Fiction > Harvard Classics > Jean Racine > Phædra
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Jean Racine (1639–1699).  Phædra.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
Act IV
 
Scene IV
 
 
PHÆDRA,  THESEUS

Phædra

My lord, I come to you, fill’d with just dread.
Your voice raised high in anger reach’d mine ears,
And much I fear that deeds have follow’d threats.
Oh, if there yet is time, spare your own offspring.
Respect your race and blood, I do beseech you.        5
Let me not hear that blood cry from the ground;
Save me the horror and perpetual pain
Of having caused his father’s hand to shed it.
 
Theseus

No, Madam, from that stain my hand is free.
But, for all that, the wretch has not escaped me.        10
The hand of an Immortal now is charged
With his destruction. ’Tis a debt that Neptune
Owes me, and you shall be avenged.
 
Phædra

        A debt
Owed you? Pray’rs made in anger—        15
 
Theseus

        Never fear
That they will fail. Rather join yours to mine.
In all their blackness paint for me his crimes,
And fan my tardy passion to white heat.
But yet you know not all his infamy;        20
His rage against you overflows in slanders;
Your mouth, he says, is full of all deceit,
He says Aricia has his heart and soul,
That her alone he loves.
 
Phædra

        Aricia?
        25
 
Theseus

        Ay,
He said it to my face! an idle pretext!
A trick that gulls me not! Let us hope Neptune
Will do him speedy justice. To his altars
I go, to urge performance of his oaths.        30
 

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