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And Shake that empire which I can't possess. On other objects strays ? A lewd aduitress
But then the queen-
-She dies Why let her in the chalte bed? And in the father's arms

(Oh horrid thought. Oh execrable inceft :) Let wide destruction seize on all together,

Ev’n in the father's arms embrace the fon? So Lycon live. A safe triumphant exile, Great in disgrace, and envy'd in his fall.

Yet you must see him, left impatient love The queen !--then try thy art, and work her Should urge his temper to too nice a search, paffions.

And ill-tim'd absence should disclose your cria

Enter PHÆDRA and Attendants.

Could I, when present to his awful eyes,
Conceal the wild disorders of

my soul? Draw her to act what most her soul abhors,

Would not my groans, my looks, my speech

, to Poliels her whole, and fpeak thyself in Phædra.

tray me?

Betray thee, Phædra! then thou'rt not betrai Oif, let me loose; why,cruel barbarous maids,

Live, live secure, adoring Crete conceals thee Why am I barr'd from death, the common refuge Thy pious love, and molt endearing goodrea, That spreads its hospitable arms for all ?

Will charm the kind Hippolitus to Glence. Why must I drag th' ipsufferable load

Oh wretched Phædra : oh ill-guarded lecie : Of foul dishonour, and despairing love?

To foes alone disclos'd!
Oh length of pain : Am I so often dying,
And yet not dead ? Feel I so oft death's pangs,

I needs must fear them, Nor once can find its ease?

Spight of their oaths, their vows, their spread toc0N.

cions. Would you now die ? Now quit the field to your insulting foc?

Do imprecations, oaths, or vows avail! Then shall he triumph o'er your blasted name : I too have sworn, ev'n at the altar sworn Ages to come, the universe, shall learn

Eternal love and endless faith to Theseus; The wide immortal infamy of Phædra :

And yet am false, forlworn : The hallow'd fra And the poor babe, the idol of your soul,

Thac heard me swear, is witness to my failas. The lovely image of your dear dead lord,

The youth, the very author of my crimes, Shall be upbraided with his mother's crimes; Ev'n he shall tell the fault himself inspir'd; Shall bear your Thame, thall link beneath your The fatal eloquence, that charm'd my soul, faules;

Shall lavish all its art to my destruction. Inherit your disgrace, but not your crown.


Oh he will tell it all.-Destruction feise hisMust he too fall, involv'd in my deftru&ion, With seeming grief, and aggravating pity, And only live to curse the name of Phædra ? And more to blacken, will excuse your faliy ; Oh dear, unhappy babe! must I bequeath thee False tears shall wer his unrelenting eyes, Only a sad inheritance of woe?

And his glad heart with artíul fighs ihall terve. Gods! cruel gods! can't all my pains atone, Then Thefcus-How will indignation (wel Unless they reach my infant's guiltless head? His mighty heart! How his majestic frame Oh lost estate! when life's so Mharp a torment, Will fake with rage too fierce, too {wift for rent And death itself can't cale! Allis me, Lycon, How he'll expose you to the public corn, Advise, fpeak comfort to my troubled soul. And loathing crowds loall murmur ol!

horror! 'Tis you must drive that trouble from your soul; Then the fierce Scythian-Now me:hinks I ke As streams, when dam'd, forget their ancient His fiery eyes with fullep pleasures glow, current,

(flow ; Survey your tortures, and insule your pacgs; And wondering at their banks, in other channels

I see him, smiling on the pleas'd límena, So mult you bend your thoughts from hopelets love, Point out with scorn the once proud trake So turn their course to Theseus' hapyy bosom,

Phædra. And crown his eager hopes with wish'd enjoy


Curst be his name. May infamy attend tim Then with fresh charms adorn your troubled looks, May swift defiruction fall upon his head, Display the beauties first inspir'd his fuul,

Huild by the hand of those he most adores! Soothe with your voice, and woo him with your eyes.

By Heaven, propheuc truth inspires et PHÆDRA.

tongue ! Impossible! What woo him with these eyes, He fall endure the shame he mcans to gire; Still wet with tears that flow'd but not for The. And all the t rments which he heaps ne sos, feus ?

