Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, The

Enter CHORUS.111

CHORUS. Learned Faustus,
To know the secrets of astronomy112
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 solemniz'd.


FAUSTUS. Having now, my good Mephistophilis,
Pass'd with delight the stately town of Trier,114
Environ'd round with airy mountain-tops,
With walls of flint, and deep-entrenched lakes,
Not to be won by any conquering prince;
From Paris next,115 coasting the realm of France,
We saw the river Maine fall into Rhine,
Whose banks are set with groves of fruitful vines;
Then up to Naples, rich Campania,
Whose buildings fair and gorgeous to the eye,
The streets straight forth, and pav'd with finest brick,
Quarter the town in four equivalents:
There saw we learned Maro's golden tomb,
The way he cut,116 an English mile in length,
Thorough a rock of stone, in one night's space;
From thence to Venice, Padua, and the rest,
In one of which a sumptuous temple stands,117
That threats the stars with her aspiring top.
Thus hitherto hath Faustus spent his time:
But tell me now what resting-place is this?
Hast thou, as erst I did command,
Conducted me within the walls of Rome?

MEPHIST. Faustus, I have; and, because we will not be unprovided,
I have taken up his Holiness' privy-chamber for our use.

FAUSTUS. I hope his Holiness will bid us welcome.

Tut, 'tis no matter; man; we'll be bold with his good cheer.
And now, my Faustus, that thou mayst perceive
What Rome containeth to delight thee with,
Know that this city stands upon seven hills
That underprop the groundwork of the same:
Just through the midst118 runs flowing Tiber's stream
With winding banks that cut it in two parts;
Over the which four stately bridges lean,
That make safe passage to each part of Rome:
Upon the bridge call'd Ponte119 Angelo
Erected is a castle passing strong,
Within whose walls such store of ordnance are,
And double cannons fram'd of carved brass,
As match the days within one complete year;
Besides the gates, and high pyramides,
Which Julius Caesar brought from Africa.

FAUSTUS. Now, by the kingdoms of infernal rule,
Of Styx, of120 Acheron, and the fiery lake
Of ever-burning Phlegethon, I swear
That I do long to see the monuments
And situation of bright-splendent Rome:
Come, therefore, let's away.

MEPHIST. Nay, Faustus, stay: I know you'd fain see the Pope,
And take some part of holy Peter's feast,
Where thou shalt see a troop of bald-pate friars,
Whose summum bonum is in belly-cheer.

FAUSTUS. Well, I'm content to compass then some sport,
And by their folly make us merriment.
Then charm me, that I121
May be invisible, to do what I please,
Unseen of any whilst I stay in Rome.
[Mephistophilis charms him.]

MEPHIST. So, Faustus; now
Do what thou wilt, thou shalt not be discern'd.

Sound a Sonnet.122 Enter the POPE and the CARDINAL OF
LORRAIN to the banquet, with FRIARS attending.

POPE. My Lord of Lorrain, will't please you draw near?

FAUSTUS. Fall to, and the devil choke you, an you spare!

POPE. How now! who's that which spake?—Friars, look about.

FIRST FRIAR. Here's nobody, if it like your Holiness.

POPE. My lord, here is a dainty dish was sent me from the Bishop
of Milan.

FAUSTUS. I thank you, sir.
[Snatches the dish.]

POPE. How now! who's that which snatched the meat from me? will
no man look?—My lord, this dish was sent me from the Cardinal
of Florence.

FAUSTUS. You say true; I'll ha't.
[Snatches the dish.]

POPE. What, again!—My lord, I'll drink to your grace.

FAUSTUS. I'll pledge your grace.
[Snatches the cup.]

C. OF LOR. My lord, it may be some ghost, newly crept out of
Purgatory, come to beg a pardon of your Holiness.

POPE. It may be so.—Friars, prepare a dirge to lay the fury
of this ghost.—Once again, my lord, fall to.
[The POPE crosses himself.]

FAUSTUS. What, are you crossing of yourself?
Well, use that trick no more, I would advise you.
[The POPE crosses himself again.]

Well, there's the second time. Aware the third;
I give you fair warning.
[The POPE crosses himself again, and FAUSTUS hits him a box
of the ear; and they all run away.]

Come on, Mephistophilis; what shall we do?

MEPHIST. Nay, I know not: we shall be cursed with bell, book,
and candle.

