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Christopher Marlowe (1564–1593). Doctor Faustus.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Scene XIV

[The Same.]


Faust.Ah, gentlemen!

1st Schol.What ails Faustus?

Faust.Ah, my sweet chamber-fellow, had I lived with thee, then had I lived still! but now I die eternally. Look, comes he not, comes he not?

2nd Schol.What means Faustus?

3rd Schol.Belike he is grown into some sickness by being over solitary.

1st Schol.If it be so, we’ll have physicians to cure him. ’Tis but a surfeit. Never fear, man.

Faust.A surfeit of deadly sin that hath damn’d both body and soul.

2nd Schol.Yet, Faustus, look up to Heaven; remember God’s mercies are infinite.

Faust.But Faustus’ offenses can never be pardoned: the serpent that tempted Eve may be sav’d, but not Faustus. Ah, gentlemen, hear me with patience, and tremble not at my speeches! Though my heart pants and quivers to remember that I have been a student here these thirty years, oh, would I had never seen Wittenberg, never read book! And what wonders I have done, All Germany can witness, yea, the world; for which Faustus hath lost both Germany and the world, yea Heaven itself, Heaven, the seat of God, the throne of the blessed, the kingdom of joy; and must remain in hell for ever, hell, ah, hell, for ever! Sweet friends! what shall become of Faustus being in hell for ever?

3rd Schol.Yet, Faustus, call on God.

Faust.On God, whom Faustus hath abjur’d! on God, whom Faustus hath blasphemed! Ah, my God, I would weep, but the Devil draws in my tears. Gush forth blood instead of tears! Yea, life and soul! Oh, he stays my tongue! I would lift up my hands, but see, they hold them, they hold them!

All.Who, Faustus?

Faust.Lucifer and Mephistophilis. Ah, gentlemen, I gave them my soul for my cunning!

All.God forbid!

Faust.God forbade it indeed; but Faustus hath done it. For vain pleasure of twenty-four years hath Faustus lost eternal joy and felicity. I writ them a bill with mine own blood: the date is expired; the time will come, and he will fetch me.

1st Schol.Why did not Faustus tell us of this before, that divines might have pray’d for thee?

Faust.Oft have I thought to have done so; but the Devil threat’ned to tear me in pieces if I nam’d God; to fetch both body and soul if I once gave ear to divinity: and now ’tis too late. Gentlemen, away! lest you perish with me.

2nd Schol.Oh, what shall we do to save Faustus?

Faust.Talk not of me, but save yourselves, and depart.

3rd Schol.God will strengthen me. I will stay with Faustus.

1st Schol.Tempt not God, sweet friend; but let us into the next room, and there pray for him.

Faust.Ay, pray for me, pray for me! and what noise soever ye hear, come not unto me, for nothing can rescue me.

2nd Schol.Pray thou, and we will pray that God may have mercy upon thee.

Faust.Gentlemen, farewell! If I live till morning I’ll visit you: if not—Faustus is gone to hell.

All.Faustus, farewell!Exeunt SCHOLARS. The clock strikes eleven.

Faust.Ah, Faustus,

Now hast thou but one bare hour to live,

And then thou must be damn’d perpetually!

Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of Heaven,

That time may cease, and midnight never come;

Fair Nature’s eye, rise, rise again and make

Perpetual day; or let this hour be but

A year, a month, a week, a natural day,

That Faustus may repent and save his soul!

O lente, lente, curite noctis equi.

The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike,

The Devil will come, and Faustus must be damn’d.

O, I’ll leap up to my God! Who pulls me down?

See, see where Christ’s blood streams in the firmament!

One drop would save my soul—half a drop: ah, my Christ!

Ah, rend not my heart for naming of my Christ!

Yet will I call on him: O spare me, Lucifer!—

Where is it now? ’Tis gone; and see where God

Stretcheth out his arm, and bends his ireful brows!

Mountain and hills come, come and fall on me,

And hide me from the heavy wrath of God!

No! no!

Then will I headlong run into the earth;

Earth gape! O no, it will not harbour me!

You stars that reign’d at my nativity,

Whose influence hath alloted death and hell,

Now draw up Faustus like a foggy mist

Into the entrails of yon labouring clouds,

That when they vomit forth into the air,

My limbs may issue from their smoky mouths,

So that my soul may but ascend to Heaven.The watch strikes [the half hour].

Ah, half the hour is past! ’Twill all be past anon!

O God!

If thou wilt not have mercy on my soul,

Yet for Christ’s sake whose blood hath ransom’d me,

Impose some end to my incessant pain;

Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years—

A hundred thousand, and—at last—be sav’d!

O, no end is limited to damned souls!

Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul?

Or why is this immortal that thou hast?

Ah, Pythogoras’ metempsychosis! were that true,

This soul should fly from me, and I be chang’d

Unto some brutish beast! All beasts are happy,

For when they die,

Their souls are soon dissolv’d in elements;

But mine must live, still to be plagu’d in hell.

Curst be the parents that engend’red me!

No, Faustus: curse thyself: curse Lucifer

That hath depriv’d thee of the joys of Heaven.The clock striketh twelve.

O, it strikes, it strikes! Now, body, turn to air,

Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell.Thunder and lightning.

O soul, be chang’d into little water-drops,

And fall into the ocean—ne’er be found.

My God! my God! look not so fierce on me!Enter DEVILS.

Adders and serpents, let me breathe awhile!

Ugly hell, gape not! come not, Lucifer!

I’ll burn my books!—Ah Mephistophilis!Exeunt DEVILS with FAUSTUS.


Cho.Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,

And burned is Apollo’s laurel bough,

That sometime grew within this learned man.

Faustus is gone; regard his hellish fall,

Whose fiendfull fortune may exhort the wise

Only to wonder at unlawful things,

Whose deepness doth entice such forward wits

To practise more than heavenly power permits.[Exit.]