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Enone

Scene: The palace at Træzen, in the Peloponnesus. Present: Phædra, Hippolytus, Enone.

There I see him!

PHEDRA My blood forgets to flow, my tongue to speak

What I am come to say.

Phædra

THE CONFESSION OF PHÆDRA

From Phèdre›

Hippolytus

Phædra

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Think of your son,
How all his hopes depend on you.

I hear
You leave us and in haste. I come to add
My tears to your distress, and for a son
Plead my alarm. No more has he a father,
And at no distant day my son must witness
My death. Already do a thousand foes
Threaten his youth. You only can defend him.
But in my secret heart remorse awakes,
And fear lest I have shut your ears against
His cries. I tremble lest your righteous anger
Visit on him ere long the hatred earned
By me, his mother.

Madam, is mine.

No such base resentment,

I could not blame you, prince,
If you should hate me. I have injured you:
So much you know, but could not read my heart.

T' incur your enmity has been mine aim:

The selfsame borders could not hold us both;
In public and in private I declared

Myself your foe, and found no peace till seas
Parted us from each other. I forbade

Your very name to be pronounced before me.
And yet if punishment should be proportioned
To the offense, if only hatred draws
Your hatred, never woman merited
More pity, less deserved your enmity.

Hippolytus-A mother jealous of her children's rights.

Seldom forgives the offspring of a wife
Who reigned before her. Harassing suspicions
Are common sequels of a second marriage.
Of me would any other have been jealous
No less than you, perhaps more violent.

Ah, prince, how Heaven has from the general law
Made me exempt, be that same Heaven witness!
Far different is the trouble that devours me!
Hippolytus-This is no time for self-reproaches, madam.
It may be that your husband still beholds

The light, and Heaven may grant him safe return,
In answer to our prayers. His guardian god

Is Neptune, ne'er by him invoked in vain.
He who has seen the mansions of the dead
Returns not thence. Since to those gloomy shores
Theseus is gone, 'tis vain to hope that Heaven
May send him back. Prince, there is no release
From Acheron's greedy maw. And yet, methinks,
He lives and breathes in you. I see him still
Before me, and to him I seem to speak;
My heart-

Phædra

Phadra

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Oh, I am mad! Do what I will,
I cannot hide my passion.

Yes, I see
The strange effects of love. Theseus, though dead,
Seems present to your eyes, for in your soul
There burns a constant flame.

Ah, yes, for Theseus
I languish and I long; not as the Shades
Have seen him, of a thousand different forms
The fickle lover, and of Pluto's bride
The would-be ravisher, but faithful, proud
E'en to a slight disdain, with youthful charms
Attracting every heart, as gods are painted,
Or like yourself. He had your mien, your eyes,
Spoke and could blush like you, when to the isle
Of Crete, my childhood's home, he crossed the waves,
Worthy to win the love of Minos's daughters.
What were you doing then? Why did he gather
The flower of Greece, and leave Hippolytus?

Oh, why were you too young to have embarked
On board the ship that brought thy sire to Crete?
At your hands would the monster then have perished,
Despite the windings of his vast retreat.

To guide your doubtful steps within the maze

My sister would have armed you with the clue.
But no, therein would Phædra have forestalled her.
Love would have first inspired me with the thought
And I it would have been whose timely aid

Had taught you all the labyrinth's crooked ways.
What anxious care a life so dear had cost me!
No thread had satisfied your lover's fears:
I would myself have wished to lead the way,
And share the peril you were bound to face;
Phædra with you would have explored the maze,
With you emerged in safety or have perished.
Hippolytus-Gods! What is this I hear? Have you forgotten

That Theseus is my father and your husband?
Why should you fancy I have lost remembrance
Thereof, and am regardless of mine honor?
Hippolytus - Forgive me, madam. With a blush I own
That I misconstrued words of innocence.
For very shame I cannot bear your sight
Longer. I go-

Phædra

Phædra

Ah! cruel prince, too well
You understood me. I have said enough

To save you from mistake. I love. But think not
That at the moment when I love you most

