The Beggar's Opera
Transcribed from the 1922 William Heinemann (1765 text) edition by David Price, email [email protected]
[Picture: Book cover]
THE BEGGAR’S OPERA
IF Poverty be a Title to Poetry, I am sure no-body can dispute mine. I own myself 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 Catches, and am welcome to a Dinner there whenever I please, which is more than most Poets can say.
_Player_. As we live by the Muses, it is but Gratitude in us to encourage Poetical Merit wherever we find it. The Muses, contrary to all other Ladies, pay no Distinction to Dress, and never partially mistake the Pertness of Embroidery for Wit, nor the Modesty of Want for Dulness. Be the Author who he will, we push his Play as far as it will go. So (though you are in Want) I wish you success heartily.
_Beggar_. This piece I own was originally writ for the celebrating the Marriage of _James Chaunter_ and _Moll Lay_, two most excellent Ballad-Singers. I have introduced the Similes that are in all your celebrated Operas: The _Swallow_, the _Moth_, the _Bee_, the _Ship_, the _Flower_, &c. Besides, I have a Prison-Scene, which the Ladies always reckon charmingly pathetic. As to the Parts, I have observed such a nice Impartiality to our two Ladies, that it is impossible for either of them to take Offence. I hope I may be forgiven, that I have not made my Opera throughout unnatural, like those in vogue; for I have no Recitative; excepting this, as I have consented to have neither Prologue nor Epilogue, it must be allowed an Opera in all its Forms. The Piece indeed hath been heretofore frequently represented by ourselves in our Great Room at _St. Giles’s_, so that I cannot too often acknowledge your Charity in bringing it now on the Stage.
_Player_. But I see it is time for us to withdraw; the Actors are preparing to begin. Play away the Overture.
ACT I. SCENE I.
SCENE, Peachum’s _House_.
Peachum _sitting at a Table with a large Book of Accounts 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 Statesman_, _because he’s so great_,
_Thinks his Trade as honest as mine_.
A Lawyer is an honest Employment, so is mine. Like me too he acts in a double Capacity, both against Rogues and for ’em; for ’tis but fitting that we should protect and encourage Cheats, since we live by them.
_Filch_. Sir, _Black Moll_ hath sent word her Trial comes on in the Afternoon, and she hopes you will order Matters so as to bring her off.
_Peachum_. As the Wench is very active and industrious, you may satisfy her that I’ll soften the Evidence.
_Filch_. _Tom Gagg_, Sir, is found guilty.
_Peachum_. A lazy Dog! When I took him the time before, I told him what he would come to if he did not mend his Hand. This is Death without Reprieve. I may venture to Book him [_writes_.] For _Tom Gagg_, forty Pounds. Let _Betty Sly_ know that I’ll save her from Transportation, for I can get more by her staying in _England_.
_Filch_. _Betty_ hath brought more Goods into our Lock to-year than any five of the Gang; and in truth, ’tis a pity to lose so good a Customer.
_Peachum_. If none of the Gang take her off, she may, in the common course of Business, live a Twelve-month longer. I love to let Women scape. A good Sportsman always lets the Hen Partridges fly, because the Breed of the Game depends upon them. Besides, here the Law allows us no Reward; there is nothing to be got by the Death of Women—except our Wives.
_Filch_. Without dispute, she is a fine Woman! ’Twas to her I was obliged for my Education, and (to say a bold Word) she hath trained up more young Fellows to the Business than the Gaming table.
_Peachum_. Truly, _Filch_, thy Observation is right. We and the Surgeons are more beholden to Women than all the Professions besides.
AIR II. The bonny gray-ey’d Morn, &c.
Filch. _’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 her_, _like Wolves by Night we roam for Prey_,
_And practise ev’ry Fraud to bribe her Charms_;
_For Suits of Love_, _like Law_, _are won by Pay_,
_And Beauty must be fee’d into our Arms_.
_Peachum_. But make haste to _Newgate_, Boy, and let my Friends know what I intend; for I love to make them easy one way or other.
_Filch_. When a Gentleman is long kept in suspence, Penitence may break his Spirit ever after. Besides, Certainty gives a Man a good Air upon his Trial, and makes him risk another without Fear or Scruple. But I’ll away, for ’tis a Pleasure to be the Messenger of Comfort to Friends in Affliction.
_Peachum_. But ’tis now high time to look about me for a decent Execution against next Sessions. I hate a lazy Rogue, by whom one can get nothing ’till he is hang’d. A Register of the Gang, [_Reading_.] Crook-finger’d _Jack_. A Year and a half in the Service; Let me see how much the Stock owes to his industry; one, two, three, four, five Gold Watches, and seven Silver ones. A mighty clean-handed Fellow! Sixteen Snuff-boxes, five of them of true Gold. Six Dozen of Handkerchiefs, four silver-hilted Swords, half a Dozen of Shirts, three Tye-Periwigs, and a Piece of Broad-Cloth. Considering these are only the Fruits of his leisure Hours, I don’t know a prettier Fellow, for no Man alive hath a more engaging Presence of Mind upon the Road. _Wat Dreary_, alias _Brown Will_, an irregular Dog, who hath an underhand way of disposing of his Goods. I’ll try him only for a Sessions or two longer upon his Good-behaviour. _Harry Paddington_, a poor petty-larceny Rascal, without the least Genius; that Fellow, though he were to live these six Months, will never come to the Gallows with any Credit. Slippery _Sam_; he goes off the next Sessions, for the Villain hath the Impudence to have Views of following his Trade as a Tailor, which he calls an honest Employment. _Mat of the Mint_; listed not above a Month ago, a promising sturdy Fellow, and diligent in his way; somewhat too bold and hasty, and may raise good Contributions on the Public, if he does not cut himself short by Murder. _Tom Tipple_, a guzzling soaking Sot, who is always too drunk to stand himself, or to make others stand. A Cart is absolutely necessary for him. _Robin of Bagshot_, alias _Gorgon_, alias _Bluff Bob_, alias _Carbuncle_, alias _Bob Booty_.
_Enter_ Mrs. Peachum.
_Mrs. Peachum_. What of _Bob Booty_, Husband? I hope nothing bad hath betided him. You know, my Dear, he’s a favourite Customer of mine. ’Twas he made me a present of this Ring.
_Peachum_. I have set his Name down in the Black List, that’s all, my Dear; he spends his Life among Women, and as soon as his Money is gone, one or other of the Ladies will hang him for the Reward, and there’s forty Pound lost to us for-ever.
_Mrs. Peachum_. You know, my Dear, I never meddle in matters of Death; I always leave those Affairs to you. Women indeed are bitter bad Judges in these cases, for they are so partial to the Brave that they think every Man handsome who is going 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’rous smugly_.
_Beneath the left Ear so fit but a Cord_,
(_A Rope so charming a Zone is_!)
_The Youth in his Cart hath the Air of a Lord_,
_And we cry_, _There dies an_ Adonis!
But really, Husband, you should not be too hard-hearted, for you never had a finer, braver set of Men than at present. We have not had a Murder among them all, these seven Months. And truly, my Dear, that is a great Blessing.
_Peachum_. What a dickens is the Woman always a whimpring about Murder for? No Gentleman is ever look’d upon the worse for killing a Man in his own Defence; and if Business cannot be carried on without it, what would you have a Gentleman do?
_Mrs. Peachum_. If I am in the wrong, my Dear, you must excuse me, for no body can help the Frailty of an over-scrupulous Conscience.
_Peachum_. Murder is as fashionable a Crime as a Man can be guilty of. How many fine Gentlemen have we in _Newgate_ every Year, purely upon that Article! If they have wherewithal to persuade the Jury to bring it in Manslaughter, what are they the worse for it? So, my Dear, have done upon this Subject. Was Captain _Macheath_ here this Morning, for the Bank-Notes he left with you last Week?
_Mrs. Peachum_. Yes, my Dear; and though the Bank hath stopt Payment, he was so chearful and so agreeable! Sure there is not a finer Gentleman upon the Road than the Captain! if he comes from _Bagshot_ at any reasonable Hour, he hath promis’d to make one this Evening with _Polly_ and me, and _Bob Booty_ at a Party of Quadrille. Pray, my Dear, is the Captain rich?
_Peachum_. The Captain keeps too good Company ever to grow rich. _Marybone_ and the Chocolate-houses are his Undoing. The Man that proposes to get Money by play should have the Education of a fine Gentleman, and be train’d up to it from his Youth.
_Mrs. Peachum_. Really, I am sorry upon _Polly’s_ Account the Captain hath not more Discretion. What Business hath he to keep Company with Lords and Gentlemen? he should leave them to prey upon one another.
_Peachum_. Upon _Polly’s_ Account! What, a Plague, does the Woman mean?—Upon _Polly’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 Women, I am sure _Polly_ thinks him a very pretty Man.
_Peachum_. And what then? You would not be so mad to have the Wench marry him! Gamesters and Highwaymen are generally very good to their Whores, but they are very Devils to their Wives.
_Mrs. Peachum_. But if _Polly_ should be in Love, how should we help her, or how can she help herself? Poor Girl, I am in the utmost Concern about her.
AIR IV. Why is your faithful Slave disdain’d? &c.
_If Love the Virgin’s Heart invade_,
_How_, _like a Moth_, _the simple Maid_
_Still plays about the Flame_!
_If soon she be not made a Wife_,
_Her Honour’s sing’d_, _and then for Life_,
_She’s_—_what I dare not name_.
_Peachum_. Look ye, Wife. A handsome Wench in our way of Business is as profitable as at the Bar of a _Temple_ Coffee-House, who looks upon it as her livelihood to grant every Liberty but one. You see I would indulge the Girl as far as prudently we can. In any thing, but Marriage! After that, my Dear, how shall we be safe? Are we not then in her Husband’s Power? For a Husband hath the absolute Power over all a Wife’s Secrets but her own. If the Girl had the Discretion of a Court-Lady, who can have a Dozen young Fellows at her Ear without complying with one, I should not matter it; but _Polly_ is Tinder, and a Spark will at once set her on a Flame. Married! If the Wench does not know her own Profit, sure she knows her own Pleasure better than to make herself a Property! My Daughter to me should be, like a Court-Lady to a Minister of State, a Key to the whole Gang. Married! If the Affair is not already done, I’ll terrify her from it, by the Example of our Neighbours.
_Mrs. Peachum_. May-hap, my Dear, you may injure the Girl. She loves to imitate the fine Ladies, and she may only allow the Captain Liberties in the view of Interest.
_Peachum_. But ’tis your Duty, my Dear, to warn the Girl against her Ruin, and to instruct her how to make the most of her Beauty. I’ll go to her this moment, and sift her. In the meantime, Wife, rip out the Coronets and Marks of these Dozen of Cambric Handkerchiefs, for I can dispose of them this Afternoon to a Chap in the City.
