Air.—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.

Lock. And so after all this mischief I must stay here to be entertained with your caterwauling, Mistress Puss! Out of my sight, wanton strumpet! You shall fast and mortify yourself into reason, with now and then a little handsome 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 return?

Air.—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. Lucy! [Enter Lucy.] Are there any of Peachum’s people now in the house?

Lucy. Filch, sir, is drinking a quartern of strong waters in the next room with Black Moll.

Lock. Bid him come to me.

[Exit Lucy.

Enter Filch

Why, boy, thou lookest as if thou wert half-starved, like a shotten herring.

Filch. One had need have the constitution of a horse to go through the business. Since the favourite child-getter was disabled by a mishap I have picked up a little money by helping the ladies to a pregnancy against their being called down to sentence. But if a man cannot get an honest livelihood any easier way, I am sure ’tis what I can’t undertake for another session.

Lock. Truly if that great man should tip off ’twould be an irreparable loss. The vigour and prowess of a knight errant never saved half the ladies in distress that he hath done. But, boy, canst thou tell me where thy master is to be found?

Filch. At his lock, sir, at The Crooked Billet.

Lock. Very well. I have nothing more with you. [Exit Filch.] I’ll go to him there, for I have many important affairs to settle with him, and in the way of those transactions I’ll artfully get into his secret, so that Macheath shall not remain a day longer out of my clutches.


  By PanEris using Melati.

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