Thes. What past?
Hip. I ask'd permission to retire.
Thes. And was that all ?

Hip. My lord, I humbly beg,
With the most low submissions, ask no more.
Thes. Yet you don't answer with your low sub.

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"

While you

When you

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,
Stuns my astonish'd soul, and ties my

Thes. Then let this wake thee, this once-glorious

With which thy father arm'd thy infant hand,
Not for this purpose.

O abandon'd slave!
O early villain! most detested coward !
With this my instrument of youthful glory!
With this t’invade the spotless Phædra's honour!
Phædra, my life, my better half, my queen!
That very Phædra, for wliose just defence
The gods would claim thy sword.

Hip. Amazement! death!
Heav'ns ! durst I raise the far-fam'd sword of Theseus
Against his queen, against my mother's bosom?
Thes. If not ; declare when, where, and how you

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;
Hear your wrong'd son.

The sword-O fatal vow!
5 Ensnaring oaths, and thou, rash thoughtless fool,
* To bind thyself in voluntary chains;
" Yet to thy fatal trust continue firm!
$. Beneath disgrace, though infamous, yet honest.”
Yet hear me, father: May the righteous gods
Show'r all their curses on this wretched head ;
Oh, may they doom me-

Thes. Yes, the gods will doom thee.
The sword, the sword ! -Now swear, and call to

Heav'n, hell, and eaith, I mark it not from one
That breathes beneath such complicated guilt.

Hip. Was that like guilt, when with expanded arms
I sprang to meet you at your

wish'd return ?
Does this appear like guilt, when thus serene,
With eyes erect, and visage unappallid,
Fix'd on that awful face, I stand the charge,
Amaz'd, not fearing ? “Say, if I am guilty :
" Where are the conscious looks, the face now pale,
Now flushing red, the down-cast haggar'd eyes,

Or fix'd on earth, or slowly rais'd to catch
" A fearful view, then sunk again with horror ?

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


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“ While thy foul heart contriv'd this horrid deed!
" O harden'd fiend! I'll hear no more!
" Disturb thy soul, or ruffle thy smooth brow!
“ What, no reinorse! no qualms! no pricking pangg!
“ No feeble struggle of rebelling honour !
“Oh! 'twas thy joy, thy secret hoard of bliss,
“ To dream, to ponder, act it o'er in thought;
“ To doat, to dwell on; as rejoicing misers
“ Brood o'er their precious stores of secret gold.”

Hip. Must I not speak? Then say, unerring Heav'n,
Why was I born with such a thirst of glory?
Why did this morning dawn to my dishonour ?
Why did not pitying fate, with ready death,
Prevent the guilty day?

Thes. Guilty indeed.
Ev'n at the time

you heard


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.

ISMENA enters.
Ism. Hear me, my lord, ere yet you fix his doom :

[Turning to Theseus,

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