John Christopher Pepusch
Polly: An Opera
Libretto von John Gay
Uraufführung: 19.06.1777, Covent Garden Theatre, London
Servants. Indians. Pyrates. Guards, etc.
Scene. 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.
POET. A Sequel to a Play is like more last words. 'Tis a kind of absurdity; and really, Sir, you have prevail'd upon me to pursue this subject against my judgment.
1ST PLAYER. Be the success as it will, you are sure of what you have contracted for; and upon the inducement of gain no body can blame you for undertaking it.
POET. I know, I must have been look'd upon as whimsical, and particular if I had scrupled to have risqu'd my reputation for my profit; for why should I be more squeamish than my betters? and so, Sir, contrary to my opinion I bring Polly once again upon the Stage.
1ST PLAYER. Consider, Sir, you have prepossession on your side.
POET. But then the pleasure of novelty is lost; and in a thing of this kind I am afraid I shall hardly be pardon'd for imitating my-self, for sure pieces of this sort are not to be followed as precedents. My dependance, like a tricking bookseller's, is, that the kind reception the first part met with will carry off the second be it what it will.
1ST PLAYER. You should not disparage your own works; you will have criticks enough who will be glad to do that for you: and let me tell you, Sir, after the success you have had, you must expect envy.
POET. Since I have had more applause than I can deserve, I must, with other authors, be content, if criticks allow me less. I should be an arrant courtier or an arrant beggar indeed, if as soon as I have receiv'd one undeserved favour I should lay claim to another; I don't flatter my-self with the like success.
1ST. PLAYER. I hope, Sir, in the catastrophe you have not run into the absurdity of your last Piece.
POET. I know that I have been unjustly accus'd of having given up my moral for a joke, like a fine gentleman in conversation; but whatever be the event now, I will not so much as seem to give up my moral.
1ST PLAYER. Really, Sir, an author should comply with the customs and taste of the town. - I am indeed afraid too that your Satyr here and there is too free. A man should be cautious how he mentions any vice whatsoever before good company, lest somebody present should apply it to himself.
POET. The Stage, Sir, hath the privilege of the pulpit to attack vice however dignified or distinguish'd, and preachers and poets should not be too well bred upon these occasions: Nobody can overdo it when he attacks the vice and not the person.
1ST PLAYER. But how can you hinder malicious applications?
POET. Let those answer for 'em who make 'em. I aim at no particular persons; my strokes are at vice in general: but if any men particularly vicious are hurt, I make no apology, but leave them to the cure of their flatterers. If an author write in character, the lower people reflect on the follies and vices of the rich and great, and an Indian judges and talks of Europeans by those he hath seen and convers'd with, etc. And I will venture to own that I wish every man of power or riches were really and apparently virtuous, which would soon amend and reform the common people who act by imitation.
1ST PLAYER. But a little indulgence and partiality to the vices of your own country without doubt would be look'd upon as more discreet. Though your Satyr, Sir, is on vices in general, it must and will give offence; every vicious man thinks you particular, for conscience will make self-application. And why will you make your-self so many enemies? I say no more upon this head. As to us I hope you are satisfy'd we have done all we could for you; for you will now have the advantage of all our best singers.
Enter 2d Player.
2D PLAYER. 'Tis impossible to perform the Opera to night, all the fine singers within are out of humour with their parts. The Tenor, says he was never offer'd such an indignity, and in a rage flung his clean lambskin gloves into the fire; he swears that in his whole life he never did sing, would sing, or could sing but in true kid.
1ST PLAYER. Musick might tame and civilize wild beasts, but 'tis evident it never yet could tame and civilize musicians.
Enter 3d Player.
3D PLAYER. Sir, Signora Crotchetta says she finds her character so low that she had rather dye than sing it.
1ST PLAYER. Tell her by her contract I can make her sing it.
Enter Signora Crotchetta.
CROTCHETTA. Barbarous Tramontane! Where are all the lovers of Virtł? Will they not all rise in arms in my defence? make me sing it! good Gods! should I tamely submit to such usage I should debase my-self through all Europe.
1ST PLAYER. In the Opera nine or ten years ago, I remember, Madam, your appearance in a character little better than a fish.
CROTCHETTA. A fish! monstrous! Let me inform you, Sir, that a Mermaid or Syren is not many removes from a sea-Goddess; or I had never submitted to be that fish which you are pleas'd to call me by way of reproach. I have a cold, Sir; I am sick. I don't see, why I may not be allowed the privilege of sickness now and then as well as others. If a singer may not be indulg'd in her humours, I am sure she will soon become of no consequence with the town. And so, Sir, I have a cold; I am hoarse. I hope now you are satisfied.
Exit Crotchetta in a fury.
Enter 4th Player.
4TH PLAYER. Sir, the base voice insists upon pearl- colour'd stockings and red-heel'd shoes.
1ST PLAYER. There is no governing caprice. But how shall we make our excuses to the house?
4TH PLAYER. Since the town was last year so good as to encourage an Opera without singers; the favour I was then shown obliges me to offer my-self once more, rather than the audience should be dismiss'd. All the other Comedians upon this emergency are willing to do their best, and hope for your favour and indulgence.
1ST PLAYER. Ladies and Gentlemen, as we wish to do every thing for your diversion, and that singers only will come when they will come, we beg you to excuse this unforeseen accident, and to accept the proposal of the Comedians, who relye wholly on your courtesie and protection.
Scene Ducat's House.
TRAPES. Though you were born and bred and live in the Indies, as you are a subject of Britain you shou'd live up to our customs. Prodigality there, is a fashion that is among all ranks of people. Why, our very younger brothers push themselves into the polite world by squandering more than they are worth. You are wealthy, very wealthy, Mr. Ducat; and I grant you the more you have, the taste of getting more should grow stronger upon you. 'Tis just so with us. But then the richest of our Lords and Gentlemen, who live elegantly, always run out. 'Tis genteel to be in debt. Your luxury should distinguish you from the vulgar. You cannot be too expensive in your pleasures.
Air I. The disappointed Widow.
The manners of the Great affect;
Stint not your pleasure:
If conscience had their genius checkt,
How got they treasure?
The more in debt, run in debt the more,
Careless who is undone;
Morals and honesty leave to the poor,
As they do at London.
DUCAT. I never thought to have heard thrift laid to my charge. There is not a man, though I say it, in all the Indies who lives more plentifully than my self; nor, who enjoys the necessaries of life in so handsome a manner.
TRAPES. There it is now. Who ever heard a man of fortune in England talk of the necessaries of life? If the necessaries of life would have satisfied such a poor body as me, to be sure I had never come to mend my fortune to the Plantations. Whether we can afford it or no, we must have superfluities. We never stint our expence to our own fortunes, but are miserable if we do not live up to the profuseness of our neighbours. If we could content our selves with the necessaries of Life, no man alive ever need be dishonest. As to woman now; why, look ye, Mr. Ducat, a man hath what we may call every thing that is necessary in a wife.
DUCAT. Ay, and more!
TRAPES. But for all that, d'ye see, your married men are my best customers. It keeps wives upon their good behaviours.
DUCAT. But there are jealousies and family lectures, Mrs. Trapes.
TRAPES. Bless us all! how little are our customs known on this side the herring-pond! Why, jealousy is out of fashion even among our common country-gentlemen. I hope you are better bred than to be jealous. A husband and wife should have a mutual complaisance for each other. Sure, your wife is not so unreasonable to expect to have you always to her self.
DUCAT. As I have a good estate, Mrs. Trapes, I would willingly run into every thing that is suitable to my dignity and fortune. No body throws himself into the extravagancies of life with a freer spirit. As to conscience and musty morals, I have as few drawbacks upon my profits or pleasures as any man of quality in England; in those I am not in the least vulgar. Besides, Madam, in most of my expences I run into the polite taste. I have a fine library of books that I never read; I have a fine stable of horses that I never ride; I build, I buy plate, jewels, pictures, or any thing that is valuable and curious, as your great men do, merely out of ostentation. But indeed I must own, I do still cohabit with my wife; and she is very uneasy and vexatious upon account of my visits to you.
TRAPES. Indeed, indeed, Mr. Ducat, you shou'd break through all this usurpation at once, and keep -. Now too is your time; for I have a fresh cargo of ladies just arriv'd: no body alive shall set eyes upon 'em till you have provided your self. You should keep your lady in awe by her maid; place a handsome, sprightly wench near your wife, and she will be a spy upon her into the bargain. I would have you show your self a fine gentleman in every thing.
DUCAT. But I am somewhat advanc'd in life, Mrs. Trapes, and my duty to my wife lies very hard upon me; I must leave keeping to younger husbands and old batchelors.
TRAPES. There it is again now! Our very vulgar pursue pleasures in the flush of youth and inclination, but our great men are modishly profligate when their appetite hath left 'em.
Air II. The Irish ground.
What can wealth
When we're old?
Youth and health
Are not sold.
When love in the pulse beats low,
(As haply it may with you)
A girl can fresh youth bestow,
And kindle desire anew.
Thus, numm'd in the brake,
Without motion, the snake
Sleeps cold winter away;
But in every vein
Life quickens again
On the bosom of May.
We are not here, I must tell you, as we are at London, where we can have fresh goods every week by the waggon. My maid is again gone aboard the vessel; she is perfectly charm'd with one of the ladies; 'twill be a credit to you to keep her. I have obligations to you, Mr. Ducat, and I would part with her to no man alive but your self. If I had her at London, such a lady would be sufficient to make my fortune; but, in truth, she is not impudent enough to make herself agreeable to the sailors in a publick- house in this country. By all accounts, she hath a behaviour only fit for a private family.
DUCAT. But how shall I manage matters with my wife?
TRAPES. Just as the fine gentlemen do with us. We could bring you many great precedents for treating a wife with indifference, contempt, and neglect; but that, indeed, would be running into too high life. I would have you keep some decency, and use her with civility. You should be so obliging as to leave her to her liberties and take them too yourself. Why, all our fine ladies, in what they call pin- money, have no other views; 'tis what they all expect.
DUCAT. But I am afraid it will be hard to make my wife think like a gentlewoman upon this subject; so that if I take her, I must act discreetly and keep the affair a dead secret.
TRAPES. As to that, Sir, you may do as you please. Should it ever come to her knowledge, custom and education perhaps may make her at first think it somewhat odd. But this I can affirm with a safe conscience, that many a lady of quality have servants of this sort in their families, and you can afford an expence as well as the best of 'em.
DUCAT. I have a fortune, Mrs. Trapes, and would fain make a fashionable figure in life; if we can agree upon the price I'll take her into the family.
TRAPES. I am glad to see you fling your self into the polite taste with a spirit. Few, indeed, have the turn or talents to get money; but fewer know how to spend it handsomely after they have got it. The elegance of luxury consists in variety, and love requires it as much as any of our appetites and passions, and there is a time of life when a man's appetite ought to be whetted by a delicacy.
DUCAT. Nay, Mrs. Trapes, now you are too hard upon me. Sure, you cannot think me such a clown as to be really in love with my Wife! We are not so ignorant here as you imagine; why, I married her in a reasonable way, only for her money.
Air III. Noel Hills.
He that weds a beauty
Soon will find her cloy;
When pleasure grows a duty,
Farewell love and joy:
He that weds for treasure
(Though he hath a wife)
Hath chose one lasting pleasure
In a married life.
Ducat, Trapes, Damaris.
DUCAT. Damaris, Calling at the door. Damaris, I charge you not to stir from the door, and the instant you see your lady at a distance returning from her walk, besure to give me notice.
TRAPES. She is in most charming rigging; she won't cost you a penny, Sir, in cloaths at first setting out. But, alack-a-day! no bargain could ever thrive with dry lips: a glass of liquor makes every thing go so glibly.
DUCAT. Here, Damaris; a glass of Rum for Mrs. Dye. Damaris goes out and returns with a bottle and glass.
TRAPES. But as I was saying, Sir, I would not part with her to any body alive but your self; for, to be sure, I could turn her to ten times the profit by jobbs and chance customers. Come, Sir, here's to the young lady's health.
Ducat, Trapes, Flimzy.
TRAPES. Well, Flimzy; are all the ladies safely landed, and have you done as I order'd you?
FLIMZY. Yes, Madam. The three ladies for the run of the house are safely lodg'd at home; the other is without in the hall to wait your commands. She is a most delicious creature, that's certain. Such lips, such eyes, and such flesh and blood! If you had her in London you could not fail of the custom of all the foreign Ministers. As I hope to be sav'd, Madam, I was forc'd to tell her ten thousand lyes before I could prevail upon her to come with me. Oh Sir, you are the most lucky, happy man in the world! Shall I go call her in?
TRAPES. 'Tis necessary for me first to instruct her in her duty and the ways of the family. The girl is bashful and modest, so I must beg leave to prepare her by a little private conversation, and afterwards, Sir, I shall leave you to your private conversations.
FLIMZY. But I hope, Sir, you won't forget poor Flimzy; for the richest man alive could not be more scrupulous than I am upon these occasions, and the bribe only can make me excuse it to my conscience. I hope, Sir, you will pardon my freedom. He gives her money.
Air IV. Sweetheart, think upon me.
