Doctor Faustus (Marlowe)

Act I

Enter Chorus.

Not marching in the fields of Thrasimene,

Where Mars did mate the warlike Carthagens,

Nor sporting in the dalliance of love

In courts of kings, where state is overturned,

Nor in the pomp of proud audacious deeds,

Intends our Muse to vaunt his heavenly verse.

Only this, gentles: we must now perform

The form of Faustus' fortunes, good or bad.

And now to patient judgments we appeal,

And speak for Faustus in his infancy.

Now is he born, of parents base of stock,

In Germany, within a town called Rhodes.

At riper years to Wittenberg he went,

Whereas his kinsmen chiefly brought him up.

So much he profits in divinity,

That shortly he was graced with Doctor's name,

Excelling all, and sweetly can dispute

In th'heavenly matters of theology.

Till swoll'n with cunning, of a self conceit,

His waxen wings did mount above his reach

And melting, heavens conspired his overthrow,

For falling to a devilish exercise,

And glutted now with learning's golden gifts,

He surfeits upon cursed necromancy.

Nothing so sweet as magic is to him;

Which he prefers before his chiefest bliss,

And this the man that in his study sits.


Faustus in his study.


Settle thy studies Faustus, and begin

to sound the depth of that thou wilt profess.

Having commenced, be a divine in show,

Yet level at the end of every art,

And live and die in Aristotle's works.

Sweet Analytics, 'tis thou hast ravished me.

Bene disserere est finis logices.

Is to dispute well logic's chiefest end?

Affords this art no greater miracle?

Then read no more; thou hast attained that end.

A greater subject fitteth Faustus' wit.

Bid economy farewell, and Galen come.

Be a physician, Faustus; heap up gold,

And be eternized for some wondrous cure.

Summum bonum, medicinae sanitas:

The end of physic is our body's health:

Why, Faustus, hast thou not attained that end?

Are not thy bills hung up as monuments,

Whereby whole cities have escaped the plague

And thousand desperate maladies been cured?

Yet art thou still but Faustus, and a man.

Could'st thou make men to live eternally,

Or being dead, raise them to life again,

Then this profession were to be esteemed.

Physic farewell. Where is Justinian?

Si una eademque res legatur duobus,

AIter rem, alter valorem rei, etcc.

A petty case of paltry legacies!

Exhaereditare filium non potest pater, nisi--

Such is the subject of the institute,

And universal body of the law.

This study fits a mercenary drudge,

Who aims at nothing but external trash,

Too servile aad illiberal for me.

When all is done, divinity is best;

Jerome's Bible, Faustus, view it well.

Stipendium peccati, mors est." Ha! Stipendium, &c:

The reward of sin is death? That's hard.

Si peccasse, negamus, fallimur, et nulla est in nobis veritas.

If we say that we have no sin

We deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us.

Why then belike we must sin,

And so consequently die.

Ay, we must die, an everlasting death.

What doctrine call you this: Che sera, sera,

What will be, shall be? Divinity, adieu.

These metaphysics of magicians,

And necromantic books are heavenly;

Lines, circles, letters, characters.

Ay, these are those that Faustus most desires.

O what a world of profit and delight,

Of power, of honour, and omnipotence,

Is promised to the studious artisan?

All things that move between the quiet poles

Shall be at my command. Emperors and Kings,

Are but obeyed in their several provinces,

But his dominion that exceeds in this,

Stretcheth as far as doth the mind of man:

A sound magician is a demi-god.

Here, tire my brains to get a Deity. Enter Wagner.

Wagner, commend me to my dearest friends,

The German Valdes and Cornelius.

Request them earnestly to visit me.


I will sir. Exit.


Their conference will be a greater help to me,

Then all my labours, plod I ne'er so fast.

Enter the Good Angel and Evil Angel.

Good Angel

O Faustus, lay that damned book aside,

And gaze not on it least it tempt thy soul,

And heap God's heavy wrath upon thy head.

Read, read the scriptures: that is blasphemy.

Evil Angel

Go forward, Faustus, in that famous art

Wherein all nature's treasure is contained.

