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The Jew of Malta

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THE JEW OF MALTA. Enter MACHIAVEL.MACHIAVEL. 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 Machiavel,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 attainTo 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!I am asham'd to hear such fooleries.Many will talk of title to a crown:What right had Caesar to the empery? Might first made kings, and laws were then most sureWhen, like the Draco's, they were writ in blood.Hence comes it that a strong-built citadelCommands much more than letters can import:Which maxim had Phalaris observ'd,H'ad never bellow'd, in a brazen bull,Of great ones' envy: o' the poor petty wightsLet me be envied and not pitied.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 worseBecause he favours me.[Exit.]

ACT I. BARABAS discovered in his counting-house, with heapsof gold before him.BARABAS. So that of thus much that return was made;And of the third part of the Persian shipsThere 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. Fie, what a trouble 'tis to count this trash!Well fare the Arabians, who so richly payThe things they traffic for with wedge of gold,Whereof a man may easily in a dayTell that which may maintain him all his life.The needy groom, that never finger'd groat,Would make a miracle of thus much coin;But he whose steel-barr'd coffers are cramm'd full,And all his life-time hath been tired,Wearying his fingers' ends with telling it,Would in his age be loath to labour so,And for a pound to sweat himself to death.Give me the merchants of the Indian mines,That trade in metal of the purest mould;The wealthy Moor, that in the eastern rocksWithout control can pick his riches up,And in his house heap pearl like pebble-stones,Receive them free, and sell them by the weight;Bags of fiery opals, sapphires, amethysts,Jacinths, hard topaz, grass-green emeralds,Beauteous rubies, sparkling diamonds,And seld-seen costly stones of so great price,As one of them, indifferently rated,And of a carat of this quantity,May serve, in peril of calamity,To ransom great kings from captivity.This is the ware wherein consists my wealth;And thus methinks should men of judgment frameTheir means of traffic from the vulgar trade,And, as their wealth increaseth, so incloseInfinite riches in a little room....