THE BEGGAR'S OPERA
by John Gay
Men Mr. Peachum. Lockit. Macheath. Filch. Jemmy Twitcher} Crook-Finger'dJack} Wat Dreary} Robin of Bagshot} Nimming Ned} Macheath's Gang. HarryPadington} Mat of the Mint} Ben Budge} Beggar. Player.
Women Mrs. Peachum. Polly Peachum. Lucy Lockit. Diana Trapes. Mrs. Coaxer}Dolly Trull} Mrs. Vixen} Betty Doxy} Women of the Town. Jenny Diver}Mrs. Slammekin} Sukey Tawdrey} Molly Brazen}
If Poverty be a Title to PoetryI am sure nobody can dispute mine. I ownmyself of the Company of Beggars; and I make one at their Weekly Festivals at St.Giles's. I have a small Yearly Salary for my Catchesand am welcome to a Dinnerthere whenever I pleasewhich is more than most Poets can say.
PLAYER. As we live by the Musesit is but a Gratitude in us to encouragePoetical Merit wherever we find it. The Musescontrary to all other Ladiespayno Distinction to Dressand never partially mistake the Pertness of Embroideryfor Witnor the Modesty of Want for Dulness. Be the Author who he willwe pushhis Play as far as it will go. So (though you are in Want) I wish you successheartily.
BEGGAR. This piece I own was originally writ for the celebrating the Marriageof James Chanter and Moll Laytwo most excellent Ballad-Singers. I haveintroduced the Similes that are in all your celebrated Operas; The SwallowtheMoththe Beethe Shipthe Flower&c. BesidesI have a Prison-Scenewhich the Ladies always reckon charmingly pathetick. As to the PartsI haveobserved such a nice Impartiality to our two Ladies that it is impossible foreither of them to take Offence. I hope I may be forgiventhat I have not mademy Opera throughout unnaturallike those in vogue; for I have no Recitative;excepting thisas I have consented to have neither Prologue nor Epilogueitmust be allowed an Opera in all its Forms. The Piece indeed hath been heretoforefrequently represented by ourselves in our Great Room at St. Giles'sso that Icannot too often acknowledge your Charity in bringing it now on the Stage.
PLAYER. But now I see it is time for us to withdraw; the Actors are preparingto begin. Play away the Overture.
ScenePEACHUM's House. PEACHUM sitting at a Table with a large Book ofAccounts before him.
Air I.- An old Woman clothed in Gray&c.
Through all the Employments of Life
Each Neighbour abuses his Brother;
Whore and Rogue they call Husband and Wife:
All Professions be-rogue one another:
The Priest calls the Lawyer a Cheat
The Lawyer be-knaves the Divine:
And the Statesmanbecause he's so great
Thinks his Trade as honest as mine. A Lawyer is an honest Employmentso ismine. Like me too he acts in a double Capacityboth against Rogues and for 'em;for 'tis but fitting that we should protect and encourage Cheatssince we liveby them.
FILCH. SirBlack Moll hath sent word her Trial comes on in the Afternoonand she hopes you will order Matters so as to bring her off.
PEACHUM. Whyshe may plead her Belly at worst; to my Knowledge she hathtaken care of that Security. Butas the Wench is very active and industriousyou may satisfy her that I'll soften the Evidence.
FILCH. Tom Gaggsiris found guilty
PEACHUM. A lazy Dog! When I took him the time beforeI told him what hewould come to if he did not mend his Hand. This is Death without Reprieve. I mayventure to Book him. [writes.] For Tom Gaggforty Pounds. Let Betty Sly knowthat I'll save her from Transportationfor I can get more by her staying inEngland.
FILCH. Betty hath brought more goods into our Lock to-year than any five ofthe Gang; and in truth'tis a pity to lose so good a Customer.
PEACHUM. If none of the Gang take her offshe mayin the common course ofBusinesslive a Twelve-month longer. I love to let Women scape. A goodSportsman always lets the Hen Partridges flybecause the Breed of the Gamedepends upon them. Besideshere the Law allows us no Reward; there is nothingto be got by the Death of Women- except our Wives.
FILCH. Without disputeshe is a fine Woman! 'Twas to her I was obliged formy Educationand (to say a bold Word) she hath trained up more young fellows tothe Business than the Gaming table.
PEACHUM. TrulyFilchthy Observation is right. We and the Surgeons are morebeholden to Women than all the Professions besides.
Air II.- The bonny gray-ey'd Morn&c.
'Tis Woman that seduces all Mankind
By her we first were taught the wheedling Arts:
Her very Eyes can cheat; when most she's kind
She tricks us of our Money with our Hearts.
For herlike Wolves by Night we roam for Prey
And practise ev'ry Fraudto bribe her Charms;
For suits of Lovelike Laware won by Pay
And Beauty must be fee'd into our Arms.
PEACHUM. But make haste to NewgateBoyand let my Friends know what Iintend; for I love to make them easy one way or other.
FILCH. When a Gentleman is long kept in suspencePenitence may break hisSpirit ever after. BesidesCertainty gives a Man a good Air upon his Trialandmakes him risque another without Fear or Scruple. But I'll awayfor 'tis aPleasure to be the Messenger of Comfort to Friends in Affliction.
But 'tis now high time to look about me for a decent Execution against nextSessions. I hate a lazy Rogueby whom one can get nothing 'till he is hang'd. ARegister of the Gang[Reading] Crook-finger'd Jack. A Year and a half in theservice; Let me see how much the Stock owes to his Industry; onetwothreefourfive Gold Watchesand seven Silver ones. A mighty clean-handed Fellow!Sixteen Snuff-boxesfive of them of true Gold. Six Dozen of Handkerchiefsfoursilver-hilted Swordshalf Dozen of Shirtsthree Tye-Periwigsand a piece ofBroad-Cloth. Considering these are only the Fruits of his leisure HoursI don'tknow a prettier Fellowfor no Man alive hath a more engaging Presence of Mindupon the Road. Wat Drearyalias Brown Willan irregular Dogwho hath anunderhand way of disposing of his Goods. I'll try him only for a Sessions or twolonger upon his Good-behaviour. Harry Padingtona poor petty-larceny Rascalwithout the least Genius; that Fellowthough he were to live these six Monthswill never come to the Gallows with any Credit. Slippery Sam; he goes off thenext Sessionsfor the Villain hath the Impudence to have Views of Following hisTrade as a Tailorwhich he calls an honest Employment. Mat of the Mint; listednot above a Month agoa promising sturdy Fellowand diligent in his way;somewhat too bold and hastyand may raise good Contributions on the Publicifhe does not cut himself short by Murder. Tom Tipplea guzzling soaking Sotwhois always too drunk to stand himselfor to make others stand. A Cart isabsolutely necessary for him. Robin of Bagshotalias Gorgonalias Bob Bluffalias Carbunclealias Bob Booty.
MRS. PEACHUM. What of Bob BootyHusband? I hope nothing bad hath betided him.You knowmy Dearhe's a favourite Customer of mine. 'Twas he made me a presentof this Ring.
PEACHUM. I have set his Name down in the Black Listthat's allmy Dear; hespends his Life among Womenand as soon as his Money is goneone or other ofthe Ladies will hang him for the Rewardand there's forty Pounds lost to usfor-ever.
MRS. PEACHUM. You knowmy DearI never meddle in matters of Death; I alwaysleave those Affairs to you. Women indeed are bitter bad Judges in these casesfor they are so partial to the Brave that they think every Man handsome who isgoing to the Camp or the Gallows.
Air III.- Cold and raw&c.
If any Wench Venus's Girdle wear
Though she be never so ugly;
Lilies and Roses will quickly appear
And her Face look wond'rously smugly.
Beneath the left Ear so fit but a Cord
(A Rope so charming a a Zone is!)
The Youth in his Cart hath the Air of a Lord
And we cryThere goes an Adonis! But really Husbandyou should not be toohard-heartedfor you never had a finerbraver set of Men than at present. Wehave not had a Murder among them allthese seven Months. And trulymy Dearthat is a great Blessing.
PEACHUM. What a dickens is the Woman always a whimpring about Murder for? NoGentleman is ever look'd upon the worse for killing a Man in his own Defense;and if Business cannot be carried on without itwhat would you have a Gentlemando?
MRS. PEACHUM. If I am in the wrongmy Dearyou must excuse mefor no bodycan help the Frailty of an over-scrupulous Conscience.
PEACHUM. Murder is as fashionable a Crime as a Man can be guilty of. How manyfine Gentlemen have we in Newgate every Yearpurely upon that Article! If theyhave wherewithal to persuade the Jury to bring it in Manslaughterwhat are theythe worse for it? Somy Dearhave done upon this Subject. Was Captain Macheathhere this Morning for the Bank-Notes he left with you last Week?
MRS. PEACHUM. Yesmy Dear; and though the Bank hath stopt Paymenthe was socheerful and so agreeable! Sure there is not a finer Gentleman upon the Roadthan the Captain! If he comes from Bagshot at any reasonable Hourhe hathpromis'd to make one this Evening with Polly and meand Bob Booty at a party ofQuadrille. Praymy dearis the Captain rich?
PEACHUM. The Captain keeps too good Company ever to grow rich. Mary-bone andthe Chocolate-houses are his undoing. The Man that proposes to get Money by Playshould have the Education of a fine Gentlemanand be train'd up to it from hisYouth.
MRS. PEACHUM. ReallyI am sorry upon Polly's Account the Captain hath
not more Discretion. What Business hath he to keep Company with Lords andGentlemen? he should leave them to prey upon one another.
PEACHUM. Upon Polly's Account! What a plague does the Woman mean?- UponPolly's Account!
MRS. PEACHUM. Captain Macheath is very fond of the Girl.
PEACHUM. And what then?
MRS. PEACHUM. If I have any Skill in the Ways of WomenI am sure Pollythinks him a very pretty Man.
PEACHUM. And what then? You would not be so mad as to have the Wench marryhim! Gamesters and Highwaymen are generally very good to their Whoresbut theyare very Devils to their Wives.
MRS. PEACHUM. But if Polly should be in Lovehow should we help heror howcan she help herself? Poor GirlI am in the utmost Concern about her.
Air IV.- Why is your faithful Slave disdained? &c.
If Love the Virgin's Heart invade
Howlike a Moththe simple Maid
Still plays about the Flame!
If soon she be not made a Wife
Her Honour's sing'dand then for Life
She's- what I dare not name.
PEACHUM. Look yeWife. A handsome Wench in our way of Business is asprofitable as at the Bar of a Temple Coffee-Housewho looks upon it as herlivelihood to grant every Liberty but one. You see I would not indulge the Girlas far as prudently we can. In anythingbut Marriage! After thatmy Dearhowshall we be safe? Are we not then in her Husband's Power? For a Husband hath theabsolute Power over all a Wife's Secrets but her own. If the Girl had theDiscretion of a Court-Ladywho can have a Dozen young Fellows at her Earwithout complying with oneI should not matter it; but Polly is Tinderand aSpark will at once set her on a Flame. Married! If the Wench does not know herown Profitsure she knows her own Pleasure better than to make herself aProperty! My Daughter to me should belike a Court-Lady to a Minister of Statea Key to the whole Gang. Married! If the Affair is not already doneI'llterrify her from itby the Example of our Neighbours.
MRS. PEACHUM. May-hapmy Dearyou may injure the Girl. She loves to imitatethe fine Ladiesand she may only allow the Captain liberties in the view ofInterest.
PEACHUM. But 'tis your Dutyyour Dutymy Dearto warn the Girl against herRuinand to instruct her how to make the most of her Beauty. I'll go to herthis momentand sift her. In the mean timeWiferip out the Coronets andMarks of these Dozen of Cambric Handkerchiefsfor I can dispose of them thisAfternoon to a Chap in the City.
