Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

GUARD.

SWELLFOOT.

PURGANAX. Call in the Jews, Solomon the court porkman,

Oh, would that this were all ! The oracle ! Moses the sow-gelder, and Zephaniah the hog

MAMMON. butcher.

Why it was I who spoke that oracle,

And whether I was dead drunk or inspired, They are in waiting, sire.

I cannot well remember ; nor, in truth,

The oracle itself!
Enter SOLOMON, MOSES, and ZEPHANIAH.
SWELLFOOT.

PURGANAX.
Out with your knife, old Moses, and spay those sows,

The words went thus : [The Pigs run about in consternation. “ Bæotia, choose reform or civil war ! That load the earth with pigs; cut close and deep. When through the streets, instead of hare with Moral restraint I see has no effect,

dogs, Nor prostitution, nor our own example,

A Consort Queen shall hunt a King with hogs, Starvation, typhus-fever, war, nor prison

Riding on the Ionian Minotaur.”
This was the art which the arch-priest of Famine
Hinted at in his charge to the Theban clergy-

Now if the oracle had ne'er foretold
Cut close and deep, good Moses.

This sad alternative, it must arrive,
MOSES.

Or not, and so it must now that it has ;

Let your Majesty And whether I was urged by grace divine,
Keep the boars quiet, else-

Or Lesbian liquor to declare these words,
Which must, as all words must, be false or true;

It matters not : for the same power made all,

Zephaniah, cut Oracle, wine, and me and you—or noneThat fat hog's throat, the brute seems overfed ; 'Tis the same thing. If you knew as much Seditious hunks! to whine for want of grains. Of oracles as I do

MAMMON.

SWELLFOOT.

MAMMON.

SWELLFOOT.

ZEPHANIAH.

PURGANAX. Your sacred Majesty, he has the dropsy ;

You arch-priests We shall find pints of hydatids in's liver,

Believe in nothing ; if you were to dream He has not half an inch of wholesome fat

Of a particular number in the lottery,
Upon his carious ribs-

You would not buy the ticket !
SWELLFOOT.
'Tis all the same,

Yet our tickets He'll serve instead of riot-money, when

Are seldom blanks. But what steps have you taken? Our murmuring troops bivouaque in Thebes’

For prophecies, when once they get abroad, streets ;

Like liars who tell the truth to serve their ends, And January winds, after a day

Or hypocrites, who, from assuming virtue, Of butchering, will make them relish carrion.

Do the same actions that the virtuous do, Now, Solomon, I'll sell you in a lump

Contrive their fulfilment. This IonaThe whole kit of them.

Well-you know what the chaste Pasiphae did,

Wife to that most religious King of Crete,
SOLOMON.
Why, your Majesty,

And still how popular the tale is here ;
I could not give

And these dull swine of Thebes boast their descent
From the free Minotaur. You know they still

Call themselves bulls, though thus degenerate ;
Kill them out of the way, And everything relating to a bull
That shall be price enough, and let me hear

Is popular and respectable in Thebes : Their everlasting grunts and whines no more!

Their arms are seven bulls in a field gules. [Excunt, driving in the Swine.

They think their strength consists in eating beef,Enter Mammon, the Arch Priest ; and PCRGANAX, Chief of If Queen Iona

Now there were danger in the precedent
the Council of Wizards.
PURGANAX.

PURGANAX
The future looks as black as death, a cloud,

I have taken good care Dark as the frown of Hell, hangs over it

That shall not be. I struck the crust o' the earth The troops grow mutinous—the revenue fails— With this enchanted rod, and Hell lay bare ! There's something rotten in us—for the level And from a cavern full of ugly shapes, Of the State slopes, its very bases topple ;

I chose a LEECH, a GADFLY, and a Rat. The boldest turn their backs upon themselves! The gadfly was the same which Juno sent

To agitate 10,* and which Ezechielt mentions

That the Lord whistled for out of the mountains Why what's the matter, my dear fellow, now?