_Mrs. Peachum_. Never was a Man more out of the way in an Argument than my Husband! Why must our _Polly_, forsooth, differ from her Sex, and love only her Husband? And why must _Polly’s_ Marriage, contrary to all Observations, make her the less followed by other Men? All Men are Thieves in Love, and like a Woman the better for being another’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 known before_
_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 here_, _now there_; _is bought_, _or is sold_;
_And is current in every House_.
_Mrs. Peachum_. Come hither, _Filch_. I am as fond of this Child, as though my Mind misgave me he were my own. He hath as fine a Hand at picking a Pocket as a Woman, and is as nimble-finger’d as a Juggler. If an unlucky Session does not cut the Rope of thy Life, I pronounce, Boy, thou wilt be a great Man in History. Where was your Post last Night, my Boy?
_Filch_. I ply’d at the Opera, Madam; and considering ’twas neither dark nor rainy, so that there was no great Hurry in getting Chairs and Coaches, made a tolerable Hand on’t. These seven Handkerchiefs, Madam.
_Mrs. Peachum_. Colour’d ones, I see. They are of sure Sale from our Warehouse at _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 a charming Gold Watch. Pox take the Tailors for making the Fobs so deep and narrow! It stuck by the way, and I was forc’d to make my Escape under a Coach. Really, Madam, I fear I shall be cut off in the Flower of my Youth, so that every now and then (since I was pumpt) I have Thoughts of taking up and going to Sea.
_Mrs. Peachum_. You should go to _Hockley in the Hole_, and to _Marybone_, Child, to learn Valour. These are the Schools that have bred so many brave Men. I thought, Boy, by this time, thou hadst lost Fear as well as Shame. Poor Lad! how little does he know as yet of the _Old Baily_! For the first Fact I’ll insure thee from being hang’d; and going to Sea, _Filch_, will come time enough upon a Sentence of Transportation. But now, since you have nothing better to do, ev’n go to your Book, and learn your Catechism; for really a Man makes but an ill Figure in the Ordinary’s Paper, who cannot give a satisfactory Answer to his Questions. But, hark you, my Lad. Don’t tell me a Lye; for you know I hate a Liar. Do you know of anything that hath pass’d between Captain _Macheath_ and our _Polly_?
_Filch_. I beg you, Madam, don’t ask me; for I must either tell a Lye to you or to 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 _Polly_, if ever she comes to know that I told you. Besides, I would not willingly forfeit my own Honour by betraying any body.
_Mrs. Peachum_. Yonder comes my Husband and _Polly_. Come, _Filch_, you shall go with me into my own Room, and tell me the whole Story. I’ll give thee a Glass of a most delicious Cordial that I keep for my own drinking.
_Enter_ Peachum, Polly.
_Polly_. I know as well as any of the fine Ladies how to make the most of myself and of my Man too. A Woman knows how to be mercenary, though she hath never been in a Court or at an Assembly. We have it in our Natures, Papa. If I allow Captain _Macheath_ some trifling Liberties, I have this Watch and other visible Marks of his Favour to shew for it. A Girl who cannot grant some Things, and refuse what is most material, will make but a poor hand of her Beauty, and soon be thrown upon the Common.
AIR VI. What shall I do to shew 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_.
_But_, _when once pluck’d_, _’tis no longer alluring_,
_To Covent-Garden ’tis sent_ (_as yet sweet_),
_There fades_, _and shrinks_, _and grows past all enduring_,
_Rots_, _stinks_, _and dies_, _and is trod under feet_.
_Peachum_. You know, _Polly_, I am not against your toying and trifling with a Customer in the way of Business, or to get out a Secret, or so. But if I find out that you have play’d the Fool and are married, you Jade you, I’ll cut your Throat, Hussy. Now you know my Mind.
_Enter_ Mrs. Peachum, _in a very great Passion_.
AIR VII. Oh London is a fine Town.
_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 Gowns_, _and Hoops to swell her
_With Scarfs and Stays_, _and Gloves and Lace_; _and she will have Men
_And when she’s drest with Care and Cost_, _all tempting_, _fine and
_As Men should serve a Cucumber_, _she flings herself away_.
_Our_ Polly _is a sad Slut_! &c.
You Baggage! you Hussy! you inconsiderate Jade! had you been hang’d, it would not have vex’d me, for that might have been your Misfortune; but to do such a mad thing by Choice; The Wench is married, Husband.
_Peachum_. Married! the Captain is a bold Man, and will risk any thing for Money; to be sure he believes her a Fortune. Do you think your Mother and I should have liv’d comfortably so long together, if ever we had been married? Baggage!
_Mrs. Peachum_. I knew she was always a proud Slut; and now the Wench hath play’d the Fool and Married, because forsooth she would do like the Gentry. Can you support the Expence of a Husband, Hussy, in Gaming, Drinking and Whoring? Have you Money enough to carry on the daily Quarrels of Man and Wife about who shall squander most? There are not many Husbands and Wives, who can bear the Charges of plaguing one another in a handsom way. If you must be married, could you introduce no body into our Family but a Highwayman? Why, thou foolish Jade, thou wilt be as ill-us’d, and as much neglected, as if thou hadst married a Lord!
_Peachum_. Let not your Anger, my Dear, break through the Rules of Decency, for the Captain looks upon himself in the Military Capacity, as a Gentleman by his Profession. Besides what he hath already, I know he is in a fair way of getting, or of dying; and both these ways, let me tell you, are most excellent Chances for a Wife. Tell me, Hussy, are you ruin’d or no?
_Mrs. Peachum_. With _Polly’s_ Fortune, she might very well have gone off to a Person of Distinction. Yes, that you might, you pouting Slut!
_Peachum_. What is the Wench dumb? Speak, or I’ll make you plead by squeezing out an Answer from you. Are you really bound Wife to him, or are you only upon liking?
_Polly_. Oh! [_Screaming_.]
_Mrs. Peachum_. How the Mother is to be pitied who hath handsom Daughters! Locks, Bolts, Bars, and Lectures of Morality are nothing to them: They break through them all. They have as much Pleasure in cheating a Father and Mother, as in cheating at Cards.
_Peachum_. Why, _Polly_, I shall soon know if you are married, by _Macheath’s_ keeping from our House.
AIR VIII. Grim King of the Ghosts, &c.
Polly. _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 marry_, _for 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-law, in hope to get into their Daughter’s Fortune.
_Polly_. I did not marry him (as ’tis the Fashion) coolly and deliberately for Honour or Money. But, I love him.
_Mrs. Peachum_. Love him! worse and worse! I thought the Girl had been better bred. Oh Husband, Husband! her Folly makes me mad! my Head swims! I’m distracted! I can’t support myself—Oh!
_Peachum_. See, Wench, to what a Condition you have reduc’d your poor Mother! a Glass of Cordial, this instant. How the poor Woman takes it to heart!
[Polly_ goes out_, _and returns with it_.
Ah, Hussy, now this is the only Comfort your Mother has left!
_Polly_. Give her another Glass, Sir! my Mama drinks double the Quantity whenever she is out of Order. This, you see, fetches her.
_Mrs. Peachum_. The Girl shews such a Readiness, and so much Concern, that I could almost find in my Heart to forgive her.
AIR IX. O _Jenny_, O _Jenny_, where hast thou been.
_O_ Polly, _you might have toy’d and kist_.
_By keeping Men off_, _you keep them on_.
Polly. _But he so teaz’d me_,
_And he so pleas’d me_,
_What I did_, _you must have done_.
_Mrs. Peachum_. Not with a Highwayman.—You sorry Slut!
_Peachum_. A Word with you, Wife. ’Tis no new thing for a Wench to take Man without Consent of Parents. You know ’tis the Frailty of Women, my Dear.
_Mrs. Peachum_. Yes, indeed, the Sex is frail. But the first time a Woman is frail, she should be somewhat nice methinks, for then or never is the time to make her Fortune. After that, she hath nothing to do but to guard herself from being found out, and she may do what she pleases.
_Peachum_. Make yourself a little easy; I have a Thought shall soon set all Matters again to rights. Why so melancholy, _Polly_? since what is done cannot be undone, we must all endeavour to make the best of it.
_Mrs. Peachum_. Well, _Polly_; as far as one Woman can forgive another, I forgive thee.—Your Father is too fond of you, Hussy.
_Polly_. Then all my Sorrows are at an end.
_Mrs. Peachum_. A mighty likely Speech in troth, for a Wench who is just married!
AIR X. _Thomas_, I cannot, &c.
Polly. _I_, _like a Ship in Storms_, _was 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_!
_Thus_, _safe a-shore_,
_I ask no more_,
_My All is in my Possession_.
_Peachum_. I hear Customers in t’other Room: Go, talk with ’em, _Polly_; but come to us again, as soon as they are gone.—But, hark ye, Child, if ’tis the Gentleman who was here Yesterday about the Repeating Watch; say, you believe we can’t get Intelligence of it ’till to-morrow. For I lent it to _Suky Straddle_, to make a figure with it to-night at a Tavern in _Drury-Lane_. If t’other Gentleman calls for the Silver-hilted Sword; you know _Beetle-brow’d Jemmy_ hath it on, and he doth not come from _Tunbridge_ ’till Tuesday Night; so that it cannot be had ’till then.
_Peachum_. Dear Wife, be a little pacified, Don’t let your Passion run away with your Senses. _Polly_, I grant you, hath done a rash thing.
_Mrs. Peachum_. If she had only an Intrigue with the Fellow, why the very best Families have excus’d and huddled up a Frailty of that sort. ’Tis Marriage, Husband, that makes it a Blemish.
_Peachum_. But Money, Wife, is the true Fuller’s Earth for Reputations, there is not a Spot or a Stain but what it can take out. A rich Rogue now-a-days is fit Company for any Gentleman; and the World, my Dear, hath not such a Contempt for Roguery as you imagine. I tell you, Wife, I can make this Match turn to our Advantage.
_Mrs. Peachum_. I am very sensible, Husband, that Captain _Macheath_ is worth Money, but I am in doubt whether he hath not two or three Wives already, and then if he should die in a Session or two, _Polly’s_ Dower would come into Dispute.
_Peachum_. That, indeed, is a Point which ought to be consider’d.
AIR XI. A Soldier and a Sailor.
_A Fox may steal your Hens_, _Sir_,
_A Whore your Health and Pence_, _Sir_,
_Your Daughter rob your Chest_, _Sir_,
_Your Wife may steal your Rest_, _Sir_.
_A Thief your Goods and Plate_.
_But this is all but picking_,
_With Rest_, _Pence_, _Chest and Chicken_;
_It ever was decreed_, _Sir_,
_If Lawyer’s Hand is fee’d_, _Sir_,
_He steals your whole Estate_.
The Lawyers are bitter Enemies to those in our Way. They don’t care that any body should get a clandestine Livelihood but themselves.
_Polly_. ’Twas only _Nimming Ned_. He brought in a Damask Window-Curtain, a Hoop-Petticoat, a pair of Silver Candlesticks, a Periwig, and one Silk Stocking, from the Fire that happen’d last Night.