Never was a Man more out of the way in an Argument than my Husband? Why mustour Pollyforsoothdiffer from her Sexand love only her Husband? And whymust Polly's Marriagecontrary to all Observationmake her the less followedby other Men? All Men are Thieves in Loveand like a Woman the better for beinganother's Property.
Air V.- Of all the simple Things we do&c.
A Maid is like the Golden Ore
Which hath Guineas intrinsical in't
Whose Worth is never knownbefore
It is try'd and imprest in the Mint.
A wife's like a Guinea in Gold
Stampt with the Name of her Spouse;
Now herenow there; is boughtor is sold;
And is current in every House.
MRS. PEACHUM. Come hereFilch. I am as fond of the Childas though my Mindmisgave me he were my own. He hath as fine a Hand at picking a Pocket as aWomanand is as nimble-finger'd as a Juggler. If an unlucky Session does notcut the Rope of thy LifeI pronounceBoythou wilt be a great Man in History.Where was your Post last Nightmy Boy?
FILCH. I ply'd at the OperaMadam; and considering 'twas neither dark norrainyso that there was no great Hurry in getting Chairs and Coachesmade atolerable Hand on't. These seven HandkerchiefsMadam.
MRS. PEACHUM. Colour'd onesI see. They are of sure Sale from our Warehouseat Redriff among the Seamen.
FILCH. And this Snuff-box.
MRS. PEACHUM. Set in Gold! A pretty Encouragement this to a young Beginner.
FILCH. I had a fair Tug at charming Gold Watch. Pox take the Tailors formaking the Fobs so deep and narrow! It stuck by the wayand I was forc'd tomake my Escape under a Coach. ReallyMadamI fear I shall be cut off in theFlower of my Youthso that every now and then (since I was pumpt) I haveThoughts of taking up and going to Sea.
MRS. PEACHUM. You should go to Hockley in the Holeand to Mary-boneChildto learn Valour. These are the Schools that have bred so many brave Men. IthoughtBoyby this time thou hadst lost Fear as well as Shame. Poor Lad! howlittle does he know yet of the Old Baily! For the first Fact I'll insure theefrom being hang'd; and going to SeaFilchwill come time enough upon aSentence of Transportation. But nowsince you have nothing better to doev'ngo to your Bookand learn your Catechism; for really a Man makes but an illFigure in the Ordinary's Paperwho cannot give a satisfactory Answer to hisQuestions. But hark youmy Lad. Don't tell me a Lye; for you know that I hate aLiar. Do you know of anything that hath pass'd between Captain Macheath and ourPolly?
FILCH. I beg youMadamdon't ask me; for I must either tell a Lye to you orto Miss Polly; for I promis'd her I would not tell.
MRS. PEACHUM. But when the Honour of our Family is concern'd-
FILCH. I shall lead a sad Life with Miss Pollyif she ever comes to knowthat I told you. BesidesI would not willingly forfeit my own Honour bybetraying any body.
MRS. PEACHUM. Yonder comes my Husband and Polly. ComeFilchyou shall gowith me into my own Roomand tell me the whole Story. I'll give thee a mostdelicious Glass of a Cordial that I keep for my own drinking.
POLLY. I know as well as any of the fine Ladies how to make the most ofmyself and of my Man too. A Woman knows how to be mercenarythough she hathnever been in a Court or at an Assembly. We have it in our NaturesPapa. If Iallow Captain Macheath some trifling LibertiesI have this Watch and othervisible Marks of his Favour to show for it. A Girl who
cannot grant some Thingsand refuse what is most materialwill make but apoor hand of her Beautyand soon be thrown upon the Common.
Air VI.- What shall I do to show how much I love her&c.
Virgins are like the fair Flower in its Lustre
Which in the Garden enamels the Ground;
Near it the Bees in play flutter and cluster
And gaudy Butterflies frolick around.
Butwhen once pluck'd'tis no longer alluring
To Covent-Garden 'tis sent (as yet sweet)
There fadesand shrinksand grows past all enduring
Rotsstinksand diesand is trod under feet.
PEACHUM. You knowPollyI am not against your toying and trifling with aCustomer in the way of Businessor to get out a Secretor so. But if I findout that you have play'd the Fool and are marriedyou Jade youI'll cut yourThroatHussy. Now you know my Mind.
Air VII.- Oh London is a fine Town.
MRS. PEACHUMin a very great Passion.
Our Polly is a sad Slut! nor heeds what we have taught her.
I wonder any Man alive will ever rear a Daughter!
For she must have both Hoods and Gownsand Hoops to swell her Pride
With Scarfs and Staysand Gloves and Lace; and she will have Men beside;
And when she's drest with Care and Costall temptingfine and gay
As Men should serve a Cowcumbershe flings herself away.
Our Polly is a sad slut&c.
You Baggage! you Hussy! you inconsiderate Jade! had you been hang'dit wouldnot have vex'd mefor that might have been your Misfortune; but to do such amad thing by Choice! The Wench is marriedHusband.
PEACHUM. Married! the Captain is a bold Manand will risk anything forMoney; to be sure he believes her a Fortune. Do you think your Mother and Ishould have liv'd comfortably so long togetherif ever we had been married?Baggage!
MRS. PEACHUM. I knew she was always a proud Slut; and now the Wench hathplay'd the Fool and Marriedbecause forsooth she would do like the Gentry. Canyou support the Expence of a HusbandHussyin GamingDrinking and Whoring?Have you Money enough to carry on the daily Quarrels of Man and Wife about whoshall squander most? There are not many Husbands and Wiveswho can bear theCharges of plaguing one another in a handsome way. If you must be marriedcouldyou introduce no body into our Family but a Highwayman? Whythou foolish Jadethou wilt be as ill-usedand as much neglectedas if thou hadst married aLord!
PEACHUM. Let not your Angermy Dearbreak through the Rules of Decencyforthe Captain looks upon himself in the Military Capacityas a Gentleman by hisProfession. Besides what he hath alreadyI know he is in a fair way of gettingor of dying; and both these wayslet me tell youare most excellent Chancesfor a Wife. Tell meHussyare you ruin'd or no?
MRS. PEACHUM. With Polly's Fortuneshe might very well have gone off to aPerson of Distinction. Yesthat you mightyou pouting Slut!
PEACHUM. What is the Wench dumb? Speakor I'll make you plead by squeezingout an Answer from you. Are really bound Wife to himor are you only uponliking? [Pinches her.
POLLY. Oh! [Screaming.
MRS. PEACHUM. How the Mother is to be pitied who has handsome Daughters!LockBoltsBarsand Lectures of Morality are nothing to them: They breakthrough them all. They have as much Pleasure in cheating a Father and Motherasin cheating at Cards.
PEACHUM. WhyPollyI shall soon know if you are marriedby Macheath'skeeping form our House.
Air VIII.- Grim King of the Ghosts&c.
Can Love be control'd by Advice?
Will Cupid our Mothers obey?
Though my Heart were as frozen as Ice
At his Flame 'twould have melted away.
When he kist me so closely he prest
'Twas so sweet that I must have comply'd;
So I thought it both safest and best
To marryfor fear you should chide.
MRS. PEACHUM. Then all the Hopes of our Family are gone for ever and ever!
PEACHUM. And Macheath may hang his Father and Mother-in-lawin hope to getinto their Daughter's Fortune.
POLLY. I did not marry him (as 'tis the Fashion) coolly and deliberately forHonour or Money. ButI love him.
MRS. PEACHUM. Love him! worse and worse! I thought the Girl had been betterbred. OhHusbandHusband! her Folly makes me mad! my Head swims! I'mdistracted! I can't support myself- Oh! [faints.
PEACHUM. SeeWenchto what a Condition you have reduc'd your poor Mother! aglass of Cordialthis instant. How the poor Woman takes it to heart! [Pollygoes outand returns with it. AhHussythis is now the only Comfort yourMother has left!
POLLY. Give her another GlassSir! my Mama drinks double the Quantitywhenever she is out of Order. Thisyou seefetches her.
MRS. PEACHUM. The Girl shows such a Readinessand so much Concernthat Icould almost find it in my Heart to forgive her.
Air IX.- O JennyO Jenny where hast thou been.
O Pollyyou might have toy'd and kist.
By keeping Men offyou keep them on.
But he so teaz'd me
And he so pleas'd me
What I didyou must have done.
MRS. PEACHUM. Not with a Highwayman.- You sorry Slut!
PEACHUM. A Word with youWife. 'Tis no new thing for a Wench to take a Manwithout Consent of Parents. You know 'tis the Frailty of Womanmy Dear.
MRS. PEACHUM. Yesindeedthe Sex is frail. But the first time a Woman isfrailshe should be somewhat nice methinksfor then or never is the time tomake her Fortune. After thatshe hath nothing to do but to guard herself frombeing found outand she may do what she pleases.
PEACHUM. Make yourself a little easy; I have a Thought shall soon set allMAtters again to rights. Why so melancholyPolly? since what is done
cannot be undonewe must all endeavour to make the best of it.
MRS. PEACHUM. WellPolly; as far as one Woman can forgive anotherI forgivethee.- Your Father is too fond of youHussy.
POLLY. Then all my Sorrows are at an end.
MRS. PEACHUM. A mighty likely Speech in trothfor a Wench who is justmarried!
Air X.- ThomasI cannot&c.
I. like a Ship in Stormswas tost;
Yet afraid to put in to Land:
For seiz'd in the Port the Vessel's lost
Whose Treasure is contreband.
The Waves are laid
My Duty's paid.
O joy beyond Expression!
I ask no more
My All is in my Possession.
PEACHUM. I hear Customers in t'other Room: Gotalk with 'emPolly; but cometo us againas soon as they are gone- Buthark yeChildif 'tis theGentleman who was here Yesterday about the Repeating Watch; say you believe wecan't get Intelligence of it till to-morrow. For I lent it to Suky Straddletomake a figure with it to-night at a Tavern in Drury- Lane. If t'other Gentlemancalls for the Silver-hilted Sword; you know Beetle-brow'd Jemmy hath it onandhe doth not come from Tunbridge 'till Tuesday Night; so that it cannot be had'till then.
PEACHUM. Dear Wifebe a little pacifiedDon't let your Passion run awaywith your Senses. PollyI grant youhath done a rash thing.
MRS. PEACHUM. If she had had only an Intrigue with the Fellowwhy the verybest Families have excused and huddled up a Frailty of that sort. 'Tis MarriageHusbandthat makes it a Blemish.
PEACHUM. But MoneyWifeis the true Fuller's-Earth for Reputationsthereis not a Spot or a Stain but what it can take out. A rich Rogue now-a-days isfit Company for any Gentleman; and the Worldmy Dearhath not such a contemptfor Roguery as you imagine. I tell youWifeI can make this Match turn to ourAdvantage.
MRS. PEACHUM. I am very sensibleHusbandthat Captain Macheath is worthMoneybut I am in doubt whether he hath not two or three Wives alreadyandthen if he should die in a Session or twoPolly's Dower would come into aDispute.
PEACHUM. Thatindeedis a Point which ought to be consider'd.
Air XI.- A Soldier and a Sailor.
A Fox may steal your HensSir
A Whore your Health and PenceSir
Your Daughter rob your ChestSir
Your Wife may steal your RestSir.
A Thief your Goods and Plate.
But this is all but picking
With RestPenceChest and Chicken;
It ever was decreedSir
If Lawyer's Hand is fee'dSir
He steals your whole Estate. The Lawyers are bitter Enemies to those in ourWay. They don't care that any body should get a clandestine Livelihood butthemselves.
POLLY. 'Twas only Nimming Ned. He brought in a Damask Window-CurtainaHoop-Petticoata pair of Silver Candlesticksand one Silk Stockingfrom theFire that happen'd last Night.
PEACHUM. There is not a Fellow that is cleverer in his wayand saves moreGoods out of the Fire than Ned. But nowPollyto your Affair; for Matters mustbe left as they are. You are marriedthenit seems?
PEACHUM. And how do you propose to liveChild?
