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Faust
by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
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STUDENT

I'll hang thereon with joy, and freely drain them; But tell me, pray, the proper means to gain them.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Explain, before you further speak, The special faculty you seek.

STUDENT

I crave the highest erudition; And fain would make my acquisition All that there is in Earth and Heaven, In Nature and in Science too.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Here is the genuine path for you; Yet strict attention must be given.

STUDENT

Body and soul thereon I'll wreak; Yet, truly, I've some inclination On summer holidays to seek A little freedom and recreation.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Use well your time! It flies so swiftly from us; But time through order may be won, I promise. So, Friend (my views to briefly sum), First, the collegium logicum. There will your mind be drilled and braced, As if in Spanish boots 'twere laced, And thus, to graver paces brought, 'Twill plod along the path of thought, Instead of shooting here and there, A will-o'-the-wisp in murky air. Days will be spent to bid you know, What once you did at a single blow, Like eating and drinking, free and strong,— That one, two, three! thereto belong. Truly the fabric of mental fleece Resembles a weaver's masterpiece, Where a thousand threads one treadle throws, Where fly the shuttles hither and thither. Unseen the threads are knit together. And an infinite combination grows. Then, the philosopher steps in And shows, no otherwise it could have been: The first was so, the second so, Therefore the third and fourth are so; Were not the first and second, then The third and fourth had never been. The scholars are everywhere believers, But never succeed in being weavers. He who would study organic existence, First drives out the soul with rigid persistence; Then the parts in his hand he may hold and class, But the spiritual link is lost, alas! Encheiresin natures, this Chemistry names, Nor knows how herself she banters and blames!

STUDENT

I cannot understand you quite.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Your mind will shortly be set aright, When you have learned, all things reducing, To classify them for your using.

STUDENT

I feel as stupid, from all you've said, As if a mill-wheel whirled in my head!

MEPHISTOPHELES

And after—first and foremost duty—Of Metaphysics learn the use and beauty! See that you most profoundly gain What does not suit the human brain! A splendid word to serve, you'll find For what goes in—or won't go in—your mind. But first, at least this half a year, To order rigidly adhere; Five hours a day, you understand, And when the clock strikes, be on hand! Prepare beforehand for your part With paragraphs all got by heart, So you can better watch, and look That naught is said but what is in the book: Yet in thy writing as unwearied be, As did the Holy Ghost dictate to thee!

STUDENT

No need to tell me twice to do it! I think, how useful 'tis to write; For what one has, in black and white, One carries home and then goes through it.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Yet choose thyself a faculty!

STUDENT

I cannot reconcile myself to Jurisprudence.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Nor can I therefore greatly blame you students: I know what science this has come to be. All rights and laws are still transmitted Like an eternal sickness of the race,— From generation unto generation fitted, And shifted round from place to place. Reason becomes a sham, Beneficence a worry: Thou art a grandchild, therefore woe to thee! The right born with us, ours in verity, This to consider, there's, alas! no hurry.

STUDENT

My own disgust is strengthened by your speech: O lucky he, whom you shall teach! I've almost for Theology decided.

MEPHISTOPHELES

I should not wish to see you here misguided: For, as regards this science, let me hint 'Tis very hard to shun the false direction; There's so much secret poison lurking in 't, So like the medicine, it baffles your detection. Hear, therefore, one alone, for that is best, in sooth, And simply take your master's words for truth. On words let your attention centre! Then through the safest gate you'll enter The temple-halls of Certainty.

STUDENT

Yet in the word must some idea be.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Of course! But only shun too over-sharp a tension, For just where fails the comprehension, A word steps promptly in as deputy. With words 'tis excellent disputing; Systems to words 'tis easy suiting; On words 'tis excellent believing; No word can ever lose a jot from thieving.

STUDENT

Pardon! With many questions I detain you. Yet must I trouble you again. Of Medicine I still would fain Hear one strong word that might explain you. Three years is but a little space. And, God! who can the field embrace? If one some index could be shown, 'Twere easier groping forward, truly.

MEPHISTOPHELES (aside)

I'm tired enough of this dry tone,— Must play the Devil again, and fully.

(Aloud)

To grasp the spirit of Medicine is easy: Learn of the great and little world your fill, To let it go at last, so please ye, Just as God will! In vain that through the realms of science you may drift; Each one learns only—just what learn he can: Yet he who grasps the Moment's gift, He is the proper man. Well-made you are, 'tis not to be denied, The rest a bold address will win you; If you but in yourself confide, At once confide all others in you. To lead the women, learn the special feeling! Their everlasting aches and groans, In thousand tones, Have all one source, one mode of healing; And if your acts are half discreet, You'll always have them at your feet. A title first must draw and interest them, And show that yours all other arts exceeds; Then, as a greeting, you are free to touch and test them, While, thus to do, for years another pleads. You press and count the pulse's dances, And then, with burning sidelong glances, You clasp the swelling hips, to see If tightly laced her corsets be.

STUDENT

That's better, now! The How and Where, one sees.

MEPHISTOPHELES

My worthy friend, gray are all theories, And green alone Life's golden tree.

STUDENT

I swear to you, 'tis like a dream to me. Might I again presume, with trust unbounded, To hear your wisdom thoroughly expounded?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Most willingly, to what extent I may.

STUDENT

I cannot really go away: Allow me that my album first I reach you,— Grant me this favor, I beseech you!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Assuredly.

(He writes, and returns the book.)

STUDENT (reads)

Eritis sicut Deus, scientes bonum et malum. (Closes the book with reverence, and withdraws)

MEPHISTOPHELES

Follow the ancient text, and the snake thou wast ordered to trample! With all thy likeness to God, thou'lt yet be a sorry example!

(FAUST enters.)

FAUST

Now, whither shall we go?

MEPHISTOPHELES

As best it pleases thee. The little world, and then the great, we'll see. With what delight, what profit winning, Shalt thou sponge through the term beginning!

FAUST

Yet with the flowing beard I wear, Both ease and grace will fail me there. The attempt, indeed, were a futile strife; I never could learn the ways of life. I feel so small before others, and thence Should always find embarrassments.

MEPHISTOPHELES

My friend, thou soon shalt lose all such misgiving: Be thou but self-possessed, thou hast the art of living!

FAUST

How shall we leave the house, and start? Where hast thou servant, coach and horses?

MEPHISTOPHELES

We'll spread this cloak with proper art, Then through the air direct our courses. But only, on so bold a flight, Be sure to have thy luggage light. A little burning air, which I shall soon prepare us, Above the earth will nimbly bear us, And, if we're light, we'll travel swift and clear: I gratulate thee on thy new career!



V

AUERBACH'S CELLAR IN LEIPZIG CAROUSAL OF JOLLY COMPANIONS

FROSCH

I no one laughing? no one drinking? I'll teach you how to grin, I'm thinking. To-day you're like wet straw, so tame; And usually you're all aflame.

BRANDER

Now that's your fault; from you we nothing see, No beastliness and no stupidity.

FROSCH

(Pours a glass of wine over BRANDER'S head.) There's both together!

BRANDER

Twice a swine!

FROSCH

You wanted them: I've given you mine.

SIEBEL

Turn out who quarrels—out the door! With open throat sing chorus, drink and roar! Up! holla! ho!

ALTMAYER

Woe's me, the fearful bellow! Bring cotton, quick! He's split my ears, that fellow.

SIEBEL

When the vault echoes to the song, One first perceives the bass is deep and strong.

FROSCH

Well said! and out with him that takes the least offence! Ah, tara, lara da!

ALTMAYER

Ah, tara, lara, da!

FROSCH

The throats are tuned, commence! (Sings.) The dear old holy Roman realm, How does it hold together?

BRANDER

A nasty song! Fie! a political song— A most offensive song! Thank God, each morning, therefore, That you have not the Roman realm to care for! At least, I hold it so much gain for me, That I nor Chancellor nor Kaiser be. Yet also we must have a ruling head, I hope, And so we'll choose ourselves a Pope. You know the quality that can Decide the choice, and elevate the man.

FROSCH (sings)

Soar up, soar up, Dame Nightingale! Ten thousand times my sweetheart hail!

SIEBEL

No, greet my sweetheart not! I tell you, I'll resent it.

FROSCH

My sweetheart greet and kiss! I dare you to prevent it!

(Sings.)

Draw the latch! the darkness makes: Draw the latch! the lover wakes. Shut the latch! the morning breaks.

SIEBEL

Yes, sing away, sing on, and praise, and brag of her! I'll wait my proper time for laughter: Me by the nose she led, and now she'll lead you after. Her paramour should be an ugly gnome, Where four roads cross, in wanton play to meet her: An old he-goat, from Blocksberg coming home, Should his good-night in lustful gallop bleat her! A fellow made of genuine flesh and blood Is for the wench a deal too good. Greet her? Not I: unless, when meeting, To smash her windows be a greeting!

BRANDER (pounding on the table)

Attention! Hearken now to me! Confess, Sirs, I know how to live. Enamored persons here have we, And I, as suits their quality, Must something fresh for their advantage give. Take heed! 'Tis of the latest cut, my strain, And all strike in at each refrain!

(He sings.)

There was a rat in the cellar-nest, Whom fat and butter made smoother: He had a paunch beneath his vest Like that of Doctor Luther. The cook laid poison cunningly, And then as sore oppressed was he As if he had love in his bosom.

CHORUS (shouting)

As if he had love in his bosom!

BRANDER

He ran around, he ran about, His thirst in puddles laving; He gnawed and scratched the house throughout. But nothing cured his raving. He whirled and jumped, with torment mad, And soon enough the poor beast had, As if he had love in his bosom.

CHORUS

As if he had love in his bosom!

BRANDER

And driven at last, in open day, He ran into the kitchen, Fell on the hearth, and squirming lay, In the last convulsion twitching. Then laughed the murderess in her glee: "Ha! ha! he's at his last gasp," said she, "As if he had love in his bosom!"

CHORUS

As if he had love in his bosom!

SIEBEL

How the dull fools enjoy the matter! To me it is a proper art Poison for such poor rats to scatter.

BRANDER

Perhaps you'll warmly take their part?

ALTMAYER

The bald-pate pot-belly I have noted: Misfortune tames him by degrees; For in the rat by poison bloated His own most natural form he sees.

FAUST AND MEPHISTOPHELES

MEPHISTOPHELES

Before all else, I bring thee hither Where boon companions meet together, To let thee see how smooth life runs away. Here, for the folk, each day's a holiday: With little wit, and ease to suit them, They whirl in narrow, circling trails, Like kittens playing with their tails? And if no headache persecute them, So long the host may credit give, They merrily and careless live.

BRANDER

The fact is easy to unravel, Their air's so odd, they've just returned from travel: A single hour they've not been here.

FROSCH

You've verily hit the truth! Leipzig to me is dear: Paris in miniature, how it refines its people!

SIEBEL

Who are the strangers, should you guess?

FROSCH

Let me alone! I'll set them first to drinking, And then, as one a child's tooth draws, with cleverness, I'll worm their secret out, I'm thinking. They're of a noble house, that's very clear: Haughty and discontented they appear.

BRANDER

They're mountebanks, upon a revel.

ALTMAYER

Perhaps.

FROSCH

Look out, I'll smoke them now!

MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)

Not if he had them by the neck, I vow, Would e'er these people scent the Devil!

FAUST Fair greeting, gentlemen!

SIEBEL

Our thanks: we give the same. (Murmurs, inspecting MEPHISTOPHELES from the side.) In one foot is the fellow lame?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Is it permitted that we share your leisure? In place of cheering drink, which one seeks vainly here, Your company shall give us pleasure.

