; repent, I say, and stay. Thou hast offended, therefore must be damn'd. I fear they know we sent the poison'd broth. And so do I, master; therefore speak 'em fair. True, I have money; what though I have? What needs all this? I know I am a Jew. O, speak not of her! I must needs say that I have been a great usurer. Why, what of them? I will not say that by a forged challenge they met. She has confess'd, and we are both undone, My bosom inmate!

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: I am a Jew, and therefore am I lost.

And so could I; but penance will not serve. To fast, to pray, and wear a shirt of hair, And on my knees creep to Jerusalem. O good Barabas, come to our house! O, no, good Barabas, come to our house! I know that I have highly sinn'd: You shall convert me, you shall have all my wealth. O Barabas, their laws are strict! I know they are; and I will be with you.

They wear no shirts, and they go bare-foot too. Then 'tis not for me; and I am resolv'd You shall confess me, and have all my goods. Good Barabas, come to me. You see I answer him, and yet he stays; Rid him away, and go you home with me. I'll be with you to-night.

Come to my house at one o'clock this night. You hear your answer, and you may be gone. Why, go, get you away. I will not go for thee. Part 'em, master, part 'em. This is mere frailty: You know my mind; let me alone with him. Why does he go to thy house? I'll give him something, and so stop his mouth. But do you think that I believe his words?

O Jacomo, fail not, but come. But, Barabas, who shall be your godfathers? For presently you shall be shriv'd. I warrant thee, 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.

I'll none of that. Now, Friar Barnardine, I come to you: Ithamore, tell me, is the friar asleep? 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. No; 'tis an order which the friars use: Yet, if he knew our meanings, could he scape? No, none can hear him, cry he ne'er so loud. Why, true; therefore did I place him there: The other chambers open towards the street. You loiter, master; wherefore stay we thus?

O, how I long to see him shake his heels! Come on, sirrah: Off with your girdle; make a handsome noose. What, do you mean to strangle me? Yes, 'cause you use to confess. Blame not us, but the proverb,--Confess and be hanged. Pull hard, I say. Ay, and our lives too: Then is it as it should be. Take him up. Nay, master, be ruled by me a little.

Who would not think but that this friar liv'd? What time o' night is't now, sweet Ithamore? Towards one. Then will not Jacomo be long from hence.

But soft! Wilt thou not speak? No, wilt thou not? As thou lik'st that, stop me another time! Why, how now, Jacomo! Why, stricken him that would have struck at me. Who is it? Good sirs, I have done't: So might my man and I hang with you for company. No; let us bear him to the magistrates. Good Barabas, let me go. 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: Fie upon 'em!

No; for this example I'll remain a Jew: Heaven bless me! When shall you see a Jew commit the like? Why, a Turk could ha' done no more. To-morrow is the sessions; you shall to it. Villains, I am a sacred person; touch me not.

The law shall touch you; we'll but lead you, we: Law wills that each particular be known. Pilia-Borza, didst thou meet with Ithamore? And didst thou deliver my letter? And what thinkest thou? I think so: Why so? And what said he?

Not a wise word; only gave me a nod, as who should say, "Is it even so? And where didst meet him? 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: 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! This student edition contains a lengthy Introduction with background on the author, date and sources, theme, critical interpretation and stage history, as well as a fully annotated version of the playtext in modern spelling. You can unsubscribe from newsletters at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in any newsletter.

For information on how we process your data, read our Privacy Policy. Classical Plays: Early Modern and Renaissance Plays: Methuen Drama Series: New Mermaids Illustrations: Once you have successfully made your inspection copy request you will receive a confirmation email explaining that your request is awaiting approval.

On approval, you will either be sent the print copy of the book, or you will receive a further email containing the link to allow you to download your eBook. Marlowe delights in humiliating his heroes - not humiliating them, so much as cutting them down to size. But that was in another country: And besides, the wench is dead. But it is, above all, the sin of the roving Aeneas, loving and leaving behind him the suicidal Dido. The echo is hardly a strong one, but it may perhaps serve to remind us of the ways in which Mediterranean settings with Phoenician connections had already proved of interest to Marlowe the dramatist.

Faith, Psychology, and Fortifications on Malta There were also elements of Malta's more recent past that were likely to have been of profound interest to Marlowe. When writing Tamburlaine the Great, Marlowe seems to have had access to a manuscript version of Paul Ive's treatise Practise of Fortification, 95 which suggests a serious concern with the subject; and Paul H.

Kocher has argued that in Tamburlaine in particular, but in others of the plays as well, 'all the action and much of the characterization The word occurs sixteen times, at I. In the context of the Great Siege, the primary referent of 'town' must be Birgu, but Marlowe's 'town' also contains clear references to other cities: When, at a late stage of the Siege, the Turks abruptly decided to invest it, the Governor, Don Mesquita, found himself with far too small a garrison, and turned to bluff: All his available cannon were also brought to the ready and taken round to the side from which the Turkish troops were certain to approach.

This was in fact the second time that the Chevalier Mesquita had saved the day; the Turks' most determined assault on Birgu had been deflected only when the Chevalier despatched a lightning raid from Mdina on the Turkish base at the Marsa, killing the sick and destroying the baggage.

Thinking they faced a full-scale assault from the rear, the Turkish troops fell back and Birgu was reprieved. The audacious tactics of the Chevalier Mesquita, complementing the psychological warfare exerted by La Valette on his own side, provide precisely the kind of method of gaining ascendancy over others that Marlowe showed himself so fascinated to explore in his account of the career of Tamburlaine.