FAUSTUS. How! bell, book, and candle,—candle, book, and bell,—
Forward and backward, to curse Faustus to hell!
Anon you shall hear a hog grunt, a calf bleat, and an ass bray,
Because it is Saint Peter's holiday.

Re-enter all the FRIARS to sing the Dirge.

Come, brethren, let's about our business with good devotion.

They sing.

TABLE! maledicat Dominus!
maledicat Dominus!
maledicat Dominus!
Dominus? ['?' sic]
Et omnes Sancti! Amen!

[MEPHISTOPHILIS and FAUSTUS beat the FRIARS, and fling
fire-works among them; and so exeunt.]


CHORUS. When Faustus had with pleasure ta'en the view
Of rarest things, and royal courts of kings,
He stay'd his course, and so returned home;
Where such as bear his absence but with grief,
I mean his friends and near'st companions,
Did gratulate his safety with kind words,
And in their conference of what befell,
Touching his journey through the world and air,
They put forth questions of astrology,
Which Faustus answer'd with such learned skill
As they admir'd and wonder'd at his wit.
Now is his fame spread forth in every land:
Amongst the rest the Emperor is one,
Carolus the Fifth, at whose palace now
Faustus is feasted 'mongst his noblemen.
What there he did, in trial of his art,
I leave untold; your eyes shall see['t] perform'd.

Enter ROBIN123 the Ostler, with a book in his hand.

ROBIN. O, this is admirable! here I ha' stolen one of Doctor
Faustus' conjuring-books, and, i'faith, I mean to search some
circles for my own use. Now will I make all the maidens in our
parish dance at my pleasure, stark naked, before me; and so
by that means I shall see more than e'er I felt or saw yet.

Enter RALPH, calling ROBIN.

RALPH. Robin, prithee, come away; there's a gentleman tarries
to have his horse, and he would have his things rubbed and made
clean: he keeps such a chafing with my mistress about it; and
she has sent me to look thee out; prithee, come away.

ROBIN. Keep out, keep out, or else you are blown up, you are
dismembered, Ralph: keep out, for I am about a roaring piece
of work.

RALPH. Come, what doest thou with that same book? thou canst
not read?

ROBIN. Yes, my master and mistress shall find that I can read,
he for his forehead, she for her private study; she's born to
bear with me, or else my art fails.

RALPH. Why, Robin, what book is that?

ROBIN. What book! why, the most intolerable book for conjuring
that e'er was invented by any brimstone devil.

RALPH. Canst thou conjure with it?

ROBIN. I can do all these things easily with it; first, I can
make thee drunk with ippocras124 at any tabern125 in Europe
for nothing; that's one of my conjuring works.

RALPH. Our Master Parson says that's nothing.

ROBIN. True, Ralph: and more, Ralph, if thou hast any mind to
Nan Spit, our kitchen-maid, then turn her and wind her to thy own
use, as often as thou wilt, and at midnight.

RALPH. O, brave, Robin! shall I have Nan Spit, and to mine own
use? On that condition I'll feed thy devil with horse-bread as
long as he lives, of free cost.

ROBIN. No more, sweet Ralph: let's go and make clean our boots,
which lie foul upon our hands, and then to our conjuring in the
devil's name.

Enter ROBIN and RALPH126 with a silver goblet.

ROBIN. Come, Ralph: did not I tell thee, we were for ever made
by this Doctor Faustus' book? ecce, signum! here's a simple
purchase127 for horse-keepers: our horses shall eat no hay as
long as this lasts.

RALPH. But, Robin, here comes the Vintner.

ROBIN. Hush! I'll gull him supernaturally.


Drawer,128 I hope all is paid; God be with you!—Come, Ralph.

VINTNER. Soft, sir; a word with you. I must yet have a goblet paid
from you, ere you go.

ROBIN. I a goblet, Ralph, I a goblet!—I scorn you; and you are
but a, &c. I a goblet! search me.

VINTNER. I mean so, sir, with your favour.
[Searches ROBIN.]

ROBIN. How say you now?

VINTNER. I must say somewhat to your fellow.—You, sir!

RALPH. Me, sir! me, sir! search your fill. [VINTNER searches him.]
Now, sir, you may be ashamed to burden honest men with a matter
of truth.

VINTNER. Well, tone129 of you hath this goblet about you.

ROBIN. You lie, drawer, 'tis afore me [Aside].—Sirrah you, I'll
teach you to impeach honest men;—stand by;—I'll scour you for
a goblet;—stand aside you had best, I charge you in the name of
Belzebub.—Look to the goblet, Ralph [Aside to RALPH].

