Las de se faire aimer …


“Tout ce que j’ai prédit n’est que trop assuré :
Contre Britannicus Néron s’est déclaré.
L’impatient Néron cesse de se contraindre ;
Las de se faire aimer, il veut se faire craindre.*”

– Jean Racine, Britannicus, 1669


My translation:

“All that I have predicted is only too real:
Nero has declared himself against Britannicus.
The impatient Nero has lost all self-restraint;
Weary of seeking to be loved, he would rather be feared.

In this first scene of Act I of the famous neoclassical French play, Agrippine, the mother of Emperor Nero, uneasily confides to her friend Albine about her son’s intention to steal away Junie, the fincée of Agrippine’s stepson Britannicus.

*(text bolding added)