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Tremble to reach thee. No, dishonout'd The Enter ISMENA.
Blot not thy fame with such a monster's blood. Hear me, my lord, ere yet you fix his doom : Snatch him away.
[Turning to Theseus. Hear one that comes to shield his injur'd honour,
Lead on. Farewell, Ismena. And guard his life with hazard of her own.
Oh! take me with him, let me fare his fate. Though thou'rt the daughter of my hated foe, Oh awful Theseus! Yet revoke his doom : Though even thy beauty's loathsonie to my eyes, See, see the very ministers of death, Yet justice bids me hear thec.
Though bred to blood, yet shrink, and wish to
o Theseus! Hear me, hear me. Against her will, I lov'd the fair Ismena.
Away, nor caint me with thy loathsome touch. Cantt thou be only clear'd by disobedience, Off, woman. And justify'd by crimes ?-What love my foe! Love one descended from a race of tyrants,
Stay, oh stay! I'll tell you all. (Exit Thes, Whole blood yet reeks on my avenging sword! Already gone ! - Tell it, ye conscious walls; I'm curft cach moment I delay thy face :
Bear it, ye winds, upon your pitying wings; Haste to the fades, and tell the happy Pallas
Resound it, fame, with all your hundred congues., Ismena's flames, and let him taste such joys Oh hapless youth! All beaven conspires against As thou giv'it me; go tell applauding Minos
But still, whate'er the cruel gods design,
In the same fate our equal fars combine,
And he who dooms thy death pronounces
Enter PÀÆDRA and Lycon. When you shall find Hippolitus was guiltless! Yet when you know the innocence you doom'd, Accuse yourself! Oh! on mỹ kriees I beg ĝou, When you shall mourn your son’s unhappy fate, By all the gods, recal the facal message. Oh, I beseech you by the love you bore me, Heavens! Will you stand the dreaded rage of With my last words (my words will then prevail) Theseus ?
[struction? Oh for my fake forbear to touch your lise, And brand your fame, and work jour own des Nor wound again Hippolitus in Theseus.
PHEDRA. Let all my virtues, all my joys, survive
By thee I'm branded, and by thee destroy'd; Fresh in your breast, but be my woes forgot ; Thou bosom serpent, thou alluring fiend! The woes which fate, and not my father, wrought. Yet Than't you boal the miteries you cause, Oh! let me dwell for ever in your thoughts, Nor 'Icape the ruin you have brought on all. Let me be honour'd fill, but not deplor'd.
Was it not your command? Has faithful Lycon Then thy chief care is for thy father's life. E'er spoke, e'er thought, design’d, contriv'd, or Oh blooming hypocrite! Oh young dissembler !
acted? Well halt thou fewn the carc" thou tak’t of Häs he done aught without the queen's consent ? Theseus,
PRÆDRA. Oh all ye gods: how this endames my fury: Plead' at thou consent to what thou firft inn I scarce can hold my rage; my eager hands
Was that consent ? O sensei.fi politician! And only heightensjoy.—Then haste, my chamar
Stand off, approach me, touch me ret; With this you blot my name, and clear your own;
hence, And what's my frenzy, will be call'd my crime : Far as the distant skies, or deepest centre. What then is thine ? Thou cool duliberate villain, Thou wise, forethinking, weighing politician: Amazement! Death: Ye gods who guide LY CON.
world, Oh! 'twas so black, my frighted tongue re What can this mean? So fierce a deteftatioa, coil'd
So Itrong abhorrence : -Speak, exquifite At its own sound, and horror fhook my
mentor! Yet still, though pierc'd with such amazing an Was it for this your summons fill'd my foul guilli,
With eager raptures, and tumultuous transporo Such was my zeal, so much I lov'd my queen, Ev'n painful joys, and agonies of bliss. I broke through all, to save the life of Phædra. Did I for this obey my Phædra's call,
And ily with trembling hafte to meet her us! What's life? Oh all ye gods! can life atone And am I thus receiv'd? O cruel Phædra! For all the monstrous crimes by which 'tís bought? Was it for this you rouz'd my drowsy foul Or can I live? When thou, oh foul of honour! From the dull lethargy of hopeless love? Oh early hero! by my crinies art ruin'd.
