Fiction > Harvard Classics > Christopher Marlowe > Doctor Faustus
Christopher Marlowe (1564–1593).  Doctor Faustus.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Scene III
[A Grove.]

Enter FAUSTUS to conjure
  Faust.  Now that the gloomy shadow of the earth
Longing to view Orion’s drizzling look,
Leaps from the antarctic world unto the sky,
And dims the welkin with her pitchy breath,        5
Faustus, begin thine incantations,
And try if devils will obey thy hest,
Seeing thou hast pray’d and sacrific’d to them.
Within this circle is Jehovah’s name,
Forward and backward anagrammatis’d,        10
The breviated names of holy saints,
Figures of every adjunct to the Heavens,
And characters of signs and erring 1 stars,
By which the spirits are enforc’d to rise:
Then fear not, Faustus, but be resolute,        15
And try the uttermost magic can perform.
  Sint mihi Dei Acherontis propitii! Valeat numen triplex Jehovae! Ignei, aerii, aquatani spiritus, salvete! Orientis princeps Belzebub, inferni ardentis monarcha, et Demogorgon, propitiamus vos, ut appareat et surgat Mephistophilis. Quid tu moraris? per Jehovam, Gehennam et consecratum aquam quam nunc spargo, signumque crucis quod nunc facio, et per vota nostra, ipse nunc surgat nobis dicatus Mephistophilis! 2
I charge thee to return and change thy shape;
Thou art too ugly to attend on me.        20
Go, and return an old Franciscan friar;
That holy shape becomes a devil best.  [Exit DEVIL
I see there’s virtue in my heavenly words;
Who would not be proficient in this art?
How pliant is this Mephistophilis,        25
Full of obedience and humility!
Such is the force of magic and my spells.
[Now,] Faustus, thou art conjuror laureat,
Thou canst command great Mephistophilis:
Quin regis Mephistophilis fratris imagine. 3        30
Re-enter MEPHISTOPHILIS [like a Franciscan Friar]
  Meph.  Now, Faustus, what would’st thou have me to do?
  Faust.  I charge thee wait upon me whilst I live,
To do whatever Faustus shall command,
Be it to make the moon drop from her sphere,        35
Or the ocean to overwhelm the world.
  Meph.  I am a servant to great Lucifer,
And may not follow thee without his leave
No more than he commands must we perform.
  Faust.  Did not he charge thee to appear to me?        40
  Meph.  No, I came hither of mine own accord.
  Faust.  Did not my conjuring speeches raise thee? Speak.
  Meph.  That was the cause, but yet per accidens;
For when we hear one rack 4 the name of God,
Abjure the Scriptures and his Saviour Christ,        45
We fly in hope to get his glorious soul;
Nor will we come, unless he use such means
Whereby he is in danger to be damn’d:
Therefore the shortest cut for conjuring
Is stoutly to abjure the Trinity,        50
And pray devoutly to the Prince of Hell.
  Faust.  So Faustus hath
Already done; and holds this principle,
There is no chief but only Belzebub,
To whom Faustus doth dedicate himself.        55
This word “damnation” terrifies not him,
For he confounds hell in Elysium; 5
His ghost be with the old philosophers!
But, leaving these vain trifles of men’s souls,
Tell me what is that Lucifer thy lord?        60
  Meph.  Arch-regent and commander of all spirits.
  Faust.  Was not that Lucifer an angel once?
  Meph.  Yes, Faustus, and most dearly lov’d of God.
  Faust.  How comes it then that he is Prince of devils?
  Meph.  O, by aspiring pride and insolence;        65
For which God threw him from the face of Heaven.
  Faust.  And what are you that you live with Lucifer?
  Meph.  Unhappy spirits that fell with Lucifer,
Conspir’d against our God with Lucifer,
And are for ever damn’d with Lucifer.        70
  Faust.  Where are you damn’d?
  Meph.  In hell.
  Faust.  How comes it then that thou art out of hell?
  Meph.  Why this is hell, nor am I out of it.
Think’st thou that I who saw the face of God,        75
And tasted the eternal joys of Heaven,
Am not tormented with ten thousand hells,
In being depriv’d of everlasting bliss?
O Faustus! leave these frivolous demands,
Which strike a terror to my fainting soul.        80
  Faust.  What, is great Mephistophilis so passionate
For being depriv’d of the joys of Heaven?
Learn thou of Faustus manly fortitude,
And scorn those joys thou never shalt possess.
Go bear these tidings to great Lucifer:        85
Seeing Faustus hath incurr’d eternal death
By desperate thoughts against Jove’s deity,
Say he surrenders up to him his soul,
So he will spare him four and twenty years,
Letting him live in all voluptuousness;        90
Having thee ever to attend on me;
To give me whatsoever I shall ask,
To tell me whatsoever I demand,
To slay mine enemies, and aid my friends,
And always be obedient to my will.        95
Go and return to mighty Lucifer,
And meet me in my study at midnight,
And then resolve 6 me of thy master’s mind.
  Meph.  I will, Faustus.  Exit.
  Faust.  Had I as many souls as there be stars,        100
I’d give them all for Mephistophilis.
By him I’ll be great Emperor of the world,
And make a bridge through the moving air,
To pass the ocean with a band of men:
I’ll join the hills that bind the Afric shore,        105
And make that [country] continent to Spain,
And both contributory to my crown.
The Emperor shall not live but by my leave,
Nor any potentate of Germany.
Now that I have obtain’d what I desire,        110
I’ll live in speculation 7 of this art
Till Mephistophilis return again.  Exit.
Note 1. Wandering. [back]
Note 2. “Be propitious to me, gods of Acheron! May the triple deity of Jehovah prevail! Spirits of fire, air, water, hail! Belzebub, Prince of the East, monarch of burning hell, and Demogorgon, we propitiate ye, that Mephistophilis may appear and rise. Why dost thou delay? By Jehovah, Gehenna, and the holy water which now I sprinkle, and the sign of the cross which now I make, and by our prayer, may Mephistophilis now summoned by us arise!” [back]
Note 3. “For indeed thou hast power in the image of thy brother Mephistophilis.” [back]
Note 4. Twist in anagrams. [back]
Note 5. Heaven and hell are indifferent to him. [back]
Note 6. Inform. [back]
Note 7. Study. [back]


Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.