By christopher marlowe

F.’s degradation into a clown


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F.’s degradation into a clown

HORSE-COURSER. I beseech your worship, accept of these forty dollars.

Playing jokes on simple people

FAUSTUS. Friend, thou canst not buy so good a horse for so small

a price. I have no great need to sell him: but, if thou likest

him for ten dollars more, take him, because I see thou hast a

good mind to him.
HORSE-COURSER. I beseech you, sir, accept of this: I am a very

poor man, and have lost very much of late by horse-flesh, and

this bargain will set me up again.
FAUSTUS. Well, I will not stand with thee: give me the money

[HORSE-COURSER gives FAUSTUS the money]. Now, sirrah, I must

tell you that you may ride him o'er hedge and ditch, and spare

him not; but, do you hear? in any case, ride him not into the

HORSE-COURSER. How, sir! not into the water! why, will he not

drink of all waters?

FAUSTUS. Yes, he will drink of all waters; but ride him not into

the water: o'er hedge and ditch, or where thou wilt, but not into

the water. Go, bid the hostler deliver him unto you, and remember

what I say.

HORSE-COURSER. I warrant you, sir!--O, joyful day! now am I a

made man for ever.

FAUSTUS. What art thou, Faustus, but a man condemn'd to die?

Thy fatal time draws to a final end;

Despair doth drive distrust into my thoughts:

Confound these passions with a quiet sleep:

Tush, Christ did call the thief upon the Cross;

Then rest thee, Faustus, quiet in conceit.

[He sits to sleep.]
Re-enter the HORSE-COURSER, wet.

HORSE-COURSER. 0, what a cozening doctor was this! I, riding

my horse into the water, thinking some hidden mystery had been

in the horse, I had nothing under me but a little straw, and had

much ado to escape<198> drowning. Well, I'll go rouse him, and

make him give me my forty dollars again.--Ho, sirrah Doctor, you

cozening scab! Master Doctor, awake, and rise, and give me my

money again, for your horse is turned to a bottle of hay, Master

Doctor! [He pulls off FAUSTUS' leg]. Alas, I am undone! what

shall I do? I have pulled off his leg.

FAUSTUS. O, help, help! the villain hath murdered me.
HORSE-COURSER. Murder or not murder, now he has<199> but one leg,

I'll outrun him, and cast this leg into some ditch or other.

[Aside, and then runs out.]
FAUSTUS. Stop him, stop him, stop him!--Ha, ha, ha! Faustus hath

his leg again, and the Horse-courser a bundle of hay for his

forty dollars.
How now, Wagner! what news with thee?
WAGNER. If it please you, the Duke of Vanholt doth earnestly

entreat your company, and hath sent some of his men to attend

you,<200> with provision fit for your journey.
FAUSTUS. The Duke of Vanholt's an honourable gentleman, and one

to whom I must be no niggard of my cunning. Come, away!

CARTER. Come, my masters, I'll bring you to the best beer in

Europe.--What, ho, hostess! where be these whores?

HOSTESS. How now! what lack you? What, my old guess!<201> welcome.
ROBIN. Sirrah Dick, dost thou<202> know why I stand so mute?
DICK. No, Robin: why is't?
ROBIN. I am eighteen-pence on the score. but say nothing; see

if she have forgotten me.

HOSTESS. Who's this that stands so solemnly by himself? What,

my old guest!

ROBIN. O, hostess, how do you? I hope my score stands still.
HOSTESS. Ay, there's no doubt of that; for methinks you make no

haste to wipe it out.

DICK. Why, hostess, I say, fetch us some beer.
HOSTESS. You shall presently.--Look up into the hall there, ho!

[Exit.--Drink is presently brought in.]

DICK. Come, sirs, what shall we do now<203> till mine hostess comes?
CARTER. Marry, sir,<204> I'll tell you the bravest tale how a

conjurer served me. You know Doctor Faustus?

HORSE-COURSER. Ay, a plague take him! here's some on's have cause

to know him. Did he conjure thee too?

CARTER. I'll tell you how he served me. As I was going to

Wittenberg, t'other day,<205> with a load of hay, he met me, and

asked me what he should give me for as much hay as he could eat.

Now, sir, I thinking that a little would serve his turn, bad him

take as much as he would for three farthings: so he presently

gave me my<206> money and fell to eating; and, as I am a cursen<207>

man, he never left eating till he had eat up all my load of hay.
ALL. O, monstrous! eat a whole load of hay!
ROBIN. Yes, yes, that may be; for I have heard of one that has eat

a load of logs.

