THE PUBLIC STY.
THE B0ARS IN FULL ASSEMBLY.
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, _5
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 Boeotia as a nation
To teach the other nations how to live?), _10
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, _15
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; _20
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, _25
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 whipped
Into a loyal and an orthodox whine. _30
Things being in this happy state, the Queen
_16 land's]lands edition 1820.
A LOUD CRY FROM THE PIGS:
She is innocent! most innocent!
That is the very thing that I was saying,
Gentlemen Swine; the Queen Iona being
Most innocent, no doubt, returns to Thebes, _35
And the lean Sows and Bears 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 _40
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):
Does any one accuse her of?
Why, no one
Makes ANY positive accusation;--but _45
There were hints dropped, and so the privy wizards
Conceived that it became them to advise
His Majesty to investigate their truth;--
Not for his own sake; he could be content
To let his wife play any pranks she pleased, _50
If, by that sufferance, HE could please the Pigs;
But then he fears the morals of the Swine,
The Sows especially, and what effect
It might produce upon the purity and
Religion of the rising generation _55
Of Sucking-Pigs, if it could be suspected
That Queen Iona--
Well, go on; we long
To hear what she can possibly have done.
Why, it is hinted, that a certain Bull--
Thus much is KNOWN:--the milk-white Bulls that feed _60
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 _65
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, _70
Iona's grandmother,--but SHE is innocent!
And that both you and I, and all assert.
Behold this BAG; a bag--
Oh! no GREEN BAGS!! Jealousy's eyes are green,
Scorpions are green, and water-snakes, and efts, _75
And verdigris, and--
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 _80
(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. _85
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
Into an angel (as I am sure we shall do), _90
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.
Excellent, just, and noble Purganax.
How glorious it will be to see her Majesty _95
Flying above our heads, her petticoats
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, _100
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.
Or a cow's tail.
Or ANYTHING, as the learned Boar observed. _105
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. _110
[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.
Porkers, we shall lose our wash, _115
Or must share it with the Lean-Pigs!
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. _120
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.
PURGANAX [HIS HEART IS SEEN TO BEAT THROUGH HIS WAISTCOAT]:
Gods! What would ye be at?
Purganax has plainly shown a _125
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. _130
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 _135
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, stripped, exposed, molested; _140
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 _145
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; _150
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, _155
Riding upon the IONIAN MINOTAUR.'
_154 streets instead edition 1820.
[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 _160
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, _165
(For such whoever 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 _170
Are safest there where trials and dangers wait;
Innocent Queens o'er white-hot ploughshares tread
Unsinged, and ladies, Erin's laureate sings it,
Decked with rare gems, and beauty rarer still,
Walked from Killarney to the Giant's Causeway, _175
Through rebels, smugglers, troops of yeomanry,
White-boys and Orange-boys, and constables,
Tithe-proctors, and excise people, uninjured!
Lord Purganax, I do commit myself _180
Into your custody, and am prepared
To stand the test, whatever it may be!
(_173 'Rich and rare were the gems she wore.' See Moore's "Irish
Melodies".-- [SHELLEY'S NOTE.])
This magnanimity in your sacred Majesty
Must please the Pigs. You cannot fail of being
A heavenly angel. Smoke your bits of glass, _185
Ye loyal Swine, or her transfiguration
Will blind your wondering eyes.
AN OLD BOAR [ASIDE]:
Take care, my Lord,
They do not smoke you first.
At the approaching feast
Of Famine, let the expiation be.
IONA TAURINA [ASIDE]:
I, most content of all, _190
Know that my foes even thus prepare their fall!
THE INTERIOR OF THE TEMPLE OF FAMINE.
THE STATUE OF THE GODDESS, A SKELETON CLOTHED IN PARTI-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.
[SOLOMON, THE COURT PORKMAN.]
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
GODDESS bare, and gaunt, and pale,
Empress of the world, all hail!
What though Cretans old called thee
We call thee FAMINE! _5
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-- _10
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, _15
And proclaim thy fasts and feasts.
Through thee the sacred SWELLF00T dynasty
Is based upon a rock amid that sea
Whose waves are Swine--so let it ever be!
[SWELLFOOT, ETC., 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.
I fear your sacred Majesty has lost _20
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 _25
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,-- _30
I feel the gout flying about my stomach--
Give me a glass of Maraschino punch.
PURGANAX (FILLING HIS GLASS, AND STANDING UP):
The glorious Constitution of the Pigs!
A toast! a toast! stand up, and three times three!
No heel-taps--darken daylights! --
Claret, somehow, _35
Puts me in mind of blood, and blood of claret!
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.
For God's sake stop the grunting of those Pigs! _40
We dare not, Sire, 'tis Famine's privilege.
CHORUS OF SWINE:
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, _45
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 _50
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, _55
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! _60
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. _65
Mighty events are hastening to their doom!
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, _70
Upon her trial without delay.
I have rehearsed the entire scene
With an ox-bladder and some ditchwater,
On Lady P--; it cannot fail.
[TAKING UP THE BAG.]
In such a filthy business had better _75
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, _80
But which those seas could never wash away!
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. 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! _85
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, _90
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 _95
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 _100
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 A
TREMENDOUS SOUND, THE PIGS BEGIN SCRAMBLING FOR THE LOAVES, AND ARE
TRJPPED UP BY THE SKULLS; 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
Of all Europa's taurine progeny--
I am the old traditional Man-Bull; _105
And from my ancestors having been Ionian,
I am called Ion, which, by interpretation,
Is JOHN; in plain Theban, that is to say,
My name's JOHN BULL; I am a famous hunter,
And can leaf any gate in all Boeotia, _110
Even the palings of the royal park,
Or double ditch about the new enclosures;
And if your Majesty will deign to mount me,
At least till you have hunted down your game,
I will not throw you. _115
IONA TAURINA [DURING THIS SPEECH SHE HAS BEEN PUTTING ON BOOTS AND]
SPURS, AND A HUNTING-CAP, BUCKISHLY COCKED ON ONE SIDE, AND TUCKING UP
HER HAIR, SHE LEAPS NIMBLY ON HIS BACK:
Hoa! hoa! tallyho! tallyho! ho! ho!
Come, let us hunt these ugly badgers down,
These stinking foxes, these devouring otters,
These hares, these wolves, these anything but men.
Hey, for a whipper-in! my loyal Pigs
Now let your noses be as keen as beagles', _120
Your steps as swift as greyhounds', and your cries
More dulcet and symphonious than the bells
Of village-towers, on sunshine holiday;
Wake all the dewy woods with jangling music.
Give them no law (are they not beasts of blood?) _125
But such as they gave you. Tallyho! ho!
Through forest, furze, and bog, and den, and desert,
Pursue the ugly beasts! tallyho! ho!
FULL CHORUS OF I0NA AND THE SWINE:
Through rain, hail, and snow, _130
Through brake, gorse, and briar,
Through fen, flood, and mire,
We go! we go!
Through pond, ditch, and slough, _135
Wind them, and find them,
Like the Devil behind them,
[EXEUNT, IN FULL CRY;]
IONA DRIVING ON THE SWINE, WITH THE EMPTY GEEEN BAG.