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Now show'ring various blessings, which our hopes
PERSONS OF THE DRAMA.
( MERCURY 2 ION PE CREUSA Y XUTHUS S TUTOR C ATTENDANT
PRIESTESS OF APOLLO
MINERVA 7 CHORUS OF ATHENIAN DAMES.
THE Athenians were remarkably proud of their hightraced ancestry ; and not satisfied with claiming their origin from the earth of their country, they went further, and derived their heroes and kings from some god ; such a descent was then esteemed the highest honour: thus Ion was the son of Apollo, which furnished the subject of this tragedy. An exposed infant carried to the temple of Delphi, educated there till the state of manhood, constantly employed in the service of the god, and sequestered from the business of the world, promises a singular character: his religious education had impressed his mind with the deepest sense of virtue, and his retired life had thrown around him the most amiable and modest simplicity : though superior to the pride of riches and the pomp of power, as soon as his declared father commanded him to quit his agreeable office in the temple and assume his rank, he obeyed : though an attempt had been made to kill him, and he was armed with the authority of the state to punish the convicted stranger, upon the admonition of the Priestess he desisted: these are traits of an uniform character. If we can so far adopt the spirit of ancient times, as to allow the love of Apollo for Creusa, there is nothing exceptionable in this tragedy, but the commission of Creusa to the old slave to poison Ion: and even here the belief that her husband had injured her bed, that he was with premeditated fraud bringing a spurious son to her house and throne,