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PHÆDRA.

PHEDRA.

I wrong'd the hero, whom I wish'd to cherish! Hide, hide in shameful night thy beamy head, Oh! you'd confess me wretched, not unkind, And cease to view the horrours of thy race. And own those ills did most deserve your pity, Alas! I share tb' amazing guilt; these eyes, Which most procurd your hate.

That first inspir'd the black incestuous flame,

These ears, that heard the tale of impious love, HIPPOLITUS.

Are all accurs'd, and all deserve your thunder.

My hate to Phædra ? Ha! could I hate the royal spouse of Theseus,

PHÆDRA.
My queen, my mother?

Alas! my lord, believe me not so vile.
No: by thy goddess, by the chaste Diana,

None but my first, my much-lov'd lord Arsamnes,
Why your queen and mother? Was e'er receiv'd, in these unhappy arms.
More humble titles suit my lost condition.

No! for the love of thee, of those dear charms, Alas! the iron hand of Death is on me,

Which now I see are doom'd to be my ruin,
And I have only time t'implore your pardon. I still deny'd my lord, my husband Theseus,
Ah! would my lord forget injurious Phædra, The chaste, the modest joys of spotless marriage;
And with compassion view her helpless orphan! That drove him hence to war, to stormy seas,
Would he receive him to his dear protection, To rocks and waves less cruel than his Phædra.
Defend his youth from all encroaching foes !

HIPPOLITUS.
HIPPOLITUS.
Oh, I'll defend him ! with my life defend him!

If that drove Theseus hence, then that kill'd

Theseus, Heavens,dart your judgments on this faithless head, And cruel Phædra kill'd her husband Theseus. If I don't pay him all a slave's obedience, And all a father's love. PHÆDRA.

Forbear, rash youth, nor dare to rouze my A father's love!

vengeance; Oh doubtful sounds! oh vain deceitful hopes !

You need not urge, nor tempt my swelling rage My grief's much eas'd by this transcending good with black reproaches, scorn, and provocation,

To do a deed my reason would abhor. ness, And Theseus' death sits lighter on my soul :

Long has the secret struggled in my breast, Death ? He's not dead! he lives, he breathes, he Long has it rack'd and rent my tortur'd bosom; speaks,

But now 'tis out. Shame, rage, confusion, tear He lives in you, he's present to my eyes,

And drive me on to act unheard-of crimes, I see him, speak to him. My heart! I rave

To murder thee, myself, and all that know it. And all my folly's known.

As when convulsions cleave the labouring Earth,

Before the distal yawn appears, the ground
HIPPOLITUS.

Trembles and heaves, the nodding houses crash;
Oh! glorious folly !
He's safe, who from the dreadful warning flies,

[Erit. See Theseus, see, how much your Phædra lov'd But he that sees its opening bosom, dies. you.

HIPPOLITUS.
PHÆDRA.

Then let me take the warning and retire;
Love him, indeed! dot, languish, die for him, I'd rather trust the rough Ionian waves,
Forsake my food, my sleep, all joys for Theseus,

Than woman's fiercer rage. (But not that hoary venerable Theseus)

[Ismena shows herself, listening. But Theseus, as he was, when mantling blood Glow'd in his lovely cheeks; when his bright eyes

LYCON. Spackled with youthful fires; when every grace

Alas! my lord, Shone in the father, which now crowns the son;

You must not leave the queen to her despair.
When Theseus was Hippolitus.

HIPPOLITUS.
HIPPOLITUS.

Must not? From thee? From that vile upstart
Ha! Amazement strikes me !

Lycon. Where will this end ?

LYCON.

Yes: from that Lycon who derives his greatness Is 't difficult to guess?

From Phædra's race, and now would guard her life. Does not her Aying paleness that but now

Then, sir, forbear, and view this royal siguet, Sat cold and languid in her fading cheek,

And in her faithful slave obey the queen. (Where now succeeds a moinentary lustre)

[Enter Gourds. Does not her beating heart, her trembling limbs, Guards, watch the prince, but at that awful distance, Her wishing looks, her speechi, her present silence, With that respect, it may not seem confinement, All, all proclaim imperial Phædra loves you. But only meant for honour. HIPPOLITUS.

HIPPOLITUS. What do I hear? Wbat, does no lightning flash,

So, confinement is No thunder bellow, when such monstrous crimes The honour Crete bestows on Theseus' son. Are own'd, avow'd, confest ? All-seeing Sun ! Am I contin'd? And is 't so soon forgot,

LYCON.

