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Captain GABRIEL TOWERSON.
English Merchants, his Friends.
ISABINDA, betrothed to TOWERSON, an Indian Lady.
SCENE I.-A Castle on the Sea.
Enter HARMAN Senior, the Governor, the Fiscal,
and VAN HERRING : Guards. Fisc. A happy day to our noble governor. Har. 'Morrow, Fiscal.
Van Her. Did the last ships, which came from Holland to these parts, bring us no news of moment?
Fisc. Yes, the best that ever came into Amboyna, since we set footing here; I mean as to our interest.
Har. I wonder much my letters then gave me so short accounts; they only said the Orange party was grown strong again, since Barnevelt had suffered.
Van Her. Mine inform me farther, the price of pepper, and of other spices, was raised of late in Europe.
Har. I wish that news may hold; but much suspect it, while the English maintain their factories among us in Amboyna, or in the neighbouring plantations of Seran.
Fisc. Still I have news that tickles me within ; ha, ha, ha! I'faith it does, and will do you, and all our countrymen.
Har. Pr’ythee, do not torture us, but tell it.
Har. Is their East India fleet bound outward for these parts, or cast away, or met at sea by pirates ?
Fisc. Better, much better yet; ha, ha, ha!
Har. Now I am famished for my part of the laughter.
Fisc. Then, my brave governor, if you're a true Dutchman, I'll make your fat sides heave with the conceit on't, till you're blown like a pair of large smith's bellows; here, look
paper. Har. [Reading.) You may remember we did endamage the English East-India Company the value of five hundred thousand pounds, all in one year; a treaty is now signed, in which the business is ta’en up for fourscore thousand.—This is news indeed : would I were upon the castle-wall, that I might throw my cap into the sea, and my gold chain after it! this is golden news, boys !
Van Her. This is news would kindle a thousand bonfires, and make us piss them out again in Rhenish wine.
Har. Send presently to all our factories, acquaint them with these blessed tidings: If we can 'scape so cheap, 'twill be no matter what villanies henceforth we put in practice.
Fisc. Hum ! why this now gives encouragement to a certain plot, which I have been long brewing, against these skellum English. I almost have it here in pericranio, and 'tis a sound one, 'faith ; no less than to cut all their throats, and seize all their effects within this island. I warrant you we may compound again.
Van Her. Seizing their factories I like well enough, it has some savourin't; but for this whoreson cutting of throats, it goes a little against the grain, because 'tis so notoriously known in Christendom, that they have preserved ours from being cut by the Spaniards.
Har. Hang them, base English starts, let them e'en take their part of their own old proverb-—Save a thief from the gallows; they would needs protect us rebels, and see what comes to themselves.
Fisc. You’re i’the right on’t, noble Harman; their assistance, which was a mercy and a providence to us, shall be a judgment upon them.
Van Her. A little favour would do well; though not that I would stop the current of your wit, or any other plot, to do them mischief; but they were first discoverers of this isle, first traded hither, and shewed us the way. '
Fisc. I grant you that; nay more, that, by composition made after many long and tedious quarrels, they were to have a third part of the traffic, we to build forts, and they to contribute to the charge.
Har. Which we have so increased each year upon them, we being in power, and therefore judges of the cost, that we exact whatever we please, still more than half the charge; and on pretence of their non-payment, or the least delay, do often stop their ships, detain their goods, and drag them into prisons, while our commodities go on before, and still forestall their markets.
Fisc. These, I confess, are pretty tricks, but will not do our business; we must ourselves be ruined at long run, if they have any trade here; I know our charge at length will eat us out. I would not let these English from this isle have cloves enough to stick an orange with, not one to throw into their bottle-ale.
Har. But to bring this about now, there's the cunning