Imágenes de página

Ha! Theseus, gods! My freezing blood congeals,

THESEUS. And all my thoughts, designs, and words are lost.

And mine and all.-Oh most abandon'd villaia! Enter Theseus.

Oh lasting scandal to our godlike race!

That could contrive a crime so foul as incest.

Dost thou at last repent? Oh lovely Phædra !
At last with equal ardour meet my vows :

Incest! Oh name it not!
O dear-bought blessing! Yet I'll not complain, The very mention shakes my inmost soul :
Since now my sharpest grief is all o'erpaid,

The gods are startled in their peaceful mansions,
And only heightens joy.—Then haste, my charmer, And Nature sickens at the shocking sound.
Let's feast our famish'd souls with amorous riot,

Thou brutal wretch! Thou execrable monster! With fiercest bliss atone for our delay,

To break through all the laws that early flow And in a moment love the age we've lost.

From untaught reason, and distinguish man;

Mix like the senseless herd with bestial lust,

Mother and son preposterously wicked;

To banish from thy soul the reverence due Stand off, approach me, touch me not; fly to honour, nature, and the genial bed,

hence, Far as the distant skies or deepest centre,

And injure one so great, so good as Theseus.





To injure one so great, so good as Phædra; Amazement' Death! Ye gods who guide the Oh slave! to wrong suçb purity as thive, world,

Such dazzling brightness, such exalted virtuc.
What can this mean? So fierce a detestation,
So strong abhorrence !-Speak, exquisite tor-

Was it for this your summons fill'd my soul

Virtue! All-seeing gods, you know my virtue ! With eager raptures, and tumultuous transports > Must I support all this? O righteous Heaven! Ev'n painful joys, and agonies of bliss!

Can't I yet speak? Reproach I could have borne, Did I for this obey my Phædra's call,

Pointed his satyrs stings, and edg'd his rage, And fly with trembling haste to meet her arms ?

But to be prais'd-Now, Minos, I defy thee; And am I thus receivd? O cruel Phædra !

Ev'n all thy dreadful magazines of pains, Was it for this you rouz'd my drowsy soul

Stones, furies, wheels, are slight to what I suffer,

And Hell itself's relief.
From the dull lethargy of hopeless love?
And dost thou only show those beauteous eyes
To wake despair, and blast me with their beams?

What's Hell to thee?

What crimes could'st thou commit? Or what Oh! were that all to which the gods have doom'd reproaches

Could innocence so pure as Phædra's fear.
But angry Heaven has laid in store for Theseus

Oh, thou 'rt the chastest matron of thy sex,
Such perfect mischief, such transcendent woe, The fairest pattern of excelling virtue.
That the black image shocks my frighted soul,

Our latest annals shall record thy glory,
And the words die on my reluctant tongue,

The maid's example, and the matron's theme.
Each skilful artist shall express thy form,

In animated gold. The threatening sword
Fear not to spcak it; that harmonious voice

Shall hang for ever o'er thy snowy bosom; Will make the saddest tale of sorrow pleasing, Such heavenly beauty on thy face shall bloom, And charm the griefit brings.—Thus let me hear it, As shall almost excuse the villair's crime; Thus in thy sight; thus gazing on those eyes,

But yet that firmness, that unshaken virtue, I can support the utmost spite of Fate,

As still shall make the monster more detested. And stand the rage of Heaven, - Approach, my

Where-e'er you pass, the crowded way shall sound fair!

With joyful cries, and endless acclamations :
And when aspiring bards, in daring strains,
Shall raise some heavenly matron to the Powers,

They'll say, she's great, she's true, she's chaste as Off, or I fly for ever from thy sight:

Shall I embrace the father of Hippolitus ?

This might have been.But now, oh cruel Forget the villain, drive him from your soul,


Now, as I pass, the crowded way shall sound PHÆDRA.

With hissing scorn, and murmurin detestation : Can I forget, or drive him from my soul? Thr latest annals shall record my shame; Oh! be will still be present to my eyes;

And when th’avengin Muse with pointed rage His words will ever echo in my ears;

Would sink some impious woman down to Hell, Still will he be the torture of my days,

She'll say, she's false, she's base, she's foul as Bane of my life, and ruin of my glory.








In every word and look, each godlike act, Hadst thou been foul, had horrid violation

Could'st thou not see Hippolitus was guiltless ? Cast any stains on purity like thine,

They 're wash'd already in the villain's blood :
The very sword, his instrument of horrour,

Guiltless! Oh all ye gods! What can this mean?
Ere this time drench'd in his incestuous heart,
Has done thee justice, and aveng'd the crimes
He us'd it to perform.