ISMENA.

HIPPOLITUS.

When fierce Procrustes' arms b'er-ran your But when he struggles in th’entangling toils, kingdom?

Insult the dying prey.-Tiskindly done, Ismena, When your streets echo'd with the cries of orphans,

(Ism. enters. Your shrieking maids clung round the hallow'd With all your charms to visit my distress, shrines,

Soften my chains, and make confinement easy. When all your palaces and lofty towers

Is it then given me to behold thy beauties; Sinok'd on the earth, when the red sky around Those blushing sweets, those lovely loving eyes ! Glow'd with your city's flames (a dreadful lustre): | To press, to strain thee to my beating heart, Then, then my father flew to your assistance; And grow thus to my love? What's liberty to this? Then Theseus sar'd your lives, estates, and honours, | What's fame or greatness ? Take them, take them, And do you thus reward the hero's toil ?

Phædra, And do you now confine the hero's son?

Freedom and fame, and in the dear confinement

Enclose me thus for ever.
LYCON.
Take not an easy short confinement ill,
Which your own safety and the queen's requires;

O Hippolitus!
But fear not aught from one that joys to serve you. I could ever dwell in this continement !

Nor wish for aught while I behold my lord;
HIPPOLITUS.

But yet that wish, that only wish is vain. 0, I disdain thee, traitor, but not fear thee, When my hard fate thus forces me to beg you, Nor will I hear of services from Lycon.

Drive from your god-like soul a wretched maid ; Thy very looks are lies, eternal falschood

Take to your arms (assist me Heaven to speak it) Smiles in thy lips and flatters in thy eyes;

Take to your arins imperial Phædra,
Ev'n in thy humble face I read my ruin,

And think of me no more.
In every cringing bow and fawning smile :
Why else d’you whisper out your dark suspicions?
Why with malignant elogies increase

Not think of thee?'
The people's fears, and praise me to my ruin? What! part, for ever part? Unkind Ismena:
Why through the troubled streets of frighted Oh! can you think that death is half so dreadful
Gnossus

As it would be to live, and live without thee? Do bucklers, helms, and polish'd armour blaze? Say, should I quit thee, should I turn to Phædra, Why sounds the dreadful din of instant war, Say, could'st thou bear it? Could thy tender soul Whilst still the foe's unknown?

Endure the torment of despairing love,

And see me settled in a rival's arms?
LYC0N.

Then quit thy arts,
Put off the statesman and resume the judge.

Think not of me: perhaps my equal mind Thou Proteus, shiit thy various forms no more, May learn to bear the fate the gods allot me. But boldly own the god. [Aside.

Yet would you hear me; could your lov'd Ismena

[To Hipp. With all her charms o'er-rule your sullen honour, The queen's disease, and your aspiring mind, You yet might live, nor leave the poor Ismena. Disturb all Crete, and give a loose to war.

HIPPOLITUS.

Speak, if I can, I'm ready to obey.
Gods ! Dares he speak thus to a monarch's son?

ISMENA.
And must this earth-born slave command in Crete?
Was it for this my god-like father fought ?

Give the queen hopes.
Did Theseus bleed for Lycon? O ye Cretans,

HIPPOLITUS.
See there your king, the successor of Minos,
And heir of Joie.

No more. -My soul disdains it.

No, should I try, my haughty soul would swell; LYCON.

Sharpen each word, and threaten in my eyes. You may as well provoke O! should I stoop to cringe, to lie, forswear? That Jove you worship, as this slave you scorn.

Deserve the ruin which I strive to shun? Go seize Alcmxon, Nicias, and all

ISMENA. The black abettors of his impious treason. Now o'er thy head th' avenging thunder rolls : 0, I can't bear this cold contempt of death! For know, on me depends thy instant doom. This rigid virtue, that prefers your glory Then learn, proud prince, to bend thy haughty To liberty or life. O cruel man! soul,

By these sad sighs, by these poor streaming eyes, And if thou think'st of life, obey the queen.

By that dear love that makes us now unhappy,

By the near danger of that precious life,
HIPPOLITUS.

Heaven knows I value much above my own.
Then free from fear or guilt I'll wait mydoom: What! Not yet mov’d? Are you resolvd on death
Whate'er 's my fault, no stain shall blot my glory. Then, ere 'tis night, I swear by all the powers,
I'll guard my honour, you dispose my life; This steel shall end my fears and life together.
[Ereunt Lyc. and Crat.