My conscience is of courtly mold,
Fit for highest station.
Where's the hand, when touch'd with gold,
Proof against temptation?
DUCAT. We can never sufficiently encourage such useful qualifications. You will let me know when you are ready for me.
TRAPES. I wonder I am not more wealthy; for, o' my conscience, I have as few scruples as those that are ten thousand times as rich. But, alack-a-day! I am forc'd to play at small game. I now and then betray and ruine an innocent girl. And what of that? Can I in conscience expect to be equally rich with those who betray and ruine provinces and countries? Introth, all their great fortunes are owing to situation; as for genius and capacity I can match them to a hair: were they in my circumstance they would act like me; were I in theirs, I should be rewarded as a most profound penetrating politician.
Air V. 'Twas within a furlong.
In pimps and politicians
The genius is the same;
Both raise their own conditions
On others guilt and shame:
With a tongue well-tipt with lyes
Each the want of parts supplies,
And with a heart that's all disguise
Keeps his schemes unknown.
Seducing as the devil,
They play the tempter's part,
And have, when most they're civil,
Most mischief in their heart.
Each a secret commerce drives,
First corrupts and then connives,
And by his negihbour's vices thrives,
For they are all his own.
Trapes, Flimzy, Polly.
TRAPES. Bless my eye-sight! what do I see? I am in a dream, or it is Miss Polly Peachum! mercy upon me! Child, what brought you on this side of the water?
POLLY. Love, Madam, and the misfortunes of our family. But I am equally surpris'd to find an acquaintance here; you cannot be ignorant of my unhappy story, and perhaps from you, Mrs. Dye, I may receive some information that may be useful to me.
TRAPES. You need not be much concern'd, Miss Polly, at a sentence of transportation, for a young lady of your beauty hath wherewithal to make her fortune in any country.
POLLY. Pardon me, Madam; you mistake me. Though I was educated among the most profligate in low life, I never engag'd in my father's affairs as a thief or a thief-catcher, for indeed I abhorr'd his profession. Would my Papa had never taken it up, he then still had been alive and I had never known Macheath!
Air VI. Sortez des vos retraites.
She who hath felt a real pain
By Cupid's dart,
Finds that all absence is in vain
To cure her heart.
Though from my lover cast
Far as from Pole to Pole,
Still the pure flame must last,
For love is in the Soul.
You must have heard, Madam, that I was unhappy in my marriage. When Macheath was transported all my peace was banished with him; and my Papa's death hath now given me liberty to pursue my inclinations.
TRAPES. Good lack-a-day! poor Mr. Peachum! Death was so much oblig'd to him that I wonder he did not allow him a reprieve for his own sake. Truly, I think he was oblig'd to no-body more except the physicians: but they dye it seems too. Death is very impartial; he takes all alike, friends and foes.
POLLY. Every monthly Sessions-paper like the apothecary's files (if I may make the comparison) was a record of his services. But my Papa kept company with gentlemen, and ambition is catching. He was in too much haste to be rich. I wish all great men would take warning. 'Tis now seven months since my Papa was hang'd.
TRAPES. This will be a great check indeed to your men of enterprizing genius; and it will be unsafe to push at making a great fortune, if such accidents grow common. But sure, Child, you are not so mad as to think of following Macheath.
POLLY. In following him I am in pursuit of my quiet. I love him, and like a troubled ghost shall never be at rest till I appear to him. If I can receive any information of him from you, it will be a cordial to a wretch in despair.
TRAPES. My dear Miss Polly, you must not think of it. 'Tis now above a year and a half since he robb'd his master, ran away from the plantation and turn'd pyrate. Then too what puts you beyond all possibility of redress, is, that since he came over he married a transported slave, one Jenny Diver, and she is gone off with him. You must give over all thoughts of him for he is a very devil to our sex; not a woman of the greatest vivacity shifts her inclinations half so fast as he can. Besides, he would disown you, for like an upstart he hates an old acquaintance. I am sorry to see those tears, Child, but I love you too well to flatter you.
POLLY. Why have I a heart so constant? cruel love!
Air VII. O Waly, Waly, up the bank.
Farewell, farewell, all hope of bliss!
For Polly always must be thine.
Shall then my heart be never his,
Which never can again be mine?
O Love, you play a cruel part,
Thy shaft still festers in the wound;
You should reward a constant heart,
Since 'tis, alas, so seldom found!
TRAPES. I tell you once again, Miss Polly, you must think no more of him. You are like a child who is crying after a butterfly that is hopping and fluttering upon every flower in the field; there is not a woman that comes in his way but he must have a taste of; besides there is no catching him. But, my dear girl, I hope you took care, at your leaving England, to bring off wherewithal to support you.
POLLY. Since he is lost, I am insensible of every other misfortune. I brought indeed a summ of money with me, but my chest was broke open at sea, and I am now a wretched vagabond expos'd to hunger and want, unless charity relieve me.
TRAPES. Poor child! your father and I have had great dealings together, and I shall be grateful to his memory. I will look upon you as my daughter; you shall be with me.
POLLY. As soon as I can have remittances from England, I shall be able to acknowledge your goodness: I have still five hundred pounds there which will be return'd to me upon demand; but I had rather undertake any honest service that might afford me a maintenance than be burthensome to my friends.
TRAPES. Sure never any thing happen'd so luckily! Madam Ducat just now wants a servant, and I know she will take my recommendation; and one so tight and handy as you must please her: then too, her husband is the civilest, best-bred man alive. You are now in her house and I won't leave it 'till I have settled you. Be cheerful, my dear Child, for who knows but all these misfortunes may turn to your advantage? You are in a rich creditable family, and I dare say your person and behaviour will soon make you a favourite. As to captain Macheath, you may now safely look upon your self as a widow, and who knows, if Madam Ducat should tip off, what may happen? I shall recommend you, Miss Polly, as a gentlewoman.
Air. VIII. O Jenny come tye me.
Despair is all folly;
Fortune attends you while youth is in flower.
By beauty's possession
Us'd with discretion,
Woman at all times hath joy in her power.
POLLY. The service, Madam, you offer me, makes me as happy as I can be in my circumstance, and I accept of it with ten thousand obligations.
TRAPES. Take a turn in the hall with my maid for a minute or two, and I'll take care to settle all matters and conditions for your reception. Be assur'd, Miss Polly, I'll do my best for you.
TRAPES. Mr. Ducat, Sir. You may come in. I have had this very girl in my eye for you ever since you and I were first acquainted; and to be plain with you, Sir, I have run great risques for her: I had many a stratagem, to be sure, to inviegle her away from her relations! she too herself was exceeding difficult. And I can assure you, to ruine a girl of severe education is no small addition to the pleasure of our fine gentlemen. I can be answerable for it too, that you will have the first of her. I am sure I could have dispos'd of her upon the same account for at least a hundred guineas to an alderman of London; and then too I might have had the disposal of her again as soon as she was out of keeping; but you are my friend, and I shall not deal hard with you.
DUCAT. But if I like her I would agree upon terms beforehand; for should I grow fond of her, I know you have the conscience of other trades-people and would grow more imposing; and I love to be upon a certainty.
TRAPES. Sure you cannot think a hundred pistoles too much; I mean for me. I leave her wholly to your generosity. Why your fine men, who never pay any body else, pay their pimps and bawds well; always ready money. I ever dealt conscientiously, and set the lowest price upon my ladies; when you see her, I am sure you will allow her to be as choice a piece of beauty as ever you laid eyes on.
DUCAT. But, dear Mrs. Dye, a hundred pistoles say you? why, I could have half a dozen negro princesses for the price.
TRAPES. But sure you cannot expect to buy a fine handsome christian at that rate. You are not us'd to see such goods on this side of the water. For the women, like the cloaths, are all tarnish'd and half worn out before they are sent hither. Do but cast your eye upon her, Sir; the door stands half open; see, yonder she trips in conversation with my maid Flimzy in the hall.
DUCAT. Why truly I must own she is handsome.
TRAPES. Bless me, you are no more mov'd by her than if she were your wife. Handsom! what a cold husband-like expression is that! nay, there is no harm done. If I take her home, I don't question the making more money of her. She was never in any body's house but your own since she was landed. She is pure, as she was imported, without the least adulteration.
DUCAT. I'll have her. I'll pay you down upon the nail. You shall leave her with me. Come, count your money, Mrs. Dye.
TRAPES. What a shape is there! she's of the finest growth.
DUCAT. You make me mis-reckon. She even takes off my eyes from gold.
TRAPES. What a curious pair of sparkling eyes!
DUCAT. As vivifying as the sun. I have paid you ten.
TRAPES. What a racy flavour must breath from those lips!
DUCAT. I want no provoking commendations. I'm in youth; I'm on fire! twenty more makes it thirty; and this here makes it just fifty.
TRAPES. What a most inviting complexion! how charming a colour! In short, a fine woman has all the perfections of fine wine, and is a cordial that is ten times as restorative.
DUCAT. This fifty then makes it just the sum. So now, Madam, you may deliver her up.
Ducat, Trapes, Damaris.
DAMARIS. Sir, Sir, my Mistress is just at the door.
DUCAT. Get you out of the way this moment, dear Mrs. Dye; for I would not have my wife see you. But don't stir out of the house till I am put in possession. I'll get rid of her immediately.
Ducat, Mrs. Ducat.
MRS. DUCAT. I can never be out of the way, for an hour or so, but you are with that filthy creature. If you were young, and I took liberties, you could not use me worse; you could not, you beastly fellow. Such usage might force the most vertuous woman to resentment. I don't see why the wives in this country should not put themselves upon as easy a foot as in England. In short, Mr. Ducat, if you behave your self like an English husband, I will behave my self like an English wife.
Air IX. Red House.
I will have my humours, I'll please all senses,
I will not be stinted - - in love or expences.
I'll dress with profusion, I'll game without measure;
You shall have the business, I will have the pleasure:
Thus every day I'll pass my life,
My home shall be my least resort;
For sure 'tis fitting that your wife
Shou'd copy ladies of the court.
DUCAT. All these things I know are natural to the sex, my dear. But husbands like colts, are restif, and they require a long time to break 'em. Besides, 'tis not the fashion as yet, for husbands to be govern'd in this country. That tongue of yours, my dear, hath not eloquence enough to persuade me out of my reason. A woman's tongue, like a trumpet, only serves to raise my courage.
Air X. Old Orpheus tickl'd, etc.
When billows come breaking on the strand,
The rocks are deaf and unshaken stand:
Old oaks can defy the thunder's roar,
And I can stand woman's tongue - that's more,
With a twinkum, twankum, etc.
With that weapon, women, like pyrates, are at war with the whole world. But I thought, my dear, your pride would have kept you from being jealous. 'Tis the whole business of my life to please you; but wives are like children, the more they are flatter'd and humour'd the more perverse they are. Here now have I been laying out my money, purely to make you a present, and I have nothing but these freaks and reproaches in return. You wanted a maid, and I have bought you the handiest creature; she will indeed make a very creditable servant.
MRS. DUCAT. I will have none of your hussies about me. And so, Sir, you would make me your convenience, your bawd. Out upon it!
DUCAT. But I bought her on purpose for you, Madam.
MRS. DUCAT. For your own filthy inclinations, you mean. I won't bear it. What keep an impudent strumpet under my nose! Here's fine doings indeed!
DUCAT. I will have the directions of my family. 'Tis my pleasure it shall be so. So, Madam, be satisfy'd.
Air XI. Christ-Church Bells.
When a woman jealous grows,
Farewell all peace of life!
But e'er man roves, he should pay what he owes,
And with her due content his wife.
'Tis man's the weaker sex to sway.
We too, whene'er we list, obey.
'Tis just and fit
You should submit.
But sweet kind husband - not to day.
Let your clack be still.
Not till I have my will.
If thus you reason slight,
There's never an hour
While breath has power.
But I will assert my right.
Would I had you in England; I should have all the women there rise in arms in my defence. For the honour and prerogative of the sex, they would not suffer such a precedent of submission. And so Mr. Ducat, I tell you once again, that you shall keep your trollops out of the house, or I will not stay in it.
DUCAT. Look'ee, Wife; you will be able to bring about nothing by pouting and vapours. I have resolution enough to withstand either obstinacy or stratagem. And I will break this jealous spirit of yours before it gets a head. And so, my dear, I order that upon my account you behave your self to the girl as you ought.
MRS. DUCAT. I wish you would behave your self to your Wife as you ought; that is to say, with good manners, and compliance. And so, Sir, I leave you and your minx together. I tell you once again, that I would sooner dye upon the spot, than not be mistress in my own house.
Exit in a passion.
DUCAT. If by these perverse humours, I should be forc'd to part with her, and allow her a separate maintenance; the thing is so common among people of condition, that it could not prove to my discredit. Family divisions, and matrimonial controversies are a kind of proof of a man's riches; for the poor people are happy in marriage out of necessity, because they cannot afford to disagree. Damaris, saw you my Wife?
Is she in her own room? What said she? Which way went she?
DAMARIS. Bless me, I was perfectly frighten'd, she look'd so like a fury! Thank my stars, I never saw her look so before in all my life; tho' mayhap you may have seen her look so before a thousand times. Woe be to the servants that fall in her way! I'm sure I'm glad to be out of it.
