Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT V. - 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 V. - 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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The scene represents a grove, with the ruins of rocks scattered about it.
- [Holding a box in her hand.
- And wilt thou leave me then? art thou subdued,
- Or art thou conqueror?
- Victory is mine:
- If yet thou lovest me, love and destiny
- Speak for Prometheus.
- The Titans are subdued: lament their fate:
- I must assist them; let us teach mankind
- To succor the unhappy.
- Stay a moment:
- Behold thy victory: let us open this,
- It was the gift of Jove.
- What wouldst thou do?
- A rival’s gift is dangerous; ’tis some snare
- The gods have laid.
- What I request of thee, and stay at least
- Till I return.
- Thou biddest, and I obey:
- I swear by love still to believe Prometheus.
- By thyself I swear:
- All are obedient where they love.
- I’m satisfied: and now, ye woodland nymphs,
- Begin your songs; sing earth restored to bliss;
- Let all be gay, for all was made for her.
- Come, fair Pandora, come and prove
- An age of gold, of innocence, and love;
- And, like thy parent Nature, be immortal.
- No longer now shall earth affrighted mourn,
- By cruel war her tender bosom torn:
- Pleasures now on pleasures flow,
- Happiness succeeds to woe:
- The flowers their fragrant odors yield;
- Who would wither the fair field?
- The blest creation teems with mirth and joy,
- And nature’s work what tyrant would destroy?
- Come, fair Pandora, come and prove
- An age of gold, etc.
- See! to Pandora Mercury appears,
- And ratifies great Nature’s kind decree.
- [The nymphs retire: Pandora advances with Nemesis, under the figure of Mercury.]
- Already I have told thee, base Prometheus
- Is jealous of thee, and exerts his power
- Like a harsh tyrant.
- O he is my lord,
- My king, my god, my lover, and my husband.
- Why then forbid thee to behold the gift
- Of generous heaven?
- His fearful love’s alarmed,
- And I would wish to have no will but his.
- He asks too much, Pandora, nor hath done
- What thou deservest: he might have given thee beauties
- Which now thou hast not.
- He hath formed my heart
- Tender and kind; he charms and he adores me;
- What could he more?
- Thou makest me tremble.
- This mysterious box
- Will make thy charms immortal; thou wilt be
- Forever beauteous, and forever happy:
- Thy husband shall be subject to thy power,
- And thou shalt reign unrivalled in his love.
- He is my only lord, and I would wish
- To be immortal, but for my Prometheus.
- Fain would I open thy fair eyes, and bless thee
- With every good; would make thee please forever.
- But dost thou not abuse my innocence?
- And canst thou be so cruel?
- Who would hurt
- Such beauty?
- I should die with grief, if e’er
- I disobliged the sovereign of my heart.
- O in the name of Nature, in the name
- Of thy dear husband, listen to my voice!
- That name has conquered, and I will believe thee.
- [She opens the box; darkness is spread over the stage, and a voice heard from below.]
- Ha! what thick cloud thus o’er my senses spreads
- Its fatal darkness? thou deceitful god!
- O I am guilty, and I suffer for it.
- I must away: Jove is revenged, and now
- I will return to hell.
- [Nemesis vanishes: Pandora faints away on the grass.]
- [Advancing from the farther end of the stage.
- O fatal absence! dreadful change! what star
- Of evil influence thus deforms the face
- Of Nature? where’s my dear Pandora? why
- Answers she not to my complaining voice?
- O my Pandora! but behold, from hell
- Let loose, the monsters rise, and rush upon us.
- [Furies and demons running on the stage.
- The time is come when we shall reign:
- Fear and grief, remorse and pain,
- From this great decisive hour,
- O’er the world shall spread their power;
- Death shall come, a bitter draught,
- By the Furies hither brought.
- That cruel guest shall powers infernal bring?
- And must the earth lose her eternal spring?
- To time, and dire disease, and horrid vice,
- Shall mortals fall a helpless sacrifice?
- The nymphs lament our fate: Pandora, hear
- And answer to my griefs! she comes, but seems
- I am not worthy of thee:
- I have destroyed mankind, deceived my husband,
- And am alone the guilty cause of all:
- Strike: I deserve it.
- Strike, and deprive me of that wretched life
- Thou didst bestow.
chorus of nymphs.
- Tenderest lover, dry her tears,
- She is full of lover’s fears;
- She is woman, therefore frail,
- Let her beauty then prevail.
- Hast thou then, spite of all thy solemn vows,
- Opened the fatal box?
- Some cruel god
- Betrayed me: fatal curiosity!
- The work was thine: O every evil sprung
- From that accursed gift: undone Pandora!
- [Descending from heaven.
- Love still remains, and every good is thine:
- [Scene changes, and represents the palace of love.]
- [Love proceeds.
- For thee will I resist the power of fate;
- I gave to mortals being, and they ne’er
- Shall be unhappy whilst they worship me.
- Soul of my soul, thou comforter divine,
- O punish Jove; inspire his vengeful heart
- With double passion for the blessed Pandora.
prometheus and pandora.
- Heaven shall pierce our hearts in vain
- With every grief, and every pain;
- With thee no pains torment, no pleasures cloy;
- With thee to suffer is but to enjoy.
- Lovely hope, on mortals wait;
- Come, and gild their wretched state;
- All thy flattering joys impart.
- Haste, and live in every heart;
- Howe’er deceitful thou mayest be,
- Thou canst grant felicity,
- And make them happy in futurity.
- Fate would make us wretched here,
- But hope shall dry up every tear;
- In sorrow he shall give us rest,
- And make us even in anguish blest:
- Love shall preserve us from the paths of vice,
- And strew his flowers around the precipice.
End of the Fifth and Last Act.
THE DRAMATIC WORKS OF VOLTAIRE
Vol. IX—Part II
THE SCOTCH WOMAN
Represented at Paris in 1760.