HORSE-COURSER. Now, sirs, you shall hear how villanously he

served me. I went to him yesterday to buy a horse of him, and

he would by no means sell him under forty dollars. So, sir,

because I knew him to be such a horse as would run over hedge

and ditch and never tire, I gave him his money. So, when I had

my horse, Doctor Faustus bad me ride him night and day, and spare

him no time; but, quoth he, in any case, ride him not into the

water. Now, sir, I thinking the horse had had some quality<208>

that he would not have me know of, what did I but rid<209> him

into a great river? and when I came just in the midst, my horse

vanished away, and I sate straddling upon a bottle of hay.
ALL. O, brave doctor!
HORSE-COURSER. But you shall hear how bravely I served him for

it. I went me home to his house, and there I found him asleep.

I kept a hallooing and whooping in his ears; but all could not

wake him. I, seeing that, took him by the leg, and never rested

pulling till I had pulled me his leg quite off; and now 'tis at

home in mine hostry.

ROBIN. And has the doctor but one leg, then? that's excellent;

for one of his devils turned me into the likeness of an ape's face.

CARTER. Some more drink, hostess!
ROBIN. Hark you, we'll into another room and drink a while, and

then we'll go seek out the doctor.



DUKE. Thanks, Master Doctor, for these pleasant sights; nor know

I how sufficiently to recompense your great deserts in erecting

that enchanted castle in the air,<210> the sight whereof so

delighted<211> me as nothing in the world could please me more.

FAUSTUS. I do think myself, my good lord, highly recompensed in

that it pleaseth<212> your grace to think but well of that which

Faustus hath performed.--But, gracious lady, it may be that you

have taken no pleasure in those sights; therefore, I pray you

tell me, what is the thing you most desire to have; be it in the

world, it shall be yours: I have heard that great-bellied women

do long for things are rare and dainty.
DUCHESS. True, Master Doctor; and, since I find you so kind,

I will make known unto you what my heart desires to have; and,

were it now summer, as it is January, a dead time of the winter,

I would request no better meat than a dish of ripe grapes.

FAUSTUS. This is but a small matter.--Go, Mephistophilis; away!


Madam, I will do more than this for your content.
Re-Enter MEPHISTOPHILIS with grapes.
Here now, taste you these: they should be good, for they come<213>

from a far country, I can tell you.

DUKE. This makes me wonder more than all the rest, that at this

time of the year, when every tree is barren of his fruit, from

whence you had these ripe grapes.<214>

FAUSTUS. Please it your grace, the year is divided into two

circles over the whole world; so that, when it is winter with

us, in the contrary circle it is likewise summer with them, as

in India, Saba, and such countries that lie far east, where

they have fruit twice a-year; from whence, by means of a swift

spirit that I have, I had these grapes brought, as you see.

DUCHESS. And, trust me, they are the sweetest grapes that e'er

I tasted.

[The CLOWNS bounce<215> at the gate, within.]
DUKE. What rude disturbers have we at the gate?

Go, pacify their fury, set it ope,

And then demand of them what they would have.
[They knock again, and call out to talk with FAUSTUS.]
SERVANT. Why, how now, masters! what a coil is there!

What is the reason you disturb the Duke?

DICK [within]. We have no reason for it; therefore a fig for him!
SERVANT. Why, saucy varlets, dare you be so bold?
HORSE-COURSER [within]. I hope, sir, we have wit enough to be

more bold than welcome.

SERVANT. It appears so: pray, be bold elsewhere, and trouble

not the Duke.

DUKE. What would they have?
SERVANT. They all cry out to speak with Doctor Faustus.
CARTER [within]. Ay, and we will speak with him.
DUKE. Will you, sir?--Commit the rascals.
DICK [within]. Commit with us! he were as good commit with his

father as commit with us.

FAUSTUS. I do beseech your grace, let them come in;

They are good subject for<216> a merriment.

DUKE. Do as thou wilt, Faustus; I give thee leave.
FAUSTUS. I thank your grace.
Why, how now, my good friends!

Faith, you are too outrageous: but, come near;

I have procur'd your pardons:<217> welcome, all.
ROBIN. Nay, sir, we will be welcome for our money, and we will

pay for what we take.--What, ho! give's half a dozen of beer here,

and be hanged!
FAUSTUS. Nay, hark you; can you tell me<218> where you are?
CARTER. Ay, marry, can I; we are under heaven.
SERVANT. Ay; but, Sir Saucebox, know you in what place?