And doft thou only thew those beauteous eyes Perlaps ev'n now the great unhappy youth To wake despair, and blast me with their beans Falls by the sordid hands of butchering villains ; Now, now he bleeds, he dies~ Oh perjur'd trai Oh! were that all to which the gods byr. tor!
doom'd me; Sce, his rich blood in purple torrents flows, But angry Heaven has laid in store for Tods And nature sallies in unbidden groans;
Such perfe& mischief, such transcendent woen Now mortal pangs distort his lovely form; That the black image shocks my frighted isel, His rofy beauties sade, his itarry eyes
And the words die on my reluctant tongue Now darkling (wim, and fix their closing beams; Now in fore gasps his labouring spirit heaves, Fear not to speak it; that harmonious moice And weakly flutters on his faultering tongue, Will make the saddest tale of sorrow pleasing, And struggles into sound. Hear, monster, hear, And charm the grief it brings.—Thus les With his last breath he curses perjur'd Phædra :
Shall í embrace the father of Hippolitus ? Oh all ye powers! Oh Phædra! Hear me,
Forget the villain, drive him from your soul. By all my zeal, by all my anxious cares, By chote unhappy crimes I wrought to serve you, Can I forget, or drive him from my foal! by these old wither'd limbs and hoary hairs, Oh! he will fill be prefeut to my eyes: By all my tears :-Oh heavens! the minds me His words will ever echo in my ears; not,
(con! Still will he be the torture of my days, She hears not my complaints. Oh wretched Ly. Bane of my life, and ruin of my glory. To what art thou reserv'd ?
And mine and all.-Oh most abandon't r* Refery'd to all Oh lasting scandal to our godlike race ! The sharpest, flowest pains that earth can furnish, That could contrive a crime fo foul as inceh. To all I wish-On Phædra-Guards, secure him.
PHÆDRA. [Lycon carried off Incest! Oh name it not :Ha! Theseus, gods! My freezing blood congcals, The very mention shakes my inmost soul: And all my thoughts, designs, and words are lost. The gods are startled in their peaceful m,anfics,
And nature fickens at the fhocking sound. Enter THESEUS.
Thou brutal wretch: Thou execrable monter
To break through all the laws that early for Dort thou at last repent? Oh lovely Phædra ! From untaught reason, and diftinguish man; At lali with equal ardour meet my vows : Mix like the senseless herd with bettial luf, o dear-bought blelling! Yet l'll not complain, Mother and son preposterously wicked; Since now my sharpeit grief is all o'erpaid, To banish from thy soul thc reverence due
To honour, nature, and the genial bed,
And the surrounding foldiers hid from light, And injure one so great, so good as Theseus. But all pronounc'd him dead.
PHÆDRA. To injure one so great, so good as Phædra;
Is he then dead? O llave : to wrong such purity as thine,
THESEUS Such dazzling brightness, such exalted virtue. Yes, yes, he's dead; and dead by my command; * PHEDRA.
And in this dreadful act of mournful justice, Virtue! All-seeing gods, you know my virtue ! I'm mere renown'd than in my dear-bought Must I support all this? O righteous Heaven?
laurels. Can't I yet speak? Reproach I could have borne, Pointed his satyrs stings, and edg'd his rage, Then thou’rt renown'd indeed.-----Oh hap. But to be prais'd-Now, Minos, 1 defy thee;
py Theseus ! Ev'n all thy dreadful magazines of pains,
Oh, only worthy of the love of Phædra!
Unite for ever, and defy the gods
To fhew a pair fo eminently wretched.
praise me; Could innocence so pure as Phædra's fear,
For what the nations shall adore my justice ;
Hippolitus a villain!
The pride of Theseus, and the hopes of Crete. In animated gold. The threatening sword
Nor did the braveit of his gudlike race Shall hang for ever o'er thy snowy bosom ; Tread with such early hopes the paths of honour. Such heavenly beauty on thy face shall bloom, As shall almost excuse the villain's crime;
What can this mean? declare, anbiguous But yet that firmness, that unshaken virtue,
Phædra; As ftill shall make the monster more detefred. Say, whence these shifting guits of clashing rage? Where'er you pass, the crowded way shall sound Why are thy doubtful speeches dark and troubled, With joyful cries, and endless acclamations : As Cretan seas when vext by warring winds ? And when aspiring bards, in daring strains, Why is a villain, with alternate paflion, Shall raise some heavenly matron to the powers, Accus'd, and prais'd, detested, and deplor'd? They'll say, she's great, she's true, she's chaste as Phædra.
Canst thou not guess ?
Canst thou not read it in my furious passions ? This might have beenBut now, oh cruel In all the wild disorders of my soul? stars!