In their deployment of deceit authorised by religion, moreover, they touch at the heart of some of the issues with which The Jew of Malta is so centrally concerned. Not the least remarkable feature of Barabas is the strength of his attachment to his Jewishness.

Roma Gill comments that 'Marlowe has thoroughly researched a Jewish identity for Barabas, creating from the Old Testament a character far richer than any of the stereotypes that he could have inherited from popular tradition which would only have given him the features that Ithimore can describe'; even Stephen Greenblatt, who sees Barabas' identity as 'to a great extent the product of the Christian conception of a Jew's identity', nevertheless notes that 'Marlowe invokes an "indigenous" Judaism'.

Rather had I a Jew be hated thus, Than pitied in a Christian poverty: For I can see no fruits in all their faith, But malice, falsehood and excessive pride, Which me thinks fits not their profession.

Happily some hapless man hath conscience, And for his conscience lives in beggary. They say we are a scattered nation: I cannot tell, but we have scrambled up More wealth by far than those that brag of faith. Barabas seems to take the term 'Jew' as synonymous with 'wealthy', and to have little sense of other possible connotations of Jewishness, since he denies knowledge of the very diaspora which has, presumably, brought him to Malta, and associates the concept of 'faith' with Christianity alone.

As good dissemble that thou never mean'st As first mean truth and then dissemble it; A counterfeit profession is better Than unseen hypocrisy. Marlowe's Malta may be introduced by Machiavelli and peopled by men like Ferneze and Barabas, but it does also contain 'Abigail, the single disinterested character in the play, who is characterised by the first four words she speaks: She dies, but the last we see of her is, nevertheless, a curiously positive image, as even in death her body offers passive but effective resistance to the frustrated concupiscence of the friar.

It is in this radically ambivalent portrait of Abigail that we find echoes both of the typically Marlovian scepticism perhaps best exemplified in Doctor Faustus, and also of the combination of terrible death and of the willing hope of martyrdom which Ernle Bradford has powerfully described as the fundamental condition of the Great Siege of Malta, and which made it so appropriate a setting for the Marlovian theatre of cruelty: The Plays and their Sources London: Routledge, , p.

The Overreacher [], reprinted in Marlowe: Macmillan, , pp.

The Jew of Malta

Emily C. Bartels, Spectacles of Strangeness: Imperialism, Alienation and Marlowe Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, , p. Roma Gill, ed. The Jew of Malta Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming , introduction, p. I am deeply grateful to Roma Gill for kindly giving me a copy of her introduction before publication and for her help and support in the project in general.

Gill, The Jew of Malta, introduction, p. III, no. The University of Malta Library also contains an M. For copyright reasons it has been impossible for me to consult this, but I am grateful for the courtesy and helpfulness of the library staff in correspondence about it. Kuriyama New York: AMS Press, , pp. Farley-Hills, 'Marlowe's "Malta"', p. I am grateful to my mother for translating this article for me. Thomas and Tydeman,Christopher Marlowe, p.

Michael G. Yale University Press, , p. Cambridge University Press, , p. I am indebted for all my information on Paget to the painstaking researches of Martin Wright. Calendar of State Papers, Foreign, , , p. Gill, The Jew of Malta, introduction, pp. Charles Nicholl, The Reckoning: The Murder of Christopher Marlowe London: Jonathan Cape, , p. Nicholl, The Reckoning, p. I am indebted to Roma Gill for telling me that when she visited Malta some years ago she was told of a story that Marlowe himself had visited the island, but that she was able to find no proof of this.

Nagel, , p. Mireva Publications, , pp. Ernle Bradford, The Great Siege: Malta [] Harmondsworth: Penguin, , pp. Publishers Enterprise Group, , p. Roth, 'Jews of Malta', p. Richard Dutton, 'Shakespeare and Marlowe: Vintage, , for Bruno's interest in the occult. Peter French, John Dee [] London: Ark, , p. Wraight and Virginia F. Adam Hart, , p. French, Dee, p. Engel, Histoire de l'Ordre de Malte, p. James R. Siemon, ed. All quotations from the text of the play will be taken from this edition.

The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe - Free Ebook

Roth, 'Jews of Malta', pp. Attard, The Knights of Malta, p. Major Henry Alexander Balbi Copenhagen: Capt O. Gollcher and Dr Ole Rostock, , p.

Johns Hopkins University Press, , p. Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. George Bull Harmondsworth: Machiavelli, The Prince, p. Quoted in Bradford, The Great Siege, p. Prescott, quoted in Bradford, The Great Siege, p. Faber and Faber, , pp. Blouet, Story of Malta, p.

Blouet, Story of Malta, pp. Sire, in The Knights of Malta, p. Quoted in Gill, The Jew of Malta, introduction, p. Bradford, The Great Siege, p. Thomas and Tydeman, Christopher Marlowe, p. Harvester Wheatsheaf, , p. Farley-Hills, 'Marlowe's "Malta "', p. See Attard, The Knights of Malta, pp. There is an interesting parallel to this to be found in the play-within-the-play with which Marlowe's room-mate, Kyd, concluded The Spanish Tragedy, in which a Knight of Malta, after the loss of Rhodes, is rather unexpectedly discovered to be a close personal friend of the Emperor Soliman.

Bonnici, 'Maltese Society', p. See for instance Fiorini, 'Malta in ', p. Quoted in Bonnici, 'Maltese Society', p. Fiorini, 'Malta in ', p. Levin, 'More of the Serpent', p. I am very grateful to Roma Gill for sending me a copy of this article. Farley-Hills, 'Marlowe's "Malta"', pp.

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