ALTMAYER

A most fastidious person you appear.

FROSCH

No doubt 'twas late when you from Rippach started? And supping there with Hans occasioned your delay?

MEPHISTOPHELES

We passed, without a call, to-day. At our last interview, before we parted Much of his cousins did he speak, entreating That we should give to each his kindly greeting.

(He bows to FROSCH.)

ALTMAYER (aside)

You have it now! he understands.

SIEBEL

A knave sharp-set!

FROSCH

Just wait awhile: I'll have him yet.

MEPHISTOPHELES

If I am right, we heard the sound Of well-trained voices, singing chorus; And truly, song must here rebound Superbly from the arches o'er us.

FROSCH

Are you, perhaps, a virtuoso?

MEPHISTOPHELES

O no! my wish is great, my power is only so-so.

ALTMAYER

Give us a song!

MEPHISTOPHELES

If you desire, a number.

SIEBEL

So that it be a bran-new strain!

MEPHISTOPHELES

We've just retraced our way from. Spain, The lovely land of wine, and song, and slumber.

(Sings.)

There was a king once reigning, Who had a big black flea—

FROSCH

Hear, hear! A flea! D'ye rightly take the jest? I call a flea a tidy guest.

MEPHISTOPHELES (sings)

There was a king once reigning, Who had a big black flea, And loved him past explaining, As his own son were he. He called his man of stitches; The tailor came straightway: Here, measure the lad for breeches. And measure his coat, I say!

BRANDER

But mind, allow the tailor no caprices: Enjoin upon him, as his head is dear, To most exactly measure, sew and shear, So that the breeches have no creases!

MEPHISTOPHELES

In silk and velvet gleaming He now was wholly drest— Had a coat with ribbons streaming, A cross upon his breast. He had the first of stations, A minister's star and name; And also all his relations Great lords at court became.

And the lords and ladies of honor Were plagued, awake and in bed; The queen she got them upon her, The maids were bitten and bled. And they did not dare to brush them, Or scratch them, day or night: We crack them and we crush them, At once, whene'er they bite.

CHORUS (shouting)

We crack them and we crush them, At once, whene'er they bite!

FROSCH Bravo! bravo! that was fine.

SIEBEL

Every flea may it so befall!

BRANDER

Point your fingers and nip them all!

ALTMAYER

Hurrah for Freedom! Hurrah for wine!

MEPHISTOPHELES

I fain would drink with you, my glass to Freedom clinking, If 'twere a better wine that here I see you drinking.

SIEBEL

Don't let us hear that speech again!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Did I not fear the landlord might complain, I'd treat these worthy guests, with pleasure, To some from out our cellar's treasure.

SIEBEL

Just treat, and let the landlord me arraign!

FROSCH

And if the wine be good, our praises shall be ample. But do not give too very small a sample; For, if its quality I decide, With a good mouthful I must be supplied.

ALTMAYER (aside)

They're from the Rhine! I guessed as much, before.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Bring me a gimlet here!

BRANDER

What shall therewith be done? You've not the casks already at the door?

ALTMAYER

Yonder, within the landlord's box of tools, there's one!

MEPHISTOPHELES (takes the gimlet)

(To FROSCH.)

Now, give me of your taste some intimation.

FROSCH

How do you mean? Have you so many kinds?

MEPHISTOPHELES

The choice is free: make up your minds.

ALTMAYER (to FROSCH)

Aha! you lick your chops, from sheer anticipation.

FROSCH

Good! if I have the choice, so let the wine be Rhenish! Our Fatherland can best the sparkling cup replenish.

MEPHISTOPHELES

(boring a hole in the edge of the table, at the place where FROSCH sits)

Get me a little wax, to make the stoppers, quick!

ALTMAYER

Ah! I perceive a juggler's trick.

MEPHISTOPHELES (to BRANDER)

And you?

BRANDER

Champagne shall be my wine, And let it sparkle fresh and fine!

MEPHISTOPHELES

(bores: in the meantime one has made the wax stoppers, and plugged the holes with them.)

BRANDER

What's foreign one can't always keep quite clear of, For good things, oft, are not so near; A German can't endure the French to see or hear of, Yet drinks their wines with hearty cheer.

SIEBEL

(as MEPHISTOPHELES approaches his seat) For me, I grant, sour wine is out of place; Fill up my glass with sweetest, will you?

MEPHISTOPHELES (boring)

Tokay shall flow at once, to fill you!

ALTMAYER

No—look me, Sirs, straight in the face! I see you have your fun at our expense.

MEPHISTOPHELES

O no! with gentlemen of such pretence, That were to venture far, indeed. Speak out, and make your choice with speed! With what a vintage can I serve you?

ALTMAYER

With any—only satisfy our need.

(After the holes have been bored and plugged)

MEPHISTOPHELES (with singular gestures)

Grapes the vine-stem bears, Horns the he-goat wears! The grapes are juicy, the vines are wood, The wooden table gives wine as good! Into the depths of Nature peer,— Only believe there's a miracle here!

Now draw the stoppers, and drink your fill!

ALL

(as they draw out the stoppers, and the wine which has been desired flows into the glass of each)

O beautiful fountain, that flows at will!

MEPHISTOPHELES

But have a care that you nothing spill!

(They drink repeatedly.)

ALL (sing)

As 'twere five hundred hogs, we feel So cannibalic jolly!

MEPHISTOPHELES

See, now, the race is happy—it is free!

FAUST

To leave them is my inclination.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Take notice, first! their bestiality Will make a brilliant demonstration.

SIEBEL

(drinks carelessly: the wine spills upon the earth, and turns to flame)

Help! Fire! Help! Hell-fire is sent!

MEPHISTOPHELES (charming away the flame)

Be quiet, friendly element!

(To the revellers)

A bit of purgatory 'twas for this time, merely.

SIEBEL

What mean you? Wait!—you'll pay for't dearly! You'll know us, to your detriment.

FROSCH

Don't try that game a second time upon us!

ALTMAYER

I think we'd better send him packing quietly.

SIEBEL

What, Sir! you dare to make so free, And play your hocus-pocus on us!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Be still, old wine-tub.

SIEBEL

Broomstick, you! You face it out, impertinent and heady?

BRANDER

Just wait! a shower of blows is ready.

ALTMAYER

(draws a stopper out of the table: fire flies in his face.) I burn! I burn!

SIEBEL

'Tis magic! Strike— The knave is outlawed! Cut him as you like! (They draw their knives, and rush upon MEPHISTOPHELES.)

MEPHISTOPHELES (with solemn gestures)

False word and form of air, Change place, and sense ensnare! Be here—and there!

(They stand amazed and look at each other.)

ALTMAYER

Where am I? What a lovely land!

FROSCH

Vines? Can I trust my eyes?

SIEBEL

And purple grapes at hand!

BRANDER

Here, over this green arbor bending, See what a vine! what grapes depending!

(He takes SIEBEL by the nose: the others do the same reciprocally, and raise their knives.)

MEPHISTOPHELES (as above)

Loose, Error, from their eyes the band, And how the Devil jests, be now enlightened!

(He disappears with FAUST: the revellers start and separate.)

SIEBEL

What happened?

ALTMAYER

How?

FROSCH

Was that your nose I tightened?

BRANDER (to SIEBEL)

And yours that still I have in hand?

ALTMAYER

It was a blow that went through every limb! Give me a chair! I sink! my senses swim.

FROSCH

But what has happened, tell me now?

SIEBEL

Where is he? If I catch the scoundrel hiding, He shall not leave alive, I vow.

ALTMAYER

I saw him with these eyes upon a wine-cask riding Out of the cellar-door, just now. Still in my feet the fright like lead is weighing. (He turns towards the table.) Why! If the fount of wine should still be playing?

SIEBEL

'Twas all deceit, and lying, false design!

FROSCH

And yet it seemed as I were drinking wine.

BRANDER

But with the grapes how was it, pray?

ALTMAYER

Shall one believe no miracles, just say!



VI

WITCHES' KITCHEN

(Upon a low hearth stands a great caldron, under which a fire is burning. Various figures appear in the vapors which rise from the caldron. An ape sits beside it, skims it, and watches lest it boil over. The he-ape, with the young ones, sits near and warms himself. Ceiling and walls are covered with the most fantastic witch-implements.)

FAUST MEPHISTOPHELES

FAUST

These crazy signs of witches' craft repel me! I shall recover, dost thou tell me, Through this insane, chaotic play? From an old hag shall I demand assistance? And will her foul mess take away Full thirty years from my existence? Woe's me, canst thou naught better find! Another baffled hope must be lamented: Has Nature, then, and has a noble mind Not any potent balsam yet invented?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Once more, my friend, thou talkest sensibly. There is, to make thee young, a simpler mode and apter; But in another book 'tis writ for thee, And is a most eccentric chapter.

FAUST

Yet will I know it.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Good! the method is revealed Without or gold or magic or physician. Betake thyself to yonder field, There hoe and dig, as thy condition; Restrain thyself, thy sense and will Within a narrow sphere to flourish; With unmixed food thy body nourish; Live with the ox as ox, and think it not a theft That thou manur'st the acre which thou reapest;— That, trust me, is the best mode left, Whereby for eighty years thy youth thou keepest!

FAUST

I am not used to that; I cannot stoop to try it— To take the spade in hand, and ply it. The narrow being suits me not at all.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Then to thine aid the witch must call.

FAUST

Wherefore the hag, and her alone? Canst thou thyself not brew the potion?

MEPHISTOPHELES

That were a charming sport, I own: I'd build a thousand bridges meanwhile, I've a notion. Not Art and Science serve, alone; Patience must in the work be shown. Long is the calm brain active in creation; Time, only, strengthens the fine fermentation. And all, belonging thereunto, Is rare and strange, howe'er you take it: The Devil taught the thing, 'tis true, And yet the Devil cannot make it. (Perceiving the Animals) See, what a delicate race they be! That is the maid! the man is he! (To the Animals) It seems the mistress has gone away?

THE ANIMALS

Carousing, to-day! Off and about, By the chimney out!

MEPHISTOPHELES

What time takes she for dissipating?

THE ANIMALS

While we to warm our paws are waiting.

MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)

How findest thou the tender creatures?

FAUST

Absurder than I ever yet did see.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Why, just such talk as this, for me, Is that which has the most attractive features!

(To the Animals)

But tell me now, ye cursed puppets, Why do ye stir the porridge so?

THE ANIMALS

We're cooking watery soup for beggars.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Then a great public you can show.

THE HE-APE

(comes up and fawns on MEPHISTOPHELES)

O cast thou the dice! Make me rich in a trice, Let me win in good season! Things are badly controlled, And had I but gold, So had I my reason.

MEPHISTOPHELES

How would the ape be sure his luck enhances. Could he but try the lottery's chances!

(In the meantime the young apes have been playing with a large ball, which they now roll forward.)

THE HE-APE

The world's the ball: Doth rise and fall, And roll incessant: Like glass doth ring, A hollow thing,— How soon will't spring, And drop, quiescent? Here bright it gleams, Here brighter seems: I live at present! Dear son, I say, Keep thou away! Thy doom is spoken! 'Tis made of clay, And will be broken.

MEPHISTOPHELES

What means the sieve?

THE HE-APE (taking it down)

Wert thou the thief, I'd know him and shame him.

(He runs to the SHE-APE, and lets her look through it.)

Look through the sieve! Know'st thou the thief, And darest not name him?

MEPHISTOPHELES (approaching the fire)

And what's this pot?

HE-APE AND SHE-APE

The fool knows it not! He knows not the pot, He knows not the kettle!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Impertinent beast!

