Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one. Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay
'No sorrow, no salutary terror, no abhorrence, no seriousness; nothing but ribaldry, debauchery, levity, drunkenness and flaunting vice in fifty other shapes. I deemed it impossible that I could ever have felt any large assemblage of my fellow-creatures to be so odious.'
Charles Dickens: A letter to the London Daily News on attending a public hanging in Newgate Gaol
Monday, 7 January 2013
That's very nearly an armful!
As various winter viruses take their toll on the population, blood donor numbers are down and stocks are running low.
The legalised vampires have put out a call for more of the red stuff, so if you're in the UK and you can spare an armful and an hour, now might be the time to do your good deed for the day, especially if you have one of the groups in short supply.
Macheath, the notorious highwayman, welcomes visitors to Peachum's Tavern, haunt of the rakes, rogues and vagabonds of 18th century Newgate and setting of 'The Beggars' Opera'. All is not as it seems, however; in the best operatic tradition, the highwayman's mask actually conceals the features of the innkeeper's daughter, Polly.