_Peachum_. There is not a Fellow that is cleverer in his way, and saves more Goods out of the Fire than _Ned_. But now, _Polly_, to your Affair; for Matters must not be left as they are. You are married then, it seems?
_Polly_. Yes, Sir.
_Peachum_. And how do you propose to live, Child?
_Polly_. Like other Women, Sir, upon the Industry of my Husband.
_Mrs. Peachum_. What, is the Wench turn’d Fool? A Highwayman’s Wife, like a Soldier’s, hath as little of his Pay, as of his Company.
_Peachum_. And had not you the common Views of a Gentlewoman in your Marriage, _Polly_?
_Polly_. I don’t know what you mean, Sir.
_Peachum_. Of a Jointure, and of being a Widow.
_Polly_. But I love him, Sir; how then could I have Thoughts of parting with him?
_Peachum_. Parting with him! Why, this is the whole Scheme and Intention of all Marriage-Articles. The comfortable Estate of Widow-hood, is the only Hope that keeps up a Wife’s Spirits. Where is the Woman who would scruple to be a Wife, if she had it in her Power to be a Widow, whenever she pleas’d? If you have any Views of this sort, _Polly_, I shall think the Match not so very unreasonable.
_Polly_. How I dread to hear your Advice! Yet I must beg you to explain yourself.
_Peachum_. Secure what he hath got, have him peach’d the next Sessions, and then at once you are made a rich Widow.
_Polly_. What, murder the Man I love! The Blood runs cold at my Heart with the very thought of it.
_Peachum_. Fie, _Polly_! What hath Murder to do in the Affair? Since the thing sooner or later must happen, I dare say, the Captain himself would like that we should get the Reward for his Death sooner than a Stranger. Why, _Polly_, the Captain knows, that as ’tis his Employment to rob, so ’tis ours to take Robbers; every Man in his Business. So that there is no Malice in the Case.
_Mrs. Peachum_. Ay, Husband, now you have nick’d the Matter. To have him peach’d is the only thing could ever make me forgive her.
AIR XII. Now ponder well, ye Parents dear.
Polly. _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 Parents, Hussy, obliges you to hang him. What would many a Wife give for such an Opportunity!
_Polly_. What is a Jointure, what is Widow-hood to me? I know my Heart. I cannot survive him.
AIR XIII. Le printems rapelle 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 Death_, _as pair’d in Love_.
Thus, Sir, it will happen to your poor _Polly_.
_Mrs. Peachum_. What, is the Fool in Love in earnest then? I hate thee for being particular: Why, Wench, thou art a Shame to thy very Sex.
_Polly_. But hear me, Mother.—If you ever lov’d—
_Mrs. Peachum_. Those cursed Play-Books she reads have been her Ruin. One Word more, Hussy, and I shall knock your Brains out, if you have any.
_Peachum_. Keep out of the way, _Polly_, for fear of Mischief, and consider of what is proposed to you.
_Mrs. Peachum_. Away, Hussy. Hang your Husband, and be dutiful.
_Re-enter_ Polly, _and listens behind column_.
_Mrs. Peachum_. The Thing, Husband, must and shall be done. For the sake of Intelligence we must take other measures, and have him peached the next Session without her Consent. If she will not know her Duty, we know ours.
_Peachum_. But really, my Dear, it grieves one’s Heart to take off a great Man. When I consider his Personal Bravery, his fine Stratagem, how much we have already got by him, and how much more we may get, methinks I can’t find in my Heart to have a hand in his Death. I wish you could have made _Polly_ undertake it.
_Mrs. Peachum_. But in a Case of Necessity—our own Lives are in danger.
_Peachum_. Then, indeed, we must comply with the Customs of the World, and make Gratitude 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_.
_Polly_. Now I’m a Wretch, indeed.—Methinks I see him already in the Cart, sweeter and more lovely than the Nosegay in his Hand!—I hear the Crowd extolling his Resolution and Intrepidity!—What Vollies of Sighs are sent from the Windows of _Holborn_, that so comely a Youth should be brought to Disgrace!—I see him at the Tree! The whole Circle are in Tears!—even Butchers weep!—_Jack Ketch_ himself hesitates to perform his Duty, and would be glad to lose his Fee, by a Reprieve. What then will become of _Polly_!—As yet I may inform him of their Design, and aid him in his Escape.—It shall be so—But then he flies, absents himself, and I bar myself from his dear dear Conversation! That too will distract me.—If he keep out of the way, my Papa and Mama may in time relent, and we may be happy.—If he stays, he is hang’d, and then he is lost for ever!—He intended to lie conceal’d in my Room, ’till the Dusk of the Evening: If they are abroad I’ll this Instant let him out, lest some Accident should prevent him.
[_Exit_, _and returns with_ Macheath.
AIR XIV. Pretty Parrot, say—
Macheath. _Pretty_ Polly, _say_,
_When I was away_,
_Did your fancy never stray_
_To some newer Lover_?
Polly. _Without Disguise_,
_My constant Heart discover_.
_ Fondly let me loll_!
Macheath. _O pretty_, _pretty Poll_.
_Polly_. And are _you_ as fond as ever, my Dear?
_Macheath_. Suspect my Honour, my Courage, suspect any thing but my Love.—May my Pistols miss Fire, and my Mare slip her Shoulder while I am pursu’d, if I ever forsake thee!
_Polly_. Nay, my Dear, I have no Reason to doubt you, for I find in the Romance you lent me, none of the great Heroes were ever false in Love.
AIR XV. Pray, Fair one, be kind—
Macheath. _My Heart was so free_,
_It rov’d like the Bee_,
’_Till_ Polly _my Passion requited_;
_I sipt each Flower_,
_I chang’d every Hour_,
_But here every Flower is united_.
_Polly_. Were you sentenc’d to Transportation, sure, my Dear, you could not leave me behind you—could you?
_Macheath_. Is there any Power, any Force that could tear me from thee? You might sooner tear a Pension out of the Hands of a Courtier, a Fee from a Lawyer, a pretty Woman from a Looking-glass, or any Woman from Quadrille.—But to tear me 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_.
Polly. _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_. Yes, I would go with thee. But oh!—how shall I speak it? I must be torn from thee. We must part.
_Macheath_. How! Part!
_Polly_. We must, we must.—My Papa and Mama are set against thy Life. They now, even now are in Search after thee. They are preparing Evidence against thee. Thy Life depends upon a moment.
AIR XVII. Gin thou wert mine awn thing—
_Oh what Pain it is to part_!
_Can I leave thee_, _can 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 to the fatal Cart_,
_Thus I tear thee from my bleeding Heart_!
_Fly hence_, _and let me leave thee_.
One Kiss and then—one Kiss—be gone—farewel.
_Macheath_. My Hand, my Heart, my Dear, is so riveted to thine, that I cannot unloose my Hold.
_Polly_. But my Papa may intercept thee, and then I should lose the very glimmering of Hope. A few Weeks, perhaps, may reconcile us all. Shall thy _Polly_ hear from thee?
_Macheath_. Must I then go?
_Polly_. And will not Absence change your Love?
_Macheath_. If you doubt it, let me stay—and be hang’d.
_Polly_. O how I fear! how I tremble!—Go—but when Safety will give you leave, you will be sure to see me again; for ’till then _Polly_ is wretched.
AIR XVIII. O the Broom, &c.
Macheath. _The Miser thus a Shilling sees_,
_Which he’s oblig’d to pay_,
_With sighs resigns it by degrees_,
_And fears ’tis gone for ay_.
[Parting, and looking back at each other with fondness; he at one Door, she at the other.]
Polly. _The Boy_, _thus_, _when his Sparrow’s flown_,
_The Bird in Silence eyes_;
_But soon as out of Sight ’tis gone_,
_Whines_, _whimpers_, _sobs and cries_.
ACT II. SCENE I.
_A_ TAVERN _near_ Newgate.
Jemmy Twitcher, Crook-finger’d Jack, Wat Dreary, Robin of Bagshot, Nimming Ned, Henry Paddington, Matt of the Mint, Ben Budge, _and the rest of the Gang_, _at the Table_, _with Wine_, _Brandy and Tobacco_.
_Ben_. But pr’ythee, _Matt_, what is become of thy Brother _Tom_? I have not seen him since my Return from Transportation.
_Matt_. Poor Brother _Tom_ had an Accident this time Twelve-month, and so clever a made fellow he was, that I could not save him from those fleaing Rascals the Surgeons; and now, poor Man, he is among the Otamys at _Surgeons Hall_.
_Ben_. So it seems, his Time was come.
_Jemmy_. But the present Time is ours, and no body alive hath more. Why are the Laws levell’d at us? are we more dishonest than the rest of Mankind? What we win, Gentlemen, is our own by the Law of Arms, and the Right of Conquest.
_Crook_. Where shall we find such another Set of Practical Philosophers, who to a Man are above the Fear of Death?
_Wat_. Sound Men, and true!
_Robin_. Of try’d Courage, and 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_. Shew me a Gang of Courtiers that can say as much.
_Ben_. We are for a just Partition of the World, for every Man hath a Right to enjoy Life.
_Matt_. We retrench the Superfluities of Mankind. The World is avaritious, and I hate Avarice. A covetous fellow, like a Jackdaw, steals what he was never made to enjoy, for the sake of hiding it. These are the Robbers of Mankind, for Money was made for the Free-hearted and Generous, and where is the Injury of taking from another, what 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.
Matt. _Fill every Glass_, _for Wine inspires us_,
_And fires us_
_With Courage_, _Love and Joy_.
_Women and Wine should life employ_.
_Is there ought else on Earth desirous_?
Chorus. _Fill every Glass_, &c.
_To them enter_ Macheath.
_Macheath_. Gentlemen, well met. My Heart hath been with you this Hour; but an unexpected Affair hath detain’d me. No Ceremony, I beg you.
_Matt_. We were just breaking up to go upon Duty. Am I to have the Honour of taking the Air with you, Sir, this Evening upon the Heath? I drink a Dram now and then with the Stagecoachmen in the way of Friendship and Intelligence; and I know that about this Time there will be Passengers upon the Western Road, who are worth speaking with.
_Macheath_. I was to have been of that Party—but—
_Matt_. But what, Sir?
_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 Booty, have I ever shewn the least Marks of Avarice or Injustice?
_Matt_. By these Questions something seems to have ruffled you. Are any of us suspected?
_Macheath_. I have a fixed Confidence, Gentlemen, in you all, as Men of Honour, and 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 you, Gentlemen, act with Conduct and Discretion. A Pistol is your last Resort.
_Matt_. He knows nothing of this Meeting.
_Macheath_. Business cannot go on without him. He is a Man who knows the World, and is a necessary Agent to us. We have had a slight Difference, and ’till it is accommodated I shall be oblig’d to keep out of his way. Any private Dispute of mine shall be of no ill consequence to my Friends. You must continue to act under his Direction, for the moment we break loose from him, our Gang is ruin’d.
_Matt_. As a Bawd to a Whore, I grant you, he is to us of great Convenience.
