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“ Lyc.” Where, Lycon, where was then thy boasted
cunning? Dull, thoughtless wretch.
Phaed. O pains unfelt before! The grief, despair, the agonies, and pangs, All the wild fury of distracted love, Are nought to this Say, famous politician, Where, when, and how did their first passion rise ? Where did they breathe their sighs ? what shady groves, What gloomy woods, conceal'd their hidden loves? Alas! they hid it not; the well-pleas'd sun With all his beams survey'd their guiltless flame ; Glad zephyrs wafted their untainted sighs, And Ida echo'd their endearing accents, While I, the shame of Nature, hid in darkness, Far from the balmy air and cheering light, Prest down my sighs, and dry'd my falling tears, Seaclı'd a retreat to mourn, and watch'd to grieve.
Lyc. Now cease that grief, and let your injur'd love Contrive due vengeance ; leț majestic Phædra, That lov'd the hero, sacrifice the villain, Then haste, send forth
ministers of vengeance,
Where am I, Gods; what is't my rage commands? Ev'n now he's gone; ev'n now the well-tim'd oars. With sounding strokes, divide the sparkling waves, And happy gales assist their speedy flight. “ Now they embrace, and ardent love enflames “ Their Alushing cheeks, and trembles in their eyes; “ Now they expose my weakness and my crimes; “ Now to the sporting croud they tell my follies.”
Phaed. Haste, bring him in.
HIPPOLITUS enters, with two Guards.
Hip. My soul disdain’d a promise.
Phaed. But yet your false equivocating tongue, Your looks, your eyes, your ev'ry motion promis’d. But you are ripe in frauds, and learn'd in falsehoods. “ Look down, 0 Theseus, and behold thy son, “ As Sciron faithless, as Procrustes cruel. “ Behold the crimes, the tyrants, all the monsters,
so From which thy valour purg'd the groaning earth, “ Behold them all in thy own son reviv'd.
“ Hip. Touch not my glory, lest you stain your own; “ I still have strove to make my glorious father “ Blush, yet rejoice to see himself outdone; • To mix my parents in
lineal virtues, " As Theseus just, and as Camilla chaste.
• Phaed. The godlike Theseus never was thy parent, “ No, 'twas some monthly Cappadocian drudge, “ Obedient to the scourge, and beaten to her arms, “ Begot thee, traitor, on the chaste Camilla.
Camilla chaste! an amazon and chaste ! “ That quits her sex, and yet retains her virtue. « See the chaste matron mount the neighing steed; " In strict embraces lock the struggling warrior, “ And choose the lover in the sturdy foe,
A Messenger enters, and seems to talk earnestly with
Lycon. “ Hip. No; she refus'd the vows of godlike Theseus, “ And chose to stand his arms, not meet his love; “ And doubtful was the fight. The wide Thermodoon “ Heard the huge strokes resound ; its frighted waves “ Convey'd the rattling din to distant shores, " While she alone supported all his war ; “ Nor till she sunk beneath his thund'ring arm, çı Beneath which warlike nations bow'd, would yield “ To honest wish’d-for love.
" Phaed. Not so her son ; ♡ Who boldly ventures on forbidden Aames,
« On one descended from the cruel Pallas, “ Foe to thy father's person and his blood ; " Hared by him, of kindred yet more hated, • The last of all the wicked race he ruin'd. “ In vain a fierce successive hatred reign'd “ Between your sires; in vain, like Cadmus' race, “ With mingled blood they dy'd the blushing earth.
“ Hip. In vain indeed, since now the war is o'er : “ We like the Theban race, agree to love, “ And by our mutual fames and future off-spring, “ Atone for slaughter past.
66 Phaed. Your future off-spring! " Heav'ns ! what a medley's this? what dark confusion, “ Of blood and death, of murder and relation ! “ What joy 't had been to old disabled Theseus; • When he should take the off-spring in his arms ? « Ev’n in his arms to hold an infant Pallas, “ And be upbraided with his grandsire's fate." O barbarous youth !
Lyc. Too barbarous I fear. [Distant Shout, Perhaps e'en now his faction's up in arms, Since waving crowds roll onwards tow'rds the palace, And rend the city with tumultuous clamours ! Perhaps to murder Phædra and her son, And give the crown to him and his Ismena : But I'll prevent it.
ISMENA brought in by two Gentlemen. Phaed. What! the kind Ismena; That nurs’d ine, watch'd my sickness! oh, she watch'd
As rav'nous vultures watch the dying lion,
Inspire my fury, and demand my justice.
Hip. O Ismena!
Ism. Alas! my tender soul would shrink at death,
And wait his coming in th'Elysian fields;