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Title: The Beggar's Opera - to which is prefixed the Musick to each Song
Author: Gay, John, 1685-1732
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  WRITTEN by Mr. _GAY_.

  To which is Prefixed the
  MUSICK to each SONG.


  _Nos hæc novimus esse nihil._ --MART.

  William Heinemann

_To J. G. and to G. L. F., without whom I should have been powerless,
do I dedicate my share in this book. C. L. F._

_Note.-- The Text here given is taken from the edition of 1765. The
scenes have been re-numbered in the modern method denoting actual
changes of place or intervals of time._

_First published September 1921_

_New Impression October 1921_


     I. THE BEGGAR                      Frontispiece
    II. MRS. PEACHUM                 To face page  6
   III. POLLY PEACHUM                     "       18
    IV. SCENE: A TAVERN NEAR NEWGATE      "       28
     V. CAPTAIN MACHEATH                  "       40
    VI. LUCY LOCKIT                       "       56
   VII. PEACHUM                           "       70
  VIII. LOCKIT                            "       82


  That when I die this word may stand for me--
  He had a heart to praise, an eye to see,
  And beauty was his king.

Dead at the age of thirty-one after a sudden operation, Claud Lovat
Fraser was as surely a victim of the war as though he had fallen in
action. He was full of vigour for his work, but shell-shock had left him
with a heart that could not stand a strain of this kind, and all his own
fine courage could not help the surgeons in a losing fight. We are not
sorry for him--we learn that, not to be sorry for the dead. But for
ourselves? This terror is always so fresh, so unexampled. I had
telephoned to him to ask whether he would help me in a certain
theatrical enterprise. I was told by his servant that he was ill, but
one hears these things so often that one gave but little thought to it
beyond sending a telegram asking for news; and now this. Personal griefs
are of no public interest, but here is as sad a public loss as has
befallen us, if the world can measure truly, in our generation.

But it is not, I think, of our loss that we should speak now. These
desolations, strangely, have a way of bringing their own fortitude.
A few hours after hearing, without any warning, of Lovat Fraser's death,
I was walking among the English landscape that he loved so well, and I
felt there how poor and inadequate a thing death really was, how little
to be feared. This apparent intention to destroy a life and genius so
young, so admirable, and so rich in promise, seemed, for all the hurt,
in some way wholly to have failed. We all knew that, given health, the
next ten years would show a splendid volume of work from the new power
and understanding to which he had been coming in these later days. But
just as it seems to me not the occasion to lament our own loss, so does
it seem idle to speculate with regret upon what art may have lost by
this sudden stroke. It is, rather, well to be glad that so few years
have borne so abundantly. Not only is the work that Lovat Fraser has
left full in volume, it is decisive in character beyond all likelihood
in one of his years. Greatly as he would have added to our delight, and
wider as his influence would have grown, nothing he might have done
could have added to our knowledge of the kind of distinction that was
his and that will always mark his fame.

The man himself had a charm of unusual definition. One might go to his
studio at five o'clock and find him lumbering with his great frame among
a chaos of the rare and curious books that he loved, stacked pell-mell
on to the shelves, littered on tables and the floor, his clothes and
face and fingers streaked with paint. And then an hour or two later he
would come dressed ready for the theatre, an immaculate beau of the
'fifties, his top coat with waist and skirts, his opera hat made to
special order by a Bond Street expert on an 1850 last. And then, before
setting off, he would talk of some fellow-artist who was a little down
and out, and wonder whether some of his drawings might not be bought at
a few guineas apiece. Then to book, as it were, such an order gave salt
to his evening, and if the evening meant contact with some of his own
exquisite work, a word of admiration was taken with that wistful
gratitude that it is now almost unbearable to remember.