Air XII. Cheshire-rounds.
When kings by their buffing
Have blown up a squabble,
All the charge and cuffing
Light upon the rabble.
Thus when Man and Wife
By their mutual snubbing,
Kindle civil strife,
Servants get the drubbing.
DUCAT. I would have you, Damaris, have an eye upon your mistress. You should have her good at heart, and inform me when she has any schemes a- foot; it may be the means to reconcile us.
DAMARIS. She's wild, Sir. There's no speaking to her. She's flown into the garden! Mercy upon us all, say I! How can you be so unreasonable to contradict a woman, when you know we can't bear it?
DUCAT. I depend upon you, Damaris, for intelligence. You may observe her at a distance; and as soon as she comes into her own room, bring me word. There is the sweetest pleasure in the revenge that I have now in my head! I'll this instant go and take my charge from Mrs. Trapes. Aside. Damaris, you know your instructions.
DAMARIS. Sure all masters and mistresses, like politicians, judge of the conscience of mankind by their own, and require treachery of their servants as a duty! I am employ'd by my master to watch my mistress, and by my mistress to watch my master. Which party shall I espouse? To be sure my mistress's. For in hers, jurisdiction and power, the common cause of the whole sex, are at stake. But my master I see is coming this way. I'll avoid him, and make my observations.
DUCAT. Be cheerful, Polly, for your good fortune hath thrown you into a family, where, if you rightly consult your own interest, as every body now-a- days does, you may make your self perfectly easy. Those eyes of yours, Polly, are a sufficient fortune for any woman, if she have but conduct and knew how to make the most of 'em.
POLLY. As I am your servant, Sir, my duty obliges me not to contradict you; and I must hear your flattery tho' I know my self undeserving. But sure Sir, in handsome women, you must have observ'd that their hearts often oppose their interest; and beauty certainly has ruin'd more women than it has made happy.
Air XIII. The bush a boon traquair.
The crow or daw thro' all the year
No fowler seeks to ruin;
But birds of voice or feather rare
He's all day long persuing.
Beware, fair maids; so scape the net
That other beauties fell in;
For sure at heart was never yet
So great a wretch as Helen!
If my Lady, Sir, will let me know my duty, gratitude will make me study to please her.
DUCAT. I have a mind to have a little conversation with you, and I would not be interrupted.
Bars the door.
POLLY. I wish, Sir, you would let me receive my Lady's commands.
DUCAT. And so, Polly, by these downcast looks of yours you would have me believe you don't know you are handsome, and that you have no faith in your looking-glass. Why, every pretty woman studies her face, and a looking-glass to her is what a book is to a Pedant; she is poring upon it all day long. In troth, a man can never know how much love is in him by conversations with his Wife. A kiss on those lips would make me young again.
Air XIV. Bury Fair.
How can you be so teazing?
Love will excuse my fault.
How can you be so pleasing!
Going to kiss her.
I vow I'll not be naught.
All maids I know at first resist.
A master may command.
You're monstrous rude; I'll not be kiss'd:
Nay, fye, let go my band.
'Tis foolish pride -
'Tis vile, 'tis base
Poor innocence to wrong;
I'll force you,
Guard me from disgrace.
You find that vertue's strong.
Pushing him away.
'Tis barbarous in you, Sir, to take the occasion of my necessities to insult me.
DUCAT. Nay, hussy, I'll give you money.
POLLY. I despise it. No, Sir, tho' I was born and bred in England, I can dare to be poor, which is the only thing now-a-days men are asham'd of.
DUCAT. I shall humble these faucy airs of yours, Mrs. Minx. Is this language from a servant! from a slave!
POLLY. Am I then betray'd and sold!
DUCAT. Yes, hussy, that you are; and as legally my property, as any woman is her husband's, who sells her self in marriage.
POLLY. Climates that change constitutions have no effect upon manners. What a profligate is that Trapes!
DUCAT. Your fortune, your happiness depends upon your compliance. What, proof against a bribe! Sure, hussy, you belye your country, or you must have had a very vulgar education. 'Tis unnatural.
Air XV. Bobbing Joan.
Maids like courtiers must be woo'd
Most by flattery are subdu'd;
Some capricious, coy or nice
Out of pride protract the vice;
But they fall,
One and all,
When we bid up to their price.
Besides, hussy, your consent may make me your slave; there's power to tempt you into the bargain. You must be more than woman if you can stand that too.
POLLY. Sure you only mean to try me! but 'tis barbarous to trifle with my distresses.
DUCAT. I'll have none of these airs. 'Tis impertinent in a servant, to have scruples of any kind. I hire honour, conscience and all, for I will not be serv'd by halves. And so, to be plain with you, you obstinate slut, you shall either contribute to my pleasure or my profit; and if you refuse play in the bed-chamber, you shall go work in the fields among the planters. I hope now I have explain'd my self.
POLLY. My freedom may be lost, but you cannot rob me of my vertue and integrity: and whatever is my lot, having that, I shall have the comfort of hope, and find pleasure in reflection.
Air XVI. A Swain long tortur'd with Disdain.
Can I or toil or hunger fear?
For love's a pain that's more severe.
The slave, with vertue in his breast,
Can wake in peace, and sweetly rest.
But love, when unhappy, the more vertuous it is, the more it suffers.
DUCAT. What noise is that?
DAMARIS without. Sir, Sir.
DUCAT. Step into the closet; I'll call you out immediately to present you to my wife. Don't let bashfulness ruin your fortune. The next opportunity I hope you will be better dispos'd.
DAMARIS. Open the door, Sir. This moment, this moment.
Ducat, Damaris, Servants, Mrs. Ducat, etc.
DUCAT. What's the matter? Was any body about to ravish you? Is the house o'fire? Or my Wife in a passion?
DAMARIS. O Sir, the whole country is in an uproar! The pyrates are all coming down upon us; and if they should raise the militia, you are an officer you know. I hope you have time enough to fling up your commission.
Enter 1st Footman.
1ST FOOTMAN. The neighbours, Sir, are all frighted out of their wits; they leave their houses, and fly to yours for protection. Where's my Lady, your Wife? Heaven grant, they have not taken her!
DUCAT. If they only took what one could spare.
1ST FOOTM. That's true, there were no great harm done.
DUCAT. How are the musquets?
1ST FOOTM. Rusty Sir, all rusty and peaceable! For we never clean 'em but against training-day.
DAMARIS. Then, Sir, your honour is safe, for now you have a just excuse against fighting.
Enter 2d Footman.
2D FOOTMAN. The Indians, Sir, with whom we are in alliance are all in arms; there will be bloody work to be sure. I hope they will decide the matter before we can get ready.
Enter Mrs. Ducat.
MRS. DUCAT. O dear Husband, I'm frighten'd to death! What will become of us all! I thought a punishment for your wicked lewdness would light upon you at last.
DUCAT. Presence of mind, my dear, is as necessary in dangers as courage.
DAMARIS. But you are too rich to have courage. You should fight by deputy. 'Tis only for poor people to be brave and desperate, who cannot afford to live.
Enter Maids, etc. one after another.
1ST MAID. The pyrates, Sir, the pyrates! Mercy upon us, what will become of us poor helpless women!
2D MAID. We shall all be ravish'd.
1ST OLD WOMAN. All be ravish'd!
2D OLD WOMAN. Ay to be sure, we shall be ravish'd; all be ravish'd!
1ST OLD WOM. But if fortune will have it so, patience is a vertue, and we must undergo it.
2D OLD WOM. Ay, for certain we must all bear it, Mrs. Damaris.
3D FOOTM. A soldier, Sir, from the Indian Camp, desires admittance. He's here, Sir.
INDIAN. I come, Sir, to the English colony, with whom we are in alliance, from the mighty King Pohetohee, my lord and master, and address my self to you, as you are of the council, for succours. The pyrates are ravaging and plund'ring the country, and we are now in arms, ready for battle, to oppose 'em.
DUCAT. Does Macheath command the enemy?
INDIAN. Report says he is dead. Above twelve moons are pass'd since we heard of him. Morano, a Negro villain, is their chief, who in rapine and barbarities is even equal to him.
DUCAT. I shall inform the council, and we shall soon be ready to joyn you. So acquaint the King your master.
AIR XVII. March in Scipio.
Brave boys prepare.
To the men.
Ah! Cease, fond Wife to cry.
For when the danger's near,
We've time enough to fly.
How can you be disgrac'd!
For wealth secures your fame.
The rich are always plac'd
Above the sense of shame.
Let honour spur the slave,
To fight for fighting's sake:
But even the rich are brave
When money is at stake.
Be satisfy'd, my dear, I shall be discreet. My servants here will take care that I be not over-rash, for their wages depend upon me. But before I go to council - come hither Polly; I intreat you, Wife, to take her into your service. Enter Polly. And use her civilly. Indeed, my dear, your suspicions are very frivolous and unreasonable.
MRS. DUCAT. I hate to have a handsome wench about me. They are always so saucy!
DUCAT. Women, by their jealousies, put one in mind of doing that which otherwise we should never think of. Why you are a proof, my dear, that a handsome woman may be honest.
MRS. DUCAT. I find you can say a civil thing to me still.
DUCAT. Affairs, you see, call me hence. And so I leave her under your protection.
Mrs. Ducat, Damaris.
MRS. DUCAT. Away, into the other room again. When I want you, I'll call you. Exit Polly. Well, Damaris, to be sure you have observ'd all that has pass'd. I will know all. I'm sure she's a hussy.
DAMARIS. Nay, Madam, I can't say so much. But -
MRS. DUCAT. But what?
DAMARIS. I hate to make mischief.
Air XVIII. Jig-it-o'Foot.
Better to doubt
All that's doing,
Than to find out
Proofs of ruin.
What servants hear and see
Should they tattle,
Marriage all day would be
Feuds and battle.
A servant's legs and hands should be under your command, but, for the sake of quiet, you should leave their tongues to their own discretion.
MRS. DUCAT. I vow, Damaris, I will know it.
DAMARIS. To be sure, Madam, the door was bolted, and I could only listen. There was a sort of a bustle between 'em, that's certain. What past I know not. But the noise they made, to my thinking, did not sound very honest.
MRS. DUCAT. Noises that did not sound very honest, said you?
DAMARIS. Nay, Madam, I am a maid, and have no experience. If you had heard them, you would have been a better judge of the matter.
MRS. DUCAT. An impudent slut! I'll have her before me. If she be not a thorough profligate, I shall make a discovery by her behaviour. Go call her to me.
Exit Damaris and returns.
Mrs. Ducat, Damaris, Polly.
MRS. DUCAT. In my own house! Before my face! I'll have you sent to the house of correction, strumpet. By that over-honest look, I guess her to be a horrid jade. A mere hypocrite, that is perfectly white- wash'd with innocence. My blood rises at the sight of all strumpets, for they are smuglers in love, that ruin us fair traders in matrimony. Look upon me, Mrs. brazen. She has no feeling of shame. She is so us'd to impudence, that she has not a blush within her. Do you know, madam, that I am Mr. Ducat's wife?
POLLY. As your servant, Madam, I think my self happy.
MRS. DUCAT. You know Mr. Ducat, I suppose. She has beauty enough to make any woman alive hate her.
Air XIX. Trumpet Minuet.
Abroad after misses most husbands will roam,
Tho' sure they find woman sufficient at home.
To be nos'd by a strumpet! Hence, hussy you'd best.
Would he give me my due, I wou'd give her the rest.
I vow I had rather have a thief in my house. For to be sure she is that besides.
POLLY. If you were acquainted with my misfortunes, Madam, you could not insult me.
MRS. DUCAT. What does the wench mean?
DAMARIS. There's not one of these common creatures, but, like common beggars, hath a moving story at her finger's ends, which they tell over, when they are maudlin, to their lovers. I had a sweetheart, Madam, who was a rake, and I know their ways very well, by hearsay.
POLLY. What villains are hypocrites! For they rob those of relief, who are in real distress. I know what it is to be unhappy in marriage.
MRS. DUCAT. Married!
MRS. DUCAT. When, where, to whom?
POLLY. If woman can have faith in woman, may my words find belief. Protestations are to be suspected, so I shall use none. If truth can prevail, I know you will pity me.
MRS. DUCAT. Her manner and behaviour are so particular, that is to say, so sincere, that I must hear her story. Unhappily married! That is a misfortune not to be remedied.
POLLY. A constant woman hath but one chance to be happy; an inconstant woman, tho' she hath no chance to be very happy, can never be very unhappy.
DAMARIS. Believe me, Mrs. Polly, as to pleasures of all sorts, 'tis a much more agreeable way to be inconstant.
Air XX. Polwart on the Green.
Love now is nought but art,
'Tis who can juggle best;
To all men seem to give your heart,
But keep it in your breast.
What gain and pleasure do we find,
Who change whene'er we list!
The mill that turns with every wind
Must bring the owner grist.