POLLY. Like other WomenSirupon the Industry of my Husband.
MRS. PEACHUM. Whatis the Wench turn'd Fool? A Highwayman's Wifelike aSoldier'shath as little of his Payas of his Company.
PEACHUM. And had not you the common Views of a Gentlewoman in your MarriagePolly?
POLLY. I don't know what you meanSir.
PEACHUM. Of a Jointureand of being a Widow.
POLLY. But I love himSir; how then could I have Thoughts of parting withhim?
PEACHUM. Parting with him! Whythis is the whole Scheme and Intention of allMarriage Articles. The comfortable Estate of Widow-hoodis the only Hope thatkeeps up a Wife's Spirits. Where is the Woman who would scruple to be a Wifeifshe had it in her Power to be a Widowwhenever she pleas'd? If you have anyViews of this sortPollyI shall think the Match not so very unreasonable.
POLLY. How I dread to hear your Advice! Yet I must beg you to explainyourself.
PEACHUM. Secure what he hath gothave him peach'd the next Sessionsandthen at once you are made a rich Widow.
POLLY. Whatmurder the Man I love! The Blood runs cold at my Heart with thevery Thought of it!
PEACHUM. FiePolly! What hath Murder to do in the Affair? Since the thingsooner or later must happenI dare saythe Captain himself would like ratherthat we should get the Reward for his Death sooner than a Stranger. WhyPollythe Captain knows that as 'tis his Employment to robso 'tis ours to takeRobbers; every Man in his Business. So there is no Malice in the case.
MRS. PEACHUM. AyHusbandnow you have nick'd the Matter. To have himpeach'd is the only thing could ever make me forgive her.
Air XII.- Now ponder wellye Parents dear.
O ponder well! be not severe:
So save a wretched Wife!
For on the Rope that hangs my Dear
Depends poor Polly's Life.
MRS. PEACHUM. But your Duty to your ParentsHussyobliges you to hang him.What would many a Wife give for such an Opportunity!
POLLY. What is a Jointurewhat is Widow-hood to me? I know my heart. I
cannot survive him.
AIR XIII.- Le printemps rappelle aux armes.
The Turtle thus with plaintive Crying
Her Lover dying
The Turtle thus with plaintive Crying
Laments her Dove.
Down she drops quite spent with Sighing
Pair'd in Deathas pair'd in Love. ThusSirit will happen to your poorPolly.
MRS. PEACHUM. Whatis the Fool in Love in earnest then? I hate thee forbeing particular: Why Wenchthou art a Shame to they very Sex.
POLLY. But hear meMother.- If you ever lov'd- -
MRS. PEACHUM. Those cursed Play-Books she reads have been her Ruin. One WordmoreHussyand I shall knock your Brains outif you have any.
PEACHUM. Keep out of the wayPollyfor fear of Mischiefand consider whatis propos'd to you.
MRS. PEACHUM. AwayHussy. Hang your Husbandand be dutiful.
MRS. PEACHUM. The ThingHusbandmust and shall be done. For the sake ofIntelligence we must take other Measuresand have him peach'd the next Sessionwithout her Consent. If she will not know her Dutywe know ours.
PEACHUM. But reallymy Dearit grieves one's Heart to take off a great Man.When I consider his Personal Braveryhis fine Strategemhow much we havealready got by himand how much more we may getmethinks I can't find it in myHeart to have a hand in his Death. I wish you could have made Polly undertakeit.
MRS. PEACHUM. But in a Case of Necessity- our own Lives are in danger.
PEACHUM. Thenindeedwe must comply with the Customs of the Worldand makeGratitude give way to Interest.- He shall be taken off.
MRS. PEACHUM. I'll undertake to manage Polly.
PEACHUM. And I'll prepare Matters for the Old Baily.
Now I'm a Wretchindeed.- Methinks I see him already in the Cartsweeterand more lovely than the Nosegay in his Hand!- I hear the Crowd extolling hisResolution and Intrepidity!- What Vollies of Sighs are sent from the Windows ofHolbornthat so comely a Youth should be brought to Disgrace!- I see him at theTree! The whole Circle are in Tears!- even Butchers weep!- Jack Ketch himselfhesitates to perform his Dutyand would be glad to lose his Feeby a Reprieve.What then will become of Polly!- As yet I may inform him of their Designandaid him in his Escape.- It shall be so- But then he fliesabsents himselfandI bar myself from his dear Conversation! That too will distract me.- If he keepout of the waymy Papa and Mama may in time relentand we may be happy.- - Ifhe stayshe is hang'dand then he is lost for ever!- He intended to lieconceal'd in my Room'till the Dusk of the Evening: If they are abroadI'llthis Instant let him outlest some Accident should prevent him. [Exitandreturns.
Air XIV.- Pretty Parrotsay-
When I was away
Did your Fancy never stray
To some newer Lover?
My constant Heart discover
Fondly let me loll!
O prettypretty Poll.
POLLY. And are you as fond as evermy Dear?
MACHEATH. Suspect my Honourmy Couragesuspect any thing but my Love.- -May my Pistols miss Fireand my Mare slip her Shoulder while I am pursu'dif Iever forsake thee!
POLLY. Naymy DearI have no Reason to doubt youfor I find in the Romanceyou lent menone of the great Heroes were ever false in Love.
Air XV.- PrayFair onebe kind-
My Heart was so free
It rov'd like the Bee
'Till Polly my Passion requited;
I sipt each Flower
I chang'd ev'ry Hour
But here ev'ry Flow'r is united.
POLLY. Were you sentenc'd to Transportationsuremy Dearyou could notleave me behind you- could you?
MACHEATH. Is there any Powerany Force that could tear me from thee? Youmight sooner tear a Pension out of the hands of a Courtiera Fee from a Lawyera pretty Woman from a Looking-glassor any Woman from Quadrille.- - But to tearme from thee is impossible!
Air XVI.- Over the Hills and far away.
Were I laid on Greenland's Coast
And in my Arms embrac'd my Lass;
Warm amidst eternal Frost
Too soon the Half Year's Night would pass
Were I sold on Indian Soil
Soon as the burning Day was clos'd
I could mock the sultry Toil
When on my Charmer's Breast repos'd.
MACHEATH. And I would love you all the Day
POLLY. Every Night would kiss and play
MACHEATH. If with me you'd fondly stray
POLLY. Over the Hills and far away.
POLLY. YesI would go with thee. But oh!- how shall I speak it? I must betorn from thee. We must part.
MACHEATH. How! Part!
POLLY. We mustwe must.- My Papa and Mama are set against thy Life. Theynoweven now are in Search after thee. They are preparing Evidence againstthee. Thy Life depends upon a moment.
Air XVII.- Gin thou wert mine awn thing.-
Oh What pain it is to part!
Can I leave theecan I leave thee?
O what pain it is to part!
Can thy Polly ever leave thee?
But lest Death my Love should thwart
And bring thee from my bleeding Heart!
Fly henceand let me leave thee. One Kiss and then- one Kiss- begone-farewell.
MACHEATH. My Handmy Heartmy Dearis so riveted to thinethat I cannotunloose my Hold.
POLLY. But my Papa may intercept theeand then I should lose the veryglimmering of Hope. A few Weeksperhapsmay reconcile us all. Shall thy Pollyhear from thee?
MACHEATH. Must I then go?
POLLY. And will not Absence change your Love?
MACHEATH. If you doubt itlet me stay- and be hang'd.
POLLY. O how I fear! how I tremble!- Go- but when Safety will give you leaveyou will be sure to see me again; for 'till then Polly is wretched.
Air XVII.- O the Broom&c. [Partingand looking back at each other withfondness; he at one Doorshe at the other.
The Miser thus a Shilling sees
Which he's oblig'd to pay
With sighs resigns it by degrees
And fears 'tis gone for aye.
The Boythus when his Sparrow's flown
The Bird in Silence eyes;
But soon as out of Sight 'tis gone
Whineswhimperssobs and cries.
A Tavern near Newgate. JEMMY TWITCHERCROOK-FINGER'D JACKWAT DREARYROBINOF BAGSHOTNIMMING
NEDHENRY PADINGTONMATT OF THE MINTBEN BUDGEand the rest of the
Gang at the Tablewith WineBrandyand Tobacco.
Ben. But pr'ytheeMattwhat is become of thy brother Tom? I have not seenhim since my Return from Transportation.
MATT. Poor Brother Tom had an Accident this time Twelvemonthand so clever amade fellow he wasthat I could not save him from those fleaing Rascals theSurgeons; and nowpoor Manhe is among the Ottamys at Surgeons Hall.
BEN. So it seemshis Time was come.
JEMMY. But the present Time is oursand no body alive hath more. Why are theLaws levell'd at us? are we more dishonest than the rest of Mankind? What wewinGentlemenis our own by the Law of Armsand the Right of Conquest.
CROOK. Where shall we find such another Set of Practical Philosopherswho toa Man are above the Fear of Death?
WAT. Sound Menand true!
ROBIN. Of try'd Courageand indefatigable Industry!
NED. Who is there here that would not die for his Friend?
HARRY. Who is there here that would betray him for his Interest?
MATT. Show me a Gang of Courtiers that can say as much.
BEN. We are for a just Partition of the Worldfor every Man hath a Right toenjoy Life.
MATT. We retrench the Superfluities of Mankind. The World is avaritiousandI hate Avarice. A covetous fellowlike a Jackdawsteals what he was never madeto enjoyfor the sake of hiding it. These are the Robbers of Mankindfor Moneywas made for the Free-hearted and Generousand where is the Injury of takingfrom anotherwhat he hath not the Heart to make use of?
JEMMY. Our several Stations for the Day are fixt. Good luck attend us all.Fill the Glasses.
Air XIX.- Fill every Glass&c.
Fill ev'ry Glassor Wine inspires us
And fires us
With CourageLove and Joy.
Women and Wine should Life employ.
Is there ought else on Earth desirous?
Fill ev'ry Glass&c.
To them enter MACHEATH.
MACHEATH. Gentlemenwell met. My Heart hath been with you this Hour: but anunexpected Affair hath detain'd me. No ceremonyI beg you.
MATT. We were just breaking up to go upon Duty. Am I to have the Honour oftaking the Air with youSirthis Evening upon the Heath? I drink a Dram nowand then with the Stage-coachmen in the way of Friendship and Intelligence; andI know that about this Time there will be Passengers upon the Western Roadwhoare worth speaking with.
MACHEATH. I was to have been of that Party- but-
MATT. But whatSir?
MACHEATH. Is there any Man who suspects my Courage?
MATT. We have all been Witnesses of it.
MACHEATH. My Honour and Truth to the Gang?
MATT. I'll be answerable for it.
MACHEATH. In the Division of our Bootyhave I ever shewn the least Marks ofAvarice or Injustice?
MATT. By these Questions something seems to have ruffled you. Are any of ussuspected?
MACHEATH. I have a fixed ConfidenceGentlemenin you allas Men of Honouras as such I value and respect you. Peachum is a Man that is useful to us.
MATT. Is he about to play us any foul Play? I'll shoot him through the Head.
MACHEATH. I beg youGentlemenact with Conduct and Discretion. A Pistol isyour last Resort.
MATT. He knows nothing of this Meeting.
MACHEATH. Business cannot go on without him. He is a Man who knows the Worldand is a necessary Agent to us. We have had a slight Differenceand 'till it isaccomodated I shall be obliged to keep out of his way. Any private dispute ofmine shall be of no ill consequence to my Friends. You must continue to actunder his Directionfor the moment we break loose from himour Gang is ruin'd.
MATT. As a Bawd to a WhoreI grant youhe is to us of great Convenience.
MACHEATH. Make him believe I have quitted the Gangwhich I can never do butwith Life. At our private Quarters I will continue to meet you. A Week or sowill probably reconcile us.
MATT. Your Instructions shall be observ'd. 'Tis now high time for us torepair to our several Duties; so 'till the Evening at our Quarters in Moor-Fields we bid you farewell.