Be thou on earth as Jove is in the sky,

Lord and Commander of these elements.

Exeunt Angels.


How am I glutted with conceipt of this!

Shall I make spirits fetch me what I please,

Resolve me of all ambiguities,

Perform what desperate enterprise I will?

I'll have them fly to India for gold,

Ransack the ocean for orient pearl,

And search all corners of the new-found world

For pleasant fruits, and princely delicates.

I'll have them read me strange philosophy,

And tell the secrets of all foreign Kings.

I'll have them wall all Germany with brass,

And make swift Rhine, circle faire Wittenberg.

I'll have them fill the public schools with silk,

Wherewith the students shall be bravely clad.

I'll levy soldiers with the coin they bring,

And chase the Prince of Parma from our land,

And reign sole king of all the provinces.

Yea, stranger engines for the brunt of war,

Than was the fiery keel at Antwerp's bridge,

I'll make my servile spirits to invent.

Come, German Valdes and Cornelius,

And make me blest with your sage conference. Enter Valdes.

Valdes, sweet Valdes and Cornelius! and Cornelius.

Know that your words have won me at the last.

To practice magic and concealed arts.

Philosophy is odious and obscure.

Both law and physic are for petty wits.

'Tis magic, magic, that hath ravished me.

Then gentle friends aid me in this attempt,

And I, that have with subtle syllogisms

Gravelled the pastors of the German Church,

And made the flowering pride of Wittenberg

Sworn to my problems, as th'infernal spirits

On sweet Musaes when he came to hell,

Will be as cunning as Agrippa was,

Whose shadow made all Europe honour him.


Faustus, these books, thy wit, and our experience,

Shall make all nations to canonize us,

As Indian moors, obey their Spanish lords.

So shall the spirits of every element,

Be always serviceable to us three.

Like lions shall they guard us when we please,

Like Almaine rutters with their horsemen's staves,

Or Lapland giants trotting by our sides.

Sometimes like women or unwedded maids,

Shadowing more beauty in their airy brows,

Than has the white breasts of the queen of love.

From Venice shall they drag huge argosies,

And from America the golden fleece,

That yearly stuffed old Phillip's treasury,

If learned Faustus will be resolute.


Valdes, as resolute am I in this,

As thou to live, therefore object it not.


The miracles that magic will perform,

Will make thee vow to study nothing else.

He that is grounded in Astrology,

Enriched with tongues, well seen in minerals,

Hath all the principles magic doth require.

Then doubt not, Faustus, but to be renowned,

And more frequented for this mystery,

Then heretofore the Delphian oracle.

The spirits tell me they can dry the sea,

And fetch the treasure of all foreign wrackes,

Yea, all the wealth that our fore-fathers hid,

Within the messy entrails of the earth;

Then tell me, Faustus, what shall we three want?


Nothing Cornelius. O this cheers my soul.

Come, show me some demonstrations magical,

That I may conjure in some bushy grove,

And have these joys in full possession.


Then hast thee to some solitary grove,

And bear wise Bacon's, and Albanus' works,

The Hebrew Psalter, and New Testament;

And whatsoever else is requisite,

We will inform thee ere our conference cease.


Valdes, first let him know the words of art,

And then all other ceremonies learned,

Faustus may try his cunning by himself.


First I'll instruct thee in the rudiments,

And then wilt thou be perfecter then I.


Then come and dine with me, and after meat

We'll canvass every quiddity thereof;

For ere I sleep, I'll try what I can do:

This night I'll conjure though I die therefore. Exeunt.


Enter two Scholars.

1. Scholar

I wonder what's become of Faustus that was wont

To make our schools ring, with sic probo. Enter Wagner.

2. Scholar

That shall we presently know, here comes his boy.

1. Scholar

How now, sirrah! Where's thy master?


God in heaven knows.

2. Scholar

Why dost not thou know then?


Yes, I know, but that follows not.

2. Scholar

Go to, sirrah; leave your jesting, and tell us where he is.


That follows not by force of argument, which

you, being licentiates, should stand upon. Therefore, acknow-

ledge your error, and be attentive.

