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Pyrganax. The words went thus :—

"Boeotia, choose reform or civil war,

When through the streets, instead of hare with dogs,

A Consort-Queen shall hunt a King with Hogs,
Riding upon the Ionian Minotaur."

Mammon. Now, if the oracle had ne'er foretold
This sad alternative, it must arrive,
Or not; and so it must now that it has;
And whether I was urged by grace divine
Or Lesbian liquor to declare these words
(Which must, as all words must, be false or true)
It matters not: for the same Power made all,
Oracle, wine, and me and you—or none—
'Tis the same thing. If you but knew as much
Of oracles as I do

Pyrganax. You Arch-priests

Believe in nothing; if you were to dream
Of a particular number in the lottery,
You would not buy the ticket.

Mammon. Yet our tickets

Are seldom blanks. But what steps have you taken?
For prophecies, when once they get abroad,
Like liars who tell the truth to serve their ends,
Or hypocrites who, from assuming virtue,
Do the same actions that the virtuous do,
Contrive their own fulfilment. This Iona—
Well—you know what the chaste Pasiphae did,
Wife to that most religious King of Crete,
And still how popular the tale is here;
And these dull Swine of Thebes boast their descent
From the free Minotaur. You know they still
Call themselves Bulls, though thus degenerate;
And everything relating to a bull
Is popular and respectable in Thebes :—
Their arms are seven bulls in a field gules;
They think their strength consists in eating beef.
Now there were danger in the precedent,

If Queen Iona

Pyrganax. I have taken good care

That shall not be. I struck the crust o' the earth
With this enchanted rod, and hell lay bare:
And from a cavern full of ugly shapes
I chose a Leech, a Gadfly, and a Rat.
The Gadfly was the same which Juno sent
To agitate Io, and which Ezekiel mentions
That the Lord whistled for out of the mountains
Of utmost Ethiopia, to torment
Mesopotamian Babylon. The beast
Has a loud trumpet like the scarabee;
His crooked tail is barbed with many stings,
Each able to make a thousand wounds, and each
Immedicable; from his convex eyes
He sees fair things in many hideous shapes,
And trumpets all his falsehood to the world.
Like other beetles, he is fed on dung:
He has eleven feet with which he crawls,
Trailing a blistering slime. And this foul beast
Has tracked Iona from the Theban limits,
From isle to isle, from city unto city;
Urging her flight from the far Chersonese
To fabulous Solyma, and the ^Etnean Isle,
Ortygia, Melite, and Calypso's Rock,
And the swart tribes of Garamant and Fez,
./Eolia and Elysium, and thy shores,
Parthenope, which now, alas! are free,
And through the fortunate Saturnian land,
Into the darkness of the West.

Mammon. But if

This Gadfly should drive Iona hither t

Pyrganax. Gods! what an if! But there is my grey Rat j
So thin with want he can crawl in and out
Of any narrow chink and filthy hole;
And he shall creep into her dressing-room,
And—

Mammon. My dear friend, where are your wits? as if
She does not always toast a piece of cheese,
And bait the trap? and rats, when lean enough
To crawl through such chinks

Pyrganax. But my Leech—a leech

Fit to suck blood, with lubricous round rings,
Capaciously expatiative, which make
His little body like a red balloon,
As full of blood as that of hydrogen,
Sucked from men's hearts; insatiably he sucks
And clings and pulls—a horseleech, whose deep maw
The plethoric King Swellfoot could not fill,
And who, till full, will cling for ever.

Mammon. This

For Queen Iona might suffice, and less.
But 'tis the Swinish Multitude I fear;
And in that fear I have

Pyrganax. Done what?

Mammon. Disinherited

My eldest son Chrysaor, because he
Attended public meetings, and would always
Stand prating there of commerce, public faith,
Economy, and unadulterate coin,
And other topics ultra-radical;

And have entailed my estate, called the Fool's Paradise,
And funds, in fairy-money, bonds, and bills,
Upon my accomplished daughter Banknotina,
And married her to the Gallows.

Pyrganax. A good match!

Mammon. A high connexion, Pyrganax. The bridegroom Is of a very ancient family,

Of Hounslow Heath, Tyburn, and the New Drop,
And has great influence in both Houses. Oh!
He makes the fondest husband; nay, too fond:—
New-married people should not kiss in public;—
But the poor souls love one another so!
And then my little grandchildren, the Gibbets,
Promising children as you ever saw,—
The young playing at hanging, the elder learning
How to hold radicals. They are well taught too,
For every Gibbet says its catechism,
And reads a select chapter in the bible
Before it goes to play. [A most tremendous humming is heard.

Pyrganax. Ha! what do I hear?

Enter Gadply, followed by Leech and Rat.
Mammon. Your Gadfly, as it seems, is tired of gadding.
Gadplv.
Hum! hum! hum!
From the lakes of the Alps, and the cold grey scalps
Of the mountains, I come;
Hum! hum! hum!

From Morocco and Fez, and the high palaces

Of golden Byzantium;
From the temples divine of old Palestine,
From Athens and Rome,
With a ha! and a hum 1
I come! I come!
All in-doors and windows

Were open to me:
I saw all that sin does,
Which lamps hardly see
That burn in the night by the curtained bed,—
The impudent lamps! for they blushed not red.
Dinging and singing,
From slumber I rung her,
Loud as the clank of an ironmonger!
Hum! hum! hum!

Far, far, far,

With the trump of my lips, and the sting at my hips,

I drove her—afar!
Far, far, far!
From city to city, abandoned of pity,

A ship without needle or star.
Homeless she passed, like a cloud on the blast,

Seeking peace, finding war.

She is here in her car,

From afar and afar—

Hum! hum!

I have stung her and wrung her!

The venom is working;— And, if you had hung her With canting and quirking, She could not be deader than she will be soon; I have driven her close to you under the moon. Night and day, hum! hum! ha! I have hummed her and drammed her From place to place, till at last I have dumbed her. Hum! hum! hum!

Leech.

I will suck
Blood or muck.

The disease of the state is a plethory;
Who so fit to reduce it as I?
Rat.
I 'll slily seize and
Let blood from her weasand,—
Creeping through crevice and chink and cranny,
With my snaky tail and my sides so scranny.
Pyrganax. Aroint ye! Thou unprofitable worm!

[To the Leech.
And thou, dull beetle, get thee back to hell, [To the Gadply.
To sting the ghosts of Babylonian kings,
And the ox-headed Io.

Swine (within).
Ugh, ugh, ugh!
Hail! Iona the divine!
We will be no longer Swine,
But Bulls with horns and dewlaps.

Rat.

For

You know, my lord, the Minotaur

Pyrganax {fiercely). Be silent! get to hell, or I will call The cat out of the kitchen! [Exit the Rat.

Well, Lord Mammon, This is a pretty business!

Mammon. I will go

And spell some scheme to make it ugly then. [Exit.

Enter Swellpoot.

Swellfoot. She is returned! Taurina is in Thebes,
When Swellfoot wishes that she were in hell!
O Hymen, clothed in yellow jealousy,
And waving o'er the couch of wedded kings
The torch of Discord with its fiery hair,
This is thy work, thou patron saint of queens!
Swellfoot is wived! Though parted by the sea,
The very name of wife had conjugal rights;
Her cursed image ate, drank, slept with me,
And in the arms of Adiposa oft
Her memory has received a husband's

[A loud tumult and cries of " Iona for ever!—No Swellfoot!"

Hark How the Swine cry "Iona Taurina!" / suffer the real presence. Pyrganax,

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