Imatges de pÓgina
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VII.

When Peter heard of his promotion,

His eyes grew like two stars for bliss. There was a bow of sleek devotion Engendering in his back; each motion

Seemed a Lord's shoe to kiss.

VIII.
He hired a house, bought plate, and made

A genteel drive up to his door,
With sifted gravel neatly laid, -
As if defying all who said

Peter was ever poor.

IX.

But a disease soon struck into

The very life and soul of Peter.
He walked about--slept-had the hue
Of health upon his cheeks--and few

Dug better-none a heartier eater:

X.
And yet a strange and horrid curse

Clung upon Peter, night and day.
Month after month the thing grew worse,
And deadlier than in this my verse

I can find strength to say.

XI.
Peter was dull-(he was at first

Dull)-oh so dull, so very dull !
Whether he talked, wrote, or rehearsed,
Still with his dulness was he cursed--

Dull, beyond all conception dull.

XII.
No one could read his books—no mortal,

But a few natural friends, would hear him;
The parson came not near his portal;
His state was like that of the immortal

Described by Swift-no man could bear him.

XIII.
His sister, wife, and children yawned,

With a long, slow, and drear ennui
All human patience far beyond;
Their hopes of heaven each would have pawned

Anywhere else to be.

XIV.
But in his verse and in his prose

The essence of his dulness was
Concentred and compressed so close
"Twould have made Guatimozin doze

On his red gridiron of brass.

XV.
A printer's boy, folding those pages,

Fell slumbrously upon one side,
Like those famed Seven who slept three ages.
To wakeful frenzy's vigil rages,
As opiates, were the same applied.

XVI.
Even the Reviewers who were hired

To do the work of his reviewing,
With adamantine nerves, grew tired;
Gaping and torpid they retired,

To dream of what they should be doing.

XVII.
And worse and worse the drowsy curse

Yawned in him till it grew a pest;
A wide contagious atmosphere
Creeping like cold through all things near;

A power to infect and to infest.

XVIII.
His servant-maids and dogs grew dull;

His kitten, late a sportive elf;
The woods and lakes so beautiful
Of dim stupidity were full;

All grew dúll as Peter's self.

XIX.
The earth under his feet, the springs

Which lived within it a quick life-
The air, the winds of many wings
That fan it with new murmurings-

Were dead to their harmonious strise.

XX.
The birds and beasts within the wood,

The insects and each creeping thing,
Were now a silent multitude;
Love's work was left unwrought-no brood

Near Peter's house took wing.

XXI.
And every neighbouring cottager

Stupidly yawned upon the other;
No jackass brayed, no little cur
Cocked up his ears; no man would stir
To save a dying mother.

XXII.
Yet from all that charmed district went

But some half-idiot and half-knave,
Who, rather than pay any rent,
Would live with marvellous content

Over his father's grave.

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“ Choose Reform or civil war, When through thy streets, instead of hare

with dogs, A CONSORT-QUEEN shall hunt a King with hogs, Riding on the IONIAN MINOTAUR.”

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ADVERTISEMENT. This Tragedy is one of a triad, or system of three Plays (an arrangement according to which the Greeks were accustomed to connect their Dramatic representations), elucidating the wonderful and appalling fortunes of the SWELLFOOT dynasty. It was evidently written by some learned Theban; and, from its characteristic dulness, apparently before the duties on the importation Of Attic salt had been repealed by the Bæotarchs. The tenderness with which he treats the Pigs proves him to have been a sus Bæotiæ ; possibly Epicuri de grege porcus; for, as the poet observes,

“A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind." No liberty has been taken with the translation of this remarkakle piece of antiquity, except the suppressing a seditious and blasphemous Chorus of the Pigs and Bulls at the last act. The word Hoydipouse (or more properly Edipus), has been rendered literally SWELLFOOT, without its having been conceived necessary to determine whether a swelling of the hind or the fore feet of the Swinish Monarch is particularly indicated.

Should the remaining portions of this Tragedy be found, entitled "Swellfoot in Angaria" and "Charité," the Translator might

be tempted to give them to the reading Public.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

TYRANT SWELLFOOT, King of THE GADFLY.
Thebes.

THE LEECH.
IONA TAURINA, his Queen.

THE RAT.
MAMMON, Arch-Priest of Famine. THE MINOTAUR.
PURGANAX
2

MOSES, the Sow-gelder.
DAKRY

Wisards, Ministers of
SWELLFOOT.

SOLOMON, the Porkman.
LAOCTONOS

ZEPHANIAH, Pig-butcher.
CHORUS of the Swinish Multitude.
Guards, Attendants, Priests, &c. &c.

SCENE-Thebes.

}

ACT I. SCENE I.-A magnificent Temple, built of thigh-bones and death's-heads, and

tiled with scalps. Over the Altar the statue of Famine, veiled; a numéer of boars, sows, and sucking-pigs crowned with thistle, shamruck, and ozk. sitting on the steps, and clinging round the altar of the Temple. Exier Swellfoot in his royal robes, without perceiving the pigs.

Swellfoot. Thou supreme Goddess ! by whose power divine
These graceful limbs are clothed in proud array

(He contemplates himself with satisfaction. Of gold and purple, and this kingly

paunch
Swells like a sail before a favouring breeze,
And these most sacred nether promontories
Lie satisfied with layers of fat; and these
Baotian cheeks, like Egypt's pyramid
(Nor with less toil were their foundations laid),
Sustain the cone of my untroubled brain,
That point, the emblem of a pointless nothing !
Thou to whom Kings and laurelled Emperors,
Radical butchers, Paper- money-millers,
Bishops and deacons, and the entire army
Of those fat martyrs to the persecution
Of stifling turtle-soup, and brandy-devils,
Offer their secret vows! Thou plenteous Ceres
Of their Eleusis, hail !

The Swine. Eigh! eigh! eigh! eigh !
Swellf. Ha! what are ye,
Who, crowned with leaves devoted to the Furies
Cling round this sacred shrine ?

Swine. Aigh! aigh ! aigh!
Swellf. What ! ye that are
The very beasts that offered at her altar
With blood and groans, salt-cake, and fat, and inwards
Ever propitiate her reluctant will
When taxes are withheld ?

Swine. Ugh! ugh! ugh!
Swellf.

What! ye who grub
With filthy snouts my red potatoes up
In Allan's rushy bog? who eat the oats
Up, from my cavalry in the Hebrides ?
Who swill the hog-wash soup my cooks digest
From bones, and rags, and scraps of shoe-leather,
Which should be given to cleaner Pigs than you?

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