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

  Wag.  Sirrah, boy, come hither.
  Clown.  How, boy! Swowns, 1 boy! I hope you have seen many boys with such pickadevaunts 2 as I have. Boy, quotha!
  Wag.  Tell me, sirrah, hast thou any comings in?
  Clown.  Ay, and goings out too. You may see else.        5
  Wag.  Alas, poor slave! See how poverty jesteth in his nakedness! The villain is bare and out of service, and so hungry that I know he would give his soul to the devil for a shoulder of mutton, though it were blood-raw.
  Clown.  How? My soul to the Devil for a shoulder of mutton, though ’twere blood-raw! Not so, good friend. By’r Lady, I had need have it well roasted and good sauce to it, if I pay so dear.
  Wag.  Well, wilt thou serve me, and I’ll make thee go like Qui mihi discipulus? 3
  Clown.  How, in verse?
  Wag.  No, sirrah; in beaten silk and stavesacre. 4        10
  Clown.  How, how, Knave’s acre! 5 Ay, I thought that was all the land his father left him. Do you hear? I would be sorry to rob you of your living.
  Wag.  Sirrah, I say in stavesacre.
  Clown.  Oho! Oho! Stavesacre! Why, then, belike if I were your man I should be full of vermin.
  Wag.  So thou shalt, whether thou beest with me or no. But, sirrah, leave your jesting, and bind yourself presently unto me for seven years, or I’ll turn all the lice about thee into familiars, and they shall tear thee in pieces.
  Clown.  Do your hear, sir? You may save that labour; they are too familiar with me already. Swowns! they are as bold with my flesh as if they had paid for [their] meat and drink.        15
  Wag.  Well, do you hear, sirrah? Hold, take these guilders.  [Gives money.]
  Clown.  Gridirons! what be they?
  Wag.  Why, French crowns.
  Clown.  Mass, but for the name of French crowns, a man were as good have as many English counters. And what should I do with these?
  Wag.  Why, now, sirrah, thou art at an hour’s warning, whensoever and wheresoever the Devil shall fetch thee.        20
  Clown.  No, no. Here, take your gridirons again.
  Wag.  Truly I’ll none of them.
  Clown.  Truly but you shall.
  Wag.  Bear witness I gave them him.
  Clown.  Bear witness I gave them you again.        25
  Wag.  Well, I will cause two devils presently to fetch thee away—Baliol and Belcher.
  Clown.  Let your Baliol and your Belcher come here, and I’ll knock them, they were never so knock’d since they were devils. Say I should kill one of them, what would folks say? “Do you see yonder tall fellow in the round slop 6 —he has kill’d the devil.” So I should be called Kill-devil all the parish over.
Enter two Devils: the Clown runs up and down crying
  Wag.  Baliol and Belcher! Spirits, away! Exeunt Devils.
  Clown.  What, are they gone? A vengeance on them, they have vile long nails! There was a he-devil, and a she-devil! I’ll tell you how you shall know them: all he-devils has horns, and all she-devils has clifts and cloven feet.        30
  Wag.  Well, sirrah, follow me.
  Clown.  But, do you hear—if I should serve you, would you teach me to raise up Banios and Belcheos?
  Wag.  I will teach thee to turn thyself to anything; to a dog, or a cat, or a mouse, or a rat, or anything.
  Clown.  How! a Christian fellow to a dog or a cat, a mouse or a rat! No, no, sir. If you turn me into anything, let it be in the likeness of a little pretty frisky flea, that I may be here and there and everywhere. Oh, I’ll tickle the pretty wenches’ plackets; I’ll be amongst them, i’ faith.
  Wag.  Well, sirrah, come.        35
  Clown.  But, do you hear, Wagner?
  Wag.  How! Baliol and Belcher!
  Clown.  O Lord! I pray, sir, let Banio and Belcher go sleep.  Wag. Villain—call me Master Wagner, and let thy left eye be diametarily 7 fixed upon my right heel, with quasi vestigias nostras insistere. 8 Exit.
  Clown.  God forgive me, he speaks Dutch fustian. Well, I’ll follow him, I’ll serve him, that’s flat. Exit.
Note 1. Zounds, i. e., God’s wounds. [back]
Note 2. Beards cut to a sharp point (Fr. pic-à-devant). [back]
Note 3. Dyce points out that these are the first words of W. Lily’s “Ad discipulos carmen de moribus.” [back]
Note 4. A kind of larkspur, used for destroying lice. [back]
Note 5. A mean street in London. [back]
Note 6. Short wide breeches. [back]
Note 7. For diametrically. [back]
Note 8. “As if to tread in my tracks.” [back]


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