Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT III. - The Works of Voltaire, Vol. IX The Dramatic Works Part 1 (Alzire, Orestes, Sémiramis, Catiline, Pandora) and Part II (The Scotch Woman, Nanine, The Prude, The Tatler).
ACT III. - Voltaire, The Works of Voltaire, Vol. IX The Dramatic Works Part 1 (Alzire, Orestes, Sémiramis, Catiline, Pandora) and Part II (The Scotch Woman, Nanine, The Prude, The Tatler). 
From The Works of Voltaire, A Contemporary Version, (New York: E.R. DuMont, 1901), A Critique and Biography by John Morley, notes by Tobias Smollett, trans. William F. Fleming. Vol. IX The Dramatic Works Part 1 (Alzire, Orestes, Sémiramis, Catiline, Pandora) and Part II (The Scotch Woman, Nanine, The Prude, The Tatler).
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- Ye manes of my dear departed Zamor,
- Forgive me, O forgive the wife of Guzman!
- The holy altar hath received our vows,
- And they are sealed in heaven: pursue me not,
- Indignant shade! O if Alzire’s tears,
- Her bitter anguish, her remorse, the pangs
- Of her reluctant soul, can reach the dead,
- If in a happier world thou still retainest
- Thy generous noble spirit, thou wilt pardon
- My weakness; ’twas a father’s cruel will,
- A people’s happiness required it of me;
- Could I refuse the dreadful sacrifice?
- Thou art at peace, my Zamor, do not thus
- Distract my soul, but leave me to my fate;
- Alas! already it has cost me dear.
- And shall I not behold my countrymen,
- The loved companions of my infant years,
- Those wretched captives, may I not enjoy
- The mournful privilege to mix with theirs
- My friendly tears, and mourn their cruel fate?
- O madam, we have cause indeed to weep,
- To dread the wrath of Guzman, to lament
- And tremble for our country; for the hour
- Of slaughter and destruction is at hand:
- Again I saw the bloody flag displayed,
- The proud tribunal’s met, and Montezuma
- Is summoned to appear: all dreadful omens!
- What will become of us?
- Unpitying heaven!
- I’ve been deceived, betrayed:—cruel O Guzman!
- Was it for this I gave him at the altar
- My long reluctant hand? that fatal bond
- I shall repent of to my latest hour:
- O under what malignant star, my father,
- Madest thou these cruel, these detested nuptials?
alzire, emira, cephanes.
- One of those slaves, whom this propitious day
- Restored to freedom, begs admittance to you
- In secret.
- Let him enter; ’twill rejoice
- My heart to see him; he and all his friends
- Are welcome to Alzire: but why comes he
- Some secret labors in his breast,
- Which you and only you, he says, must know.
- ’Twas he, it seems, whose heaven-directed arm
- Saved the good father of thy valiant lord,
- The noble Guzman.
- He has sought you long;
- But Montezuma’s private orders were,
- He should not see you: melancholy sits
- On his dark brow, as if he were intent
- On some great purpose.
- Grief and anguish seem
- To rack his soul: at mention of your name
- He sighed, and wept, as if yet ignorant
- Of your new honors and the rank you bear.
- Unworthy rank, and honors I despise!
- Perhaps the hero knows my wretched race.
- And is no stranger to Alzire’s woes:
- Perhaps he knew my Zamor; who can tell
- But he might be a witness of his death,
- And comes to tell the melancholy tale?
- A dreadful duty! that would but renew
- A lover’s pangs, and double my distress;
- But let him come: I know not why my heart
- Should flutter thus; this hateful palace ever
- Hath been a scene of sad disquietude
- And trouble to me: bid him enter.
alzire, zamor, emira.
- It is Alzire: is she then restored?
- Such were his features, voice, and motion: heaven!
- It cannot be: O Zamor!—O support me.
- [She faints.
- Ha! Zamor at Alzire’s feet?
- ’Tis all delusion.
- No; I live for thee,
- And at thy feet reclaim thy plighted faith;
- O my Alzire, idol of my soul,
- Wilt thou not hear me? where are all thy vows,
- The sacred ties that bound us fast together?