With just revenge, hall Theseus turn og hus. This tongue so usd to found another name; What : take him to wy arms: Oh awful Juno! Is't posfille ? Oh Lycon : Oh my reloge! Touch, love, caress him! while my wandering Oh good old man: Thou oracle of women! fancy

Declare the means, that Phadra may adore the

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And does she now avoid ny eager love, Accuse him first,

Pursue me still with unrelenting hatred,

Invent new pains, deteft, loath, shun my light, Oh Heavens : Accuse the guiltless! Fly my return, and sorrow for my fafety ? 'Then be accus'd ; let Theseus know your crime; O think not fo! for, by th’unerring gods, -et lasting infamy o'erwhelm your glory; When first I told her of your wish'd rerurn, set your fue triumph, and your infanı fall When the lov'd name of Theseus reach'd her ears, hake off this idle lethargy of pity,

At that dear name she rear'd her drooping head, Vith ready war prevent th’invading foe,

Her feeble hands, and watery cyes, to Heaven, Preserve your glory, and secure your vengeance : To blels the bounieous gods: at that dear name Be yours the fruit, security, and case ;

The raging tempest of her grief was calm’d; he guilt, che danger, a'id the labour, mine, Her fighs were hush'd, and tears forgot to flow.

THESEUS. Heavens: Theseus comes !

Did my return bring comfort to her sorrow ?

Then halte, conduct me to the lovely mourner : Enter THESEUS.

0 1 will kiss the pearly drops away;

Suck from her roly lips che fragrant fighs; Declare your last resolves. With other fighs her parting breaft (hall heave,

With other dews her swimming eyes shall melt, Do you resolve, foi Phadra can do nothing. With other pangs her throbbing heart shall beat,

[Exit Plädra.

And all her forrows ihall be loc in love.


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Nw, Lycon, heigh en his impatient love, Does Theseus burn with such unheard of pasJow raise his pity, now enflame his rage,


[him, * Quicken his hope, then quath them with despair; And must not the with out-stretch'd arms receive Vurk his cumultuous pafli uns into frenzy; And with an equal ardour meer his vows, nite them all, then turn them on the foc.

The vows of one so dear! O righteous gods!

Why must the bleeding heart of Theseus bear Was that my queen, my wife, my idol, Phædra? | Such torturing pangs? while Phædra, dead io love, poes she still thun me? Oh injurious Heaven ! Now with accusiog cyes on angry Heaven Vhy did y u give me back again to life?

Stedfastly gazes, and upbraids the gods; Vhy did you kve nie froni the rage of battle, Now with dumb piercing grief, and humble fame, *o let me fall, by her nore fatal hatred ?

Fixes her gloomy watery orbs to earth;

Now burst with swelling anguish, rends the skies Her hatred: No, she loves you with such sond With loud complaints of her outrageous wrongs?

ness, s lione but that of Theseus e'er could equal; Wrong'd! Is the wrong'd? and lives he yet et so the gods have doom'd, so Heaven will who wrong'd her ?

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ne ne'er mut view her much lov'd Theseus more. He lives, so great, so happy, so belov’d, THESEUS.

That Phadra scarce can hope, scarce with revenge. Not see her : By my sufferings but I will, hough troops embacıled should oppose iny pas Shall Theseus live, and not revenge his Phædra? sage,

Gods: fall this arm, renown'd for righteous ver.. nd ready death should guard the fatal way.

geance, o fre her: Oh I'll clasp her in these arms. For quelling tyrants, and redresling wrongs, Feak through the idle bands that yet have held Now fail? now first, when Phedra’s injur'd, sail? me,

Spcak, Lycon, hafte declare the fecret villam, and seize the joys my honest love may claim. The wretch fo meanly base to injure Phædra,

So rafhly brave to dare the sword of Theseus. Is this a time for joy? when Phædra's grief

I dare not speak; but fure her wrongs are mighty: Is this a time for grief? Is this my welcome The pale cold hue that deadens all her charms, air, to life, to liberty, and Crete?

Her fighs, her hollow groans, her flowing tears, of this I hop'd, when urg'd by ardent love, Make me fufped her mon trous grief will end her. wing'd my eager way to Phædra's arms; hen to my thoughts relenting Phædra flew, End her? end Thefeus first, and all mankind; ith open arms, to welcome my return, (ness, But most that villain, that detested flave, ich kind endearing blame condemn'd my ralh- That brutal coward, that dark lurking wretch! nd made me swear to venture out no more. h. my worm foul, my boiling fancy glow'd O noble heat of unexampled love! ith charming hopes of yet untarted joys ; This Phædra hop'd, when in the midst of grief, ew pleasures fill'd my mind, all dangers, pains, In the wild torrent of o'erwhelming lortows, ass, wounds, descals, in that dear hope were luft. She, groaning, ftill invok’d, ttill callid on Thiefcus



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wrong her.

