Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT V. - The Works of Voltaire, Vol. VIII The Dramatic Works Part 1 (Mérope, Olympia, The Orphan of China, Brutus) and Part II (Mahomet, Amelia, Oedipus, Mariamne, Socrates).
ACT V. - Voltaire, The Works of Voltaire, Vol. VIII The Dramatic Works Part 1 (Mérope, Olympia, The Orphan of China, Brutus) and Part II (Mahomet, Amelia, Oedipus, Mariamne, Socrates). 
The Works of Voltaire. A Contemporary Version. A Critique and Biography by John Morley, notes by Tobias Smollett, trans. William F. Fleming (New York: E.R. DuMont, 1901). In 21 vols. Vol. VIII The Dramatic Works Part 1 (Mérope, Olympia, The Orphan of China, Brutus) and Part II (Mahomet, Amelia, Oedipus, Mariamne, Socrates).
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mahomet, omar,Guards at a distance.
- Zopir’s approaching death alarms the people,
- We have endeavored to appease their clamors,
- And disavowed all knowledge of the deed;
- To some, we called it the avenging hand
- Of heaven that favors thus its prophet’s cause:
- With others, we lament his fall, and boast
- Thy awful justice that will soon avenge it.
- The crowd attentive listen to thy praise,
- And all the danger of the storm is o’er;
- If aught remains of busy faction’s rage
- It is but as the tossing of the waves
- After the tempest, when the vault of heaven
- Is placid and serene.
- Be it our care
- To keep it so: where are my valiant bands?
- All ready; Osman in the dead of night
- By secret paths conducted them to Mecca.
- ’Tis strange that men must either be deceived
- Or forced into obedience: Seid knows not
- It is a father’s blood that he has shed?
- Who could inform him of it? he alone
- Who knew the secret is no more; Hercides
- Is gone, and Seid soon shall follow him;
- For know, he has already drunk the poison;
- His crime was punished ere it was committed:
- Even whilst he dragged his father to the altar
- Death lurked within his veins; he cannot live:
- Palmira, too, is safe; she may be useful:
- I’ve given her hopes of Seid’s pardon: that
- May win her to our cause; she dare not murmur,
- Besides, her heart is flexible and soft,
- Formed to obey, to worship Mahomet,
- And make him soon the happiest of mankind:
- Trembling and pale, behold! they bring her to thee.
- Collect my forces, Omar, and return.
- O heaven! where am I? gracious God!
- Be not alarmed; already I have fixed
- Thy fate and Mecca’s: know, the great event
- That fills thy soul with horror is a mystery
- ’Twixt heaven and me that’s not to be revealed:
- But thou art free, and happy: think no more
- Of Seid, nor lament him; leave to me
- The fate of men; be thankful for thy own:
- Thou knowest that Mahomet hath loved thee long,
- That I have ever been a father to thee;
- Perhaps a nobler fate, and fairer title
- May grace thee still, if thou deservest it; therefore
- Blot from thy memory the name of Seid,
- And let thy soul aspire to greater blessings
- Than it could dare to hope for; let thy heart
- Be my last noblest victory, and join
- The conquered world to own me for its master.
- What joys, what blessings, or what happiness
- Can I expect from thee, thou vile impostor?
- Thou bloody savage! This alone was wanting,
- This cruel insult to complete my woes:
- Eternal Father, look upon this king,
- This holy prophet, this all-powerful god
- Whom I adored: thou monster, to betray
- Two guiltless hearts into the crying sin
- Of parricide; thou infamous seducer
- Of my unguarded youth, how darest thou think,
- Stained as thou art with my dear father’s blood,
- To gain Palmira’s heart? but know, proud tyrant,
- Thou art not yet invincible: the veil
- Is off that hid thee, and the hand of vengeance
- Upraised to scourge thy guilt: dost thou not hear
- The maddening multitude already armed
- In the defence of injured innocence?
- From death’s dark shades my murdered father comes
- To lead them on: O that these feeble hands
- Could tear thee piece-meal, thee and all thy train!
- Would I could see them weltering in their blood;
- See Mecca, and Medina, Asia, all
- Combined against thee! that the credulous world
- Would shake off thy vile chains, and thy religion
- Become the jest and scorn of all mankind
- To after ages! may that hell, whose threats
- Thou hast so often denounced ’gainst all who dared
- To doubt thy false divinity, now open
- Her fiery gates, and be thy just reward!
- These are the thanks I owe thee for thy bounties,
- And these the prayers I made for Mahomet.
- I see I am betrayed; but be it so:
- Whoe’er thou art, learn henceforth to obey;
- For know, my heart—
mahomet, palmira, omar, ali,Attendants.
