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I know that she is innocent; I wish
Only to prove her so to all the world.
First Boar. Excellent, just, and noble Purganax! Second Boar. How glorious it will be to see her Majesty Flying above our heads, her petticoats
But like a standard of an admiral's ship,
Or like a cloud dyed in the dying day,
Unravelled on the blast from a white mountain;
Or waterfall from a dizzy precipice
Or a cow's tail,
Second Boar. Or anything, as the learned Boar observed.
That her most sacred Majesty should be
And to receive upon her chaste white body
[A great confusion is heard of the PIGS OUT OF DOORS, which communicates itself to those within. During the first Strophe, the doors of the Stye are staved in, and a number of exceedingly lean Pigs and Sows and Boars rush in.
A law !
A flaw !
Porkers, we shall lose our wash,
Or must share it with the lean pigs!
First Boar. Order! order! be not rash!
Was there ever such a scene, Pigs!
An Old Sow [rushing in]. I never saw so fine a dash
Since I first began to wean pigs.
Second Boar [solemnly]. The Queen will be an angel time enough. I vote, in form of an amendment, that
Purganax rub a little of that stuff
Upon his face
Purg. His heart is seen to beat through his waistcoat]. Gods! What would ye be at?
Purganax has plainly shown a
Cloven foot and jackdaw feather.
I vote Swellfoot and Iona
An Old Boar [aside]. A miserable state is that of pigs,
The swine must bite each other's ear therefore.
An Old Sow [aside]. A wretched lot Jove has assigned to swine;
Hog-wash has been ta'en away:
If the Bull-Queen is divested,
We shall be in every way
Hunted, stript, exposed, molested;
Let us do whate'er we may
That she shall not be arrested.
QUEEN, we entrench you with walls of brawn,
Those who hate you, hate us;
Those who bait you, bait us:
The oracle is now about to be
Fulfilled by circumvolving destiny;
Which says: "Thebes, choose reform or civil war,
Enter IONA TAURINA.
Iona Taurina [coming forward]. Gentlemen swine, and gentle lady-pigs,
The tender heart of every boar acquits
Their QUEEN of any act incongruous
With native piggishness, and she reposing
With confidence upon the grunting nation,
Has thrown herself, her cause, her life, her all,
Her innocence, into their hoggish arms;
Nor has the expectation been deceived
Of finding shelter there. Yet know, great boars
I have accepted your protection only
In compliment of your kind love and care,
Are safest there where trials and dangers wait;
"Rich and rare were the gems she wore."-See MOORE's Irish Melodies.
Decked with rare gems, and beauty rarer still,
Lord PURGANAX, I do commit myself
To stand the test, whatever it may be !
Purg. This magnanimity in your sacred Majesty
An Old Boar [aside].
They do not smoke you first.
Of Famine, let the expiation be.
Take care, my Lord,
At the approaching feast
I, most content of all,
Know that my foes even thus prepare their fall !
SCENE II.-The interior of the Temple of FAMINE. The statue of the Goddess, a skeleton clothed in party-coloured rags, seated upon a heap of skulls and loaves intermingled. A number of exceedingly fat Priests in black garments arrayed on each side, with marrow-bones and cleavers in their hands. A flourish of trumpets. Enter MAMMON as Arch-priest, SWELLFOOT, DAKRY, PURGANAX, LAOCTONOS, followed by IONA TAURINA guarded. On the other side enter the Swine.
CHORUS OF PRIESTS,
Accompanied by the Court Porkman on marrow-bones and cleavers.
Goddess bare, and gaunt, and pale,
Empress of the world, all hail !
What though Cretans old called thee
We call thee FAMINE!
Goddess of fasts and feasts, starving and cramming;
Through thee, for emperors, kings, and priests, and lords,
Who rule by viziers, sceptres, bank-notes, words,
The earth pours forth its plenteous fruits,
Those who consume these fruits through thee grow fat,
And let things be as they have ever been;
Through thee the sacred SWELLFOOT dynasty
[SWELLFOOT, &c., seat themselves at a table, magnificently
Attendants pass over the stage with hog-wash in pails. A number of pigs, exceedingly lean, follow them licking up the wash.
Mam. I fear your sacred Majesty has lost
After the trial,
And these fastidious pigs are gone, perhaps
I may recover my lost appetite.
I feel the gout flying about my stomach
Give me a glass of Maraschino punch.
Purg. [filling his glass and standing up]. The glorious con
stitution of the Pigs!
All. A toast! a toast! stand up and three times three!
Puts me in mind of blood, and blood of claret !
But 'tis his due. Yes, you have drunk more wine,
[To PURGANAX]. For God's sake stop the grunting of those pigs!
CHORUS OF SWINE.
Hail to thee, hail to thee, Famine!
Thy throne is on blood, and thy robe is of rags;
Saint of new churches, and cant, and GREEN BAGS,
When the loaves and the skulls roll about,
We will greet thee-the voice of a storm
Then hail to thee, hail to thee, Famine!
When thou risest, dividing possessions;
Mam. I hear a crackling of the giant bones
The presence of the unseen Deity.
Mighty events are hastening to their doom!
In a crisis
Of such exceeding delicacy, I think
Purg. I have rehearsed the entire scene, With an ox-bladder and some ditch-water, On Lady P.-it cannot fail.
[To SWELLFOOT]. Your Majesty
In such a filthy business had better
[Taking up the bag.
Stand on one side, lest it should sprinkle you,
A spot or two on me would do no harm,
Nay, it might hide the blood, which the sad genius
Upon my brow-which would stain all its seas,
Iona Taurina. My lord, I am ready-nay, I am impatient--
[A graceful figure in a semi-transparent veil passes unnoticed
Mighty Empress! Death's white wife!
By the God who made thee such,
By the starving and the cramming,
Of fasts and feasts!-by thy dread self, O Famine!
For those who crown life's cup with poison
But for those radiant spirits, who are still
[Whilst the veiled Figure has been chanting this strophe, MAMMON, DAKRY, LAOCTONOS, and SWELLFOOT have surrounded IONA TAURINA, who, with her hands folded on her breast, and her eyes lifted to Heaven, stands, as with saint-like resignation, to wait the issue of the business, in perfect confidence of her innocence.
[PURGANAX, after unsealing the GREEN BAG, is gravely about to pour the liquor upon her head, when suddenly the whole expression of her figure and countenance changes; she snatches it from his hand with a loud laugh of triumph, and empties it over SWELLFOOT and his whole Court, who are instantly changed into a number of filthy and ugly animals, and rush out of the Temple. The image of FAMINE then arises with