· Mean! That the guilt is ‘mine, that virtuous

Enter Messenger.

The maid's example, and the matron's theme,

With bestial passion woo'd your loathing son;

And when deny'd, with impious accusation
Alas! my lord,

Sully'd the lustre of his shining honour;
Ere this the prince is dead! I saw Cratander Of my own crimes accus'd the faultless youth,
Give him a sword. I saw him boldly take it, And with ensnaring wiles destroy'd that virtue
Rear it on high, and point it to his breast,

I try'd in vain to shake.
With steady hands, and with disdainful looks,
As one that fear'd not death, but scorn'd to die,

And not in battle- -A loud clamour follow'd :

Is he then guiltless ? And the surrounding soldiers hid from sight, Guiltless! Then what art thou? And oh just But all pronounc'd him dead.


What a detested parricide is Theseus !
Is he then dead ?

What am I? What indeed, but one more black

Than Earth or Hell e'er bore! O horrid mixture
Yes, yes, he's dead; and dead by my command; of crimes and woes, of parricide and incest,
And in this dreadful act of mournful justice, Perjury, murder; to arm the erring father
I'm more renown'd than in my dear-bought laurels. Against the guiltless son. O impious Lycon !

In what a Hell of woes thy arts have plung'd me.
Then thou 'rt renown'd indeed.Oh happy


Lycon ! Here, guards !--Oh most abandon'd Oh, only worthy of the love of Phædra !

Haste then, let's join our well-met hands together; Secure him, seize him, drag him piece-meal hither,
Unite for ever, and defy the gods
To show a pair so eminently wretched.

Enter Guards.

Who has, my lord, incurr'd your high disWretched! For what? For what the world must

pleasure ? praise me. For what the nations shall adore my justice, A villain's death?

Who can it be, ye gods, but perjur'd Lycon ?

Who can inspire such storms of rage, but Lycon? PHÆDRA.

Where has my sword left one so black, but Lycon? Hippolitus a villain !

Where! Wretched Theseus! in thy bed and heart, Oh, he was all his godlike sire could wish,

The very darling of my soul and eyes! The pride of Theseus, and the hopes of Crete. Oh beauteous fiend! But trust not to thy form. Nor did the bravest of his godlike race

You too, my son, was fair; your manly beauties Tread with such early hopes the paths of honour. Charm'd every heart (0 Heavens!) to your de


You too were good, your virtuous soul abhorr'd What can this mean? Declare, ambiguous. The crimes for which youdy'd. Oh impious Phædra! Phædra;

Incestuous fury! Execrable murth'ress? Say, wheuce these shifting gusts of clashing rage ? Is there revenge on Earth, or pain in Hell, Why are thy doubtful speeches dark and troubled, Can art invent, or boiling rage suggest, As Cretan seas when vext by warring winds ? Ev'n endless torture which thou shalt not suffer? Why is a villain, with alternate passion,

PHÆDRA. Accus'd and prais'd, detested and deplord ?

And is there aught on Earth I would not suffer? PHÆDRA.

Oh, were there vengeance equal to my crines, Canst thou not guess ?

Thou need'st not claim it, most unhappy youth, Canst thou not read it in my furious passions ? From any hands but mine : T'avenge thy fate, In all the wild disorders of my soul ?

I'd court the fiercest pains, and sue for tortures; Could'st thou not see it in the noble warmth And Phædra's sufferings should atone for thine: That urg'd the daring youth to acts of honour? Ev'n now I fall a victim to thy wrongs; Could'st thou not find it in the generous truth, Ev'n now a fatal draught works out my soul; Whích sparkid in his eyes, and open'd in his face? Ev'n now it curdles in my shrinking veins Could'st not perceive it in the chaste reserve? The lazy blood, and freezes at my heart,






[ocr errors]

Lycon brought in.

Thee through the dismal waste of gloomy death;
Thee through the glimmering dawn, and purerday,

Through all th’ Elysian plains: O righteous Minos!
Hast thou escap'd my wrath? Yet, impious Elysian plains! There he and his Ismena

Shall sport for ever, shall for ever drink On thee i'll empty all my hoard of vengeance, Immortal love; while I far off shall howl And glut my boundless rage.

In lonely plains; while all the blackest ghosts

Shrink from the baleful sight of one more monstrous, LYCON.

And more accurs'd than they.
0! mercy, mercy!


I too must go;
Such thou shalt find as thy best deeds deserve, I too must once more see the burning shore
Such as thy guilty soul can hope from Theseus; Of livid Acheron and black Cocytus,
Such as thou show'dst to poor Hippolitus.

Whence no Alcides will release me now.

