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SWELLFOOT THE TYRANT.
A TRAGEDY, IN TWO ACTS.
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL DORIC.
Choose Reform or Civil War, When through thy streets, instead of hare with dogs, A CONSORT-QUEEN shall lu а KI with hogs, Riding on the IONIAN MINOTAUR.
This Tragedy is one of a triad, or system of three plays, (an arrangement according to which the Greeks were accustomed to connect their dramatic representations,) elucidating the wonderful and appalling fortunes of the SWELLFOOT dynasty. It was evidently written by some learned Theban, and from its characteristic dulness, apparently before the duties on the importation of Attic salt had been repealed by the Boeotarchs. The tenderness with which he beats the Pigs proves him to have been a sus Bæotice; possibly Epicuri de grege porcus ; for, as the poet observes,
"A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind.”'
No liberty has been taken with the translation of this remarkable piece of antiquity, except the suppressing a seditious and blasphemous chorus of the Pigs and Bulls at the last act. The word Hoydipouse, (or more properly Edipus,) has been rendered literally SWELLFOOT, without its having been conceived necessary to determine whether a swelling of the hind or the fore feet of the Swinish Monarch is particularly indicated.
Should the remaining portions of this Tragedy be found, entitled, “Swellfoot in Angaria,” and “Charité,” the Translator might be tempted to give them to the reading Public.
TYRANT SWELLFOOT, King of
Wizards, Ministers DAKRY,
of SWELLFOOT. LAOCTONOS,
CHORUS of the Swinish Multitude.
Guards, Attendants, Priests, &c. &c.
* Medwin says that Edipus stands for George IV.; Iona Taurina for Queen Caroline; Laoctonos for Wellington; Purganax for Castlereagh; and Dakry for Lord Eldon, "from his lachrymose propensities.” – Life of Shelley, ii. 29.
SCENE I.-A magnificent Temple, built of thigh-bones and
death's-heads, and tiled with scalps. Over the Altar the statue of Famine, veiled ; a number of bours, sows, and sucking-pigs, crowned with thistle, shamrock, and oak, sitting on the steps, and clinging round the Altar of the Temple.
Enter SWELLFOOT, in his royal robes, without perceiving the
Thou supreme goddess ! by whose power divine These graceful limbs are clothed in proud array
[He contemplates himself with satisfaction. Of gold and purple, and this kingly paunch Swells like a sail before a favouring breeze, And these most sacred nether promontories Lie satisfied with layers of fat; and these Boeotian cheeks, like Egypt's pyramid, (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.