_Macheath_. Make him believe I have quitted the Gang, which I can never do but with Life. At our private Quarters I will continue to meet you. A Week or so will probably reconcile us.
_Matt_. Your Instructions shall be observ’d. ’Tis now high time for us to repair to our several Duties; so ’till the Evening at our Quarters in _Moor-Fields_ we bid you farewel.
_Macheath_. I shall wish myself with you. Success attend you.
[_Sits down melancholy at the Table_.
AIR XX. March in _Rinaldo_, with Drums and Trumpets.
_Matt_. _Let us take the Road_.
_Hark_! _I hear the Sound of Coaches_!
_The Hour of Attack approaches_,
_To your Arms_, _brave Boys_, _and 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 Gang, rang’d in the Front of the Stage,
load their Pistols, and stick them under their
Girdles; then go off singing the first Part in
_Macheath_. What a Fool is a fond Wench! _Polly_ is most confoundedly bit.—I love the Sex. And a Man who loves Money, might as well be contented with one Guinea, as I with one Woman. The Town perhaps have been as much obliged to me, for recruiting it with free-hearted Ladies, as to any Recruiting Officer in the Army. If it were not for us, and the other Gentlemen of the Sword, _Drury-Lane_ would 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 Fiddle_, _she sweetly_, _sweetly_
_Raises the Spirits_, _and charms our Ears_,
_Roses and Lilies her Cheeks disclose_,
_But her ripe Lips are more sweet than those_.
_Dissolve us in Pleasure_, _and soft Repose_.
I must have Women. There is nothing unbends 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 my Directions?
_Drawer_. I expect him back every Minute. But you know, Sir, you sent him as far as _Hockley in the Hole_ for three of the Ladies, for one in _Vinegar-Yard_, and for the rest of them somewhere about _Lewkner’s-Lane_. Sure some of them are below, for I hear the Bar-Bell. As they come I will shew them up. Coming, Coming.
_Enter Mrs._ Coaxer, Dolly Trull, _Mrs._ Vixen, Betty
Doxy, Jenny Diver, _Mrs._ Slammekin, Suky Tawdry,
_and_ Molly Brazen.
_Macheath_. Dear Mrs. _Coaxer_, you are welcome. You look charmingly to-day. I hope you don’t want the Repairs of Quality, and lay on Paint.—_Dolly Trull_! kiss me, you Slut; are you as amorous as ever, Hussy? You are always so taken up with stealing Hearts, that you don’t allow yourself Time to steal any thing else.—Ah _Dolly_, thou wilt ever be a Coquette! Mrs. _Vixen_, I’m yours, I always lov’d a Woman of Wit and Spirit; they make charming Mistresses, but plaguy Wives—_Betty Doxy_! Come hither, Hussy. Do you drink as hard as ever? You had better stick to good wholesom Beer; for in troth, _Betty_, Strong-Waters will in time ruin your Constitution. You should leave those to your Betters.—What! and my pretty _Jenny Diver_ too! As prim and demure as ever! There is not any Prude, though ever so high bred, hath a more sanctify’d Look, with a more mischievous Heart. Ah! thou art a dear artful Hypocrite.—Mrs. _Slammekin_! as careless and genteel as ever! all you fine Ladies, who know your own Beauty, affect an Undress.—But see, here’s _Suky Tawdry_ come to contradict what I was saying. Every thing she gets one way she lays out upon her Back. Why, _Suky_, you must keep at least a Dozen Tallymen. _Molly Brazen_! [_She kisses him_.] That’s well done. I love a free-hearted Wench. Thou hast a most agreeable Assurance, Girl, and art as willing as a Turtle.—But hark! I hear Music. The Harper is at the Door. _If Music be the Food of Love_, _play on_. Ere you seat yourselves, Ladies, what think you of a Dance? Come in. [_Enter Harper_.] Play the _French_ Tune, that Mrs. _Slammekin_ was so fond of.
[_A Dance_ a la ronde _in the_ French _manner_;
_near the end of it this song and Chorus_.
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 Flower_, _despis’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_. Now, pray Ladies, take your Places. Here Fellow. [_Pays the Harper_.] Bid the Drawer bring us more Wine. [_Exit Harper_.] If any of the Ladies choose Ginn, I hope they will be so free to call for it.
_Jenny_. You look as if you meant me. Wine is strong enough for me. Indeed, Sir, I never drink Strong-Waters, but when I have the Cholic.
_Macheath_. Just the Excuse of the fine Ladies! Why, a Lady of Quality is never without the Cholic. I hope, Mrs. _Coaxer_, you have had good Success of late in your Visits among the Mercers.
_Mrs. Coaxer_. We have so many Interlopers—Yet with Industry, one may still have a little Picking. I carried a silver-flowered Lutestring, and a Piece of black Padesoy to Mr. _Peachum’s_ Lock but last Week.
_Mrs. Vixen_. There’s _Molly Brazen_ hath the Ogle of a Rattle-Snake. She rivetted a Linen-Draper’s Eye so fast upon her, that he was nick’d of three Pieces of Cambric before he could look off.
_Brazen_. Oh dear Madam!—But sure nothing can come up to your handling of Laces! And then you have such a sweet deluding Tongue! To cheat a Man is nothing; but the Woman must have fine Parts indeed who cheats a Woman.
_Mrs. Vixen_. Lace, Madam, lies in a small Compass, and is of easy Conveyance. But you are apt, Madam, to think too well of your Friends.
_Mrs. Coaxer_. If any woman hath more Art than another, to be sure, ’tis _Jenny Diver_. Though her Fellow be never so agreeable, she can pick his Pocket as coolly, as if money were her only Pleasure. Now that is a Command of the Passions uncommon in a Woman!
_Jenny_. I never go to the Tavern with a Man, but in the View of Business. I have other Hours, and other sort of Men for my Pleasure. But had I your Address, Madam—
_Macheath_. Have done with your Compliments, Ladies; and drink about: You are not so fond of me, _Jenny_, as you use to be.
_Jenny_. ’Tis not convenient, Sir, to shew my Fondness among so many Rivals. ’Tis your own Choice, and not the Warmth of my Inclination that will determine 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 a while suspended_.
_Then One he singles from the Crew_,
_And cheers the happy Hen_;
_With how do you do_, _and how do you do_,
_And how do you do again_.
_Macheath_. Ah _Jenny_! thou art a dear Slut.
_Jenny_. A Man of Courage should never put any thing to the Risk but his Life. These are the Tools of a Man of Honour. Cards and Dice are only fit for cowardly Cheats, who prey upon their Friends.
[_She takes up his Pistol_. Tawdry _takes up the other_.
_Tawdry_. This, Sir, is fitter for your Hand. Besides your Loss of Money, ’tis a Loss to the Ladies. Gaming takes you off from Women. How fond could I be of you! 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 Constables_, _who rush in upon him_.
_Peachum_. I seize you, Sir, as my Prisoner.
_Macheath_. Was this well done, _Jenny_?—Women are Decoy Ducks; who can trust them! Beasts, Jades, Jilts, Harpies, Furies, Whores!
_Peachum_. Your Case, Mr. _Macheath_, is not particular. The greatest Heroes have been ruin’d by Women. But, to do them Justice, I must own they are a pretty sort of Creatures, if we could trust them. You must now, Sir, take your Leave of the Ladies, and if they have a mind to make you a Visit, they will be sure to find you at home. This Gentleman, Ladies, lodges in _Newgate_. Constables, wait upon the Captain to his Lodgings.
AIR XXIV. When first I laid Siege to my _Chloris_, &c.
_Macheath_. _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_. Ladies, I’ll take care the Reckoning shall be discharged.
[_Exit_ Macheath, _guarded with_ Peachum and Constables.
_Mrs. Vixen_. Look ye, Mrs. _Jenny_, though Mr. _Peachum_ may have made a private Bargain with you and _Suky Tawdry_ for betraying the Captain, as we were all assisting, we ought all to share alike.
_Mrs. Coaxer_. I think Mr. _Peachum_, after so long an Acquaintance, might have trusted me as well as _Jenny Diver_.
_Mrs. Slammekin_. I am sure at least three Men of his hanging, and in a Year’s time too (if he did me Justice) should be set down to my Account.
_Trull_. Mrs. _Slammekin_, that is not fair. For you know one of them was taken in Bed with me.
_Jenny_. As far as a Bowl of Punch or a Treat, I believe Mrs. _Suky_ will join with me.—As for any thing else, Ladies, you cannot in Conscience expect it.
_Mrs. Slammekin_. Dear Madam—
_Trull_. I would not for the World—
_Mrs. Slammekin_. ’Tis impossible for me—
_Trull_. As I hope to be sav’d, Madam—
_Mrs. Slammekin_. Nay, then I must stay here all Night—
_Trull_. Since you command me.
[_Exeunt with great Ceremony_.
SCENE II. Newgate.
Lockit, _Turnkeys_, Macheath, _Constables_.
_Lockit_. Noble Captain, you are welcome. You have not been a Lodger of mine this Year and half. You know the Custom, Sir. Garnish, Captain, Garnish. Hand me down those Fetters there.
_Macheath_. Those, Mr. _Lockit_, seem to be the heaviest of the whole Set. With your Leave, I should like the further Pair better.
_Lockit_. Look ye, Captain, we know what is fittest for our Prisoners. When a Gentleman uses me with Civility, I always do the best I can to please him.—Hand them down I say.—We have them of all Prices, from one Guinea to ten, and ’tis fitting every Gentleman should please himself.
_Macheath_. I understand you, Sir. [_Gives Money_.] The Fees here are so many, and so exorbitant, that few Fortunes can bear the Expence of getting off handsomly, or of dying like a Gentleman.
_Lockit_. Those, I see, will fit the Captain better—Take down the further Pair. Do but examine them, Sir.—Never was better work. How genteely they are made!—They will fit as easy as a Glove, and the nicest Man in _England_ might not be asham’d to wear them. [_He puts on the Chains_.] If I had the best Gentleman in the Land in my Custody I could not equip him more handsomly. And so, Sir—I now leave you to your private Meditations.
[_Exeunt leaving_ Macheath _solus_.
AIR XXV. Courtiers, Courtiers, think it no Harm, &c.
_Man may escape from Rope and Gun_;
_Nay_, _some have out liv’d the Doctor’s Pill_;
_Who takes a Woman must be undone_,
_That Basilisk is sure to kill_.
_The Fly that sips Treacle is lost in the Sweets_,
_So he that tastes Woman_, _Woman_, _Woman_,
_He that tastes Woman_, _ruin meets_.
To what a woful Plight have I brought myself! Here must I (all Day long, ’till I am hang’d) be confin’d to hear the Reproaches of a Wench who lays her Ruin at my Door—I am in the Custody of her Father, and to be sure, if he knows of the matter, I shall have a fine time on’t betwixt this and my Execution.—But I promis’d the Wench Marriage—What signifies a Promise to a Woman? Does not Man in Marriage itself promise a hundred things that he never means to perform? Do all we can, Women will believe us; for they look upon a Promise as an Excuse for following their own Inclinations.—But here comes _Lucy_, and I cannot get from her.—Wou’d I were deaf!
