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Thes. What past?
Hip. My lord, I humbly beg,
missions." Answer, or never hope to see me more.
Hip. Too much he knows, I fear; without my telling; And the poor Queen's betray'd, and lost for ever: [ Aside.
Thes. He changes, gods ! and faulters at the question. His fears, his words, his looks declare him guilty. [/iside:
Hip. Why do you frown, my lord ? why turn away! As from some loathsome monster, not your son ?
Thes. Thou art that monster, and no more my son. Not one of those of the most horrid form, Of which my hand has eas'd the burthen'd earth, Was half so shocking to my sight as thou.
Hip. Where am I, gods : is that my father Theseus? to Am I awake?” am I Hippolitus.
Thes. Thou art that fiend:- Thou art Hippolitus; Thou art.-0 fall! O fatal stain to honour ! How had my vain imagination form’d thee? Brave as Alcides, and as Minos just. Sometimes it led me through the maze of war ; There it survey'd thee ranging through the field, Mowing down troops, and dealing out destruction. “ Sometimes with wholesome laws reforming states, " Crowning their happy joys with peace and plentyi"
Hip. With all my father's soul inspir'd, Burnt with impatient thirst of early honour, To hunt through bloody fields the chace of glory, And bless your age with trophies like your own. Gods, how that warm’d me! how my throbbing heart Leapt to the image of my father's joy,
should strain me in your folding arms, And with kind raptures, “and with sobbing joys, “ Commend my valour and confess your son ! • How did I think my glorious toil o’erpaid ? 56 Then great indeed, and in my father's love, “ With more than conquest crown'd?” Cry, Goon, Hippolitus. Go tread the rugged paths of daring honour ; Practise all the strictest and austerest virtue, And all the rigid laws of righteous Minos : Theseus, thy father Theseus will reward thee." Thes. Reward thee ! -Yes; as Minos would rer
ward thee. Was Minos then thy pattern, and did Minos, The great, the good, the just, the righteous Minos, « The judge of hell, and oracle of earth," Did he inspire adultery, force, and incest?
Ismena appears. 6. Ism. Ha! what's this?
[ Aside." Hip. Amazement! incest! Thes. Incest with Phædra, with thy mother Phædra, Hip. This charge so unexpected, so amazing,
So new, so strange, impossible to thought,
O abandon'd slave!
Hip. Amazement! death!
lost it? How Phædra gain'd it?- all ye gods! he's silent. Why was it bar’d? whose bosom was it aim'd at ? What meant thy arm advanc'd, thy glowing cheeks, Thy hand, heart, eyes ? O villain! monstrous villain! Hip. Is there no way, “ no thought, no beain of
light? “ No clue to guide me thro’ this gloomy maze," To clear my honour, yet preserve my faith? “ None, none, ye pow'rs! and must I groan beneath " This execrable hoard of foul dishonour ? 66 Must Theseus suffer such unheard of torture ? “ Theseus, my father ! No.” I'll break thro' all; All oaths, all vows, all idle imprecations
I'll give them to the winds. Hear me, my Lord;
The sword-O fatal vow!
Thes. Yes, the gods will doom thee.
Hip. Was that like guilt, when with expanded arms
wish'd return ?
Or fix'd on earth, or slowly rais'd to catch
“ Thes. This is for raw, untaught, unfinish'd villains. ! Thou in thy bloom hast reach'd th' abhor'd per
fection : " Thy even looks could wear a peaceful calm, !! The beauteous stamp (O Heav'ns !) of faultless
“ While thy foul heart contriv'd this horrid deed!
Hip. Must I not speak? Then say, unerring Heav'n,
Thes. Guilty indeed.
father's death; “ And such a father (O immortal gods!) “ As held thee dearer than his life and glory! " When thou should'st rend the skies with clam'rous
grief, “ Beat thy sad breast, and tear thy starting hair;" Then to my bed to force your impious way; “ With horrid lust t’insult my yet warm urn;" Make me the scorn of hell, and sport for fiends! These are the fun’ral honours paid to Theseus; These are the sorrows, these the hallow'd rites, To which you'd call your father's hov'ring spirit.
[Turning to Theseus,