Fiction > Harvard Classics > Christopher Marlowe > Doctor Faustus
Christopher Marlowe (1564–1593).  Doctor Faustus.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Scene VII
[The Pope’s Privy-chamber.]

  Faust.  Having now, my good Mephistophilis,
Passed with delight the stately town of Trier, 1
Environ’d round with airy mountain-tops,
With walls of flint, and deep entrenched lakes,        5
Not to be won by any conquering prince;
From Paris next, coasting the realm of France,
We saw the river Maine fall into Rhine,
Whose banks are set with groves of fruitful vines;
Then up to Naples, rich Campania,        10
Whose buildings fair and gorgeous to the eye,
The streets straight forth, and pav’d with finest brick,
Quarter the town in four equivalents.
There saw we learned Maro’s 2 golden tomb,
The way he cut, an English mile in length,        15
Thorough a rock of stone in one night’s space;
From thence to Venice, Padua, and the rest,
In one of which a sumptuous temple stands,
That threats the stars with her aspiring top.
Thus hitherto has Faustus spent his time:        20
But tell me, now, what resting-place is this?
Hast thou, as erst I did command,
Conducted me within the walls of Rome?
  Meph.  Faustus, I have; and because we will not be unprovided, I have taken up his Holiness’ privy-chamber for our use.
  Faust.  I hope his Holiness will bid us welcome.        25
  Meph.  Tut, ’tis no matter, man, we’ll be bold with his good cheer.
And now, my Faustus, that thou may’st perceive
What Rome containeth to delight thee with,
Know that this city stands upon seven hills
That underprop the groundwork of the same.        30
[Just through the midst runs flowing Tiber’s stream,
With winding banks that cut it in two parts:]
Over the which four stately bridges lean,
That make safe passage to each part of Rome:
Upon the bridge called Ponte Angelo        35
Erected is a castle passing strong,
Within whose walls such store of ordnance are,
And double cannons fram’d of carved brass,
As match the days within one complete year;
Besides the gates and high pyramides,        40
Which Julius Cæsar brought from Africa.
  Faust.  Now by the kingdoms of infernal rule,
Of Styx, of Acheron, and the fiery lake
Of ever-burning Phlegethon, I swear
That I do long to see the monuments        45
And situation of bright-splendent Rome:
Come therefore, let’s away.
  Meph.  Nay, Faustus, stay: I know you’d see the Pope,
And take some part of holy Peter’s feast,
Where thou shalt see a troop of bald-pate friars,        50
Whose summum bonum is in belly-cheer.
  Faust.  Well, I’m content to compass then some sport,
And by their folly make us merriment.
Then charm me, [Mephistophilis,] that I
May be invisible, to do what I please        55
Unseen of any whilst I stay in Rome.  [MEPHISTOPHILIS charms him.]
  Meph.  So, Faustus, now
Do what thou wilt, thou shalt not be discern’d.
Sound a sennett. 3 Enter the POPE and the CARDINAL of LORRAIN to the banquet, with FRIARS attending
  Pope.  My Lord of Lorrain, wilt please you draw near?        60
  Faust.  Fall to, and the devil choke you an 4 you spare!
  Pope.  How now! Who’s that which spake?—Friars, look about.
  First Friar. Here’s nobody, if it like your Holiness.
  Pope.  My lord, here is a dainty dish was sent me from the Bishop of Milan.
  Faust.  I thank you, sir.  [Snatches the dish.]        65
  Pope.  How now! Who’s that which snatched the meat from me? Will no man look? My lord, this dish was sent me from the Cardinal of Florence.
  Faust.  You say true; I’ll ha’t.  [Snatches the dish.]
  Pope.  What, again! My lord, I’ll drink to your Grace.
  Faust.  I’ll pledge your Grace.  [Snatches the cup.]
  C. of Lor.  My lord, it may be some ghost newly crept out of purgatory, come to beg a pardon of your Holiness.        70
  Pope.  It may be so. Friars, prepare a dirge to lay the fury of this ghost. Once again, my lord, fall to.  The POPE crosses himself.
  Faust.  What, are you crossing of yourself?
Well, use that trick no more I would advise you.  The POPE crosses himself again.
Well, there’s the second time. Aware the third,
I give you fair warning.  The POPE crosses himself again, and Faustus hits him a box ’f the ear; and they all run away.        75
Come on, Mephistophilis, what shall we do?
  Meph.  Nay, I know not. We shall be curs’d with bell, book, and candle.
  Faust.  How! bell, book, and candle,—candle, book, and bell,
Forward and backward to curse Faustus to hell!
Anon you shall hear a hog grunt, a calf bleat, and an ass bray,        80
Because it is Saint Peter’s holiday.
Re-enter all the FRIARS to sing the Dirge
  1st Friar.  Come, brethren, let’s about our business with good devotion.
They sing:

Cursed be he that stole away his Holiness’ meat from the table! Maledicat Dominus! 5
Cursed be he that struck his Holiness a blow on the face! Maledicat Dominus!        85
Cursed be he that took Friar Sandelo a blow on the pate! Maledicat Dominus!
Cursed be he that disturbeth our holy dirge! Maledicat Dominus!
Cursed be he that took away his Holiness’ wine! Maledicat Dominus! Et omnes sancti! 6 Amen!  [MEPHISTOPHILIS and FAUSTUS beat the FRIARS, and fling fireworks among them: and so exeunt.
  Chorus.  When Faustus had with pleasure ta’en the view        90
Of rarest things, and royal courts of kings,
He stay’d his course, and so returned home;
Where such as bear his absence but with grief,
I mean his friends, and near’st companions,
Did gratulate his safety with kind words,        95
And in their conference of what befell,
Touching his journey through the world and air,
They put forth questions of Astrology,
Which Faustus answer’d with such learned skill,
As they admir’d and wond’red at his wit.        100
Now is his fame spread forth in every land;
Amongst the rest the Emperor is one,
Carolus the Fifth, at whose palace now
Faustus is feasted ’mongst his noblemen.
What there he did in trial of his art,        105
I leave untold—your eyes shall see perform’d.  [Exit.]
Note 1. Treves. [back]
Note 2. Virgil, who was reputed a magician in the Middle Ages, was buried at Naples. [back]
Note 3. “A particular set of notes on the trumpet or cornet, different from a flourish.”—Nares. [back]
Note 4. If. [back]
Note 5. “May the Lord curse him.” [back]
Note 6. “And all the saints.” [back]


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