POLLY. My case, Madam, may in these times be look'd upon as singular; for I married a man only because I lov'd him. For this I was look'd upon as a fool by all my acquaintance; I was us'd inhumanly by my father and mother; and to compleat, my misfortunes, my husband, by his wild behaviour, incurr'd the sentence of the law, and was separated from me by banishment. Being inform'd he was in this country, upon the death of my father and mother, with most of my small fortune, I came here to seek him.
MRS. DUCAT. But how then fell you into the hands of that consummate bawd, Trapes?
POLLY. In my voyage, Madam, I was robb'd of all I had. Upon my landing in a strange country, and in want, I was found out by this inhuman woman, who had been an acquaintance of my father's: She offer'd me at first the civilities of her own house. When she was inform'd of my necessities, she propos'd to me the service of a Lady; of which I readily accepted. 'Twas under that pretence that she treacherously sold me to your husband as a mistress. This, Madam, is in short the whole truth. I fling my self at your feet for protection. By relieving me, you make your self easy.
MRS. DUCAT. What is't you propose?
POLLY. In conniving at my escape, you save me from your husband's worrying me with threats and violence, and at the same time quiet your own fears and jealousies. If it is ever in my power, Madam, with gratitude I will repay you my ransom.
DAMARIS. Besides, Madam, you will effectually revenge your self upon your husband; for the loss of the money he paid for her will touch him to the quick.
MRS. DUCAT. But have you consider'd what you request? We are invaded by the pyrates: The Indians are in arms; the whole country is in commotion, and you will every where be expos'd to danger.
DAMARIS. Get rid of her at any rate. For such is the vanity of man, that when once he has begun with a woman, out of pride he will insist upon his point.
POLLY. In staying with you, Madam, I make two people unhappy. And I chuse to bear my own misfortunes, without being the cause of another's.
MRS. DUCAT. If I let her escape before my husband's return, he will imagine she got off by the favour of this bustle and confusion.
POLLY. May heaven reward your charity.
MRS. DUCAT. A woman so young and so handsome must be expos'd to continual dangers. I have a suit of cloaths by me of my nephew's, who is dead. In a man's habit you will run fewer risques. I'll assist you too for the present with some money; and, as a traveller, you may with greater safety make enquiries after your husband.
POLLY. How shall I ever make a return for so much goodness?
MRS. DUCAT. May love reward your constancy. As for that perfidious monster Trapes, I will deliver her into the hands of the magistrate. Come, Damaris, let us this instant equip her for her adventures.
DAMARIS. When she is out of the house, without doubt, Madam, you will be more easy. And I wish she may be so too.
POLLY. May vertue be my protection; for I feel within me hope, cheerfulness, and resolution.
Air XXI. St. Martin's Lane.
As pilgrims thro' devotion
To some shrine pursue their way,
They tempt the raging ocean,
And thro' desarts stray.
With zeal their hope desiring,
The saint their breast inspiring
With cheerful air,
Devoid of fear,
They every danger bear.
Thus equal zeal possessing,
I seek my only blessing.
O love, my honest vow regard!
My truth protect,
My steps direct,
His flight detect,
A faithful wife reward.
The View of an Indian Country.
Polly in Boy's Cloaths.
Air XXII. La Villanella.
Why did you spare him,
O'er seas to bear him,
Far from his home, and constant bride?
When Papa 'peach'd him,
If death had reach'd him,
I then had only sigh'd, wept, and dy'd!
If my directions are right, I cannot be far from the village. With the habit, I must put on the courage and resolution of a man; for I am every where surrounded with dangers. By all I can learn of these pyrates, my dear Macheath is not of the crew. Perhaps I may hear of him among the slaves of the next plantation. How sultry is the day! the cool of this shade will refresh me. I am jaded too with reflection. How restless is love! Musick, two or three bars of the dead March. My imagination follows him every where, would my feet were as swift. The world then could not hide him from me. Two or three bars more. Yet even thought is now bewilder'd in pursuing him. Two or three bars more. I'm tir'd, I'm faint. The Symphony.
Air XXIII. Dead March in Coriolanus.
Sleep, O sleep,
With thy rod of incantation,
Charm my imagination.
Then, only then, I cease to weep.
By thy power,
The virgin, by time o'ertaken
For years forlorn, forsaken,
Enjoys the happy hour.
What's to sleep?
'Tis a visionary blessing;
A dream that's past expressing;
Our utmost wish possessing;
So may I always keep.
Capstern, Hacker, Culverin, Laguerre, Cutlace. Polly asleep in a distant part of the stage.
HACKER. We shall find but a cool reception from Morano, if we return without either booty or intelligence.
CULVERIN. A man of invention hath always intelligence ready. I hope we are not exempted from the privilege of travellers.
CAPSTERN. If we had got booty, you know we had resolv'd to agree in a lye. And, gentlemen, we will not have our diligence and duty call'd in question for that which every common servant has at his fingers end for his justification.
LAGUERRE. Alack, gentlemen, we are not such bunglers in love or politicks, but we must know that either to get favour or keep it, no man ever speaks what he thinks, but what is convenient.
Air XXIV. Three Sheep-skins.
Of all the sins that are money-supplying;
Consider the world, 'tis past all denying,
With all sorts,
In towns or courts,
The richest sin is lying.
CULVERIN. Fatigue, gentlemen, should have refreshment. No man is requir'd to do more than his duty. Let us repose our selves a-while. A sup or two of our cag would quicken invention.
They sit and drink.
HACKER. I had always a genius for ambition. Birth and education cannot keep it under. Our profession is great, brothers. What can be more heroic than to have declar'd war with the whole world?
CULVERIN. 'Tis a pleasure to me to recollect times past, and to observe by what steps a genius will push his fortune.
HACKER. Now as to me, brothers, mark you me. After I had rubb'd through my youth with variety of adventures, I was prefer'd to be footman to an eminent gamester, where, after having improv'd my self by his manners and conversation, I left him, betook my self to his politer profession, and cheated like a gentleman. For some time I kept a Pharaon-Bank with success, but unluckily in a drunken bout was stript by a more expert brother of the trade. I was now, as 'tis common with us upon these occasions, forc'd to have recourse to the highway for a recruit to set me up; but making the experiment once too often, I was try'd, and receiv'd sentence; but got off for transportation. Which hath made me the man I am.
LAGUERRE. From a footman I grew to be a pimp to a man of quality. Considering I was for sometime in that employment, I look upon my self as particularly unlucky, that I then miss'd making my fortune. But, to give him his due, only his death could have prevented it. Upon this, I betook my self to another service, where my wages not being sufficient for my pleasures, I robb'd my master, and retir'd to visit foreign parts.
CAPSTERN. Now, you must know, I was a drawer of one of the fashionable taverns, and of consequence was daily in the politest conversations. Tho' I say it, no body was better bred. I often cheated my master, and as a dutiful servant, now and then cheated for him. I had always my gallantries with the ladies that the lords and gentlemen brought to our house. I was ambitious too of a gentleman's profession, and turn'd gamester. Tho' I had great skill and no scruples, my play would not support my extravagancies: So that now and then I was forc'd to rob with pistols too. So I also owe my rank in the world to transportation.
CULVERIN. Our chief, Morano, brothers, had never been the man he is, had he not been train'd up in England. He has told me, that from his infancy he was the favourite page of a lady. He had a genius too above service, and, like us, ran into higher life. And, indeed, in manners and conversation, tho' he is black, no body has more the air of a great man.
HACKER. He is too much attach'd to his pleasures. That mistress of his is a clog to his ambition. She's an arrant Cleopatra.
LAGUERRE. If it were not for her, the Indies would be our own.
Air XXV. Rigadoon.
By women won,
We're all undone,
Each wench hath a Syren's charms.
The lover's deeds
Are good or ill,
As whim succeeds
In woman's will:
Resolution is lull'd in her arms.
HACKER. A man in love is no more to be depended on than a man in liquor, for he is out of himself.
Air XXVI. Ton humeur est Catharine.
Woman's like the flatt'ring ocean,
Who her pathless ways can find?
Every blast directs her motion
Now she's angry, now she's kind.
What a fool's the vent'rous lover,
Whirl'd and toss'd by every wind!
Can the bark the port recover
When the silly Pilot's blind?
HACKER. A good horse is never turn'd loose among mares, till all his good deeds are over. And really your heroes should be serv'd the same way; for after they take to women, they have no good deeds to come. That inviegling gipsey, brothers, must be hawl'd from him by force. And then - the kingdom of Mexico shall be mine. My lot shall be the kingdom of Mexico.
CAPSTERN. Who talks of Mexico? all rise I'll never give it up. If you outlive me, brother, and I dye without heirs, I'll leave it to you for a legacy. I hope now you are satisfy'd. I have set my heart upon it, and no body shall dispute it with me.
LAGUERRE. The island of Cuba, methinks, brother, might satisfy any reasonable man.
CULVERIN. That I had allotted for you. Mexico shall not be parted with without my consent, captain Morano to be sure will choose Peru; that's the country of gold, and all your great men love gold. Mexico hath only silver, nothing but silver. Governor of Cartagena, brother, is a pretty snug employment. That I shall not dispute with you.
CAPSTERN. Death, Sir, - I shall not part with Mexico so easily.
HACKER. Nor I.
CULVERIN. Nor I.
LAGUERRE. Nor I.
CULVERIN. Nor I.
HACKER. Draw then, and let the survivor take it.
POLLY. Bless me, what noise was that! Clashing of swords and fighting! Which way shall I fly, how shall I escape?
CAPSTERN. Hold, hold, gentlemen, let us decide our pretensions some other time. I see booty. A prisoner. Let us seize him.
CULVERIN. From him we will extort both ransom and intelligence.
POLLY. Spare my life gentlemen. If you are the men I take you for, I sought you to share your fortunes.
HACKER. Why, who do you take us for, friend?
POLLY. For those brave spirits, those Alexanders, that shall soon by conquest be in possession of the Indies.
LAGUERRE. A mettl'd young fellow.
CAPSTERN. He speaks with respect too, and gives us our titles.
CULVERIN. Have you heard of captain Morano?
POLLY. I came hither in meer ambition to serve under him.
Air XXVII. Ye nymphs and sylvan gods.
I hate those coward tribes,
Who by mean sneaking bribes,
By tricks and disguise,
By flattery and lies,
To power and grandeur rise.
Like heroes of old
You are greatly bold,
The sword your cause supports.
Untaught to fawn,
You ne'er were drawn
Your truth to pawn
Among the spawn,
Who practise the frauds of courts.
I would willingly choose the more honourable way of making a fortune.
HACKER. The youth speaks well. Can you inform us, my lad, of the disposition of the enemy? Have the Indians joyn'd the factory? We should advance towards 'em immediately. Who knows but they may side with us? May-hap they may like our tyranny better.
POLLY. I am a stranger, gentlemen, and entirely ignorant of the affairs of this country: But in the most desperate undertaking, I am ready to risque your fortunes.
HACKER. Who, and what are you, friend!
POLLY. A young fellow, who has genteely run out his fortune with a spirit, and would now with more spirit retrieve it.
CULVERIN. The lad may be of service. Let us bring him before Morano, and leave him to his disposal.
POLLY. Gentlemen, I thank you.
Air XXVIII. Minuet.
Cheer up my lads, let us push on the fray.
For battles, like women, are lost by delay.
Let us seize victory while in our power;
Alike war and love have their critical hour.
Our hearts bold and steady
Should always be ready,
So, think war a widow, a kingdom the dower.
Another Country Prospect.
MORANO. Sure, hussy, you have more ambition and more vanity than to be serious in persuading me to quit my conquests. Where is the woman who is not fond of title? And one bold step more, may make you a queen, you gipsy. Think of that.
Air XXIX. Mirleton.
When I'm great, and flush of treasure,
Check'd by neither sear or shame,
You shall tread a round of pleasure,
Morning, noon, and night the same.
With a Mirleton, etc.
Like a city wife or beauty
You shall flutter life away;
And shall know no other duty,
But to dress, eat, drink, and play
With a Mirleton, etc.
When you are a queen, Jenny, you shall keep your coach and fix, and shall game as deep as you please. So, there's the two chief ends of woman's ambition satisfy'd.
Air XXX. Sawny was tall, and of noble race.
Shall I not be bold when honour calls?
You've a heart that would upbraid me then.
But, ah, I fear, if my hero falls,
Thy Jenny shall ne'er know pleasure again.
To deck their wives fond tradesmen cheat;
I conquer but to make thee great.
But if my hero falls, - ah then
Thy Jenny shall ne'er know pleasure again!
MORANO. Insinuating creature! but you must own Jenny, you have had convincing proofs of my fondness; and if you were reasonable in your love, you should have some regard to my honour, as well as my person.
JENNY. Have I ever betray'd you, since you took me to your self? That's what few women can say, who ever were trusted.
MORANO. In love, Jenny, you cannot out-do me. Was it not entirely for you that I disguis'd my self as a black, to skreen my self from women who laid claim to me where-ever I went? Is not the rumour of my death, which I purposely spread, credited thro' the whole country? Macheath is dead to all the world but you. Not one of the crew have the least suspicion of me.
JENNY. But, dear captain, you would not sure persuade me that I have all of you. For tho' women cannot claim you, you now and then lay claim to other women. But my jealousy was never teazing or vexatious. You will pardon me, my dear.
