Imatges de pÓgina

That shall not be. I struck the crust o' the earth
With this enchanted rod, and Hell lay bare !
And from a cavern full of ugly shapes,
I chose a LEECH, a GADFLY, and a Rat.
The gadily was the same which Juno sent
To agitate Io, * and which Ezechiel + mentions
That the Lord whistled for out of the mountains
Of utmost Ethiopia, to torment
Mesopotamian Babylon. The beast
Has a loud trumpet like the Scarabee;
His crooked tail is barbed with many stings,
Each able to make a thousand wounds, and each
Immedicable; from his convex eyes
He sees fair things in many hideous shapes,
And trumpets all his falsehood to the world.
Like other beetles he is fed on dung-
He has eleven feet with which he crawls,
Trailing a blistering slime; and this foul beast
Has tracked Iona from the Theban limits,
From isle to isle, from city unto city,
Urging her flight from the far Chersonese
To fabulous Solyma, and the Ætnean Isle,
Ortygia, Melite, and Calypso's Rock,
And the swart tribes of Garamant and Fez,
Æolia and Elysium, and thy shores,
Parthenope, which now, alas ! are free !
And through the fortunate Saturnian land,
Into the darkness of the West.

But if
This Gadily should drive Iona hither?

Purganax. Gods ! what an if, but there is my grey Rat So thin with want, he can crawl in and out Of any narrow chink and filthy hole, And he shall creep into her dressing-room, And

Mammon. My dear friend, where are your wits? as if She does not always toast a piece of cheese, And bait the trap? and rats, when lean enough To crawl through such chinksPurganar.

But my LEECH- a leech Fit to suck blood, with lubricous round rings, Capaciously expatiative, which make His little body like a red balloon, As full of blood as that of hydrogen, Sucked from men's hearts; insatiably he sucks And clings and pulls—a horse-leech, whose deep maw

* The Prometheus Bound of Æschylus.

+ And the Lord whistled for the gndfly out of Ethiopia, and for the bee out of Egypt, &c.-EZECHIEL.

The plethoric King Swellfoot could not fill,
And who, till full, will cling for ever.

For Queen Iona might suffice, and less;
But 'tis the swinish multitude I fear,
And in that fear I have

Done what?
Мат топ.

My eldest son Chrysaor, because he
Attended public meetings, and would always
Stand prating there of commerce, public faith,
Economy, and unadulterate coin,
And other topics, ultra-radical;
And have entailed my estate, called the Fool's Paradise,
And funds, in fairy-money, bonds and bills,
Upon my accomplished daughter Banknotina,
And married her to the Gallows. *

A good match !
Mammon. A high connection, Purganax. The bridegroom
Is of a very ancient family
Of Hounslow Heath, Tyburn, and the New Drop,
And has great influence in both Houses ;-Oh!
He makes the fondest husband; nay too fond :-
New-married people should not kiss in public;
But the poor souls love one another so !
And then my little grandchildren, the Gibbets,
Promising children as you ever saw,-
The young playing at hanging, the elder learning
How to hold radicals. They are well taught too,
For every Gibbet says its catechism,
And reads a select chapter in the Bible
Before it goes to play. (A most tremendous humming is heard.

Ha! what do I hear?

Enter GadFLY.
Mammon. Your Gadly, as it seems, is tired of gadding.

Hum! hum! hum !
From the lakes of the Alps, and the cold grey scalps

Of the mountains, I come !

Hum! hum! hum !
From Morocco and Fez, and the high palaces

Of golden Byzantium;
From the temples divine of old Palestine,

From Athens and Rome,
With a ha! and a hum !
I come! I come!

[ocr errors]

* “If one should marry a gallows, and beget young gibbets, I never naw one su prone."-CYMBELINE.

All inn-doors and windows

Were open to me!
I saw all that sin does,

Which lainps hardly see
That burn in the night by the curtained bed,-
The impudent lamps ! for they ushed not red.

Dinging and singing,
From slumber I rung her,
Loud as the clank of an ironmonger!
Hum ! hum ! hum !

Far, far, far,
With the trump of my lips, and the sting at my hips,

I drove her-afar !

Far, far, far,
From city to city, abandoned of pity,

A ship without needle or star;-
Homeless she past, like a cloud on the blast,

Seeking peace, finding war;-
She is here in her car,
From afar, and afar ;-

Hum ! hum !

I have stung her and wrung her!

