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A bane so much the deadlier fills it now,
Beware for God's sake, beware 1–if you should
Now, with a little common sense, my Lords,
ur victory is assured. We must entice
DARRY (to Swellfoot).
The seal, and touch the fatal liquor— [break Humbly remind your Majesty that the care
Grant me your patience, Gentlemen and Boars,
Who, by frequent squeaks, have dared impugn
A loud cry from the Pigs.
She is innocent 1 most innocent
PURGANAX. That is the verything 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 § mean those more substantial pigs, who swill ich hog-wash, while the others mouth damp straw,)
PURGANAX. 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.
FIRST BOAR. Most innocent 1
PURGANAx. Behold this BAG ; a bag—
SECOND BOAR. Oh! no GREEN BAGs Jealousy's eyes are green, Scorpions are green, and water-snakes, and efts, And verdigris, and—
In piggish souls can prepossessions reign :
PURGANAX. [His heart is seen to beat through his waistcoat. Gods ! What would ye be at :
semichorus i. Purganax has plainly shown a Cloven foot and jack-daw feather.
sewiichorus il. 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.
CHORUS. 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.”
Enter IoxA 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, (For such who ever lives among you finds you, And so do I) the innocent are proud 1 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 plough-shares tread Unsinged; and ladies, Erin's laureate sings it,”
Thro' thee, for emperors, kings, and priests and
MAMMON. 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
swell foot. I only hear the lean and mutinous swine Grunting about the temple.
In a crisis Of such exceeding delicacy, I think We ought to put her Majesty, the QUEEN, Upon her trial without delay.
MAMMON. The BAG Is here.
I have rehearsed the entire scene With an ox-bladder and some ditch-water, On Lady P.-it cannot fail.
[Taking up the bag. Your Majesty (to Swellfoot) In such a filthy business had better 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 Liberary is seen through the veil, as if it were written in fire upon its forehead. Its 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 foizon 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 accustom'd rage 1 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 chaunting this strophe, MAMMON, DAkhy, 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 a tremendous sound, the Pigs begin scrambling for the loaves, and are tripped up by the sculls , all those who eat the loaves are turned into Bulls, and arrange themselves quietly behind the altar. The image of FAMINE sinks through a chasm in the earth, and a MINotAUR rises.
I am the Ionian Minotaur, the mightiest
[Ereunt, in full cry; Iona driving on the Swine,
with the empty GREEN BAG.