THE HE-APE

Take the brush here, at least, And sit down on the settle!

(He invites MEPHISTOPHELES to sit down.)

FAUST

(who during all this time has been standing before a mirror, now approaching and now retreating from it)

What do I see? What heavenly form revealed Shows through the glass from Magic's fair dominions! O lend me, Love, the swiftest of thy pinions, And bear me to her beauteous field! Ah, if I leave this spot with fond designing, If I attempt to venture near, Dim, as through gathering mist, her charms appear!— A woman's form, in beauty shining! Can woman, then, so lovely be? And must I find her body, there reclining, Of all the heavens the bright epitome? Can Earth with such a thing be mated?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Why, surely, if a God first plagues Himself six days, Then, self-contented, Bravo! says, Must something clever be created. This time, thine eyes be satiate! I'll yet detect thy sweetheart and ensnare her, And blest is he, who has the lucky fate, Some day, as bridegroom, home to bear her.

(FAUST gazes continually in the mirror. MEPHISTOPHELES, stretching himself out on the settle, and playing with the brush, continues to speak.)

So sit I, like the King upon his throne: I hold the sceptre, here,—and lack the crown alone.

THE ANIMALS

(who up to this time have been making all kinds of fantastic movements together bring a crown to MEPHISTOPHELES with great noise.)

O be thou so good With sweat and with blood The crown to belime!

(They handle the crown awkwardly and break it into two pieces, with which they spring around.)

'Tis done, let it be! We speak and we see, We hear and we rhyme!

FAUST (before the mirror)

Woe's me! I fear to lose my wits.

MEPHISTOPHELES (pointing to the Animals)

My own head, now, is really nigh to sinking.

THE ANIMALS

If lucky our hits, And everything fits, 'Tis thoughts, and we're thinking!

FAUST (as above)

My bosom burns with that sweet vision; Let us, with speed, away from here!

MEPHISTOPHELES (in the same attitude)

One must, at least, make this admission— They're poets, genuine and sincere.

(The caldron, which the SHE-APE has up to this time neglected to watch, begins to boil over: there ensues a great flame, which blazes out the chimney. The WITCH comes careering down through the flame, with terrible cries.)

THE WITCH

Ow! ow! ow! ow! The damned beast—the cursed sow! To leave the kettle, and singe the Frau! Accursed fere!

(Perceiving FAUST and MEPHISTOPHELES.)

What is that here? Who are you here? What want you thus? Who sneaks to us? The fire-pain Burn bone and brain!

(She plunges the skimming-ladle into the caldron, and scatters flames towards FAUST, MEPHISTOPHELES, and the Animals. The Animals whimper.)

MEPHISTOPHELES

(reversing the brush, which he has been holding in his hand, and striding among the jars and glasses)

In two! in two! There lies the brew! There lies the glass! The joke will pass, As time, foul ass! To the singing of thy crew.

(As the WITCH starts back, full of wrath and horror)

Ha! know'st thou me? Abomination, thou! Know'st thou, at last, thy Lord and Master? What hinders me from smiting now Thee and thy monkey-sprites with fell disaster? Hast for the scarlet coat no reverence? Dost recognize no more the tall cock's-feather? Have I concealed this countenance?— Must tell my name, old face of leather?

THE WITCH

O pardon, Sir, the rough salute! Yet I perceive no cloven foot; And both your ravens, where are they now?

MEPHISTOPHELES

This time, I'll let thee 'scape the debt; For since we two together met, 'Tis verily full many a day now. Culture, which smooth the whole world licks, Also unto the Devil sticks. The days of that old Northern phantom now are over: Where canst thou horns and tail and claws discover? And, as regards the foot, which I can't spare, in truth, 'Twould only make the people shun me; Therefore I've worn, like many a spindly youth, False calves these many years upon me.

THE WITCH (dancing)

Reason and sense forsake my brain, Since I behold Squire Satan here again!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Woman, from such a name refrain!

THE WITCH

Why so? What has it done to thee?

MEPHISTOPHELES

It's long been written in the Book of Fable; Yet, therefore, no whit better men we see: The Evil One has left, the evil ones are stable. Sir Baron call me thou, then is the matter good; A cavalier am I, like others in my bearing. Thou hast no doubt about my noble blood: See, here's the coat-of-arms that I am wearing!

(He makes an indecent gesture.)

THE WITCH (laughs immoderately)

Ha! ha! That's just your way, I know: A rogue you are, and you were always so.

MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)

My friend, take proper heed, I pray! To manage witches, this is just the way.

THE WITCH

Wherein, Sirs, can I be of use?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Give us a goblet of the well-known juice! But, I must beg you, of the oldest brewage; The years a double strength produce.

THE WITCH

With all my heart! Now, here's a bottle, Wherefrom, sometimes, I wet my throttle, Which, also, not the slightest, stinks; And willingly a glass I'll fill him.

(Whispering)

Yet, if this man without due preparation drinks, As well thou know'st, within an hour 'twill kill him.

MEPHISTOPHELES

He is a friend of mine, with whom it will agree, And he deserves thy kitchen's best potation: Come, draw thy circle, speak thine adjuration, And fill thy goblet full and free!

THE WITCH

(with fantastic gestures draws a circle and places mysterious articles therein; meanwhile the glasses begin to ring, the caldron to sound, and make a musical accompaniment. Finally she brings a great book, and stations in the circle the Apes, who are obliged to serve as reading-desk, and to hold the torches. She then beckons FAUST to approach.)

FAUST (to MEPHISTOPHELES)

Now, what shall come of this? the creatures antic, The crazy stuff, the gestures frantic,— All the repulsive cheats I view,— Are known to me, and hated, too.

MEPHISTOPHELES

O, nonsense! That's a thing for laughter; Don't be so terribly severe! She juggles you as doctor now, that, after, The beverage may work the proper cheer.

(He persuades FAUST to step into the circle.)

THE WITCH

(begins to declaim, with much emphasis, from the book)

See, thus it's done! Make ten of one, And two let be, Make even three, And rich thou 'It be. Cast o'er the four! From five and six (The witch's tricks) Make seven and eight, 'Tis finished straight! And nine is one, And ten is none. This is the witch's once-one's-one!

FAUST

She talks like one who raves in fever.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Thou'lt hear much more before we leave her. 'Tis all the same: the book I can repeat, Such time I've squandered o'er the history: A contradiction thus complete Is always for the wise, no less than fools, a mystery. The art is old and new, for verily All ages have been taught the matter,— By Three and One, and One and Three, Error instead of Truth to scatter. They prate and teach, and no one interferes; All from the fellowship of fools are shrinking. Man usually believes, if only words he hears, That also with them goes material for thinking!

THE WITCH (continues)

The lofty skill Of Science, still From all men deeply hidden! Who takes no thought, To him 'tis brought, 'Tis given unsought, unbidden!

FAUST

What nonsense she declaims before us! My head is nigh to split, I fear: It seems to me as if I hear A hundred thousand fools in chorus.

MEPHISTOPHELES

O Sibyl excellent, enough of adjuration! But hither bring us thy potation, And quickly fill the beaker to the brim! This drink will bring my friend no injuries: He is a man of manifold degrees, And many draughts are known to him.

(The WITCH, with many ceremonies, pours the drink into a cup; as FAUST sets it to his lips, a light flame arises.)

Down with it quickly! Drain it off! 'Twill warm thy heart with new desire: Art with the Devil hand and glove, And wilt thou be afraid of fire?

(The WITCH breaks the circle: FAUST steps forth.)

MEPHISTOPHELES

And now, away! Thou dar'st not rest.

THE WITCH

And much good may the liquor do thee!

MEPHISTOPHELES (to the WITCH)

Thy wish be on Walpurgis Night expressed; What boon I have, shall then be given unto thee.

THE WITCH

Here is a song, which, if you sometimes sing, You'll find it of peculiar operation.

MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)

Come, walk at once! A rapid occupation Must start the needful perspiration, And through thy frame the liquor's potence fling. The noble indolence I'll teach thee then to treasure, And soon thou'lt be aware, with keenest thrills of pleasure, How Cupid stirs and leaps, on light and restless wing.

FAUST

One rapid glance within the mirror give me, How beautiful that woman-form!

MEPHISTOPHELES

No, no! The paragon of all, believe me, Thou soon shalt see, alive and warm.

(Aside)

Thou'lt find, this drink thy blood compelling, Each woman beautiful as Helen!



VII

STREET

FAUST MARGARET (passing by)

FAUST

Fair lady, let it not offend you, That arm and escort I would lend you!

MARGARET

I'm neither lady, neither fair, And home I can go without your care.

[She releases herself, and exit.

FAUST

By Heaven, the girl is wondrous fair! Of all I've seen, beyond compare; So sweetly virtuous and pure, And yet a little pert, be sure! The lip so red, the cheek's clear dawn,

I'll not forget while the world rolls on! How she cast down her timid eyes, Deep in my heart imprinted lies: How short and sharp of speech was she, Why, 'twas a real ecstasy!

(MEPHISTOPHELES enters)

FAUST

Hear, of that girl I'd have possession!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Which, then?

FAUST

The one who just went by.

MEPHISTOPHELES

She, there? She's coming from confession, Of every sin absolved; for I, Behind her chair, was listening nigh. So innocent is she, indeed, That to confess she had no need. I have no power o'er souls so green.

FAUST

And yet, she's older than fourteen.

MEPHISTOPHELES

How now! You're talking like Jack Rake, Who every flower for himself would take, And fancies there are no favors more, Nor honors, save for him in store; Yet always doesn't the thing succeed.

FAUST

Most Worthy Pedagogue, take heed! Let not a word of moral law be spoken! I claim, I tell thee, all my right; And if that image of delight Rest not within mine arms to-night, At midnight is our compact broken.

MEPHISTOPHELES

But think, the chances of the case! I need, at least, a fortnight's space, To find an opportune occasion.

FAUST

Had I but seven hours for all, I should not on the Devil call, But win her by my own persuasion.

MEPHISTOPHELES

You almost like a Frenchman prate; Yet, pray, don't take it as annoyance! Why, all at once, exhaust the joyance? Your bliss is by no means so great As if you'd use, to get control, All sorts of tender rigmarole, And knead and shape her to your thought, As in Italian tales 'tis taught.

FAUST

Without that, I have appetite.

MEPHISTOPHELES

But now, leave jesting out of sight! I tell you, once for all, that speed With this fair girl will not succeed; By storm she cannot captured be; We must make use of strategy.

FAUST

Get me something the angel keeps! Lead me thither where she sleeps! Get me a kerchief from her breast,— A garter that her knee has pressed!

MEPHISTOPHELES

That you may see how much I'd fain Further and satisfy your pain, We will no longer lose a minute; I'll find her room to-day, and take you in it.

FAUST

And shall I see—possess her?

MEPHISTOPHELES

No! Unto a neighbor she must go, And meanwhile thou, alone, mayst glow With every hope of future pleasure, Breathing her atmosphere in fullest measure.

FAUST

Can we go thither?

MEPHISTOPHELES

'Tis too early yet.

FAUST

A gift for her I bid thee get! [Exit.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Presents at once? That's good: he's certain to get at her! Full many a pleasant place I know, And treasures, buried long ago: I must, perforce, look up the matter. [Exit.



VIII

EVENING A SMALL, NEATLY KEPT CHAMBER

MARGARET

(plaiting and binding up the braids of her hair)

I'd something give, could I but say Who was that gentleman, to-day. Surely a gallant man was he, And of a noble family; And much could I in his face behold,— And he wouldn't, else, have been so bold!