Of utmost Ethiopia, to torment
Do the troops mutiny ?-decimate some regiments; Mesopotamian Babylon. The beast
Does money fail ?-come to my mint–coin paper,
Till gold be at a discount, and, ashamed

* The Prometheus Bound of Æschylus. To show his bilious face, go purge himself,

+ And the Lord whistled for the gadfly out Æthiopia, In emulation of her vestal whiteness.

and for the bee of Egypt, &c.-EZECHIEL.

MAMMON.

PURGANAX,

A good match!

MAMMON.

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,

A high connexion, 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.

[blocks in formation]

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-

[blocks in formation]

GADFLY. 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!
All inn-doors and windows

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

Which lamps hardly see
That burn in the night by the curtained bed,
The impudent lamps ! for they blushed 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 !

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

PURGANAX.

RAT.

PURGANAX.

MAMMON.

I will go

DAKRY,

Enter LAOCTONOS and DAKRY. Aroint ye ! thou unprofitable worm !

It is my royal pleasure [To the LEECH.

That you, Lord General, bring the head and body, And thou, dull beetle, get thee back to hell !

If separate it would please me better, hither [To the GADFLY.

Of Queen Iona.
To sting the ghosts of Babylonian kings,
And the ox-headed Io.-

LAOCTONOS.

That pleasure I well knew, SWINE (within).

And made a charge with those battalions bold, Ugh, ugh, ugh !

Called, from their dress and grin, the royal apes, Hail ! Iona the divine,

Upon the swine, who in a hollow square We will be no longer swine,

Enclosed her, and received the first attack But bulls with horns and dewlaps.

Like so many rhinoceroses, and then

Retreating in good order, with bare tusks
For,

And wrinkled snouts presented to the foe,
You know, my lord, the Minotaur

Bore her in triumph to the public sty:

What is still worse, some sows upon the ground PURGANAX (fiercely).

Have given the ape-guards apples, nuts, and gin, Be silent ! get to hell ! or I will call

And they all whisk their tails aloft, and cry,
The cat out of the kitchen. Well, Lord Mammon, “Long live lona ! down with Swellfoot !”
This is a pretty business !
[Exit the Rar.

Hark!

THE SWINE, (without). And spell some scheme to make it ugly then. Long live Iona ! down with Swellfoot !

[Exit.
Enter SWELLFOOT.

I
SWELLFOOT.

Went to the garret of the swineherd's tower, She is returned ! Taurina is in Thebes

Which overlooks the sty, and made a long, When Swellfoot wishes that she were in hell !

Harangue (all words) to the assembled swine, Oh, Hymen ! clothed in yellow jealousy,

Of delicacy, mercy, judgment, law, And waving o'er the couch of wedded kings

Morals, and precedents, and purity, The torch of Discord with its fiery hair ;

Adultery, destitution, and divorce, This is thy work, thou patron saint of queens

!

Piety, faith, and state necessity, Swellfoot is wived ! though parted by the sea, And how I loved the queen !-and then I wept, The very name of wife had conjugal rights ;

With the pathos of my own eloquence, Her cursed image ate, drank, slept with me,

And every tear turned to a inill-stone, which And in the arms of Adiposa oft Her memory has received a husband's—

Brained many a gaping pig, and there was made

A slough of blood and brains upon the place,
(A loud tumult, and cries of " Iona for ever!-No Greased with the pounded bacon; round and round
Swellfoot!"

The millstones rolled, ploughing the pavement up,
And hurling sucking pigs into the air,

With dust and stones.

Hark!
How the swine cry Iona Taurina !

Enter MAMNON.
I suffer the real presence : Purganax,
Off with her head !

I wonder that grey wizards

Like you should be so beardless in their schemes ;
But I must first impannel It had been but a point of policy
A jury of the pigs.

To keep Iona and the swine apart.
Divide and rule ! but ye have made a junction

Between two parties who will govern you,
Pack them then.

But for my art.- Behold this bag ! it is
PURGANAX.

The poison bag of that Green Spider huge,
Or fattening some few in two separate sties, On which our spies skulked in ovation through
And giving them clean straw, tying some bits The streets of Thebes, when they were paved with
Of ribbon round their legs-giving their sows

dead :

SWELLFOOT.