The theatre is a complex, co-operative affair, and it is idle to inquire
who gives more than another to it. But on one side of its effort nobody
in these later years has fought for light and beauty more surely and
courageously than Claud Lovat Fraser. Like every fine artist, he was
sometimes a little puzzled, a little hurt, that the critics could not
see the clear motives inspiring his work. But the purpose never
faltered. _As You Like It_, _The Beggar's Opera_, _If_, the exquisite
designs for Madame Karsavina's later ballets--these made it plain enough
that a new genius of extraordinary power and fertility was at work on
the stage. With a knowledge of tradition that combined the widest
learning with profound intuition, Lovat Fraser in his design touched the
life of five hundred years with the English spirit of our own time, with
a certainty that every one of his colleagues, I know, will be proud to
allow was beyond them all. The fertility of which I speak was perhaps
his peculiar distinction, and it had no touch of common facility. He
could not draw a line that was not hard with thought and rooted in
imaginative decision. But he could invent with immense rapidity. It was
the old, though rare, story. Alike in his theatre design and his tender
landscape, beauty of spirit flowed in everything he did into beauty of
execution. He was a man in whose presence everything mean or slipshod

But perhaps it is most fitting at this time that we should think of our
dead friend in yet another way. We are governed by two influences, our
own character, and example. For each man his own character is for his
meditation apart, but of example we may sometimes speak together in the
open with profit. Those of us who live always striving towards creative
effort believe passionately that the thing towards which we aim makes
for all that is most chivalrous and most intelligent in life, that it is
indeed the one true honesty in the world. And yet we know how easily
that effort is beset by fears and jealousies and failure in generosity,
how lightly we who should together give all our energy to the service of
our art, waste it in little concerns of spite and self-interest. And it
is in just such ways as this that great example may serve us nobly, and
there has surely never lived an artist in whom such example more clearly
shone. Art, which for him embraced and crystallised all that was brave
and adventurous and tender, was the worship of Lovat Fraser's life,
a worship which he kept with an absolute loyalty.

It is my privilege to know most of the best artists, in all kinds, of my
age. One has this distinction, another that. But I think that he had the
loveliest of them all. I have known nobody who brought to his art a
devotion so pure and utterly removed from self-interest. If he could
serve the beauty that he loved, he was eager always to do so with
perfect indifference to his own reward. Nobody could be with him for ten
minutes without feeling that art was a thing far greater than any
artist. He had the lovely, humorous humility that is the one sure sign
of greatness. One felt always that if he should think that another might
do given work better than he, there could be for him nothing but
distress if the best was not done, even though it meant the loss of
personal opportunity. But it is one of the happy things of genius that
this exquisite humility can only live with great creative gifts, so that
Lovat Fraser knew from day to day the supreme joy of mastery. The
humility, however, is our example, and the thought that seems most
worthy to-day is that he stands at this moment, for all he was younger
than most of us, as a challenging leader to us all. It will, I think,
always be impossible to remember him without feeling that anything mean
or grudging in the spirit in which we do our work is a betrayal and an
intolerable thing. With all his gaiety, his fun, his simplicities, and
his powers, he showed us not only what a fine artist can do but what a
fine artist can be. And under his leadership at this moment may we not
go back to our work in the world with renewed courage and faith,

  "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers."

For his fame none of us have any fear. There is in his public
achievement and his portfolios a solid body of work that more and more
must establish itself. However futile prophecy in these things must be,
one is confident that a hundred years hence his name will be highly
honoured among the little band who helped to bring back some life and
truth to the English theatre of this age. He would wish for nothing
better than that. And idle though it is to ask what his death, at little
more than youth, may mean in the way of loss to the art that he lived
for, his friends know that as dear a life as any of our time has gone
suddenly, inexplicably, taking with it the tenderest love of every one
who knew him. And he leaves with us an example without any stain.



_Midsummer 1921_.