[Exit

MEPHISTOPHELES FAUST

MEPHISTOPHELES

Come in, but gently: follow me!

FAUST (after a moment's silence)

Leave me alone, I beg of thee!

MEPHISTOPHELES (prying about)

Not every girl keeps things so neat.

FAUST (looking around)

O welcome, twilight soft and sweet, That breathes throughout this hallowed shrine! Sweet pain of love, bind thou with fetters fleet The heart that on the dew of hope must pine! How all around a sense impresses Of quiet, order, and content! This poverty what bounty blesses! What bliss within this narrow den is pent!

(He throws himself into a leathern arm-chair near the bed.)

Receive me, thou, that in thine open arms Departed joy and pain wert wont to gather! How oft the children, with their ruddy charms, Hung here, around this throne, where sat the father! Perchance my love, amid the childish band, Grateful for gifts the Holy Christmas gave her, Here meekly kissed the grandsire's withered hand. I feel, O maid! thy very soul Of order and content around me whisper,— Which leads thee with its motherly control, The cloth upon thy board bids smoothly thee unroll, The sand beneath thy feet makes whiter, crisper. O dearest hand, to thee 'tis given To change this hut into a lower heaven! And here!

(He lifts one of the bed-curtains.)

What sweetest thrill is in my blood! Here could I spend whole hours, delaying: Here Nature shaped, as if in sportive playing, The angel blossom from the bud. Here lay the child, with Life's warm essence The tender bosom filled and fair, And here was wrought, through holier, purer presence, The form diviner beings wear!

And I? What drew me here with power? How deeply am I moved, this hour! What seek I? Why so full my heart, and sore? Miserable Faust! I know thee now no more.

Is there a magic vapor here? I came, with lust of instant pleasure, And lie dissolved in dreams of love's sweet leisure! Are we the sport of every changeful atmosphere?

And if, this moment, came she in to me, How would I for the fault atonement render! How small the giant lout would be, Prone at her feet, relaxed and tender!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Be quick! I see her there, returning.

FAUST

Go! go! I never will retreat.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Here is a casket, not unmeet, Which elsewhere I have just been earning. Here, set it in the press, with haste! I swear, 'twill turn her head, to spy it: Some baubles I therein had placed, That you might win another by it. True, child is child, and play is play.

FAUST

I know not, should I do it?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Ask you, pray? Yourself, perhaps, would keep the bubble? Then I suggest, 'twere fair and just To spare the lovely day your lust, And spare to me the further trouble. You are not miserly, I trust? I rub my hands, in expectation tender—

(He places the casket in the press, and locks it again.)

Now quick, away! The sweet young maiden to betray, So that by wish and will you bend her; And you look as though To the lecture-hall you were forced to go,— As if stood before you, gray and loath, Physics and Metaphysics both! But away! [Exeunt.

MARGARET (with a lamp)

It is so close, so sultry, here!

(She opens the window)

And yet 'tis not so warm outside. I feel, I know not why, such fear!— Would mother came!—where can she bide? My body's chill and shuddering,— I'm but a silly, fearsome thing!

(She begins to sing while undressing)

There was a King in Thule, Was faithful till the grave,— To whom his mistress, dying, A golden goblet gave.

Naught was to him more precious; He drained it at every bout: His eyes with tears ran over, As oft as he drank thereout.

When came his time of dying, The towns in his land he told, Naught else to his heir denying Except the goblet of gold.

He sat at the royal banquet With his knights of high degree, In the lofty hall of his fathers In the Castle by the Sea.

There stood the old carouser, And drank the last life-glow; And hurled the hallowed goblet Into the tide below.

He saw it plunging and filling, And sinking deep in the sea: Then fell his eyelids forever, And never more drank he!

(She opens the press in order to arrange her clothes, and perceives the casket of jewels.)

How comes that lovely casket here to me? I locked the press, most certainly. 'Tis truly wonderful! What can within it be? Perhaps 'twas brought by some one as a pawn, And mother gave a loan thereon? And here there hangs a key to fit: I have a mind to open it. What is that? God in Heaven! Whence came Such things? Never beheld I aught so fair! Rich ornaments, such as a noble dame On highest holidays might wear! How would the pearl-chain suit my hair? Ah, who may all this splendor own?

(She adorns herself with the jewelry, and steps before the mirror.)

Were but the ear-rings mine, alone! One has at once another air. What helps one's beauty, youthful blood? One may possess them, well and good; But none the more do others care. They praise us half in pity, sure: To gold still tends, On gold depends All, all! Alas, we poor!



IX

PROMENADE

(FAUST, walking thoughtfully up and down. To him MEPHISTOPHELES.)

MEPHISTOPHELES

By all love ever rejected! By hell-fire hot and unsparing! I wish I knew something worse, that I might use it for swearing!

FAUST

What ails thee? What is't gripes thee, elf? A face like thine beheld I never.

MEPHISTOPHELES

I would myself unto the Devil deliver, If I were not a Devil myself!

FAUST

Thy head is out of order, sadly: It much becomes thee to be raving madly.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Just think, the pocket of a priest should get The trinkets left for Margaret! The mother saw them, and, instanter, A secret dread began to haunt her. Keen scent has she for tainted air; She snuffs within her book of prayer, And smells each article, to see If sacred or profane it be; So here she guessed, from every gem, That not much blessing came with them. "My child," she said, "ill-gotten good Ensnares the soul, consumes the blood. Before the Mother of God we'll lay it; With heavenly manna she'll repay it!" But Margaret thought, with sour grimace, "A gift-horse is not out of place, And, truly! godless cannot be The one who brought such things to me." A parson came, by the mother bidden: He saw, at once, where the game was hidden, And viewed it with a favor stealthy. He spake: "That is the proper view,— Who overcometh, winneth too. The Holy Church has a stomach healthy: Hath eaten many a land as forfeit, And never yet complained of surfeit: The Church alone, beyond all question, Has for ill-gotten goods the right digestion."

FAUST

A general practice is the same, Which Jew and King may also claim.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Then bagged the spangles, chains, and rings, As if but toadstools were the things, And thanked no less, and thanked no more Than if a sack of nuts he bore,— Promised them fullest heavenly pay, And deeply edified were they.

FAUST

And Margaret?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Sits unrestful still, And knows not what she should, or will; Thinks on the jewels, day and night, But more on him who gave her such delight.

FAUST

The darling's sorrow gives me pain. Get thou a set for her again! The first was not a great display.

MEPHISTOPHELES

O yes, the gentleman finds it all child's-play!

FAUST

Fix and arrange it to my will; And on her neighbor try thy skill! Don't be a Devil stiff as paste, But get fresh jewels to her taste!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Yes, gracious Sir, in all obedience!

[Exit FAUST.

Such an enamored fool in air would blow Sun, moon, and all the starry legions, To give his sweetheart a diverting show.

[Exit.



X

THE NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE

MARTHA (solus)

God forgive my husband, yet he Hasn't done his duty by me! Off in the world he went straightway,— Left me lie in the straw where I lay. And, truly, I did naught to fret him: God knows I loved, and can't forget him!

(She weeps.)

Perhaps he's even dead! Ah, woe!— Had I a certificate to show!

MARGARET (comes)

Dame Martha!

MARTHA

Margaret! what's happened thee?

MARGARET

I scarce can stand, my knees are trembling! I find a box, the first resembling, Within my press! Of ebony,— And things, all splendid to behold, And richer far than were the old.

MARTHA

You mustn't tell it to your mother! 'Twould go to the priest, as did the other.

MARGARET

Ah, look and see—just look and see!

MARTHA (adorning her)

O, what a blessed luck for thee!

MARGARET

But, ah! in the streets I dare not bear them, Nor in the church be seen to wear them.

MARTHA

Yet thou canst often this way wander, And secretly the jewels don, Walk up and down an hour, before the mirror yonder,— We'll have our private joy thereon. And then a chance will come, a holiday, When, piece by piece, can one the things abroad display, A chain at first, then other ornament: Thy mother will not see, and stories we'll invent.

MARGARET

Whoever could have brought me things so precious? That something's wrong, I feel suspicious.

(A knock)

Good Heaven! My mother can that have been?

MARTHA (peeping through the blind)

'Tis some strange gentleman.—Come in!

(MEPHISTOPHELES enters.)

MEPHISTOPHELES

That I so boldly introduce me, I beg you, ladies, to excuse me.

(Steps back reverently, on seeing MARGARET.)

For Martha Schwerdtlein I'd inquire!

MARTHA

I'm she: what does the gentleman desire?

MEPHISTOPHELES (aside to her)

It is enough that you are she: You've a visitor of high degree. Pardon the freedom I have ta'en,— Will after noon return again.

MARTHA (aloud)

Of all things in the world! Just hear— He takes thee for a lady, dear!

MARGARET

I am a creature young and poor: The gentleman's too kind, I'm sure. The jewels don't belong to me.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Ah, not alone the jewelry! The look, the manner, both betray— Rejoiced am I that I may stay!

MARTHA

What is your business? I would fain—

MEPHISTOPHELES

I would I had a more cheerful strain! Take not unkindly its repeating: Your husband's dead, and sends a greeting.

MARTHA

Is dead? Alas, that heart so true! My husband dead! Let me die, too!

MARGARET

Ah, dearest dame, let not your courage fail!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Hear me relate the mournful tale!

MARGARET

Therefore I'd never love, believe me! A loss like this to death would grieve me.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Joy follows woe, woe after joy comes flying.

MARTHA

Relate his life's sad close to me!

MEPHISTOPHELES

In Padua buried, he is lying Beside the good Saint Antony, Within a grave well consecrated, For cool, eternal rest created.

MARTHA

He gave you, further, no commission?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Yes, one of weight, with many sighs: Three hundred masses buy, to save him from perdition! My hands are empty, otherwise.

MARTHA

What! Not a pocket-piece? no jewelry? What every journeyman within his wallet spares, And as a token with him bears, And rather starves or begs, than loses?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Madam, it is a grief to me; Yet, on my word, his cash was put to proper uses. Besides, his penitence was very sore, And he lamented his ill fortune all the more.

MARGARET

Alack, that men are so unfortunate! Surely for his soul's sake full many a prayer I'll proffer.

MEPHISTOPHELES

You well deserve a speedy marriage-offer: You are so kind, compassionate.

MARGARET

O, no! As yet, it would not do.

MEPHISTOPHELES

If not a husband, then a beau for you! It is the greatest heavenly blessing, To have a dear thing for one's caressing.

MARGARET

The country's custom is not so.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Custom, or not! It happens, though.

MARTHA

Continue, pray!

MEPHISTOPHELES

I stood beside his bed of dying. 'Twas something better than manure,— Half-rotten straw: and yet, he died a Christian, sure, And found that heavier scores to his account were lying. He cried: "I find my conduct wholly hateful! To leave my wife, my trade, in manner so ungrateful! Ah, the remembrance makes me die! Would of my wrong to her I might be shriven!"

MARTHA (weeping)

The dear, good man! Long since was he forgiven.

MEPHISTOPHELES

"Yet she, God knows! was more to blame than I."

MARTHA

He lied! What! On the brink of death he slandered?

MEPHISTOPHELES

In the last throes his senses wandered, If I such things but half can judge. He said: "I had no time for play, for gaping freedom: First children, and then work for bread to feed 'em,— For bread, in the widest sense, to drudge, And could not even eat my share in peace and quiet!"

