Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, The

FAUSTUS. Now, Mephistophilis,139 the restless course
That time doth run with calm and silent foot,
Shortening my days and thread of vital life,
Calls for the payment of my latest years:
Therefore, sweet Mephistophilis, let us
Make haste to Wertenberg.

MEPHIST. What, will you go on horse-back or on foot[?]

FAUSTUS. Nay, till I'm past this fair and pleasant green,
I'll walk on foot.


HORSE-COURSER. I have been all this day seeking one Master Fustian:
mass, see where he is!—God save you, Master Doctor!

FAUSTUS. What, horse-courser! you are well met.

HORSE-COURSER. Do you hear, sir? I have brought you forty dollars
for your horse.

FAUSTUS. I cannot sell him so: if thou likest him for fifty, take

HORSE-COURSER. Alas, sir, I have no more!—I pray you, speak for

MEPHIST. I pray you, let him have him: he is an honest fellow,
and he has a great charge, neither wife nor child.

FAUSTUS. Well, come, give me your money [HORSE-COURSER gives
FAUSTUS the money]: my boy will deliver him to you. But I must
tell you one thing before you have him; ride him not into the
water, at any hand.

HORSE-COURSER. Why, sir, will he not drink of all waters?

FAUSTUS. O, yes, he will drink of all waters; but ride him not
into the water: ride him over hedge or ditch, or where thou wilt,
but not into the water.

HORSE-COURSER. Well, sir.—Now am I made man for ever: I'll not
leave my horse for forty:141 if he had but the quality of
hey-ding-ding, hey-ding-ding, I'd make a brave living on him:
he has a buttock as slick as an eel [Aside].—Well, God b'wi'ye,
sir: your boy will deliver him me: but, hark you, sir; if my horse
be sick or ill at ease, if I bring his water to you, you'll tell
me what it is?

FAUSTUS. Away, you villain! what, dost think I am a horse-doctor?

What art thou, Faustus, but a man condemn'd to die?
Thy fatal time doth draw to final end;
Despair doth drive distrust into142 my thoughts:
Confound these passions with a quiet sleep:
Tush, Christ did call the thief upon the Cross;
Then rest thee, Faustus, quiet in conceit.
[Sleeps in his chair.]

Re-enter HORSE-COURSER, all wet, crying.

HORSE-COURSER. Alas, alas! Doctor Fustian, quoth a? mass, Doctor
Lopus143 was never such a doctor: has given me a purgation, has
purged me of forty dollars; I shall never see them more. But yet,
like an ass as I was, I would not be ruled by him, for he bade me
I should ride him into no water: now I, thinking my horse had had
some rare quality that he would not have had me know of,144 I,
like a venturous youth, rid him into the deep pond at the town's
end. I was no sooner in the middle of the pond, but my horse
vanished away, and I sat upon a bottle of hay, never so near
drowning in my life. But I'll seek out my doctor, and have my
forty dollars again, or I'll make it the dearest horse!—O,
yonder is his snipper-snapper.—Do you hear? you, hey-pass,145
where's your master?

MEPHIST. Why, sir, what would you? you cannot speak with him.

HORSE-COURSER. But I will speak with him.

MEPHIST. Why, he's fast asleep: come some other time.

HORSE-COURSER. I'll speak with him now, or I'll break his
glass-windows about his ears.

MEPHIST. I tell thee, he has not slept this eight nights.

HORSE-COURSER. An he have not slept this eight weeks, I'll
speak with him.

MEPHIST. See, where he is, fast asleep.

HORSE-COURSER. Ay, this is he.—God save you, Master Doctor,
Master Doctor, Master Doctor Fustian! forty dollars, forty dollars
for a bottle of hay!

MEPHIST. Why, thou seest he hears thee not.

HORSE-COURSER. So-ho, ho! so-ho, ho! [Hollows in his ear.] No,
will you not wake? I'll make you wake ere I go. [Pulls FAUSTUS
by the leg, and pulls it away.] Alas, I am undone! what shall
I do?

FAUSTUS. O, my leg, my leg!—Help, Mephistophilis! call the
officers.—My leg, my leg!

MEPHIST. Come, villain, to the constable.

HORSE-COURSER. O Lord, sir, let me go, and I'll give you forty
dollars more!

MEPHIST. Where be they?

HORSE-COURSER. I have none about me: come to my ostry,146
and I'll give them you.

MEPHIST. Be gone quickly.
[HORSE-COURSER runs away.]

FAUSTUS. What, is he gone? farewell he! Faustus has his leg again,
and the Horse-courser, I take it, a bottle of hay for his labour:
well, this trick shall cost him forty dollars more.


How now, Wagner! what's the news with thee?

