Fiction > Harvard Classics > Christopher Marlowe > Doctor Faustus
Christopher Marlowe (1564–1593).  Doctor Faustus.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Scene X
[The Court of the Emperor.]

Enter EMPEROR, FAUSTUS, and a KNIGHT with attendants
  Emp.  Master Doctor Faustus, I have heard strange report of thy knowledge in the black art, how that none in my empire nor in the whole world can compare with thee for the rare effects of magic; they say thou hast a familiar spirit, by whom thou canst accomplish what thou list. This therefore is my request, that thou let me see some proof of thy skill, that mine eyes may be witnesses to confirm what mine ears have heard reported; and here I swear to thee by the honour of mine imperial crown, that, whatever thou doest, thou shalt be no ways prejudiced or endamaged.
  Knight.  I’faith he looks much like a conjuror.  Aside.
  Faust.  My gracious sovereign, though I must confess myself far inferior to the report men have published, and nothing answerable 1 to the honour of your imperial majesty, yet for that love and duty binds me thereunto, I am content to do whatsoever your majesty shall command me.
  Emp.  Then, Doctor Faustus, mark what I shall say.        5
As I was sometime solitary set
Within my closet, sundry thoughts arose
About the honour of mine ancestors,
How they had won by prowess such exploits,
Got such riches, subdued so many kingdoms        10
As we that do succeed, or they that shall
Hereafter possess our throne, shall
(I fear me) ne’er attain to that degree
Of high renown and great authority;
Amongst which kings is Alexander the Great,        15
Chief spectacle of the world’s pre-eminence,
The bright shining of whose glorious acts
Lightens the world with his 2 reflecting beams,
As when I heard but motion 3 made of him
It grieves my soul I never saw the man.        20
If therefore thou by cunning of thine art
Canst raise this man from hollow vaults below,
Where lies entomb’d this famous conqueror,
And bring with him his beauteous paramour,
Both in their right shapes, gesture, and attire        25
They us’d to wear during their time of life,
Thou shalt both satisfy my just desire,
And give me cause to praise thee whilst I live.
  Faust.  My gracious lord, I am ready to accomplish your request so far forth as by art, and power of my Spirit, I am able to perform.
  Knight.  I’faith that’s just nothing at all.  Aside.        30
  Faust.  But, if it like your Grace, it is not in my ability to present before your eyes the true substantial bodies of those two deceased princes, which long since are consumed to dust.
  Knight.  Ay, marry, Master Doctor, now there’s a sign of grace in you, when you will confess the truth.  Aside.
  Faust.  But such spirits as can lively resemble Alexander and his paramour shall appear before your Grace in that manner that they [best] live in, in their most flourishing estate; which I doubt not shall sufficiently content your imperial majesty.
  Emp.  Go to, Master Doctor, let me see them presently.
  Knight.  Do you hear, Master Doctor? You bring Alexander and his paramour before the Emperor!        35
  Faust.  How then, sir?
  Knight.  I’faith that’s as true as Diana turn’d me to a stag!
  Faust.  No, sir, but when Actaeon died, he left the horns for you. Mephistophilis, begone.  Exit Mephisto.
  Knight.  Nay, an you go to conjuring. I’ll begone.  Exit.
  Faust.  I’ll meet with you anon for interrupting me so. Here they are, my gracious lord.        40
Re-enter MEPHISTOPHILIS with [SPIRITS in the shape of] ALEXANDER and his PARAMOUR
  Emp.  Master Doctor, I heard this lady while she liv’d had a wart or mole in her neck: how shall I know whether it be so or no?
  Faust.  Your Highness may boldly go and see.
  Emp.  Sure these are no spirits, but the true substantial bodies of those two deceased princes.  [Exeunt Spirits.]
  Faust.  Will’t please your highness now to send for the knight that was so pleasant with me here of late?        45
  Emp.  One of you call him forth.  [Exit Attendant.]
Re-enter the KNIGHT with a pair of horns on his head
  How now, sir knight! why I had thought thou had’st been a bachelor, but now I see thou hast a wife, that not only gives thee horns, but makes thee wear them. Feel on thy head.
  Knight.  Thou damned wretch and execrable dog,
Bred in the concave of some monstrous rock,        50
How darest thou thus abuse a gentleman?
Villain, I say, undo what thou hast done!
  Faust.  O, not so fast, sir; there’s no haste; but, good, are you rememb’red how you crossed me in my conference with the Emperor? I think I have met with you for it.
  Emp.  Good Master Doctor, at my entreaty release him; he hath done penance sufficient.
  Faust.  My gracious lord, not so much for the injury he off’red me here in your presence, as to delight you with some mirth, hath Faustus worthily requited this injurious knight; which, being all I desire, I am content to release him of his horns: and, sir knight, hereafter speak well of scholars. Mephistophilis, transform him straight. [MEPHISTOPHILIS removes the horns.] Now, my good lord, having done my duty I humbly take my leave.        55
  Emp.  Farewell, Master Doctor; yet, ere you go,
Expect from me a bounteous reward.  [Exeunt.
Note 1. Proportionate. [back]
Note 2. Its. [back]
Note 3. Mention. [back]


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