MARTHA

Had he all love, all faith forgotten in his riot? My work and worry, day and night?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Not so: the memory of it touched him quite. Said he: "When I from Malta went away My prayers for wife and little ones were zealous, And such a luck from Heaven befell us, We made a Turkish merchantman our prey, That to the Soldan bore a mighty treasure. Then I received, as was most fit, Since bravery was paid in fullest measure, My well-apportioned share of it."

MARTHA

Say, how? Say, where? If buried, did he own it?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Who knows, now, whither the four winds have blown it? A fair young damsel took him in her care, As he in Naples wandered round, unfriended; And she much love, much faith to him did bear, So that he felt it till his days were ended.

MARTHA

The villain! From his children thieving! Even all the misery on him cast Could not prevent his shameful way of living!

MEPHISTOPHELES

But see! He's dead therefrom, at last. Were I in your place, do not doubt me, I'd mourn him decently a year, And for another keep, meanwhile, my eyes about me.

MARTHA

Ah, God! another one so dear As was my first, this world will hardly give me. There never was a sweeter fool than mine, Only he loved to roam and leave me, And foreign wenches and foreign wine, And the damned throw of dice, indeed.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Well, well! That might have done, however, If he had only been as clever, And treated your slips with as little heed. I swear, with this condition, too, I would, myself, change rings with you.

MARTHA

The gentleman is pleased to jest.

MEPHISTOPHELES

I'll cut away, betimes, from here: She'd take the Devil at his word, I fear.

(To MARGARET)

How fares the heart within your breast?

MARGARET

What means the gentleman?

MEPHISTOPHELES (aside)

Sweet innocent, thou art!

(Aloud.)

Ladies, farewell!

MARGARET

Farewell!

MARTHA

A moment, ere we part! I'd like to have a legal witness, Where, how, and when he died, to certify his fitness. Irregular ways I've always hated; I want his death in the weekly paper stated.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Yes, my good dame, a pair of witnesses Always the truth establishes. I have a friend of high condition, Who'll also add his deposition. I'll bring him here.

MARTHA

Good Sir, pray do!

MEPHISTOPHELES

And this young lady will be present, too? A gallant youth! has travelled far: Ladies with him delighted are.

MARGARET

Before him I should blush, ashamed.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Before no king that could be named!

MARTHA

Behind the house, in my garden, then, This eve we'll expect the gentlemen.



XI

A STREET

FAUST MEPHISTOPHELES

FAUST

How is it? under way? and soon complete?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Ah, bravo! Do I find you burning? Well, Margaret soon will still your yearning: At Neighbor Martha's you'll this evening meet. A fitter woman ne'er was made To ply the pimp and gypsy trade!

FAUST

Tis well.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Yet something is required from us.

FAUST

One service pays the other thus.

MEPHISTOPHELES

We've but to make a deposition valid That now her husband's limbs, outstretched and pallid, At Padua rest, in consecrated soil.

FAUST

Most wise! And first, of course, we'll make the journey thither?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Sancta simplicitas! no need of such a toil; Depose, with knowledge or without it, either!

FAUST

If you've naught better, then, I'll tear your pretty plan!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Now, there you are! O holy man! Is it the first time in your life you're driven To bear false witness in a case? Of God, the world and all that in it has a place, Of Man, and all that moves the being of his race, Have you not terms and definitions given With brazen forehead, daring breast? And, if you'll probe the thing profoundly, Knew you so much—and you'll confess it roundly!— As here of Schwerdtlein's death and place of rest?

FAUST

Thou art, and thou remain'st, a sophist, liar.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Yes, knew I not more deeply thy desire. For wilt thou not, no lover fairer, Poor Margaret flatter, and ensnare her, And all thy soul's devotion swear her?

FAUST

And from my heart.

MEPHISTOPHELES

'Tis very fine! Thine endless love, thy faith assuring, The one almighty force enduring,— Will that, too, prompt this heart of thine?

FAUST

Hold! hold! It will!—If such my flame, And for the sense and power intense I seek, and cannot find, a name; Then range with all my senses through creation, Craving the speech of inspiration, And call this ardor, so supernal, Endless, eternal and eternal,— Is that a devilish lying game?

MEPHISTOPHELES

And yet I'm right!

FAUST

Mark this, I beg of thee! And spare my lungs henceforth: whoever Intends to have the right, if but his tongue be clever, Will have it, certainly. But come: the further talking brings disgust, For thou art right, especially since I must.



XII

GARDEN

(MARGARET on FAUST'S arm. MARTHA and MEPHISTOPHELES walking up and down.)

MARGARET

I feel, the gentleman allows for me, Demeans himself, and shames me by it; A traveller is so used to be Kindly content with any diet. I know too well that my poor gossip can Ne'er entertain such an experienced man.

FAUST

A look from thee, a word, more entertains Than all the lore of wisest brains.

(He kisses her hand.)

MARGARET

Don't incommode yourself! How could you ever kiss it! It is so ugly, rough to see! What work I do,—how hard and steady is it! Mother is much too close with me.

[They pass.

MARTHA

And you, Sir, travel always, do you not?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Alas, that trade and duty us so harry! With what a pang one leaves so many a spot, And dares not even now and then to tarry!

MARTHA

In young, wild years it suits your ways, This round and round the world in freedom sweeping; But then come on the evil days, And so, as bachelor, into his grave a-creeping, None ever found a thing to praise.

MEPHISTOPHELES

I dread to see how such a fate advances.

MARTHA

Then, worthy Sir, improve betimes your chances!

[They pass.

MARGARET

Yes, out of sight is out of mind! Your courtesy an easy grace is; But you have friends in other places, And sensibler than I, you'll find.

FAUST

Trust me, dear heart! what men call sensible Is oft mere vanity and narrowness.

MARGARET

How so?

FAUST

Ah, that simplicity and innocence ne'er know Themselves, their holy value, and their spell! That meekness, lowliness, the highest graces Which Nature portions out so lovingly—

MARGARET

So you but think a moment's space on me, All times I'll have to think on you, all places!

FAUST

No doubt you're much alone?

MARGARET

Yes, for our household small has grown, Yet must be cared for, you will own. We have no maid: I do the knitting, sewing, sweeping, The cooking, early work and late, in fact; And mother, in her notions of housekeeping, Is so exact! Not that she needs so much to keep expenses down: We, more than others, might take comfort, rather: A nice estate was left us by my father, A house, a little garden near the town. But now my days have less of noise and hurry; My brother is a soldier, My little sister's dead. True, with the child a troubled life I led, Yet I would take again, and willing, all the worry, So very dear was she.

FAUST

An angel, if like thee!

MARGARET

I brought it up, and it was fond of me. Father had died before it saw the light, And mother's case seemed hopeless quite, So weak and miserable she lay; And she recovered, then, so slowly, day by day. She could not think, herself, of giving The poor wee thing its natural living; And so I nursed it all alone With milk and water: 'twas my own. Lulled in my lap with many a song, It smiled, and tumbled, and grew strong.

FAUST

The purest bliss was surely then thy dower.

MARGARET

But surely, also, many a weary hour. I kept the baby's cradle near My bed at night: if 't even stirred, I'd guess it, And waking, hear. And I must nurse it, warm beside me press it, And oft, to quiet it, my bed forsake, And dandling back and forth the restless creature take, Then at the wash-tub stand, at morning's break; And then the marketing and kitchen-tending, Day after day, the same thing, never-ending. One's spirits, Sir, are thus not always good, But then one learns to relish rest and food.

[They pass.

MARTHA

Yes, the poor women are bad off, 'tis true: A stubborn bachelor there's no converting.

MEPHISTOPHELES

It but depends upon the like of you, And I should turn to better ways than flirting.

MARTHA

Speak plainly, Sir, have you no one detected? Has not your heart been anywhere subjected?

MEPHISTOPHELES

The proverb says: One's own warm hearth And a good wife, are gold and jewels worth.

MARTHA

I mean, have you not felt desire, though ne'er so slightly?

MEPHISTOPHELES

I've everywhere, in fact, been entertained politely.

MARTHA

I meant to say, were you not touched in earnest, ever?

MEPHISTOPHELES

One should allow one's self to jest with ladies never.

MARTHA Ah, you don't understand!

MEPHISTOPHELES

I'm sorry I'm so blind: But I am sure—that you are very kind.

[They pass.

FAUST

And me, thou angel! didst thou recognize, As through the garden-gate I came?

MARGARET

Did you not see it? I cast down my eyes.

FAUST

And thou forgiv'st my freedom, and the blame To my impertinence befitting, As the Cathedral thou wert quitting?

MARGARET

I was confused, the like ne'er happened me; No one could ever speak to my discredit. Ah, thought I, in my conduct has he read it— Something immodest or unseemly free? He seemed to have the sudden feeling That with this wench 'twere very easy dealing. I will confess, I knew not what appeal On your behalf, here, in my bosom grew; But I was angry with myself, to feel That I could not be angrier with you.

FAUST

Sweet darling!

MARGARET

Wait a while!

(She plucks a star-flower, and pulls off the leaves, one after the other.)

FAUST

Shall that a nosegay be?

MARGARET

No, it is just in play.

FAUST

How?

MARGARET

Go! you'll laugh at me. (She pulls off the leaves and murmurs.)

FAUST

What murmurest thou?

MARGARET (half aloud)

He loves me—loves me not.

FAUST

Thou sweet, angelic soul!

MARGARET (continues)

Loves me—not—loves me—not— (plucking the last leaf, she cries with frank delight:)

He loves me!

FAUST

Yes, child! and let this blossom-word For thee be speech divine! He loves thee! Ah, know'st thou what it means? He loves thee!

(He grasps both her hands.)

MARGARET

I'm all a-tremble!

FAUST

O tremble not! but let this look, Let this warm clasp of hands declare thee What is unspeakable! To yield one wholly, and to feel a rapture In yielding, that must be eternal! Eternal!—for the end would be despair. No, no,—no ending! no ending!

MARTHA (coming forward)

The night is falling.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Ay! we must away.

MARTHA

I'd ask you, longer here to tarry, But evil tongues in this town have full play. It's as if nobody had nothing to fetch and carry, Nor other labor, But spying all the doings of one's neighbor: And one becomes the talk, do whatsoe'er one may. Where is our couple now?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Flown up the alley yonder, The wilful summer-birds!

MARTHA

He seems of her still fonder.

MEPHISTOPHELES

And she of him. So runs the world away!



XIII

A GARDEN-ARBOR

(MARGARET comes in, conceals herself behind the door, puts her finger to her lips, and peeps through the crack.)

MARGARET

He comes!

FAUST (entering)

Ah, rogue! a tease thou art: I have thee! (He kisses her.)

MARGARET

(clasping him, and returning the kiss) Dearest man! I love thee from my heart.

(MEPHISTOPHELES knocks)

FAUST (stamping his foot)

Who's there?

MEPHISTOPHELES

A friend!

FAUST

A beast!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Tis time to separate.

MARTHA (coming)

Yes, Sir, 'tis late.

FAUST

May I not, then, upon you wait?

MARGARET My mother would—farewell!

FAUST

Ah, can I not remain? Farewell!

MARTHA

Adieu!

MARGARET

And soon to meet again!

[Exeunt FAUST and MEPHISTOPHELES.

MARGARET

Dear God! However is it, such A man can think and know so much? I stand ashamed and in amaze, And answer "Yes" to all he says, A poor, unknowing child! and he— I can't think what he finds in me! [Exit.



