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The Beggar's Opera

ACT I
SCENE I.
SCENE, Peachum's House.
Peachum sitting at a Table with a large Book of Accounts before him.
AIR I. An old Woman clothed in Gray, &c.
Through all the Employments of Life
Each Neighbour abuses his Brother;
Whore and Rogue they call Husband and Wife:
All Professions be-rogue one another:
The Priest calls the Lawyer a Cheat,
The Lawyer be-knaves the Divine:
And the Statesman, because he's so great,
Thinks his Trade as honest as mine.
A Lawyer is an honest Employment, so is mine. Like me too he acts in
a double Capacity, both against Rogues and for 'em; for 'tis but
fitting that we should protect and encourage Cheats, since we live by
them.
[Enter Filch.]
FILCH. Sir, Black Moll hath sent word her Trial comes on in the
Afternoon, and she hopes you will order Matters so as to bring her
off.
PEACHUM. As the Wench is very active and industrious, you may
satisfy her that I'll soften the Evidence.
FILCH. Tom Gagg, Sir, is found guilty.
PEACHUM. A lazy Dog! When I took him the time before, I told him
what he would come to if he did not mend his Hand. This is Death
without Reprieve. I may venture to Book him [writes.] For Tom Gagg,
forty Pounds. Let Betty Sly know that I'll save her from
Transportation, for I can get more by her staying in England.
FILCH. Betty hath brought more Goods into our Lock to-year than any
five of the Gang; and in truth, 'tis a pity to lose so good a
Customer.
 
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