« PredošláPokračovať »
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 Gadfly's venom, fifty times distilled, Is mingled with the vomit of the Leech, In due proportion, and black ratsbane, which That very Rat, who, like the Pontic tyrant, Nurtures himself on poison, dare not touch ; All is sealed up with the broad seal of Fraud, Who is the Devil's Lord High Chancellor, And over it the Primate of all Hell Murmured this pious baptism "Be thou called “ The GREEN BAG; and this power and grace be thine: “That thy contents, on whomsoever poured, "Turn innocence to guilt, and gentlest looks "To savage, foul, and fierce deformity. “Let all baptized by thy infernal dew "Be called adulterer, drunkard, liar, wretch! "No name left out which orthodoxy loves, “Court Journal or legitimate Review ! “Be they called tyrant, beast, fool, glutton, lover “Of other wives and husbands than their own“The heaviest sin on this side of the Alps ! “Wither they to a ghastly caricature "Of what was human !-let not man or beast " Behold their face with unaverted eyes! " Or hear their names with ears that tingle not “With blood of indignation, rage, and shame!”— This is a perilous liquor;—good my Lords.
SWELLFOOT approaches to touch the GREEN BAG. Beware! for God's sake, beware!—if you should break The seal, and touch the fatal liquor
Give it to me. I have been used to handle
All sorts of poisons. His dread Majesty
Only desires to see the colour of it.
Now, with a little common sense, my Lords,
Only undoing all that has been done,
(Yet so as it may seem we but confirm it,)
Our victory is assured. We must entice
Her Majesty from the stye, and make the pigs
Believe that the contents of the GREEN BAG
Are the true test of guilt or innocence.
And that, if she be guilty, 'twill transform her
To manifest deformity like guilt.
If innocent, she will become transfigured
Into an angel, such as they say she is;
And they will see her flying through the air,
So bright that she will dim the noon-day sun;
Showering down blessings in the shape of comfits.
This, trust a priest, is just the sort of thing
Swine will believe. I'll wager you will see them
Climbing upon the thatch of their low styes,
With pieces of smoked glass, to watch her sail
Among the clouds, and some will hold the flaps
Of one another's ears between their teeth,
To catch the coming hail of comfits in.
You, Purganax, who have the gift o' the gab,
Make them a solemn speech to this effect:
I go to put in readiness the feast
Kept to the honour of our goddess Famine,
Where, for more glory, let the ceremony
Take place of the uglification of the Queen.
DAKRY (to Swell foot).
I, as the keeper of your sacred conscience,
Humbly remind your Majesty that the care
Of your high office, as man-milliner
To red Bellona, should not be deferred.
PURGANAX. All part, in happier plight to meet again. [Exeunt.
SCENE I.—THE PUBLIC STYE.
The Boars in full Assembly.
GRANT me your patience, Gentlemen and Boars,
Ye, by whose patience under public burthens
The glorious constitution of these styes
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 Boeotia 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
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,
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 ?
Why, no one
Makes any positive accusation ;-but
There were hints dropt, 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,
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
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
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.
Most innocen: !
Behold this BAG; a bag
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?
Allow me to remind you, grass is green-
All flesh is grass ;—no bacon but is flesl.--
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 tries up to heaven. Now, iny proposal
Is to convert her sacred Majesty
Into an angel, (as I am sure we shall do,)
By pouring on her head this mystic water.
(Shewing the Bag.)
I know that she is innocent; I wish