The Beggar's Opera

Act III. Scene II.

Macheath in a fine tarnish'd Coat, Ben Budge, Matt of the Mint.

MACHEATH. I am sorry, Gentlemen, the Road was so barren of Money. When my Friends are in Difficulties, I am always glad that my Fortune can be serviceable to them. [Gives them Money.] You see, Gentlemen, I am not a mere Court Friend, who professes every thing and will do nothing.

AIR XLIII. Lillibullero.

The Modes of the Court so common are grown,

That a true Friend can hardly be met;

Friendship for Interest is but a Loan,

Which they let out for what they can get.

'Tis true, you find

Some Friends so kind,

Who will give you good Counsel themselves to defend.

In sorrowful Ditty,

They promise, they pity,

But shift for your Money, from Friend to Friend.

But we, Gentlemen, have still Honour enough to break through the Corruptions of the World. - And while I can serve you, you may command me.

BEN. It grieves my Heart that so generous a Man should be involv'd in such Difficulties, as oblige him to live with such ill Company, and herd with Gamesters.

MATT. See the Partiality of Mankind! - One Man may steal a Horse, better than another look over a Hedge. - Of all Mechanics, of all servile Handicrafts-men, a Gamester is the vilest. But yet, as many of the Quality are of the Profession, he is admitted amongst the politest Company. I wonder we are not more respected.

MACHEATH. There will be deep Play to-night at Marybone, and consequently Money may be pick'd up upon the Road. Meet me there, and I'll give you the Hint who is worth Setting.

MATT. The Fellow with a brown Coat with a narrow Gold Binding, I am told, is never without Money.

MACHEATH. What do you mean, Matt? - Sure you will not think of meddling with him! - He's a good honest kind of a Fellow, and one of us.

BEN. To be sure, Sir, we will put ourselves under your Direction.

MACHEATH. Have an Eye upon the Money-Lenders. - A Rouleau, or two, would prove a pretty sort of an Expedition. I hate Extortion.

MATT. Those Rouleaus are very pretty Things. - I hate your Bank Bills. - There is such a Hazard in putting them off.

MACHEATH. There is a certain Man of Distinction, who in his Time hath nick'd me out of a great deal of the Ready. He is in my Cash, Ben; - I'll point him out to you this Evening, and you shall draw upon him for the Debt. - The Company are met; I hear the Dice-Box in the other Room. So, Gentlemen, your Servant. You'll meet me at Mary-