Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT IV. - 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 IV. - 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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- Fortune, my son, has crowned thee with success,
- Endeavor to deserve it; do not stain
- The laurel wreath with blood, but let fair mercy,
- That adds new lustre to the conqueror’s glory,
- Inspire thy breast with pity; be a man,
- A Christian, and forgive: Alvarez asks thee
- To pardon Zamor—shall a father plead
- In vain? O Guzman, shall I never soften
- Thy savage manners, never teach my son
- To conquer hearts?
- Alvarez has pierced mine
- Most deeply; ask my life, and it is yours,
- But leave my honor, leave me my revenge;
- How can I pardon Zamor, when I know
- Alzire loves him?
- Therefore he deserves
- Thy pity more.
- O to be pitied thus,
- And thus beloved, Guzman would die with pleasure.
- With all that fierce resentment, feelest thou too
- The pangs of jealousy?
- And canst thou blame
- An injured husband? I have too much cause
- For jealousy, and yet thou pitiest not
- The unhappy Guzman.
- Thou art wild, impetuous,
- And bitter in thy wrath; Alzire’s virtues
- Deserve a milder treatment; when opposed,
- Her open heart, rough as her native soil,
- Resists with stubborn firmness, but would yield
- To soft persuasion; gentle means, my son,
- Are ever the most powerful.
- Must I soothe
- The pride of beauty, wear a brow serene,
- And cover my resentment, to expose
- My easy heart to new indignities?
- I should have thought that, jealous of my honor
- You would approve, and not condemn my rage:
- Is it not shame enough that I am wedded
- To a proud slave who hates me, braves my power,
- And owns her heart is given to another?
- Whom yet, to make me more accursed, I love.
- Why blush at that? it is a lawful passion,
- Indulge, but keep it within proper bounds,
- For all excess is guilty—only promise
- You will determine nothing till I’ve seen her
- Once more.
- A father’s will must be obeyed;
- I will suspend my wrath, but urge me, sir,
- No further.
- All I want is time: farewell.
- And have I lived to envy Zamor’s fate,
- To envy a vile slave, who scarce deserves
- The name of man!—What do I see? Alzire!
guzman, alzire, emira.
- ’Tis I, my lord, ’tis the afflicted wife
- Of Guzman; she who honors, who reveres
- And yet has injured thee: I come, my lord,
- To throw me at your feet, to own my crime,
- And beg forgiveness: nought have I disguised,
- My open heart confessed its fatal passion
- For the unhappy Zamor; if he dies,
- He dies because Alzire was sincere;
- But I shall more astonish thee, I come
- To plead for him: I know that Guzman’s proud,
- Resentful, and severe, and yet I hope
- He may be generous, ’tis a conqueror’s pride,
- His glory to forgive: an act like this
- Would gain thee more than conquest can bestow,
- Win every heart, perhaps even change Alzire’s.
- A fawning Spaniard might have promised more,
- Have sighed, and wept, and softened thee with tears,
- Which I disdain; the hand of nature formed
- My plain untutored heart, if ought can move it,
- ’Tis generosity: let Guzman try
- If it is made of penetrable mould.
- If you’re so fond of virtue, ’twould become you
- To know and practise it, to study, madam,
- Those manners you condemn, to learn your duty,
- To treat yourself, your honor, and your fame
- With more respect; nor dare to name a rival
- Whom I abhor, but wait in humble silence
- Till I determine what shall be his fate;
- It is enough if I forgive Alzire:
- This heart is not insensible; but know,
- Those who believe shall always find me cruel.
- He loves you still, and yet may be persuaded.
- Ay, but he’s jealous, that destroys my Zamor,
- I lost his life by asking it; but say,
- Emira, canst thou save him? shall he live,
- Though far from his Alzire? didst thou try
- That soldier?
- Yes; the grand corrupter, gold,
- Has bought him to our interest; he is ready.
- Thank heaven, that metal doth not always prove
- The instrument of ill: but haste, Emira.
- Is Zamor then devoted to destruction?
- Cannot Alvarez save him? have the council—
- I have a thousand fears for him: alas!
- These tyrants think the world was made for them,
- That they were born the sovereigns of mankind,
- That Zamor is a rebel and a slave:
- Barbarians as they are—this cruel council—
- But I’ll prevent their murderous purposes:
- That soldier, my Emira, how he lingers!
- Be not alarmed; night’s friendly shade protects him,
- And he will soon be here with Zamor; sleep
- Hath closed the tyrant’s eyes, and we are safe.