MACHEATH. I shall wish myself with you. Success attend you.
[Sits down melancholy at the Table.
Air XX.- March in Rinaldowith Drums and Trumpets.
Let us take the Road.
Hark! I hear the Sound of Coaches!
The Hour of Attack approaches
To your Armsbrave Boysand load.
See the Ball I hold!
Let the Chymists toil like Asses
Our Fire their Fire surpasses
And turns all our Lead to Gold. [The Gangrang'd in the Front of the Stageload their Pistolsand stick
them under their Girdles; then go off singing the first Part in Chorus.
MACHEATH. What a Fool is a fond Wench! Polly is most confoundedly bit.- Ilove the Sex. And a Man who loves Moneymight as well be contented with oneGuineaas I with one Woman. The Town perhaps have been as much obliged to mefor recruiting it with free-hearted Ladiesas to any Recruiting Officer in theArmy. If it were not for usand the other Gentlemen of the SwordDrury-Lanewould be uninhabited.
Air XXI.- Would you have a young Virgin&c.
If the Heart of a Man is deprest with Cares
The Mist is dispell'd when a Woman appears;
Like the Notes of a Fiddleshe sweetlysweetly
Raises the Spiritsand charms our Ears
Roses and Lilies her Cheeks disclose
But her ripe Lips are more sweet than those.
Dissolve us in Pleasureand soft Repose. I must have Women. There is nothingunbends the Mind like them. Money is not so strong a Cordial for the Time.Drawer.- [Enter Drawer.] Is the Porter gone for all the Ladies according to myDirections?
DRAWER. I expect him back every Minute. But you knowSiryou sent him asfar as Hockley in the Hole for three of the Ladiesfor one in Vinegar- Yard andfor the rest of them somewhere about Lewker's Lane. Sure some of them are belowfor I hear the Bar-Bell. As they come I will show them up. ComingComing.
Scene 4 MACHEATHMRS. COAXERDOLLY TRULLMRS. VIXENBETTY DOXYJENNYDIVER
MRS. SLAMMEKINSUKY TAWDRYand MOLLY BRAZEN.
MACHEATH. Dear Mrs. Coaxeryou are welcome. You look charmingly to-day. Ihope you don't want the Repairs of Qualityand lay on Paint.- Dolly Trull! kissmeyou Slut; are you as amorous as everHussy? You are always so taken up withstealing Heartsthat you don't allow yourself Time to steal anything else.- AhDollythou wilt ever be a Coquette!- Mrs. VixenI'm yoursI always lov'd aWoman of Wit and Spirit; they make charming Mistressesbut plaguey Wives.-Betty Doxy! Come hitherHussy. Do you drink as hard as ever? You had betterstick to good wholesom Beer; for in trothBettyStrong-Waters will in timeruin your Constitution. You should leave those to your Betters.- What! and mypretty Jenny Diver too! As prim and demure as ever! There is not any Prudethough ever so high-bredhath a more sanctify'd Lookwith a more mischievousHeart. Ah! thou art a dear artful Hypocrite.- Mrs. Slammekin! as careless andgenteel as ever! all you fine Ladieswho know your own Beautyaffect anUndress.- But seehere's Suky Tawdry come to contradict what I am saying.Everything she gets one way she lays out upon her Back. WhySukyyou must keepat least a Dozen Talleymen. Molly Brazen! [She kisses him.] That's well done. Ilove a free-hearted Wench. Thou hast a most agreeable AssuranceGirland artas willing as a Turtle.- But hark! I hear Music. The Harper is at the Door. IfMusic be the Food of Loveplay on. Ere you seat yourselvesLadieswhat thinkyou of a Dance? Come in. [Enter Harper.] Play the French Tunethat Mrs.Slammekin was so fond of.
[A dance a la ronde in the French manner; near the end of it this Song
Air XXII.- Cotillon.
Youth's the Season made for Joys
Love is then our Duty
She alone who that employs
Well deserves her Beauty.
Let's be gay
While we may
Beauty's a Flowerdespis'd in Decay
Youth's the Season &c.
Let us drink and sport to-day
Ours is not to-morrow.
Love with youth flies swift away
Age is nought but Sorrow.
Dance and sing
Time's on the Wing.
Life never knows the Return of Spring. Chorus. Let us drink&c.
MACHEATH. Nowpray Ladiestake your Places. Here Fellow. [Pays the Harper.]Bid the Drawer bring us more Wine. [Exit Harper.] If any of the Ladies chooseGinnI hope they will be so free to call for it.
JENNY. You look as if you meant me. Wine is strong enough for me. IndeedSirI never drink Strong-Watersbut when I have the Cholic. I hopeMrs.Coaxeryou have had good Success of late in your Visits among the Mercers.
COAXER. We have so many interlopers- Yet with Industryone may still have alittle Picking. I carried a silver-flower'd Lutestringand a Piece of blackPadesoy to Mr. Peachum's Lock but last Week.
VIXEN. There's Molly Brazen hath the Ogle of a Rattle-Snake. She rivetted aLinen-Draper's Eye so fast upon herthat he was nick'd of three PiecesofCambric before he could look off.
BRAZEN. Oh dear Madam! - But sure nothing can come up to your handling ofLaces! And then you have such a sweet deluding Tongue! To cheat a Man isnothing; but the Woman must have fine parts indeed who cheats a Woman.
VIXEN. LaceMadamlies in a small Compassand is of easy Conveyance. Butyou are aptMadamto think too well of your Friends.
COAXER. If any Woman hath more Art than anotherto be sure'tis JennyDiver. Though her Fellow be never so agreeableshe can pick his Pocket ascoollyas if money were her only Pleasure. Now that is a Command of thePassions in a Woman!
JENNY. I never go to the Tavern with a Manbut in the View of Business.Ihave other Hoursand other sorts of Men for my Pleasure. But had I yourAddressMadam-
MACHEATH. Have done with your ComplimentsLadiesand drink about: You arenot so fond of meJennyas you use to be.
JENNY. 'Tis not convenientSirto shew my Fondness among so manyRivals.'Tis your own Choiceand not the Warmth of my Inclination that willdetermine you.
AIR XXIII.- All in a misty Morning&c.
Before the Barn-Door crowing
The Cock by Hens attended
His Eyes around him throwing
Stands for awhile suspended.
Then one he singles from the Crew
And cheers the happy Hen;
With how do you doand how do you do
And how do you do again.
MACHEATH. Ah Jenny! thou art a dear Slut.
TRULL. PrayMadamwere you ever in keeping?
TAWDRY. I hopeMadamI han't been so long upon the Townbut I have metwith some good-fortune as well as my Neighbors.
TRULL. Pardon meMadamI meant no harm by the Question; 'Twas only in theway of Conversation.
TAWDRY. IndeedMadamif I had not been a FoolI might have liv'd veryhandsomely with my last Friend. But upon his missing five Guineashe turn'dmeoff. Now I never suspected he had counted them.
SLAMMEKIN. Who do you look uponMadamas your best sort of Keepers?
TRULL. ThatMadamis thereafter as they be.
SLAMMEKIN. IMadamwas once kept by a Jew; and bating their ReligiontoWomen they are a good sort of People.
TAWDRY. Now for my PartI own I like an old Fellow: For we always make thempay for what they can't do.
VIXEN. A spruce Prenticelet me tell you Ladiesis no ill thingthey bleedfreely. I have sent at least two or three Dozen of them in my time to thePlantations.
JENNY. But to be sureSirwith so much Good-fortune as you have had upontheRoadyou must be grown immensely rich.
MACHEATH. The Roadindeedhath done me Justicebut the Gaming-Table hathbeen my Ruin.
AIR XXIV.- When once I lay with another Man's Wife&c.
The Gamesters and Lawyers are Jugglers alike
If they meddleyour all is in Danger.
Like Gypsiesif once they can finger a Souse
Your Pockets they pickand they pilfer your House
And give your Estate to a Stranger. A Man of Courage should never put anything to the Risque but his Life. These are the Tools of a Man of Honour. Cardsand Dice are fit only for cowardly Cheatswho prey upon their Friends.
[She takes up his Pistol. Tawdry takes up the other.
TAWDRY. ThisSiris fitter for your Hand. Besides your loss of Money'tisa loss to the Ladies. Gaming takes you off from Women. How fond could Ibe ofyou! But before Company 'tis ill bred.
MACHEATH. Wanton Hussies!
JENNY. I must and will have a Kiss to give my Wine a Zest.
[They take him about the Neck and make signs to Peachum and
Constableswho rush in upon him.
To themPEACHUM and Constables.
PEACHUM. I seize youSiras my Prisoner.
MACHEATH. Was this well doneJenny?- Women are Decoy Ducks; who can trustthem! BeastsJadesJiltsHarpiesFuriesWhores!
PEACHUM. Your CaseMr. MACHEATHis not particular. The greatest Heroes havebeen ruin'd by Women. Butto do them JusticeI must own they are a pretty sortof Creaturesif we could trust them. You must nowSirtake your Leave of theLadiesand if they have a mind to make you a Visitthey will be sure to findyou at home. This GentlemanLadieslodges in Newgate.Constableswait upon theCaptain to his Lodgings.
Air XXV.- When first I laid Siege to my Chloris&c.
At the Tree I shall suffer with Pleasure
At the Tree I shall suffer with Pleasure
Let me go where I will
In all kinds of Ill
I shall find no such Furies as these are.
PEACHUM. LadiesI'll take care the Reckoning shall be discharg'd.
[Exit Macheathguarded with Peachum and Constables.
The Women remain.
VIXEN. Look yeMrs. Jemmythough Mr. Peachum may have made a privateBargain with you and Suky Tawdry for betraying the Captainas we were allassistingwe ought all to share alike.
COAXER. I think Mr. Peachumafter so long an Acquaintancemight havetrusted me as well as Jenny Diver.
SLAMMEKIN. I am sure at least three Men of his hangingand in a Year's timetoo(if he did me Justice) should be set down to my Account.
TRULL. Mrs. Slammekinthat is not fair. For you know one of them was takenin Bed with me.
JENNY. As far as a Bowl of Punch or a TreatI believe Mrs. Suky willjoinwith me.- As for anything elseLadiesyou cannot in Conscience expect it.
SLAMMEKIN. Dear Madam-
TRULL. I would not for the World-
SLAMMEKIN. 'Tis impossible for me-
TRULL. As I hope to be sav'dMadam-
SLAMMEKIN. Nay thenI must stay here all night-
TRULL. Since you command me. [Exeunt with great Ceremony.
LOCKIT. Noble Captainyou are welcome. You have not been a Lodger ofminethis Year and a half. You know the CustomSir. GarnishCaptainGarnish.Hand me down those Fetters there.
MACHEATH. ThoseMr. Lockitseem to be the heaviest of the whole Set. Withyour LeaveI should like the further Pair better.
LOCKIT. Look yeCaptainwe know what is fittest for our Prisoners. When aGentlemen uses me with CivilityI always do the best I can to please him.- Handthem down I say. We have them of all Pricesfrom one Guinea to tenand 'tisfitting every Gentleman should please himself.
MACHEATH. I understand youSir. [Gives Money.] The fees here are so manyandso exorbitantthat few Fortunes can bear the Expenseof getting offhandsomelyor of dying like a Gentleman.
LOCKIT. ThoseI seewill fit the Captain better- Take down the furtherPair. Do but examine themSir.- Never was better work.- How genteely they aremade!- They will fit as easy as a Gloveand the nicest Man in England might notbe asham'd to wear them. [He puts on the Chains.] If I had the best Gentleman inthe Land in my Custody. I could not equip him more handsomely. And soSir- Inow leave you to your private Meditations.
AIR XXVI.- CourtiersCourtiersthink it no Harm&c.
Man may escape from Rope and Gun;
Naysome have outliv'd the Doctor's Pill;
Who takes a Woman must be undone
That Basilisk is sure to kill.