HORSE-COURSER. Ay, ay, the house is good enough to drink in.

--Zouns, fill us some beer, or we'll break all the barrels in

the house, and dash out all your brains with your bottles!

FAUSTUS. Be not so furious: come, you shall have beer.--

My lord, beseech you give me leave a while;

I'll gage my credit 'twill content your grace.
DUKE. With all my heart, kind doctor; please thyself;

Our servants and our court's at thy command.

FAUSTUS. I humbly thank your grace.--Then fetch some beer.
HORSE-COURSER. Ay, marry, there spake<219> a doctor, indeed!

and, faith, I'll drink a health to thy wooden leg for that word.

FAUSTUS. My wooden leg! what dost thou mean by that?
CARTER. Ha, ha, ha!--Dost hear him,<220> Dick? he has forgot his

HORSE-COURSER. Ay, ay, he does not stand much upon that.

FAUSTUS. No, faith; not much upon a wooden leg.
CARTER. Good Lord, that flesh and blood should be so frail with

your worship! Do not you remember a horse-courser you sold a

horse to?
FAUSTUS. Yes, I remember I sold one a horse.
CARTER. And do you remember you bid he should not ride him<221>

into the water?

FAUSTUS. Yes, I do very well remember that.
CARTER. And do you remember nothing of your leg?
FAUSTUS. No, in good sooth.
CARTER. Then, I pray you,<222> remember your courtesy.
FAUSTUS. I<223> thank you, sir.
CARTER. 'Tis not so much worth. I pray you, tell me one thing.
FAUSTUS. What's that?
CARTER. Be both your legs bed-fellows every night together?
FAUSTUS. Wouldst thou make a Colossus of me, that thou askest me

such questions?

CARTER. No, truly, sir; I would make nothing of you; but I would

fain know that.

Enter HOSTESS with drink.
FAUSTUS. Then, I assure thee certainly, they are.
CARTER. I thank you; I am fully satisfied.
FAUSTUS. But wherefore dost thou ask?
CARTER. For nothing, sir: but methinks you should have a wooden

bed-fellow of one of 'em.

HORSE-COURSER. Why, do you hear, sir? did not I<224> pull off

one of your legs when you were asleep?

FAUSTUS. But I have it again, now I am awake: look you here, sir.
ALL. O, horrible! had the doctor three legs?
CARTER. Do you remember, sir, how you cozened me, and eat up my

load of----

[FAUSTUS, in the middle of each speech, charms them dumb.]
DICK. Do you remember how you made me wear an ape's----
HORSE-COURSER. You whoreson conjuring scab, do you remember how

you cozened me with a ho----

ROBIN. Ha'<225> you forgotten me? you think to carry it away with

your hey-pass and re-pass: do you remember the dog's fa----

[Exeunt CLOWNS.]
HOSTESS. Who pays for the ale? hear you, Master Doctor; now you

have sent away my guess,<226> I pray who shall pay me for my a----

DUCHESS. My lord,

We are much beholding<227> to this learned man.

DUKE. So are we, madam; which we will recompense

With all the love and kindness that we may:

His artful sport<228> drives all sad thoughts away.


Thunder and lightning. Enter DEVILS with covered dishes;

MEPHISTOPHILIS leads them into FAUSTUS'S study; then enter

WAGNER. I think my master<229> means to die shortly; he has made

his will, and given me his wealth, his house, his goods,<230> and

store of golden plate, besides two thousand ducats ready-coined.

I wonder what he means: if death were nigh, he would not frolic

thus. He's now at supper with the scholars, where there's such

belly-cheer as Wagner in his life ne'er<231> saw the like: and,

see where they come! belike the feast is ended.<232>


FIRST SCHOLAR. Master Doctor Faustus, since our conference

about fair ladies, which was the beautifulest in all the world,

we have determined with ourselves that Helen of Greece was the

admirablest lady that ever lived: therefore, Master Doctor, if

you will do us so much favour as to let us see that peerless

dame of Greece, whom all the world admires for majesty, we should

think ourselves much beholding unto you.

FAUSTUS. Gentlemen,

For that I know your friendship is unfeign'd,

It is not Faustus' custom to deny

The just request of those that wish him well:

You shall behold that peerless dame of Greece,

No otherwise for pomp or majesty

Than when Sir Paris cross'd the seas with her,

And brought the spoils to rich Dardania.