Could'st thou not see it in the noble warmth Now, as I pass, the crowded way shall found That urg'd the daring youth to acts of honour ? With hissing scorn, and murmuring deteftation : Could'rt thou not find it in the generous truth, The latest annals shall record my shame;
Which sparkled in his eyes, and open'd in his And when th' avenging Muse with pointed rage
face? Would fink some impious woman down to hell, Could'It not perceive it in the chaste reserve ? She'll say, she's falfe, The's bale, she's soul as In every word and look, each godlike act, Phædra.
Could'st thou not see Hippolitus was guildless ? TUESEUS. Hadst thou been foul, had horrid violation Guiltless! Oh all ye gods! What can this Cast any stains on purity like thine,
mean? They're wash'd already in the villain's blood : The very sword, his inftrument of horros,
Mean! That the guilt is mine, that virtuous Ere this time drench'd in his incestuous heart,
Phadra, Has done thee justice, and aveng'd the crimes The maid's example, and the marron's theme, He us'd it to perform.
With boftial pallion woo'd your loathing fon;
And when deny'd, with impious accusation
Sully'd the luftre of his shining honour;
Of my own crimes accus'd the faultless youth, Alas! my lord,
And with ensnaring wiles destroy'd that virtue Ere this the prince is dead -- i saw Cratander I try'd in vain to thake. Give him a sword. I saw him boldly take it, Rear it on high, and point it to his breast,
Is he then guiltless ? With feady hands, and with disd.inful looks, Guiltless! Then what art thou? And oh just As one that fear'd not death, but Icorn'd to die,
Heaven! dod not in battle. A luud cianour follow'd: What a deteiled parricide is Theseus ?
TI E SEUS.
To see the fears that shake thy guilty soul, What am I? What indeed, hut one more black | Enhance thy crimes, and antedate th: woes. Than earth or hell e'er bore! O horrid inixture Oh, how thou'll howl thy fearful soul away; Of crimes and woes, of parricide and incelt, While laughing crowds shall echo to thy cries, Perjury, murder; to arm the erring father And make thy pains their sport! Hafte, hence, Against the guiltless son. O impious Lycor !
away with him. Jo what a hell of wces thy arts have pluog'd me. Drag him to all the torments earth can furnish;
Let him be rack'd and gain d, impal'd alive; Lycon! Here, guards!--Oh most abandon’d Then let the mangled monster, fix'd on higli, villain :
(ther. Grin o'er the thouting crowds, and glue their Secure him, Icize hiin, drag him piece-meal bi
vengeance. Enter GUARDS.
And is this all? And art thou now appeasid?
Will this acone for poor Hippolicus !
Oh ungurg'd appetite! Oh raven us thirt pleasure ?
Of a lon's blood! What not a day, a moment! Who can it be, ye gods, but perjur'd Lycon?
A day! A moment: Oh! thou should't hate Who can inspire such tornis of rage, but Lycon?
staid Where has my fword left one so black, but Lycon?
Y cars, ages, all the round of circling time, Where !, Wretched Theseus in thy bed and heart, Ere touch'd the life of that consummate youch. The very darlıg of my soul and cyes! Oh beauteous fiend : But trust not to thy form.
And yet with joy I flew to his destruction, You too, ny son, was fair; your manly beauties
Boafted his fate, and criumph'd in his ruin. Charni'd every heart! (O Heavcus.) to your de
Not this I promis'd to his dying mother, frution.
When in her mortal pangs the sighing gave me You too were good, your virtuous soul abhorr’d
The last cold kisses from her trembling lips, The crimes for which you dydd. Oh impious
And reach'd her feeble wandering hands to mine: Phedra:
When her last breath, dow quivering at ka Inceltuous fury! Execrable murth’ress !
mouth, Is there revenge on carth, pain in hell, Implor'd my goodness to her lovely fon; Can art invent, or boiling rage luggatt,
To her Hippolitus. He, alas! descends Ev'n endless torture which thou shalt not suffer?
An early victim to the lazy sharles, [feer de
(Oh heaven and earth!) by Theseus doom'd, doo And is there aught on carth I would not suffer? On, crechere vengeance equallo my crimes,
He's doom'd by Theseus, but accus’d by Phoz Thou need's not claim it, most unhappy youth,
dra, From any hands bue mine : T'avenge thy fate,
By Phædra’s madness, and by Lycon's hatred. I'd court the fiercest pains, and sue for tortures;
Yet with my lise I expiate my fre! zy And Phedra's sufferings Mould stone for thine :
And die for thee, my headlong rage destroy'd: Ev’n now I fall a victim to thy wrorigs;
Thee 1 pursue (oh great ill-fated you: h!) Ev'n now a fatal draught works out my soul ;
Pursue thee ftill, but now with chafte defires; Ev'n now it curdles in my shrinking veins
Thee through the dismal waste of gloomy death; The lazy blood, and freczes at my heart.
