The public sty.
The boars 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,
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 whipped
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 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
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
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,
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.
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 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
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.
Excellent, just, and noble Purganax.
How glorious it will be to see her Majesty
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,
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.
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.]
Porkers, we shall lose our wash,
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.
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
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.
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.
Hog-wash has been ta'en away:
If the Bull-Queen is divested,
We shall be in every way
Hunted, stripped, 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 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
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 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
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,
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
Into your custody, and am prepared
To stand the test, whatever it may be!
This magnanimity in your sacred Majesty
Must please the Pigs. You cannot fail of being
A heavenly angel. Smoke your bits of glass,
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,
Know that my foes even thus prepare their fall!