The Jew of Malta
Important Quotations Explained
MACHEVILL 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 ashamed to hear such fooleries: Many will talk of title to a crown. What right had Caesar to the empire? Might first made kings, and laws were then most sure When like the Draco's they were writ in blood. (Prologue. 14–21) But whither am I bound, I come not, I, To read a lecture here in Britaine, But to present the tragedy of a Jew, Who smiles to see how full his bags are crammed, Which money was not got without my means. I crave but this, grace him as he deserves, And let him not be entertained the worse Because he favors me. (Prologue. 28–35)
BARABAS Bring you scripture to confirm your wrongs? Preach me not out of my possessions. Some Jews are wicked, as all Christians are: But say the tribe that I descended of Were all in general cast away for sin, Shall I be tried by their transgression? The man that dealeth righteously shall live: And which of you can charge me otherwise? (I.ii.111–118)
ITHAMORE Why, was there ever seen such villainy, So neatly plotted, and so well performed? (III.iii.1–2)
ABIGAIL Then were my thoughts so frail and unconfirmed, And I was chained to follies of the world: But now experience, purchasèd with grief, Has made me see the difference of things. My sinful soul, alas, hath paced too long The fatal labyrinth of misbelief, Far from the Son that gives eternal life. (III.iii.61–67)
FERNEZE So march away, and let due praise be given Neither to fate nor fortune, but to heaven. (V.v.123–124)
Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!