2. Scholar

Then you will not tell us?


You are deceived, for I will tell you. Yet if you

were not dunces, you would never ask me such a question.

For is he not Corpus naturale? And is not that mobile? Then

wherefore should you ask me such a question? But that I

am by nature phlegmatic, slow to wrath, and prone to lechery

(to love I would say) it were not for you to come within for-

ty foot of the place of execution, although I do not doubt but

to see you both hanged the next sessions. Thus, having tri-

umphed over you, I will set my countenance like a precision,

and begin to speak thus: truly my dear brethren, my master.

is within at dinner, with Valdes and Cornelius, as this wine,

if it could speak, would inform your worships. And so

the Lord bless you, preserve you, and keep you, my dear

brethren. Exit.

1. Scholar

O Faustus, then I fear it which I have long suspected:

That thou art fallen into that damned art

For which they two are infamous through the world.

2. Scholar

Were he a stranger, not allayed to me,

The danger of his soul would make me mourn.

But come, let us go, and inform the Rector.

It may be his grave counsel may reclaim him.

1. Scholar

I fear me, nothing will reclaim him now.

2. Scholar

Yet let us see what we can do. Exeunt.


Thunder. Enter Lucifer and Four devils, Faustus to them

with this speech.


Now that the gloomy shadow of the night,

Longing to view Orion's drizzling look,

Leaps from th'Antarctic world unto the sky,

And dims the welkin, with her pitchy breathe,

Faustus, begin thine incantations,

And try if devils will obey thy hest,

Seeing thou hast prayed and sacrificed to them.

Within this circle is Jehovah's name,

Forward, and backward, anagrammatised:

Th'abbreviated names of holy saints,

Figures of every adjunct to the heavens,

And characters of signs, and evening stars,

By which the spirits are enforced to rise.

Then fear not, Faustus, to be resolute

And try the utmost magic can perform.

Thunder. Sint mihi Dei Acherontis propitii! Valeat numen tri-

plex Jehovae! Ignei aerii, aquatani spiritus, salvete! Orientis

princeps Beelzebub, inferni ardentis monarcha, et Demigor-

gon, propitiamus vos, ut appareat, et surgat Mephistophilis

Dragon, quod tumeraris; per Jehovam, gehennam, et con-

secratam aquam, quam nunc spargo; signumque; crucis quod

nunc facio, et per vota nostra, ipse nunc surgat nobis dicatus


Enter a Devil.

I charge thee to return, and change thy shape.

Thou art too ugly to attend on me.

Go and return an old Franciscan friar;

That holy shape becomes a devil best. Exit Devil.

I see there's virtue in my heavenly words.

Who would not be proficient in this art?

How pliant is this Mephistophilis?

Full of obedience and humility,

Such is the force of magic, and my spells.

Enter Mephistophilis.


Now, Faustus, what would'st thou have me do?


I charge thee wait upon me whil'st I live

To do what ever Faustus shall command.

Be it to make the moon drop from her sphere,

Or the ocean to overwhelm the world.


I am a servant to great Lucifer,

And may not follow thee without his leave.

No more than he commands, must we perform.


Did not he charge thee to appear to me?


No, I came now hither of mine owe accord.


Did not my conjuring raise thee? Speak.


That was the cause, but yet per accidens;

For when we hear one rack the name of God,

Abjure the scriptures, and his Savior Christ,

We fly in hope to get his glorious soul;

Nor will we come, unless he use such means,

Whereby he is in danger to be damned.

Therefore the shortest cut for conjuring

Is stoutly to abjure all godliness

And pray devoutly to the Prince of Hell.


So Faustus hath already done, and holds this principle:

There is no chief but only Beelzebub,

To whom Faustus doth dedicate himself.

This word Damnation, terrifies not me,

For I confound hell in Elysium;

My ghost be with the old philosophers.

But leaving these vain trifles of men's souls,

Tell me, what is that Lucifer, thy Lord?


Arch-regent and commander of all spirits.


Was not that Lucifer an angel once?


Yes, Faustus, and most dearly loved of God.


How comes it then that he is Prince of Devils?