XIV

FOREST AND CAVERN

FAUST (solus)

Spirit sublime, thou gav'st me, gav'st me all For which I prayed. Not unto me in vain Hast thou thy countenance revealed in fire. Thou gav'st me Nature as a kingdom grand, With power to feel and to enjoy it. Thou Not only cold, amazed acquaintance yield'st, But grantest, that in her profoundest breast I gaze, as in the bosom of a friend. The ranks of living creatures thou dost lead Before me, teaching me to know my brothers In air and water and the silent wood. And when the storm in forests roars and grinds, The giant firs, in falling, neighbor boughs And neighbor trunks with crushing weight bear down, And falling, fill the hills with hollow thunders,— Then to the cave secure thou leadest me, Then show'st me mine own self, and in my breast The deep, mysterious miracles unfold. And when the perfect moon before my gaze Comes up with soothing light, around me float From every precipice and thicket damp The silvery phantoms of the ages past, And temper the austere delight of thought.

That nothing can be perfect unto Man I now am conscious. With this ecstasy, Which brings me near and nearer to the Gods, Thou gav'st the comrade, whom I now no more Can do without, though, cold and scornful, he Demeans me to myself, and with a breath, A word, transforms thy gifts to nothingness. Within my breast he fans a lawless fire, Unwearied, for that fair and lovely form: Thus in desire I hasten to enjoyment, And in enjoyment pine to feel desire.

(MEPHISTOPHELES enters.)

MEPHISTOPHELES

Have you not led this life quite long enough? How can a further test delight you? 'Tis very well, that once one tries the stuff, But something new must then requite you.

FAUST

Would there were other work for thee! To plague my day auspicious thou returnest.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Well! I'll engage to let thee be: Thou darest not tell me so in earnest. The loss of thee were truly very slight,— comrade crazy, rude, repelling:



One has one's hands full all the day and night; If what one does, or leaves undone, is right, From such a face as thine there is no telling.

FAUST

There is, again, thy proper tone!— That thou hast bored me, I must thankful be!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Poor Son of Earth, how couldst thou thus alone Have led thy life, bereft of me? I, for a time, at least, have worked thy cure; Thy fancy's rickets plague thee not at all: Had I not been, so hadst thou, sure, Walked thyself off this earthly ball Why here to caverns, rocky hollows slinking, Sit'st thou, as 'twere an owl a-blinking? Why suck'st, from sodden moss and dripping stone, Toad-like, thy nourishment alone? A fine way, this, thy time to fill! The Doctor's in thy body still.

FAUST

What fresh and vital forces, canst thou guess, Spring from my commerce with the wilderness? But, if thou hadst the power of guessing, Thou wouldst be devil enough to grudge my soul the blessing.

MEPHISTOPHELES

A blessing drawn from supernatural fountains! In night and dew to lie upon the mountains; All Heaven and Earth in rapture penetrating; Thyself to Godhood haughtily inflating; To grub with yearning force through Earth's dark marrow, Compress the six days' work within thy bosom narrow,— To taste, I know not what, in haughty power, Thine own ecstatic life on all things shower, Thine earthly self behind thee cast, And then the lofty instinct, thus—

(With a gesture:)

at last,— daren't say how—to pluck the final flower!

FAUST

Shame on thee!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Yes, thou findest that unpleasant! Thou hast the moral right to cry me "shame!" at present. One dares not that before chaste ears declare, Which chaste hearts, notwithstanding, cannot spare; And, once for all, I grudge thee not the pleasure Of lying to thyself in moderate measure. But such a course thou wilt not long endure; Already art thou o'er-excited, And, if it last, wilt soon be plighted To madness and to horror, sure. Enough of that! Thy love sits lonely yonder, By all things saddened and oppressed; Her thoughts and yearnings seek thee, tenderer, fonder,— mighty love is in her breast. First came thy passion's flood and poured around her As when from melted snow a streamlet overflows; Thou hast therewith so filled and drowned her, That now thy stream all shallow shows. Methinks, instead of in the forests lording, The noble Sir should find it good, The love of this young silly blood At once to set about rewarding. Her time is miserably long; She haunts her window, watching clouds that stray O'er the old city-wall, and far away. "Were I a little bird!" so runs her song, Day long, and half night long. Now she is lively, mostly sad, Now, wept beyond her tears; Then again quiet she appears,—Always love-mad.

FAUST

Serpent! Serpent!

MEPHISTOPHELES (aside)

Ha! do I trap thee!

FAUST

Get thee away with thine offences, Reprobate! Name not that fairest thing, Nor the desire for her sweet body bring Again before my half-distracted senses!

MEPHISTOPHELES

What wouldst thou, then? She thinks that thou art flown; And half and half thou art, I own.

FAUST

Yet am I near, and love keeps watch and ward; Though I were ne'er so far, it cannot falter: I envy even the Body of the Lord The touching of her lips, before the altar.

MEPHISTOPHELES

'Tis very well! My envy oft reposes On your twin-pair, that feed among the roses.

FAUST

Away, thou pimp!

MEPHISTOPHELES

You rail, and it is fun to me. The God, who fashioned youth and maid, Perceived the noblest purpose of His trade, And also made their opportunity. Go on! It is a woe profound! 'Tis for your sweetheart's room you're bound, And not for death, indeed.

FAUST

What are, within her arms, the heavenly blisses? Though I be glowing with her kisses, Do I not always share her need? I am the fugitive, all houseless roaming, The monster without air or rest, That like a cataract, down rocks and gorges foaming, Leaps, maddened, into the abyss's breast! And side-wards she, with young unwakened senses, Within her cabin on the Alpine field Her simple, homely life commences, Her little world therein concealed. And I, God's hate flung o'er me, Had not enough, to thrust The stubborn rocks before me And strike them into dust! She and her peace I yet must undermine: Thou, Hell, hast claimed this sacrifice as thine! Help, Devil! through the coming pangs to push me; What must be, let it quickly be! Let fall on me her fate, and also crush me,— One ruin whelm both her and me!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Again it seethes, again it glows! Thou fool, go in and comfort her! When such a head as thine no outlet knows, It thinks the end must soon occur. Hail him, who keeps a steadfast mind! Thou, else, dost well the devil-nature wear: Naught so insipid in the world I find As is a devil in despair.



XV

MARGARET'S ROOM

MARGARET

(at the spinning-wheel, alone)

My peace is gone, My heart is sore: I never shall find it, Ah, nevermore!

Save I have him near. The grave is here; The world is gall And bitterness all.

My poor weak head Is racked and crazed; My thought is lost, My senses mazed.

My peace is gone, My heart is sore: I never shall find it, Ah, nevermore!

To see him, him only, At the pane I sit; To meet him, him only, The house I quit.

His lofty gait, His noble size, The smile of his mouth, The power of his eyes,

And the magic flow Of his talk, the bliss In the clasp of his hand, And, ah! his kiss!

My peace is gone, My heart is sore: I never shall find it, Ah, nevermore!

My bosom yearns For him alone; Ah, dared I clasp him, And hold, and own!

And kiss his mouth, To heart's desire, And on his kisses At last expire!



XVI

MARTHA'S GARDEN

MARGARET FAUST

MARGARET

Promise me, Henry!—

FAUST

What I can!

MARGARET

How is't with thy religion, pray? Thou art a dear, good-hearted man, And yet, I think, dost not incline that way.

FAUST

Leave that, my child! Thou know'st my love is tender; For love, my blood and life would I surrender, And as for Faith and Church, I grant to each his own.

MARGARET

That's not enough: we must believe thereon.

FAUST

Must we?

MARGARET

Would that I had some influence! Then, too, thou honorest not the Holy Sacraments.

FAUST

I honor them.

MARGARET

Desiring no possession 'Tis long since thou hast been to mass or to confession. Believest thou in God?

FAUST

My darling, who shall dare "I believe in God!" to say? Ask priest or sage the answer to declare, And it will seem a mocking play, A sarcasm on the asker.

MARGARET

Then thou believest not!

FAUST

Hear me not falsely, sweetest countenance! Who dare express Him? And who profess Him, Saying: I believe in Him! Who, feeling, seeing, Deny His being, Saying: I believe Him not! The All-enfolding, The All-upholding, Folds and upholds he not Thee, me, Himself? Arches not there the sky above us? Lies not beneath us, firm, the earth? And rise not, on us shining, Friendly, the everlasting stars? Look I not, eye to eye, on thee, And feel'st not, thronging To head and heart, the force, Still weaving its eternal secret, Invisible, visible, round thy life? Vast as it is, fill with that force thy heart, And when thou in the feeling wholly blessed art, Call it, then, what thou wilt,— Call it Bliss! Heart! Love! God! I have no name to give it! Feeling is all in all: The Name is sound and smoke, Obscuring Heaven's clear glow.

MARGARET

All that is fine and good, to hear it so: Much the same way the preacher spoke, Only with slightly different phrases.

FAUST

The same thing, in all places, All hearts that beat beneath the heavenly day— Each in its language—say; Then why not I, in mine, as well?

MARGARET

To hear it thus, it may seem passable; And yet, some hitch in't there must be For thou hast no Christianity.

FAUST

Dear love!

MARGARET

I've long been grieved to see That thou art in such company.

FAUST

How so?

MARGARET

The man who with thee goes, thy mate, Within my deepest, inmost soul I hate. In all my life there's nothing Has given my heart so keen a pang of loathing, As his repulsive face has done.

FAUST

Nay, fear him not, my sweetest one!

MARGARET

I feel his presence like something ill. I've else, for all, a kindly will, But, much as my heart to see thee yearneth, The secret horror of him returneth; And I think the man a knave, as I live! If I do him wrong, may God forgive!

FAUST

There must be such queer birds, however.

MARGARET

Live with the like of him, may I never! When once inside the door comes he, He looks around so sneeringly, And half in wrath: One sees that in nothing no interest he hath: 'Tis written on his very forehead That love, to him, is a thing abhorred. I am so happy on thine arm, So free, so yielding, and so warm, And in his presence stifled seems my heart.

FAUST

Foreboding angel that thou art!

MARGARET

It overcomes me in such degree, That wheresoe'er he meets us, even, I feel as though I'd lost my love for thee. When he is by, I could not pray to Heaven. That burns within me like a flame, And surely, Henry, 'tis with thee the same.

FAUST

There, now, is thine antipathy!

MARGARET

But I must go.

FAUST

Ah, shall there never be A quiet hour, to see us fondly plighted, With breast to breast, and soul to soul united?

MARGARET

Ah, if I only slept alone! I'd draw the bolts to-night, for thy desire; But mother's sleep so light has grown, And if we were discovered by her, 'Twould be my death upon the spot!

FAUST

Thou angel, fear it not! Here is a phial: in her drink But three drops of it measure, And deepest sleep will on her senses sink.

MARGARET

What would I not, to give thee pleasure? It will not harm her, when one tries it?

FAUST

If 'twould, my love, would I advise it?

MARGARET

Ah, dearest man, if but thy face I see, I know not what compels me to thy will: So much have I already done for thee, That scarcely more is left me to fulfil.

(Enter MEPHISTOPHELES.) [Exit.

MEPHISTOPHELES

The monkey! Is she gone?

FAUST

Hast played the spy again?

MEPHISTOPHELES

I've heard, most fully, how she drew thee. The Doctor has been catechised, 'tis plain; Great good, I hope, the thing will do thee. The girls have much desire to ascertain If one is prim and good, as ancient rules compel: If there he's led, they think, he'll follow them as well.

FAUST

Thou, monster, wilt nor see nor own How this pure soul, of faith so lowly, So loving and ineffable,— The faith alone That her salvation is,—with scruples holy Pines, lest she hold as lost the man she loves so well!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Thou, full of sensual, super-sensual desire, A girl by the nose is leading thee.

FAUST

Abortion, thou, of filth and fire!