I do not feel my guilt; no weak compliance
Has fed the poison that infects my brain.
The ill-starred object of celestial vengeance,
I am not so detestable to you

As to myself. The gods will bear me witness,
Who have within my veins kindled this fire;
The gods, who take a barbarous delight
In leading a poor mortal's heart astray.
Do you yourself recall to mind the past:
'Twas not enough for me to fly,—I chased you
Out of the country, wishing to appear
Inhuman, odious; to resist you better,

I sought to make you hate me. All in vain!
Hating me more, I loved you none the less:
New charms were lent to you by your misfortunes.
I have been drowned in tears, and scorched by fire;
Your own eyes might convince you of the truth,
If for one moment you could look at me.
What is't I say? Think you this vile confession
That I have made is what I meant to utter?
Not daring to betray a son for whom

I trembled, 'twas to beg you not to hate him
I came. Weak purpose of a heart too full
Of love for you to speak of aught besides!
Take your revenge, punish my odious passion;

Enone

Theramenes

Prove yourself worthy of your valiant sire,
And rid the world of an offensive monster!
Does Theseus's widow dare to love his son?
The frightful monster! Let her not escape you!
Here is my heart. This is the place to strike.
Already prompt to expiate its guilt,

I feel it leap impatiently to meet
Your arin. Strike home. Or if it would disgrace you

To steep your hand in such polluted blood,

If that were punishment too mild to slake
Your hatred, lend me then your sword, if not
Your arm. Quick, give 't.

What, madam, will you do? Just gods! But some one comes. Go, fly from shame; You cannot 'scape if seen by any thus.

Enter Theramenes

Is that the form of Phædra that I see

Hurried away? What mean these signs of sorrow? Where is your sword? Why are you pale, confused? Hippolytus-Friend, let us fly. I am, indeed, confounded With horror and astonishment extreme. Phædra- but no; gods, let this dreadful secret Remain forever buried in oblivion.

Translation of R. B. Boswell.

ALFRED RAMBAUD

(1842-)

lfred RambauD, like many of his predecessors at the head of the Board of Education in France, taught in the ranks be

fore he rose to be Grand Master of the University. He was born in 1842 at Besançon, in the province of Franche-Comté, whose children are supposed to be peculiarly hot-headed and tenacious of opinion. But M. Rambaud is no fanatic: he is liberal and conciliatory, with an ardent desire for the education of the masses. He is a disciple of Jules Ferry, who first called him to a leading position in the direction of public affairs, as private secretary and chef de cabinet at the ministry of Public Affairs in 1879. After three years at the École Normale, M. Rambaud was successively professor of history at Caen and at Nancy. On quitting the ministry he returned to his duties as professor, and was appointed to the Faculty of Letters in Paris.

His works are educational and historical. His favorite occupation is looking over and preparing the great work he has undertaken in collaboration with his friend and colleague, Ernest Lavisse, the historian dear to French youth; namely, the General History from the Fourth Century to Our Day.' The first number of this serial history appeared in 1892. It is carefully done, clear, and in a widely liberal, philosophical spirit. M. Rambaud contributes the portion on Russia. He is an authority on all things Russian, knowing the language and having traveled in the country.

His speeches form an important part of his "literary luggage,» as the French say. He speaks well, but not in the florid, ornamental style common in France. He is journalier ("touch-and-go"), and must warm to his subject before mastering it. No one knows what will warm him; the man himself probably less than any one. But once warmed, his voice never falters in its soft, far-reaching wave of sound. His gestures are slow and propitiatory; he turns his head slyly from left to right, and sees very well with those small, dark, sharp yet merry eyes of his, that are surmounted, not shaded, by the thin regular arch of eyebrows, like notes of interrogation on his high narrow forehead. He has a great deal of dry humor, both as speaker and writer, and doubtless often laughs to himself at his opponents as he sits comfortably on the ministerial bench of the Chamber of

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