The Fly that sips the Treacle is lost in the Sweets
So he that tastes WomanWomanWoman
He that tastes Womanruin meets. To what a woful Plight have I broughtmyself! Here must I (all Day long'till I am hang'd) be confin'd to hear theReproaches of a Wench who lays her Ruin at my Door- I am in the Custody of herFatherand to be sureif he knows of the matterI shall have a fine time on'tbetwixt this and my Execution.- But I promis'd the Wench Marriage- Whatsignifies a Promise to a Woman? Does not Man in Marriage itself promise ahundred things that henever means to perform? Do all we canWomen will believeus; for they look upon a Promise as an Excuse for following their ownInclinations.- But here comes Lucyand I cannot get from her.- Wou'd I weredeaf!
LUCY. You base Man you- how can you look me in the Face after what hathpassed between us?- See hereperfidious Wretchhow I am forc'd to bear aboutthe Load of Infamy you have laid upon me- O Macheath! thou hast robb'd me of myQuiet- to see thee tortur'd would give me Pleasure.
Air XXVII.- A lovely Lass to a Friar came&c.
Thus when a good Huswife sees a Rat
In her Trap in the Morning taken
With Pleasure her Heart goes pit-a-pat
In Revenge for her loss of Bacon.
Then she throws him
To the Dog or Cat
To be worriedcrush'd and shaken.
MACHEATH. Have you no Bowelsno Tendernessmy dear Lucyto see a Husbandin these Circumstances?
LUCY. A Husband!
MACHEATH. In ev'ry Respect but the Formand thatmy Dearmay be said overus at any time.- Friends should not insist upon Ceremonies. From a Man ofHonourhis Word is as good as his Bond.
LUCY. 'Tis the Pleasure of all you fine Men to insult the Women you haveruin'd.
Air XXVIII.'Twas when the Sea was roaring&c.
How cruel are the Traitors
Who lye and swear in jest
To cheat unguarded Creatures
Of VirtueFameand Rest!
Whoever steals a Shilling
Through shame the Guilt conceals:
In Love the perjur'd Villain
With boasts the Theft reveals.
MACHEATH. The very first Opportunitymy Dear(have but Patience) you shallbe my Wife in whatever manner you please.
LUCY. Insinuating Monster! And so you think I know nothing of the Affair ofMiss Polly Peachum.- I could tear thy Eyes out!
MACHEATH. SureLucyyou can't be such a fool as to be jealous of Polly!
LUCY. Are you not married to heryou Bruteyou.
MACHEATH. Married! Very good. The Wench gives it out only to vex theeandtoruin me in thy good Opinion. 'Tis trueI go the House; I chat with the GirlIkiss herI say a thousand things to her (as all Gentlemen do) that meannothingto divert myself; and now the silly Jade hath set it about that I ammarried to herto let me know what she would be at. Indeedmy dear Lucytheseviolent Passions may be of ill Consequence to a Woman in your Condition.
LUCY. ComecomeCaptainfor all your Assuranceyou know that Miss Pollyhath put it out of your Power to do me the Justice you promis'd me.
MACHEATH.A jealous Woman believes everything her Passion suggests. Toconvince you of my Sincerityif we can find the OrdinaryI shall have noScruples of making you my Wife; and I know the Consequences of having two atatime.
LUCY. That you are only to be hang'dand so get rid of them both.
MACHEATH. I am readymy dear Lucyto give you Satisfaction- If you thinkthere is any in Marriage.- What can a Man of Honour say more?
LUCY. So thenit seemsyou are not married to Miss Polly.
MACHEATH. You knowLucythe Girl is prodigiously conceited. No Man can saya civil thing to her but (like other fine Ladies) her Vanity makes her thinkhe's her own for ever and ever.
Air. XXIX.- The Sun had loos'd his weary Teams &c.
The first time at the Looking-glass
The Mother sets her Daughter
The Image strikes the smiling Lass
With self-love ever after
Each time she looksshefonder grown
Thinks ev'ry Charm grows stronger.
But alasvain Maidall eyes but your own
Can see you are not younger. When Women consider their own Beautiesthey areall alike unreasonable in their Demands; for they expect their Lovers shouldlike them as long as theylike themselves.
LUCY. Yonder is my Father- perhaps this way we may light upon the Ordinarywho shall try if you will be as good as your Word.- For I long to be made anhonest Woman.
PEACHUMLOCKIT with an Account-Book.
LOCKIT. In this last AffairBrother Peachumwe are agreed. You haveconsented to go halves in Macheath.
PEACHUM. We shall never fall out about an Execution- But as to that Articlepray how stands our last Year's Account?
LOCKIT. If you will run your Eye over ityou'll find 'tis fair and clearlystated.
PEACHUM. This long Arrear of the Government is very hard upon us! Can it beexpected that we would hang our Acquaintance for nothingwhen our Betters willhardly save theirs without being paid for it. Unless the People in Employmentpay betterI promise them for the futureI shall let other Rogues live besidestheir own.
LOCKIT. PerhapsBrotherthey are afraid these Matters may be carriedtoofar. We are treated by them with Contemptas if our Profession were notreputable.
PEACHUM. In one respect indeed our Employment may be reckon'd dishonestbecauselike great Statesmenwe encourage those who betray their Friends.
LOCKIT. Such LanguageBrotherany where elsemight turn to your Prejudice.Learn to be more guardedI beg you.
AIR XXX.- How happy are we&c.
When you censure the Age
Be cautious and sage
Lest the Courtiers offended should be:
If you mention Vice or Bribe
'Tis so pat to all the Tribe;
Each cries- That was levell'd at me.
PEACHUM. Here's poor Ned Clincher's NameI see. Sure Brother Lockittherewas a little unfair Proceeding in Ned's Case: for he told me in the Condemn'dHoldthat for Value receiv'dyou had promis'd him a Session or two longerwithout Molestation.
LOCKIT. Mr. Peachum- this is the first time my Honour was ever call'd inQuestion.
PEACHUM. Business is at an end- if once we act dishonourably.
LOCKIT. Who accuses me?
PEACHUM. You are warmBrother.
LOCKIT. He that attacks my Honourattacks my Livelihood- And this Usage-Sir- is not to be borne.
PEACHUM. Since you provoke me to speak- I must tell you toothat Mrs. Coaxercharges you with defrauding her of her Information-Moneyfor the apprehendingof curl-pated Hugh. IndeedindeedBrotherwe must punctuallypay our Spiesorwe shall have no Information.
LOCKIT. Is this Language to meSirrah- who have sav'd you from the GallowsSirrah! [Collaring each other.
PEACHUM. If I am hang'd it shall be for ridding the World of an arrantRascal.
LOCKIT. This Hand shall do the office of the Halter you deserveand throttleyou- you Dog!-
PEACHUM. BrotherBrother- We are both in the Wrong- for you know we have itin our Power to hang each other. You should not be so passionate.
LOCKIT. Nor you so provoking.
PEACHUM. 'Tis our mutual Interest; 'Tis for the Interest of the World weshould agree. If I said any thingBrotherto the Prejudice of your
CharacterI ask pardon.
LOCKIT. Brother Peachum- I can forgive as well as resent.- Give me your Hand.Suspicion does not become a Friend.
PEACHUM. I only meant to give you Occasion to justify yourself. But I mustnowstep homefor I expect the Gentleman about this Snuff-boxthat Filch nimm'dtwo nights ago in the Park. I appointed him at this Hour.
LOCKIT. Whence come youHussy?
LUCY. My Tears might answer that Question.
LOCKIT. You have then been whimpering and fondlinglike a Spanielover thatFellow that hath abus'd you.
LUCY. One can't help Love; one can't cure it. 'Tis not in my Power toobeyyouand hate him.
LOCKIT. Learn to bear your Husband's Death like a reasonable Woman. 'Tis notthe fashion now-a-daysso much as to affect Sorrow upon these Occasions. NoWoman would ever marryif she had not the Chance of Mortalityfor a Release. Actlike a Woman of SpiritHussyand thank your Father for what he is doing.
Air XXXI.- Of a noble Race was Shenkin.
Is then his fate decreedSir?
Such a Man can I think of quitting?
When first we metso moves me yet
See how my heart is splitting!
LOCKIT. Look yeLucy- There is no saving him- SoI thinkyou must ev'n dolike other Widows- buy yourself Weedsand be cheerful.
You'll think ere many Days ensue
This Sentence not severe;
I hang your HusbandChild'tis true
But with him hang your Care.
Twang dang dillo dee. Like a good Wifego moan over your dying Husband.ThatChildis your Duty- ConsiderGirlyou can't have the Man and the Moneytoo- so make yourself as easy as you canby getting all you can from him.
LUCY. Though the Ordinary was out of the way to-dayI hopemy Dearyouwill upon the first Opportunityquiet my Scruples- Oh Sir!- my Father's hardheart is not to be soften'dand I am in the utmost Despair.
MACHEATH. But if I could raise a small Sum- Would not twenty Guineasthinkyoumove him?- Of all the Arguments in the way of Businessthe Perquisite isthe most prevailing- Your Father's Perquisites for the Escape of Prisoners mustamount to a considerable Sum in the Year. Money well tim'dand properlyapply'dwill do anything.
Air XXXIII.- London Ladies.
If you at an Office solicit your Due
And would not have Matters neglected;
You must quicken the Clerk with the Perquisite too
To do what his Duty directed.
Or would you the Frowns of a Lady prevent
She too has this palpable Failing
The Perquisite softens her into Consent:
That Reason with all is prevailing.
LUCY. What Love or Money can do shall be done: for all my Comfort dependsupon your Safety.
POLLY. Where is my dear Husband?- Was a Rope ever intended for this Neck!- Olet me throw my Arms about itand throttle thee with Love!- Why dost thou turnaway from me?- 'Tis thy Polly- 'Tis thy Wife.
MACHEATH. Was there ever such an unfortunate Rascal as I am!
LUCY. Was there ever such another Villain!
POLLY. O Macheath! was it for this we parted? Taken! Imprison'd! Try'd!Hang'd- cruel Reflection! I'll stay with thee 'till Death- no Force shall tearthy dear Wife from thee now.- What means my Love?- Not one kind Word! not onekind Look! think what thy Polly suffers to see thee in this Condition.
Air XXXIV.- All in the Downs&c.
Thus when the Swallowseeking Prey
Within the Sash is closely pent
His Comfortwith bemoaning Lay
Without sits pining for th' Event.
Her chatt'ring Lovers all around her skim;
She heeds them not (poor Bird!) her Soul's with him.
MACHEATH. I must disown her. [Aside] The wench is distracted.
LUCY. Am I then bilk'd of my Virtue? Can I have no Reparation? Sure Men wereborn to lieand Women to believe them! O Villain! Villain!
POLLY. Am I not thy Wife?- Thy Neglect of methy Aversion to me too severelyproves it.- Look at me.- Tell meam I not thy Wife?
LUCY. Perfidious Wretch!
POLLY. Barbarous Husband!
LUCY. Hadst thou been hang'd five Months agoI had been happy.
POLLY. And I too- If you had been kind to me 'till Deathit would not havevexed me- And that's no very unreasonable Request(though from a Wife) to a Manwho hath not above seven or eight Days to live.
LUCY. Art thou then married to another? Hast thou two WivesMonster?
MACHEATH. If Women's Tongues can cease for an answer- hear me.
LUCY. I won't.- Flesh and Blood can't bear my Usage.
POLLY. Shall I not claim my own? Justice bids me speak.
Air XXXV.- Have you heard of a frolicsome Ditty&c.
How happy could I be with either
Were t'other dear Charmer away!
But while you thus teaze me together
To neither a Word will I say;
But tol de rol&c.
POLLY. Suremy Dearthere ought to be some Preference shown to a Wife! Atleast she may claim the Appearance of it. He must be distracted with hisMisfortunesor he could not use me thus.
