Christopher Marlowe (1564–1593). Doctor Faustus.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.
And curse thee, wicked Mephistophilis,
Because thou hast depriv’d me of those joys.
Thinkest thou Heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee ’tis not half so fair as thou,
Or any man that breathes on earth.
Faust.How Provest thou that?
Meph.’Twas made for man, therefore is man more excellent.
Faust.If it were made for man, ’twas made for me:
I will renounce this magic and repent.
G. Ang.Faustus, repent; yet God will pity thee.
E. Ang.Thou art a spirit; God can not pity thee.
Faust.Who buzzeth in mine ears I am a spirit?
Be I a devil, yet God may pity me;
Ay, God will pity me if I repent.
E. Ang.Ay, but Faustus never shall repent.Exeunt A
Faust.My heart’s so hard’ned I cannot repent.
Scarce can I name salvation, faith, or heaven,
But fearful echoes thunder in mine ears
“Faustus, thou art damn’d!” Then swords and knives,
Poison, gun, halters, and envenom’d steel
Are laid before me to despatch myself,
And long ere this I should have slain myself,
Had not sweet pleasure conquer’d deep despair.
Have I not made blind Homer sing to me
Of Alexander’s love and Œnon’s death?
And hath not he that built the walls of Thebes
With ravishing sound of his melodious harp,
Made music with my Mephistophilis?
Why should I die then, or basely despair?
I am resolv’d: Faustus shall ne’er repent.
Come, Mephistophilis, let us dispute again,
And argue of divine astrology.
Tell me, are there many heavens above the moon?
Are all celestial bodies but one globe,
As is the substance of this centric earth?
Meph.As are the elements, such are the spheres
Mutually folded in each other’s orb,
All jointly move upon one axletree
Whose terminine is termed the world’s wide pole;
Nor are the names of Saturn, Mars, or Jupiter
Feign’d but are erring stars.
Faust.But tell me, have they all one motion, both situ et tempore?
Meph.All jointly move from east to west in twenty-four hours upon the poles of the world; but differ in their motion upon the poles of the zodiac.
These slender trifles Wagner can decide;
Hath Mephistophilis no greater skill?
Who knows not the double motion of the planets?
The first is finish’d in a natural day;
The second thus: as Saturn in thirty years; Jupiter in twelve; Mars in four; the Sun, Venus, and Mercury in a year; the moon in twenty-eight days. Tush, these are freshmen’s suppositions. But tell me, hath every sphere a dominion or intelligentia?
Faust.How many heavens, or spheres, are there?
Meph.Nine: the seven planets, the firmament, and the empyreal heaven.
Faust.Well, resolve me in this question: Why have we not conjunctions, oppositions, aspects, eclipses, all at one time, but in some years we have more, in some less?
Meph.Per inæqualem motum respectu totius.
Faust.Well, I am answered. Tell me who made the world.
Meph.I will not.
Faust.Sweet Mephistophilis, tell me.
Meph.Move me not, for I will not tell thee.
Faust.Villain, have I not bound thee to tell me anything?
Meph.Ay, that is not against our kingdom; but this is.
Think thou on hell, Faustus, for thou art damn’d.
Faust.Think, Faustus, upon God that made the world.
Faust.Ay, go, accursed spirit, to ugly hell.
’Tis thou hast damn’d distressed Faustus’ soul.
Is’t not too late?
E. Ang.Too late.
G. Ang.Never too late, if Faustus can repent.
E. Ang.If thou repent, devils shall tear thee in pieces.
G. Ang.Repent, and they shall never raze thy skin.[Exeunt A
Faust.Ah, Christ, my Saviour,
Seek to save distressed Faustus’ soul.
Luc.Christ cannot save thy soul, for he is just;
There’s none but I have interest in the same.
Faust.O, who art thou that look’st so terrible?
Luc.I am Lucifer,
And this is my companion-prince in hell.
Faust.O Faustus! they are come to fetch away thy soul!
Luc.We come to tell thee thou dost injure us;
Thou talk’st of Christ contrary to thy promise;
Thou should’st not think of God: think of the Devil,
And of his dam, too.
