The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Beggar's Opera, by John Gay This eBook The MIDI and PDF versions include minor corrections; details are given at the. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. Download The Beggar's Opera free in PDF & EPUB format. Download John Gay's The Beggar's Opera for your kindle, tablet, IPAD, PC or.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Portuguese|
|Genre:||Science & Research|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Register to download]|
PDF version of The Beggar's Opera by John Gay. A ballad opera by English dramatist John Gay, that addresses social inequity on a broad scale, primarily. The Beggar's Opera — Written by Mr. GAY. by. John Gay BEGGAR. If Poverty be a Title to Poetry, I am sure nobody can dispute mine. I own myself of the. and original production of The Beggar's Opera, and places the work in the context of Gay's dramatic output as a whole. The librarians and staff of the following.
Macheath pacifies her, but Polly arrives and claims him as her husband. Macheath tells Lucy that Polly is crazy. Lucy helps Macheath to escape by stealing her father's keys. Her father learns of Macheath's promise to marry her and worries that if Macheath is recaptured and hanged, his fortune might be subject to Peachum's claims. Lockit and Peachum discover Macheath's hiding place. They decide to split his fortune. Meanwhile, Polly visits Lucy to try to reach an agreement, but Lucy tries to poison her.
Polly narrowly avoids the poisoned drink, and the two girls find out that Macheath has been recaptured owing to the inebriated Mrs Diana Trapes. They plead with their fathers for Macheath's life. However, Macheath now finds that four more pregnant women each claim him as their husband.
He declares that he is ready to be hanged. The narrator the Beggar , notes that although in a properly moral ending Macheath and the other villains would be hanged, the audience demands a happy ending, and so Macheath is reprieved, and all are invited to a dance of celebration, to celebrate his wedding to Polly.
Selected musical numbers[ edit ] Can Love be control'd by Advice? But they seem to forget that there are such things as Innuendo 's a never-failing Method of explaining Libels … Nay the very Title of this Piece and the principal Character, which is that of a Highwayman, sufficiently discover the mischievous Design of it; since by this Character every Body will understand One, who makes it his Business arbitrarily to levy and collect Money on the People for his own Use, and of which he always dreads to give an Account — Is not this squinting with a vengeance, and wounding Persons in Authority through the Sides of a common Malefactor?
In , John Hawkins wrote in his History of Music that due to the opera's popularity, "Rapine and violence have been gradually increasing" solely because the rising generation of young men desired to imitate the character Macheath. Hawkins blamed Gay for tempting these men with "the charms of idleness and criminal pleasure," which Hawkins saw Macheath as representing and glorifying. Polly escapes dressed as a boy, and after many adventures marries the son of a Carib chief.
The rest of the men exit for 'work,' leaving Macheath alone in the tavern. He is not alone for long before he is visited by several female consorts, the female counterparts to the gang. Although the women strive to imitate the airs of the gentry, they are actually raunchy and lewd.
Macheath jostles with them flirtatiously, and two of them, Jenny Diver and Suky Tawdry , wrangle him into a compromising physical position. They draw pistols on the unsuspecting man, and signal to an awaiting Peachum, who enters with the constable. Macheath is subdued and then led away to Newgate Prison.
At Newgate, the jailer Lockit displays his fine assortment of fetters from which, for the right price, Macheath may select the most comfortable pair.
They are conspiring to share the reward gained from Macheath's death. Macheath, alone in his cell, laments his entanglement with Polly. Enter Lucy, daughter of Lockit and jilted lover of Macheath. Lucy is in a rage because Macheath had promised to marry her, but married Polly instead. Macheath lies and assures her that he has not married Polly, and Lucy softens. Peachum and Lockit, in a different part of the prison, come to blows when Peachum accuses Lockit of stealing money.
They soon resolve the matter, reasoning that they need each other. Lucy returns to Macheath to deliver the bad news.
Enter Polly, who has come to visit her beloved, incarcerated husband. Eventually, Peachum bursts in and tears Polly away from Macheath. Lucy conceives of a way to spring Macheath: her father has a habit of drinking with the inmates and then passing out for several hours.
If she has collected a fee from Macheath for her services, then there is no harm done, so long as Lockit may collect half. But Lucy has acted only in the service of love. Lockit, enraged, banishes Lucy from his sight.
