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[Filling his glass, and standing up. The glorious constitution of the Pigs!
I hear a cracking of the guat bone
Taking up the bag,
Your Majesty 20 SWALLFOOD
A toast! a toast! stand up, and three times three! A spot or two on me would do no harm ;
Nay, it might hide the biood, which the sad genius
No heel-taps darken day-lights!
Then hail to thee, hail to thee, Famine !
In the pride of thy ghastly mirth.
I have rehearsed the entire seine
Of the Green Isle has fixed, as by a spell,
My Lord, I am ready-nay I am impatient,
[A praceful foure in a semi-transparvni real pasos unnotic d through the Temple, the word Lissary is seen through the veil, as (it were written in ̧Òrg upon its forehead. Its words are almost dronomed en the furious grunting of the Pigs, and the hustruss of the trial. She kneels on the steps of the Alter, and speaks in tones at first faint and lewe, dut whic ever become souder and louder.
Mighty Empress! Death's white wife!
By the God who made thee such,
By the starving and the cramming,
of fasts and feasts-by thy dread self, O Famine!
But for those radiant spirits, who are still
Be they th' appointed stewards, to fill
[Whilst the veiled Figure has been chaunting this strophe, MAMMON, DAKRY, LAOCTONOS, and SWELL
ŒEDIPUS TYRANNUS; OR, SWELLFOOT THE TYRANT.
FOOT, 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
Of all Europa's taurine progeny-
Or double ditch about the new inclosures;
[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!
FULL CHORUS OF IONA AND THE SWINE.
Through rain, hail, and snow,
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 SWING, with the empty GREEN BAG.
NOTE ON EDIPUS TYRANNUS.
BY THE EDITOR.
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 Geo. 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 inquiry 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
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 out-worn lesson of the dullard or the hypocrite, but by the original free thoughts of men of Genius, who aspire to pluck bright truth
Even those who may dissent from his opinions will 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.