His easy heart receiv'd the guilty iame, Did sc then name me! Did the weeping And from that time he prelt her with his pallroe

charmer Invoke my name, and call for aid on Theseus ? Then 'twas for this she banii 'd him frea Oh that lov'd voice upbraided my delay.

Cretc: Why then this stay? I come, I fly, oh Phædra ! I thought it hatred all : O righteous hatred! Lead on--Now, dark disturber of my peace, Forgive me, Heaven; forgive me, injur'd Plzdra If now thou’rt known, wbat luxury of venge- | That I in secret have condenin'd thy justice.

Oh! 'was all just, and Theseus fhall revenge, Hafte, lead, conduct me.

Ev’n on his son, revenge his Phædra's wrongs

17c0N. Oh! I beg you stay.

What easy tools are these blunt huneft heroes THESEUS.

Who with keen hunger gorge the naked hook, What! stay when Phadra calls ?

Prevent the bait the Ratesman's art prepares,

And post to ruin !-Go, believing fool, Oh! on my knees, Go act thy far-fam'd justice on thy son, By all the gods, my lord, I beg you stay;

Next on thyself, and both make way for Lycon. As you relped your peace, your life, your glory : As Phædra's days are precious to your soul; By all your love, by all her sorrows, itay.

Ha! am I sure she's wrong'u? perhaps 'tis D

lice. Where lies the danger ? wherefore should I stay? Slave, make it clear, make good your accusatios,

Or treble fury shall revenge my fin.
Your sudden preferice would surprise her soul,
Renew the galling in age of her wrongs,

Am I then doubted! and can faithful Lycon Revive her sorrow, indignation, shame;

Be thought to forge such execrable fuifehoods? And all your fon would itrike her from your eyes. Gods! when the queen unwillingly complaies,

Can you suspect her truth? O godlike Thelew! My son !--Put he's too good, too brave to is this the love you bear unhuppy Phadra!

Surprise, Is this her hop'd-for aid! Go, wretched male, -Wience then that shocking change, that strong Sigh to the winds, and rend th' unpitying hea reia That irighe that sciz'd him at the name of Phæ With thy vain furrows, since relentk fs Thultes, dra!

Thy hope, thy refuge, Theseus, will not bou

thee! Was he surpris'd ? that thew'd at least remorse.

Not hear my Phædra! Not revenge her wners' Romerse! for what? By Heavens, my trou. Speak, makc thy proofs, and then his doom's 25 bied thoughts

fix'd Presage fome dire attempt.--Say, whac remorse! As when Jove speaks, and high Olympus Pakes LYC0N.

And Fate his voice obeys. I would not -jet I must.-Tins you command;

Bear witness, Heaven! This Phædra orders; thrice her faultering tongue With what reluctance I produce this sword, Bade me untold the guilty scene to Theicus; This fatal proof againt th' unhappy prince, Thrice with loud crics recallid me on my way, Lest it should work your justice to his ruin, And blam'd ny speed, and cbid my rash obedience, And prove he aim'd at force, as well as incefi. Left the unwelcome tale should wound your peace. At last, with looks fercnely tad, the cry'd,

Gods! "ris illusion all! Is this the word Go, tell it all ; but in such artíul words,

By which Procrustes, Scyron, Pallas fell? Such tender accents, and such melting sounds, Is this che weapon which my darling lon As may appease his rage, and muve his pity; Swore to employ in nought but acts of horoor? As may incline him io forgive his son

Now, faithful youth, thou nobly hatt fu'6!!'d A grievous fauit, but still a fault of love.

Thy generous promise. O most injur & Plzárs.

Why did I truit to his deceitful form? Of love! what frange suspicions rack my soul? Why blame thy justice, or fufpect thy truth? As you regard my peace, declare, what love! Yc0N.