LUCY. O VillainVillain! Thou hast deceiv'd me- I could even inform againstthee with Pleasure. Not a Prude wishes more heartily to have Facts against herintimate Acquaintance than I now wish to have Facts against thee. I would haveher Satisfactionand they should all out.
Air XXXVI.- Irish Trot.
POLLY. I am bubbled.
LUCY. I'm bubbled.
POLLY. O how I am troubled!
LUCY. Bambouzledand bit!
POLLY. My Distresses are doubled.
LUCY. When you come to the Treeshould the Hangman refuse
These Fingerswith Pleasurecould fasten the Noose.
POLLY. I'm bubbled&c.
MACHEATH. Be pacifiedmy dear Lucy- This is all a Fetch of Polly's to makeme desperate with you in case I get off. If I am to be hang'dshe would fainhave the Credit of being thought my Widow- ReallyPollythis is no time for aDispute of this sort; for whenever you are talking of MarriageI am thinking ofHanging.
POLLY. And hast thou the Heart to persist in disowning me?
MACHEATH. And hast thou the Heart to persist in persuading me that I ammarried? WhyPollydost thou seek to aggravate my Misfortunes?
LUCY. ReallyMiss Peachumyou but expose yourself. Besides'tis barbarousin you to worry a Gentleman in his Circumstances.
Cease your Funning;
Force or Cunning
Never shall my Heart trepan.
All these Sallies
Are but Malice
To seduce my constant Man.
'Tis most certain
By their flirting
Women oft have Envy shown
Pleas'd to ruin
Never happy in their own! DecencyMadammethinks might teach you to behaveyourself with some Reserve with the Husbandwhile his Wife is present.
MACHEATH. But seriouslyPollythis is carrying the Joke a little too far.
LUCY. If you are determin'dMadamto raise a Disturbance in the PrisonIshall be oblig'd to send for the Turnkey to shew you the Door. I am sorryMadamyou force me to be so ill-bred.
POLLY. Give me leave to tell youMadam: These forward Airs don't become youin the leastMadam. And my DutyMadamobliges me to stay with my HusbandMadam.
Air XXXVIII.- Good-morrowGossip Joan.
LUCY. Why how nowMadam Flirt?
If you thus must chatter;
And are for flinging Dirt
Let's see who best can spatter;
POLLY. Why how nowsaucy Jade;
Sure the Wench is tipsy!
How can you see me made [To him.
The scoff of such a Gipsy?
Saucy Jade! [To her.
PEACHUM. Where's my Wench? AhHussy! Hussy!- Come you homeyou Slut; andwhen your Fellow is hang'dhang yourselfto make your Family some Amends.
POLLY. Deardear Fatherdo not tear me from him- I must speak; I have moreto say to him- Oh! twist thy Fetters about methat he may not haul me fromthee!
PEACHUM. Sure all Women are alike! If ever they commit the Follytheyaresure to commit another by exposing themselves- Away- Not a Word more- You aremy Prisoner nowHussy.
Air XXXIX.- Irish Howl.
No Power on Earth can e'er divide
The Knot that sacred Love hath ty'd.
When Parents draw against our Mind
The True-Love's Knot they faster bind
Ohoh rayoh Amborah- ohoh&c.
[Holding MacheathPeachum pulling her.
MACHEATH. I am not naturally CompassionateWife; so I could not use theWench as she deserv'd; which made you at first suspect there was something inwhat she said.
LUCY. Indeedmy DearI was strangely puzzled.
MACHEATH. If that had been the Caseher Father would never have brought meinto this Circumstance- NoLucy- I had rather die than be false to thee.
LUCY. How happy I amif you say this from your heart! For I love thee so
that I could sooner bear to see thee hang'd than in the Arms of another.
MACHEATH. But could'st thou bear to see me hang'd?
LUCY. O MacheathI can never live to see that Day.
MACHEATH. You seeLucy; in the account of Love you are in my debtand youmust now be convinc'dthat I rather choose to die than be another's.- Make meif possiblelove thee moreand let me owe my Life to thee- If you refuse toassist mePeachum and your Father will immediately put me beyond all means ofEscape.
LUCY. My FatherI knowhath been drinking hard with the Prisoners; andIfancy he is now taking his Nap in his own Room- If I can procure the Keysshall I go off with theemy Dear?
MACHEATH. If we are together'twill be impossible to lie conceal'd. As soonas the Search begins to be a little coolI will send to thee- 'Till then myHeart is thy Prisoner.
LUCY. Come thenmy dear Husband- owe thy life to me- and though you love menot- be grateful- But that Polly runs in my Head strangely.
MACHEATH. A moment of Time may make us unhappy for ever.
Air XL.- The Lass of Patie's Mill&c.
I like the Fox shall grieve
Whose Mate hath left her Side
Whom Hounds from Morn to Eve
Chase o'er the Country wide.
Where can my Lover hide?
Where cheat the weary Pack?
If love be not his Guide
He never will come back!
LOCKIT. To be sureWenchyou must have been aiding and abetting him to helphim to this Escape.
LUCY. Sirhere hath been Peachum and his Daughter Pollyand to be sure theyknow the Ways of Newgate as well as if they had been born and bred in the Placeall their Lives. Why must all your Suspicion light upon me?
LOCKIT. LucyLucyI will have none of these shuffling Answers.
LUCY. Well then- If I know anything of him I wish I may be burnt!
LOCKIT. Keep your TemperLucyor I shall pronounce you guilty.
LUCY. Keep yoursSir- I do wish I may be burnt. I do- And what can I saymore to convince you?
LOCKIT. Did he tip handsomely?- How much did he come down with? ComeHussydon't cheat your Father; and I shall not be angry with you- Perhapsyou havemade a better Bargain with him than I could have done- How muchmy good Girl?
LUCY. You knowSirI am fond of himand would have given him money to havekept him with me.
LOCKIT. Ah Lucy! thy Education might have put thee more upon thy Guard; for aGirl in the Bar of an ale-house is always besieg'd.
LUCY. Dear Sirmention not my Education- for 'twas to that I owe my Ruin.
Air XLI.- If Love's a sweet Passion&c.
When young at the Bar you first taught me to score
And bid me be free of my Lips and no more;
I was kissed by the Parsonthe Squireand the Sot
When the guest was departed the Kiss was forgot.
But his Kiss was so sweetand so closely he prest
That I languish'd and pin'd till I granted the rest. If you can forgive meSirI will make a fair Confessionfor to be sure hehath been a most barbarousVillain to me.
LOCKIT. And so you have let him escapeHussy- Have you?
LUCY. When a Woman loves; A kind Looka tender Word can persuade her toanything- and I could ask no other Bribe.
LOCKIT. Thou wilt always be a vulgar SlutLucy.- If you would not be look'dupon as a Foolyou should never do anything but upon the foot of Interest.Those that act otherwise are their own Bubbles.
LUCY. But LoveSiris a Misfortune that may happen to the most discreetWomanand in Love we are all Fools alike- Notwithstanding all that he sworeIam now fully convinc'd that Polly Peachum is actually his Wife.- Did I let himescape (Fool that I was!) to go to her?- Polly will wheedle herself into hisMoneyand then Peachum will hang himand cheat us both.
LOCKIT. And so I am to be ruin'dbecauseforsoothyou must be in Love! - Avery pretty Excuse!
LUCY. I could murder that impudent happy Strumpet:- I gave him his Lifeandthat Creature enjoys the Sweets of it.- Ungrateful Macheath!
Air XLII.- South-Sea Ballad.
My Love is all Madness and Folly
Alone I lie
What a happy creature is Polly!
Was e'er such a Wretch as I!
With rage I redden like Scarlet
That my dear inconstant Varlet
Stark blind to my Charms
Is lost in the Arms
Of that Jiltthat inveigling Harlot!
Stark blind to my Charms
Is lost in the Arms
Of that Jiltthat inveigling Harlot!
Thisthis my Resentment alarms.
LOCKIT. And soafter all this MischiefI must stay here to be entertain'dwith your CatterwaulingMistress Puss!- Out of my Sightwanton Strumpet! youshall fast and mortify yourself into Reasonwith now and then a little handsomeDiscipline to bring you to your Senses.- Go.
Peachum then intends to outwit me in this Affair; but I'll be even with him.-The Dog is leaky in his Liquorso I'll ply him that wayget the Secret fromhimand turn this Affair to my own Advantage.- LionsWolves and Vultures don'tlive together in HerdsDrovesor Flocks.- Of all Animals of PreyMan is theonly sociable one. Every one of us preys upon the otherand yet we herdtogether.- Peachum is my Companionmy
Friend.- According to the Custom of the Worldindeed he may quote thousandsof Precedents for Cheating me- And shall I not make use of the Privilege ofFriendship to make him a Return.
Air XLIII.- Packington's Pound.
Thus Gamesters united in Friendship are found
Though they know that their Industry all is a Cheat;
They flock to their Prey at the Dice-Box's Sound
And join to promote one another's Deceit.
But if by mishap
They fail of a Chap
To keep in their handsthey each other entrap.
Like Pikeslank with Hungerwho miss of their Ends
They bite their Companions and prey on their Friends. NowPeachumyou andIlike honest Tradesmen are to have a fair Trial which of us can overreach theother.- Lucy.- [Enter Lucy.] Are there any of Peachum's People now in the House?
LUCY. FilchSiris drinking a Quartern of Strong-Waters in the next Roomwith Black Moll.
LOCKIT. Bid him come to me.
LOCKIT. WhyBoythou lookest as if thou wert half starv'dlike a shottenHerring.
FILCH. One had need have the Constitution of a Horse to go through with theBusiness.- Since the favourite Child-getter was disabled by a MishapI havepick'd up a little Money by helping the Ladies to a Pregnancy against theirbeing call'd down to Sentence.- But if a Man cannot get an honest Livelihood anyeasier wayI am sure'tis what I can't undertake for another Session.
LOCKIT. Trulyif that great Man should tip off'twould be an irreparableLoss. The vigor and Prowess of a Knight-Errant never sav'd half the Ladies inDistress that he hath done.- ButBoycanst thou tell me where thy Master is tobe found?
FILCH. At his LockSirat the Crooked Billet.
LOCKIT. Very well.- I have nothing more with you. [Exit Filch.] I'll go tohimtherefor I have many important Affairs to settle with him; and in the way ofthese TransactionsI'll artfully get into his Secret- So that Macheath shallnot remain a Day longer out of my Clutches.
MACHEATH in a fine tarnish'd CoatBEN BUDGEMATT OF THE MINT.
MACHEATH. I am sorryGentlementhe Road was so barren of Money. When myFriends are in DifficultiesI am always glad that my Fortune can be serviceableto them. [Gives them Money.] You seeGentlemenI am not a mereCourt Friendwho professes every thing and will do nothing.
Air XLIV.- Lillibullero.
The Modes of the Court so common are grown
That a true Friend can hardly be met;
Friendship for Interest is but a Loan
Which they let out for what they can get
'Tis trueyou find
Some Friends so kind
Who will give you good Counsel themselves to defend.
In sorrowful Ditty
They promisethey pity
But shift you for Moneyfrom Friend to Friend. But weGentlemenstill haveHonour enough to break through the Corruptionsof the World.- And while I canserve youyou may command me.
BEN. It grieves my Heart that so generous a Man should be involv'd insuchDifficultiesas oblige him to live with such ill Companyand herd withGamesters.
MATT. See the Partiality of Mankind!- One man may steal a Horsebetter thananother may look over a Hedge.- Of all Mechanicsof all servilehandi-crafts-mena Gamester is the vilest. But yetas many of the Quality areof the Professionhe is admitted among the politest Company. I wonder we arenot more respected.
MACHEATH. There will be deep Play to-night at Mary-boneand consequentlyMoney may be pick'd up upon the Road. Meet me thereand I'll give you the Hintwho is worth Setting.