MEPHISTOPHELES

And then, how masterly she reads physiognomy! When I am present she's impressed, she knows not how; She in my mask a hidden sense would read: She feels that surely I'm a genius now,— Perhaps the very Devil, indeed! Well, well,—to-night—?

FAUST

What's that to thee?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Yet my delight 'twill also be!



XVII

AT THE FOUNTAIN

MARGARET and LISBETH With pitchers.

LISBETH

Hast nothing heard of Barbara?

MARGARET

No, not a word. I go so little out.

LISBETH

It's true, Sibylla said, to-day. She's played the fool at last, there's not a doubt. Such taking-on of airs!

MARGARET

How so?

LISBETH

It stinks! She's feeding two, whene'er she eats and drinks.

MARGARET

Ah!

LISBETH

And so, at last, it serves her rightly. She clung to the fellow so long and tightly! That was a promenading! At village and dance parading! As the first they must everywhere shine, And he treated her always to pies and wine, And she made a to-do with her face so fine; So mean and shameless was her behavior, She took all the presents the fellow gave her. 'Twas kissing and coddling, on and on! So now, at the end, the flower is gone.

MARGARET

The poor, poor thing!

LISBETH

Dost pity her, at that? When one of us at spinning sat, And mother, nights, ne'er let us out the door She sported with her paramour. On the door-bench, in the passage dark, The length of the time they'd never mark. So now her head no more she'll lift, But do church-penance in her sinner's shift!

MARGARET

He'll surely take her for his wife.

LISBETH

He'd be a fool! A brisk young blade Has room, elsewhere, to ply his trade. Besides, he's gone.

MARGARET

That is not fair!

LISBETH

If him she gets, why let her beware! The boys shall dash her wreath on the floor, And we'll scatter chaff before her door! [Exit.

MARGARET (returning home)

How scornfully I once reviled, When some poor maiden was beguiled! More speech than any tongue suffices I craved, to censure others' vices. Black as it seemed, I blackened still, And blacker yet was in my will; And blessed myself, and boasted high,— And now—a living sin am I! Yet—all that drove my heart thereto, God! was so good, so dear, so true!



XVIII

DONJON

(In a niche of the wall a shrine, with an image of the Mater Dolorosa. Pots of flowers before it.)

MARGARET

(putting fresh flowers in the pots)

Incline, O Maiden, Thou sorrow-laden, Thy gracious countenance upon my pain!

The sword Thy heart in, With anguish smarting, Thou lookest up to where Thy Son is slain!

Thou seest the Father; Thy sad sighs gather, And bear aloft Thy sorrow and His pain!

Ah, past guessing, Beyond expressing, The pangs that wring my flesh and bone! Why this anxious heart so burneth, Why it trembleth, why it yearneth, Knowest Thou, and Thou alone!

Where'er I go, what sorrow, What woe, what woe and sorrow Within my bosom aches! Alone, and ah! unsleeping, I'm weeping, weeping, weeping, The heart within me breaks.

The pots before my window, Alas! my tears did wet, As in the early morning For thee these flowers I set.

Within my lonely chamber The morning sun shone red: I sat, in utter sorrow, Already on my bed.

Help! rescue me from death and stain! O Maiden! Thou sorrow-laden, Incline Thy countenance upon my pain!



XIX

NIGHT

STREET BEFORE MARGARET'S DOOR

VALENTINE (a soldier, MARGARET'S brother)

When I have sat at some carouse. Where each to each his brag allows, And many a comrade praised to me His pink of girls right lustily, With brimming glass that spilled the toast, And elbows planted as in boast: I sat in unconcerned repose, And heard the swagger as it rose. And stroking then my beard, I'd say, Smiling, the bumper in my hand: "Each well enough in her own way. But is there one in all the land Like sister Margaret, good as gold,— One that to her can a candle hold?" Cling! clang! "Here's to her!" went around The board: "He speaks the truth!" cried some; "In her the flower o' the sex is found!" And all the swaggerers were dumb. And now!—I could tear my hair with vexation. And dash out my brains in desperation! With turned-up nose each scamp may face me, With sneers and stinging taunts disgrace me, And, like a bankrupt debtor sitting, A chance-dropped word may set me sweating! Yet, though I thresh them all together, I cannot call them liars, either.

But what comes sneaking, there, to view? If I mistake not, there are two. If he's one, let me at him drive! He shall not leave the spot alive.

FAUST MEPHISTOPHELES

FAUST

How from the window of the sacristy Upward th'eternal lamp sends forth a glimmer, That, lessening side-wards, fainter grows and dimmer, Till darkness closes from the sky! The shadows thus within my bosom gather.

MEPHISTOPHELES

I'm like a sentimental tom-cat, rather, That round the tall fire-ladders sweeps, And stealthy, then, along the coping creeps: Quite virtuous, withal, I come, A little thievish and a little frolicsome. I feel in every limb the presage Forerunning the grand Walpurgis-Night: Day after to-morrow brings its message, And one keeps watch then with delight.

FAUST

Meanwhile, may not the treasure risen be, Which there, behind, I glimmering see?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Shalt soon experience the pleasure, To lift the kettle with its treasure. I lately gave therein a squint— Saw splendid lion-dollars in 't.

FAUST

Not even a jewel, not a ring, To deck therewith my darling girl?

MEPHISTOPHELES

I saw, among the rest, a thing That seemed to be a chain of pearl.

FAUST

That's well, indeed! For painful is it To bring no gift when her I visit.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Thou shouldst not find it so annoying, Without return to be enjoying. Now, while the sky leads forth its starry throng, Thou'lt hear a masterpiece, no work completer: I'll sing her, first, a moral song, The surer, afterwards, to cheat her.

(Sings to the cither.)

What dost thou here In daybreak clear, Kathrina dear, Before thy lover's door? Beware! the blade Lets in a maid. That out a maid Departeth nevermore!

The coaxing shun Of such an one! When once 'tis done Good-night to thee, poor thing! Love's time is brief: Unto no thief Be warm and lief, But with the wedding-ring!

VALENTINE (comes forward)

Whom wilt thou lure? God's-element! Rat-catching piper, thou!—perdition! To the Devil, first, the instrument! To the Devil, then, the curst musician!

MEPHISTOPHELES

The cither's smashed! For nothing more 'tis fitting.

VALENTINE

There's yet a skull I must be splitting!

MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)

Sir Doctor, don't retreat, I pray! Stand by: I'll lead, if you'll but tarry: Out with your spit, without delay! You've but to lunge, and I will parry.

VALENTINE

Then parry that!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Why not? 'tis light. VALENTINE

That, too!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Of course.

VALENTINE

I think the Devil must fight! How is it, then? my hand's already lame:

MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)

Thrust home!

VALENTINE (jails)

O God!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Now is the lubber tame! But come, away! 'Tis time for us to fly; For there arises now a murderous cry. With the police 'twere easy to compound it, But here the penal court will sift and sound it.

[Exit with FAUST.

MARTHA (at the window)

Come out! Come out!

MARGARET (at the window)

Quick, bring a light!

MARTHA (as above)

They swear and storm, they yell and fight!

PEOPLE

Here lies one dead already—see!

MARTHA (coming from the house)

The murderers, whither have they run?

MARGARET (coming out)

Who lies here?

PEOPLE

'Tis thy mother's son!

MARGARET

Almighty God! what misery!

VALENTINE

I'm dying! That is quickly said, And quicker yet 'tis done. Why howl, you women there? Instead, Come here and listen, every one!

(All gather around him)

My Margaret, see! still young thou art, But not the least bit shrewd or smart, Thy business thus to slight: So this advice I bid thee heed— Now that thou art a whore indeed, Why, be one then, outright!

MARGARET

My brother! God! such words to me?

VALENTINE

In this game let our Lord God be! What's done's already done, alas! What follows it, must come to pass. With one begin'st thou secretly, Then soon will others come to thee, And when a dozen thee have known, Thou'rt also free to all the town. When Shame is born and first appears, She is in secret brought to light, And then they draw the veil of night Over her head and ears; Her life, in fact, they're loath to spare her. But let her growth and strength display, She walks abroad unveiled by day, Yet is not grown a whit the fairer. The uglier she is to sight, The more she seeks the day's broad light. The time I verily can discern When all the honest folk will turn From thee, thou jade! and seek protection As from a corpse that breeds infection. Thy guilty heart shall then dismay thee. When they but look thee in the face:— Shalt not in a golden chain array thee, Nor at the altar take thy place! Shalt not, in lace and ribbons flowing, Make merry when the dance is going! But in some corner, woe betide thee! Among the beggars and cripples hide thee; And so, though even God forgive, On earth a damned existence live!

MARTHA

Commend your soul to God for pardon, That you your heart with slander harden!

VALENTINE

Thou pimp most infamous, be still! Could I thy withered body kill, 'Twould bring, for all my sinful pleasure, Forgiveness in the richest measure.

MARGARET

My brother! This is Hell's own pain!

VALENTINE

I tell thee, from thy tears refrain! When thou from honor didst depart It stabbed me to the very heart. Now through the slumber of the grave I go to God as a soldier brave.

(Dies.)



XX

CATHEDRAL

SERVICE, ORGAN and ANTHEM.

(MARGARET among much people: the EVIL SPIRIT behind MARGARET.)

EVIL SPIRIT

HOW otherwise was it, Margaret, When thou, still innocent, Here to the altar cam'st, And from the worn and fingered book Thy prayers didst prattle, Half sport of childhood, Half God within thee! Margaret! Where tends thy thought? Within thy bosom What hidden crime? Pray'st thou for mercy on thy mother's soul, That fell asleep to long, long torment, and through thee? Upon thy threshold whose the blood? And stirreth not and quickens Something beneath thy heart, Thy life disquieting With most foreboding presence?

MARGARET

Woe! woe! Would I were free from the thoughts That cross me, drawing hither and thither Despite me!

CHORUS

Diesira, dies illa, Solvet soeclum in favilla! (Sound of the organ.)

EVIL SPIRIT

Wrath takes thee! The trumpet peals! The graves tremble! And thy heart From ashy rest To fiery torments Now again requickened, Throbs to life!

MARGARET

Would I were forth! I feel as if the organ here My breath takes from me, My very heart Dissolved by the anthem!

CHORUS

Judex ergo cum sedebit, Quidquid latet, ad parebit, Nil inultum remanebit. MARGARET

I cannot breathe! The massy pillars Imprison me! The vaulted arches Crush me!—Air!

EVIL SPIRIT

Hide thyself! Sin and shame Stay never hidden. Air? Light? Woe to thee!

CHORUS

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus, Quem patronem rogaturus, Cum vix Justus sit securus?

EVIL SPIRIT

They turn their faces, The glorified, from thee: The pure, their hands to offer, Shuddering, refuse thee! Woe!

CHORUS

Quid sum miser tune dicturus?

MARGARET

Neighbor! your cordial! (She falls in a swoon.)



XXI

WALPURGIS-NIGHT

THE HARTZ MOUNTAINS.

District of Schierke and Elend.

FAUST MEPHISTOPHELES

MEPHISTOPHELES

DOST thou not wish a broomstick-steed's assistance? The sturdiest he-goat I would gladly see: The way we take, our goal is yet some distance.

FAUST

So long as in my legs I feel the fresh existence. This knotted staff suffices me. What need to shorten so the way? Along this labyrinth of vales to wander, Then climb the rocky ramparts yonder, Wherefrom the fountain flings eternal spray, Is such delight, my steps would fain delay. The spring-time stirs within the fragrant birches, And even the fir-tree feels it now: Should then our limbs escape its gentle searches?

