The Beggar's Opera
A tavern near Newgate.
Jemmy Twitcher, Crook-finger'd Jack, Wat Dreary, Robin of Bagshot,
Nimming Ned, Henry Paddington, Matt of the Mint, Ben Budge, and the
rest of the Gang, at the Table, with Wine, Brandy and Tobacco.
BEN. But pr'ythee, Matt, what is become of thy Brother Tom? I have
not seen him since my Return from Transportation.
MATT. Poor Brother Tom had an Accident this time Twelve-month, and
so clever a made fellow he was, that I could not save him from those
fleaing Rascals the Surgeons; and now, poor Man, he is among the
Otamys at Surgeons Hall.
BEN. So it seems, his Time was come.
JEMMY. But the present Time is ours, and no body alive hath more.
Why are the Laws levell'd at us? are we more dishonest than the rest
of Mankind? What we win, Gentlemen, is our own by the Law of Arms,
and the Right of Conquest.
CROOK. Where shall we find such another Set of Practical
Philosophers, who to a Man are above the Fear of Death?
WAT. Sound Men, and true!
ROBIN. Of try'd Courage, and indefatigable Industry!
NED. Who is there here that would not die for his Friend?
HARRY. Who is there here that would betray him for his Interest?
MATT. Shew me a Gang of Courtiers that can say as much.
BEN. We are for a just Partition of the World, for every Man hath a
Right to enjoy Life.
MATT. We retrench the Superfluities of Mankind. The World is
avaritious, and I hate Avarice. A covetous fellow, like a Jackdaw,
steals what he was never made to enjoy, for the sake of hiding it.