Meanwhile, Macheath has fled to the gambling-house, where he reunites with members of his gang. How many fine Gentlemen have we in Newgate every Year, purely upon that Article! If they have wherewithal to persuade the Jury to bring it in Manslaughter, what are they the worse for it?
So, my Dear, have done upon this Subject. Yes, my Dear; and though the Bank hath stopt Payment, he was so cheerful and so agreeable! Sure there is not a finer Gentleman upon the Road than the Captain! If he comes from Bagshot 18 at any reasonable Hour, he hath promis'd to make one this Evening with Polly and me, and Bob Booty at a party of Quadrille Pray, my dear, is the Captain rich?
The Captain keeps too good Company ever to grow rich. Mary-bone 20 and the Chocolate-houses 21 are his undoing. The Man that proposes to get Money by Play should have the Education of a fine Gentleman, and be train'd up to it from his Youth. What Business hath he to keep Company with Lords and Gentlemen? Upon Polly's Account! What a plague does the Woman mean? Captain Macheath is very fond of the Girl. And what then?
You would not be so mad as to have the Wench marry him!
Gamesters and Highwaymen are generally very good to their Whores, but they are very Devils to their Wives. But if Polly should be in Love, how should we help her, or how can she help herself? Poor Girl, I am in the utmost Concern about her. Air IV. If Love the Virgin's Heart invade,. Look ye, Wife. A handsome Wench in our way of Business is a profitable as at the Bar of a Temple Coffee-House 22 , who looks upon it as her livelihood to grant every Liberty but one.
You see I would not indulge the Girl as far as prudently we can. In anything, but Marriage! After that, my Dear, how shall we be safe? Are we not then in her Husband's Power?
For a Husband hath the absolute Power over all a Wife's Secrets but her own. If the Wench does not know her own Profit, sure she knows her own Pleasure better than to make herself a Property!
If the Affair is not already done, I'll terrify her from it, by the Example of our Neighbours. May-hap, my Dear, you may injure the Girl. She loves to imitate the fine Ladies, and she may only allow the Captain liberties in the view of Interest. But 'tis your Duty, your Duty, my Dear, to warn the Girl against her Ruin, and to instruct her how to make the most of her Beauty.
I'll go to her this moment, and sift her. 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 followed by other Men? Air V. A Maid is like the Golden Ore,. Which hath Guineas 25 intrinsical in't,. Come here, Filch. I am as fond of the 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-finger'd as a Juggler. Where was your Post last Night, my Boy? I ply'd at the Opera, Madam; and considering 'twas neither dark nor rainy, so that there was no great Hurry in getting Chairs and Coaches, made a tolerable Hand on't.
These seven Handkerchiefs, Madam. Colour'd ones, I see. They are of sure Sale from our Warehouse at Redriff 26 among the Seamen. And this Snuff-box. Set in Gold! A pretty Encouragement this to a young Beginner. I had a fair Tug at charming Gold Watch. Pox take the Tailors for making the Fobs 27 so deep and narrow! It stuck by the way, and I was forc'd to make my Escape under a Coach.
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.
For the first Fact I'll insure thee from being hang'd; 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 your Catechism; for really a Man makes but an ill Figure in the Ordinary's Paper 31 , who cannot give a satisfactory Answer to his Questions. But hark you, my Lad. Don't tell me a Lye; for you know that I hate a Liar. Do you know of anything that hath pass'd between Captain Macheath and our Polly?
But when the Honour of our Family is concern'd——. I shall lead a sad Life with Miss Polly, if she ever comes to know that I told you. Besides, I would not willingly forfeit my own Honour by betraying any body. 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 most delicious Glass of a Cordial that I keep for my own drinking.
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. A Girl who cannot grant some Things, and refuse what is most material, will make but a poor hand of her Beauty, and soon be thrown upon the Common. Air VI. Virgins are like the fair Flower in its Lustre,.
To Covent-Garden 32 'tis sent as yet sweet ,. You know, Polly, I am not against your toying and trifling with a Customer in the way of Business, or to get out a Secret, or so. Now you know my Mind. Do you think your Mother and I should have liv'd comfortably so long together, if ever we had been married? I knew she was always a proud Slut; and now the Wench hath play'd the Fool and Married, because forsooth she would do like the Gentry. Have you Money enough to carry on the daily Quarrels of Man and Wife about who shall squander most?