- The secret is revealed;
- Hercides told it in his dying moments:
- The people all enraged have forced the prison:
- They’re up in arms, and bearing on their shoulders
- The bloody corpse of their unhappy chief,
- Lament his fate, and cry aloud for vengeance:
- All is confusion: Seid at their head
- Excites them to rebellion, and cries out,
- “I am a parricide;” with rage and grief
- He seems distracted; with one voice the crowd
- Unite to curse the prophet and his God:
- Even those who promised to admit our forces
- Within the walls of Mecca, have conspired
- With them to raise their desperate arms against thee;
- And naught is heard but cries of death and vengeance.
- Just heaven pursue him, and defend the cause
- Of innocence!
- [To Omar.
- Well, what have we to fear?
- Omar, my lord, with your few faithful friends,
- Despising danger, are prepared to brave
- The furious storm, and perish at your feet.
- Alone I will defend you all; come near:
- Behold, and say I act like Mahomet.
mahomet, omar,and his Party one side,seid,and the People on the other.palmirain the middle.
- Avenge my father, seize the traitor.
- Born to obey me, listen to your master.
- Hear not the monster; follow me:
- [He comes forward a little, and then staggers.
- O heaven!
- What sudden darkness spreads o’er my dim eyes?
- Now strike, my friends—O I am dying.
- My brother, canst thou shed
- No blood but Zopir’s?
- Yes: come on—I cannot;
- Some god unnerves me.
- [He faints.
- Hence let every foe
- Of Mahomet be taught to fear and tremble:
- Know, ye proud infidels, this hand alone
- Hath power to crush you all, to me the God
- Of nature delegates his sovereign power:
- Acknowledge then his prophet, and his laws,
- ’Twixt Mahomet and Seid let that God
- Decide the contest, which of us forever
- Is guilty, now, this moment let him perish!
- My brother—Seid—can this monster boast
- Such power? the people stand astonished at him,
- And tremble at his voice; and wilt thou yield
- To Mahomet?
- [Supported by his attendants.
- Alas! the hand of heaven
- Is on me, and the involuntary crime
- Is too severely punished: O Palmira,
- In vain was Seid virtuous: O if heaven
- Chastises thus our errors, what must crimes
- Like thine expect, detested Mahomet?
- What cause hast thou to tremble—O I die;
- Receive me, gracious heaven, and spare Palmira.
- ’Tis not, ye people, ’tis not angry heaven
- Pursues my Seid. No: he’s poisoned—
[Interrupting her, and addressing himself to the people.
- From Seid’s fate, ye unbelievers, how
- To reverence Mahomet whom heaven defends;
- Nature and death, ye see, have heard my voice,
- And this pale corpse hath witnessed their obedience;
- The sword of fate hangs o’er your heads, beware
- It fall not on you: thus will I reward
- All impious rebels, all vile infidels,
- And punish every word and thought against me.
- If I withhold my rage, and let you live,
- Remember, traitors, that you owe your beings
- To my indulgence; hasten to the temple.
- Prostrate yourselves before the throne of grace,
- And deprecate the wrath of Mahomet.
- [The people retire.
- O stay, and hear me, people—the barbarian
- Poisoned my brother—monster, raised by crimes
- To empire thus, and deified by guilt,
- Thou murderer of Palmira’s hapless race,
- Complete thy work, and take my wretched life:
- O my dear brother, let me follow thee!
- [She seizes her brother’s sword and stabs herself.
- ’Tis too late; I die:
- And dying hope a God more just than thine
- Has yet in store a state of happiness
- For injured innocence: let Mahomet
- Reign here in peace: this world was made for tyrants.
- She’s gone; she’s lost; the only dear reward
- I wished to keep of all my crimes: in vain
- I fought, and conquered; Mahomet is wretched
- Without Palmira: Conscience, now I feel thee,
- And feel that thou canst rive the guilty heart.
- O thou eternal God, whom I have made
- The instrument of ill, whom I have wronged,
- Braved, and blasphemed; O thou whom yet I fear,
- Behold me self-condemned, behold me wretched,
- Even whilst the world adores me: vain was all
- My boasted power: I have deceived mankind;
- But how shall I impose on my own heart?
- A murdered father, and two guiltless children
- Must be avenged: come, ye unhappy victims,
- And end me quickly!—Omar, we must strive
- To hide this shameful weakness, save my glory,
- And let me reign o’er a deluded world:
- For Mahomet depends on fraud alone,
- And to be worshipped never must be known.
End of the Fifth and Last Act.