MATT. The Fellow with a brown Coat with a narrow Gold BindingI am toldisnever without Money.
MACHEATH. What do you meanMatt?- Sure you will not think of meddling withhim!- He's a good honest kind of a Fellowand one of us.
BEN. To be sureSirwe will put ourselves under your Direction.
MACHEATH. Have an Eye upon the Money-Lenders.- A Rouleauor twowould provea pretty sort of an Expedition. I hate Extortion.
MATT. Those Rouleaus are very pretty things.- I hate your Bank Bills.- Thereis such a Hazard in putting them off.
MACHEATH. There is a certain Man of Distinctionwho in his Time hath nick'dme out of a great deal of the Ready. He is in my CashBen;- I'll point him outto you this Eveningand you shall draw upon him for the Debt.- The Company aremet; I hear the Dice-Box in the other Room. SoGentlemenyour Servant. You'llmeet me at Mary-bone.
A Table with WineBrandyPipesand Tobacco.
LOCKIT. The Coronation AccountBrother Peachumis of so intricate a naturethat I believe it will never be settled.
PEACHUM. It consists indeed of a great Variety of Articles.- It was worth toour Peoplein Fees of different kindsabove ten Instalments.- This is part ofthe AccountBrotherthat lies open before us.
LOCKIT. A Lady's Tail of rich Brocade- thatI seeis dispos'd of.
PEACHUM. To Mrs. Diana Trapesthe Tally-Womanand she will make a good Handon't in Shoes and Slippersto trick out young Ladiesupon their goingintoKeeping-
LOCKIT. But I don't see any Article of the Jewels.
PEACHUM. Those are so well known that they must be sent abroad- You'll findthem enter'd upon the Article of Exportation.- As for the Snuff- BoxesWatchesSwords&c.- I thought it best to enter them under their several Heads.
LOCKIT. Seven and twenty Women's Pockets complete; with the severalthingstherein contain'd; all Seal'dNumber'dand Enter'd.
PEACHUM. ButBrotherit is impossible for us now to enter upon thisAffair.- We should have the whole Day before us.- Besidesthe Account of thelast Half Year's PLate is in a Book by itselfwhich lies at the other Office.
LOCKIT. Bring us then more Liquor.- To-day shall be for Pleasure- To- morrowfor Business- AhBrotherthose Daughters of ours are two slippery Hussies-Keep a watchful eye upon Pollyand Macheath in a day or two shall be our ownagain.
Air XLV.- Down in the North Country&c.
What Gudgeons are we Men!
Ev'ry Woman's easy Prey.
Though we have felt the Hookagen
We bite and they betray.
The Bird that hath been trapt
When he hears his calling Mate
To her he fliesagain he's clapt
Within the wiry Grate.
PEACHUM. But what signifies catching the Birdif your Daughter Lucy will setopen the Door of the Cage?
LOCKIT. If Men were answerable for the Follies and Frailties of the Wives andDaughtersno Friends could keep a good Correspondence together for two Days.-This is unkind of youBrother; for among good Friendswhat they say or do goesfor nothing.
Enter a Servant.
SERVANT. Sirhere's Mrs. Diana Trapes wants to speak with you.
PEACHUM. Shall we admit herBrother Lockit?
LOCKIT. By all means- She's a good Customerand a fine-spoken Woman- And aWoman who drinks and talks so freelywill enliven the Conversation.
PEACHUM. Desire her to walk in. [Exit Servant.
PEACHUM. Dear Mrs. Dyeyour Servant- One may know by your Kissthat yourGinn is excellent.
TRAPES. I was always very curious in my Liquors.
LOCKIT. There is no perfum'd Breath like it.- I have been long acquaintedwith the Flavour of those Lips- Han't IMrs. Dye.
TRAPES. Fill it up- I take as large Draughts of Liquoras I did of Love.- Ihate a Flincher in either.
Air XLVI.- A Shepherd kept Sheep&c.
In the Days of my Youth I could bill like a Dovefala la&c.
Like a Sparrow at all times was ready for Lovefala la&c.
The Life of all Mortals in Kissing should pass
Lip to Lip while we're young- then the Lip to the Glassfala la&c.But nowMr. Peachumto our Business.- If you have Blacks of any kindbroughtin of late; Mantoes- Velvet Scarfs- Petticoats- Let it be what it will- I amyour Chap- for all my Ladies are very fond of Mourning.
PEACHUM. Whylook yeMrs. Dye- you deal so hard with usthat we can affordto give the Gentlemenwho venture their Lives for the Goodslittle or nothing.
TRAPES. The hard Times oblige me to go very near in my Dealing.- To be sureof late Years I have been a great Sufferer by the Parliament.- Three thousandPounds would hardly make me amends.- The Act for destroying the Mintwas asevere Cut upon our Business- 'Till thenif a Customer stept out of the way- weknew where to have her- No doubt you know Mrs. Coaxer- there's a Wench now('till to-day) with a good Suit of Clothes of mine upon her Backand I couldnever set eyes upon her for three Months together.- Since the Act too againstImprisonment for small Sumsmy Loss there too hath been very considerableandit must be sowhen a Lady can borrow a handsome Petticoator a clean GownandI not have the least Hank upon her! Ando' my Consciencenow-a-days mostLadies take a Delight in cheatingwhen they can do it with Safety.
PEACHUM. Madamyou have had a handsome Gold Watch of us t'other Day forseven Guineas.- Considering we must have our Profit- To a Gentleman upon theRoada Gold Watch will be scarce worth the taking.
TRAPES. ConsiderMr. Peachumthat Watch was remarkableand not of verysafe Sale.- If you have any black Velvet Scarfs- they are a handsomeWinter-wearand take with most Gentlemen who deal with my Customers.- 'Tis Ithat put the Ladies upon a good Foot. 'Tis not Youth or Beauty that fixes theirPrice. The Gentlemen always pay according to their Dressfrom half a Crown totwo Guineas; and yet those Hussies make nothing of their bilking of me.- Thentooallowing for Accidents.- I have eleven fine Customers now down under theSurgeon's Hands- What with Fees and other Expensesthere are great Goings-outand no Comings inand not a Farthing to pay for at least a Month's Clothing.-We run great Risques- great Risques indeed.
PEACHUM. As I rememberyou said something just now of Mrs. Coaxer.
TRAPES. YesSir.- To be sure I stript her of a Suit of my own Clothes abouttwo Hours ago; and have left her as she should bein her Shiftwith a Lover ofhers at my House. She call'd him up Stairsas he was going to MAry-bone in aHackney Coach.- And I hopefor her own sake and mineshe will persuade theCaptain to redeem herfor the Captain is very generous to the Ladies.
LOCKIT. What Captain?
TRAPES. He thought I did not know him- an intimate Acquaintance of yoursMr.Peachum- Only Captain Macheath- as fine as a Lord.
PEACHUM. To-morrowMrs. Dyeyou shall set your own Price upon any oftheGoods you like- We have at least half a Dozen Velvet Scarfsand all at yourService. Will you give me leave to make you a Present of the Suit ofNight-clothes for your own wearing?- But are you sure it is Captain MAcheath.
TRAPES. Though he thinks I have forgotten him; no body knows him better.Ihave taken a great deal of the Captain's Money in my Time at second-handforhe always lov'd to have his ladies well drest.
PEACHUM. Mr. Lockit and I have a little Business with the Captain;- Youunderstand me- and we will satisfy you for Mrs. Coaxer's Debt.
LOCKIT. Depend upon it- We will deal like Men of Honour.
TRAPES. I don't enquire after your Affairs- so whatever happensI wash
my hands on't- It hath always been my Maximthat one Friend should assistanother- But if you please- I'll take one of the Scarfs home with me. 'Tisalways good to have something in Hand.
LUCY. JealousyRageLove and Fear are at once tearing me to piecesHow amI weather-beaten and shatter'd with Distresses!
Air XLVII.- One Eveninghaving lost my Way&c.
I'm like a Skiff on the Ocean tost
Now highnow lowwith each Billow born
With her Rudder brokeand her Anchor lost
Deserted and all forlorn.
While thus I lie rolling and tossing all Night
That Polly lies sporting on seas of Delight!
Shall appease my restless Sprite. I have the Rats-bane ready.- I run noRisque; for I can lay her Death upon the Ginnand so many die of that naturallythat I shall never be call'd in question.- But sayI were to be hang'd.- Inever could be hang'd for any thing that would give me greater Comfortthan thepoisoning that Slut.
FILCH. Madamhere's Miss Polly come to wait upon you.
LUCY. Show her in.
LUCY. Dear Madamyour Servant.- I hope you will pardon my Passionwhen Iwas so happy to see you last.- I was so over-run with the Spleenthat I wasperfectly out of myself. And really when one hath the Spleeneverything is tobe excus'd by a Friend.
Air XLVIII.- Now RogerI'll tell thee because thou'rt my Son.
When a Wife's in her Pout
(As she's sometimesno doubt;)
The good Husband as meek as a Lamb
Her Vapours to still
First grants her her Will
And the quieting Draught is a Dram.
And the quieting Draught is a Dram. - I wish all our Quarrels might have socomfortable a Reconciliation.
POLLY. I have no Excuse for my own BehaviourMadambut my Misfortunes. -And reallyMadamI suffer too upon your Account.
LUCY. ButMiss Polly- in the way of Friendshipwill you give me leave topropose a Glass of cordial to you?
POLLY. Strong-Waters are apt to give me the Head-Ache- I hopeMadamyouwill excuse me.
LUCY. Not the greatest Lady in the Land could have better in her Closetforher own private drinking.- You seem mighty low in Spiritsmy Dear.
POLLY. I am sorryMadammy Health will not allow me to accept of yourOffer- I should not have left you in the rude manner I did when we met lastMadamhad not my Papa haul'd me away so unexpectedly- I was indeed somewhatprovok'dand perhaps might use some Expressions that were disrespectful.- ButreallyMadamthe Captain treated me with so much Contempt and Crueltythat Ideserv'd your Pityrather than your Resentment.
LUCY. But since his Escapeno doubt all Matters are made up again.- AhPolly! Polly! 'tis I am the unhappy Wife; and he loves you as if you were onlyhis Mistress.
POLLY. SureMadamyou cannot think me so happy as to be the object of yourJealousy.- A Man is always afraid of a Woman who loves him too well- - so that Imust expect to be neglected and avoided.
LUCY. Then our Casesmy dear Pollyare exactly alike. Both of us indeedhave been too fond.
Air XLIX.- O Bessy Bell.
POLLY. A Curse attend that Woman's Love
Who always would be pleasing.
LUCY. The Pertness of the billing Dove
Like Ticklingis but teasing.
POLLY. What then in Love can Woman do;
LUCY. If we grow fond they shun us.
POLLY. And when we fly themthey pursue:
LUCY. But leave us when they've won us.
LUCY. Love is so very whimsical in both Sexesthat it is impossible tobelasting.- But my Heart is particularand contradicts my own Observation.
POLLY. But reallyMistress Lucyby his last BehaviourI think I ought toenvy you.- When I was forc'd from himhe did not shew the least Tenderness.-But perhapshe hath a Heart not capable of it.
Air L.- Would Fate to me Belinda give.
Among the MenCoquets we find
Who court by turns all Woman-kind;
And we grant all the Hearts desir'd
When they are flatter'dand admir'd. The Coquets of both Sexes areSelf-loversand that is a Love no other whatever can dispossess. I hearmydear Lucyour Husband is one of those.
LUCY. Away with these melancholy Reflections- indeedmy dear Pollywe areboth of us a Cup too low- Let me prevail upon you to accept of my Offer.
Air LI.- Comesweet Lass.
Let's banish Sorrow
Let's take a chirping Glass.
Wine can clear
The Vapours of Despair
And make us light as Air;
Then drinkand banish Care. I can't bearChildto see you in such lowSpirits.- And I must persuade you to what I know will do you good.- I shall nowsoon be even with the hypocritical Strumpet. [Aside.
