British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview
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months together. -- Since the act too against imprisonment for small sums my loss there too hath been very considerable; and it must be so, when a

lady can borrow a handsome petticoat, or a clean 35
gown, and I not have the least hank1 upon her! And, o' my conscience, now-a-days most ladies take a delight in cheating, when they can do it with safety.

PEACH. Madam, you had a handsome gold watch

of us t'other day for seven guineas. Consider­ 40
ing we must have our profit -- to a gentleman upon the road, a gold watch will be scarce worth the taking.

TRAPES. Consider, Mr. Peachum, that watch was remarkable and not of very safe sale. If you have

any black velvet scarfs -- they are a handsome 45
winter wear, and take with most gentlemen who deal with my customers. 'Tis I that put the ladies upon a good foot. 'Tis not youth or beauty that fixes their price. The gentlemen always pay according to their
dress, from half a crown to two guineas; and yet 50
those hussies make nothing of bilking of me. Then, too, allowing for accidents. I have eleven fine customers now down under the surgeon's hands; what with fees and other expenses, there are great goings-
out, and no comings-in, and not a farthing to pay 55
for at least a month's clothing. We run great risks -- great risks indeed.

PEACH. As I remember, you said something just now of Mrs. Coaxer.

TRAPES. Yes, sir. To be sure, I stripped her 60
of a suit of my own clothes about two hours ago, and have left her as she should be, in her shift, with a lover of hers, at my house. She called him up stairs, as he was going to Marybone in a hackney coach. And I hope, for her own sake and mine, she will 65 persuade the captain to redeem her, for the captain is very generous to the ladies.

LOCK. What captain?

TRAPES. He thought I did not know him. An

intimate acquaintance of yours, Mr. Peachum70
-- only Captain Macheath -- as fine as a lord.

PEACH. Tomorrow, dear Mrs. Dye, you shall set your own price upon any of the goods you like. We have at least hall a dozen velvet scarfs, and all at

your service. Will you give me leave to make 75
you a present of this suit of nightclothes for your own wearing? But are you sure it is Captain Macheath?

TRAPES. Though he thinks I have forgot him; nobody knows him better. I have taken a great

deal of the captain's money in my time at 80
second-hand, for he always loved to have his ladies well dressed.

PEACH. Mr. Lockit and I have a little business with the captain -- you understand me -- and we

will satisfy you for Mrs. Coaxer's debt. 85

LOCK. Depend upon it -- we will deal like men of honor.

TRAPES. I don't enquire after your affairs -- so whatever happens, I wash my hands on't. It hath

always been my maxim, that one friend should 90
assist another. But if you please, I'll take one of the scarfs home with me: 'tis always good to have something in hand. [Exeunt.]


SCENE VII

Newgate.

LUCY.

Jealousy, rage, love and fear are at once tearing me to pieces. How I am weatherbeaten and shattered with distresses!

AIR XLVII. One evening, having lost my way.

I'm like a skiff on the ocean tossed,

Now high, now low, with each billow borne, 5
With her rudder broke, and her anchor lost, Deserted and all forlorn. While thus I lie rolling and tossing all night,
That Polly lies sporting on seas of delight!
Revenge, revenge, revenge, 10
Shall appease my restless sprite.

I have the ratsbane ready. I run no risk, for I can lay her death upon the gin, and so many die of that naturally that I shall never be called in ques

tion. But say I were to be hanged -- I never 15
could be hanged for anything that would give me greater comfort than the poisoning that slut.

Enter FILCH.

FILCH. Madam, here's our Miss Polly come to wait upon you.

LUCY. Show her in. 20

____________________
1
Hold.

-562-

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