There are not many Husbands and Wives, who can bear the Charges of plaguing one another in a handsome way. If you must be married, could you introduce no body into our Family but a Highwayman?
Why, thou foolish Jade, thou wilt be as ill-used, and as much neglected, as if thou hadst married a Lord! Besides what he hath already, I know he is in a fair way of getting, or of dying; and both these ways, let me tell you, are most excellent Chances for a Wife. Tell me, Hussy, are you ruin'd or no? With Polly's Fortune, she might very well have gone off to a Person of Distinction. Yes, that you might, you pouting Slut! What is the Wench dumb? Speak, or I'll make you plead by squeezing out an Answer from you.
Are really bound Wife to him, or are you only upon liking? Pinches her. How the Mother is to be pitied who has handsome Daughters! Lock, Bolts, Bars, and Lectures of Morality are nothing to them: They break through them all. They have as much Pleasure in cheating a Father and Mother, as in cheating at Cards.
Why, Polly, I shall soon know if you are married, by Macheath's keeping form our House. Air VIII. Then all the Hopes of our Family are gone for ever and ever! I did not marry him as 'tis the Fashion coolly and deliberately for Honour or Money. But, I love him. Love him! I thought the Girl had been better bred. Oh, Husband, Husband!
I'm distracted! I can't support myself——Oh! See, Wench, to what a Condition you have reduc'd your poor Mother! How the poor Woman takes it to heart! Polly goes out, and returns with it. Ah, Hussy, this is now the only Comfort your Mother has left! Give her another Glass, Sir! This, you see, fetches her.
The Girl shows such a Readiness, and so much Concern, that I could almost find it in my Heart to forgive her. Air IX. O Polly, you might have toy'd and kist. But he so teaz'd me,. Not with a Highwayman. A Word with you, Wife. You know 'tis the Frailty of Woman, my Dear. Yes, indeed, the Sex is frail. But the first time a Woman is frail, she should be somewhat nice methinks, for then or never is the time to make her Fortune. After that, she hath nothing to do but to guard herself from being found out, and she may do what she pleases.
Make yourself a little easy; I have a Thought shall soon set all MAtters again to rights. Why so melancholy, Polly? Well, Polly; as far as one Woman can forgive another, I forgive thee.
Then all my Sorrows are at an end. A mighty likely Speech in troth, for a Wench who is just married! Air X. I hear Customers in t'other Room: Go, talk with 'em, Polly; but come to us again, as soon as they are gone——But, hark ye, Child, if 'tis the Gentleman who was here Yesterday about the Repeating Watch 33 ; say you believe we can't get Intelligence of it till to-morrow.
If t'other Gentleman calls for the Silver-hilted Sword; you know Beetle-brow'd Jemmy hath it on, and he doth not come from Tunbridge 35 'till Tuesday Night; so that it cannot be had 'till then. Dear Wife, be a little pacified, Don't let your Passion run away with your Senses. Polly, I grant you, hath done a rash thing. If she had had only an Intrigue with the Fellow, why the very best Families have excused and huddled up a Frailty of that sort.
A rich Rogue now-a-days is fit Company for any Gentleman; and the World, my Dear, hath not such a contempt for Roguery as you imagine. I tell you, Wife, I can make this Match turn to our Advantage. I am very sensible, Husband, that Captain Macheath is worth Money, but I am in doubt whether he hath not two or three Wives already, and then if he should die in a Session or two, Polly's Dower would come into a Dispute.
That, indeed, is a Point which ought to be consider'd. Air XI. A Fox may steal your Hens, Sir,. A Thief your Goods and Plate But this is all but picking 38 ,. There is not a Fellow that is cleverer in his way, and saves more Goods out of the Fire than Ned. But now, Polly, to your Affair; for Matters must be left as they are. You are married, then, it seems? And how do you propose to live, Child? Like other Women, Sir, upon the Industry of my Husband.
What, is the Wench turn'd Fool? And had not you the common Views of a Gentlewoman in your Marriage, Polly? I don't know what you mean, Sir. Of a Jointure 39 , and of being a Widow. But I love him, Sir; how then could I have Thoughts of parting with him? Parting with him! Why, this is the whole Scheme and Intention of all Marriage Articles. Where is the Woman who would scruple to be a Wife, if she had it in her Power to be a Widow, whenever she pleas'd?
