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The coquettes of both sexes are self-lovers, and that is a love no other whatever can dispossess. I fear, my dear Lucy, our husband is one of those.
Lucy. Away with these melancholy reflections—Indeed, my dear Polly! we are both of us a cup too low: let me prevail upon you to accept of my offer.
Come, sweet lass!
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 1 shall now soon be even with the hypocritical strumpet. [Aside."] [Exit.
Polly. All this wheedling of Lucy can't be for nothing—at this time too, when I know she hates me 1 —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 resolved. 441
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 affefted about takingacup of strong waters, as a lady before company. I vow, Polly, I shall take it monstrously ill if you refuse me—Brandy and men (tho' women love them never 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 glimmering of happiness is lost!
[Drops the glass of liquor on the ground.
Lucy. Since things are thus, I'm glad the wench hath escap'd, for by this event 'tis plain she was not happy enough to deserve to be poison'd. [Aside.
Enter Lockit, Macheath, and Peachum.
Loch. Set your heart at rest, Captain—You have neither the chance of love or money for another escape, for you are ordered to be call'd down upon your trial immediately. 461
Peach. Away hussies!—this is not a time for a man to be hampered 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 protec-. tion > with me thou hadst been safe. 469
The last time I came o'er the moor.
Polly. Hither, dear husband! turn your eyes.
Lucy. Bestow one glance to cheer me.
Polly. Thinh with that looh thy Polly dies.
Lucy. O shun me not, hut hear me.
Polly. 'Tis Polly sues.
Lucy. 'Tis Lucy speahs.
Polly. Is thus true love requited?
Lucy. My heart is bursting.
Polly. Mine too breahs.
Lucy. Must I,
Polly. Must I be slighted? 480
Mac. What would you have me say, ladies ?—You see this affair will soon be at an end, without my disobliging either of you.
Peach. But the settling this point, Captain, might prevent a law-suit between your two widows.
Tom Tinker's my true love, (3c.
Mac. 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, 490 What would comfort the one, t' other wife would tahe 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.
I am a poor shepherd undone.
When my hero in court appears,
Before I was in love
Lucy. If Peachum's heart is hardened, 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.
Ianthe the lovely, &c.
When he holds up his hand arraign'dfor his life,
Loch. Macheath's time is come, Lucy—We know our own affairs, therefore, let us have no more whimpering or whining..
A cobler there was, &c.
Ourselves, lihe 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 Peachnm and I