British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview
AIR XXIX. The sun had loosed his weary teams.

The first time at the looking-glass
The mother sets her daughter,
The image strikes the smiling lass
With self-love ever after.

Each time she looks, she, fonder grown, 75
Thinks ev'ry charm grows stronger. But alas, vain maid, all eyes but your own
Can see you are not younger.

When women consider their own beauties, they are

all alike unreasonable in their demands; for they 80
expect their lovers should like them as long as they like themselves.

LUCY. Yonder is my father -- perhaps this way we may light upon the ordinary, who shall try if you

will be as good as your word. For I long to be 85
made an honest woman.


SCENE X

PEACHUM, Lockitwith an account-book.

Lock. In this last affair, brother Peachum, we are agreed. You have consented to go halves in Macheath.

Peach. We shall never fall out about an execu

tion. But as to that article, pray how stands our 5
last year's account?

Lock. If you will run your eye over it, you'll find 'tis fair and clearly stated.

Peach. This long arrear of the government is

very hard upon us! Can it be expected that we 10
should hang our acquaintance for nothing, when our betters will hardly save theirs without being paid for it? Unless the people in employment pay better, I promise them for the future, I shall let other
rogues live besides their own. 15

Lock. Perhaps, brother, they are afraid these matters may be carried too far. We are treated too by them with contempt, as if our profession were not reputable.

Peach. In one respect, indeed, our

employ­ 20
ment may be reckoned dishonest, because, like great statesmen, we encourage those who betray their friends.

Lock. Such language, brother, anywhere else

might turn to your prejudice. Learn to be 25
more guarded, I beg you.

AIR XXX. How happy are we, etc.

When you censure the age,
Be cautious and sage,
Lest the courtiers offended should be.

If you mention vice or bribe, 30
'Tis so pat to all the tribe; Each cries -- 'That was levelled at me.'

Peach. Here's poor Ned Clincher's1 name, I see. Sure, brother Lockit, there was a little unfair pro

ceeding in Ned's case; for he told me in the 35
condemned hold, that for value received, you had promised him a session or two longer without molestation.

Lock. Mr. Peachum, -- this is the first time my

honor was ever called in question. 40

Peach. Business is at an end -- if once we act dishonorably.

Lock. Who accuses me?

Peach. You are warm, brother.

Lock. He that attacks my honor, attacks my 45
livelihood. And this usage -- sir -- is not to be borne.

Peach. Since you provoke me to speak, I must tell you too, that Mrs. Coaxer charges you with

defrauding her of her information-money, for 50
the apprehending of Curl-pated Hugh. Indeed, indeed, brother, we must punctually pay our spies, or we shall have no information.

Lock. Is this language to me, sirrah -- who have

saved you from the gallows, sirrah? 55

(Collaring each other.)

Peach. If I am hanged, it shall be for ridding the world of an arrant rascal.

Lock. This hand shall do the office of the halter you deserve, and throttle you -- you dog!

Peach. Brother, brother -- we are both in 60
the wrong -- we shall be both losers in the dispute -- for you know we have it in our power to hang each other. You should not be so passionate.

Lock. Nor you so provoking.

Peach. 'Tis our mutual interest; 'tis for the 65
interest of the world we should agree. If I said any

____________________
1
'Clinch' is thieves' slang for a prison cell, especially for the 'condemned hold,' reserved for prisoners sentenced to death.

-553-

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