The Works of Voltaire: A Contemporary Version [Dramas: Alzire; Orestes; Semiramis; Cataline; Pandora] - Vol. 17

The Works of Voltaire: A Contemporary Version [Dramas: Alzire; Orestes; Semiramis; Cataline; Pandora] - Vol. 17

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The Works of Voltaire: A Contemporary Version [Dramas: Alzire; Orestes; Semiramis; Cataline; Pandora] - Vol. 17

The Works of Voltaire: A Contemporary Version [Dramas: Alzire; Orestes; Semiramis; Cataline; Pandora] - Vol. 17

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In his preface to this play Voltaire says; "This tragedy, the fable of which is invented, and almost of a new species, was written with a view of showing how far superior the spirit of true religion is to the light of nature. The religion of a barbarian consists in offering up to his gods the blood of his enemies; a Christian badly instructed has seldom much more humanity: to be a strict observer of some unnecessary rites and ceremonies, and at the same time deficient in the most essential duties, to say certain prayers at particular times, and carefully to conceal his vices; this is his religion: that of a true Christian is to look upon all mankind as his brethren, to do them all the good in his power and pardon their offences: such is Guzman at the hour of death, and Alvarez during the whole course of his life; such a man was Henry IV., as I have described him, even with all his foibles: in every part of my writings I have endeavored to enforce that humanity which ought to be the distinguishing characteristic of a thinking being: the reader will always find in them (if I may venture to say so much of my own works) a desire to promote the happiness of all men, and an abhorrence of injustice and oppression: it is this, and this alone, which hath hitherto saved them from that obscurity to which their many inperfections would otherwise long since have condemned them."

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