_Lucy_. You base Man you,—how can you look me in the Face after what hath passed between us?—See here, perfidious Wretch, how I am forc’d to bear about the Load of Infamy you have laid upon me—O _Macheath_! thou hast robb’d me of my Quiet—to see thee tortur’d would give me Pleasure.
AIR XXVI. A lovely Lass to a Friar came, &c.
_Thus when a good Housewife 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 worried_, _crush’d and shaken_.
_Macheath_. Have you no Bowels, no Tenderness, my dear _Lucy_, to see a Husband in these Circumstances?
_Lucy_. A Husband!
_Macheath_. In ev’ry Respect but the Form, and that, my Dear, may be said over us at any time.—Friends should not insist upon Ceremonies. From a Man of Honour, his Word is as good as his Bond.
_Lucy_. ’Tis the Pleasure of all you fine Men to insult the Women you have ruin’d.
AIR XXVII. ’Twas when the Sea was roaring, &c.
_How cruel are the Traitors_,
_Who lye and swear in jest_,
_To cheat unguarded Creatures_
_Of Virtue_, _Fame_, _and 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 Opportunity, my Dear, (have but Patience) you shall be my Wife in whatever manner you please.
_Lucy_. Insinuating Monster! And so you think I know nothing of the Affair of Miss _Polly Peachum_.—I could tear thy Eyes out!
_Macheath_. Sure, _Lucy_, you can’t be such a Fool as to be jealous of _Polly_!
_Lucy_. Are you not married to her, you Brute, you.
_Macheath_. Married! Very good. The Wench gives it out only to vex thee, and to ruin me in thy good Opinion. ’Tis true, I go to the House; I chat with the Girl, I kiss her, I say a thousand things to her (as all Gentlemen do) that mean nothing, to divert myself; and now the silly Jade hath set it about that I am married to her, to let me know what she would be at. Indeed, my dear _Lucy_, these violent Passions may be of ill consequence to a Woman in your Condition.
_Lucy_. Come, come, Captain, for all your Assurance, you know that Miss _Polly_ hath put it out of your Power to do me the Justice you promis’d me.
_Macheath_. A jealous Woman believes every thing her Passion suggests. To convince you of my Sincerity, if we can find the Ordinary, I shall have no Scruples of making you my Wife; and I know the Consequence of having two at a time.
_Lucy_. That you are only to be hang’d, and so get rid of them both.
_Macheath_. I am ready, my dear _Lucy_, to give you Satisfaction—if you think there is any in Marriage.—What can a Man of Honour say more?
_Lucy_. So then, it seems, you are not married to Miss _Polly_.
_Macheath_. You know, _Lucy_, the Girl is prodigiously conceited. No Man can say a civil thing to her, but (like other fine Ladies) her Vanity makes her think he’s her own for ever and ever.
AIR XXVIII. 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 looks_, _she_, _fonder grown_,
_Thinks ev’ry Charm grows stronger_.
_But alas_, _vain Maid_, _all Eyes but your own_
_Can see you are not younger_.
When Women consider their own Beauties, they are all alike unreasonable in their Demands; for they expect their Lovers should like them as long as they like themselves.
_Lucy_. Yonder is my Father—perhaps this way we may light upon the Ordinary, who shall try if you will be as good as your Word.—For I long to be made an honest Woman.
_Enter_ Peachum _and_ Lockit _with an Account-Book_.
_Lockit_. In this last Affair, Brother _Peachum_, we are agreed. You have consented to go halves in _Macheath_.
_Peachum_. We shall never fall out about an Execution—But as to that Article, pray how stands our last Year’s Account?
_Lockit_. If you will run your Eye over it, you’ll find ’tis fair and clearly stated.
_Peachum_. This long Arrear of the Government is very hard upon us! Can it be expected that we would hang our Acquaintance for nothing, when our Betters will hardly save theirs without being paid for it. Unless the People in Employment pay better, I promise them for the future, I shall let other Rogues live besides their own.
_Lockit_. Perhaps, Brother, they are afraid these Matters may be carried too far. We are treated too by them with Contempt, as if our Profession were not reputable.
_Peachum_. In one respect indeed our Employment may be reckon’d dishonest, because, like Great Statesmen, we encourage those who betray their Friends.
_Lockit_. Such Language, Brother, any where else, might turn to your Prejudice. Learn to be more guarded, I beg you.
AIR XXIX. 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_ Name, I see. Sure, Brother _Lockit_, there was a little unfair Proceeding in _Ned’s_ Case: for he told me in the Condemn’d Hold, that for Value receiv’d, you had promis’d him a Session or two longer without Molestation.
_Lockit_. Mr. _Peachum_—this is the first time my Honour was ever call’d in Question.
_Peachum_. Business is at an end—if once we act dishonourably.
_Lockit_. Who accuses me?
_Peachum_. You are warm, Brother.
_Lockit_. He that attacks my Honour, attacks my Livelihood.—And this Usage—Sir—is not to be borne.
_Peachum_. Since you provoke me to speak—I must tell you too, that Mrs. _Coaxer_ charges you with defrauding her of her Information-Money, for the apprehending of curl-pated _Hugh_. Indeed, indeed, Brother, we must punctually pay our Spies, or we shall have no Information.
_Lockit_. Is this Language to me, Sirrah,—who have sav’d you from the Gallows, Sirrah!
[_Collaring each other_.
_Peachum_. If I am hang’d, it shall be for ridding the World of an arrant Rascal.
_Lockit_. This Hand shall do the Office of the Halter you deserve, and throttle you—you Dog!—
_Peachum_. Brother, Brother—We are both in the Wrong—We shall be both Losers in the Dispute—for you know we have it in 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 we should agree. If I said any thing, Brother, to the Prejudice of your Character, I 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 must now step home, for I expect the Gentleman about this Snuff-box, that _Filch_ nimm’d two Nights ago in the Park. I appointed him at this Hour.
_Lockit_. Whence come you, Hussy?
_Lucy_. My Tears might answer that Question.
_Lockit_. You have then been whimpering and fondling, like a Spaniel, over the Fellow that hath abus’d you.
_Lucy_. One can’t help Love; one can’t cure it. ’Tis not in my Power to obey you, and hate him.
_Lockit_. Learn to bear your Husband’s Death like a reasonable Woman. ’Tis not the fashion, now-a-days, so much as to affect Sorrow upon these Occasions. No Woman would ever marry, if she had not the Chance of Mortality for a Release. Act like a Woman of Spirit, Hussy, and thank your Father for what he is doing.
AIR XXX. Of a noble Race was _Shenkin_.
Lucy. _Is then his Fate decreed_, _Sir_?
_Such a Man can I think of quitting_?
_When first we met_, _so moves me yet_,
_O see how my Heart is splitting_!
_Lockit_. Look ye, _Lucy_—There is no saving him.—So, I think, you must ev’n do like other Widows—buy yourself Weeds, and be chearful.
_You’ll think ere many Days ensue_
_This Sentence not severe_;
_I hang your Husband_, _Child_, _’tis true_,
_But with him hang your Care_.
_Twang dang dillo dee_.
Like a good Wife, go moan over your dying Husband. That, Child is your Duty—Consider, Girl, you can’t have the Man and the Money too—so make yourself as easy as you can, by getting all you can from him.
_Lucy_. Though the Ordinary was out of the way to-day, I hope, my Dear, you will, upon the first Opportunity, quiet my Scruples—Oh Sir! my Father’s hard heart is not to be soften’d, and I am in the utmost Despair.
_Macheath_. But if I could raise a small Sum—Would not twenty Guineas, think you, move him?—Of all the Arguments in the way of Business, the Perquisite is the most prevailing—Your Father’s Perquisites for the Escape of Prisoners must amount to a considerable Sum in the Year. Money well tim’d, and properly apply’d, will do any thing.
AIR XXXII. _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 depends upon your Safety.
_Polly_. Where is my dear Husband?—Was a Rope ever intended for this Neck!—O let me throw my Arms about it, and throttle thee with Love!—Why dost thou turn away from me?—’Tis thy _Polly_—’Tis thy Wife.
_Macheath_. Was 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! Imprisoned! Try’d! Hang’d—cruel Reflection! I’ll stay with thee ’till Death—no Force shall tear thy dear Wife from thee now.—What means my Love?—Not one kind Word! not one kind Look! think what thy _Polly_ suffers to see thee in this Condition.
AIR XXXIII. All in the Downs, &c.
_Thus when the Swallow seeking Prey_,
_Within the Sash is closely pent_,
_His Consort_, _with 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_. [_Aside_.] I must disown her. [_Aloud_.] The Wench is distracted.
_Lucy_. Am I then bilk’d of my Virtue? Can I have no Reparation? Sure Men were born to lie, and Women to believe them! O Villain! Villain!
_Polly_. Am I not thy Wife?—Thy Neglect of me, thy Aversion to me too severely proves it.—Look on me.—Tell me, am I not thy Wife?
_Lucy_. Perfidious Wretch!
_Polly_. Barbarous Husband!
_Lucy_. Hadst thou been hang’d five Months ago, I had been happy.
_Polly_. And I too—If you had been kind to me ’till Death, it would not have vexed me—And that’s no very unreasonable Request, (though from a Wife) to a Man who hath not above seven or eight Days to live.
_Lucy_. Art thou then married to another? Hast thou two Wives, Monster?
_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 XXXIV. Have you heard of a frolicksome Ditty, &c.
Macheath. _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_. Sure, my Dear, there ought to be some Preference shewn to a Wife! At least she may claim the Appearance of it. He must be distracted with his Misfortunes, or he could not use me thus.
_Lucy_. O Villain, Villain! thou hast deceiv’d me—I could even inform against thee with Pleasure. Not a Prude wishes more heartily to have Facts against her intimate Acquaintance, than I now wish to have Facts against thee. I would have her Satisfaction, and they should all out.
AIR XXXV. _Irish_ Trot.
Polly. _I am bubbled_.
Lucy. . . . _I’m bubbled_.
Polly. _O how I am troubled_!
Lucy. _Bambouzled_, _and bit_!
Polly. . . . _My Distresses are doubled_.
Lucy. _When you come to the Tree_, _should the Hangman refuse_,
_These Fingers_, _with Pleasure_, _could fasten the
Polly. I’m bubbled, &c.
_Macheath_. Be pacified, my dear _Lucy_—This is all a Fetch of _Polly’s_, to make me desperate with you in case I get off. If I am hang’d, she would fain have the Credit of being thought my Widow—Really, _Polly_, this is no time for a Dispute of this sort; for whenever you are talking of Marriage, I am thinking of Hanging.
_Polly_. And hast thou the Heart to persist in disowning me?
_Macheath_. And hast thou the Heart to persist in persuading me that I am married? Why, _Polly_, dost thou seek to aggravate my Misfortunes?
_Lucy_. Really, Miss _Peachum_, you but expose yourself. Besides, ’tis barbarous in you to worry a Gentleman in his Circumstances.