MAMMON.

PURGANAX.

SWELLFOOT.

MAMMON.

A bane so much the deadlier fills it now,
As calumny is worse than death,-for here

Now, with a little common sense, my Lords, The Gadfly's venom, fifty times distilled,

Only undoing all that has been done, Is mingled with the vomit of the Leech,

(Yet so as it may seem we but confirm it,) In due proportion, and black ratsbane, which

Our victory is assured. We must entice That very Rat, who, like the Pontic tyrant,

Her Majesty from the sty, and make the pigs Nurtures himself on poison, dare not touch ; - Believe that the contents of the GREEN BAG All is sealed up with the broad seal of Fraud, Who is the Devil's Lord High Chancellor,

Are the true test of guilt or innocence.

And that, if she be guilty, 'twill transform her And over it the primate of all Hell

To manifest deformity like guilt. Murmured this pious baptism :-“Be thou called

If innocent, she will become transfigured The GREEN BAG; and this power and grace be thine:

Into an angel, such as they say she is ; That thy contents, on whomsoever poured,

And they will see her flying through the air, Turn innocence to guilt, and gentlest looks

So bright that she will dim the noon-day sun ; To savage, foul, and fierce deformity.

Showering down blessings in the shape of comfits. Let all, baptised by thy infernal dew,

This, trust a priest, is just the sort of thing Be called adulterer, drunkard, liar, wretch !

Swine will believe. I'll wager you will see them No name left out which orthodoxy loves,

Climbing upon the thatch of their low sties ; Court Journal or legitimate Review !

With pieces of smoked glass, to watch her sail Be they called tyrant, beast, fool, glutton, lover

Among the clouds, and some will hold the flaps Of other wives and husbands than their own

Of one another's ears between their teeth, The heaviest sin on this side of the Alps !

To catch the coming hail of comfits in. Wither they to a ghastly caricature

You, Purganax, who have the gift o' the gab, Of what was human !-let not man nor beast

Make them a solemn speech to this effect: Behold their face with unaverted eyes !

to put in readiness the feast Or hear their names with ears that tingle not

Kept to the honour of our goddess Famine, With blood of indignation, rage, and shame !"

Where, for more glory, let the ceremony This is a perilous liquor ;--good my Lords.

Take place of the uglification of the Queen.
[SWELLFoot approaches to touch the GREEN PAG.
Beware! for God's sake, beware !—if you should I, as the keeper of your sacred conscience,

DAKRY (to SWELLFOOT).
The seal, and touch the fatal liquor - [break Hunibly remind your Majesty that the care

Of your high office, as man-milliner
PURGANAX.

To red Bellona, should not be deferred.

There!
Give it to me. I have been use to handle
All sorts of poisons. His dread majesty

All part, in happier plight to meet again.
Only desires to see the colour of it.

[Excunt.

go

PURGANAX.

ACT II.

SCENE I.

The Public Sty.
The Boars in full Assembly.

Enter PURGANAX.

PURGANAX.
Grant me your patience, Gentlemen and Boars,
Ye, by whose patience under public burthens
The glorious constitution of these sties
Subsists, and shall subsist. The lean pig-rates
Grow with the growing populace of swine,
The taxes, that true source of piggishness,
(How can I find a more appropriate term
To include religion, morals, peace, and plenty,
And all that fit Baotia as a nation
To teach the other nations how to live ?)
Increase with piggishness itself; and still
Does the revenue, that great spring of all
The patronage, and pensions, and by-payments,
Which free-born pigs regard with jealous eyes,
Diminish, till at length, by glorious steps,
All the land's produce will be merged in taxes,
And the revenue will amount to nothing !
The failure of a foreign market for
Sausages, bristles, and blood-puddings,

And such home manufactures, is but partial;
And, that the population of the pigs,
Instead of hog-wash, has been fed on straw
And water, is a fact which is—you know-
That is it is a state necessity-
Temporary, of course. Those impious pigs,
Who, by frequent squeaks, have dared impugn
The settled Swellfoot system, or to make
Irreverent mockery of the genuflexions
Inculcated by the arch-priest, have been whipt
Into a loyal and an orthodox whine.
Things being in this happy state, the Queen
Iona-

A loud cry from the Pigs.
She is innocent ! most innocent !