MORANO. Now you are silly, Jenny. Pr'ythee - poh! Nature girl is not to be corrected at once. What do you propose? What would you have me do? Speak out, let me know your mind.
JENNY. Know when you are well.
MORANO. Explain your self; speak your sentiments freely.
JENNY. You have a competence in your power. Rob the crew, and steal off to England. Believe me, Captain, you will be rich enough to be respected by your neighbours.
MORANO. Your opinion of me startles me. For I never in my life was treacherous but to women; and you know men of the nicest punctilio make nothing of that.
JENNY. Look round among all the snug fortunes that are made, and you will find most of 'em were secur'd by a judicious retreat. Why will you bar your self from the customs of the times?
Air XXXI. Northern Nancy.
How many men have found the skill
Of power and wealth acquiring?
But sure there's a time to stint the will
And the judgment is in retiring.
For to be displac'd,
For to be disgrac'd,
Is the end of too high aspiring.
SAILOR. Sir, Lieutenant Vanderbluff wants to speak with you. And he hopes your honour will give him the hearing.
MORANO. Leave me, Jenny, for a few minutes. Perhaps he would speak with me in private.
JENNY. Think of my advice before it is too late. By this kiss I beg it of you.
VANDERBLUFF. For shame, Captain; what, hamper'd in the arms of a woman, when your honour and glory are all at stake! while a man is grappling with these gil-flirts, pardon the expression, Captain, he runs his reason a-ground; and there must be a woundy deal of labour to set it a-float again.
Air XXXII. Amante fuggite cadente belta.
Fine women are devils, compleat in their way,
They always are roving and cruising for prey.
When we flounce on their hook, their views they obtain,
Like those too their pleasure is giving us pain.
Excuse my plain speaking, Captain; a boatswain must swear in a storm, and a man must speak plain, when he sees foul weather a-head of us.
MORANO. D'you think me like the wheat-ear, only fit for sunshine, who cannot bear the least cloud over him? No Vanderbluff, I have a heart that can face a tempest of dangers. Your blust'ring will but make me obstinate. You seem frighten'd, Lieutenant.
VANDERBLUFF. From any body but you, that speech should have had another-guess answer than words. Death, Captain, are not the Indies in dispute? an hour's delay may make their hands too many for us. Give the word, Captain, this hand shall take the Indian King pris'ner, and keel-hawl him afterwards, 'till I make him discover his gold. I have known you eager to venture your life for a less prize.
MORANO. Are Hacker, Culverin, Capstern, Laguerre and the rest, whom we sent out for intelligence, return'd, that you are under this immediate alarm?
VANDERBLUFF. No, Sir; but from the top of yon' hill, I my self saw the enemy putting themselves in order of battle.
MORANO. But we have nothing at all to apprehend; for we have still a safe retreat to our ships.
VANDERBLUFF. To our woman, you mean. Furies! you talk like one. If our Captain is bewitch'd, shall we be be-devil'd, and lose the footing we have got?
MORANO. Take care, Lieutenant. This language may provoke me. I fear no man. I fear nothing, and that you know. Put up your cutlace, Lieutenant, for I shall not ruin our cause by a private quarrel.
VANDERBLUFF. Noble Captain, I ask pardon.
MORANO. A brave man should be cool till action, Lieutenant; when danger presses us, I am always ready. Be satisfy'd, I'll take my leave of my wife, and then take the command.
VANDERBLUFF. That's what you can never do till you have her leave. She is but just gone from you, Sir. See her not; hear her not; the breath of a woman has ever prov'd a contrary wind to great actions.
MORANO. I tell you I will see her. I have got rid of many a woman in my time, and you may trust me -
VANDERBLUFF. With any woman but her. The husband that is govern'd is the only man that never finds out that he is so.
MORANO. This then, Lieutenant, shall try my resolution. In the mean time, send out parties and scouts to observe the motions of the Indians.
Air XXXIII. Since all the world's turn'd upside down.
Tho' different passions rage by turns,
Within my breast fermenting;
Now blazes love, now honour burns,
I'm here, I'm there consenting.
I'll each obey, so keep my oath,
That oath by which I won her:
With truth and steddiness in both,
I'll act like a man of honour.
Doubt me not, Lieutenant. But I'll now go with you, to give the necessary commands, and after that return to take my leave before the battle.
Morano, Vanderbluff, Jenny, Capstern, Culverin, Hacker, Laguerre, Polly.
JENNY. Hacker, Sir, and the rest of the party are return'd with a prisoner. Perhaps from him you may learn some intelligence that may be useful. See, here they are. - A clever sprightly young fellow! I like him.
VANDERBLUFF. What cheer, my lads? has fortune sent you a good prize?
JENNY. He seems some rich planter's son.
VANDERBLUFF. In the common practice of commerce you should never slip an opportunity, and for his ransome, no doubt, there will be room for comfortable extortion.
MORANO. Hath he inform'd you of any thing that may be of service? where pick'd you him up? whence is he?
HACKER. We found him upon the road. He is a stranger it seems in these parts. And as our heroes generally set out, extravagance, gaming and debauchery have qualify'd him for a brave man.
MORANO. What are you, friend?
POLLY. A young fellow, who hath been robb'd by the world; and I came on purpose to join you, to rob the world by way of retaliation. An open war with the whole world is brave and honourable. I hate the clandestine pilfering war that is practis'd among friends and neighbours in civil societies. I would serve, Sir.
Air XXXIV. Hunt the Squirrel.
The world is always jarring;
This is pursuing
T'other man's ruin,
Friends with friends are warring,
In a false cowardly way.
Spurr'd on by emulations,
Tongues are engaging,
Envy keeps up the fray.
Thus, with burning hate,
Each, returning hate,
Wounds and robs his friends.
In civil life,
Even man and wife
Squabble for selfish ends.
JENNY. He really is a mighty pretty man.
VANDERBLUFF. The lad promises well, and has just notions of the world.
MORANO. Whatever other great men do, I love to encourage merit. The youth pleases me; and if he answers in action - - d'you hear me, my lad? - - your fortune is made. Now Lieutenant Vanderbluff, I am for you.
VANDERBLUFF. Discipline must not be neglected.
MORANO. When every thing is settled, my dear Jenny, I will return to take my leave. After that, young gentleman, I shall try your mettle. In the mean time, Jenny, I leave you to sift him with farther questions. He has liv'd in the world, you find, and may have learnt to be treacherous.
JENNY. How many women have you ever ruin'd, young gentleman!
POLLY. I have been ruin'd by women, madam. But I think indeed a man's fortune cannot be more honourably dispos'd of; for those have always a kind of claim to their protection, who have been ruin'd in their service.
JENNY. Were you ever in love?
POLLY. With the sex.
JENNY. Had you never a woman in love with you?
POLLY. All the women that ever I knew were mercenary.
JENNY. But sure you cannot think all women so.
POLLY. Why not as well as all men? The manners of courts are catching.
JENNY. If you have found only such usage, a generous woman can the more oblige you. Why so bashful, young spark? You don't look as if you would revenge your self on the sex.
POLLY. I lost my impudence with my fortune. Poverty keeps down assurance.
JENNY. I am a plain-spoken woman, as you may find, and I own I like you. And, let me tell you, to be my favourite may be your best step to preferment.
Air XXXV. Young Damon once the loveliest swain.
In love and life the present use.
One hour we grant, the next refuse;
Who then would risque a nay?
Were lovers wise they would be kind,
And in our eyes the moment find;
For only then they may.
Like other women I shall run to extremes. If you won't make me love you, I shall hate you. There never was a man of true courage, who was a coward in love. Sure you are not afraid of me, stripling? taking Polly by the hand.
POLLY. I know you only railly me. Respect, madam, keeps me in awe.
JENNY. By your expression and behaviour, one would think I were your wife. If so, I may make use of her freedoms, and do what I please without shame or restraint. Kisses her. Such raillery as this, my dear, requires replication.
POLLY. You'll pardon me then, Madam.
JENNY. What, my cheek! let me dye, if by your kiss, I should not take you for my brother or my father.
POLLY. I must put on more assurance, or I shall be discover'd. Aside. Nay then, Madam, if a woman will allow me liberties, they are never flung away upon me. If I am too rude -
JENNY. A woman never pardons the contrary fault.
Air XXXVI. Catharine Ogye.
We never blame the forward swain,
Who puts us to the tryal.
I know you first would give me pain,
Then baulk me with denial.
What mean we then by being try'd?
With scorn and slight to use us.
Most beauties, to indulge their pride,
Seem kind but to refuse us.
JENNY. Come then, my dear, let us take a turn in yonder grove. A woman never shews her pride but before witnesses.
POLLY. How shall I get rid of this affair? Aside. Morano may surprize us.
JENNY. That is more a wife's concern. Consider, young man, if I have put my self in your power, you are in mine.
POLLY. We may have more easy and safe opportunities. Besides, I know, Madam, you are not serious.
JENNY. To a man who loses one opportunity, we never grant a second. excuses! consideration! he hath not a spark of love in him. I must be his aversion! go, monster, I hate you, and you shall find I can be reveng'd.
Air XXXVII. Roger a Coverly.
My heart is by love forsaken,
I feel the tempest growing.
A fury the place hath taken,
I rage, I burn, I'm glowing.
Tho' Cupid's arrows are erring,
Or indifference may secure ye,
When woman's revenge is stirring,
You cannot escape that fury.
I could bear your excuses, but those looks of indifference kill me.
Jenny, Polly, Morano.
JENNY. Sure never was such insolence! how could you leave me with this bawdy-house bully? for if he had been bred a page, he must have made his fortune. If I had given him the least encouragement, it would not have provok'd me. Odious creature!
MORANO. What-a-vengeance is the matter?
JENNY. Only an attempt upon your wife. So ripe an assurance! he must have suck'd in impudence from his mother.
MORANO. An act of friendship only. He meant to push his fortune with the husband. 'Tis the way of the town, my dear.
Air XXXVIII. Bacchus m'a dit.
By halves no friend
Now seeks to do you pleasure.
Their help they lend
In every part of life;
If husbands part,
The friend hath always leisure;
Then all his heart
Is bent to please the wife.
JENNY. I hate you for being so little jealous.
MORANO. Sure, Jenny, you know the way of the world better, than to be surpriz'd at a thing of this kind. 'Tis a civility that all you fine ladies expect; and, upon the like occasion, I could not have answer'd for my self. I own, I have a sort of partiality to impudence. Perhaps too, his views might be honourable. If I had been kill'd in battle, 'tis good to be beforehand. You know 'tis a way often practis'd to make sure of a widow.
JENNY. If I find you so easy in these affairs, you may make my vertue less obstinate.
Air XXXIX. Health to Betty.
If husbands sit unsteady,
Most wives for freaks are ready.
Neglect the rein
The steed again
Grows skittish, wild and heady.
Your behaviour forces me to say, what my love for you will never let me put in practice. You are too safe, too secure, to think of pleasing me.
MORANO. Tho' I like impudence, yet 'tis not so agreeable when put in practice upon my own wife: and jesting apart, young fellow, if I ever catch you thinking this way again, a cat-o'-nine-tails shall cool your courage.
Morano, Jenny, Polly, Vanderbluff, Capstern, Laguerre, etc. with Cawwawkee prisoner.
VAN. The party, captain, is return'd with success. After a short skirmish, the Indian prince Cawwawkee here was made prisoner, and we want your orders for his disposal.
MOR. Are all our troops ready and under arms?
VAN. They wait but for your command. Our numbers are strong. All the ships crews are drawn out, and the slaves that have deserted to us from the plantations are all brave determin'd fellows, who must behave themselves well.
MOR. Look'e lieutenant, the trussing up this prince, in my opinion, would strike a terror among the enemy. Besides, dead men can do no mischief. Let a gibbet be set up, and swing him off between the armies before the onset.
VAN. By your leave, captain, my advice blows directly contrary. Whatever may be done hereafter, I am for putting him first of all upon examination. The Indians to be sure have hid their treasures, and we shall want a guide to shew us the best plunder.
MOR. The counsel is good. I will extort intelligence from him. Bring me word when the enemy are in motion, and that instant I'll put myself at your head. Exit Sailor. Do you know me, prince?
CAW. As a man of injustice I know you, who covets and invades the properties of another.
MOR. Do you know my power?
CAW. I fear it not.
MOR. Do you know your danger?
CAW. I am prepar'd to meet it.
Air XL. Cappe de bonne Esperance.
The body of the brave may be taken,
If chance bring on our adverse hour;
But the noble soul is unshaken,
For that still is in our power:
'Tis a rock whose firm foundation
Mocks the waves of perturbation;
'Tis a never-dying ray,
Brighter in our evil Day.
MOR. Meer downright Barbarians, you see lieutenant. They have our notional honour still in practice among 'em.
VAN. We must beat civilizing into 'em, to make 'em capable of common society, and common conversation.
MOR. Stubborn prince, mark me well. Know you, I say, that your life is in my power?
CAW. I know too, that my virtue is in my own.
MOR. Not a mule, or an old out-of-fashion'd philosopher could be more obstinate. Can you feel pain?
CAW. I can bear it.
MOR. I shall try you.
