Polly (John Gay), ballad opera (19. Juni 1777 London, Covent Garden Theatre), siehe Samuel Arnold
Musik von John Christopher Pepusch

Servants. Indians. Pyrates. Guards, etc.
Mrs. Ducat
Jenny Diver
In the West-Indies


After Mr. Rich and I were agreed upon terms and conditions for bringing this Piece on the stage, and that every thing was ready for a Rehearsal; The Lord Chamberlain sent an order from the country to prohibit Mr. Rich to suffer any Play to be rehears'd upon his stage till it had been first of all supervis'd by his Grace. As soon as Mr. Rich came from his Grace's secretary (who had sent for him to receive the before- mentioned order) he came to my lodgings and acquainted me with the orders he had received.
Upon the Lord Chamberlain's coming to town, I was confined by sickness, but in four or five days I went abroad on purpose to wait upon his Grace with a faithful and genuine copy of this Piece, excepting the erratas of the transcriber.
It was transcribed in great haste by Mr. Stede the Prompter of the Playhouse, that it might be ready against his Grace's return from the country: As my illness at that time would not allow me to read it over, I since find in it many small faults, and here and there a line or two omitted. But lest it should be said I had made any one alteration from the copy I deliver'd to the Lord Chamberlain: I have caused every error in the said copy to be printed (litteral faults excepted) and have taken notice of every omission. I have also pointed out every amendment I have made upon the revisal of my own copy for the Press, that the reader may at one view see what alterations and amendments have been made.
Errors as they stood in the copy delivered to the Lord Chamberlain (occasion'd by the haste of the transcriber) corrected in this edition; by which will appear the most minute difference between that and my own copy.
P for page. l for line. sc. for scene. what was added mark'd thus *. What was left out, thus ?.
The names of all the tunes ?. The scenes not divided and number'd. The marginal directions for the Actors were often omitted.
Act 1. p. 2. l. 16. ever ?. l. 18. after more, too *. p. 4. l. 1. before part not *. 1. 11. take ?. sc. 2. l. 12. to ?. Air. 5. l. 10. thus instead of they. p. 9. l. 20. wherewith for wherewithal. l. 19. my ?. l. 26. will ?. p. 10. l. 1. you for it. p. 11. l. 20. no ?. Air 10. l. 5. with a twinkum twankum ?. p. 14. l. 18. complaisance for compliance. sc. 9. l. 1. part from. p. 18. l. 9. surely for sure. l. 13. And ?. sc. 14. l. 20. insult me thus. p. 24. l. 18. her ?. l. 21. young and handsome. Act 2. Air 25. l. 8. charms for arms. p. 29. the speech between Air 25 and Air 26. ?. Air 27. l. 2. why for who. Air 29. with a mirleton, etc. ?. sc. 7. l. 2. a bawdyhouse bully, p. 42. l. 26 is ?. Air 42. l. 6. is for are. p. 44. l. 7. none for no more. Act 3. p. 52. l. 18. are all at stake. p. 53. l. 9. ever ?. p. 54. l. 9. found ?. Air 51. Thus to battle we will go ?. Air 52. with a fa, la, la, ?. sc. 8. l. 4. prey for pay. p. 63 l. 26. no notions. p. 65. l. 28. or redress 'em ?. Air 71. the repetition of the Chorus ?.
Emendations of my own copy on revising it for the Press.
* Is the mark for any thing added.
? The mark for what is left out.
? The mark of what stood in the original Copy.
Act 1. p. 2. l. 36. pictures *. sc. 4. l. 2. thousand * p. 18. l. 28. But unhappy love, the more virtuous that is ?. Air 21. l. 13. my steps direct, my truth protect a faithful, etc. ?. Act 2. Air 23. l. 3. sick imagination ?. l. 4. then alone I forget to weep ?. l. 7. for whole years ?. l. 11. 'Tis a dream ?. l. 12. 'Tis our utmost ?. Air 27. l. 9. you ne'er were drawn to cringe and fawn among the spawn who etc. ?. Air 28. l. 2. for *. l. 4. alike for both. p. 40. l. 12. all women expect ?. Air 39. l. 3. thus colts let loose, by want of use grow ?. Air 40. unextinguish'd ray ?. Recitative. Away for Hence. ?. p. 46. l. 1. pardons for persons ?. Air 45. l. 1. when as ambition's ?. l. 2. mighty *. l. 4. fraud and *. Air. 48. l. 2. Thus *. l. 3. what expence and what care ?. l. 7. sage politicians ?. Act. 3. sc. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. are transpos'd with no alteration of the words, but instead of On then; hope and conquer, is put p. 55. l. 2. let us then to our posts. p. 57. l. 12. after enterprize, let us now to cur posts ?. Air 58. l. 4. cheers my breast. ?. Air 62. l. 7. by turns we take ?. Air 63. l. 7. Tis jealous rage ?. Air 64. l. 3. is of the noxious ?. folded arms hide its charms, all the night free from blight, etc. ?. Polly's speech before Air 64 was plac'd after it, but without any alteration ?. Air 69. l. 7. sure to virtue ?.