VINTNER. What mean you, sirrah?

ROBIN. I'll tell you what I mean. [Reads from a book] Sanctobulorum
Periphrasticon—nay, I'll tickle you, Vintner.—Look to the goblet,
Ralph [Aside to RALPH].—[Reads] Polypragmos Belseborams framanto
pacostiphos tostu, Mephistophilis, &c.

Enter MEPHISTOPHILIS, sets squibs at their backs, and then
exit. They run about.

VINTNER. O, nomine Domini! what meanest thou, Robin? thou hast no

RALPH. Peccatum peccatorum!—Here's thy goblet, good Vintner.
[Gives the goblet to VINTNER, who exit.]

ROBIN. Misericordia pro nobis! what shall I do? Good devil, forgive
me now, and I'll never rob thy library more.


MEPHIST. Monarch of Hell,130 under whose black survey
Great potentates do kneel with awful fear,
Upon whose altars thousand souls do lie,
How am I vexed with these villains' charms?
From Constantinople am I hither come,
Only for pleasure of these damned slaves.

ROBIN. How, from Constantinople! you have had a great journey:
will you take sixpence in your purse to pay for your supper, and
be gone?

MEPHIST. Well, villains, for your presumption, I transform thee
into an ape, and thee into a dog; and so be gone!

ROBIN. How, into an ape! that's brave: I'll have fine sport with
the boys; I'll get nuts and apples enow.

RALPH. And I must be a dog.

ROBIN. I'faith, thy head will never be out of the pottage-pot.


EMPEROR. Master Doctor Faustus,132 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 conjurer.

FAUSTUS. My gracious sovereign, though I must confess myself far
inferior to the report men have published, and nothing answerable
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.

EMPEROR. Then, Doctor Faustus, mark what I shall say.
As I was sometime solitary set
Within my closet, sundry thoughts arose
About the honour of mine ancestors,
How they had won133 by prowess such exploits,
Got such riches, subdu'd so many kingdoms,
As we that do succeed,134 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,
Chief spectacle of the world's pre-eminence,
The bright135 shining of whose glorious acts
Lightens the world with his reflecting beams,
As when I hear but motion made of him,
It grieves my soul I never saw the man:
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
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.

FAUSTUS. 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.

FAUSTUS. But, if it like your grace, it is not in my ability136
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.

FAUSTUS. But such spirits as can lively resemble Alexander and
his paramour shall appear before your grace, in that manner that
they both137 lived in, in their most flourishing estate; which
I doubt not shall sufficiently content your imperial majesty.

EMPEROR. Go to, Master Doctor; let me see them presently.

KNIGHT. Do you hear, Master Doctor? you bring Alexander and his
paramour before the Emperor!

FAUSTUS. How then, sir?

KNIGHT. I'faith, that's as true as Diana turned me to a stag.

FAUSTUS. No, sir; but, when Actaeon died, he left the horns for
you.—Mephistophilis, be gone.

KNIGHT. Nay, an you go to conjuring, I'll be gone.

FAUSTUS. I'll meet with you anon for interrupting me so.
—Here they are, my gracious lord.

Re-enter MEPHISTOPHILIS with SPIRITS in the shapes of ALEXANDER
and his PARAMOUR.

EMPEROR. Master Doctor, I heard this lady, while she lived, had a
wart or mole in her neck: how shall I know whether it be so or no?

FAUSTUS. Your highness may boldly go and see.

EMPEROR. Sure, these are no spirits, but the true substantial
bodies of those two deceased princes.
[Exeunt Spirits.]

FAUSTUS. Wilt please your highness now to send for the knight
that was so pleasant with me here of late?

EMPEROR. One of you call him forth.

Re-enter the KNIGHT with a pair of horns on his head.

How now, sir knight! why, I had thought thou hadst 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,
How dar'st thou thus abuse a gentleman?
Villain, I say, undo what thou hast done!

FAUSTUS. O, not so fast, sir! there's no haste: but, good, are
you remembered how you crossed me in my conference with the
Emperor? I think I have met with you for it.

EMPEROR. Good Master Doctor, at my entreaty release him: he hath
done penance sufficient.

FAUSTUS. My gracious lord, not so much for the injury he offered
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.138 [MEPHISTOPHILIS removes the horns.]
—Now, my good lord, having done my duty, I humbly take my leave.

EMPEROR. Farewell, Master Doctor: yet, ere you go,
Expect from me a bounteous reward.

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