CAW. I speak truth, I never affirm but what I know.
MOR. In what condition are your troops? What numbers have you? How are they dispos'd? Act reasonably and openly, and you shall find protection.
CAW. What, betray my friends! I am no coward, European.
MOR. Torture shall make you squeak.
CAW. I have resolution; and pain shall neither make me lie or betray. I tell thee once more European, I am no coward.
VAN. What, neither cheat nor be cheated! There is no having either commerce or correspondence with these creatures.
JEN. We have reason to be thankful for our good education. How ignorant is mankind without it!
CAP. I wonder to hear the brute speak.
LAG. They would make a shew of him in England.
JEN. Poh, they would only take him for a fool.
CAP. But how can you expect any thing else from a creature, who hath never seen a civiliz'd country? Which way should he know mankind?
JEN. Since they are made like us, to be sure, were they in England they might be taught.
LAG. Why we see country gentlemen grow into courtiers, and country gentlewomen, with a little polishing of the town, in a few months become fine ladies.
JEN. Without doubt, education and example can do much.
POL. How happy are these savages! Who would not wish to be in such ignorance.
MOR. Have done, I beg you, with your musty reflections: You but interrupt the examination. You have treasures, you have gold and silver among you, I suppose.
CAW. Better it had been for us if that shining earth had never been brought to light.
MOR. That you have treasures then you own, it seems. I am glad to hear you confess something.
CAW. But out of benevolence we ought to hide it from you. For, as we have heard, 'tis so rank a poison to you Europeans, that the very touch of it makes you mad.
Air XLI. When bright Aurelia tripp'd the plain.
For gold you sacrifice your fame,
Your honour, life and friend:
You war, you fawn, you lie, you game,
And plunder without fear or shame;
Can madness this transcend?
MOR. Bold savage, we are not to be insulted with your ignorance. If you would save your lives, you must, like the beaver, leave behind you what we hunt you for, or we shall not quit the chase. Discover your treasures, your hoards, for I will have the ransacking of 'em.
JEN. By his seeming to set some value upon gold, one would think that he had some glimmering of sense.
Air XLII. Peggy's Mill.
When gold is in hand,
It gives us command;
It makes us lov'd and respected.
'Tis now, as of yore,
Wit and sense, when poor,
Are scorn'd, o'rlook'd and neglected.
Tho' peevish and old,
If women have gold,
They have youth, good-humour and beauty:
Among all mankind
Without it we find
Nor love, nor favour nor duty.
MOR. I will have no more of these interruptions. Since women will be always talking, one would think they had a chance now and then to talk in season. Once more I ask you, obstinate, audacious savage, if I grant you your life, will you be useful to us? For you shall find mercy upon no other terms. I will have immediate compliance, or you shall undergo the torture.
CAW. With dishonour life is nothing worth.
MOR. Furies! I'll trifle no longer.
Recitative. Sia fuggetta la plebe in Coriolan.
Hence let him feel his sentence.
Pain brings repentance.
LAG. You would not have us put him to death, captain?
MOR. Torture him leisurely, but severely. I shall stagger your resolution, Indian.
Hence let him feel his sentence.
Pain brings repentance.
But hold, I'll see him tortur'd. I will have the pleasure of extorting answers from him myself. So keep him safe till you have my directions.
LAG. It shall be done.
MOR. As for you, young gentleman, I think it not proper to trust you till I know you farther. Let him be your prisoner too till I give order how to dispose of him.
Exeunt Cawwawkee and Polly guarded.
Morano, Jenny, Vanderbluff.
VAN. Come, noble captain, take one hearty smack upon her lips, and then steer off; for one kiss requires another, and you will never have done with her. If once a man and woman come to grappling, there's no hawling of 'em asunder. Our friends expect us.
JEN. Nay, lieutenant Vanderbluff, he shall not go yet.
VAN. I'm out of all patience. There is a time for all things, Madam. But a woman thinks all times must be subservient to her whim and humour. We should be now upon the spot.
JEN. Is the captain under your command, lieutenant?
VAN. I know women better than so. I shall never dispute the command with any gentleman's wife. Come captain, a woman will never take the last kiss; she will always want another. Break from her clutches.
MOR. I must go - But I cannot.
Air XLIII. Excuse me.
Honour calls me from thy arms,
With glory my bosom is beating.
Victory summons to arms: then to arms
Let us haste, for we're sure of defeating.
One look more - and then -
Oh, I am lost again!
What a Power has beauty!
But honour calls, and I must away.
But love forbids, and I must obey.
You grow too bold;
Vanderbluff pulling him away.
Hence, loose your hold,
For love claims all my duty.
They will bring us word when the enemy is in motion. I know my own time, lieutenant.
VAN. Lose the Indies then, with all my heart. Lose the money, and you lose the woman, that I can tell you, captain. Furies, what would the woman be at!
JEN. Not so hasty and choleric, I beg you, lieutenant. Give me the hearing, and perhaps, whatever you may think of us, you may once in your life hear a woman speak reason.
VAN. Dispatch then. And if a few words can satisfy you, be brief.
JEN. Men only flight womens advice thro' an over- conceit of their own opinions. I am against hazarding a battle. Why should we put what we have already got to the risque? We have money enough on board our ships to secure our persons, and can reserve a comfortable subsistance besides. Let us leave the Indies to our comrades.
VAN. Sure you are the first of the sex that ever stinted herself in love or money. If it were consistent with our honour, her counsel were worth listening to.
JEN. Consistent with our honour! For shame, lieutenant; you talk downright Indian. One would take you for the savage's brother or cousin-german at least. You may talk of honour, as other great men do: But when interest comes in your way, you should do as other great men do.
Air XLIV. Ruben.
Honour plays a bubble's part,
Ever bilk'd and cheated;
Never in ambition's heart,
Int'rest there is seated.
Honour was in use of yore,
Tho' by want attended:
Since 'twas talk'd of, and no more;
Lord, how times are mended!
VAN. What think you of her proposal, noble captain? We may push matters too far.
JEN. Consider, my dear, the Indies are only treasures in expectation. All your sensible men, now a days, love the ready. Let us seize the ships then, and away for England, while we have the opportunity.
VAN. Sure you can have no scruple against treachery, captain. 'Tis as common a money-getting vice as any in fashion; for who now-a-days ever boggles at giving up his crew?
MOR. But the baulking of a great design -
VAN. 'Tis better baulking our own designs, than have 'em baulk'd by others; for then our designs and our lives will be cut short together.
Air XLV. Troy Town.
When ambition's ten years toils
Have heap'd up mighty boards of gold;
Amid the harvest of the spoils,
Acquir'd by fraud and rapin bold,
Comes justice. The great scheme is crost,
At once wealth, life, and fame, are lost.
This is a melancholy reflection for ambition, if it ever could think reasonably.
MOR. If you are satisfy'd, and for your security, Jenny. For any man may allow that he has money enough, when he hath enough to satisfy his wife.
VAN. We may make our retreat without suspicion, for they will readily impute our being mist to the accidents of war.
Morano, Jenny, Vanderbluff, Sailor.
SAIL. There is just now news arriv'd, that the troops of the plantation have intercepted the passage to our ships; so that victory is our only hope. The Indian forces too are ready to march, and ours grow impatient for your presence, noble captain.
MOR. I'll be with 'em. Come then, lieutenant, for death or the world.
JEN. Nay then, if affairs are desperate, nothing shall part me from you. I'll share your dangers.
MOR. Since I must have an empire, prepare yourself, Jenny, for the cares of royalty. Let us on to battle, to victory. Hark the trumpet.
Air XLVI. We've cheated the Parson.
Despair leads to battle, no courage so great.
They must conquer or die who've no retreat.
They must conquer or die who've no retreat.
A room of a poor cottage.
Cawwawkee in chains, Polly.
POL. Unfortunate prince! I cannot blame your disbelief, when I tell you that I admire your virtues, and share in your misfortunes.
CAW. To be oppress'd by an European implies merit. Yet you are an European. Are you fools? Do you believe one another? Sure speech can be of no use among you.
POL. There are constitutions that can resist a pestilence.
CAW. But sure vice must be inherent in such constitutions. You are asham'd of your hearts, you can lie. How can you bear to look into yourselves?
POL. My sincerity could even bear your examination.
CAW. You have cancell'd faith. How can I believe you? You are cowards too, for you are cruel.
POL. Would it were in my power to give you proofs of my compassion.
CAW. You can be avaritious. That is a complication of all vices. It comprehends them all. Heaven guard our country from the infection.
POL. Yet the worst men allow virtue to be amiable, or there would be no hypocrites.
CAW. Have you then hypocrisy still among you? For all that I have experienc'd of your manners is open violence, and barefac'd injustice. Who that had ever felt the satisfaction of virtue would ever part with it?
Air XLVII. T'amo tanto.
Is a pleasure,
Cheerful even amid distress;
Nor pain nor crosses,
Nor grief nor losses,
Nor death itself can make it less:
Honest souls find all redress.
POL. My heart feels your sentiments, and my tongue longs to join in 'em.
Is a pleasure,
Cheerful even amid distress;
Nor pain nor crosses,
Nor grief nor losses,
Nor death itself can make it less.
Honest souls find all redress.
CAW. Having this, I want no other consolation. I am prepar'd for all misfortune.
POL. Had you means of escape, you could not refuse it. To preserve your life is your duty.
CAW. By dishonest means, I scorn it.
POL. But stratagem is allow'd in war; and 'tis lawful to use all the weapons employ'd against you. You may save your friends from affliction, and be the instrument of rescuing your country.
CAW. Those are powerful inducements. I seek not voluntarily to resign my life. While it lasts, I would do my duty.
POL. I'll talk with our guard. What induces them to rapin and murther, will induce 'em to betray. You may offer them what they want; and from no hands, upon no terms, corruption can resist the temptation.
CAW. I have no skill. Those who are corrupt themselves know how to corrupt others. You may do as you please. But whatever you promise for me, contrary to the European custom, I will perform. For tho' a knave may break his word with a knave, an honest tongue knows no such distinctions.
POL. Gentlemen, I desire some conference with you, that may be for your advantage.
Polly, Cawwawkee, Laguerre, Capstern.
POL. Know you that you have the Indian prince in your custody?
LAG. Full well.
POL. Know you the treasures that are in his power?
LAG. I know too that they shall soon be ours.
POL. In having him in your possession they are yours.
LAG. As how, friend?
POL. He might well reward you.
LAG. For what?
POL. For his liberty.
CAW. Yes, European, I can and will reward you.
CAP. He's a great man, and I trust no such promises.
CAW. I have said it, European: And an Indian's heart is always answerable for his words.
POL. Think of the chance of war, gentlemen. Conquest is not so sure when you fight against those who fight for their liberties.
LAG. What think you of the proposal?
CAP. The prince can give us places; he can make us all great men. Such a prospect I can tell you, Laguerre, would tempt our betters.
LAG. Besides, if we are beaten, we have no retreat to our ships.
CAP. If we gain our ends what matter how we come by it?
LAG. Every man for himself, say I. There is no being even with mankind, without that universal maxim. Consider, brother, we run no risque.
CAP. Nay, I have no objections.
LAG. If we conquer'd, and the booty were to be divided among the crews, what would it amount to? Perhaps this way we might get more than would come to our shares.
CAP. Then too, I always lik'd a place at court. I have a genius to get, keep in, and make the most of an employment.
LAG. You will consider, prince, our own politicians would have rewarded such meritorious services: We'll go off with you.
CAP. We want only to be known to be employ'd.
LAG. Let us unbind him then.
POL. 'Tis thus one able politician outwits another; and we admire their wisdom. You may rely upon the prince's word as much as if he was a poor man.
CAP. Our fortunes then are made.
Air XLVIII. Down in a meadow.
The sportsmen keep hawks, and their quarry they gain;
Thus the woodcock, the partridge, the pheasant is slain.
What care and expence for their hounds are employ'd!
Thus the fox, and the hare, and the stag are destroy'd.
The spaniel they cherish, whose flattering way
Can as well as their masters cringe, fawn and betray.
Thus stanch politicians, look all the world round,
Love the men who can serve as hawk, spaniel or hound.
The Indian Camp.
Pohetohee, Attendants, Ducat.
IND. Sir, a party from the British factory have join'd us. Their chief attends your majesty's orders for their disposition.
POHE. Let them be posted next my command; for I would be witness of their bravery. But first let their officer know I would see him.
DUC. I would do all in my power to serve your majesty. I have brought up my men, and now, Sir, - - I would fain give up. I speak purely upon your majesty's account. For as to courage and all that - I have been a colonel of the militia these ten years.
POH. Sure, you have not fear. Are you a man?
DUC. A married man, Sir, who carries his wife's heart about him, and that indeed is a little timorous. Upon promise to her, I am engag'd to quit in case of a battle; and her heart hath ever govern'd me more than my own. Besides, Sir, fighting is not our business; we pay others for fighting; and yet 'tis well known we had rather part with our lives than our money.
POH. And have you no spirit then to defend it? Your families, your liberties, your properties are at stake. If these cannot move you, you must be born without a heart.
DUC. Alas, Sir, we cannot be answerable for human infirmities.
