Page images
PDF

Mac. 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 chuse gin, I hope they will be so free to call for it.

Jen. 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.

Mac. 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. 192

Coax. 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 pade. soy to Mr. Peachum's lock but last week.

Fix. There's Molly Brazen hath the ogle of a rattle-snake: she riveted a linen-draper's eye so fast upon her, that he was nicked of three pieces of cambric before he could look off. 200

Braz. Oh, dear Madam! But sure nothing can

come up to your handling of laces; and then you have such a sweet deluding tongue! To cheat a man is nothing; but the woman must have fine parts, indeed, who cheats a woman.

Vix. Lace, Madam, lies in a small compass, and is of easy conveyance. But you are apt, Madam, to think too well of your friends. 208

Coax. If any woman hath more art than another, to be sure't is 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.

Jen. 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

Mac. Have done with your compliments, ladies, and drink about. You are not so fond of me, Jenny, as you used to be. '220

Jen. '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.

All in a misty morning.

Before the barn-door, crowing,
The coch 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 230
With how do you do, and how do you do,
And how do you do agen?

Mac. Ah Jenny! thou art a dear slut!

Trul. Pray, Madam, were you ever in keeping?

Tawd. I hope, Madam, I ha'n't been so long upon the Town but I have met with some good fortune as well as my neighbours.

Trull. Pardon me, Madam, I meant no harm by the question; 't was only in the way of conversation.

Tawd. Indeed, Madam, if I had not been a fool, I might have lived very handsomely with my last friend; but upon his missing five guineas, he.turned me off. Now I never suspected he had counted them. . ... .

Slam. Who do you look upon, Madam, as your best sort of keepers?

Trull. That, Madam, is thereafter as they be.

Slam. I, Madam, was once kept by a Jew, and baiting their religion, to women they are a good sort of people. 250

Tawd. Now, for my part, I own I like an old fellow, for we always make them pay for what they cannot do.

Vix. A spruce 'prentice, let me tell you, ladies, is no ill thing; they bleed freely: I have sent at least two or three dozen of them in my time to the plantations.

Jen. But to be sure, sir, with so much good fortune as you have had upon the road, you must be grown immensely rich. 260

Mac. The road, indeed, hath done me justice, but the gaming table hath been my ruin.

AIR.

When once I lay with another man's wife, &c. Jen.' Thc gamesters and lawyers are jugglers alihe, If they meddle, your all is in danger;

Lihe gipsies, if once they can finger a souse,
Your pochets they pich, and they pilfer your house,
And give your estate to a stranger. 267

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 tahes up his pistol, Tawdry tahes vp the other.

Tawd. 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't is ill bred.

Mac. Wanton hussies'.

Jen. I must and will have a kiss to give my wine a zest.

[They tahe him about the nech, andmahe signs to Peachum and Constables, who rush in upon him.

Peach. I seize you, sir, as my prisoner. 279 Mac. Was this well done, Jenny ?—Women are decoy ducks; who can trust them? beasts, jades, jilts, harpies, furies, whores!

Peach. Your case, Mr. Macheath, is not particular. The greatest heroes have been ruined 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 Constables, wait upon the Captain to

291

AIR.

When first I laid siege to my Chloris.

Mac. At the tree I shall suffer with pleasure,
At the tret I shall suffer with pleasure,
Let me go where I will,
In all hinds of ill,

I shallfind no such Furies as these are.

Peach. Ladies, I 'll take care the reckoning shall be discharged.

[Exit Macheath guarded, with Peachum and Constables; the women remain.]

Vix. Look ye, Mrs. Jenny, though Mr. Peachum may have made a private bargain with you and Sukey Tawdry for betraying the Captain, as we were all assisting, we ought all to share alike. 302

Coax. I think, Mr. Peachum, after so long an acquaintance, might have trusted me as well as Jenny Diver.

Slam. 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. 310

Jen. 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.

in Newgate.

his lodgings.

« PreviousContinue »