O, by aspiring pride and insolence,

For which God threw him from the face of heaven.


And what are you that live with Lucifer?


Unhappy spirits that live with Lucifer,

Conspired against our God with Lucifer,

And are for ever damned with Lucifer.


Where are you damned?


--In hell.


How comes it then that thou art out of hell?


Why this is hell, nor am I out of it.

Think'st thou that I that saw the face of God,

And tasted the eternal joys of heaven

Am not tormented with ten thousand hells,

In being deprived of everlasting bliss?

O, Faustus, leave these frivolous demands,

Which strike a terror to my fainting soul.


What, is great Mephistophilis so passionate

For being deprived of the joys of heaven?

Learn thou of Faustus' manly fortitude,

And scorn those joys thou never shalt possess.

Go bear these tidings to great Lucifer,

Seeing Faustus hath incurred eternal death,

By desperate thoughts against Jove's deity.

Say he surrenders up to him his soul,

So he will spare him four and twenty years,

Letting him live in all voluptuousness,

Having thee ever to attend on me,

To give me whatsoever I shall ask,

To tell me whatsoever I demand,

To slay mine enemies, and to aid my friends,

And always be obedient to my will.

Go, and return to mighty Lucifer,

And meet me in my study, at midnight,

And then resolve me of thy master's mind.


I will, Faustus. Exit.


Had I as many souls, as there be stars,

I'd give them all for Mephistophilis.

By him, I'll be great Emperor of the world,

And make a bridge, through the moving air,

To pass the ocean. With a band of men

I'll join the hills that bind the Afric shore,

And make that country, continent to Spain,

And both contributory to my crown.

The Emperor shall not live, but by my leave,

Nor any Potentate of Germany.

Now that I have obtained what I desired

I'll live in speculation of this art

Till Mephistophilis return again. Exit.


Enter Wagner and theClownClowne.


Come hither sirrah boy.


Boy? O disgrace to my person. Zounds! Boy in your

face! You have seen many boys with beards I am sure.


Sirrah, hast thou no comings in?


Yes, and goings out too, you may see sir.


Alas poor slave. See how poverty jests in his naked-

ness. I know the villain's out of service, and so hungry,

that I know he would give his soul to the devil, for a shoul-

der of mutton, though it were blood raw.


Not so neither; I had need to have it well roasted,

and good sauce to it, if I pay so dear, I can tell you.


Sirrah, wilt thou be my man and wait on me? And

I will make thee go, like Qui mihi discipulus.


What, in verse?


No, slave, in beaten silk, and stavesacre.


Stavesacre? That's good to kill vermin. Then be-

like if I serve you, I shall be lousy.


Why, so thou shalt be, whether thou dost it or no.

For, sirrah, if thou dost not presently bind thyself to me for for

seven years, I'll turn all the lice about thee into familiars,

and make them tear thee in pieces.


Nay, sir, you may save yourself a labour, for, they they

are as familiar with me, as if they paid for their meat and

drink, I can tell you.


Well, sirrah, leave your jesting, and take these guilders.


Yes, marry, sir, and I thank you too.


So, now thou art to be at an hour's warning,

whensoever, and wheresoever the devil shall fetch thee.


Here, take your guilders; I'll none of 'em.


Not I. Thou art pressed. Prepare thyself, for, I will will

presently raise up two devils to carry thee away: Banio,



Belcher? and Belcher come here. I'll belch him. I am

not afraid of a devil. Enter two Devils.


How now, sir, will you serve me now?


Ay, good Wagner, take away the devil then.


Spirits, away! Now, sirrah, follow me.


I will sir, but hark you master, you teach

me this conjuring occupation?


Ay, sirrah, I'll teach thee to turn thyself to a dog,Dog,

or a cat, or a mouse, or a rat, or anything.


A dog, or a cat, or a mouse, or a rat? O, brave



Villain, call me master Wagner, and see that you

walk attentively, and let your right eye be always Dia-

metrically fixed upon my left heel, that thou may'st, Quasi vesti-

gias nostras insistere.


Well, sir, I warrant you. Exeunt.