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. Did he tip handsomely?How much did he come down with? Come, Hussy, dont cheat your Father; and I shall not be angry with youPerhaps, you have made a better Bargain with him than I could have doneHow much, my good Girl?
LUCY. But Love, Sir, is a Misfortune that may happen to the most discreet Woman, and in Love we are all Fools alikeNotwithstanding all he swore, I am now fully convincd 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. And so, after all this Mischief, I must stay here to be entertaind with your Catterwauling, Mistress Puss!Out of my Sight, wanton Strumpet! you shall fast and mortify yourself into Reason, with now and then a little handsome Discipline to bring you to your Senses.Go.
Peachum then intends to outwit me in this Affair; but Ill be even with him.The Dog is leaky in his Liquor, so Ill ply him that way, get the Secret from him, and turn this Affair to my own Advantage.Lions, Wolves and Vultures dont 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 meAnd shall I not make use of the Privilege of Friendship to make him a Return.
FILCH. One had need have the Constitution of a Horse to go through with the Business.Since the favourite Child-getter was disabled by a Mishap, I have pickd up a little Money by helping the Ladies to a Pregnancy against their being calld down to Sentence.But if a Man cannot get an honest Livelihood any easier way, I am sure, tis what I cant undertake for another Session.
LOCKIT. Truly, if that great Man should tip off, twould be an irreparable Loss. The Vigor and Prowess of a Knight-Errant never savd half the Ladies in Distress that he hath done.But, Boy, canst thou tell me where thy Master is to be found?
LOCKIT. Very well.I have nothing more with you. [Ex. Filch.] Ill go to him there, for I have many important Affairs to settle with him; and in the way of these Transactions, Ill artfully get into his SecretSo that Macheath shall not remain a Day longer out of my Clutches.
Scene 4, A Gaming-House. MACHEATH in a fine tarnishd 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.
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 is a certain Man of Distinction, who in his Time hath nickd me out of a great deal of the Ready. He is in my Cash, Ben;Ill 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. Youll meet me at Mary-bone.
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.
PEACHUM. Those are so well known that they must be sent abroadYoull find them enterd under the Article of Exportation.As for the Snuff-Boxes, Watches, Swords, &c.I thought it best to enter them under their several Heads.
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 Years Plate is in a Book by itself, which lies at the other Office.
LOCKIT. Bring us then more Liquor.To-day shall be for PleasureTo-morrow for BusinessAh, Brother, those Daughters of ours are two slippery HussiesKeep a watchful Eye upon Polly, and Macheath in a Day or two shall be our own again.
LOCKIT. If Men were answerable for the Follies and Frailties of the Wives and Daughters, no Friends could keep a good Correspondence together for two DaysThis is unkind of you, Brother; for among good Friends, what they say or do goes for nothing.
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 were youngthen the Lip to the Glass, fa, la, &c.
But now, Mr. Peachum, to our Business.If you have Blacks of any kind, brought in of late; MantoesVelvet ScarfsPetticoatsLet it be what it willI am your Chapfor all my Ladies are very fond of Mourning.
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 BusinessTill then, if a Customer stept out of the waywe knew where to have herNo doubt you know Mrs. Coaxertheres 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 handsome 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.
TRAPES. Consider, Mr. Peachum, that Watch was remarkable, and not of very safe Sale.If you have any black Velvet Scarfsthey are a handsome 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 Surgeons Handswhat with Fees and other Expenses, there are great Goings-out, and no Comings in, and not a Farthing to pay for at least a Months Clothing.We run great Risquesgreat Risques indeed.
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 calld 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.
PEACHUM. To-morrow, dear Mrs. Dye, you shall set your own Price upon any of the Goods you likeWe 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.
TRAPES. I dont enquire after your Affairsso whatever happens, I wash my hands ontIt hath always been my Maxim, that one Friend should assist anotherBut if you pleaseIll take one of the Scarfs home with me. Tis always good to have something in Hand.
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 calld in question.But say, I were to be hangd.I never could be hangd for any thing that would give me greater Comfort, than the poisoning that Slut.
LUCY. 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, everything is to be excusd by a Friend.
POLLY. I am sorry, Madam, my Health will not allow me to accept of your OfferI should not have left you in the rude manner I did when we met last, Madam, had not my Papa hauld me away so unexpectedlyI was indeed somewhat provokd, and perhaps might use some Expressions that were disrespectful.But really, Madam, the Captain treated me with so much Contempt and Cruelty, that I deservd your Pity, rather than your Resentment.
POLLY. But really, Mistress Lucy, by his last Behaviour, I think I ought to envy you.When I was forcd from him, he did not shew the least Tenderness.But perhaps, he hath a Heart not capable of it.
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,Ill be upon my Guard, and wont taste a Drop of her Liquor, Im resolvd.
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 Reluctanceunless tis in private.
POLLY. But if his own Misfortunes have made him insensible to mineA Father sure will be more compassionateDear, dear Sir, sink the material Evidence, and bring him off at his TrialPolly, upon her Knees begs it of you.
POLLY. Follow them, Filch, to the Court. And when the Trial is over, bring me a particular Account of his Behaviour, and of everything that happendYoull find me here with Miss Lucy. [Exit Filch.] But why is all this Musick?
POLLY. Sure there is nothing so charming as Musick! Im 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. [Exeunt.
MACHEATH. For my having broke Prison, you see, Gentlemen, I am orderd immediate Execution.The Sheriffs Officers, I believe, are now at the Door.That Jemmy Twitcher should peach me, I own surprisd 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.
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.
MACHEATH. My dear LucyMy dear PollyWhatsoever hath passd between us is now at an endIf you are fond of marrying again, the best Advice I can give you is to Ship yourselves off for the West-Indies, where youll have a fair Chance of getting a Husband a-piece, or by good Luck, two or three, as you like best.
BEGGAR. Most certainly, Sir.To make the Piece perfect, I was for doing strict poetical JusticeMacheath is to be hangd; and for the other Personages of the Drama, the Audience must have supposd they were all hangd or transported.
BEGGAR. Your Objection, Sir, is very just, and is easily removd. For you must allow, that in this kind of Drama, tis no matter how absurdly things are brought aboutSoyou Rabble thererun and cry, A Reprieve!let the Prisoner be brought back to his Wives in Triumph.
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 shown that the lower Sort of People have their Vices in a degree as well as the Rich: And that they are punishd for them.
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.
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 marryd.As for the rest.But at present keep your own Secret. [To Polly.