WAGNER. Sir, the Duke of Vanholt doth earnestly entreat your

FAUSTUS. The Duke of Vanholt! an honourable gentleman, to whom
I must be no niggard of my cunning.147—Come, Mephistophilis,
let's away to him.


DUKE. Believe me, Master Doctor, this merriment hath much pleased

FAUSTUS. My gracious lord, I am glad it contents you so well.
—But it may be, madam, you take no delight in this. I have heard
that great-bellied women do long for some dainties or other: what
is it, madam? tell me, and you shall have it.

DUCHESS. Thanks, good Master Doctor: and, for I see your courteous
intent to pleasure me, I will not hide from you the thing my heart
desires; and, were it now summer, as it is January and the dead
time of the winter, I would desire no better meat than a dish
of ripe grapes.

FAUSTUS. Alas, madam, that's nothing!—Mephistophilis, be gone.
[Exit MEPHISTOPHILIS.] Were it a greater thing than this, so it
would content you, you should have it.

Re-enter MEPHISTOPHILIS with grapes.

Here they be, madam: wilt please you taste on them?

DUKE. Believe me, Master Doctor, this makes me wonder above the
rest, that being in the dead time of winter and in the month of
January, how you should come by these grapes.

FAUSTUS. If it like your grace, the year is divided into two
circles over the whole world, that, when it is here winter with
us, in the contrary circle it is summer with them, as in India,
Saba,149 and farther countries in the east; and by means of a
swift spirit that I have, I had them brought hither, as you see.
—How do you like them, madam? be they good?

DUCHESS. Believe me, Master Doctor, they be the best grapes that
e'er I tasted in my life before.

FAUSTUS. I am glad they content you so, madam.

DUKE. Come, madam, let us in, where you must well reward this
learned man for the great kindness he hath shewed to you.

DUCHESS. And so I will, my lord; and, whilst I live, rest
beholding150 for this courtesy.

FAUSTUS. I humbly thank your grace.

DUKE. Come, Master Doctor, follow us, and receive your reward.

Enter WAGNER.151

WAGNER. I think my master means to die shortly,
For he hath given to me all his goods:152
And yet, methinks, if that death were near,
He would not banquet, and carouse, and swill
Amongst the students, as even now he doth,
Who are at supper with such belly-cheer
As Wagner ne'er beheld in all his life.
See, where they come! belike the feast is ended.

Enter FAUSTUS with two or three SCHOLARS, and MEPHISTOPHILIS.

FIRST SCHOLAR. Master Doctor Faustus, since our conference about
fair ladies, which was the beautifulest in all the world, we have
determined with ourselves that Helen of Greece was the admirablest
lady that ever lived: therefore, Master Doctor, if you will do us
that favour, as to let us see that peerless dame of Greece, whom
all the world admires for majesty, we should think ourselves much
beholding unto you.

FAUSTUS. Gentlemen,
For that I know your friendship is unfeign'd,
And Faustus' custom is not to deny
The just requests of those that wish him well,
You shall behold that peerless dame of Greece,
No otherways for pomp and majesty
Than when Sir Paris cross'd the seas with her,
And brought the spoils to rich Dardania.
Be silent, then, for danger is in words.
[Music sounds, and HELEN passeth over the stage.] 153

SECOND SCHOLAR. Too simple is my wit to tell her praise,
Whom all the world admires for majesty.

THIRD SCHOLAR. No marvel though the angry Greeks pursu'd
With ten years' war the rape of such a queen,
Whose heavenly beauty passeth all compare.

FIRST SCHOLAR. Since we have seen the pride of Nature's works,
And only paragon of excellence,
Let us depart; and for this glorious deed
Happy and blest be Faustus evermore!

FAUSTUS. Gentlemen, farewell: the same I wish to you.
[Exeunt SCHOLARS.]

Enter an OLD MAN.154

OLD MAN. Ah, Doctor Faustus, that I might prevail
To guide thy steps unto the way of life,
By which sweet path thou mayst attain the goal
That shall conduct thee to celestial rest!
Break heart, drop blood, and mingle it with tears,
Tears falling from repentant heaviness
Of thy most vile155 and loathsome filthiness,
The stench whereof corrupts the inward soul
With such flagitious crimes of heinous sin156
As no commiseration may expel,
But mercy, Faustus, of thy Saviour sweet,
Whose blood alone must wash away thy guilt.

FAUSTUS. Where art thou, Faustus? wretch, what hast thou done?
Damn'd art thou, Faustus, damn'd; despair and die!
Hell calls for right, and with a roaring voice
Says, "Faustus, come; thine hour is almost157 come;"
And Faustus now158 will come to do thee right.
[MEPHISTOPHILIS gives him a dagger.]

OLD MAN. Ah, stay, good Faustus, stay thy desperate steps!
I see an angel hovers o'er thy head,
And, with a vial full of precious grace,
Offers to pour the same into thy soul:
Then call for mercy, and avoid despair.

