MRS. PEACH. Never was a man more out of the way in an argument than my husband! Why must our Polly, forsooth, differ from her sex, and love only her husband? And why must Polly's marriage, contrary to all observation, make her the less fol 5 lowed by other men? All men are thieves in love, and like a woman the better for being another's property.
AIR V. Of all the simple things we do, etc.
A maid is like the golden [ore],
Which hath guineas intrinsical in't 10 Whose worth is never known, before It is tried and impressed in the mint.
A wife's like a guinea in gold,
Stamped with the name of her spouse;
Now here, now there; is bought, or is sold; 15 And is current in every house.
MRS. PEACHUM, FILCH.
MRS. PEACH. Come hither, Filch. -- I am as fond of this child as though my mind misgave me he were my own. He hath as fine a hand at picking a pocket as a woman, and is as nimble-fingered as a juggler. If an unlucky session does not cut the rope of thy 5 life, I pronounce, boy, thou wilt be a great man in history. Where was your post last night, my boy?
FILCH. I plied at the opera, madam; and considering 'twas neither dark nor rainy, so that there was no great hurry in getting chairs and coaches, 10 made a tolerable hand on't. These seven handkerchiefs, madam.
MRS. PEACH. Colored ones, I see. They are of sure sale from our warehouse at Redriff1 among the seamen. 15
FILCH. And this snuff-box.
MRS. PEACH. Set in gold! A pretty encouragement this to a young beginner.
FILCH. I had a fair tug at a charming gold watch. Pox take the tailors for making the fobs so deep 20 and narrow! It stuck by the way, and I was forced to make my escape under a coach. Really, madam, I fear I shall be cut off in the flower of my youth, so that every now and then (since I was pumped)2 I have thoughts of taking up3 and going to sea. 25
MRS. PEACH. You should go to Hockley in the Hole 4 and to Marybone, child, to learn valor. These are the schools that have bred so many brave men. I thought, boy, by this time thou hadst lost fear as well as shame. Poor lad! how little does he 30 know as yet of the Old Bailey!5 For the first fact6 I'll insure thee from being hanged; and going to sea, Filch, will come time enough upon a sentence of transportation. But now, since you have nothing better to do, ev'n go to your book, and learn 35 your catechism; for really a man makes but an ill figure in the ordinary's paper,7 who cannot give a satisfactory answer to his questions. But, hark you, my lad. Don't tell me a lie; for you know I hate a liar. Do you know of anything that hath passed 40 between Captain Macheath and our Polly?
FILCH. I beg you, madam, don't ask me; for I must either tell a lie to you or to Miss Polly; for I promised her I would not tell.
MRS. PEACH. But when the honor of our fam 45 ily is concerned --
FILCH. I shall lead a sad life with Miss Polly, if ever she come to know that I told you. Besides, I would not willingly forfeit my own honor by betraying anybody. 50
MRS. PEACH. Yonder comes my husband and Polly. Come, Filch, you shall go with me into my own room, and tell me the whole story. I'll give thee a glass of a most delicious cordial that I keep for my own drinking. 55
POLLY. I know as well as any of the fine ladies how to make the most of myself and of my man too. A woman knows how to be mercenary, though she hath never been in a court or at an assembly. We have it in our natures, papa. If I allow Captain 5____________________