Oh chain me! whip me! Let me be the scorn Then why this stay ? Come on, let's plunge to.
Of sordid rabbles, and insulting crowds !

gether : Give me but life, and make that life most wretched.

See Hell sets wide its adamantine gates,
See through the sable gates the black Cocytus

In smoky circles rowls its fiery waves :
Art thou so base, so spiritless a slave?

Hear, hear the stunning harmonies of woe, Not so the lovely youth thy arts have ruin'd, The din of rattling chains, of clashing whips, Not so he bore the fate to which you doom'd him. Of groans, of loud complaints, of piercing shrieks,

That wide through all its gloomy world resound. THESEUS.

How huge Mægara stalks! what streaming fires Oh abject villain! Yet it gives me joy

Blaze from her glaring eyes! what serpents curl To see the fears that shake thy guilty soul, Iu horrid wreaths, and hiss around her head! Enhance thy crimes, and antedate thy woes. Now, now she drags me to the bar of Minos. Oh, how thou 'lt howl thy fearful soul away; See how the awful judges of the dead While laughing crowds shall echo to thy cries, Look stedfast hate, and horrible dismay! And make thy pains their sport! Haste, hence, See Minos turns away his loathing eyes, away with him,

Rage choaks his struggling words: the fatal urn Drag him to all the torments Earth can furnish; Drops frc:n his trembling hand : O all ye gods! Let him be rack'd and gash'd, impal'd alive; What, Lycon here! Oh execrable villain ! Then let the mangled monster, fix'd on high, Then am I still on Earth? By Hell I am, Grin o'er the shouting crowds, and glut their A fury now, a scourge preservid for Lycon ! vengeance.

See, the just beings offer to my vengeance And is this all ? And art thou now appeas'd ? That impious slave. Now, Lycon, for revenge ; Will this atone for poor Hippolitus !

Thanks, Heaven, 'tis here, I'll steal it to his Oh ungork'd appetite ! On ravenous thirst

heart, Of a son’s blood! What not a day, a moment !

(Mistaking Theseus for Lycon, offers to stab him. PHEDRA.

GUARDS, Aday! A moment! Oh! thou should'st have staid Heavens ! 'tis your lord. Years, ages, all the round of circling time,

PHÆDRA. Ere touch'd the life of that consummate youth.

My lord! O equal Heaven! THESEUS.

Must each portentous moment rise in crimes, And yet with joy I flew to his destruction, And sallying life go off in parricide ? Boasted his fate, and triumph'd in his ruin. Then trust not thy slow drugs. Thus sure of death Not this I promis'd to his dying mother,

[Stabs herself. When in her mortal pangs she sighing gave me Complete thy horrors-And if this suffice not, The last cold kisses from her trembling lips, Thou, Minos, do the rest. And reach'd her feeble wandering hands to mine;

THESEUS. When her last breath, now quivering at her mouth,

At length she's quiet, Implor'd my goodness to her lovely son;

And Earth now bears not such a wretch as Theseus; To her Hippolitus. He, alas! descends An early victim to the lazy shades,

Yet I'll obey Hippolitus, and live: (Oh Heaven and Earth!) by Theseus doom'd, Then to the wars; and as the Corybantines,

With clashing shields, and braying trumpets, descends.


The cries of infant Jove-l'll stifle conscience, He's doom'd by Theseus, but accus'd by Phædra, And Nature's murinurs in the din of arms. By Phadra's madness, and by Lycon's batred. But what are arms to me? Is he not dead Yet with my life I expiate my frenzy,

For whom I fought? For whom my hoary age And die for thee, my headlong rage destroy'd:

Glow'd with the boiling beat of youth in battle? Thee I pursue (oh great ill-fated youth!) How then to drag a wretched life beneath, Pursue thee still, but now with chaste desires; An endless round of still returning woes,


And all the gnawing pangs of vain remorse? Speak, say, what god, what miracle preserv'd thee? What torment's this? --Therefore, o greatly Didst thou not strike thy father's cruel present, thought,

My sword, into thy breast?
Therefore do justice on thyself—and live;

Live above all most infinitely wretched.
Ismena too -Nay, then, avenging Heaven

I aim'd it there,

But turn'd it from myself, and slew Cratander; Ismena enters.

The guards, not trusted with his fatal orders, Has vented all its rage.

-0wretched maid ! Granted 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 sorrows, and embitter woes?

Of Theseus' sorrow, and Ismena's loss; Why do thy mournful eyes upbraid my guilt ?

Therefore I hasten’d to your royal presence, Why thus recall to my afflicted soul

Here to receive my doom. The sad remambrance of my god-like son,

Of that dear youth my cruelty has ruin'd?