Be silent, then, for danger is in words.
Music sounds. MEPHISTOPHILIS brings in HELEN; she passeth

over the stage.

SECOND SCHOLAR. Was this fair Helen, whose admired worth

Made Greece with ten years' war<233> afflict poor Troy?

THIRD SCHOLAR. Too simple is my wit<234> to tell her worth,

Whom all the world admires for majesty.

FIRST SCHOLAR. Now we have seen the pride of Nature's work,

We'll take our leaves: and, for this blessed sight,

Happy and blest be Faustus evermore!
FAUSTUS. Gentlemen, farewell: the same wish I to you.

[Exeunt SCHOLARS.]

Enter an OLD MAN.
OLD MAN. O gentle Faustus, leave this damned art, warning, voice of wisdom

This magic, that will charm thy soul to hell, leave forbidden magic,

And quite bereave thee of salvation! Repent - it’s never too late

Though thou hast now offended like a man, but once you’re damned -

Do not persever in it like a devil: your soul cannot be reclaimed

Yet, yet thou hast an amiable soul,

If sin by custom grow not into nature;

Then, Faustus, will repentance come too late;

Then thou art banish'd from the sight of heaven:

No mortal can express the pains of hell.

It may be, this my exhortation

Seems harsh and all unpleasant: let it not;

For, gentle son, I speak it not in wrath,

Or envy of thee,<235> but in tender love,

And pity of thy future misery;

And so have hope that this my kind rebuke,

Checking thy body, may amend thy soul.

FAUSTUS. Where art thou, Faustus? wretch, what hast thou done?

Hell claims his right, and with a roaring voice

Says, "Faustus, come; thine hour is almost come;" F. starts thinking about the expiry or his

And Faustus now will come to do thee right. contract

[MEPHISTOPHILIS gives him a dagger.]
OLD MAN. O, stay, good Faustus, stay thy desperate steps!

I see an angel hover o'er thy head, guardian angel, chance of salvation

And, with a vial full of precious grace,

Offers to pour the same into thy soul:

Then call for mercy, and avoid despair. Rely of God’s mercy
FAUSTUS. O friend, I feel F. again showns sign of remorse

Thy words to comfort my distressed soul!

Leave me a while to ponder on my sins.
OLD MAN. Faustus, I leave thee; but with grief of heart,

Fearing the enemy of thy hapless soul.

FAUSTUS. Accursed Faustus, wretch, what hast thou done?

I do repent; and yet I do despair:

Hell strives with grace for conquest in my breast:

What shall I do to shun the snares of death?
MEPHIST. Thou traitor, Faustus, I arrest thy soul M. threatens him

For disobedience to my sovereign lord:

Revolt, or I'll in piece-meal tear thy flesh.
FAUSTUS. I do repent I e'er offended him. F. repents his sins?

Sweet Mephistophilis, entreat thy lord No – he repents he offended Lucifer

To pardon my unjust presumption,

And with my blood again I will confirm

The former vow I made to Lucifer.
MEPHIST.<236> Do it, then, Faustus, with unfeigned heart,

Lest greater dangers do attend thy drift.

FAUSTUS. Torment, sweet friend, that base and aged man, F. is to take a revenge on the Old Man

That durst dissuade me from thy Lucifer,

With greatest torments<237> that our hell affords.
MEPHIST. His faith is great; I cannot touch his soul; M. cannot do harm to ones with strong faith

But what I may afflict<238> his body with

I will attempt, which is but little worth.
FAUSTUS. One thing, good servant, let me crave of thee, ignorance: who is the servant?

To glut the longing of my heart's desire,--

That I may have unto my paramour

That heavenly Helen which I saw of late,

Whose sweet embraces may extinguish clean<239>

Those thoughts that do dissuade me from my vow,

And keep my oath<240> I made to Lucifer.
MEPHIST. This, or what else my Faustus shall desire,

Shall be perform'd in twinkling of an eye.

Re-enter HELEN, passing over the stage between two CUPIDS.

FAUSTUS. Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,

And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?--

Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.--

[Kisses her.]

Her lips suck forth my soul: see, where it flies!--

Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.

Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips,

And all is dross that is not Helena.

I will be Paris, and for love of thee,

Instead of Troy, shall Wittenberg be sack'd;

And I will combat with weak Menelaus,

And wear thy colours on my plumed crest;

Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel,

And then return to Helen for a kiss.