- Thou hast not broke them?
- Thou dear fatal object
- Of grief and joy, of rapture and despair,
- In what a dreadful moment hast thou chose
- To meet Alzire? every word thou utterest
- But plunges a new dagger in my heart.
- Thou weepest, yet lookest on Zamor!
- I know you thought me dead: e’er since that hour
- Of terror, when those European tyrants
- Deprived me of my gods, my throne and thee,
- I’ve been a poor unhappy wanderer.
- Knowest thou, my love, that savage murderer, Guzman,
- With ignominious stripes, and cruel torture,
- Insulted me? the husband of thy choice,
- Thy once loved happy Zamor, fell a prey
- To ruffians:—how it wounds thy tender heart!
- Thou burnest with fierce resentment of my wrongs,
- And thou wilt join with Zamor to avenge them:
- Some guardian god, propitious to our loves,
- Saved me from death, that we might meet again
- In happiness: I hope Alzire’s true:
- Thou hast not left thy gods, betrayed thy country,
- Thou art not grown a false perfidious Spaniard?
- They tell me I shall meet with Guzman here,
- I come to free thee from that proud barbarian:
- Thou lovest me, my Alzire, and wilt give
- The victim to my wrath.
- Thou hast been wronged;
- Revenge thyself and see thy victim—here.
- What sayest thou?—ha! thy faith, thy vows—
- No more,
- But strike—I merit not life or thee.
- O cruel Montezuma! what thou toldest me
- Was but too true.
- And could he tell thee all;
- Named he the wretch for whom I quitted Zamor?
- He did not, durst not name him; that remains
- For thee: O speak it: I shall be surprised
- At nothing.
- Thy murderer,
- Within this hour received my guilty hand;
- He is—my husband.
- Alvarez—they betrayed my easy youth,
- And urged me to the deed: the lost Alzire
- Did at the Christian altar give up all
- That she held dear on earth, her gods, her country,
- Her—Zamor: O by those dear injured names
- I beg thee, take this hated life.
- Can it be true? is Guzman then thy husband?
- To plead a father’s undisputed right,
- To say how long I struggled with my duty,
- To number o’er the fruitless tears I shed
- For three long years lamenting Zamor’s death,
- That still I loved thee, that I left in wrath
- Those powerless gods that had deserted thee.
- And from despair alone became a Christian,
- Perhaps might mitigate Alzire’s crime;
- But I disdain it, I acknowledge all,
- Confess my guilt, and sue for punishment.
- Who shall absolve the wretch whom love condemns?
- Take then a life that is not worth my care
- Without thee; dost thou not abhor me, Zamor?
- No: if thou lovest me still, thou are not guilty:
- May I yet hope that Zamor has a place
- In his Alzire’s heart?
- When old Alvarez
- And Montezuma led me to the altar
- I thought on Zamor, thought him then no more,
- But reverenced, but adored his memory:
- Our tyrants, our usurpers know I loved thee;
- I told them all, told heaven and earth, nay told
- My husband—and O take this last farewell,
- I love thee still.
- Is this then our last hour
- Of happiness, and must we part so soon,
- So lately met? O if the voice of love—
- ’Tis Guzman and his father.
alvarez, guzman, zamor, alzire,Attendants.
- [To Guzman.
- Son, behold
- With thy Alzire stands my great preserver,
- My benefactor, my deliverer.
- [To Zamor.
- O noble youth, to thee I owe my life,
- Let me embrace thee, be my second son,
- And share the pleasures of this happy day
- With Guzman and Alvarez.
- He thy son;
- Guzman then thy son, that proud barbarian?
- Avert the terrors of this dreadful moment,
- Indulgent heaven!
- How could a father, brave and good, like thee
- Be cursed with such a son?
- Insulting slave,
- Who gave thee license thus to spurn thy master?
- Thou knowest not who I am.
- I know thee well;
- And thou among the wretches thou hast made
- Perhaps mayest one day meet the injured Zamor.
