Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT IV. - 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 IV. - 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).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
vamir, amelia, emar.
- O Vamir, how the hand of heaven hath marked
- My life with sad variety of woe!
- The chance of war, that tore me from thy arms.
- Once more hath joined us; but, alas! we meet
- On mournful terms, meet but to part; my Vamir,
- Didst thou not say it must be so?
- It must:
- Thou seest me chained by honor’s laws beneath
- A rival’s power: my sacred word is given:
- Vamir may die, but must not follow thee.
- Thou who hast dared to fight, art thou afraid
- To flee from him?
- I am: my honor binds me:
- Take thou advantage of the general tumult,
- Which favors thy retreat: a guard attends
- To aid thy flight; heaven will protect thy virtues;
- Hope for the best.
- What can Amelia hope,
- When thou art from her?
- O but that day will be an age to me.
- Grant, heaven! my tears and terrors may be vain.
- The Moor, I know, thirsts for my Vamir’s blood;
- Thinkest thou thy brother will not give it him?
- He loves with fury, and he hates with rancor;
- His hatred, like his love, is in extreme:
- He is thy rival, and the Moor’s ally.
- I tremble for thee.
- O his impetuous passion knows no bounds!
- He must be taught to know them soon; the king
- Comes to avenge us; half his force already
- Throngs to the royal standard; if thou lovest me,
- Fly, my Amelia, from the impending storm,
- From dreadful slaughter, and the din of arms,
- And all the terrors of a bloody field;
- But, above all, avoid my furious rival,
- Whose jealous love despised, will turn to rage;
- Avoid an insult Vamir must avenge,
- Or perish in the attempt: my dear Amelia,
- Hope of my life, the only good on earth
- I have to boast, do not expose thyself
- To needless dangers, but retire in safety.
- Why wilt thou hazard then thy precious life,
- And stay without Amelia?
- When thou art safe,
- I shall not fear my brother; soon perhaps
- Vamir may prove his best support: to-day
- I am his prisoner, but perchance to-morrow
- May be his patron, and persuade the king
- To spare a rebel: to protect my rival
- Were noble triumph. Haste, Amelia, leave
- This seat of danger.
- Wheresoever fate
- Shall cast my hapless lot, I’ll carry with me
- My hatred and my love; ’midst every danger,
- In the wild desert, or the gloomy dungeon,
- In exile, or in chains, in death itself,
- Still shall I think of, still adore my Vamir:
- But O I cannot bear to live without thee!
- It is too much: thy griefs unman my soul.
- What noise was that? O thou hast staid too long!
amelia, vamir, duke of foix,Guards.
- I hear his voice; ’tis he: stay, villain, thou
- Who hast betrayed me.
- I betrayed thee not.
- Now satiate thy revenge, and take my life;
- Lose not a moment, for the hand of heaven
- Is raised against thee: tremble, slave, thy king
- Approaches: thou hast conquered none but Vamir:
- Thy master comes, take heed.
- He may avenge,
- But cannot save thee; for thy blood—
- O no,
- Amelia’s guilty: let Amelia die,
- And not my Vamir: I deceived thy guards,
- And bartered with them to assist my flight
- From hated slavery, and a tyrant’s power:
- Punish my crimes, but, O respect a brother,
- Respect thyself, thy own unblemished fame!
- He ne’er betrayed, but loves and would have served thee,
- Even when thy rage had doomed him to destruction.
- What crime has he committed? none, my lord,
- None but the crime of loving his Amelia.
- The more thou pleadest for him, the more his guilt:
- Thou art his murderer: thou, whose fatal charms
- Have poisoned all our happiness, and armed
- Our hands against each other, may the blood
- Of both fall on thee! now thou weepest; thy tears
- No longer shall deceive me: I must die,
- But Vamir first shall perish. Yet I love thee,
- Even yet thou mayest escape the fatal blow:
- Accept my hand, attend me to the altar,
- And seal his pardon there.
- Shall I be false to Vamir?
- Amelia, never let his threats o’ercome
- Thy noble faith, but love me well enough
- To see me perish: leave me to my fate;
- Now I shall fall triumphant: shouldst thou yield,
- Vamir must die by his Amelia’s hand.
- Guards, drag the traitor to the tower: away.
- And wilt thou make this horrid sacrifice?
- Pollute thee with the blood of innocence?
- Thou wilt not!
- Yes: to hate thee, and to die,
- Is all I wish; to see thee more unhappy,
- More wretched than myself, to shed the blood
- That’s dearest to thee, and to make thy days
- As full of woe as was that fatal hour
- Which hath destroyed us all. Away, and leave me;
- The sight of thee distracts me.
duke, amelia, lisois.
- From thy justice,
- And, that alone, I can expect relief.
- Help me to soften this obdurate heart:
- Assist me, Lisois.
- If thou listenest to her,
- Thou art not my friend.
- I call just heaven to witness.
- Hence from my sight: I loathe thee.
