Mac. I was to have been of that partybut
Mat. But what, sir?
Mac. Is there any man who suspects my courage?
Mat. We have all been witnesses of it.
Mac. My honour and truth to the gang?
Mat. Ill be answerable for it.
Mac. In the division of our booty, have I ever shown the least marks of avarice or injustice?
Mat. By these questions something seems to have ruffled you. Are any of us suspected?
Mac. 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.
Mat. Is he about to play us any foul play? Ill shoot him through the head.
Mac. I beg you, gentlemen, act with conduct and discretion. A pistol is your last resort.
Mat. He knows nothing of this meeting.
Mac. 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 obliged 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 ruined.
Mat. As a bawd to a whore, I grant you he is to us of great convenience.
Mac. 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.
Mat. Your instructions shall be observed. Tis now high time for us to repair to our several duties; so till the evening, at our quarters in Moorfields, we bid you farewell.
Mac. I shall wish myself with you. Success attend you!
[Sits down melancholy at the table.
Air.March in Rinaldo, with drums and trumpets
Mat. Let us take the road.
The hour of attack approaches,
To your arms, brave boys, and load!
See the ball I hold!
Let the chemists toil like asses,
Our fire their fire surpasses,
And turns all our lead to gold.
[The gang, ranged in the front of the stage, load their pistols and stick them under their girdles; then go off, singing the first part in chorus.]
Mac. 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, hath 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.
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