- O let him lead me to the prison gate
- That I may set him free.
- Behold, he comes:
- But should ye be discovered, foul dishonor,
- Disgrace, and infamy—
- Attend on her
- Who would betray the man she loves; this shame
- Thou talkest of is a European phantom,
- Which fools mistake for virtue! ’tis the love
- Of glory not of justice, not the fear
- Of vice but of reproach; a shame unknown
- In these untutored climes, where honor shines
- In its own native light, and scorns the aid
- Of such false lustre; honor bids me save
- A lover and a hero thus deserted.
alzire, zamor, emira,a soldier.
- O Zamor, all is lost, thy punishment
- Already is prepared, and thou art doomed
- To instant death; lose not a moment’s time,
- But haste away, this soldier will conduct thee:
- Alas! thou seest my grief and my despair,
- O save my husband from the guilt of murder,
- Save thy dear self, and leave me to my fate.
- Thou bidst me live, I must obey Alzire:
- But wilt thou follow the poor friendless Zamor?
- A desert and this heart are all I now
- Have left to offer; once I had a throne.
- What were a throne and empire without thee?
- Alas! my Zamor, to the gloomy desert
- My soul shall follow thee; but I am doomed
- To wander here alone, to drag a life
- Of bitterness and woe, to spend my hours
- In sad reflections on my wretched state,
- To be another’s, and yet burn for thee:
- I bid farewell to Zamor and to joy;
- Away, and leave me to my duty; fain
- Would I preserve my honor, and my love,
- They both are sacred.
- What’s this idle honor,
- This European phantom, that deludes thee;
- This Christian altar, those detested oaths
- Extorted from thee, this triumphant God;
- What have they done to rob me of Alzire?
- ’Twas a guilty vow,
- And binds thee not; perdition on thy oaths,
- And thy false God, whom I abhor! farewell!
- Do not upbraid but pity me.
- O think
- On our past loves.
- I think but on thy danger.
- No; I love thee still:
- If ’tis a crime, I own, nay glory in it;
- But hence, and leave me here to die alone;
- Some dreadful purpose labors in thy breast:
- How thy eyes roll! O Zamor—
- Glorious liberty,
- I’ll use thee nobly.
- If thou diest remember
- I perish with thee.
- In this hour of terror
- Thou talkest to me of love: but time is precious,
- Conduct me, soldier; fare thee well.
- He’s gone;
- But where I know not: dreadful moment! Guzman,
- For thee I quitted Zamor: haste, Emira,
- Follow him, fly, return, and tell me all.
- Thinkest thou that soldier will be faithful to us?
- [Exit Emira.
- I know not why, but something tells me here,
- This day, for me, will be a day of horror.
- O God of Christians, thou all-conquering power,
- Whom yet I know not, O remove the cloud
- From my dark mind; if by my fatal passion
- I have offended thee, pour all thy vengeance
- On me, but spare my Zamor; O conduct
- His wandering footsteps through the dreary desert!
- Is Europe only worthy of thy care?
- Art thou the partial parent of one world,
- And tyrant o’er another? all deserve
- Thy equal love, the victor and the vanquished
- Are all the work of thy creating hand.
- But hark! what dreadful cry is that? methought
- They called on Zamor—hark! again that noise!
- It comes this way: my Zamor’s lost.
- I’m glad thou art come: what hast thou seen, what done?
- Where is he? speak, and ease my troubled soul.
- O it is past all hope; he cannot live:
- Conducted safely by the faithful soldier
- He passed the guards, then darting from him rushed
- Towards the palace; trembling I pursued him,
- Amidst the horrors of the silent night,
- Almost to Guzman’s chamber; there he escaped me,
- Though oft I called on him, oft looked in vain:
- I heard a dreadful shriek, some cried aloud,
- He’s dead: the palace is in arms: fly, madam,
- And save yourself.
- Let us begone, and help
- My Zamor.
alzire, emira, don alonzo,Guards.
- I’ve orders, madam, to secure you.
- What meanest thou? where’s my Zamor?
- That I know not:
- Permit me to conduct you.
- Cruel fate!
- I must not die then? Zamor is no more,
- And yet I live, a captive, and in chains:
- O ignominious!—dost thou weep, barbarian?
- I must indeed be wretched, if my woes
- Can touch a heart like thine; I’ll follow thee;
- If death awaits me, I obey with pleasure.
End of the Fourth Act.