If you have any Views of this sort, Polly, I shall think the Match not so very unreasonable. How I dread to hear your Advice! Yet I must beg you to explain yourself. Secure what he hath got, have him peach'd the next Sessions, and then at once you are made a rich Widow. What, murder the Man I love! The Blood runs cold at my Heart with the very Thought of it! Fie, Polly! What hath Murder to do in the Affair? Since the thing sooner or later must happen, I dare say, the Captain himself would like rather that we should get the Reward for his Death sooner than a Stranger.
Why, Polly, the Captain knows that as 'tis his Employment to rob, so 'tis ours to take Robbers; every Man in his Business. So there is no Malice in the case. Ay, Husband, now you have nick'd the Matter. To have him peach'd 40 is the only thing could ever make me forgive her. O ponder well! But your Duty to your Parents, Hussy, obliges you to hang him.
What would many a Wife give for such an Opportunity! What is a Jointure, what is Widow-hood to me? I know my heart. I cannot survive him. Air XIII. The Turtle thus with plaintive Crying,. What, is the Fool in Love in earnest then? I hate thee for being particular: Why Wench, thou art a Shame to they very Sex. But hear me, Mother. Those cursed Play-Books 41 she reads have been her Ruin. One Word more, Hussy, and I shall knock your Brains out, if you have any.
Keep out of the way, Polly, for fear of Mischief, and consider what is propos'd to you. Away, Hussy. Hang your Husband, and be dutiful. The Thing, Husband, must and shall be done. For the sake of Intelligence we must take other Measures, and have him peach'd the next Session without her Consent. If she will not know her Duty, we know ours. But really, my Dear, it grieves one's Heart to take off a great Man. When I consider his Personal Bravery, his fine Strategem 42 , how much we have already got by him, and how much more we may get, methinks I can't find it in my Heart to have a hand in his Death.
I wish you could have made Polly undertake it. But in a Case of Necessity——our own Lives are in danger. Then, indeed, we must comply with the Customs of the World, and make Gratitude give way to Interest. I'll undertake to manage Polly. And I'll prepare Matters for the Old Baily. Now I'm a Wretch, indeed. The whole Circle are in Tears!
What then will become of Polly! That too will distract me. If they are abroad, I'll this Instant let him out, lest some Accident should prevent him.
Pretty Polly, say,. Without Disguise,. O pretty, pretty Poll. And are you as fond as ever, my Dear? Suspect my Honour, my Courage, suspect any thing but my Love. My Heart was so free,. Were you sentenc'd to Transportation, sure, my Dear, you could not leave me behind you——could you? Is there any Power, any Force that could tear me from thee?
Air XVI. Were I laid on Greenland's Coast,. Were I sold on Indian Soil,. And I would love you all the Day,. Every Night would kiss and play,. If with me you'd fondly stray. Over the Hills and far away. Yes, I would go with thee. But oh! I must be torn from thee. We must part. We must, we must. They now, even now are in Search after thee. They are preparing Evidence against thee. Thy Life depends upon a moment. Air XVII. Can I leave thee, can I leave thee? O what pain it is to part!
Can thy Polly ever leave thee? But lest Death my Love should thwart, And bring thee from my bleeding Heart! Fly hence, and let me leave thee. One Kiss and then—one Kiss—begone—farewell.
But my Papa may intercept thee, and then I should lose the very glimmering of Hope. A few Weeks, perhaps, may reconcile us all. Shall thy Polly hear from thee? Must I then go? And will not Absence change your Love? If you doubt it, let me stay—and be hang'd. O how I fear! Parting, and looking back at each other with fondness; he at one Door, she at the other. The Miser thus a Shilling sees,. The Boy, thus when his Sparrow's flown,. A Tavern near Newgate. But pr'ythee, Matt, what is become of thy brother Tom?
I have not seen him since my Return from Transportation. Poor Brother Tom had an Accident this time Twelvemonth, and so clever a made fellow he was, that I could not save him from those fleaing 47 Rascals the Surgeons; and now, poor Man, he is among the Ottamys 48 at Surgeons Hall.
