Daily Archives: June 26, 2007

Item of the Day: The Beggar’s Opera (1728)

Full Title: The Beggar’s Opera. As it is Acted at the Theatre-Royal in Lincolns-Inn-Fields. Written by Mr. Gay. The Second Edition, to which is Added, The Ouverture in Score; And the Musick prefix’d to each Song. London: Printed for John Watts, at the Printing-Office in Wild-Court, near Lincolns-Inn-Fields, MDCCXXVIII.



  1.  Through all the Employments of Life.

  2. ‘Tis Woman that seduces Mankind.

  3. If any Wench Venus’s Girdle wear.

  4. If Love the Virgin’s Heart invade.

  5. A Maid is like the golden Oar.

  6. Virgins are like the fair Flowere in its Lustre.

  7. Our Polly is a sad slut!nor heeds what we have thought her.

  8. Can Love be controul’d by Advice?

  9. O Polly, you might have toy’d and kist.

  10. I, like a Ship in Storms, was tost.

  11. A Fox may steal your Hens, Sir.

  12. Oh, ponder well! be not severe.

  13. The Turtle thus with plaintive crying.

  14. Pretty Polly, say.

  15. My Heart was so free.

  16. Were I laid on Greenland’s Coast.

  17. O what Pain it is to part!

  18. The Miser thus a Shilling sees.


  1. Fill ev’ry Glass, for Wine inspires us.

  2. Let us take the Road.

  3. If the Heart of a Man is deprest with Cares.

  4. Youth’s the Season made for Joys.

  5. Before the Barn-door crowing.

  6. The Gamesters and Lawyers are Jugglers alike.

  7. At the Tree I shall suffer with pleasure.

  8. Man may escape from Rope and Gun.

  9. Thus when a good Huswife sees a Rat.

  10. How cruel are the Traytors.

  11. The first time at the Looking-glass.

  12. When you censure the Age.

  13. Is then his Fate decreed, Sir?

  14. You’ll think e’er many Dasy ensue.

  15. If you are at an Office solicit your Due.

  16. Thus when the Swallow, seeking Prey.

  17. How happy could I be with either.

  18. I’m bubbled.

  19. Cease your Funning.

  20. Why how now, Madam Flirt.

  21. No Power on Earth can e’er divide.

  22. I like the Fox shall grieve.


  1. When young at the Bar you first taught me to score.

  2. My Love is all Madness and Folly.

  3. Thus Gamesters united in Friendship are found.

  4. The Modes of the Court so common are grown.

  5. What Gudgeons are we Men!

  6. In the Days of my Youth I could bill like a Dove, fa, la, la, &c.

  7. I’m like a Skiff on the Ocean tost.

  8. When a Wife’s in a Pout.

  9. A Curse attends that Woman’s Love.

  10. Among the Men, Coquets we find.

  11. Come, sweet Lass.

  12. Hither, dear Husband, turn your Eyes.

  13. Which way shall I turn me? –How can I decide.

  14. When my Hero in Court appears.

  15. When he holds up his Hand arraign’d for his Life.

  16. Our selves, like the Great, to secure a Retreat.

  17. The Charge is prepar’d; the Lawyers met.

  18. O cruel, cruel, cruel Case.

  19. Of all the Friends in time of Grief.

  20. Since I must swing, –I scorn, I scorn to wince or whine.

  21. But now again my Spirits sink.

  22. But Valour the stronger grows.

  23. If thus¬† ———- A Man can die.So I drink off this Bumper. –And now I can stand the Test.

  24. But I can leave my pretty Hussies.

  25. Their Eyes, their Lips, their Busses.

  26. Since Laws were made for ev’ry Degree.

  27. Would I might be hang’d!

  28. Thus I stnad like the Turk, with his Dexies around.


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Filed under 1720's, Literature, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Theater