HIPPOLITUS. Since he dares brave my raze, the danger's near. Tize timorous hounds that hunt the generous lion You shan't be trusted with a life so' precious. Bay afar off, and tremble in pursuit;

No, to the court I'll publish your design,

ISMENA.

That foe's too near,

HIPPOLITUS.

ISMENA.

Ev'n bloody Lycon will prevent your fate; Is this thy truth? Is this thy boasted honour?
Lycon shall wrench the dagger from your bosom, Then all are rogues alike: I never thought
And raving Phædra will preserve Ismena, But one man honest, and that one deceives me.

Ismena here!
Phædra! Come on, I'll lead you on to Phædra ; 'Tis all agreed, and now the prince is safe
I'll tell her all the secrets of our love,

From the sure vengeance of despairing love.
Give to ber rage her close destructive rival; Now Phædra's rage is chang'd to soft endearments,
Her rival sure will fall, her love may save you, She doats, she dies; and few, but tedious days,
Come see me labour in the pange of death, With endless joys will crown the happy pair.
My agonizing limbs, my dying eyes,

ISMENA.
Dying, yet fixt in death on my Hippolitus.

Does he then wed the queen?
HIPPOLITUS.

LYCON.
What's your design ? Ye powers ! what means

At least I think so. I, when the prince approach’d, not far retired ISMENA.

Pale with my doubts: he spoke; th'attentive queen
She means to lead you in the road of fate ; Dwelt on his accents, and her gloomy eyes
She means to die with one she can't preserve. Sparkled with gentler fires : he blushing bow'd,
Yet when you see me pale upon the earth, She trembling, lost in love, with soft confusion
This once lov'd form grown borrible in death, Receiv'd his passion, and return'd her own :
Sure your relenting soul would wish you'd sav'd me. Then smiling turn'd to me, and bid me order

The pompous rites of her ensuing nuptials,
HIPPOLITUS.

Which I must now pursue. Farewell, Ismena. (Exit. Oh! I'll do all, do any thing to save you,

ISMENA.
Give up my fame and all my darling honour:
I'll run, l'i Ay; what you'll command I'll say.

Then I'll retire, and not disturb their joys.

my love?

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Say, what occasion, chance, or Heaven inspires :

Stay and learn more.
Say, that you love her, that you lov'd her long;
Say, that you 'll wed her, say that you'll comply;

ISMENA.
Say, to preserve your life, say any thing.

Ah! wherefore should I stay?

[Egil Hip. | What! Shall I stay to rave, tupbraid, to hold him? Bless him, ye powers ! and if it be a crime,

To snatch the struggling cbarmor from her arms ? Oh! if the pious fraud ofiend your justice,

For could you think that open generous youth Aim all your vengeance on Ismena's head;

Could with feign'd love deceive a jealous woman? Punish Ismena, but forgive Hippolitus.

Could he so soon grow artful in dissembling? He's gone, and now my brave resolves are

Ah! without doubt his thoughts inspir'd his tongue, stagger'd,

And all his soul receiv'd a real love, Now I repent, like some despairing wretch

Perhaps new graces darted from her eyes, That boldly plunges in the frightful deep,

Perhaps soft pity charm'd his yielding soul, Then pants, and struggles with the whirling waves, Perhaps her love, perhaps her kingdom charm'd And catches every slender reed to save bimn.

bim; Perhaps--Alas! how many things might charm

him! But should he do what your commands enjoin'd

him, Say, should he wed her ?

Wait the success: it is not yet decided.

CHO.

CHO.

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Should he wed the queen!
Oh! I'd remember that 'twas my request,
And die well pleas'd I made the hero happy.

CHO, .

Die! does Ismena then resolve to die?

Not yet decided ! Did not Lycon tell us
How he protested, sigh'd, and look'd, and vow'd :
How the soft passion languish'd in his eyes?
Yes, yes, he loves, be doats on Phadra's charms.
Now, now he clasps her to his panting breast,
Now he devours her with his eager eyes,
Now grasps her hands and now be looks, and vows,
The dear false things that charm'd the poor Ismena.
He comes: be still, my heart, the tyrant comes,
Charming, though false, and lovely in his guilt.

ISMENA.
Can I then live? Can I, who lov'd so well
To part with all my bliss to save my lover?
Oh! can I drag a wretched life without him,
And see another revel in his arms?
Oh ! 'tis in death alone I can have comfort!

Enter Lycon.

LYCON.
What a reverse is this ! Perfidious boy,

Enter Hippolitus.