MEPHISTOPHELES

I notice no such thing, I vow! 'Tis winter still within my body: Upon my path I wish for frost and snow. How sadly rises, incomplete and ruddy, The moon's lone disk, with its belated glow, And lights so dimly, that, as one advances, At every step one strikes a rock or tree! Let us, then, use a Jack-o'-lantern's glances: I see one yonder, burning merrily. Ho, there! my friend! I'll levy thine attendance: Why waste so vainly thy resplendence? Be kind enough to light us up the steep!

WILL-O'-THE-WISP

My reverence, I hope, will me enable To curb my temperament unstable; For zigzag courses we are wont to keep.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Indeed? he'd like mankind to imitate! Now, in the Devil's name, go straight, Or I'll blow out his being's flickering spark!

WILL-O'-THE-WISP

You are the master of the house, I mark, And I shall try to serve you nicely. But then, reflect: the mountain's magic-mad to-day, And if a will-o'-the-wisp must guide you on the way, You mustn't take things too precisely.

FAUST, MEPHISTOPHELES, WILL-O'-THE-WISP

(in alternating song)

We, it seems, have entered newly In the sphere of dreams enchanted. Do thy bidding, guide us truly, That our feet be forwards planted In the vast, the desert spaces! See them swiftly changing places, Trees on trees beside us trooping, And the crags above us stooping, And the rocky snouts, outgrowing,— Hear them snoring, hear them blowing! O'er the stones, the grasses, flowing Stream and streamlet seek the hollow. Hear I noises? songs that follow? Hear I tender love-petitions? Voices of those heavenly visions? Sounds of hope, of love undying! And the echoes, like traditions Of old days, come faint and hollow.

Hoo-hoo! Shoo-hoo! Nearer hover Jay and screech-owl, and the plover,— Are they all awake and crying? Is't the salamander pushes, Bloated-bellied, through the bushes? And the roots, like serpents twisted, Through the sand and boulders toiling, Fright us, weirdest links uncoiling To entrap us, unresisted: Living knots and gnarls uncanny Feel with polypus-antennae For the wanderer. Mice are flying, Thousand-colored, herd-wise hieing Through the moss and through the heather!

And the fire-flies wink and darkle, Crowded swarms that soar and sparkle, And in wildering escort gather!

Tell me, if we still are standing, Or if further we're ascending? All is turning, whirling, blending, Trees and rocks with grinning faces, Wandering lights that spin in mazes, Still increasing and expanding!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Grasp my skirt with heart undaunted! Here a middle-peak is planted, Whence one seeth, with amaze, Mammon in the mountain blaze.

FAUST

How strangely glimmers through the hollows A dreary light, like that of dawn! Its exhalation tracks and follows The deepest gorges, faint and wan. Here steam, there rolling vapor sweepeth; Here burns the glow through film and haze: Now like a tender thread it creepeth, Now like a fountain leaps and plays. Here winds away, and in a hundred Divided veins the valley braids: There, in a corner pressed and sundered, Itself detaches, spreads and fades. Here gush the sparkles incandescent Like scattered showers of golden sand;— But, see! in all their height, at present, The rocky ramparts blazing stand.



MEPHISTOPHELES

Has not Sir Mammon grandly lighted His palace for this festal night? 'Tis lucky thou hast seen the sight; The boisterous guests approach that were invited.

FAUST

How raves the tempest through the air! With what fierce blows upon my neck 'tis beating!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Under the old ribs of the rock retreating, Hold fast, lest thou be hurled down the abysses there! The night with the mist is black; Hark! how the forests grind and crack! Frightened, the owlets are scattered: Hearken! the pillars are shattered. The evergreen palaces shaking! Boughs are groaning and breaking, The tree-trunks terribly thunder, The roots are twisting asunder! In frightfully intricate crashing Each on the other is dashing, And over the wreck-strewn gorges The tempest whistles and surges! Hear'st thou voices higher ringing? Far away, or nearer singing? Yes, the mountain's side along, Sweeps an infuriate glamouring song!

WITCHES (in chorus)

The witches ride to the Brocken's top, The stubble is yellow, and green the crop. There gathers the crowd for carnival: Sir Urian sits over all.

And so they go over stone and stock; The witch she——-s, and——-s the buck.

A VOICE

Alone, old Baubo's coming now; She rides upon a farrow-sow.

CHORUS

Then honor to whom the honor is due! Dame Baubo first, to lead the crew! A tough old sow and the mother thereon, Then follow the witches, every one.

A VOICE

Which way com'st thou hither?

VOICE

O'er the Ilsen-stone. I peeped at the owl in her nest alone: How she stared and glared!

VOICE

Betake thee to Hell! Why so fast and so fell?

VOICE

She has scored and has flayed me: See the wounds she has made me!

WITCHES (chorus)

The way is wide, the way is long: See, what a wild and crazy throng! The broom it scratches, the fork it thrusts, The child is stifled, the mother bursts. WIZARDS (semichorus)

As doth the snail in shell, we crawl: Before us go the women all. When towards the Devil's House we tread, Woman's a thousand steps ahead.

OTHER SEMICHORUS

We do not measure with such care: Woman in thousand steps is theft. But howsoe'er she hasten may, Man in one leap has cleared the way.

VOICE (from above)

Come on, come on, from Rocky Lake!

VOICE (from below)

Aloft we'd fain ourselves betake. We've washed, and are bright as ever you will, Yet we're eternally sterile still.

BOTH CHORUSES

The wind is hushed, the star shoots by. The dreary moon forsakes the sky; The magic notes, like spark on spark, Drizzle, whistling through the dark.

VOICE (from below)

Halt, there! Ho, there!

VOICE (from above)

Who calls from the rocky cleft below there?

VOICE (below)

Take me, too! take me, too! I'm climbing now three hundred years, And yet the summit cannot see: Among my equals I would be.

BOTH CHORUSES

Bears the broom and bears the stock, Bears the fork and bears the buck: Who cannot raise himself to-night Is evermore a ruined wight.

HALF-WITCH (below)

So long I stumble, ill bestead, And the others are now so far ahead! At home I've neither rest nor cheer, And yet I cannot gain them here.

CHORUS OF WITCHES

To cheer the witch will salve avail; A rag will answer for a sail; Each trough a goodly ship supplies; He ne'er will fly, who now not flies.

BOTH CHORUSES

When round the summit whirls our flight, Then lower, and on the ground alight; And far and wide the heather press With witchhood's swarms of wantonness!

(They settle down.)

MEPHISTOPHELES

They crowd and push, they roar and clatter! They whirl and whistle, pull and chatter! They shine, and spirt, and stink, and burn! The true witch-element we learn. Keep close! or we are parted, in our turn, Where art thou?

FAUST (in the distance)

Here!

MEPHISTOPHELES

What! whirled so far astray? Then house-right I must use, and clear the way. Make room! Squire Voland comes! Room, gentle rabble, room!

Here, Doctor, hold to me: in one jump we'll resume An easier space, and from the crowd be free: It's too much, even for the like of me. Yonder, with special light, there's something shining clearer Within those bushes; I've a mind to see. Come on! well slip a little nearer.

FAUST

Spirit of Contradiction! On! I'll follow straight. 'Tis planned most wisely, if I judge aright: We climb the Brocken's top in the Walpurgis-Night, That arbitrarily, here, ourselves we isolate.

MEPHISTOPHELES

But see, what motley flames among the heather! There is a lively club together: In smaller circles one is not alone.

FAUST

Better the summit, I must own: There fire and whirling smoke I see. They seek the Evil One in wild confusion: Many enigmas there might find solution.

MEPHISTOPHELES

But there enigmas also knotted be. Leave to the multitude their riot! Here will we house ourselves in quiet. It is an old, transmitted trade, That in the greater world the little worlds are made. I see stark-nude young witches congregate, And old ones, veiled and hidden shrewdly: On my account be kind, nor treat them rudely! The trouble's small, the fun is great. I hear the noise of instruments attuning,— Vile din! yet one must learn to bear the crooning. Come, come along! It must be, I declare! I'll go ahead and introduce thee there, Thine obligation newly earning. That is no little space: what say'st thou, friend? Look yonder! thou canst scarcely see the end: A hundred fires along the ranks are burning. They dance, they chat, they cook, they drink, they court: Now where, just tell me, is there better sport?

FAUST

Wilt thou, to introduce us to the revel, Assume the part of wizard or of devil?

MEPHISTOPHELES

I'm mostly used, 'tis true, to go incognito, But on a gala-day one may his orders show. The Garter does not deck my suit, But honored and at home is here the cloven foot. Perceiv'st thou yonder snail? It cometh, slow and steady; So delicately its feelers pry, That it hath scented me already: I cannot here disguise me, if I try. But come! we'll go from this fire to a newer: I am the go-between, and thou the wooer.

(To some, who are sitting around dying embers:)

Old gentlemen, why at the outskirts? Enter! I'd praise you if I found you snugly in the centre, With youth and revel round you like a zone: You each, at home, are quite enough alone.

GENERAL

Say, who would put his trust in nations, Howe'er for them one may have worked and planned? For with the people, as with women, Youth always has the upper hand.

MINISTER

They're now too far from what is just and sage. I praise the old ones, not unduly: When we were all-in-all, then, truly, Then was the real golden age.

PARVENU

We also were not stupid, either, And what we should not, often did; But now all things have from their bases slid, Just as we meant to hold them fast together.

AUTHOR

Who, now, a work of moderate sense will read? Such works are held as antiquate and mossy; And as regards the younger folk, indeed, They never yet have been so pert and saucy.

MEPHISTOPHELES

(who all at once appears very old)

I feel that men are ripe for Judgment-Day, Now for the last time I've the witches'-hill ascended: Since to the lees my cask is drained away, The world's, as well, must soon be ended.

HUCKSTER-WITCH

Ye gentlemen, don't pass me thus! Let not the chance neglected be! Behold my wares attentively: The stock is rare and various. And yet, there's nothing I've collected— No shop, on earth, like this you'll find!— Which has not, once, sore hurt inflicted Upon the world, and on mankind. No dagger's here, that set not blood to flowing; No cup, that hath not once, within a healthy frame Poured speedy death, in poison glowing: No gems, that have not brought a maid to shame; No sword, but severed ties for the unwary, Or from behind struck down the adversary.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Gossip! the times thou badly comprehendest: What's done has happed—what haps, is done! 'Twere better if for novelties thou sendest: By such alone can we be won.

FAUST

Let me not lose myself in all this pother! This is a fair, as never was another!

MEPHISTOPHELES

The whirlpool swirls to get above: Thou'rt shoved thyself, imagining to shove.

FAUST

But who is that?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Note her especially, Tis Lilith.

FAUST

Who?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Adam's first wife is she. Beware the lure within her lovely tresses, The splendid sole adornment of her hair! When she succeeds therewith a youth to snare, Not soon again she frees him from her jesses.

FAUST

Those two, the old one with the young one sitting, They've danced already more than fitting.

MEPHISTOPHELES

No rest to-night for young or old! They start another dance: come now, let us take hold!

FAUST (dancing with the young witch)

A lovely dream once came to me; I then beheld an apple-tree, And there two fairest apples shone: They lured me so, I climbed thereon.

THE FAIR ONE

Apples have been desired by you, Since first in Paradise they grew; And I am moved with joy, to know That such within my garden grow.

MEPHISTOPHELES (dancing with the old one)

A dissolute dream once came to me: Therein I saw a cloven tree, Which had a————————-; Yet,——-as 'twas, I fancied it.

THE OLD ONE

I offer here my best salute Unto the knight with cloven foot! Let him a—————-prepare, If him—————————does not scare.

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