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1 pronounce, boy, thou wilt be a great man in history. Where was your post last night, my boy?

Filch. I ply'd at the opera, Madam, and considering 'twas neither dark nor rainy, so that there was no great hurry in getting chairs and coaches, made a tolerable hand on't. These seven handkerchiefs, Madam. 233

Mrs. Peach. Coloured ones I see. They are of sure sale from our warehouse at Redriffamong the seamen.

Filch. And this snuffbox.

Mrs. Peach. Set in gold! a pretty encouragement this to a young beginner.

Filch. I had a fair tug at a charming gold watch. Pox take the tailors for making the fobs so deep and narrow! It stuck by the way, and I was forced 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. 245

Mrs. Peach. 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 Bailey! For the first fact I'll ensure thee from being hanged; and going to sea, Filch, will come time enough upon a sentence of transportation. But now since you have nothing better to do, even 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 lie, for you know I hate a liar; do you know of any thing that hath past between Captain Macheath and our Polly1 a6i

Filch. I beg you, Madam, don't ask me, for I must either tell a lie to you or to Miss Polly, for I promised her I would not tell.

Mrs. Peach. But when the honour of our family is concerned

Filch. I shall lead a sad life with Miss Polly if ever she come to know that I told you. Besides, I would not willingly forfeit my own honour by betraying any body. 270

Mrs. Peach. 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 drinks ing. [Exeunt

Enter Pea Chum end 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 at 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 show for it. A girl who cannot grant somethings, and refuse what is most material, will make but a poor hand of her beauty, and soon be thrown upon the common. 285


What shall I do to show how much I love her?

Virgins are lihe the fair flovi'r in its lustre,
Which in the garden enamels the ground,
Near it the bees in play flutter and cluster,
And gaudy butterflies frolic around; . a9o

But when once pluch'd 't is no longer alluring,
To Covent-garden 'tis sent, (as yet sweet)
There fades, and shrinhs, and grows past all enduring,
Rots, stinhs, and dies, and is trod under feet.

Peach. 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. 300J

Enter Mrs. Peachum.

O London is a fine town.

Mrs. Peachum [in a very great passion."]

Our Polly is a sad slut I nor heeds what we have taught

her, .- - . . / wonder any man alive will ever rear a daughter I For she must have both hoods and gowns, and hoops to

swell her pride, With scarfs and stays, and gloves and lace, and she'll

have men beside; And when she's drest with care and cost, all-tempting, fine and gay,

As men should serve a cucumber, sheflings herself away.

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.' 311

Peach. 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 lived comfortably so long together if ever we had been married, baggage?

Mrs. Peach. I knew she was always a proud slut, and now the wench hath played 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 f have you money enough to carry on the daily quarrels of man and wife about who shall squander most f There are hot many husbands and wives w ho can bear the charges of plaguing one another in a handsome way. If you must be married, could you introduce nobody into our family but a highwayman? Why, thou foolish jade, thou wilt be

cur '""

as ill used, and as much neglected, as if thou hadst married a lord! . 329

Peach. 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. Peach. With Polly's fortune she might very well have gone off to a person of distinction: yes, that you might, you pouting slut 1 339 Peach. 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. Peach. How the mother is to be pitied who hath handsome 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.

Peach. Why, Polly, I shall soon jenow if you are married by Macheath's keeping from our house. 351


Grim king of the ghosts, &c.

Polly. Can love be cantroll'd by advice i
Will Cupid our mothas obey?

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