PURGANAX.
That is the very thing that I was saying,
Gentlemen Swine ; the Queen Iona being
Most innocent, no doubt, returns to Thebes,
And the lean sows and boars collect about her,
Wishing to make her think that we believe
(I mean those more substantial pigs, who swill
Rich hog-wash, while the others mouth damp

straw,)

That she is guilty ; thus, the lean-pig faction
Seeks to obtain that hog-wash, which has been
Your immemorial right, and which I will
Maintain you in to the last drop of —
A BOAR (interrupting him).

What
Does any one accuse her of?

Into an angel, (as I am sure we shall do,)
By pouring on her head this mystic water.

[Showing the Bag.
I know that she is innocent ; I wish
Only to prove her so to all the world.

FIRST BOAR.

Excellent, just, and noble Purganax !

PURGANAX.

SECOND BOAR.

THIRD BOAR.

PURGANAX.

Why, no one

How glorious it will be to see her Majesty
Makes any positive accusation ;-but
There were hints dropped, and so the privy wizards Flying above our heads, her petticoats
Conceived that it became them to advise

Streaming like-like-like-
His Majesty to investigate their truth;-
Not for his own sake; he could be content

Any thing
To let his wife play any pranks she pleased,
If, by that sufferance, he could please the pigs ;
But then he fears the morals of the swine,

Oh, no!

But like a standard of an admiral's ship, The sows especially, and what effect

Or like the banner of a conquering host, It might produce upon the purity and

Or like a cloud dyed in the dying day, Religion of the rising generation

Unravelled on the blast from a white mountain ; Of sucking-pigs, if it could be suspected

Or like a meteor, or a war-steed's mane, That Queen Iona

[A pause.

Or water-fall from a dizzy precipice

Scattered upon the wind.
Well, go on ; we long
To hear what she can possibly have done.

Or a cow's tail,

FIRST BOAR.

FIRST BOAR.

PURGANAX.

SECOND BOAR.

Or any thing, as the learned Boar observed.

Why, it is hinted, that a certain bull -
Thus much is known :-the milk-white bulls that

feed
Beside Clitumnus and the crystal lakes
Of the Cisalpine mountains, in fresh dews
Of lotus-grass and blossoming asphodel,
Sleeking their silken hair, and with sweet breath
Loading the morning winds until they faint
With living fragrance, are so beautiful !
Well, I say nothing ;—but Europa rode
On such a one from Asia into Crete,
And the enamoured sea grew calm beneath
His gliding beauty. And Pasiphae,
Iona's grandmother, --but she is innocent !
And that both you and I, and all assert.

PURGANAX,
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 Sty are staved in, and a number of exceedingly lean Pigs and Sows and Boars rush in.

SEMICHORUS I.
No! Yes!

FIRST BOAR.
Most innocent !

PURGANAX.
Behold this Bag ; a bag-

SEMICHORUS II.
Yes! No!

SEMICHORUS I.

A law !

SECOND BOAR.

[blocks in formation]

Oh! no GREEN BAGS!! Jealousy's eyes are green,
Scorpions are green, and water-snakes, and efts,
And verdigris, and

PURGANAX.

Honourable swine,
In piggish souls can prepossessions reign ?
Allow me to remind you, grass is green-
All flesh is grass ;-no bacon but is flesh-
Ye are but bacon. This divining Bag
(Which is not green,

but only bacon colour)
Is filled with liquor, which if sprinkled o'er
A woman guilty of —we all know what-
Makes her so hideous, till she finds one blind,
She never can commit the like again.
If innocent, she will turn into an angel,
And rain down blessings in the shape of comfits
As she flies up to heaven. Now, my proposal
Is to convert her sacred Majesty

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-

« PoprzedniaDalej »