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,
To snatch the traitor from your rival's arms,
And force him trembling to your awful presence.
Phaed. O rightly thought-Dispatch th' attend-

ing guards;
Bid them bring.forth their instruments of death ;
Darts, engines, flames, and launch into the deep,
And hur! swift vengeance on the perjur'd slave.

[Exit Messenger.

[ocr errors]

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.”

Crat. Sir, as I went to seize the persons order'd,
I met the prince, and with him fair Ismena.
I seiz'd the prince, who now attends without.

Phaed. Haste, bring him in.
Lyc. Be quick and seize Ismena. (Exit Cratander.

HIPPOLITUS enters, with two Guards.
Phaed. Could'st thou deceive me? could a son of

Stoop to so mean, so base a vice as fraud ?
Nay, act such monstrous perfidy, yet start
From promis'd love ?

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


[ocr errors]

As rav'nous vultures watch the dying lion,
To tear his heart, and riot in his blood.
“ Hark, hark, my little infant cries for justice !
“ Oh! be appeas'd, my babe, thou shalt have justice."
Now all the spirits of my godlike race
Enflame my soul, and urge me on to vengeance.
“ Arsamnes, Minos, Jove, th' avenging Sun,

Inspire my fury, and demand my justice.
“Oh! you shall have it; thou, Minos, shalt applaud it,
"Yes, thou shalt copy it in their pains below.”
God of revenge arise. ---He comes, he comes ;
“ And shoots himself thro' all my kindling blood."
I have it here.Now, base perfidious wretch,
Now sigh, and weep, and tremble in thy turn.
Yes, your Ismena shall appease my vengeance.
Ismena dies; and thou her pitying lover
Doom'd her to death. Thou too shalt see her bleed,
See her convulsive pangs, and hear her dying groans :
Go, glut thy eyes with thy ador'd Isinena,
And laugh at dying Phædra.

Hip. O Ismena!

Ism. Alas! my tender soul would shrink at death,
Shake with its fears, and sink beneath its pains,
In any cause but this. But now I'm steel'd,
And the near danger lessens to my sight.
Now, if I live, 'tis only for Hippolitus,
And with an equal joy I'll die to save him.
"Yes, for his sake I'll go a willing shade,

And wait his coming in th'Elysian fields;
“ And there enquire of each descending ghost

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »