By christopher marlowe


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RAYMOND, king of Hungary.





FREDERICK, > gentlemen.



VALDES, > friends to FAUSTUS.


WAGNER, servant to FAUSTUS.







An Old Man.

Scholars, Cardinals, ARCHBISHOP OF RHEIMS, Bishops, Monks,

Friars, Soldiers, and Attendants.





Good Angel. Allegorical figures, c.f. Everyman

Evil Angel.

The Seven Deadly Sins.


Spirits in the shapes of ALEXANDER THE GREAT, of his Paramour,

of DARIUS, and of HELEN.


Enter CHORUS. a classical convention

CHORUS. Not marching in the fields of Thrasymene, classical references: medievalism

Where Mars did mate the warlike Carthagens;<1>

Nor sporting in the dalliance of love,

In courts of kings where state is overturn'd;

Nor in the pomp of proud audacious deeds,

Intends our Muse to vaunt her<2> 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, cut to:

In Germany, within a town call'd Rhodes: Faustus’s life and studies

At riper years, to Wittenberg he went,

Whereas his kinsmen chiefly brought him up.

So much he profits in divinity,

That shortly he was grac'd with doctor's name,

Excelling all, and sweetly can dispute

In th' heavenly matters of theology;

Till swoln with cunning, of<3> a self-conceit, reference to Icarus and his

His waxen wings did mount above his reach, exaggerated ambition

And, melting, heavens conspir'd his overthrow;

For, falling to a devilish exercise,

And glutted now with learning's golden gifts,

He surfeits upon<4> cursed necromancy; reference to Elizabethan magic

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 discovered in his study. c.f. lecture notes on Elizabethan stage

FAUSTUS. Settle thy studies, Faustus, and begin

To sound the depth of that thou wilt profess:

Having commenc'd, be a divine in show,

Yet level at the end of every art,

And live and die in Aristotle's works. Medievalism:

Sweet Analytics, 'tis thou hast ravish'd me! drawing on authorities

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 attain'd that end:

A greater subject fitteth Faustus' wit:

Bid Economy farewell, and Galen come:

Be a physician, Faustus; heap up gold,

And be eterniz'd for some wondrous cure:

Summum bonum medicinoe sanitas,

The end of physic is our body's health.

Why, Faustus, hast thou not attain'd that end?

Are not thy bills hung up as monuments,

Whereby whole cities have escap'd the plague,

And thousand<5> desperate maladies been cur'd?

Yet art thou still but Faustus, and a man.

Couldst thou make men to live eternally,

Or, being dead, raise them<6> to life again,

Then this profession were to be esteem'd.

Physic, farewell! Where is Justinian?


Si una eademque res legatur<7> duobus, alter rem,

alter valorem rei, &c.
A petty<8> case of paltry legacies!

Exhoereditare filium non potest pater, nisi, &c.<9>

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 and illiberal for me. Theology:

When all is done, divinity is best: the queen of the arts and sciences

Jerome's Bible, Faustus; view it well.

Stipendium peccati mors est.


Stipendium, &c.

The reward of sin is death: that's hard. false arguments: intentional blindness

Faustus doesn’t consider the second

[Reads.] half of the original sentence:

Si peccasse negamus, fallimur, et nulla est in nobis veritas; ‘the reward of confession is eternal


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, scenes, letters, and characters;<10>

Ay, these are those that Faustus most desires.

O, what a world of profit and delight,

Of power, of honour, and omnipotence,

Is promis'd to the studious artizan!

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 demigod: a half-god

Here tire, my brains, to gain<11> a deity. ambition

Enter WAGNER. F’s servant, a clown
Wagner, commend me to my dearest friends,

The German Valdes and Cornelius;

Request them earnestly to visit me.
WAGNER. I will, sir.

FAUSTUS. Their conference will be a greater help to me

Than all my labours, plod I ne'er so fast.
GOOD ANGEL. O, Faustus, lay that damned book aside,

And gaze not on it, lest 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 contain'd:

Be thou on earth as Jove is in the sky,

Lord and commander of these<12> elements.

[Exeunt ANGELS.]
FAUSTUS. How am I glutted with conceit of this!

Shall I make spirits fetch me what I please,

Resolve me of all ambiguities,

Perform what desperate enterprise<13> 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 fair<14> Wertenberg;

I'll have them fill the public schools with silk,<15>

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-bridge,

I'll make my servile spirits to invent.


Come, German Valdes, and Cornelius,

And make me blest<16> with your sage conference.

Valdes, sweet Valdes, 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 ravish'd me.

Then, gentle friends, aid me in this attempt;

And I, that have with subtle syllogisms

Gravell'd the pastors of the German church,

And made the flowering pride of Wittenberg

Swarm<17> to my problems, as th' infernal spirits

On sweet Musaeus when he came to hell,

Will be as cunning as Agrippa was,

Whose shadow made all Europe honour him.

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

Shall make all nations to<18> 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 Almain 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 have<19> the white breasts of the queen of love:

>From Venice shall they<20> drag huge<21> argosies,

And from America the golden fleece

That yearly stuffs<22> old Philip's treasury;

If learned Faustus will be resolute.
FAUSTUS. Valdes, as resolute am I in this

As thou to live: therefore object it not.

CORNELIUS. The miracles that magic will perform

Will make thee vow to study nothing else.

He that is grounded in astrology,

Enrich'd with tongues, well seen in minerals,

Hath all the principles magic doth require:

Then doubt not, Faustus, but to be renowm'd,<23>

And more frequented for this mystery

Than heretofore the Delphian oracle.

The spirits tell me they can dry the sea,

And fetch the treasure of all foreign wrecks,

Yea, all the wealth that our forefathers hid

Within the massy entrails of the earth:

Then tell me, Faustus, what shall we three want?
FAUSTUS. Nothing, Cornelius. O, this cheers my soul!

Come, shew me some demonstrations magical,

That I may conjure in some bushy grove,

And have these joys in full possession.

VALDES. Then haste thee to some solitary grove,

And bear wise Bacon's and Albertus'<24> works,

The Hebrew Psalter, and New Testament;

And whatsoever else is requisite

We will inform thee ere our conference cease.

CORNELIUS. Valdes, first let him know the words of art;

And then, all other ceremonies learn'd,

Faustus may try his cunning by himself.
VALDES. First I'll instruct thee in the rudiments,

And then wilt thou be perfecter than I.

FAUSTUS. 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.

Enter two SCHOLARS.
FIRST SCHOLAR. I wonder what's become of Faustus, that was wont

to make our schools ring with sic probo.

SECOND SCHOLAR. That shall we presently know; here comes his boy.
FIRST SCHOLAR. How now, sirrah! where's thy master?
WAGNER. God in heaven knows.
SECOND SCHOLAR. Why, dost not thou know, then?
WAGNER. Yes, I know; but that follows not.
FIRST SCHOLAR. Go to, sirrah! leave your jesting, and tell us

where he is.

WAGNER. That follows not by force of argument, which you, being

licentiates, should stand upon: therefore acknowledge your

error, and be attentive.
SECOND SCHOLAR. Then you will not tell us?

WAGNER. 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 forty foot of the place of

execution, although I do not doubt but to see you both hanged

the next sessions. Thus having triumphed over you, I will set

my countenance like a precisian, 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!



Then I fear that which I have long suspected,

That thou art fall'n into that<25> damned art

For which they two are infamous through the world.
SECOND SCHOLAR. Were he a stranger, not allied 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.<26>

FIRST SCHOLAR. I fear me nothing will reclaim him now.
SECOND SCHOLAR. Yet let us see what we can do.


Enter FAUSTUS.<27>
FAUSTUS. Now that the gloomy shadow of the night,

Longing to view Orion's drizzling look,

Leaps from th' antartic world unto the sky,

And dims the welkin with her<28> pitchy breath,

Faustus, begin thine incantations,

And try if devils will obey thy hest,

Seeing thou hast pray'd and sacrific'd to them.

Within this circle is Jehovah's name,

Forward and backward anagrammatiz'd,

Th' abbreviated names of holy saints,

Figures of every adjunct to the heavens,

And characters of signs and erring<29> stars,

By which the spirits are enforc'd to rise:

Then fear not, Faustus, to be resolute,

And try the utmost magic can perform.


Sint mihi dii Acherontis propitii! Valeat numen triplex Jehovoe!

Ignei, aerii, aquatani spiritus, salvete! Orientis princeps

Belzebub, inferni ardentis monarcha, et Demogorgon, propitiamus

vos, ut appareat et surgat Mephistophilis Dragon, quod tumeraris:<30>

per Jehovam, Gehennam, et consecratam aquam quam nunc spargo,

signumque crucis quod nunc facio, et per vota nostra, ipse nunc

surgat nobis dicatus<31> Mephistophilis!

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.


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.
Re-enter MEPHISTOPHILIS like a Franciscan friar.
MEPHIST. Now, Faustus, what wouldst thou have me do?
FAUSTUS. I charge thee wait upon me whilst I live,

To do whatever Faustus shall command,

Be it to make the moon drop from her sphere,

Or the ocean to overwhelm the world.

MEPHIST. I am a servant to great Lucifer,

And may not follow thee without his leave:

No more than he commands must we perform.
FAUSTUS. Did not he charge thee to appear to me?
MEPHIST. No, I came hither<32> of mine own accord.
FAUSTUS. Did not my conjuring speeches<33> raise thee? speak!
MEPHIST. That was the cause, but yet per accidens;<34>

For, when we hear one rack the name of God,

Abjure the Scriptures and his Saviour 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 damn'd.

Therefore the shortest cut for conjuring

Is stoutly to abjure all godliness,

And pray devoutly to the prince of hell.
FAUSTUS. So Faustus hath

Already done; and holds this principle,

There is no chief but only Belzebub;

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?
MEPHIST. Arch-regent and commander of all spirits.
FAUSTUS. Was not that Lucifer an angel once?
MEPHIST. Yes, Faustus, and most dearly lov'd of God.

FAUSTUS. How comes it, then, that he is prince of devils?

MEPHIST. O, by aspiring pride and insolence;

For which God threw him from the face of heaven.

FAUSTUS. And what are you that live with Lucifer?
MEPHIST. Unhappy spirits that fell<35> with Lucifer,

Conspir'd against our God with Lucifer,

And are for ever damn'd with Lucifer.
FAUSTUS. Where are you damn'd?
MEPHIST. In hell.
FAUSTUS. How comes it, then, that thou art out of hell?
MEPHIST. 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 depriv'd of everlasting bliss?

O, Faustus, leave these frivolous demands,

Which strike<36> a terror to my fainting soul!
FAUSTUS. 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 incurr'd 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.

MEPHIST. I will, Faustus.


FAUSTUS. 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 thorough<37> 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 contributary to my crown:

The Emperor shall not live but by my leave,

Nor any potentate of Germany.

Now that I have obtain'd what I desir'd,

I'll live in speculation of this art,

Till Mephistophilis return again.


WAGNER. Come hither, sirrah boy.
CLOWN. Boy! O, disgrace to my person! zounds, boy in your face!

You have seen many boys with beards, I am sure.

WAGNER. Sirrah,<38> hast thou no comings in?
CLOWN. Yes, and goings out too, you may see, sir.
WAGNER. Alas, poor slave! see how poverty jests in his nakedness!

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

he would give his soul to the devil for a shoulder of mutton,

though it were blood-raw.

CLOWN. 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.

WAGNER. Sirrah, wilt thou be my man, and wait on me, and I will

make thee go like Qui mihi discipulus?

CLOWN. What, in verse?
WAGNER. No, slave; in beaten silk and staves-acre.
CLOWN. Staves-acre! that's good to kill vermin: then, belike,

if I serve you, I shall be lousy.

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

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

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

them tear thee in pieces.

CLOWN. Nay, sir, you may save<39> yourself a labour, for they

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

I can tell you.
WAGNER. Well, sirrah, leave your jesting, and take these guilders.

[Gives money.]

CLOWN. Yes, marry, sir; and I thank you too.
WAGNER. So, now thou art to be at an hour's warning, whensoever

and wheresoever the devil shall fetch thee.

CLOWN. Here, take your guilders again;<40> I'll none of 'em.
WAGNER. Not I; thou art pressed: prepare thyself, or<41> I will

presently raise up two devils to carry thee away.--Banio! Belcher!

CLOWN. Belcher! an Belcher come here, I'll belch him: I am not

afraid of a devil.

Enter two DEVILS.

WAGNER. How now, sir! will you serve me now?
CLOWN. Ay, good Wagner; take away the devil[s], then.
WAGNER. Spirits, away!

[Exeunt DEVILS.]

Now, sirrah, follow me.
CLOWN. I will, sir: but hark you, master; will you teach me this

conjuring occupation?

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

or a cat, or a mouse, or a rat, or any thing.

CLOWN. A dog, or a cat, or a mouse, or a rat!

O, brave, Wagner!

WAGNER. Villain, call me Master Wagner, and see that you walk

attentively, and let your right eye be always diametrally fixed

upon my left heel, that thou mayst quasi vestigiis nostris<42>


CLOWN. Well, sir, I warrant you.


FAUSTUS discovered in his study.
FAUSTUS. Now, Faustus,

Must thou needs be damn'd, canst thou not be sav'd.

What boots it, then, to think on God or heaven?

Away with such vain fancies, and despair;

Despair in God, and trust in Belzebub:

Now, go not backward,<43> Faustus; be resolute:

Why<44> waver'st thou? O, something soundeth in mine ear,

"Abjure this magic, turn to God again!"

Why, he loves thee not;

The god thou serv'st is thine own appetite,

Wherein is fix'd the love of Belzebub:

To him I'll build an altar and a church,

And offer lukewarm blood of new-born babes.
EVIL ANGEL. Go forward, Faustus, in that famous<45> art.
GOOD ANGEL. Sweet Faustus, leave that execrable art.
FAUSTUS. Contrition, prayer, repentance--what of<46> these?
GOOD ANGEL. O, they are means to bring thee unto heaven!
EVIL ANGEL. Rather illusions, fruits of lunacy,

That make men<47> foolish that do use them most.

GOOD ANGEL. Sweet Faustus, think of heaven and heavenly things.

EVIL ANGEL. No, Faustus; think of honour and of wealth.

[Exeunt ANGELS.]

FAUSTUS. Wealth!

Why, the signiory of Embden shall be mine.

When Mephistophilis shall stand by me,

What power can hurt me? Faustus, thou art safe:

Cast no more doubts.--Mephistophilis, come,

And bring glad tidings from great Lucifer;--

Is't not midnight?--come Mephistophilis,

And bring glad tidings from great Lucifer;--

Is't not midnight?--come Mephistophilis,

Veni, veni, Mephistophile!<48>

Now tell me what saith Lucifer, thy lord?
MEPHIST. That I shall wait on Faustus whilst he lives,

So he will buy my service with his soul.

FAUSTUS. Already Faustus hath hazarded that for thee.

MEPHIST. But now thou must bequeath it solemnly,

And write a deed of gift with thine own blood;

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