Air XLIX. There was an old man, and he liv'd.
What man can on virtue or courage repose,
Or guess if the touch 'twill abide?
Like gold, if intrinsick sure no body knows,
Till weigh'd in the ballance and try'd.
POH. How different are your notions from ours! We think virtue, honour, and courage as essential to man as his limbs, or senses; and in every man we suppose the qualities of a man, till we have found the contrary. But then we regard him only as a brute in disguise. How custom can degrade nature!
DUC. Why should I have any more scruples about myself, than about my money? If I can make my courage pass currant, what matter is it to me whether it be true or false? 'Tis time enough to own a man's failings when they are found out. If your majesty then will not dispense with my duty to my wife, with permission, I'll to my post. 'Tis wonderful to me that kings ever go to war, who have so much to lose, and nothing essential to get.
POH. My Son a Prisoner! Tortur'd perhaps and inhumanly butcher'd! Human nature cannot bear up against such afflictions. The war must suffer by his absence. More then is requir'd from me. Grief raises my resolution, and calls me to relieve him, or to a just revenge. What mean those shouts?
IND. The prince, Sir, is return'd. The troops are animated by his presence. With some of the pyrates in his retinue, he waits your majesty's commands.
Pohetohee, Cawwawkee, Polly, Laguerre, Capstern, etc.
POH. Victory then is ours. Let me embrace him. Welcome, my son. Without thee my heart could not have felt a triumph.
CAW. Let this youth then receive your thanks. To him are owing my life and liberty. And the love of virtue alone gain'd me his friendship.
POH. This hath convinc'd me that an European can be generous and honest.
CAW. These others, indeed, have the passion of their country. I owe their services to gold, and my promise is engag'd to reward them. How it gauls honour to have obligations to a dishonourable man!
LAG. I hope your majesty will not forget our services.
POH. I am bound for my son's engagements.
CAW. For this youth, I will be answerable. Like a gem found in rubbish, he appears the brighter among these his country men.
Air L. Iris la plus charmante.
Love with beauty is flying,
At once 'tis blooming and dying,
But all seasons defying,
Friendship lasts on the year.
Love is by long enjoying,
Friendship, enjoy'd the longer,
O may the flame divine
Burn in your breast like mine!
POL. Most noble prince, my behaviour shall justify the good opinion you have of me; and my friendship is beyond professions.
POH. Let these men remain under guard, till after the battle. All promises shall then be made good to you.
Exit Pyrates guarded.
Pohetohee, Cawwawkee, Polly.
CAW. May this young man be my companion in the war. As a boon I request it of you. He knows our cause is just, and that is sufficient to engage him in it.
POH. I leave you to appoint him his command. Dispose of him as you judge convenient.
POL. To fall into their hands is certain torture and death. As far as my youth and strength will permit me, you may rely upon my duty.
IND. Sir, the enemy are advancing towards us.
POH. Victory then is at hand. Justice protects us, and courage shall support us. Let us then to our posts.
The field of battle.
Culverin, Hacker, Pyrates.
Air LI. There was a Jovial Beggar.
When horns, with cheerful sound,
Proclaim the active day;
Impatience warms the hound,
He burns to chase the prey.
Thus to battle we will go, etc.
How charms the trumpet's breath!
The brave, with hope possess'd,
Forgetting wounds and death,
Feel conquest in their breast.
Thus to battle, etc.
CUL. But yet I don't see, Brother Hacker, why we should be commanded by a Neger. 'Tis all along of him that we are led into these difficulties. I hate this land fighting. I love to have sea-room.
HAC. We are of the council, brother. If ever we get on board again, my vote shall be for calling of him to account for these pranks. Why should we be such fools to be ambitious of satisfying another's ambition?
CUL. Let us mutiny. I love mutiny as well as my wife.
1 PYR. Let us mutiny.
2 PYR. Ay, let us mutiny.
HAC. Our captain takes too much upon him. I am for no engrosser of power. By our articles he hath no command but in a fight or in a storm. Look'ee, brothers, I am for mutiny as much as any of you, when occasion offers.
CUL. Right, brother, all in good season. The pass to our ships is cut off by the troops of the Plantation. We must fight the Indians first, and we have a mutiny good afterwards.
HAC. Is Morano still with his doxy?
CUL. He's yonder on the right, putting his troops in order for the onset.
HAC. I wish this fight of ours were well over. For, to be sure, let soldiers say what they will, they feel more pleasure after a battle than in it.
CUL. Does not the drum-head here, quarter-master, tempt you to fling a merry main or two?
Takes dice out of his pocket.
HAC. If I lose my money, I shall reimburse myself from the Indians. I have set.
CUL. Have at you. A nick.
HAC. Throw the dice fairly out. Are you at me again!
CUL. I'm at it. Seven or eleven. Flings. eleven.
HAC. Furies! A manifest cog! I won't be bubbled, Sir. This would not pass upon a drunken country gentlemen. Death, Sir, I won't be cheated.
CUL. The money is mine. D'you take me for a sharper, Sir?
HAC. Yes, Sir.
CUL. I'll have satisfaction.
HAC. With all my heart.
Hacker, Culverin, Pyrates, Morano, Vanderbluff, etc.
MOR. For shame, gentlemen! Parting them. Is this a time for private quarrel? What do I see! Dice upon the drum-head! If you have not left off those cowardly tools, you are unworthy your profession. The articles you have sworn to, prohibit gaming for money. Friendship and society cannot subsist where it is practis'd. As this is the day of battle, I remit your penalties. But let me hear no more of it.
CUL. To be call'd sharper, captain! is a reproach that no man of honour can put up.
HAC. But to be one, is what no man of honour can practice.
MOR. If you will not obey orders, quarter-master, this pistol shall put an end to the dispute. Claps it to his head. The common cause now requires your agreement. If gaming is so rife, I don't wonder that treachery still subsists among you.
HAC. Who is treacherous?
MOR. Capstern and Laguerre have let the prince and the stripling you took prisoner escape, and are gone off with them to the Indians. Upon your duty, gentlemen, this day depends our all.
CUL. Rather than have ill blood among us, I return the money. I value your friendship more. Let all animosities be forgot.
MOR. We should be Indians among ourselves, and shew our breeding and parts to every body else. If we cannot be true to one another, and false to all the world beside, there is an end of every great enterprize.
HAC. We have nothing to trust to but death or victory.
MOR. Then hey for victory and plunder, my lads!
Air LII. To you fair ladies.
By bolder steps we win the race.
Let's haste where danger calls.
Unless ambition mend its pace,
It totters, nods and falls.
We must advance or be undone.
Think thus, and then the battle's won.
With a fa la la, etc.
MOR. You see your booty, your plunder, gentlemen. The Indians are just upon us. The great must ven ture death some way or other, and the less ceremony about it, in my opinion, the better. But why talk I of death! Those only talk of it, who fear it. Let us all live, and enjoy our conquests. Sound the charge.
Air LIII. Prince Eugene's march.
When the tyger roams
And the timorous flock is in his view,
He thirsts for the blood of the crew.
His greedy eyes he throws,
Thirst with their number grows,
On he pours, with a wide waste pursuing,
Spreading the plain with a general ruin,
Thus let us charge, and our foes o'erturn:
Let us on one and all!
How they fly, how they fall!
For the war, for the prize I burn.
VAN. Were they dragons, my lads, as they sit brooding upon treasure, we would fright them from their nests.
MOR. But see, the enemy are advancing to close engagement. Before the onset, we'll demand a parley, and if we can, obtain honourable terms - We are overpower'd by numbers, and our retreat is cut off.
Enter Pohetohee, Cawwawkee, Polly, etc. with the Indian Army drawn up against the Pyrates.
POH. Our hearts are all ready. The enemy halts. Let the trumpets give the signal.
Air LIV. The marlborough.
We the sword of justice drawing,
Terror cast in guilty eyes;
In its beam false courage dies;
'Tis like lightning keen and awing.
Charge the foe,
Lay them low,
On then and strike the blow.
Hark, victory calls us. See, guilt is dismay'd:
The villain is of his own conscience afraid.
In your hands are your lives and your liberties held,
The courage of virtue was never repell'd.
PYR. Our chief demands a parley.
POH. Let him advance.
Art thou, Morano, that fell man of prey?
That foe to justice?
Tremble and obey.
Art thou great Pohetohee styl'd?
I dare avow my actions and my name.
MOR. Thou know'st then, king, thy son there was my prisoner. Pay us the ransom we demand, allow us safe passage to our ships, and we will give you your lives and liberties.
POH. Shall robbers and plunderers prescribe rules to right and equity? Insolent madman! Composition with knaves is base and ignominious. Tremble at the sword of justice, rapacious brute.
AIR LV. Les rats.
Know then, war's my pleasure.
Am I thus controll'd?
Both thy heart and treasure
I'll at once unfold.
You, like a miser, scraping, hiding,
Rob all the world; you're but mines of gold.
Rage my breast alarms:
War is by kings held right-deciding;
Then to arms, to arms;
With this sword I'll force your hold.
By thy obstinacy, king, thou haft provok'd thy fate; and so expect me.
POH. Rapacious fool; by thy avarice thou shalt perish.
MOR. Fall on.
POH. For your lives and liberties.
Fight, Pyrates beat off.
DUC. A slight wound now would have been a good certificate; but who dares contradict a soldier? 'Tis your common soldiers who must content themselves with mere fighting; but 'tis we officers that run away with the most fame as well as pay. Of all fools, the fool-hardy are the greatest, for they are not even to be trusted with themselves. Why should we provoke men to turn again upon us, after they are run away? For my own part, I think it wiser to talk of fighting, than only to be talk'd of. The fame of a talking hero will satisfy me; the sound of whose valour amazes and astonishes all peaceable men, women, and children. Sure a man may be allow'd a little lying in his own praise, when there's so much going about to his discredit. Since every other body gives a man less praise than he deserves, a man, in justice to himself, ought to make up deficiencies. Without this privilege, we should have fewer good characters in the world than we have.
Air LVI. Mad Robin.
How faultless does the nymph appear,
When her own hand the picture draws!
But all others only smear
Her wrinckles, cracks and flaws.
Self-flattery is our claim and right,
Let men say what they will;
Sure we may set our good in fight,
When neighbours set our ill.
So, for my own part, I'll no more trust my reputation in my neighbours hands than my money. But will turn them both myself to the best advantage.
Pohetohee, Cawwawkee, Ducat, Indians.
POH. Had Morano been taken or slain, our victory had been compleat.
DUC. A hare may escape from a mastiff. I could not be a greyhound too.
POH. How have you dispos'd of the prisoners?
CAW. They are all under safe guard, till the king's justice, by their exemplary punishment, deters others from the like barbarities.
POH. But all our troops are not as yet return'd from the pursuit: I am too for speedy justice, for in that there is a sort of clemency. Besides, I would not have my private thoughts worried by mercy to pardon such wretches. I cannot be answerable for the frailties of my nature.
CAW. The youth who rescu'd me from these cruel men is missing; and amidst all our successes I cannot feel happiness. I fear he is among the slain. My gratitude interested itself so warmly in his safety that you must pardon my concern. What hath victory done for me? I have lost a friend.
Air LVII. Thro' the wood laddy.
As sits the sad turtle alone on the spray;
His heart sorely beating,
Sad murmur repeating,
Indulging his grief for his consort astray;
For force or death only could keep her away.
Now he thinks of the fowler, and every snare;
If guns have not slain her,
The net must detain her,
Thus he'll rise in my thoughts, every hour with a tear,
If safe from the battle he do not appear.
POH. Dead or alive, bring me intelligence of him; for I share in my son's affliction.
DUC. I had better too be upon the spot, or my men may embezzle some plunder which by right should be mine.
IND. The youth, Sir, with a party is just return'd from the pursuit. He's here to attend your majesty's commands.
Pohetohee, Cawwawkee, Polly, Indians.
CAW. Pardon, Sir, the warmth of my friendship, if I fly to meet him, and for a moment intercept his duty.
Air LVIII. Clasp'd in my dear Melinda's arms.
Victory is ours.
My fond heart is at rest.
Friendship thus receives its guest.
O what transport fills my breast!
Conquest is compleat,
Now the triumph's great.
In your life is a nation blest.
In your life I'm of all possess'd.
POH. The obligations my son hath receiv'd from you, makes me take a part in his friendship. In your safety victory has been doubly kind to me. If Morano hath escap'd, justice only reserves him to be punish'd by another hand.
POL. In the rout, Sir, I overtook him, flying with all the cowardice of guilt upon him. Thousands have false courage enough to be vicious; true fortitude is founded upon honour and virtue; that only can abide all tests. I made him my prisoner, and left him without under strict guard, till I receiv'd your majesty's commands for his disposal.
POH. Sure this youth was sent me as a guardian. Let your prisoner be brought before us.
Pohetohee, Cawwawkee, Polly, Morano guarded.
MOR. Here's a young treacherous dog now, who hangs the husband to come at the wife. There are wives in the world, who would have undertaken that affair to have come at him. Your son's liberty, to be sure, you think better worth than mine; so that I allow you a good bargain if I take my own for his ransom, without a gratuity. You know, king, he is my debtor.