Superficially the task of staging _The Beggar's Opera_ was one of
supreme ease. Indeed, so easy was it that it became a matter of some
embarrassment to prune and select the required amount of data. Here was
Hogarth and his actual scene of Newgate with Macheath in chains; here
was Laroon's _Cries of London_ falling, in its edition of 1733, pat into
the period; here was the National Portrait Gallery and, added to these,
here was the benefit of all Mr. Charles E. Pearce's research.[1] After a
month or two of work in designing, the ease became so marked and
apparent that it engendered in me the beginnings of mistrust. Still,
I persevered in scene and costume with historically accurate
reproduction and, until three weeks before the actual work was due to be
carried out at the costumier's and in the painting shops, I felt
comparatively cheerful. Then I reviewed my forces--the little scale
models of the scenes, the characters in painted cardboard--all exact and
accurate. Something was wrong and the result was, I confess, appalling.
I had not made allowances either for my theatre or for my audience.
I had forgotten that it required a spacious Georgian theatre, the
intimacy of the side-boxes, the great personages sitting on the stage.
The Duke of Bolton, Major Pauncefoot and Sir Robert Fagg were not in
their places as in Hogarth's painting; the pit would not be filled with
tye-wigs and hoops and there would be a sharper line of division between
the actors and the spectators than ever existed in 1728. Something else
had to be done. As reproduction was a failure one would try to give an
impression of the same thing. Impressionism proved even worse than
accuracy. It was neither one thing nor the other. It merged into "making
a picture of it"--a crime that is without parallel in the staging of a
play. To make a pretty picture at the expense of drama is merely to
pander to the voracity of the costumier and scene-painter.

    [Footnote 1: _Polly Peachum and The Beggar's Opera_, by
    Charles E. Pearce. Messrs. Stanley Paul & Company, 1913.]

What was then to be done? Added to all these objections was the
important fact that I had designed scenes that would have seriously
hampered the resources at Hammersmith. The theatre would have required
more space for storage than could possibly have been given and, in
addition, an army of stage hands would be wanted for whom there was not
in this little theatre the accommodation.

The solution was, of course, to forget one's past work, to scrap the
models, and to start feverishly afresh. The only method left untried was
the symbolic. That is to say, to hint at the eighteenth century and to
suggest that through the doors on the stage existed the London of 1728.
The scene demanded to be simple and one which, with slight modifications
in doors and windows, remained before the audience for the whole action
of the play. It was, therefore, to be a scene of which people did not
easily tire and that remained interesting, unobtrusive and formally
neat. To find such a scene it is necessary to refer back to days when
the Comic and the Tragic scenes were architectural and permanent. This I
did and, taking Palladio's magnificent scene at Vicenza, by a shameless
process of _reductio ad absurdum_, evolved the scene that is now in use
at Hammersmith. Palladio and Gay have much to forgive.

So far the scene, but it called for a corresponding treatment in the
dresses. In _The Beggar's Opera_ no one is in the height of fashion.
Macheath and certain Ladies of the Town alone "keep Company with
Lords and Gentlemen," and even then there must have been apparent a
distinction. Macheath is unaltered. Here it was essential to keep to
tradition. Macheath in a blue coat is unthinkable. The rest of the
characters are frankly in the neighbourhood of Newgate. The clothes
of Peachum and Lockit would be as equally unfashionable and just as
possible thirty years before as thirty years after 1728, whilst the
footpads are clad in whatever Georgian rags that happened to come their
way. With the women I have taken greater licence. I have kept faithfully
to the outlines of the age, the close-fitting bodice, the flat hoops,
the square-toed shoes, but I have taken considerable liberties in the
manner in which I have shorn them of ribbons and laces and--for the sake
of dramatic simplicity, be it remembered--I have eliminated yards of

Just so much explanation is, I consider, due to the public, but whether
I have been justified by results or whether, under the sacred mask of
Drama, I have erred unpardonably, are points which, so long as this
revival draws attention to a forgotten masterpiece, can be of no very
great importance.



_February 1921_.




  WAT DREARY          }
  ROBIN OF BAGSHOT    } _Macheath's_ Gang.
  NIMMING NED         }
  BEN BUDGE           }


  MRS. COAXER    }
  MRS. VIXEN     }
  BETTY DOXY     } _Women of the Town_.

Constables, Drawers, Turnkey, etc.





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.






_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.

  Enter _Filch_.

_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

_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.    [Exit _Filch_.

_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

_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.

    [Exit _Peachum_.

_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

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.

  Enter _Filch_.

_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

_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

_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


  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

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 Pride,
  With Scarfs and Stays, and Gloves and Lace;
      and she will have Men beside;
  And when she's drest with Care and Cost,
      all tempting, fine and gay,
  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?    [Pinches her.

_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

_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!    [Faints.

