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The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe's death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play.
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The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus
THE POPE. THE EMPEROR OF GERMANY. RAYMOND, king of Hungary. DUKE OF SAXONY. BRUNO. DUKE OF VANHOLT. MARTINO, > FREDERICK, > gentlemen. BENVOLIO, > FAUSTUS. VALDES, > friends to FAUSTUS. CORNELIUS, > WAGNER, servant to FAUSTUS. Clown. ROBIN. DICK. Vintner. Horse-courser. Carter. An Old Man. Scholars, Cardinals, ARCHBISHOP OF RHEIMS, Bishops, Monks, Friars, Soldiers, and Attendants.
DUCHESS OF VANHOLT. Hostess.
LUCIFER. BELZEBUB. MEPHISTOPHILIS. Good Angel. Evil Angel. The Seven Deadly Sins. Devils. Spirits in the shapes of ALEXANDER THE GREAT, of his Paramour, of DARIUS, and of HELEN.
THE TRAGICAL HISTORY OF DOCTOR FAUSTUS FROM THE QUARTO OF 1616.
CHORUS. Not marching in the fields of Thrasymene, Where Mars did mate the warlike Carthagens;<1> Nor sporting in the dalliance of love, In courts of kings where state is overturn'd; Nor in the pomp of proud audacious deeds, Intends our Muse to vaunt her<2> heavenly verse: Only this, gentles,--we must now perform The form of Faustus' fortunes, good or bad: And now to patient judgments we appeal, And speak for Faustus in his infancy. Now is he born of parents base of stock, In Germany, within a town call'd Rhodes: At riper years, to Wittenberg he went, Whereas his kinsmen chiefly brought him up. So much he profits in divinity, That shortly he was grac'd with doctor's name, Excelling all, and sweetly can dispute In th' heavenly matters of theology; Till swoln with cunning, of<3> a self-conceit, His waxen wings did mount above his reach, And, melting, heavens conspir'd his overthrow; For, falling to a devilish exercise, And glutted now with learning's golden gifts, He surfeits upon<4> cursed necromancy; Nothing so sweet as magic is to him, Which he prefers before his chiefest bliss: And this the man that in his study sits. [Exit.]
FAUSTUS discovered in his study.
FAUSTUS. Settle thy studies, Faustus, and begin To sound the depth of that thou wilt profess: Having commenc'd, be a divine in show, Yet level at the end of every art, And live and die in Aristotle's works. Sweet Analytics, 'tis thou hast ravish'd me! Bene disserere est finis logices. Is, to dispute well, logic's chiefest end? Affords this art no greater miracle? Then read no more; thou hast attain'd that end: A greater subject fitteth Faustus' wit: Bid Economy farewell, and Galen come: Be a physician, Faustus; heap up gold, And be eterniz'd for some wondrous cure: Summum bonum medicinoe sanitas, The end of physic is our body's health. Why, Faustus, hast thou not attain'd that end? Are not thy bills hung up as monuments, Whereby whole cities have escap'd the plague, And thousand<5> desperate maladies been cur'd? Yet art thou still but Faustus, and a man. Couldst thou make men to live eternally, Or, being dead, raise them<6> to life again, Then this profession were to be esteem'd. Physic, farewell! Where is Justinian?
[Reads.] Si una eademque res legatur<7> duobus, alter rem, alter valorem rei, &c.
A petty<8> case of paltry legacies!
[Reads.] Exhoereditare filium non potest pater, nisi, &c.<9>
Such is the subject of the institute, And universal body of the law: This study fits a mercenary drudge, Who aims at nothing but external trash; Too servile and illiberal for me. When all is done, divinity is best: Jerome's Bible, Faustus; view it well.
[Reads.] Stipendium peccati mors est. Ha! Stipendium, &c.
The reward of sin is death: that's hard.
