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All. A toast! a toast! Stand up, and three times three! Dakry. No heeltaps-darken daylights!


Claret, somehow,

Puts me in mind of blood, and blood of claret.
Swellfoot. 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.
Pyrganax. We dare not, sire! 'tis famine's privilege.


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!
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
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,
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!

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!

Swellfoot. 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.


Is here.

The Bag

Pyrganax. 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.

lona Taurina. My lord, I am ready-nay I am impatientTo 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!

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 foison
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 the 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

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


[PYRGANAX, 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 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.

Minotaur. I am the Ionian Minotaur, the mightiest

Of all Europa's taurine progeny

I am the old traditional Man Bull.

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 leap any gate in all Boeotia,—
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.

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',
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?)
But such as they gave you. Tallyho! ho!
Through forest, furze, and bog and den and desert,
Pursue the ugly beasts! Tallyho! ho!


Tallyho tallyho!

Through rain, hail, and snow,

Through brake, gorse, and briar,

Through fen, flood, and mire,

We go! we go!

Tallyho! tallyho!

Through pond, ditch, and slough,
Wind them and find them,

Like the devil behind them!

Tallyho tallyho!

[Exeunt, in full cry; IONA driving on the SWINE, with the empty GREEN BAG.


P. 31.

Nor with less toil were their foundations laid.

See Universal History for an account of the number of people who died, and the immense consumption of garlic by the wretched Egyptians who made a sepulchre for the name as well as the bodies of their tyrants.

P. 36.

The Gadfly was the same which Juno sent
To agitate lo.

The Prometheus Bound of Eschylus.

P. 36.

And which Ezekiel mentions

That the Lord whistled for out of the mountains.

"And the Lord whistled for the gadfly out of Ethiopia, and for the bee out of Egypt," &c.-EZEKIEL.

P. 37.

And married her to the Gallows.

"Unless a man would marry a gallows, and beget young gibbets, I never saw one so prone."-CYMBELINE,

P. 48.

Erin's laureate sings it.

"Rich and rare were the gems she wore."

See Moore's Irish Melodies.


In the brief journal I kept in those days, I find recorded, in August 1820, Shelley "begins Swellfoot the Tyrant, suggested by the pigs at the fair of San Giuliano.” This was the period of Queen Caroline's landing in England, and the struggles made by George IV. to get rid of her claims; which failing, Lord Castlereagh placed the "Green Bag" on the table of the House of Commons, demanding in the King's name that an enquiry should be instituted into his wife's conduct. These circumstances were the theme of all conversation among the English. We were then at the Baths of San Giuliano. A friend came to visit us on the day when a fair was held in the square, beneath our windows: Shelley read to us his Ode to Liberty; and was riotously accompanied by the grunting of a quantity of pigs brought for sale to the fair. He compared it to the "chorus of frogs" in the satiric drama of Aristophanes; and, it being an hour of merriment, and one ludicrous association suggesting another, he imagined a political-satirical drama on the circumstances of the day, to which the pigs would serve as chorus-and Swellfoot was begun. When finished, it was transmitted to England, printed, and published anonymously; but stifled at the very dawn of its existence by the Society for the Suppression of Vice, who threatened to prosecute it, if not immediately withdrawn. The friend who had taken the trouble of bringing it out, of course, did not think it worth the annoyance and expense of a contest, and it was laid aside.

Hesitation of whether it would do honour to Shelley prevented my publishing it at first. But I cannot bring myself to keep back anything he ever wrote; for each word is fraught with the peculiar views and sentiments which he believed to be beneficial to the human race, and the bright light of poetry irradiates every thought. The world has a right to the entire compositions of such a man; for it does not live and thrive by the outworn lesson of the dullard or the hypocrite, but by the original free thoughts of men of genius, who aspire to pluck bright Truth

"from the pale-faced moon;

Or dive into the bottom of the deep,

Where fathom-line could never touch the ground
And pluck up drowned"

Truth. Even those who may dissent from his opinions wil consider that he was a man of genius, and that the world will take more interest in his slightest word than from the waters of Lethe which are so eagerly prescribed as medicinal for all its wrongs and woes. This drama, however, must not be judged for more than was meant. It is a mere plaything of the imagination; which even may not excite smiles among many, who will not see wit in those combinations of thought which were full of the ridiculous to the author. But, like everything he wrote, it breathes that deep sympathy for the sorrows of humanity, and indignation against its oppressors, which make it worthy of his name.

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