- Tyrant, go,
- For I abhor thee; spite of all thy rage,
- I thought a woman might at least command
- Some cold respect: but love, that softens all,
- Hath lost its tender influence o’er thy heart:
- I leave thee to thy rage; go, sacrifice
- Thy victims, amidst thy crimes be sure thou count
- Amelia’s death, and with it count thy own,
- For vengeance comes, and in thy punishment
- Unites us all; inglorious shalt thou perish,
- And unlamented. Die, inhuman savage;
- And may that hatred, that contempt of thee,
- Which now I feel, pursue thy memory,
- And after ages execrate thy name!
duke of foix, lisois.
- Yes, cruel prophet, I expect the doom
- Pronounced by thee, that discord’s fatal hand
- Shall seize on all, and join us in the tomb.
- Rage has o’erpowered him, and his senses fail.
- What says my friend? am I to suffer shame
- And insult thus; and shall my haughty rival
- Bear off the false, perfidious, dear Amelia?
- Wilt thou bear this, or waitest thou till the traitor
- Shall raise a powerful faction to enslave me?
- Too well I see, my lord, the royal party
- Hath spread sedition through the multitude,
- And shook their faith.
- Vamir lights up the flame:
- He has betrayed us all.
- I never meant
- To palliate Vamir’s crimes, for much I dread
- The fatal consequence; already France
- Is armed against us. If the people seek
- Their safety in rebellion, all is lost,
- Danger’s on every side.
- Prevent it; rage and love must be subdued;
- Then may we conquer all. We must be firm
- And resolute; avoid, or brave the storm,
- Do as thou wilt, my hand is ready still
- To aid my friend. This morning thou hadst thoughts
- Of treating with the king: if thou commandest,
- I’ll go, my lord, even now, and sue for peace;
- Or if we try the fortune of the day,
- The faithful Lisois shall attend thee still:
- There, if thou fallest, thy friend shall not survive thee.
- Alone I will descend into the grave:
- Live thou, to serve my cause, and to avenge me.
- My hour is come, I must fulfil my fate:
- Who wishes but for death, is sure to find it;
- But mine should come with all his terrors round him;
- I must have vengeance; and whene’er I fall,
- Will drag my rival with me to the tomb.
- What horrid thoughts are these!
- In yonder tower
- He is confined: ’tis under thy command,
- And thou didst promise, that whene’er—
- Of whom
- Speakest thou, my lord? a brother?
- No: a traitor,
- My worst of foes, a rival who abhors me;
- One who has robbed me of my dearest treasure:
- The Moor demands his head, and I have promised
- To give it him.
- Ha! promised to shake off
- The bonds of nature and humanity!
- Long since they had proscribed him.
- And to them,
- Thou yieldest his life?
- Not to their vengeance only,
- But to my own, which shall be satisfied.
- What is the Moor to me, or what my country?
- To love then you would make the sacrifice,
- And I must be the executioner.
- No: I expect not so much justice from thee;
- I am a wretch, abandoned and forlorn,
- Betrayed by love, deserted by my friend;
- But there are those who yet will keep their promise;
- Others, perhaps, may serve me, nor allege
- Such poor excuses for ingratitude.
- [After a long silence.
- I am resolved; and be it guilt or justice,
- Ne’er shalt thou say that Lisois hath betrayed thee:
- Thou art unhappy: Vamir is a traitor.
- It is enough; I love thee, and consent:
- There is a time for desperate extremes,
- When duties the most sacred must give way
- To hard necessity: at such an hour
- I cannot suffer thee to try the faith
- Of any heart but mine: success alone
- Must prove my friendship: soon shalt thou determine
- Whether thy Lisois loved thee, and was faithful.
- Once more in sorrow I behold a friend;
- Deserted by the world, in thee I find
- My only refuge: thou wilt not permit
- A haughty rival to insult my rage,
- To trample on my ashes, and enjoy
- My kingdom in the arms of my Amelia.
- I will not; but in recompense for this,
- I must demand another sacrifice.
- I cannot bear the Moor,
- Our insolent protector; cannot bear
- To see him lord it o’er thy noble subjects.
- I would not serve a tyrant, nor submit
- To shameful slavery for a poor support
- We do not want; ’tis in our power at least
- To die without him: leave to me, my lord,
- The conduct of this day, perhaps my service
- May claim it of thee: Lisois and the Moor
- Would ne’er agree: I must command alone,
- To the last hour.
- Thou shalt: I’ll give thee all
- Thou canst desire, let but Amelia feel
- Despair like mine, and weep in tears of blood
- Her treacherous lover: let me hear her groans
- In my last moments to delight my soul;
- And for the rest, ’tis equal all: to thee
- I trust my glory; go, dispose, command,
- Prepare thee for the field. I hope not now
- For victory, nor for honorable death;
- For what is honor to a heart like mine,
- Sunk in despair! O be the sad remembrance
- Of a false mistress, and a cruel rival,
- Buried with me in everlasting silence!
- Eternal night, if possible, should hide
- Such dreadful deeds: would death had closed our eyes
- Before this day of horrors; but I go
- To keep my word, and save my friend. Farewell.
End of the Fourth Act.