O, thou art fairer than the evening<241> air

Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;

Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter

When he appear'd to hapless Semele;

More lovely than the monarch of the sky

In wanton Arethusa's azur'd<242> arms;

And none but thou shalt<243> be my paramour!


LUCIFER. Thus from infernal Dis do we ascend

To view the subjects of our monarchy,

Those souls which sin seals the black sons of hell;

'Mong which, as chief, Faustus, we come to thee,

Bringing with us lasting damnation

To wait upon thy soul: the time is come

Which makes it forfeit. F.’s time has come
MEPHIST. And, this gloomy night,

Here, in this room, will wretched Faustus be.

BELZEBUB. And here we'll stay,

To mark him how he doth demean himself.

MEPHIST. How should he but in desperate lunacy?

Fond worldling, now his heart-blood dries with grief;

His conscience kills it; and his<244> labouring brain

Begets a world of idle fantasies

To over-reach the devil; but all in vain;

His store of pleasures must be sauc'd with pain.

He and his servant Wagner are at hand;

Both come from drawing Faustus' latest will.

See, where they come!
FAUSTUS. Say, Wagner,--thou hast perus<'>d my will,--

How dost thou like it?

WAGNER. Sir, So wondrous well,

As in all humble duty I do yield

My life and lasting service for your love.
FAUSTUS. Gramercy,<245> Wagner.
Welcome, Gentlemen.

[Exit WAGNER.]

FIRST SCHOLAR. Now, worthy Faustus, methinks your looks are chang'd.
FAUSTUS. O, gentlemen!
SECOND SCHOLAR. What ails Faustus?
FAUSTUS. Ah, my sweet chamber-fellow, had I lived with thee,

then had I lived still! but now must die eternally. Look, sirs,

comes he not? comes he not?
FIRST SCHOLAR. O my dear Faustus, what imports this fear?

SECOND SCHOLAR. Is all our pleasure turn'd to melancholy?

THIRD SCHOLAR. He is not well with being over-solitary.
SECOND SCHOLAR. If it be so, we'll have physicians,

And Faustus shall be cur'd.

THIRD SCHOLAR. 'Tis but a surfeit, sir;<246> fear nothing.
FAUSTUS. A surfeit of deadly<247> sin, that hath damned both

body and soul.

SECOND SCHOLAR. Yet, Faustus, look up to heaven, and remember warning

mercy is infinite.
FAUSTUS. But Faustus' offence can ne'er be pardoned: the serpent intentional ignorance

that tempted Eve may be saved, but not Faustus. O gentlemen,

hear me<248> with patience, and tremble not at my speeches! Though

my heart pant and quiver to remember that I have been a student

here these thirty years, O, would I had never<249> seen Wittenberg,

never read book! and what wonders I have done, all Germany can

witness, yea, all the world; for which Faustus hath lost both

Germany and the world, yea, heaven itself, heaven, the seat of

God, the throne of the blessed, the kingdom of joy; and must

remain in hell for ever, hell. O, hell, for ever! Sweet friends,

what shall become of Faustus, being in hell for ever?
SECOND SCHOLAR. Yet, Faustus, call on God.
FAUSTUS. On God, whom Faustus hath abjured! on God, whom Faustus climax

hath blasphemed! O my God, I would weep! but the devil draws in

my tears. Gush forth blood, instead of tears! yea, life and soul!

O, he stays my tongue! I would lift up my hands; but see, they

hold 'em, they hold 'em? <'?' sic>
ALL. Who, Faustus?
FAUSTUS. Why, Lucifer and Mephistophilis. O gentlemen, I gave

them my soul for my cunning!

ALL. O, God forbid!

FAUSTUS. God forbade it, indeed; but Faustus hath done it: for

the vain pleasure of four-and-twenty years hath Faustus lost

eternal joy and felicity. I writ them a bill with mine own blood:

the date is expired; this is the time, and he will fetch me.
FIRST SCHOLAR. Why did not Faustus tell us of this before,

that divines might have prayed for thee?

FAUSTUS. Oft have I thought to have done so; but the devil

threatened to tear me in pieces, if I named God, to fetch me

body and soul, if I once gave ear to divinity: and now 'tis<250>

too late. Gentlemen, away, lest you perish with me.

SECOND SCHOLAR. O, what may we do to save Faustus?
FAUSTUS. Talk not of me, but save yourselves, and depart.
THIRD SCHOLAR. God will strengthen me; I will stay with Faustus.

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