Faust.Nor will I henceforth: pardon me in this,
And Faustus vows never to look to Heaven,
Never to name God, or to pray to him,
To burn his Scriptures, slay his ministers,
And make my spirits pull his churches down.
Luc.Do so, and we will highly gratify thee. Faustus, we are come from hell to show thee some pastime. Sit down, and thou shalt see all the Seven Deadly Sins appear in their proper shapes.
Faust.That sight will be as pleasing unto me,
As Paradise was to Adam the first day
Of his creation.
Luc.Talk not of Paradise nor creation, but mark this show: talk of the Devil, and nothing else.—Come away!
Now, Faustus, examine them of their several names and dispositions.
Faust.What art thou—the first?
Pride.I am Pride. I disdain to have any parents. I am like to Ovid’s flea: I can creep into every corner of a wench; sometimes, like a periwig, I sit upon her brow; or like a fan of feathers, I kiss her lips; indeed I do—what do I not? But, fie, what a scent is here! I’ll not speak another word, except the ground were perfum’d, and covered with cloth of arras.
Faust.What art thou—the second?
Covet.I am Covetousness, begotten of an old churl in an old leathern bag; and might I have my wish I would desire that this house and all the people in it were turn’d to gold, that I might lock you up in my good chest. O, my sweet gold!
Faust.What art thou—the third?
Wrath.I am Wrath. I had neither father nor mother: I leapt out of a lion’s mouth when I was scarce half an hour old; and ever since I have run up and down the world with this case of rapiers, wounding myself when I had nobody to fight withal. I was born in hell; and look to it, for some of you shall be my father.
Faust.What art thou—the fourth?
envy.I am Envy, begotten of a chimney sweeper and an oyster-wife. I cannot read, and therefore wish all books were burnt. I am lean with seeing others eat. O that there would come a famine through all the world, that all might die, and I live alone! then thou should’st see how fat I would be. But must thou sit and I stand! Come down with a vengeance!
Faust.Away, envious rascal! What art thou—the fifth?
Glut.Who, I, sir? I am Gluttony. My parents are all dead, and the devil a penny they have left me, but a bare pension, and that is thirty meals a day and ten bevers —a small trifle to suffice nature. O, I come of a royal parentage! My grandfather was a Gammon of Bacon, my grandmother a Hogshead of Claret-wine; my godfathers were these, Peter Pickleherring, and Martin Martlemas-beef. O, but my godmother, she was a jolly gentlewoman, and well beloved in every good town and city; her name was Mistress Margery Marchbeer. Now, Faustus, thou hast heard all my progeny, wilt thou bid me to supper?
Faust.No, I’ll see thee hanged: thou wilt eat up all my victuals.
Glut.Then the Devil choke thee!
Faust.Choke thyself, glutton! Who art thou—the sixth?
Sloth.I am Sloth. I was begotten on a sunny bank, where I have lain ever since; and you have done me great injury to bring me from thence: let me be carried thither again by Gluttony and Lechery. I’ll not speak another word for a king’s ransom.
Faust.What are you, Mistress Minx, the seventh and last?
Lech.Who, I, sir? I am one that loves an inch of raw mutton better than an ell of fried stockfish; and the first letter of my name begins with Lechery.
Luc.Away to hell, to hell!—Now, Faustus, how dost thou like this?[Exeunt the SINS.
Faust.O, this feeds my soul!
Luc.Tut, Faustus, in hell is all manner of delight.
Faust.O might I see hell, and return again,
How happy were I then!
Luc.Thou shalt; I will send for thee at midnight.
In meantime take this book; peruse it throughly,
And thou shalt turn thyself into what shape thou wilt.
Faust.Great thanks, mighty Lucifer!
This will I keep as chary as my life.
Luc.Farewell, Faustus, and think on the Devil.
Faust.Farewell, great Lucifer! Come, Mephistophilis.[Exeunt.
To know the secrets of astronomy,
Graven in the book of Jove’s high firmament,
Did mount himself to scale Olympus’ top,
Being seated in a chariot burning bright,
Drawn by the strength of yoky dragons’ necks.
He now is gone to prove cosmography,
And, as I guess, will first arrive at Rome,
To see the Pope and manner of his court,
And take some part of holy Peter’s feast,
That to this day is highly solemnis’d.[Exit.