POLLY. All this Wheedling of Lucy cannot be for nothing.- At this time too!when I know she hates me!- The Dissembling of a Woman is always the Forerunnerof Mischief.- By pouring Strong-Waters down my Throatshe thinks to pump someSecrets out of me- I'll be upon my Guardand won't taste a Drop of her LiquorI'm resolv'd.
LUCYwith Strong-Waters. POLLY.
LUCY. ComeMiss Polly.
POLLY. IndeedChildyou have given yourself trouble to no purpose.- Youmustmy Dearexcuse me.
LUCY. ReallyMiss Pollyyou are as squeamishly affected about taking a Cupof Strong-Waters as a Lady before Company. I vowPollyI shall takeitmonstrously ill if you refuse me.- Brandy and Men (though Women love them everso well) are always taken by us with some Reluctance- unless 'tis in private.
POLLY. I protestMadamit goes against me.- What do I see! Macheath againin Custody!- Now every Glimm'ring of Happiness is lost.
[Drops the Glass of Liquor on the Ground.
LUCY. SInce things are thus'm glad the Wench hath escap'd; for by thisEvent'tis plainshe was not happy enough to deserve to be poison'd. [Aside.
LOCKIT. Set your Heart to restCaptain.- You have neither the Chance of Loveor Money for another Escape- for you are order'd to be call'd down upon yourTrial immediately.
PEACHUM. AwayHussies!- This is not a Time for a Man to be hamper'd with hisWives.- You seethe Gentleman is in Chains already.
LUCY. O HusbandHusbandmy Heart long'd to see thee; but to see thee thusdistracts me.
POLLY. Will not my dear Husband look upon his Polly? Why hadst thou not flownto me for Protection? with me thou hadst been safe.
Air LII.- The last time I went o'er the Moor.
POLLY. Hitherdear Husbandturn your Eyes.
LUCY. Bestow one Glance to cheer me.
POLLY. Think with that Lookthy Polly dies.
LUCY. O shun me not- but hear me.
POLLY. 'Tis Polly sues.
LUCY. 'Tis Lucy speaks.
POLLY. Is thus true Love requited?
LUCY. My Heart is bursting.
POLLY. Mine too breaks.
LUCY. Must I
POLLY. Must I be slighted?
MACHEATH. What would you have me sayLadies?- You see this Affair will soonbe at an endwithout my disobliging either of you.
PEACHUM. But the settling this PointCaptainmight prevent a Law-Suitbetween your two Widows.
Air LIII. Tom Tinker's my true Love.
Which way shall I turn me- How can I decide?
Wivesthe Day of our Deathare as fond as a Bride.
One Wife is too much for most Husbands to hear
But two at a time there's no mortal can bear.
This wayand that wayand which way I will
What would comfort the onet'other Wife would take ill.
POLLY. But if his own Misfortunes have made him insensible to mine- A Fathersure will be more compassionate- Deardear Sirsink the material Evidenceandbring him off at his Trial- Pollyupon her Knees begs it of you.
Air LIV.- I am a poor Shepherd undone.
When my Hero in Court appears
And stands arraign'd for his Life;
Then think of poor Polly's Tears;
For Ah! poor Polly's his Wife.
Like the Sailor he holds up his Hand
Distrest on the dashing Wave.
To die a dry Death at Land
Is as bad as a wat'ry Grave.
And alaspoor Polly!
Before I was in Love
Oh! every Month was May.
LUCY. If Peachum's Heart is harden'd; sure youSirwill have moreCompassion on a Daughter.- I know the Evidence is in your Power.- How then canyou be a Tyrant to me? [Kneeling.
Air LV.- Ianthe the lovely&c.
When he holds up his Hand arraign'd for his Life
O think of your Daughterand think I'm his Wife!
What are Cannons or Bombsor clashing of Swords?
For Death is more certain by Witnesses Words.
Then nail up their Lips; that dread Thunder allay;
And each Month of my Life will hereafter be May.
LOCKIT. Macheath's Time is comeLucy- We know our own Affairstherefore letus have no more Whimpering or Whining.
Air LVI.- A Cobler there was&c.
Ourselveslike the Greatto secure a Retreat
When Matters Require itmust give up our Gang:
And good reason why
Orinstead of the Fry
Ev'n Peachum and I.
Like poor petty Rascalsmight hanghang;
Like poor petty Rascalsmight hang.
PEACHUM. Set your Heart at restPolly.- Your Husband is to die to-day. -Therefore if you are not already provided'tis high time to look about foranother. There's comfort for youyou Slut.
LOCKIT. We are readySirto conduct you to the Old Baily.
Air LVII.- Bonny Dundee.
The charge is prepar'd; the Lawyers are met
The Judges all rang'd (a terrible Show!)
I goundismay'd.- For Death is a Debt
A Debt on Demand.- So take what I owe.
Then farewellmy Love- Dear Charmersadieu.
Contented I die- 'Tis the better for you.
Here ends all Disputes for the rest of our Lives
For this way at once I please all my Wives. NowGentlemenI am ready toattend you.
POLLY. Follow themFilchto the Court. And when the Trial is overbringmea particular Account of his Behaviourand of everything that happen'd- You'llfind me here with Miss Lucy. [Exit Filch.] But why is all this Musick?
LUCY. The prisonerswhose Trials are put off 'till next Sessionarediverting themselves.
POLLY. Sure there is nothing so charming as Musick! I'm fond of it toDistraction!- But alas!- nowall Mirth seems an Insult upon my Affliction.- Letus retiremy dear Lucyand indulge our Sorrows.- The noisy Crewyou seearecoming upon us. [Exeunt.
A Dance of Prisoners in Chains&c.
The Condemn'd Hold
MACHEATHin a melancholy Posture.
Air LVIII.- Happy Groves.
O cruelcruelcruel Case!
Must I suffer this Disgrace?
Air LIX.- Of all the Girls that are so smart.
Of all the Friends in time of Grief
When threatening Death looks grimmer
Not one so sure can bring Relief
As this best Frienda Brimmer. [Drinks.
Air LX.- Britons strike home.
Since I must swing- I scornI scornto wince or whine. [Rises.
Air LXI.- Chevy Chase.
But now again my Spirits sink;
I'll raise them high with Wine.
[Drinks a glass of Wine.
Air LXII.- To old Sir Simon the King.
But Valour the stronger grows
The stronger Liquor we're drinking;
And how can we feel our Woes
When we've lost the Trouble of Thinking? [Drinks.
Air LXIII.- Joy to Great Caesar.
If thus- A Man can die
Much bolder with Brandy.
[Pours out a Bumper of Brandy.
Air LXIV.- There was an old Woman.
So I drink off this Bumper.- And now I can stand the Test.
And my Comrades shall seethat I die as brave as the Best. [Drinks.
Air LXV.- Did you ever hear of a gallant Sailor.
But can I leave my pretty Hussies
Without one Tearor tender Sigh?
Air LXVI.- Why are mine Eyes still flowing.
Their Eyestheir Lipstheir Busses
Recall my Love- Ah must I die!
Air LXVII.- Green Sleeves.
Since Laws were made for ev'ry Degree
To curb Vice in othersas well as me
I wonder we han't better Company
Upon Tyburn Tree!
But Gold from Law can take out the Sting;
And if rich Men like us were to swing
'Twould thin the Landsuch Numbers to string
Upon Tyburn Tree!
JAILOR. Some Friends of yoursCaptaindesire to be admitted- I leave youtogether.
MACHEATHBEN BUDGEMATT OF THE MINT.
MACHEATH. For my having broke Prisonyou seeGentlemenI am order'dimmediate Execution.- The Sheriff's OfficersI believeare now at th Door.-That Jemmy Twitcher should peach meI own surpris'd me!- 'Tis a plain Proofthat the World is all alikeand that even our Gang can no more trust oneanother than other People. ThereforeI beg youGentlemenlook well toyourselvesfor in all probability you may live some Months longer.
MATT. We are heartily sorryCaptainfor your Misfortune.- But 'tis what wemust all come to.
MACHHEATH. Peachum and Lockityou knoware infamous Scoundrels. Their Livesare as much in your Poweras yours are in theirs.- Remember your dying Friend!-'Tis my last Request.- Bring those Villains to the Gallows before youand I amsatisfied.
MATT. We'll do it.
JAILOR. Miss Polly and Miss Lucy intreat a Word with you.
MACHEATH. My dear Lucy- My dear Polly. Whatsoever hath pass'd between us isnow at an end- if you are fond of marrying againthe best Advice I can give youis to Ship yourselves to the West-Indieswhere you'll have a fair Chance ofgetting a Husband a-pieceor by good Lucktwo or threeas you like best.
POLLY. How can I support this Sight!
LUCY. There is nothing moves one so much as a great Man in Distress.
Air LXVII.- All you that must take a Leap&c.
LUCY. Would I might be hang'd!
POLLY. And I would so too!
LUCY. To be hang'd with you.
POLLY. My dearwith you.
MACHEATH. O leave me to Thought! I fear! I doubt!
I tremble! I droop!- Seemy Courage is out!
[Turns up the empty Bottle.
POLLY. No Token of Love?
MACHEATH. Seemy Courage is out.
[Turns up the empty Pot.
LUCY. No Token of Love?
MACHEATH. But hark! I hear the Toll of the Bell.
CHORUS. Tol de rol lol&c.
JAILOR. Four Women moreCaptainwith a Child apiece! Seehere they come.
[Enter Women and Children.
MACHEATH. What- four Wives more!- This is too much- Here- tell the Sheriff'sOfficers I am ready. [Exit Macheath guarded.
To themEnter PLAYER and BEGGAR.
PLAYER. Buthonest FriendI hope you don't intend that Macheath shallbereally executed.
BEGGAR. Most certainlySir.- To make the Piece perfectI was for doingstrict poetical Justice- Macheath is to be hang'd; and for the other Personagesof the Dramathe Audience must have suppos'd they were all hang'd ortransported.
PLAYER. Why then Friendthis is a downright deep Tragedy. The Catastropheismanifestly wrongfor an Opera must end happily.
BEGGAR. Your ObjectionSiris very justand is easily remov'd. For youmust allowthat in this kind of Drama'tis no matter how absurdly things arebrought about- So- you Rabble there- run and cryA Reprieve! - let the Prisonerbe brought back to his Wives in Triumph.
PLAYER. All this we must doto comply with the Taste of the Town.
BEGGAR. Through the whole Piece you may observe such a Similitude of Mannersin high and low Lifethat it is difficult to determine whether (in thefashionable Vices) the fine Gentlemen imitate the Gentlemen of the Roador theGentlemen of the Roadthe fine Gentlemen.- Had the Play remain'das I at firstintendedit would have carried a most excellent Moral. 'Twould have shown thatthe lower sort of People have their Vices in a degree as well as the Rich: Andthat they are punish'd for them.
To themMACHEATH with RABBLE&c.
MACHEATH. Soit seemsI am not left to my Choicebut must have a Wife atlast.- Look yemy Dearswe will have no Controversy now. Let us give this Dayto Mirthand I an sure she who thinks herself my Wife will testifyher Joy by aDance.
ALL. Comea Dance- a Dance.
MACHEATH. LadiesI hope you will give me leave to present a Partner to eachof you. And (if I may without Offence) for this timeI take Polly for mine.-And for Lifeyou Slut- for we were really marry'd.- As for the rest.- But atpresent keep your own Secret.
Air LXIX.- Lumps of Pudding&c.
Thus I stand like the Turkwith his Doxies around;
From all Sides their Glances his Passion confound;
For BlackBrownand Fairhis Inconstancy burns
And different Beauties subdue him by turns:
Each calls forth her Charmsto provoke his Desires;
Though willing to allwith but one he retires.
But think of this Maximand put off your Sorrow
The Wretch of To-daymay be happy To-morrow.
CHORUS: But think of this Maxim&c.