Polly. _Cease your Funning_;
_Force or Cunning_
_Never shall my Heart trapan_.
_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_.
_Polly_. Decency, Madam, methinks might teach you to behave yourself with some Reserve with the Husband, while his Wife is present.
_Macheath_. But seriously, _Polly_, this is carrying the Joke a little too far.
_Lucy_. If you are determin’d, Madam, to raise a Disturbance in the Prison, I shall be obliged to send for the Turnkey to shew you the Door. I am sorry, Madam, you force me to be so ill-bred.
_Polly_. Give me leave to tell you, Madam: These forward Airs don’t become you in the least, Madam. And my Duty, Madam, obliges me to stay with my Husband, Madam.
AIR XXXVII. Good-morrow, Gossip _Joan_.
Lucy. _Why how now_, _Madam_ Flirt?
_If you thus must chatter_;
_And are for flinging Dirt_,
_Let’s try who best can spatter_;
Polly. _Why how now_, _saucy 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? Ah Hussy! Hussy!—Come you home, you Slut; and when your Fellow is hang’d, hang yourself, to make your Family some Amends.
_Polly_. Dear, dear Father, do not tear me from him—I must speak; I have more to say to him—Oh! twist thy Fetters about me, that he may not haul me from thee!
_Peachum_. Sure all Women are alike! If ever they commit the Folly, they are sure to commit another by exposing themselves—Away—Not a Word more—You are my Prisoner, now, Hussy.
AIR XXXVIII. _Irish_ Howl.
Polly. _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_.
_Oh_, _oh ray_, _oh Amborah_—_oh_, _oh_, &c.
[Holding _Macheath_, _Peachum_ pulling her.
SCENE III. The Same.
_Macheath_. I am naturally compassionate, Wife; so that I could not use the Wench as she deserv’d; which made you at first suspect there was something in what she said.
_Lucy_. Indeed, my Dear, I was strangely puzzled.
_Macheath_. If that had been the Case, her Father would never have brought me into this Circumstance—No, _Lucy_,—I had rather die than be false to thee.
_Lucy_. How happy am I, if 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 _Macheath_, I can never live to see that Day.
_Macheath_. You see, _Lucy_; in the Account of Love you are in my Debt, and you must now be convinc’d, that I rather choose to die than be another’s.—Make me, if possible, love thee more, and let me owe my Life to thee—If you refuse to assist me, _Peachum_ and your Father will immediately put me beyond all means of Escape.
_Lucy_. My Father, I know, hath been drinking hard with the Prisoners: and I fancy he is now taking his Nap in his own Room—If I can procure the Keys, shall I go off with thee, my Dear?
_Macheath_. If we are together, ’twill be impossible to lie conceal’d. As soon as the Search begins to be a little cool, I will send to thee—’Till then my Heart is thy Prisoner.
_Lucy_. Come then, my dear Husband—owe thy Life to me—and though you love me not—be grateful,—but that _Polly_ runs in my Head strangely.
_Macheath_. A moment of Time may make us unhappy for ever.
AIR XXXIX. The Lass of _Patie’s_ Mill, &c.
Lucy. _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 wary Pack_?
_If Love be not his Guide_,
_He never will come back_!
ACT III. SCENE I.
_Lockit_. To be sure, Wench, you must have been aiding and abetting to help him to this Escape.
_Lucy_. Sir, here hath been _Peachum_ and his Daughter _Polly_, and to be sure they know the Ways of _Newgate_ as well as if they had been born and bred in the Place all their Lives. Why must all your Suspicion light upon me?
_Lockit_. _Lucy_, _Lucy_, I will have none of these shuffling Answers.
_Lucy_. Well then—If I know any thing of him I wish I may be burnt!
_Lockit_. Keep your Temper, _Lucy_, or I shall pronounce you guilty.
_Lucy_. Keep yours, Sir,—I do wish I may be burnt. I do—And what can I say more to convince you?
_Lockit_. Did he tip handsomly?—How much did he come down with? Come, Hussy, don’t cheat your Father; and I shall not be angry with you—Perhaps, you have made a better Bargain with him than I could have done—How much, my good Girl?
_Lucy_. You know, Sir, I am fond of him, and would have given Money to have kept him with me.
_Lockit_. Ah _Lucy_! thy Education might have put thee more upon thy Guard; for a Girl in the Bar of an Ale-house is always besieg’d.
_Lucy_. Dear Sir, mention not my Education—for ’twas to that I owe my Ruin.
AIR XL. 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 kiss’d by the Parson_, _the Squire_, _and the Sot_,
_When the Guest was departed_, _the Kiss was forgot_.
_But his Kiss was so sweet_, _and so closely he prest_,
_That I languish’d and pin’d till I granted the rest_.
If you can forgive me, Sir, I will make a fair Confession, for to be sure he hath been a most barbarous Villain to me.
_Lockit_. And so you have let him escape, Hussy—Have you?
_Lucy_. When a Woman loves; a kind Look, a tender Word can persuade her to any thing—And I could ask no other Bribe.
_Lockit_. Thou wilt always be a vulgar Slut, _Lucy_.—If you would not be look’d upon as a Fool, you should never do any thing but upon the foot of Interest. Those that act otherwise are their own Bubbles.
_Lucy_. But Love, Sir, is a Misfortune that may happen to the most discreet Women, and in Love we are all Fools alike—Notwithstanding all he swore, I am now fully convinc’d that _Polly Peachum_ is actually his Wife.—Did I let him escape, (Fool that I was!) to go to her?—_Polly_ will wheedle herself into his Money, and then _Peachum_ will hang him, and cheat us both.
_Lockit_. So I am to be ruin’d, because, forsooth, you must be in Love!—a very pretty Excuse!
_Lucy_. I could murder that impudent happy Strumpet:—I gave him his Life, and that Creature enjoys the Sweets of it.—Ungrateful _Macheath_!
AIR XLI. _South-Sea_ Ballad.
_My Love is all Madness and Folly_,
_Alone I lie_,
_Toss_, _tumble_, _and cry_,
_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 Jilt_, _that inveigling Harlot_!
_Stark blind to my Charms_,
_Is lost in the Arms_
_Of that Jilt_, _that inveigling Harlot_!
_This_, _this my Resentment alarms_.
_Lockit_. And so, after all this Mischief, I must stay here to be entertain’d with your Catterwauling, Mrs. Puss!—Out of my Sight, wanton Strumpet! you shall fast and mortify yourself into Reason, with now and then a little handsom Discipline 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 Liquor, so I’ll ply him that way, get the Secret from him, and turn this Affair to my own Advantage.—Lions, Wolves, and Vultures don’t live together in Herds, Droves or Flocks.—Of all Animals of Prey, Man is the only sociable one. Every one of us preys upon his Neighbour, and yet we herd together.—_Peachum_ is my Companion, my Friend.—According to the Custom of the World, indeed, he may quote thousands of Precedents for cheating me—And shall not I make use of the Privilege of Friendship to make him a Return.
AIR XLII. _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 Hands_, _they each other entrap_.
_Like Pikes_, _lank with Hunger_, _who miss of their Ends_,
_They bite their Companions_, _and prey on their Friends_.
Now, _Peachum_, you and I, like honest Tradesmen, are to have a fair Trial which of us two can over-reach the other.
SCENE II. _A Gaming-House_.
Macheath _in a fine tarnish’d Coat_, Ben Budge, Matt of the Mint.
_Macheath_. I am sorry, Gentlemen, the Road was so barren of Money. When my Friends are in Difficulties, I am always glad that my Fortune can be serviceable to them. [_Gives them Money_.] You see, Gentlemen, I am not a mere Court Friend, who professes every thing and will do nothing.
AIR XLIII. 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 true_, _you find_
_Some Friends so kind_,
_Who will give you good Counsel themselves to defend_.
_In sorrowful Ditty_,
_They promise_, _they pity_,
_But shift for your Money_, _from Friend to Friend_.
But we, Gentlemen, have still Honour enough to break through the Corruptions of the World.—And while I can serve you, you may command me.
_Ben_. It grieves my Heart that so generous a Man should be involv’d in such Difficulties, as oblige him to live with such ill Company, and herd with Gamesters.
_Matt_. See the Partiality of Mankind!—One Man may steal a Horse, better than another look over a Hedge.—Of all Mechanics, of all servile Handicrafts-men, a Gamester is the vilest. But yet, as many of the Quality are of the Profession, he is admitted amongst the politest Company. I wonder we are not more respected.
_Macheath_. There will be deep Play to-night at _Mary-bone_, and consequently Money may be pick’d up upon the Road. Meet me there, and I’ll give you the Hint who is worth Setting.
_Matt_. The Fellow with a brown Coat with a narrow Gold Binding, I am told, is never without Money.
_Macheath_. What do you mean, _Matt_?—Sure you will not think of meddling with him!—He’s a good honest kind of a Fellow, and one of us.
_Ben_. To be sure, Sir, we will put ourselves under your Direction.
_Macheath_. Have an Eye upon the Money-Lenders.—A _Rouleau_, or two, would prove a pretty sort of an Expedition. I hate Extortion.
_Matt_. Those Rouleaus are very pretty Things.—I hate your Bank Bills.—There is such a Hazard in putting them off.
_Macheath_. There is a certain Man of Distinction, who in his Time hath nick’d me out of a great deal of the Ready. He is in my Cash, Ben;—I’ll point him out to you this Evening, and you shall draw upon him for the Debt.—The Company are met; I hear the Dice-Box in the other Room. So, Gentlemen, your Servant. You’ll meet me at _Mary-bone_.
SCENE III. Peachum’s _Lock_.
_A Table with Wine_, _Brandy_, _Pipes and Tobacco_.
_Lockit_. The Coronation Account, Brother _Peachum_, is of so intricate a nature, that I believe it will never be settled.
_Peachum_. It consists indeed of a great Variety of Articles.—It was worth to our People, in Fees of different kinds, above ten Instalments.—This is part of the Account, Brother, that lies open before us.
_Lockit_. A Lady’s Tail of rich Brocade:—that, I see, is dispos’d of.
_Peachum_. To Mrs. _Diana Trapes_, the Tally-Woman, and she will make a good Hand on’t in Shoes and Slippers, to trick out young Ladies, upon their going into Keeping.—
_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 find them enter’d under the Article of Exportation.—As for the Snuff-Boxes, Watches, Swords, &c.—I thought it best to enter them under their several Heads.
_Lockit_. Seven and twenty Women’s Pockets complete; with the several things therein contain’d; all Seal’d, Number’d, and Enter’d.
_Peachum_. But, Brother, it is impossible for us now to enter upon this Affair,—We should have the whole Day before us.—Besides, the Account of the last Half Year’s Plate is in a Book by itself, which lies at the other Office.
_Lockit_. Bring us then more Liquor—To-day shall be for Pleasure—To-morrow for Business—Ah, Brother, those Daughters of ours are two slippery Hussies—Keep a watchful Eye upon _Polly_, and _Macheath_ in a Day or two shall be our own again.