[Reads.] Si peccasse negamus, fallimur, et nulla est in nobis veritas;
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. Why, then, belike we must sin, and so consequently die: Ay, we must die an everlasting death. What doctrine call you this, Che sera, sera, What will be, shall be? Divinity, adieu! These metaphysics of magicians, And necromantic books are heavenly; Lines, circles, scenes, letters, and characters;<10> Ay, these are those that Faustus most desires. O, what a world of profit and delight, Of power, of honour, and omnipotence, Is promis'd to the studious artizan! All things that move between the quiet poles Shall be at my command: emperors and kings Are but obeyed in their several provinces; But his dominion that exceeds in this, Stretcheth as far as doth the mind of man; A sound magician is a demigod: Here tire, my brains, to gain<11> a deity.
Wagner, commend me to my dearest friends, The German Valdes and Cornelius; Request them earnestly to visit me.
WAGNER. I will, sir. [Exit.]
FAUSTUS. Their conference will be a greater help to me Than all my labours, plod I ne'er so fast.
Enter GOOD ANGEL and EVIL ANGEL.
GOOD ANGEL. O, Faustus, lay that damned book aside, And gaze not on it, lest it tempt thy soul, And heap God's heavy wrath upon thy head! Read, read the Scriptures:--that is blasphemy.
EVIL ANGEL. Go forward, Faustus, in that famous art Wherein all Nature's treasure is contain'd: Be thou on earth as Jove is in the sky, Lord and commander of these<12> elements. [Exeunt ANGELS.]
FAUSTUS. How am I glutted with conceit of this! Shall I make spirits fetch me what I please, Resolve me of all ambiguities, Perform what desperate enterprise<13> I will? I'll have them fly to India for gold, Ransack the ocean for orient pearl, And search all corners of the new-found world For pleasant fruits and princely delicates; I'll have them read me strange philosophy, And tell the secrets of all foreign kings; I'll have them wall all Germany with brass, And make swift Rhine circle fair<14> Wertenberg; I'll have them fill the public schools with silk,<15> Wherewith the students shall be bravely clad; I'll levy soldiers with the coin they bring, And chase the Prince of Parma from our land, And reign sole king of all the provinces; Yea, stranger engines for the brunt of war, Than was the fiery keel at Antwerp-bridge, I'll make my servile spirits to invent.
Enter VALDES and CORNELIUS.
Come, German Valdes, and Cornelius, And make me blest<16> with your sage conference. Valdes, sweet Valdes, and Cornelius, Know that your words have won me at the last To practice magic and concealed arts. Philosophy is odious and obscure; Both law and physic are for petty wits: 'Tis magic, magic that hath ravish'd me. Then, gentle friends, aid me in this attempt; And I, that have with subtle syllogisms Gravell'd the pastors of the German church, And made the flowering pride of Wittenberg Swarm<17> to my problems, as th' infernal spirits On sweet Musaeus when he came to hell, Will be as cunning as Agrippa was, Whose shadow made all Europe honour him.
VALDES. Faustus, these books, thy wit, and our experience, Shall make all nations to<18> canonize us. As Indian Moors obey their Spanish lords, So shall the spirits of every element Be always serviceable to us three; Like lions shall they guard us when we please; Like Almain rutters with their horsemen's staves, Or Lapland giants, trotting by our sides; Sometimes like women, or unwedded maids, Shadowing more beauty in their airy brows Than have<19> the white breasts of the queen of love: >From Venice shall they<20> drag huge<21> argosies, And from America the golden fleece That yearly stuffs<22> old Philip's treasury; If learned Faustus will be resolute.
FAUSTUS. Valdes, as resolute am I in this As thou to live: therefore object it not.
CORNELIUS. The miracles that magic will perform Will make thee vow to study nothing else. He that is grounded in astrology, Enrich'd with tongues, well seen in minerals, Hath all the principles magic doth require: Then doubt not, Faustus, but to be renowm'd,<23> And more frequented for this mystery Than heretofore the Delphian oracle. The spirits tell me they can dry the sea, And fetch the treasure of all foreign wrecks, Yea, all the wealth that our forefathers hid Within the massy entrails of the earth: Then tell me, Faustus, what shall we three want?
FAUSTUS. Nothing, Cornelius. O, this cheers my soul! Come, shew me some demonstrations magical, That I may conjure in some bushy grove, And have these joys in full possession.
VALDES. Then haste thee to some solitary grove, And bear wise Bacon's and Albertus'<24> works, The Hebrew Psalter, and New Testament; And whatsoever else is requisite We will inform thee ere our conference cease.