Had this morn beheld his ardent eyes, So urg'd, I must declare; yet, pieying Heaven, Seen his arm lock'd in her dishevel'd hair, Why mut I spcak? Why must unwilling Lycon That weapon glittering o'er her trenabling boko, Accuse the prince of impious love to Phædra ? Whilft the with Screams resus'd bis impions iste,

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Entreating death, and rising to the wound. Love to his mother! to the wife of Theseus! Oh! had you seen her, when the frighted youth

Retir'd at your approach : had you theo Yes, at the moment first he view'd her eyes,

her, Lv'u at che altur, when you join'd your hands, In the chalte transports of becoming fury,


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Seize on the sword, to pierce her guiltless holom : Had you seen this, you could not doubt her Oh were it so! (Afde.] When lať did you attruth.

tend her ? TUESEUS. Oh impious monster ! Oh forgive me, Phædra! When last attend her ! --Oh unhappy queen! And may the gods inspire my injur'd soul

Your error's known, yet I disdain to wrong you, With equal vengeance that may luit his crimes. Or to betray a fault myself have caus'd. [ Afídeo

When last accend her?-
For Phædra's fake, forbear to talk of vengeance;
That, with new pains, would wound her tender

Answer me directly ; breast :

Nor dare to trifle with your father's rage.
Send him away from Crete, and by his absence
Give Phædra quiet, and afford him mercy.

My lord, this very morn I saw the qucen. Mercy! for what! Oh! well has he rewarded

What pass’d? Poor Phædra's mercy.-Oh most barbarous

HIPPOLITUS. traitor!

I ask'd permission to retire. To wrong such beauty, and insult such goodness. Mercy: what's that ? a virtue coin'd by villains, And was that all ? Who praise the weakness which supports their crimes.

My lord, I humbly beg, Bc mute, and fly, left when my rage is rous'd, With the most low submissions, ask no more. Tbou for thyself in vain implore my mercy.

Yet you don't answer with your low submissions. Dall fool, I laugh at mercy more than thou Answer, or never hope to see me more.

dost, More than I do the justice thou'rt so fond of. Too much he knows, I fear, without my telling;

Now come, young hero, to thy father's arms, And the poor queen’s betray'dand loftforever. [ Afide. i Receive the due reward of haughty virtue ; Now boast chy race, and laugh at earth-born Ly He changes, gods! and faulters at the question : [Exit. His fears, his words, his looks declare him guilty.

Afide. Enter DIPPOLITUS.


Why do you frown, my lord? Why turn away, Yet can it be? Is this th' incefluous villain? As from some loathsome monster, not your son ? How great his presence, how crect his look, How every grace, how all his vircuous mother Thou art that monster, and no more my son. Shincs in his face, and charms me from his eyes! Not one of those of the most horrid form, Oh Neptune! Oh, great founder of our race ! Of which my hand has cas'd the burthen'd carth, Why was he fram'd with such a godlike look ? Was half so fhocking to my fight as thou. Why wears he not foine most detelted form, Baleful to fight, as horrible co thought,

Where am I, gods? Is that my father Thescus ? That I might act my juftice without grief, Am I awake? Am I Hippolicus ? Panish the villain, nor regret the son!

Thou are that fiend.--Thou art Hippolitus. May I presume to ask, what secret care Thou art! Oh fall! Oh fatal stain to honour ! Broods in your breast, and clouds your royal How had my vain imagination form’d thee! brow?

Brave as Alcides, and as Minos just! Why dart your awful eyes those angry beams, Sometimes it led me through the niaze of war; And fright Hippolitus, they us'd to cheer? There it survey'd thee ranging through the field,

Mowing down troops, and dealing out deitruction: Answer me first : when call'd to wait on Phæ- Sometimes with wholesome laws reforming states, dra,

Crowning their happy joys with peace and plenty: What sudden fear surpris'd your troubled foul? Why did your ebbing blood forsake your checks ? Why did you haften from your father's armis,

With all my father's soul inspir'd, To thun the queen your duty bids you please? Burnt with impatient thirst of early honour,

To hunt through bloody fields the chase of glory, My lord, to please the queen, l’m forc'd to And bless your age with trophies like your own. ibun her,

Gods: How that warm’d me! How my throbbing And keep this hated objea from her fight.


Leapt to the image of my father's joy, Say, what's the cause of her inveterate hatred ? | When you snould flrain ne in your toiding arms, HIPPOLITUS.