HIPPOLITUS.
Why hangs that cloudy sorrow on your brow?
Why do you sigh? Why flow your swelling eyes,
Those eyes that us'd with joy to view Hippolitus?

ISMENA.

you;

HIPPOLITUS.

ISMENA,

Panlon the errours of a silly maid, Mylord, my soul is charm'd with your success;

Wild with her fears, and mad with jealousy; You know, my lord, my fears are but for you,

For still that fear, that jealousy, was love. For your dear life; and since my death alone

Haste then, my lord, and save yourself by flight; Can make you safe, that soon shall make you shall cease to cheer forlorn Ismena's eyes,

And when you're absent, when your god-like form happy. Yet had you brought less love to Phædra's arms,

Then let each day, each hour, each minute, bring My soul had parted with a less regret,

Some kind remembrance of your constant love; Blest if surviving in your dear remembrance.

Speak of your health, your fortune, and your friends

(For sure those friends shall have my tenderest HIPPOLITUS.

wishes)

but of thy dear, dear love, Your death! My love! My marriage! And to Speak much of all; Phædra!

Speak much, speak very much, and still speak on. Hear me, Ismena.

HIPPOLITUS.
ISMENA.

Oh! thy dear love shall ever be my theme,
No, I dare not hear you.

Of that alone I'll talk the live-long day; Put though you've been thus cruelly unkind,

But thus I'll talk, thus dwelling in thy eyes, Though you have left me for the royal Phædra, Tasting the odours of thy fragrant bosom. Yet still my soul o'er-runs with fondness t'wards Come then to crown me with immortal joys,

Come, be the kind companion of my flight,
Yet stil I die with joy to save Hippolitus.

Come haste with me to leave this fatal shore.
The bark, before prepar'd for my departure,

Expects its freight, a hundred lusty rowers
Die to save me! Could I outlive Ismena! Have wav'd their sinewy arms, and call'd Hip-

politus;

The loosen'd canvass trembles with the wind, Yes, you 'd outlive her in your Phædra's arms,

And the sea whitens with auspicious gales.
And may you there find every blooming pleasure;

ISMENA.
On, may the gods shower blessings on thy head !
May the gods crown thy glorious arms with con-

Fly then, my lord, and may the gods protect quest,

thee; And all thy peaceful days with sure repose

Fly, ere insidious Lycon work thy ruin; May'st thou be blest with lovely Phædra's charms, Fly, ere my fondness talk thy life away'; And for thy ease forgot the lost Ismena !

Fly from the queen.
Farewell, Hippolitus.

HIPPOLITUS.
HIPPOLITUS.

But not from my Ismena.
Ismena, stay.

Why do you force me from your heavenly sight, stay, hear me speak, or by th’infernal powers

With those dear arms that ought to clasp me to I'll not survive the minute you depart.

thee?

ISMENA.
What would you say? Ah! don't deceive my And with alternate love and fear possess'd,

Oh I could rave for ever at my fate! weakness.

Now force thee from my arms, now snatch thee

to my breast, Deceive thee! Why, Ismena, do you wrong me?

And tremble till you go, but die till you return. Why doubt my faith? O lovely, cruel maid !

Nay, I could go -Ye gods, if I should go, Why wound my tender soul with harsh suspicion !

What would fame say? If I should fly alone Oh! by those charming eyes, by thy dear love,

With a young lovely prince that charm'd my soul ? I neither thought por spoke, design'd nor promis'd

HIPPOLITUS. To love, or wed the queen.

Say you did well to fly a certain ruin,

To fly the fury of a queen incens'd,
Speak on, my lord,

To crown with endless joys the youth that lov'd My honest soul inclines me to believe thee;

you. And much I fear, and much I hope I've wrong'do! by the joys our mutual loves have brought, thee.

By the blest hours I've languish'd at your feet,

By all the love you ever bore Hippolitus,
HIPPOLITUS.

Come fly from hence, and make him ever happy, Then thus, I came and spake, but scarce of love;

ISMENA.
The easy queen receiv'd my faint address
With eager hope and unsuspicious faith.

Hide me, ye powers; I never shall resist,
Lycon with seeining joy dismiss'd my guards,
Ny generous soul disdain'd the mean deceit,

RIPPOLITUS.
But still deceiv'd ber to obey Ismena.

Will you refuse me? Can I leave behind me All that inspires my soul, and cheers my eyes?

Will you not go? Then here I'll wait my doom. Art thou then true? Thou art. Oh, pardon me, Come, raving l’hædra, bloody Lycon come!

