Imatges de pàgina

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

Streaming like-like-like

Third Boar.


But like a standard of an admiral's ship,
Or like the banner of a conquering host,

Or like a cloud dyed in the dying day,

Oh, no!

Unravelled on the blast from a white mountain;
Or like a meteor, or a war steed's mane,

Or waterfall from a dizzy precipice
Scattered upon the wind.

First Boar.

Or a cow's tail,

Second Boar. Or anything, as the learned Boar observed.
Purg. Gentlemen Boars, I move a resolution,

That her most sacred Majesty should be
Invited to attend the feast of Famine,

And to receive upon her chaste white body
Dews of Apotheosis from this BAG.

[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.


No! Yes!


Yes! No!


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
Try the magic test together;
Whenever royal spouses bicker,
Both should try the magic liquor.

An Old Boar [aside]. A miserable state is that of pigs,
For if their drivers would tear caps and wigs,

The swine must bite each other's ear therefore.

An Old Sow [aside]. A wretched lot Jove has assigned to swine;
Squabbling makes pig-herds hungry, and they dine
On bacon, and whip sucking-pigs the more.


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,
And palisades of tusks, sharp as a bayonet:
Place your most sacred person here. We pawn
Our lives that none a finger dare to lay on it.
Those who wrong you, wrong us;

Those who hate you, hate us;
Those who sting you, sting 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,
When through your streets instead of hare with dogs,
A CONSORT QUEEN shall hunt a KING with Hogs,
Riding upon the IONIAN MINOTAUR."


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
(For such who ever lives among you finds you,
And so do I), the innocent are proud!

I have accepted your protection only

In compliment of your kind love and care,
Not for necessity. The innocent

Are safest there where trials and dangers wait;
Innocent Queens o'er white-hot ploughshares tread,
Unsinged, and ladies, Erin's laureate sings it,*

"Rich and rare were the gems she wore."-See MOORE's Irish Melodies.

Decked with rare gems, and beauty rarer still,
Walked from Killarney to the Giant's Causeway,
Through rebels, smugglers, troops of yeomanry,
White boys and orange boys and constables,
Tithe-proctors, and excise people, uninjured!
Thus I-

Lord PURGANAX, I do commit myself
Into your custody, and am prepared

To stand the test, whatever it may be !

Purg. This magnanimity in your sacred Majesty
Must please the pigs. You cannot fail of being
A heavenly angel. Smoke your bits of glass,
Ye loyal swine, or her transfiguration
Will blind your wondering eyes.

An Old Boar [aside].

They do not smoke you first.


Of Famine, let the expiation be.
Swine. Content! content!
Iona Taurina [aside].

Take care, my Lord,

At the approaching feast

I, most content of all,

Know that my foes even thus prepare their fall !

[Exeunt omnes.

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.


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

City-crested Cybele?

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,
Corn, wool, linen, flesh, and roots-

Those who consume these fruits through thee grow fat,
Those who produce these fruits through thee grow lean,
Whatever change takes place, oh, stick to that!

And let things be as they have ever been;
At least while we remain thy priests,
And proclaim thy fasts and feasts!

Through thee the sacred SWELLFOOT dynasty
Is based upon a rock amid that sea
Whose waves are swine-so let it ever be !

[SWELLFOOT, &c., seat themselves at a table, magnificently
covered at the upper end of the Temple.

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
The appetite which you were used to have.
Allow me now to recommend this dish-
A simple kickshaw by your Persian cook,
Such as is served at the great King's second table.
The price and pains which its ingredients cost,
Might have maintained some dozen families
A winter or two-not more-so plain a dish
Could scarcely disagree.-


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!
Dakry. No heel-taps-darken daylights!


Claret, somehow,

Puts me in mind of blood, and blood of claret !
Swellf. Laoctonos is fishing for a compliment,

But 'tis his due. Yes, you have drunk more wine,
And shed more blood than any man in Thebes.

[To PURGANAX]. For God's sake stop the grunting of those pigs!
Purg. We dare not, Sire, 'tis Famine's privilege.


Hail to thee, hail to thee, Famine!

Thy throne is on blood, and thy robe is of rags;
Thou devil which livest on damning ;

Saint of new churches, and cant, and GREEN BAGS,
Till in pity and terror thou risest,
Confounding the schemes of the wisest,
When thou liftest thy skeleton form,

When the loaves and the skulls roll about,

We will greet thee-the voice of a storm
Would be lost in our terrible shout!

Then hail to thee, hail to thee, Famine!
Hail to thee, Empress of Earth!

When thou risest, dividing possessions;
When thou risest, uprooting oppressions;
In the pride of thy ghastly mirth.
Over palaces, temples, and graves,
We will rush as thy minister-slaves,
Trampling behind in thy train,
Till all be made level again!

Mam. I hear a crackling of the giant bones
Of the dread image, and in the black pits
Which once were eyes I see two livid flames.
These prodigies are oracular, and show

The presence of the unseen Deity.

Mighty events are hastening to their doom!
Swellf. I only hear the lean and mutinous swine
Grunting about the temple.


In a crisis

Of such exceeding delicacy, I think

[blocks in formation]

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
Of the Green Isle has fixed, as by a spell,

Upon my brow-which would stain all its seas,
But which those seas could never wash away!

Iona Taurina. My lord, I am ready-nay, I am impatient--
To undergo the test.


[A graceful figure in a semi-transparent veil passes unnoticed
through the Temple; the word LIBERTY is seen through the
veil, as if it were written in fire upon its forehead.
words are almost drowned in the furious grunting of the
Pigs, and the business of the trial. She kneels on the steps
of the Altar, and speaks in tones at first faint and low, but
which ever become louder and louder.

Mighty Empress! Death's white wife!
Ghastly mother-in-law of life!

By the God who made thee such,
By the magic of thy touch,

By the starving and the cramming,

Of fasts and feasts!-by thy dread self, O Famine!
I charge thee! when thou wake the multitude,
Thou lead them not upon the paths of blood.
The earth did never mean her foison

For those who crown life's cup with poison
Of fanatic rage and meaningless revenge-

But for those radiant spirits, who are still
The standard-bearers in the van of Change.
Be they th' appointed stewards, to fill
The lap of Pain, and Toil, and Age!
Remit, O Queen! thy accustomed rage!
Be what thou art not! In voice faint and low
FREEDOM calls Famine, her eternal foe,
To brief alliance, hollow truce.-Rise now!

[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

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