Be this thy doom,

To live for ever in Ismena's arms.
Ruin'd!- - all ye powers! O awful Theseus! Go, heavenly pair, and with your dazzling virtues,
Say, where's my lord ? say, where has Fate dis. Your courage, truth, your innocence, and love,
pos'd him?

Amaze and charm mankind; and rule that empire, Oh speak! the fear distracts me.

For which in vain your rival fathers fought.

Gods! Can I speak ? Oh killing joy!
Can I declare his fate to his Ismena ?
Oh lovely maid! Could'st thou admit of comfort,

Thou should'st for ever be my only care,

Oh extasy of bliss ! Work of my life, and labour of my soul.

Am I possess'd at last of my Ismena?
For thee alone, my sorruws, lulld, shall cease; Of that celestial maid, oh pitying gods !
Cease for a while to mourn my murder'd son: How shall I thank your bounties for my sufferings,
For thee alone my sword once more shall rage, For all my pains, and all the panys l've born?
Restore the crown of which it robbed your race: Since 't was to them I owe divine Ismena,
Then let your grief give way to thoughts of em- To them I owe the dear consent of Theseus,

Yet there's a pain lies heavy on my heart,
At thy own Athens reign. The happy crowd For the disastrous fate of hapless Phædra.
Beneath thy easy yoke with pleasure bow,
And think in thee their own Minerva reigns.


Deep was her anguish; for the wrongs she did ISMENA.,

Must I then reign? Nay, must I live without She chose to die, and in her death deplor'd

Your fate, and not her own.
Not so, oh godlike youth! you lov'd Ismena;
You for her sake refus'd the Cretan empire,

And yet a nobler gift, the royal Phædra.

I've heard it all. Shall I then take a crown, a guilty crown,

0! had not passion sully'd her renown, From the relentless hand that do m'd thy death? None e'er on Earth had shone with equal lustre ; Oh ! 'tis in death alone I can have ease.

So glorious liv'd, or so lamented dy'd. And thus I find it.

[Offers to stab herself. Her faults were only faults of raging love,

Her virtues all her own.
Enter Hippolitus.

O forbear, Ismena !

Unhappy Phædra! Forbear, chaste maid, tu wound thy tender bosom; Was there no other way, ye pitying powers, Oh Havi n and Earth! sbould she resolve to die,

No other way to crown Ismena's love? And snatch all beauty from the widow'd Earth?

Then must I ever mourn her cruel fate, Was it for me, ye gods! she'd fall a victim?

And in the midst of my triumphant joy, Was for me she'd die? O heavenly virgin ! Evin in my hero's arms, confess some sortow. See, see thy own Hippolitus, who lives,

THESEUS. And hopes to live for thee.

O tender maid! forbear, with ill-tim'd grief, ISMENA.

To damp our blessings, and incense the gods: Hippolitus!

But let's away, and pay kind Hear'n our thanks Am I alive or dead ! is this Elysium!

For all the wonders in our favour wrought; "Tis he, 'tis all Hippolitus-Art well?

That Heaven, whose mercy rescued erring Theseus Ar't thou not wounded ?

From execrable crimes, and endless woes.

Then learn from me, ye kings that rule the world, THESEUS.

With equal poize let steady justice sway, Oh unbop'd-for joy! And flagrant crimes with certain vengeance pay, Stand off, and let me fly into his arms.

But, till the proofs are clear, the stroke delay.



Omen babet certè superâ quod vescitur aura The righteous gods, that innocence require,

Tum primum, lætos æstas cum pandat honores, Protect the goodness which themselves inspire.

Omnia cum vireant, cum formosissimus annus. Unguarded virtue human arts defies,

Et Vos felices optatâ prole Parentes! Th’accus'd is happy, while th’ accuser dies.

Quos nunc Parca piis respexit mota querelis: [Exeunt omnes.

En! vestræ valuêre preces; vietrixque Deorum
Fata movet pietas, quamvis nolentia flecti :
Proles chara datur senio, inconcessa juventæ.
Si citiùs soboles nullo miranda daretur ;
Prodigio, sanctis vix digna Parentibus esset :

O quæ vita dabit, cui dat miracula partus?

I, Princeps, olim patrios iinitare triumphos,

Et semper magni vestigia Patris adora : Jam non vulgares, Isis, molire triumphos, Hic primâ pondum indutus lanugine malas Augustos Isis nunquam tacitura Stvartos.