CORNELIUS. Valdes, first let him know the words of art; And then, all other ceremonies learn'd, Faustus may try his cunning by himself.
VALDES. First I'll instruct thee in the rudiments, And then wilt thou be perfecter than I.
FAUSTUS. Then come and dine with me, and, after meat, We'll canvass every quiddity thereof; For, ere I sleep, I'll try what I can do: This night I'll conjure, though I die therefore. [Exeunt.]
Enter two SCHOLARS.
FIRST SCHOLAR. I wonder what's become of Faustus, that was wont to make our schools ring with sic probo.
SECOND SCHOLAR. That shall we presently know; here comes his boy.
FIRST SCHOLAR. How now, sirrah! where's thy master?
WAGNER. God in heaven knows.
SECOND SCHOLAR. Why, dost not thou know, then?
WAGNER. Yes, I know; but that follows not.
FIRST SCHOLAR. Go to, sirrah! leave your jesting, and tell us where he is.
WAGNER. That follows not by force of argument, which you, being licentiates, should stand upon: therefore acknowledge your error, and be attentive.
SECOND SCHOLAR. Then you will not tell us?
WAGNER. You are deceived, for I will tell you: yet, if you were not dunces, you would never ask me such a question; for is he not corpus naturale? and is not that mobile? then wherefore should you ask me such a question? But that I am by nature phlegmatic, slow to wrath, and prone to lechery (to love, I would say), it were not for you to come within forty foot of the place of execution, although I do not doubt but to see you both hanged the next sessions. Thus having triumphed over you, I will set my countenance like a precisian, and begin to speak thus:-- Truly, my dear brethren, my master is within at dinner, with Valdes and Cornelius, as this wine, if it could speak, would inform your worships: and so, the Lord bless you, preserve you, and keep you, my dear brethren! [Exit.]
FIRST SCHOLAR. O Faustus! Then I fear that which I have long suspected, That thou art fall'n into that<25> damned art For which they two are infamous through the world.
SECOND SCHOLAR. Were he a stranger, not allied to me, The danger of his soul would make me mourn. But, come, let us go and inform the Rector: It may be his grave counsel may reclaim him.<26>
FIRST SCHOLAR. I fear me nothing will reclaim him now.
SECOND SCHOLAR. Yet let us see what we can do. [Exeunt.]
FAUSTUS. Now that the gloomy shadow of the night, Longing to view Orion's drizzling look, Leaps from th' antartic world unto the sky, And dims the welkin with her<28> pitchy breath, 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 anagrammatiz'd, Th' abbreviated names of holy saints, Figures of every adjunct to the heavens, And characters of signs and erring<29> stars, By which the spirits are enforc'd to rise: Then fear not, Faustus, to be resolute, And try the utmost magic can perform. [Thunder.] Sint mihi dii Acherontis propitii! Valeat numen triplex Jehovoe! Ignei, aerii, aquatani spiritus, salvete! Orientis princeps Belzebub, inferni ardentis monarcha, et Demogorgon, propitiamus vos, ut appareat et surgat Mephistophilis Dragon, quod tumeraris:<30> per Jehovam, Gehennam, et consecratam aquam quam nunc spargo, signumque crucis quod nunc facio, et per vota nostra, ipse nunc surgat nobis dicatus<31> Mephistophilis!
I charge thee to return, and change thy shape; Thou art too ugly to attend on me: Go, and return an old Franciscan friar; That holy shape becomes a devil best. [Exit MEPHISTOPHILIS.]
I see there's virtue in my heavenly words. Who would not be proficient in this art? How pliant is this Mephistophilis, Full of obedience and humility! Such is the force of magic and my spells.
Re-enter MEPHISTOPHILIS like a Franciscan friar.
MEPHIST. Now, Faustus, what wouldst thou have me do?
FAUSTUS. 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, Or the ocean to overwhelm the world.
MEPHIST. I am a servant to great Lucifer, And may not follow thee without his leave: No more than he commands must we perform.
FAUSTUS. Did not he charge thee to appear to me?
MEPHIST. No, I came hither<32> of mine own accord.
FAUSTUS. Did not my conjuring speeches<33> raise thee? speak!
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