Excepting these errors and emendations, this Edition is a true and faithful Copy as I my-self in my own hand writing delivered it to Mr. Rich, and afterwards to the Lord Chamberlain, for the truth of which I appeal to his Grace.
As I have heard several suggestions and false insinuations concerning the copy: I take this occasion in the most solemn manner to affirm, that the very copy I delivered to Mr. Rich was written in my own hand some months before at the Bath from my own first foul blotted papers; from this, that for the Playhouse was transcribed, from whence the above-mention'd Mr. Stede copied that which I delivered to the Lord Chamberlain, and excepting my own foul blotted papers; I do protest I know of no other copy whatsoever, than those I have mention'd.
The Copy I gave into the hands of Mr. Rich had been seen before by several Persons of the greatest distinction and veracity, who will be ready to do me the honour and justice to attest it; so that not only by them, but by Mr. Rich and Mr. Stede, I can (against all insinuation or positive affirmation) prove in the most clear and undeniable manner, if occasion required, what I have here upon my own honour and credit asserted. The Introduction indeed was not shown to the Lord Chamberlain, which, as I had not then quite settled, was never transcribed in the Playhouse copy.
'Twas on Saturday morning December 7th, 1728. that I waited upon the Lord Chamberlain; I desir'd to have the honour of reading the Opera to his Grace, but he order'd me to leave it with him, which I did upon expectation of having it return'd on the Monday following, but I had it not 'till Thursday December 12, when I receiv'd it from his Grace with this answer; that it was not allow'd to be acted, but commanded to be supprest. This was told me in general without any reasons assign'd, or any charge against me of my having given any particular offence.
Since this prohibition I have been told that I am accused, in general terms, of having written many disaffected libels and seditious pamphlets. As it hath ever been my utmost ambition (if that word may be us'd upon this occasion) to lead a quiet and inoffensive life, I thought my innocence in this particular would never have requir'd a justification; and as this kind of writing is, what I have ever detested and never practic'd, I am persuaded so groundless a calumny can never be believ'd but by those who do not know me. But when general aspersions of this sort have been cast upon me, I think my-self call'd upon to declare my principles; and I do with the strictest truth affirm, that I am as loyal a subject and as firmly attach'd to the present happy establishment as any of those who have the greatest places or pensions. I have been inform'd too, that in the following Play, I have been charg'd with writing immoralities; that it is fill'd with slander and calumny against particular great persons, and that Majesty it-self is endeavour'd to be brought into ridicule and contempt.
As I knew that every one of these charges was in every point absolutely false and without the least grounds, at first I was not at all affected by them; but when I found they were still insisted upon, and that particular passages which were not in the Play were quoted and propagated to support what had been suggested, I could no longer bear to lye under these false accusations; so by printing it, I have submitted end given up all present views of profit which might accrue from the stage, which undoubtedly will be some satisfaction to the worthy gentlemen who have treated me with so much candour and humanity, and represented me in such favourable colours.
But as I am conscious to my-self that my only intention was to lash in general the reigning and fashionable vices, and to recommend and set virtue in as amiable a light as I could; to justify and vindicate my own character, I thought my-self obliged to print the Opera without delay in the manner I have done.
As the Play was principally design'd for representation, I hope when it is read it will be considered in that light: And when all that hath been said against it shall appear to be intirely misunderstood or misrepresented; if, some time hence, it should be permitted to appear on the stage, I think it necessary to acquaint the publick, that as far as a contract of this kind can be binding; I am engag'd to Mr. Rich to have it represented upon his Theatre.
March 25. 1729.