_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

  [_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

_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

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

    [Exit _Polly_.

_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.

  Enter _Polly_.

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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.

    [Exit _Polly_.

  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

_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

_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_.

    [Exeunt severally.

_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,
      Heaving Sighs,
      Doting Eyes,
  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

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.




_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

_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

_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 Chorus.

_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.
    Press her,
    Caress her,
    With Blisses,
    Her Kisses
  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

_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

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

_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!

  Enter _Lucy_.

_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

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

_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.    [Exit _Peachum_.

  Enter _Lucy_.

_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.

    [Exit _Lockit_.

  Enter _Macheath_.

_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

_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.

  Enter _Polly_.

_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

_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 Noose.
  _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
    Others wooing;
  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;
        Madam _Flirt_.

  _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.

  Enter _Peachum_.

_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

_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.

  _Lucy_, _Macheath_.

_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

_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!





_SCENE, Newgate._

  _Lockit_, _Lucy_.

_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

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

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.    [Exit _Lucy_.

_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

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._

  _Peachum_, _Lockit_.

_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

_Peachum._ Desire her to walk in.    [Exit Servant.

  _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, &c._

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

_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.

  Enter _Filch_.

_Filch._ Madam, here's Miss _Polly_ come to wait upon you.

_Lucy._ Show her in.

  Enter _Polly_.

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

_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

_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
    'Till To-morrow;
    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.    [Exit.

_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

    [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

  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 a Bride.
  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 will,
  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?    [Kneeling.

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, adieu.
  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_.

  Enter _Filch_.

_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.    [Drinks.

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?    [Drinks.

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 out.

  [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?

  _Polly._           --Adieu.

  _Lucy._                 --Farewell.

  _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

    [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.

    [To _Polly_.


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.



  Printed in Great Britain by
  Richard Clay & Sons, Limited,
  Bungay, Suffolk.

       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *       *

Errata Noted by Transcriber:

    Dramatis Personae: "Mat of the Mint"
      [_The name is spelled "Mat" here and on the character's first
      entrance, "Matt" everywhere else._]
    The place name "Mary-bone" is spelled randomly with and without
      a hyphen.
    There is no illustration at the end of Act II, Scene II.

  Spelling Unchanged:
    Air X. ... Whose Treasure is contreband.
    the hypocrytical Strumpet

  Punctuation or Capitalization Unchanged:

    Dear Wife, be a little pacified, Don't let your Passion
    of rich Brocade. --that, I see, is dispos'd of.
    you had a handsom Gold Watch of us 'tother Day
    --But are you sure it is Captain _Macheath_.
    but to see thee / thus distracts me?
    Air LXI. The stronger Liquor we'er drinking;

       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *

_About the Music_

The following information is also given in the text file
"about_the_music" in the "Music" directory.

The music in the printed book appears to be a hand-written copy of the
1765 original, retaining or adding assorted minor errors. In particular,
the use of double bar lines or repeats seems to be almost entirely
arbitrary. In the PDF and MIDI files, obvious errors such as missing
dots after notes have been corrected, and a few ties have been added.
Repeats are used only when required by the lyrics as printed.

All music files, including the PDF images, are in the "Music" directory.
In addition to individual Airs, there are PDF files containing the
collected songs for each scene that has more than one song. Air LXVIII
(the final song) has been omitted because it takes up a complete page by

_Changing the Tempo_

If you want to change the tempo of a MIDI file, do this:

--Install the lilypond program (free from lilypond.org)

--Open the file you want to edit (named in the form "air_N.ly" using the
same Roman numerals as in the text) and scroll down to the bottom. The
"make-moment" line works just like a metronome setting. Leave the second
number alone--usually a 4 for quarter-note--and make the first number
larger or smaller.

--Select "Run" or "Typeset File" from the Compile menu. This will create
three files in the same location as the original .ly file: an updated
MIDI, a new PDF, and a Postscript (.ps) file. You may keep the
Postscript file or delete it; they are automatically generated, but were
omitted from this Doctrine Publishing Corporation text because they are very large and
are easy to make on your own computer.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Beggar's Opera - to which is prefixed the Musick to each Song" ***

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