The venom is working ;-
And if you had hung her

With canting and quirking,
She could not be deader than she will be soon;-
I have driven her close to you under the moon.

Night and day, hum ! hum! ha!
I have hummed her and drummed her
From place to place, till at last I have dumbed her.
Hum ! hum ! hum !

I will suck

Blood or muck!
The disease of the state is a plethory,
Who so fit to reduce it as I ?

I'll slily seize and
Let blood from her weasand, -
Creeping through crevice, and chink, and cranny,

With my snaky tail, and my sides so scranny.
Purganax. Aroint ye ! thou unprofitable worm !

[To the LEECH. And thou, dull beetle, get thee back to hell! [1'o the Gadfly. To sting the ghosts of Babylonian kings, And the ox-headed 10.

SWINE (within).
Ugh, ugh, ugh!
Hail! Iona the divine,
We will be no longer swine,
But bulls with horus and dewlaps.



I will go

You know, my lord, the Minotaur
Purganax (fiercely). Be silent! get to hell! or I will call
The cat out of the kitchen. Well, Lord Mammon,
This is a pretty business !

[Exit the Rat.
And spell some scheme to make it ugly then.

Swell foot. She is returned ! Taurina is in Thebes
When Swellfoot wishes that she were in hell !
Oh, Hymen ! clothed in yellow jealousy,
And waving o'er the couch of wedded kings
The torch of Discord with its fiery hair ;
This is thy work, thou patron saint of queens !
Swellfoot is wived ! though parted by the sea,
The very name of wife had conjugal rights ;
Her cursed image ate, drank, slept with me,
And in the arms of Adiposa oft
Her memory has received a husband's,

[A loud tumult, and cries of " Iona for ever!—No Swellfoot !" Swellfoot.

How the swine cry Iona Taurina !
I suffer the real presence : Purganax,
Off with her head !

Purganax. But I must first impanel
A jury of the pigs.

Pack them then.
Purganat. Or fattening some few in two separate sties,
And giving them clean straw, tying some bits
Of ribbon round their legs--giving their sows
Some tawdry lace, and bits of lustre glass,
And their young boars white and red rags, and tails
Of cows, and jay feathers, and sticking cauliflowers
Between the ears of the old ones; and when
They are persuaded, that by the inherent virtue
Of these things, they are all imperial pigs,
Good Lord ! they'd rip each other's bellies up,
Not to say help us in destroying her.
Swellfoot. This plan might be tried too ;- where's General


[ocr errors]

Enter LAOCTONOS and DAKRY. It is my royal pleasure

That you, Lord General, bring the head and body,
If separate it would please me better, hither
Of Queen Iona

Laoctonos. That pleasure I well knew,
And made a charge with those battalions bold,
Called, from their dress and grin, the royal apes,
Upon the swine, who in a hollow square
Enclosed her, and received the first attack
Like so many rhinoceroses, and then
Retreating in good order, with bare tusks
And wrinkled snouts presented to the foe,
Bore her in triumph to the public sty.
What is still worse, some sows upon the ground
Have given the ape-guards apples, nuts, and gin,
And they all whisk their tails aloft, and cry,
"Long live Iona ! down with Swellfoot !

The Swine (without). Long live Iona ! down with Swellfoot!

Dakry. I went to the garret of the swineherd's tower,
Which overlooks the sty, and inade a long
Harangue (all words) to the assembled swine,
Uf delicacy, mercy, judgment, law,
Morals, and precedents, and purity,
Adultery, destitution, and divorce,
Piety, faith, and state necessity,
And how I loved the queen !-and then I wept,
With the pathos of my own eloquence,
And every tear turned to a mill-stone, which
Brained many a gaping pig, and there was made
A slough of blood and brains upon the place,
Greased with the pounded bacon ; round and round
The millstones rolled, ploughing the pavement up,
And hurling sucking pigs into the air,
With dust and stones.-


I wonder that grey wizards
Like you should be so beardless in their schemes ;
It had been but a point of policy
To keep Iona and the swine apart.
Divide and rule ! but ye have made a junction
Between two parties who will govern you,
But for my art.-—Behold this BAG ! it is
The poison BAG of that Green Spider huge,
On which our spies skulked in ovation through
The streets of Thebes, when they were paved with dead
A bane so much the deadlier fills it now,
As calumny is worse than death,-for here
The Gadtly's venom, fifty times distilled,
Is mingled with the vomit of the Leech,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »