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 80 you to your sense. Go!
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 5 herds, droves or flocks. Of all animals of prey, man is the only sociable one. Every one of us preys upon his neighbor, and yet we herd together. Peachum is my companion, my friend: according to the custom of the world, indeed, he may quote thousands of 10 precedents for cheating me -- and shall not I make use of the privilege of friendship to make him a return?
Thus gamesters united in friendship are found,
Though they know that their industry all is a cheat; 15 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. 20 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 overreach the other. Lucy! (Enter LUCY.) Are there 25 any of Peachum's people now in the house?
Lucy. Filch, sir, is drinking a quartem1 of strong waters in the next room with Black Moll.
Lock. Bid him come to me.
Lock. Why, boy, thou lookest as if thou wert half starved; like a shotten herring.2
FILCH. One had need have the constitution of a horse to go thorough the business. Since the favorite child-getter was disabled by a mishap, I have 5 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. 10
Lock. Truly, if that great man should tip off,3 'twould be an irreparable loss. The vigor 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? 15
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 20 secret. So that Macheath shall not remain a day longer out of my clutches. [Exit.]
Macheath in a fine tarnished coat, BEN BUDGE, MATT OF THE MINT.
Mach. I am sorry, gentlemen, the road was so barren of money. When my friends are in difficulties, I am always glad that my fortune can be serviceable to them. (Gives them money.) You see, gentlemen, I am not a mere court friend, who professes 5 everything and will do nothing.
SCENE III. 9|0I02Q sure, 'tis.____________________