And with kind raptures, and with folbing joys, My lord, as yet I never gave her cause. Commend my salons, and cupfefe your lon:







While you










Stuns my


How did I think my glorious toil o'er-paid? Hlear your wrong'd son. The sword-On fa Then great indeed, and in my father's love,

tal vow! With more than conqueft crown'd? Go on, Hip- Ensnaring oaths; and thou, rah thoughtlds fool, politus,

To bind thyself in voluntary chains; Go tread the rugged paths of daring honour; Yet to thy fatal trust continue firm: Practise the strictest and austerest virtue,

Beneath disgrace, though iofamous, yet honef. And all the rigid laws of righteous Minos; Yet hear me, father, may the righteous gods Theseus, thy father Thelous, will reward thee. Shower all their curses on this wretched head.

Oh may they doom me! Reward thee! Yes, as Minos would reward

THESEUS. thee.

Yes, the gods will doom the Was Minos then thy pattern? And did Minos, The sword, the sword: Now swear, and call sa The great, the good, the just, the righteous Minos, witness The judge of hell, and oracle of earth,

Heaven, hell, and earth. I mark it not from ott, Did he inspire adultery, force, and inceft? That bıcathes bencath such complicated guil. ISMENA appears.

Was that like guilt, when with expanded 23

I sprang to meet you at your wilh'd return! Ha! What's this?

(Afide. Dres this appear like guilt? When thus terene,

With eyes erect. and visage unapallid,
Ainazement ! Incest !

Fixt on that awful face, I stand the charge;

Amaz’d, not fearing: Say, if I am guilty, 'Incest with Phædra, with thy mother Phædra.

Where are the conscious looks, the face dow pale

Now flushing red, the downcast haggard cya, This charge so unexpected, so amazing, Or fix'd on earth, or slowly rais'd to catch So pew, so strange, impossible to thought, A fearful view, then funk again with horror! astonish'd foul, and ties my voice.


This is for raw, untaught, unfinishid villaia. Then let this wake thee, this once glorious Thou in thy bloom halt reach'd th' abhorr'i pe: sword,

fection : With which thy father arm'd thy infant hand, Thy even looks could wear a peaceful calm, Not for this purpose. Oh abandon'd save! The beautcous stamp (oh' Heavcos.) of land Oh early villian! Most detested coward :

virtuc, With this my instrument of youthful glory! While thy foul heart contriv'd this horrid deed. With this - Oh noble entrance into arms! Oh harden'd fiend, can't such transcending arise With this tinvade the spotless Phædra's honour? Disturb thy foul, or ruffle thy smooth brow? Phædra! My life! My better half, my queen !

What, no remorse! No qualms! No prick That very Phædra, for whose just defence

pangs! The gods would claim thy sword.

No feeble struggle of rebelling honour !

() 'twas thy joy! thy secret hoard of bliss,

Amazement! Death! To dream, to ponder, ad it o'er in thought ; Heavens! Durst I raise the far-fam'd sword of To doat, to dwell on; as rejoicing milers Theseus

Brood o'er their precious stores of fecret gold Against his qucen, against my mother's bosom.


Muft I noc speak? Then say, unerring Hai If not, declare when, where, and how you

ven, loft it?

Talent., Why was I born with fuch a thirst of glory! How Phædra gain’d it? Oh all the gods : He's Why did this morning dawn to my dihnou? Why was it barr'd? Whole boloni was it aim'd Why did not pitying fare with ready death

(checks, Prevent the guilty day? What ineant thy arm advanc'd, thy glowing Thy hand, heart, eyes! Oh villain! monstrous

Guilty indeed. villain:

Ev'n at the time you heard your father's death,

And such a father (O inimortal gods!) Is there no way, no thought, no beam of As held thee dearer than his life and glory; light?

When thou should It rend the skies with det No clue to guide me chrough this gloomy maze,

Tous grief To clear my honour, yet preserve my faith ? Heat thy fad breast, and tear thy starting hair; Nune: None, ye powers! And must I groan

Then to my bed to force your impious way; beneath

With horrid luit e' inlule my yet warm um ; This execrable load of foul difhonour?

Make me the scorn of hell, the sport for ferds! Muit Thcleus suffer such unheard-of torture ! These are the funeral honours paid to Thelut Theseus, my father! No, I'll break through all; These are the sorrows, these che hallow'd rites, All oaths, all vows, all idle imprecations, To which you'd call your father's kovina; byen I give them to the winds. Howo me, my lord!





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