Invictis orbem per totum inclaruit armis, Tu quoties crebris cumulâsti altaria donis

Illius ad tonitru Batavi tremuêre; Jacobum Multa rogans numen, cui vincta jugalia curæ ! Agnovit dominum sunmissis navita velis. At jam votivam Superis suspende tabellam; Te quoque Belga tremat, metuat rediviva Jacobi Sunt rata vota tibi, sævique oblita doloris

Fulmina, cujus adhuc miserè conservat hiantes Amplexu parvi gaudet Regina Jacobi.

Ore cicatrices, vastæ et monumenta ruinæ. Languentes dudum priscus vigor aflat ocellos, Subjectus famulas Nereus Tibi porrigat undas : Infans et caræ suspensus in oscula Matris

Ipse tuo da jura mari. Numine jam spirat blando, visumque tenellum Cumque Pater tandem divis miscebitur ipse Miscet parva quidem, sed vivida Patris imago. Divus (at ô! tardiè sacra ducite stamina, Parcæ,) O etiam patrio vivat celebratus honore,

Assere tu nostri jus immortale Monarchæ; Vivat canitie terris venerandus eâdem !

Tu rege subjectum patriis virtutibus orbem.

EDMUNDUS SMITH, (Edis Christi Commensalis. "From the Strenæ Natalitiæ Academiæ Oxon. iensis in celsissimum Principem. Oxonii,è Theatro Sheldoniano. An. Dom. 1688,-The uncommon excellence of Edmund Smith's productions must

ON ensure them a favourable reception ; especially when it is considered, that at the time of their

THE INAUGURATION OF composition he was only one remove from a school- KING WILLIAM AND QUEEN MARY: boy. Had Dr. Johnson seen the first of these publications, he would not have been at a loss to de Mauritu ingentis celso de sanguine natum, termine, in the excellent life he has given the Mauritioque parem, solenni dicere versu world of Smith, whether the latter was admitted Te, Gulielme, juvat: nunc ô! mihi pectora flamma in the university in the year 1689, as he would Divinâ caleant, nunc me furor excitet iden, thence have been enabled to pronounce with cer

Qui Te, ingens heros, bello tot adire labores tainty, that he was in 1688 a member of Christ Instigat, mediosque ardentem impellit in hostes. Church. I take this to have been the year of

Te tenero latè jactabat fama sub ævo: Smith's admission; and that he was then just Cæpisti, quà finis erat; maturaque virtus come off from Westminster, in time to signalize Edidit ante diem fructus, tardèque sequentes his abilities by writing on the Birth of the Prince Annos præcurrit longè, et post terga reliquit. of Wales, when a FRESHMAN (according to the Jam Te, jam videor flagrantes cernere vultus, university phrase) and before he was appointed to

Dum primas ducis fervens in prælia turmas : a studentship; for his name is subscribed to that Jam cerno oppositas acies, quanto impete præceps copy of verses, with the addition of COMMONER.

Tela per et gladios raperis; quo fulmine belli The great superiority of genius that is displayed Adversuin frangiscuneum, et media agmina misces in this first-school-boy's production of Smith, Num ferus invadit Belgas Turennius heros, beyond what Addison has discovered in bis first Invictis semper clarus Turennius armis, performance—the Pastoral on the Inauguration of Et, quacunque ruit, ferro bacchatur et igni? King William and Queen Mary-sufficiently serves

Tu primo vernans jucundæ flore juventæ to accuant for Smith's being, as Dr. Johuson ob-Congredcris, ducente Deo, Deus ipse Batavis. serves, “ one of the murmurers at fortune; and Congrederis; non Te Gallorum immania terrent wondering, why he was suffered to be poor, when Agmina, non magni Turennius agminis instar. Addison was caressed and preferred.” Smith Heu quas tum ferro strages, quæ funera latè could not but be conscious of the greater degree Edideris, quantosque viros demiseris orco! of literary merit he himself possessed even in the Sic cum congestos struxêre ad sidera montes very department to which Addison owed the earlier Terrigenæ fratres, superos detrudere cæo part of his fame, THE WRITING OF LATIN VERSE; Aggressi, posito tum plectro intonsus Apollo --and on comparing their jurenile performances, Armatâ sumpsit fatalia spicula dextrâ : it is evident that Sinith had reason enough for that Tunc audax ruit in bellum, et furit acer in armis, consciousness.-Addison first recommended him- Et Martem, atque ipsas longè anteit fulminis alas. self to notice by his dedication of the Muse Anglicane to Lord Ha ifax, and by the poeins of his own From the Vota Oxoniensia pro serenissimis therein inserted. But what are his poems in com- Guilhelmo Rege et Maria Regina M. Britanniæ, parison of SMITH'S.

&c. nuncupata. Oxonii, è Theatro Sheldoniano. KYNASTON. An. Dom. 1689.

« AnteriorContinuar »