POH. He hath the obligations to thee of a sheep who hath escap'd out of the jaws of the wolf, beast of prey!
MOR. Your great men will never own their debts, that's certain.
POH. Trifle not with justice, impious man. Your barbarities, your rapin, your murthers are now at an end.
MOR. Ambition must take its chance. If I die, I die in my vocation.
Air LIX. Parson upon Dorothy.
The soldiers, who by trade must dare
The deadly cannon's sounds;
You may be sure, betimes prepare
For fatal blood and wounds.
The men, who with adventrous dance,
Bound from the cord on high,
Must own they have the frequent chance
By broken bones to die.
Since rarely then
Like others lose their breath;
Like these, I hope,
They know a rope
Is but their natural death.
We must all take the common lot of our professions.
POH. Would your European laws have suffer'd crimes like these to have gone unpunish'd!
MOR. Were all I am worth safely landed, I have wherewithal to make almost any crime sit easy upon me.
POH. Have ye notions of property?
MOR. Of my own.
POH. Would not your honest industry have been sufficient to have supported you?
MOR. Honest industry! I have heard talk of it indeed among the common people, but all great genius's are above it.
POH. Have you no respect for virtue?
MOR. As a good phrase, Sir. But the practicers of it are so insignificant and poor, that they are seldom found in the best company.
POH. Is not wisdom esteem'd among you?
MOR. Yes, Sir: But only as a step to riches and power; a step that raises ourselves, and trips up our neighbours.
POH. Honour, and honesty, are not those distinguish'd?
MOR. As incapacities and follies. How ignorant are these Indians! But indeed I think honour is of some use; it serves to swear upon.
POH. Have you no consciousness? Have you no shame?
MOR. Of being poor.
POH. How can society subsist with avarice! Ye are but the forms of men. Beasts would thrust you out of their herd upon that account, and man should cast you out for your brutal dispositions.
MOR. Alexander the great was more successful. That's all.
Air LX. The collier has a daughter.
When right or wrong's decided
In war or civil causes,
We by success are guided
To blame or give applauses.
Thus men exalt ambition,
In power by all commended,
But when it falls from high condition,
Tyburn is well attended.
POH. Let justice then take her course, I shall not interfere with her decrees. Mercy too obliges me to protect my country from such violences. Immediate death shall put a stop to your further mischiefs.
MOR. This sentence indeed is hard. Without the common forms of trial! Not so much as the counsel of a newgate attorney! Not to be able to lay out my money in partiality and evidence! Not a friend perjur'd for me! This is hard, very hard.
POH. Let the sentence be put in execution. Lead him to death. Let his accomplices be witnesses of it, and afterwards let them be securely guarded till farther orders.
Air LXI. Mad Moll.
All crimes are judg'd like fornication;
While rich we are honest no doubt.
Fine ladies can keep reputation,
Poor lasses alone are found out.
If justice had piercing eyes,
Like ourselves to look within,
She'd find power and wealth a disguise
That shelter the worst of our kin.
Pohetohee, Cawwawkee, Polly.
POH. How shall I return the obligations I owe you? Every thing in my power you may command. In making a request, you confer on me another benefit. For gratitude is oblig'd by occasions of making a return: And every occasion must be agreeable, for a grateful mind hath more pleasure in paying than receiving.
CAW. My friendship too is impatient to give you proofs of it. How happy would you make me in allowing me to discharge that duty!
Air LXII. Prince George.
All friendship is a mutual debt,
The contract's inclination:
We never can that bond forget
Of sweet retaliation.
All day, and every day the same
We are paying and still owing;
By turns we grant by turns we claim
The pleasure of bestowing.
By turns we grant, etc.
POL. The pleasure of having serv'd an honourable man is a sufficient return. My misfortunes, I fear, are beyond relief.
CAW. That sigh makes me suffer. If you have a want let me know it.
POH. If it is in a king's power, my power will make me happy.
CAW. If you believe me a friend, you are unjust in concealing your distresses from me. You deny me the privilege of friendship; for I have a right to share them, or redress them.
POH. Can my treasures make you happy?
POL. Those who have them not think they can; those who have them know they cannot.
POH. How unlike his countrymen!
CAW. While you conceal one want from me, I feel every want for you. Such obstinacy to a friend is barbarity.
POL. Let not my reflection interrupt the joys of your triumph. Could I have commanded my thoughts, I would have reserv'd them for solitude.
CAW. Those sighs and that reservedness are symptoms of a heart in love. A pain that I am yet a stranger to.
POL. Then you have never been compleatly wretched.
Air LXIII. Blithe Jockey young and gay.
Can words the pain express
Which absent lovers know?
He only mine can guess
Whose heart hath felt the woe.
'Tis doubt, suspicion, fear,
Seldom hope, oft' despair;
'Tis jealousy, 'tis rage, in brief
'Tis every pang and grief.
CAW. But does not love often deny itself aid and comfort, by being too obstinately secret?
POL. One cannot be too open to generosity; that is a sun, of universal benignity. In concealing ourselves from it we but deny ourselves the blessings of its influence.
Air LXIV. In the fields in frost and snow.
The modest lilly, like the maid,
Its pure bloom defending,
Is of noxious dews afraid,
Soon as even's descending.
Clos'd all night,
Free from blight,
It preserves the native white
But at morn unfolds its leaves,
And the vital sun receives.
Yet why should I trouble your majesty with the misfortunes of so inconsiderable a wretch as I am?
POH. A king's beneficence should be like the sun. The most humble weed should feel its influence as well as the most gaudy flower. But I have the nearest concern in any thing that touches you.
POL. You see then at your feet the most unhappy of women.
Kneels, he raises her.
CAW. A woman! Oh my heart!
POH. A woman!
POL. Yes, Sir, the most wretched of her sex. In love! married! abandon'd, and in despair!
POH. What brought you into these countries?
POL. To find my husband. Why had not the love of virtue directed my heart? But, alas, 'tis outward appearance alone that generally engages a woman's affections! And my heart is in the possession of the most profligate of mankind.
POH. Why this disguise?
POL. To protect me from the violences and insults to which my sex might have expos'd me.
CAW. Had she not been married, I might have been happy.
POL. He ran into the madness of every vice. I detest his principles, tho' I am fond of his person to distraction. Could your commands for search and enquiry restore him to me, you reward me at once with all my wishes. For sure my love still might reclaim him.
CAW. Had you conceal'd your sex, I had been happy in your friendship; but now, how uneasy, how restless is my heart!
Air LXV. Whilst I gaze on Chloe.
Whilst I gaze in fond desiring,
Every former thought is lost.
Sighing, wishing and admiring,
How my troubled soul is tost!
Hot and cold my blood is flowing,
How it thrills in every vein!
Liberty and life are going,
Hope can ne'er relieve my pain.
IND. The rest of the troops, Sir, are return'd from the pursuit with more prisoners. They attend your majesty's commands.
POH. Let them be brought before us. Exit Indians. Give not yourself up to despair; for every thing in my power you may command.
CAW. And every thing in mine. But, alas, I have none; for I am not in my own!
Pohetohee, Cawwawkee, Polly, Ducat, Jenny guarded, etc.
JEN. Spare my husband, Morano is my husband.
POH. Then I have reliev'd you from the society of a monster.
JEN. Alas, Sir, there are many husbands who are furious monsters to the rest of mankind, that are the tamest creatures alive to their wives. I can be answerable for his duty and submission to your majesty, for I know I have so much power over him, that I can even make him good.
POH. Why then had you not made him so before?
JEN. I was, indeed, like other wives, too indulgent to him, and as it was agreeable to my own humour, I was loth to baulk his ambition. I must, indeed, own too that I had the frailty of pride. But where is the woman who hath not an inclination to be as great and rich as she can be?
POH. With how much ease and unconcern these Europeans talk of vices, as if they were necessary qualifications.
Air LXVI. The Jamaica.
The sex, we find,
Like men inclin'd
To guard against reproaches;
And none neglect
To pay respect
To rogues who keep their coaches.
Indeed, Sir, I had determin'd to be honest myself, and to have made him so too, as soon as I had put myself upon a reasonable foot in the world; and that is more self-denial than is commonly practis'd.
POH. Woman, your profligate sentiments offend me; and you deserve to be cut off from society, with your husband. Mercy would be scarce excusable in pardoning you. Have done then. Morano is now under the stroke of justice.
JEN. Let me implore your majesty to respite his sentence. Send me back again with him into slavery, from whence we escap'd. Give us an occasion of being honest, for we owe our lives and liberties to another.
DUC. Yes, Sir, I find some of my run-away slaves among the crew; and I hope my services at least will allow me to claim my own again.
JEN. Morano, Sir, I must confess hath been a free liver, and a man of so many gallantries, that no woman could escape him. If Macheath's misfortu nes were known, the whole sex would be in tears.
JEN. He is no black, Sir, but under that disguise, for my sake, skreen'd himself from the claims and importunities of other women. May love intercede for him?
POL. Macheath! Is it possible? Spare him, save him, I ask no other reward.
POH. Haste, let the sentence be suspended.
POL. Fly; a moment may make me miserable. Why could not I know him? All his distresses brought upon him by my hand! Cruel love, how could'st thou blind me so?
Air LXVII. Tweed Side.
The stag, when chas'd all the long day
O'er the lawn, thro' the forest and brake;
Now panting for breath and at bay,
Now stemming the river or lake;
When the treacherous scent is all cold,
And at eve he returns to his hind,
Can her joy, can her pleasure be told?
Such joy and such pleasure I find.
But, alas, now again reflection turns fear upon my heart. His pardon may come too late, and I may never see him more.
POH. Take hence that profligate woman. Let her be kept under strict guard till my commands.
JEN. Slavery, Sir, slavery is all I ask. Whatever becomes of him, spare my life; spare an unfortunate woman. What can be the meaning of this sudden turn! Consider, Sir, if a husband be never so bad, a wife is bound to duty.
POH. Take her hence, I say; let my orders be obey'd.
Exit Jenny guarded.
Pohetohee, Cawwawkee, Polly, Ducat, etc.
POL. What, no news yet? Not yet return'd!
CAW. If justice hath overtaken him, he was unworthy of you.
POL. Not yet! Oh how I fear.
Air LXVIII. One Evening as I lay.
My Heart forebodes he's dead,
That thought how can I bear?
He's gone, for ever fled,
My soul is all despair!
I see him pale and cold,
The noose hath stop'd his breath,
Just as my dream foretold,
Oh had that sleep been death!
Pohetohee, Cawwawkee, Polly, Ducat, Indians.
POL. He's dead, he's dead! Their looks confess it. Your tongues have no need to give it utterance to confirm my misfortunes! I know, I see, I feel it! Support me! O Macheath!
DUC. Mercy upon me! Now I look upon her nearer, bless me, it must be Polly. This woman, Sir, is my slave, and I claim her as my own. I hope, if your majesty thinks of keeping her, you will reimburse me, and not let me be a loser. She was an honest girl to be sure, and had too much virtue to thrive, for, to my knowledge, money could not tempt her.
POH. And if she is virtuous, European, dost thou think I'll act the infamous part of a ruffian, and force her? 'Tis my duty as a king to cherish and protect virtue.
CAW. Justice hath reliev'd you from the society of a wicked man. If an honest heart can recompence your loss, you would make me happy in accepting mine. I hope my father will consent to my happiness.
POH. Since your love of her is founded upon the love of virtue and gratitude, I leave you to your own disposal.
CAW. What, no reply?
POL. Abandon me to my sorrows. For in indulging them is my only relief.
POH. Let the chiefs have immediate execution. For the rest, let 'em be restor'd to their owners, and return to their slavery.
Air XLIX. Buff-coat.
Why that languish!
Oh he's dead! O he's lost for ever!
Cease your anguish, and forget your grief.
What air, grace and stature!
How false in his nature!
To virtue my love might have won him.
How base and deceiving!
But love is believing.
Vice, at length, as 'tis meet, hath undone him.
By your consent you might at the same time give me happiness, and procure your own. My titles, my treasures, are all at your command.
Air LXX. An Italian Ballad.
Frail is ambition, how weak the foundation!
Riches have wings as inconstant as wind;
My heart is proof against either temptation,
Virtue, without them, contentment can find.
I am charm'd, Prince, with your generosity and virtues. 'Tis only by the pursuit of those we secure real happiness. Those that know and feel virtue in themselves, must love it in others. Allow me to give a decent time to my sorrows. But my misfortunes at present interrupt the joys of victory.
CAW. Fair princess, for so I hope shortly to make you, permit me to attend you, either to divide your griefs, or, by conversation, to soften your sorrows.
POH. 'Tis a pleasure to me by this alliance to recompence your merits. Exit Cawwawkee and Polly. Let the sports and dances then celebrate our victory.
Air LXXI. The temple.
Justice long forbearing,
Power or riches never fearing,
Slow, yet persevering,
Hunts the villain's pace.
Justice long, etc.
What tongues then defend him?
Or what hand will succour lend him?
Even his friends attend him,
To foment the chace.
Justice long, etc.
Humbles in ruin
All the proud wicked race.
Must be prevailing,
Falsehood shall find disgrace.
Justice long forbearing, etc.