FAUSTUS. Ah, my sweet friend, I feel
Thy words to comfort my distressed soul!
Leave me a while to ponder on my sins.

OLD MAN. I go, sweet Faustus; but with heavy cheer,
Fearing the ruin of thy hopeless soul.

FAUSTUS. Accursed Faustus, where is mercy now?
I do repent; and yet I do despair:
Hell strives with grace for conquest in my breast:
What shall I do to shun the snares of death?

MEPHIST. Thou traitor, Faustus, I arrest thy soul
For disobedience to my sovereign lord:
Revolt, or I'll in piece-meal tear thy flesh.

FAUSTUS. Sweet Mephistophilis, entreat thy lord
To pardon my unjust presumption,
And with my blood again I will confirm
My former vow I made to Lucifer.

MEPHIST. Do it, then, quickly,159 with unfeigned heart,
Lest greater danger do attend thy drift.

FAUSTUS. Torment, sweet friend, that base and crooked age,
That durst dissuade me from thy Lucifer,
With greatest torments that our hell affords.

MEPHIST. His faith is great; I cannot touch his soul;
But what I may afflict his body with
I will attempt, which is but little worth.

FAUSTUS. One thing, good servant,160 let me crave of thee,
To glut the longing of my heart's desire,—
That I might have unto my paramour
That heavenly Helen which I saw of late,
Whose sweet embracings may extinguish clean
Those161 thoughts that do dissuade me from my vow,
And keep mine oath I made to Lucifer.

MEPHIST. Faustus, this,162 or what else thou shalt desire,
Shall be perform'd in twinkling of an eye.

Re-enter HELEN.

FAUSTUS. Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless163 towers of Ilium—
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.—
[Kisses her.]
Her lips suck forth my soul: see, where it flies!—
Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.
Here will I dwell, for heaven is164 in these lips,
And all is dross that is not Helena.
I will be Paris, and for love of thee,
Instead of Troy, shall Wertenberg be sack'd;
And I will combat with weak Menelaus,
And wear thy colours on my plumed crest;
Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel,
And then return to Helen for a kiss.
O, thou art fairer than the evening air
Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
When he appear'd to hapless Semele;
More lovely than the monarch of the sky
In wanton Arethusa's azur'd arms;
And none but thou shalt165 be my paramour!

Enter the OLD MAN.166

OLD MAN. Accursed Faustus, miserable man,
That from thy soul exclud'st the grace of heaven,
And fly'st the throne of his tribunal-seat!


Satan begins to sift me with his pride:
As in this furnace God shall try my faith,
My faith, vile hell, shall triumph over thee.
Ambitious fiends, see how the heavens smile
At your repulse, and laugh your state to scorn!
Hence, hell! for hence I fly unto my God.
[Exeunt,—on one side, DEVILS, on the other, OLD MAN.]

Enter FAUSTUS,167 with SCHOLARS.

FAUSTUS. Ah, gentlemen!

FIRST SCHOLAR. What ails Faustus?

FAUSTUS. 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?

SECOND SCHOLAR. What means Faustus?

THIRD SCHOLAR. Belike he is grown into some sickness by being

FIRST SCHOLAR. If it be so, we'll have physicians to cure him.
—'Tis but a surfeit; never fear, man.

FAUSTUS. A surfeit of deadly sin, that hath damned both body
and soul.

SECOND SCHOLAR. Yet, Faustus, look up to heaven; remember God's
mercies are infinite.

FAUSTUS. But Faustus' offence can ne'er be pardoned: the serpent
that tempted Eve may be saved, 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, O, would I had never seen Wertenberg,
never read book! and what wonders I have done, all Germany can
witness, yea, all 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?

THIRD SCHOLAR. Yet, Faustus, call on God.

FAUSTUS. On God, whom Faustus hath abjured! 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!
O, he stays my tongue! I would lift up my hands; but see, they
hold them, they hold them!

ALL. Who, Faustus?

FAUSTUS. Lucifer and Mephistophilis. Ah, gentlemen, I gave them
my soul for my cunning!168

ALL. God forbid!

FAUSTUS. 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.

FIRST SCHOLAR. Why did not Faustus tell us of this before,169
that divines might have prayed for thee?

FAUSTUS. Oft have I thought to have done so; but the devil
threatened to tear me in pieces, if I named 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.

SECOND SCHOLAR. O, what shall we do to save170 Faustus?

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

THIRD SCHOLAR. God will strengthen me; I will stay with Faustus.

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

FAUSTUS. Ay, pray for me, pray for me; and what noise soever
ye hear,171 come not unto me, for nothing can rescue me.

SECOND SCHOLAR. Pray thou, and we will pray that God may have
mercy upon thee.

FAUSTUS. 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.]

1 of 2
2 of 2