- ’Tis the same,
- ’Tis Zamor, whom thy cruel hand oppressed
- With ignominious tortures, he whose eye
- Thou darest not meet; thou tyrant ravisher,
- Comest thou at last to rob me of my best
- And dearest treasure? with thy ruthless sword
- Make sure thy vengeance, and prevent the fate
- Which thou deservest, ere Zamor, who preserved
- The father, shall chastise the guilty son.
- [To Guzman.
- What sayest thou, Guzman, canst thou answer this?
- It were beneath me; punishment alone
- Should answer insolence, and, but for thee,
- Ere this he should have met with it.
- [Turning to Alzire.
- You, madam,
- For your own honor might have more regard,
- If not for mine, than thus to parley with
- A traitor: come, no more of this, Alzire,
- Thy tears offend me: husbands may be jealous;
- Remember that and tremble.
- [To Guzman.
- Cruel Guzman!
- My kind protector,
- [Turning to Alvarez.
- Good Alvarez, hear me:
- And thou,
- [To Zamor.
- In better days my dearest hope,
- O look with pity on the lost Alzire!
- [Pointing to Zamor.
- Behold the husband whom my father chose;
- Long ere this hapless country bowed the neck
- To European tyrants, Zamor fell,
- So fame reported, and with him Peru,
- Then first subdued: my wretched father, old
- And full of sorrows, to the Christian’s God,
- Forsaken by his own, indignant fled;
- The Christian altar saw Alzire’s hand
- Given to her lover’s murderer: thy new faith,
- Which yet I know not, may condemn Alzire,
- But virtue will forgive me when I add,
- That still I love thee, Zamor; but my oath,
- My marriage vow, rash fatal marriage! says
- I never must be thine—nor can I now
- Be Guzman’s—false to both, ye both have cause
- To hate me: which of you will kindly end
- My wretched being? Guzman’s hand, already
- Stained with the blood of my unhappy race,
- Were fittest to revenge the injured rights
- Of honor and of love; be just for once,
- And strike the guilty.
- Darest thou thus abuse
- The goodness thou deservest not? but remember
- ’Twas thy request; thy punishment is ready:
- My rival dies;—away with him.
- O stop, my son, consider what is due
- To him who saved thy father—ye are both
- My children—let that tender name inspire
- Your breasts with pity for an aged father:
- At least—
alvarez, guzman, alzire, zamor.
don alonzo,a Spanish officer.
- My lord, the foe is at our gates;
- On every side their brazen bucklers ring
- With barbarous dissonance: aloud they cry,
- Revenge, and Zamor, whilst with measured steps,
- Solemn and slow, the close-wedged phalanx moves,
- As if these savages had learned from us
- The arts by which we conquered them.
- Let us be gone; my presence soon shall teach
- These slaves their duty—heroes of Castile,
- Ye sons of victory, this new world was made
- To wear your chains, to fear, and to obey you.
- To fear and to obey? ’tis false, proud Guzman;
- Ye are but mortals like ourselves, no more.
- [To the Spaniards surrounding him.
- Ye dare not: are ye gods,
- And must we worship deities thus bathed
- In our own blood?
- Remember, son, that Zamor saved thy father.
- My lord, I shall remember your instructions,
- You taught me how to conquer, and I fly
- Once more to victory: farewell!
- My lord,
- Behold me at your feet, accept the homage
- Due to thy virtues! Guzman’s injured honor
- Calls for revenge, Alzire was to blame;
- But I was bound to Zamor by the ties
- Of sacred love, long ere I knew thy son;
- We cannot give our hearts a second time:
- Zamor had mine, and ever must preserve it:
- O he is good and virtuous, for he saved
- Thy life, Alvarez—O forgive me!
- Alzire, I forgive and pity thee;
- Feel as a father and a friend thy sorrows,
- Lament thy Zamor’s fate, and will protect him:
- But let the solemn vow thou madest to Guzman
- Be graved within thy heart; thou are no longer
- The mistress of thyself: remember well
- Thou art my daughter—Guzman was most cruel,
- I know he was, but still he is—thy husband:
- Perhaps he may relent; heaven grant he may!
- Alas! why art not thou my Zamor’s father?
End of the Third Act.