AIR XLIV. Down in the North Country, &c.
Lockit. _What Gudgeons are we Men_!
_Ev’ry Woman’s easy Prey_.
_Though we have felt the Hook_, _agen_
_We bite and they betray_.
_The Bird that hath been trapt_,
_When he hears his calling Mate_,
_To her he flies_, _again he’s clapt_
_Within the wiry Grate_.
_Peachum_. But what signifies catching the Bird, if your Daughter _Lucy_ will set open the Door of the Cage?
_Lockit_. If men were answerable for the Follies and Frailties of their Wives and Daughters, no Friends could keep a good Correspondence together for two Days.—This in unkind of you, Brother; for among good Friends, what they say or do goes for nothing.
_Enter a Servant_.
_Servant_. Sir, here’s Mrs. _Diana Trapes_ wants to speak with you.
_Peachum_. Shall we admit her, Brother _Lockit_?
_Lockit_. By all means,—She’s a good Customer, and a fine-spoken Woman—And a Woman who drinks and talks so freely, will enliven the Conversation.
_Peachum_. Desire her to walk in.
Peachum, Lockit, _Mrs._ Trapes.
_Peachum_. Dear Mrs. _Dye_, your Servant—One may know by your Kiss, that your Ginn is excellent.
_Mrs. Trapes_. I was always very curious in my Liquors.
_Lockit_. There is no perfum’d Breath like it—I have been long acquainted with the Flavour of those Lips—Han’t I, Mrs. _Dye_.
_Mrs. Trapes_. Fill it up—I take as large Draughts of Liquor, as I did of Love.—I hate a Flincher in either.
AIR XLV. A Shepherd kept Sheep, &c.
_In the Days of my Youth I could bill like a Dove_, fa, la, la, &c.
_Like a Sparrow at all times was ready for Love_, fa, la, la, &c.
_The Life of all Mortals in Kissing should pass_,
_Lip to Lip while we’re young_—_then the Lip to the Glass_, fa, la,
But now, Mr. _Peachum_, to our Business.—If you have Blacks of any kind, brought in of late; Mantoes—Velvet Scarfs—Petticoats—Let it be what it will—I am your Chap—for all my Ladies are very fond of Mourning.
_Peachum_. Why, look ye, Mrs. _Dye_—you deal so hard with us, that we can afford to give the Gentlemen, who venture their Lives for the Goods, little or nothing.
_Mrs. Trapes_. The hard Times oblige me to go very near in my Dealing.—To be sure, of late Years I have been a great Sufferer by the Parliament.—Three thousand Pounds would hardly make me amends.—The Act for destroying the Mint, was a severe Cut upon our Business—’Till then, if a Customer stept out of the way—we knew 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 Back, and I could never set Eyes upon her for three Months together.—Since the Act too against Imprisonment for small Sums, my Loss there too hath been very considerable, and it must be so, when a Lady can borrow a handsom Petticoat, or a clean Gown, and I not have the least Hank upon her! And, o’ my Conscience, now-a-days most Ladies take a Delight in cheating, when they can do it with Safety.
_Peachum_. Madam, you had a handsom Gold Watch of us ’tother Day for seven Guineas.—Considering we must have our Profit.—To a Gentleman upon the Road, a Gold Watch will be scarce worth the taking.
_Mrs. Trapes_. Consider, Mr. _Peachum_, that Watch was remarkable, and not of very safe Sale.—If you have any black Velvet Scarfs—they are a handsom Winter-wear, and take with most Gentlemen who deal with my Customers.—’Tis I that put the Ladies upon a good Foot. ’Tis not Youth or Beauty that fixes their Price. The Gentlemen always pay according to their Dress, from half a Crown to two Guineas; and yet those Hussies make nothing of bilking of me.—Then too, allowing for Accidents.—I have eleven fine Customers now down under the Surgeon’s Hands—what with Fees and other Expenses, there are great Goings-out, and no Comings in, and not a Farthing to pay for at least a Month’s Clothing.—We run great Risques—great Risques indeed.
_Peachum_. As I remember, you said something just now of Mrs. _Coaxer_.
_Mrs. Trapes_. Yes, Sir.—To be sure I stript her of a Suit of my own Clothes about two Hours ago; and have left her as she should be, in her Shift, with a Lover of hers at my House. She call’d him up Stairs, as he was going to _Mary-bone_ in a Hackney Coach.—And I hope, for her own sake and mine, she will persuade the Captain to redeem her, for the Captain is very generous to the Ladies.
_Lockit_. What Captain?
_Mrs. Trapes_. He thought I did not know him—An intimate Acquaintance of yours, Mr. _Peachum_—Only Captain _Macheath_—as fine as a Lord.
_Peachum_. To-morrow, dear Mrs. _Dye_, you shall set your own Price upon any of the Goods you like—We have at least half a Dozen Velvet Scarfs, and all at your Service. Will you give me leave to make you a Present of this Suit of Night-clothes for your own wearing?—But are you sure it is Captain _Macheath_.
_Mrs. Trapes_. Though he thinks I have forgot him; no body knows him better. I have taken a great deal of the Captain’s Money in my Time at second-hand, for he always lov’d to have his Ladies well drest.
_Peachum_. Mr. _Lockit_ and I have a little Business with the Captain;—You understand me—and we will satisfy you for Mrs. _Coaxer’s_ Debt.
_Lockit_. Depend upon it—we will deal like Men of Honour.
_Mrs. Trapes_. I don’t enquire after your Affairs—so whatever happens, I wash my Hands on’t—It hath always been my Maxim, that one Friend should assist another—But if you please—I’ll take one of the Scarfs home with me. ’Tis always good to have something in Hand.
SCENE IV. _Newgate_.
_Lucy_. Jealousy, Rage, Love and Fear are at once tearing me to pieces, How I am weather-beaten and shatter’d with Distresses!
AIR XLVI. One Evening, having lost my Way, &c.
_I’m like a Skiff on the Ocean tost_,
_Now high_, _now low_, _with each Billow born_,
_With her Rudder broke_, _and her Anchor lost_,
_Deserted and all forlorn_.
_While thus I lie rolling and tossing all Night_,
_That Polly lies sporting on Seas of Delight_!
_Revenge_, _Revenge_, _Revenge_,
_Shall appease my restless Spirit_.
I have the Rats-bane ready.—I run no Risque; for I can lay her Death upon the Ginn, and so many die of that naturally that I shall never be call’d in question.—But say, I were to be hang’d.—I never could be hang’d for any thing that would give me greater Comfort, than the poisoning that Slut.
_Filch_. Madam, here’s Miss _Polly_ come to wait upon you.
_Lucy_. Show her in.
Dear Madam, your Servant.—I hope you will pardon my Passion, when I was so happy to see you last.—I was so over-run with the Spleen, that I was perfectly out of myself. And really when one hath the Spleen, every thing is to be excus’d by a Friend.
AIR XLVII. Now _Roger_, I’ll tell thee because thou ’rt my Son.
_When a Wife’s in her Pout_,
(_As she’s sometimes_, _no 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_. _Poor Man_!
_And the quieting Draught is a Dram_.
—I wish all our Quarrels might have so comfortable a Reconciliation.
_Polly_. I have no Excuse for my own Behaviour, Madam, but my Misfortunes.—And really, Madam, I suffer too upon your Account.
_Lucy_. But, Miss _Polly_—in the way of Friendship, will you give me leave to propose a Glass of Cordial to you?
_Polly_. Strong-Waters are apt to give me the Head-ache—I hope, Madam, you will excuse me.
_Lucy_. Not the greatest Lady in the Land could have better in her Closet, for her own private drinking.—You seem mighty low in Spirits, my Dear.
_Polly_. I am sorry, Madam, my Health will not allow me to accept of your Offer.—I should not have left you in the rude manner I did when we met last, Madam, had not my Papa haul’d me away so unexpectedly—I was indeed somewhat provok’d, and perhaps might use some Expressions that were disrespectful.—But really, Madam, the Captain treated me with so much Contempt and Cruelty, that I deserv’d your Pity, rather than your Resentment.
_Lucy_. But since his Escape, no doubt all Matters are made up again.—Ah _Polly_! _Polly_! ’tis I am the unhappy Wife; and he loves you as if you were only his Mistress.
_Polly_. Sure, Madam, you cannot think me so happy as to be the object of your Jealousy.—A Man is always afraid of a Woman who loves him too well—so that I must expect to be neglected and avoided.
_Lucy_. Then our Cases, my dear _Polly_, are exactly alike. Both of us indeed have been too fond.
AIR XLVIII. O _Bessy Bell_.
Polly. _A Curse attend that Woman’s Love_,
_Who always would be pleasing_.
Lucy. _The Pertness of the billing Dove_,
_Like Tickling_, _is but teazing_.
Polly. _What then in Love can Woman do_:
Lucy. _If we grow fond they shun us_.
Polly. _And when we fly them_, _they pursue_:
Lucy. _But leave us when they’ve won us_.
_Lucy_. Love is so very whimsical in both Sexes, that it is impossible to be lasting.—But my Heart is particular, and contradicts my own Observation.
_Polly_. But really, Mistress _Lucy_, by his last Behaviour, I think I ought to envy you.—When I was forc’d from him, he did not shew the least Tenderness.—But perhaps, he hath a Heart not capable of it.
AIR XLIX. Would Fate to me _Belinda_ give.
_Among the Men_, _Coquettes we find_,
_Who court by turns all Woman-kind_;
_And we grant all their Hearts desir’d_,
_When they are flatter’d_, _and admir’d_.
The Coquettes of both Sexes are Self-lovers, and that is a Love no other whatever can dispossess. I hear, my dear _Lucy_, our Husband is one of those.
_Lucy_. Away with these melancholy Reflections,—indeed, my dear _Polly_, we are both of us a Cup too low—Let me prevail upon you to accept of my Offer.
AIR L. Come, sweet Lass.
_Come_, _sweet Lass_,
_Let’s banish Sorrow_
_Come_, _sweet Lass_,
_Let’s take a chirping Glass_.
_Wine can clear_
_The Vapours of Despair_
_And make us light as Air_;
_Then drink_, _and banish Care_.
I can’t bear, Child, to see you in such low Spirits.—And I must persuade you to what I know will do you good. [_Aside_.] I shall now soon be even with the hypocrytical Strumpet.
_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 Forerunner of Mischief.—By pouring Strong-Waters down my Throat, she thinks to pump some Secrets out of me,—I’ll be upon my Guard, and won’t taste a Drop of her Liquor, I’m resolv’d.
_Re-enter_ Lucy, _with Strong-Waters_.
_Lucy_. Come, Miss _Polly_.
_Polly_. Indeed, Child, you have given yourself trouble to no purpose.—You must, my Dear, excuse me.
_Lucy_. Really, Miss _Polly_, you are as squeamishly affected about taking a Cup of Strong-Waters as a Lady before Company. I vow, _Polly_, I shall take it monstrously ill if you refuse me.—Brandy and Men (though Women love them ever so well) are always taken by us with some Reluctance—unless ’tis in private.