ISMENA.

HIPPOLITUS.

ISMENA.

ISMENA,

I offer to your rage this worthless life,

Is there aught else? Has happy Phædra aught, Since 'tis no longer my Ismena's care.

In the wide circle of her far-stretch'd empire?

Ask, take, my friend, secure of no repulse:
ISMENA,

Let spacious Crete through all her hundred cities O! haste away, my lord; I go, Illy

Resound her Phædra's joy. Let altars smoke, Through all the dangers of the boisterous deep. And richest gums, and spice, and incense, roll When the wind whistles through the crackling Their fragrant wreaths to Heaven, to pityinz masts,

Heaven, When through the yawning ship the foaming sea Which gives Hippolitus to Phædra's arms. Rowls bubbling in; then, the I'll clasp thee fast, Set all at large, and bid the loathsome dungeons And in transporting love forget my fear.

Give up the meagre slaves that pine in darkness, Oh! I will wander through the Scythian gloom, And waste in grief, as did despairing Phædra: O'er ice, and hills of everlasting snow :

Let them be cheer'd, let the starv'd prisoners riot, There, when the horrid darkness shall enclose us, And glow with generous wine.—Let sorrow cease. When the bleak wind shall chill iny shivering Let none be wretched, none, since Phædra's happy. limbs,

But now he comes, and witb an equal passion Thou shalt alone supply the distant Sun, Rewards iny flame, and springs into my arms! And cheer my gazing eyes, and warm my heart.

Enter Messenger.
HIPPOLITUS.

Say, where's the prince?
Come, let's away, and like another Jason
I'll bear my beauteous conquest through the seas:

MESSENGER.
A greater treasure, and a nobler prize

He's no where to be found.
Thau he from Colchos bore. Sleep, sleep in peace,
Ye monsters of the woods, on Ida's top

PHÆDRA.
Securely roam; no more my early horn

Perhaps he hunts.
Shall wake the lazy day. Transporting love
Reigns in my heart, and makes me all its own.

MESSENGER.
So when bright Venus yielded up her charms,

He hunted pot to-day.
The blest Adonis languish'd in her arms;
His idle horn on fragrant myrtles bung,

PHÆLRA.
His arrows scatter'd, and his bow unstrung : Ha! Have you search'd the walks, the courts,
Obscure in coverts lie his dreaming bounds,

the temples ? And bay the fancy'd boar with feeble sounds. For nobler sports he quits the savage fields,

MESSENGER. And all the hero to the lover yields.

Search'd all in vain.

PHÆDRA.

Did he not hunt to-day?
ACT III.

Alas! you told me once before he did not:

My heart misgives me.
Enter Lycon.

LYCON.
LYCON..

So indeed doth mine.
HEAVEN is at last appeasd : the pitying gods
Have heard our wishes, and auspicious Jove

PHAEDRA.
Smiles on his native isle ; for Phædra lives,

Could he deceive me? Could that god-like youth Restor'd to Cr te, and to herself, she lives; Design the ruin of a queen that loves him? Joy with fresh strength inspires her drooping limbs, Oh! he's all truth; his words, his looks, his eyes, Revives her charms, and o'er her faded cheeks Open to view his inmost thoughts.

He comes! Spreads a fresh rosy bloom, as kindly springs Ha! Who art thou? Whence com'st thou? With genial heat renew the frozen earth,

Where's Hippolitus ?
And paint its smiling face with gaudy flowers.
But see she comes, the beauteous Phædra comes.

MESSENGER.

Madam, Hippolitus with fair Ismena
Enter Phædra.

Drove toward the port-
How her eyes sparkle! How their radiant beams

PHÆDRA,
Confess their shining ancestor the Sun!
Your charms to-day will wound despairing crowds,

With fair Ismena!
And give the pains you sufferd: nay, Hippolitus, Curs'd be her cruel beauty, curs'd her charms,
The fierce, the brave, th' insensible Hippolitus Curs'd all her soothing, fatal, false endearments.
Shall pay a willing homage to your beauty, That heavenly virgin, that exalted goodness
And in his turn adore-

Could see me tortur'd with despairing love,

With artful tears could mourn my monstrous sufPHÆDRA.

ferings, 'Tis flattery all;

While her base malice plotted my destruction. Yet when you name the prince, that fattery's

LYCON. pleasing, You wish it so, poor good old man, you wish it. A thousand reasons crowd upon my soul, The fertile province of Cydonia's thine;

That evidence their love.

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