Thee through the glinimering dawn, and pares
day, LYCON brouglt in.
Through all th'Elysian plains : Orighteous Mincs! Hast thou escap'd my wrath? Yet, impious Elysian plains ! There he and his Ismena Lycon,
hall sport for ever, fall for ever drink On thee l’i! empty all my hoard of vengeance,
Immortal live; while I far off shall how! And glut my boundleis rage.
In lonely plains; while all the blackest ghosts
Shrink from :he baleful light of one more me. 0! mercy, mercy! And more accurs'd than they.
How huge Mægara stalks! what Itreaming fires Work of my life, and labour of my soul. Blaze from her glaring eyes! what terpenis curl For thee alone, my sorrows, lullid, ihall cease; In horrid wreaths, and hiss around her head ! Cease for a while to mourn my murder'd son : Now, now the drags me to the bar of Minos. For thee alone my sword once more shall rage, See how the awful judges of the dead
Restore the crown of which it robb’d your race : Look stedfalt hate, and horrible dismay!
Then let your grief give way to thoughts of See Minos curns away his loathing eyes,
empire; Rage chokes his struggling words : che fatal urn At thy own Athens reign. The happy crowd Drops from his trembling hands : 0 all ye gods ! Beneath thy cafy yoke with pleasure bow, What, Lycon here! Oh execrable villain : And think in thee their own Minerva reigas. Then am I still on earth? By hell I am, A fury now, a scourge preserv'd for Lycon: Muft I then reiga? Nay, muft i live without See, the just beings offer to my vengeance
him? That impious flave. Now, Lycon, for revenge; Not fo, oh godlike youth! you lov'd Ismena ; Thanks, Heaven, 'tis here. I'll steal it to his You for her fake refus'd the Cretan empire, heart.
And yet a nobler gift, the royal Phædra. [Miftaking Theseus for Lycon, offers to flab bim, Shall I then take a crown, a guilty crown,
From the relentless hand that doom'd chy death? Heavens! 'tis your lord.
Oh! 'tis in death alone I can have eate.
(Offers to ftab berfelf. My lord ! O equal Heaven!
O forbcar, Isincna !
Oh heaven and earth! should the resolve to die, THESEUS.
And Inatch all beauty from the widow'd earth? At length she's quiet,
Was it for me, ye gods. she'd fall a victim ? And earth now bears not such a wretch as The Was't for me she'd die? O heavenly virgin : Yet I'll obey Hippolitus and live; (seus ; See, see thy own Hippolicus, who lives, Then to the wars; and as the Corybantines, And hopes to live for thee. With clashing thields, and braying trumpets,
Hippolitus! The crics of infant Jove — I'll fifle conscience,
Am I alive or dead! is this Elylium! And nature's murmurs in the din of arms.
'Tis he, 'tis all Hippolitus-Ar't well? But what are arms to me? Is he not dead
Ar't thou not woạnded? For whom I fought ? For whom my hoary age
THESEUS. Glow'd with the boiling heat of youth in battle ?
Oh unhop'd-for joy! How then to drag a wretched life beneath,
Strand off, and let me fly into his arms. An endless round of fill returning woes,
Speak, say, what god, what miracle presery'd And all the gnawing pangs of vain remorse?
thee? What torment's this? Therefore, O greatly Didst thou not Arike thy father's cruel present, thought,
My sword, into thy breaft! Therefore do justice on thyself and live ;
HIPPOLITUS. Live above all most infinitely wretched.
| aim'd it there, Ismena tooNay, then, avengiug Heaven
But turn'd it from myself, and New Cratander;
The guards, not trusted with his fasal orders, Has vented all its rage.---- wretched maid! Gianted my wish, and brought me to the king : Why dost thou come to swell my raging grief?
I fear'd not death, but could not bear the thought Why add to forrows, and embiteer woes?
Of Theseus' sorrow, and límena's loss; Why do thy mournful eyes upbraid my guilt ?
Therefore I hasten'd co your royal presence,
Here to receive my doom.
Be this chy doom,
(tues, Ruin'd! - all ye powers! O awful The-Go, heavenly pair, and with your dazzling virseus!
[him ? Your courage, truth, your innocence, and love, Say, where's my lord? say, where has fate dilpos'a Amaze and charm mankind; and rule that ende Oh speak: the fear distracts me.
For which in vain your rival fathers fought.
Gods! Can I speak ?
Oh killing oy!
Oh ecstasy of bliss,:.