By David Thomas
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Additional info for Six Restoration and French Neoclassic Plays
The Gods are witnesses, the Gods, who in my breast Have lighted up this fatal flame, those Gods Who cruelly delight to seduce the heart Of a feeble mortal. Recall then in thy mind 1. To slay the minotaur. 2. Ariadne. 29 30 Phedra What lately has passed; to fly from thee was not all I tried, I wanted to appear odious and inhuman to thy sight, And to resist the flame, I strove to gain thy hate. But what avails all my ineffectual cares, You hated me the more, as my love Increased. Thy misfortunes lent thee new charms, I languish' d and consumed in secret with my passion: Thine eyes would see it, If, for a moment, thou woulds't deign to view me.
A number of speeches are omitted from the beginning of the scene, and the detailed rumours of Theseus's death are also missing in the 1776 edition. Act II, Scene I Refuse the dictates of his stubborn nature, which bid Him shun thee. Yes, I have seen Hippolytus; have read His mind; and though the name of lover, may offend His haughty spirit, yet his eyes have declared his Thoughts, and spoke a milder language. ARICIA: With what avidity, my heart attends to thy discourse, Perhaps unfounded. 0, Ismenia, thou Partner of my hopes and fears, thinkst thou it Credible, that this heart, the wretched sport of cruel fate, Can be impressed by Love?
But when thou toldst me of His less glorious feats, his proffered faith, Helen Ravished from her parents, the lamentation Of Peribeus, Ariadne breathing her complaints to the obdurate rocks And Phedra stole away, thou must remember with what regret I heard The tale and pressed thee to go no farther. Happy, could I obliterate From my mind, that ignoble part which sullies a father's fame, And shall I then in turn suffer myself to be thus fettered? Shall I be thus humiliated? so much the more despicable by my effeminate sighs, As a long train of honours renders Theseus's failings excusable.