So it seems, his Time was come. But the present Time is ours, and no body alive hath more. Why are the Laws levell'd at us? Sound Men, and true! Of try'd Courage, and indefatigable Industry!
Who is there here that would not die for his Friend? Who is there here that would betray him for his Interest? Show me a Gang of Courtiers that can say as much.
We retrench the Superfluities of Mankind. The World is avaritious, and I hate Avarice. A covetous fellow, like a Jackdaw, steals what he was never made to enjoy, for the sake of hiding it.
These are the Robbers of Mankind, for Money was made for the Free-hearted and Generous, and where is the Injury of taking from another, what he hath not the Heart to make use of? Our several Stations for the Day are fixt. Good luck attend us all. Fill the Glasses. Fill ev'ry Glass, or Wine inspires us,. Gentlemen, well met. My Heart hath been with you this Hour: No ceremony, I beg you. We were just breaking up to go upon Duty. I drink a Dram now and then with the Stage-coachmen in the way of Friendship and Intelligence; and I know that about this Time there will be Passengers upon the Western Road, who are worth speaking with I was to have been of that Party——but——.
But what, Sir? Is there any Man who suspects my Courage?
We have all been Witnesses of it. My Honour and Truth to the Gang? I'll be answerable for it. By these Questions something seems to have ruffled you. Are any of us suspected? I have a fixed Confidence, Gentlemen, in you all, as Men of Honour, as as such I value and respect you.
Peachum is a Man that is useful to us. Is he about to play us any foul Play? I'll shoot him through the Head. I beg you, Gentlemen, act with Conduct and Discretion. A Pistol is your last Resort. He knows nothing of this Meeting. Business cannot go on without him. He is a Man who knows the World, and is a necessary Agent to us. We have had a slight Difference, and 'till it is accomodated I shall be obliged to keep out of his way.
Any private dispute of mine shall be of no ill consequence to my Friends. You must continue to act under his Direction, for the moment we break loose from him, our Gang is ruin'd. As a Bawd 50 to a Whore, I grant you, he is to us of great Convenience. Make him believe I have quitted the Gang, which I can never do but with Life. At our private Quarters I will continue to meet you. A Week or so will probably reconcile us.
Your Instructions shall be observ'd. I shall wish myself with you. Success attend you. Air XX. Let us take the Road. Let the Chymists 53 toil like Asses,. The Gang, rang'd in the Front of the Stage, load their Pistols, and stick them under their Girdles; then go off singing the first Part in Chorus. What a Fool is a fond Wench! Polly is most confoundedly bit. The Town perhaps have been as much obliged to me, for recruiting it with free-hearted Ladies, as to any Recruiting Officer in the Army.
If it were not for us, and the other Gentlemen of the Sword, Drury-Lane would be uninhabited. Air XXI. If the Heart of a Man is deprest with Cares,. I expect him back every Minute. But you know, Sir, you sent him as far as Hockley in the Hole for three of the Ladies, for one in Vinegar-Yard 55 and for the rest of them somewhere about Lewker's Lane Sure some of them are below, for I hear the Bar-Bell.
As they come I will show them up. Coming, Coming. Dear Mrs. Coaxer, you are welcome. You look charmingly to-day. I hope you don't want the Repairs of Quality, and lay on Paint.
You are always so taken up with stealing Hearts, that you don't allow yourself Time to steal anything else. Come hither, Hussy. Do you drink as hard as ever? You had better stick to good wholesom Beer; for in troth, Betty, Strong-Waters 57 will in time ruin your Constitution. You should leave those to your Betters.
As prim and demure as ever! There is not any Prude, though ever so high-bred, hath a more sanctify'd Look, with a more mischievous Heart.
Everything she gets one way she lays out upon her Back. Why, Suky, you must keep at least a Dozen Talleymen Molly Brazen! She kisses him. That's well done. I love a free-hearted Wench. Thou hast a most agreeable Assurance, Girl, and art as willing as a Turtle. I hear Music. The Harper is at the Door. If Music be the Food of Love, play on Ere you seat yourselves, Ladies, what think you of a Dance? Come in. Enter Harper. Play the French Tune, that Mrs. Slammekin was so fond of. A dance a la ronde in the French manner; near the end of it this Song and Chorus.