_Polly_. I protest, Madam, it goes against me.—What do I see! _Macheath_ again in Custody!—Now every Glimm’ring of Happiness is lost.
[_Drops the Glass of Liquor on the Ground_.
_Lucy_. Since things are thus, I’m glad the Wench hath escap’d: for by this Event, ’tis plain, she was not happy enough to deserve to be poison’d.
_Enter_ Lockit, Macheath, Peachum.
_Lockit_. Set your Heart to rest, Captain.—You have neither the Chance of Love or Money for another Escape,—for you are order’d to be call’d down upon your Trial immediately.
_Peachum_. Away, Hussies!—This is not a Time for a Man to be hamper’d with his Wives.—You see, the Gentleman is in Chains already.
_Lucy_. O Husband, Husband, my Heart long’d to see thee; but to see thee thus distracts me?
_Polly_. Will not my dear Husband look upon his _Polly_? Why hadst thou not flown to me for Protection? with me thou hadst been safe.
AIR LI. The last time I went o’er the Moor.
Polly. _Hither_, _dear Husband_, _turn your Eyes_.
Lucy. _Bestow one Glance to cheer me_.
Polly. _Think with that Look_, _thy_ 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 say, Ladies?—You see this affair will soon be at an end, without my disobliging either of you.
_Peachum_. But the settling this Point, Captain, might prevent a Law-Suit between your two Widows.
AIR LII. _Tom Tinker’s_ my true Love.
Macheath. _Which way shall I turn me_—_How can I decide_?
_Wives_, _the Day of our Death_, _are as fond as
_One Wife is too much for most Husbands to hear_,
_But two at a time there’s no mortal can bear_.
_This way_, _and that way_, _and which way I
_What would comfort the one_, _t’ other Wife
would take ill_.
_Polly_. But if his own Misfortunes have made him insensible to mine—A Father sure will be more compassionate—Dear, dear Sir, sink the material Evidence, and bring him off at his Trial—_Polly_ upon her Knees begs it of you.
AIR LIII. I am a poor Shepherd undone.
_When my Heroe 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 watery Grave_.
_And alas_, _poor_ Polly!
_Alack_, _and well-a-day_!
_Before I was in Love_,
_Oh_! _every Month was_ May.
_Lucy_. If _Peachum’s_ Heart is harden’d; sure you, Sir, will have more Compassion on a Daughter.—I know the Evidence is in your Power.—How then can you be a Tyrant to me?
AIR LIV. _Ianthe_ the lovely, &c.
_When he holds up his Hand arraign’d for his Life_,
_O think of your Daughter_, _and think I’m his Wife_!
_What are Canons_, _or Bombs_, _or 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 come, _Lucy_.—We know our own Affairs, therefore let us have no more Whimpering or Whining.
AIR LV. A Cobler there was, &c.
_Ourselves_, _like the Great_, _to secure a Retreat_,
_When Matters require it_, _must give up our Gang_:
_And good reason why_,
_Or_, _instead of the Fry_,
_Ev’n_ Peachum _and I_.
_Like poor petty Rascals_, _might hang_, _hang_;
_Like poor petty Rascals_, _might hang_.
_Peachum_. Set your Heart at rest, _Polly_.—Your Husband is to die to-day.—Therefore if you are not already provided, ’tis high time to look about for another. There’s Comfort for you, you Slut.
_Lockit_. We are ready, Sir, to conduct you to the _Old Baily_.
AIR LVI. Bonny _Dundee_.
Macheath. _The Charge is prepar’d_; _the Lawyers are met_,
_The Judges all rang’d_ (_a terrible Show_!)
_I go_, _undismay’d_.—_For Death is a Debt_,
_A Debt on Demand_.—_So take what I owe_.
_Then farewell_, _my Love_—_Dear Charmers_,
_Contented I die_—_’Tis the better for you_.
_Here ends all Disputes the rest of our Lives_,
_For this way at once I please all my Wives_.
Now, Gentlemen, I am ready to attend you.
[_Exeunt_ Macheath, Lockit, _and_ Peachum.
_Polly_. Follow them, _Filch_, to the Court. And when the Trial is over, bring me a particular Account of his Behaviour, and of every thing that happen’d—You’ll find me here with Miss _Lucy_. [_Exit_ Filch.] But why is all this Musick?
_Lucy_. The Prisoners, whose Trials are put off ’till next Session, are diverting themselves.
_Polly_. Sure there is nothing so charming as Music! I’m fond of it to Distraction!—But alas!—now, all Mirth seems an Insult upon my Affliction.—Let us retire, my dear _Lucy_, and indulge our Sorrows.—The noisy Crew, you see, are coming upon us.
_A Dance of Prisoners in Chains_, &c.
SCENE V. _The_ Condemn’d Hold.
Macheath, _in a melancholy Posture_.
AIR LVII. Happy Groves.
_O cruel_, _cruel_, _cruel Case_!
_Must I suffer this Disgrace_?
AIR LVIII. Of all the Girls that are so smart.
_Of all the Friends in time of Grief_,
_When threatning Death looks grimmer_,
_Not one so sure can bring Relief_,
_As this best Friend_, _a Brimmer_.
AIR LIX. _Britons_ strike home.
_Since I must swing_,—_I scorn_, _I scorn to wince or whine_.
AIR LX. Chevy Chase.
_But now again my Spirits sink_;
_I’ll raise them high with Wine_.
[Drinks a Glass of Wine.
AIR LXI. To old Sir _Simon_ the King.
_But Valour the stronger grows_,
_The stronger Liquor we’er drinking_;
_And how can we feel our Woes_,
_When we’ve lost the Trouble of Thinking_?
AIR LXII. Joy to Great _Cæsar_.
_If thus_—_A Man can die_
_Much bolder with Brandy_.
[Pours out a Bumper of Brandy.
AIR LXIII. There was an old Woman.
_So I drink off this Bumper_.—_And now I can stand the Test_,
_And my Comrades shall see_, _that I die as brave as the Best_.
AIR LXIV. Did you ever hear of a gallant Sailor.
_But can I leave my pretty Hussies_,
_Without one Tear_, _or tender Sigh_?
AIR LXV. Why are mine Eyes still flowing.
_Their Eyes_, _their Lips_, _their Busses_
_Recall my Love_,—_Ah must I die_!
AIR LXVI. Green Sleeves.
_Since Laws were made for ev’ry Degree_,
_To curb Vice in others_, _as 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_,
_’Twou’d thin the Land_, _such Numbers to string_
_Upon_ Tyburn_ Tree_!
_Jailor_. Some Friends of yours, Captain, desire to be admitted—I leave you together.
_Enter_ Ben Budge, Matt of the Mint.
_Macheath_. For my having broke Prison, you see, Gentlemen, I am order’d immediate Execution.—The Sheriff’s Officers, I believe, are now at the Door.—That _Jemmy Twitcher_ should peach me, I own surpris’d me!—’Tis a plain Proof that the World is all alike, and that even our Gang can no more trust one another than other People. Therefore, I beg you, Gentlemen, look well to yourselves, for in all probability you may live some Months longer.
_Matt_. We are heartily sorry, Captain, for your Misfortune.—But ’tis what we must all come to.
_Macheath_. _Peachum_ and _Lockit_, you know, are infamous Scoundrels. Their Lives are as much in your Power, as yours are in theirs.—Remember your dying Friend!—’Tis my last Request.—Bring those Villains to the Gallows before you, and I am satisfied.
_Matt_. We’ll do’t.
_Jailor_. Miss _Polly_ and Miss _Lucy_ intreat a Word with you.
_Macheath_. Gentlemen, adieu.
[_Exeunt_ Ben Budge _and_ Matt.
Enter _Lucy_ and _Polly_.
_Macheath_. My dear _Lucy_—My dear _Polly_—Whatsoever hath pass’d between us is now at an end—If you are fond of marrying again, the best Advice I can give you, is to Ship yourselves off for the _West-Indies_, where you’ll have a fair Chance of getting a Husband a-piece, or by good Luck, two or three, as 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 Dear_, _with you_.
Macheath. _O leave me to Thought_! _I fear_! _I doubt_!
_I tremble_! _I droop_!—_See_, _my Courage is
[Turns up the empty Bottle.
Polly. _No Token of Love_?
Macheath. —_See_, _my 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 more, Captain, with a Child apiece! See, here they come.
[_Enter Women and Children_.
_Macheath_. What—four Wives more!—This is too much—Here—tell the Sheriff’s Officers I am ready.
[_Exit_ Macheath _guarded_.
_To them_, _Enter_ Player _and_ Beggar.
_Player_. But, honest Friend, I hope you don’t intend that _Macheath_ shall be really executed.
_Beggar_. Most certainly, Sir.—To make the Piece perfect, I was for doing strict poetical Justice.—_Macheath_ is to be hang’d; and for the other Personages of the Drama, the Audience must have suppos’d they were all either hang’d or transported.
_Player_. Why then, Friend, this is a downright deep Tragedy. The Catastrophe is manifestly wrong, for an Opera must end happily.
_Beggar_. Your Objection, Sir, is very just, and is easily remov’d. For you must allow, that in this kind of Drama, ’tis no matter how absurdly things are brought about—So—you Rabble there—run and cry, A Reprieve!—let the Prisoner be brought back to his Wives in Triumph.
_Player_. All this we must do, to comply with the Taste of the Town.
_Beggar_. Through the whole Piece you may observe such a Similitude of Manners in high and low Life, that it is difficult to determine whether (in the fashionable Vices) the fine Gentlemen imitate the Gentlemen of the Road, or the Gentlemen of the Road the fine Gentlemen.—Had the Play remained, as I at first intended, it would have carried a most excellent Moral. ’Twould have shewn that the lower Sort of People have their Vices in a degree as well as the Rich: And that they are punish’d for them.
_To them_, Macheath _with_ Rabble, &c.
_Macheath_. So, it seems, I am not left to my Choice, but must have a Wife at last.—Look ye, my Dears, we will have no Controversy now. Let us give this Day to Mirth, and I am sure she who thinks herself my Wife will testify her Joy by a Dance.
_All_. Come, a Dance—a Dance.
_Macheath_. Ladies, I hope you will give me leave to present a Partner to each of you. And (if I may without Offence) for this time, I take _Polly_ for mine.—And for Life, you Slut,—for we were really marry’d.—As for the rest.—But at present keep your own Secret.
AIR LXVIII. Lumps of Pudding, &c.
_Thus I stand like the_ Turk, _with his Doxies around_;
_From all Sides their Glances his Passion confound_;
_For Black_, _Brown_, _and Fair_, _his Inconstancy burns_,
_And the different Beauties subdue him by turns_:
_Each calls forth her Charms to provoke his Desires_:
_Though willing to all_, _with but one he retires_.
_But think of this Maxim_, _and put off your Sorrow_,
_The Wretch of To-day_, _may be happy To-morrow_.
Chorus. _But think of this Maxim_, &c.
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