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.(5)
Sweet Analytics, 'tis thou hast ravished me! [Reads.]
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;(10)
A greater subject fitteth Faustus' wit:
Bid Oncaymaeon farewell, Galen come,
Seeing, Ubi desinit Philosophus, ibi incipit Medicus:
Be a physician, Faustus; heap up gold,
And be eternised for some wondrous cure. [Reads.](15)
Summum bonum medicinae sanitas,
The end of physic is our body's health.
Why, Faustus, hast thou not attained that end?
Is not thy common talk sound aphorisms?
Are not thy bills hung up as monuments,(20)
Whereby whole cities have escaped the plague,
And thousand desperate maladies been eased?
Yet art thou still but Faustus, and a man.
Wouldst thou make men to live eternally,
Or, being dead, raise them to life again,(25)
Then this profession were to be esteemed.
Physic, farewell!—Where is Justinian? [Reads.]
Si una eademque res legatur duobus, alter rem,
alter valorem rei, &c.
A pretty case of paltry legacies! [Reads.](30)
Exhaereditare filium non potest pater, nisi, &c.
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;(35)
Too servile and illiberal for me.
When all is done, divinity is best:
Jerome's Bible, Faustus; view it well. [Reads.]
Stipendium peccati mors est. Ha! Stipendium, &c.
The reward of sin is death. That's hard. [Reads.](40)
Si peccasse negamus fallimur et nulla est in nobis
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,
and there's no truth in us. Why then, belike we
must sin, and so consequently die.(45)
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:(50)
Lines, circles, scenes, letters, and characters:
Ay, these are those that Faustus most desires.
O, what a world of profit and delight,
Of power, of honour, of omnipotence,
Is promised to the studious artisan!(55)
All things that move between the quiet poles
Shall be at my command. Emperors and kings
Are but obeyed in their several provinces,
Nor can they raise the wind, or rend the clouds;
But his dominion that exceeds in this,(60)
Stretcheth as far as doth the mind of man;
A sound magician is a mighty god:
Here, Faustus, tire thy brains to gain a deity.
Enter WAGNER.Wagner, commend me to my dearest friends,(65)
The German Valdes and Cornelius;
Request them earnestly to visit me.
- I will, sir.
- Their conference will be a greater help to me
Than all my labours, plod I ne'er so fast.(70)
Enter Good Angel and Evil Angel.
- GOOD ANGEL.
- O, Faustus! lay that damned book aside,
And gaze not upon 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,(75)
Wherein all Nature's treasure is contained:
Be thou on earth as Jove is in the sky,
Lord and commander of these elements.
- How am I glutted with conceit of this!
Shall I make spirits fetch me what I please,(80)
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(85)
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 the swift Rhine circle fair Wertenberg;(90)
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;(95)
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.
Enter VALDES and CORNELIUS.Come, German Valdes, and Cornelius,
And make me blest with your sage conference.(100)
Valdes, sweet Valdes, and Cornelius,
Know that your words have won me at the last
To practice magic and concealed arts:
Yet not your words only, but mine own fantasy
That will receive no object, for my head(105)
But ruminates on necromantic skill.
Philosophy is odious and obscure,
Both law and physic are for petty wits;
Divinity is basest of the three,
Unpleasant, harsh, contemptible, and vile:(110)
'tis magic, magic, that hath ravished me.
Then, gentle friends, aid me in this attempt;
And I that have with concise syllogisms
Gravelled the pastors of the German church,
And made the flowering pride of Wertenberg(115)
Swarm to my problems, as the infernal spirits
On sweet Musaeus 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(120)
Shall make all nations to canonise us.
As Indian Moors obey their Spanish lords,
So shall the spirits of every element
Be always serviceable to us three;(125)
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(130)
Than have the white breasts of the queen of love:
From Venice shall they drag huge argosies,
And from America the golden fleece
That yearly stuffs old Philip's treasury;
If learned Faustus will be resolute.(135)
- 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,(140)
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
Than heretofore the Delphian Oracle.(145)
The spirits tell me they can dry the sea,
And fetch the treasure of all foreign wrecks,
Ay, all the wealth that our forefathers hid
Within the massy entrails of the earth;
Then tell me, Faustus, what shall we three want?(150)
- 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 haste thee to some solitary grove,(155)
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;(160)
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 than I.
- Then come and dine with me, and after meat,(165)
We'll canvas every quiddity thereof;
For ere I sleep I'll try what I can do:
This night I'll conjure tho' I die therefore.
the science of logical analysis
Bene disserere est finis logices—to disipute well is the purpose of logic
On kai me on— being and no being
(129-ca.200 A.D.) an important physician in ancient Greece
Ubi desinit Philosophus, ibi incipit Medicus— Where Philosophy leaves off, there Medicine begins
made eternally famous
Summum bonum medicinae sanitas— the highest aim of medicine is health
short statements of opinions or truths
illnesses or unpleasant conditions
Justinian I (ca.482-565) was the Byzantine Emperor who was famous for the complete revision of Roman law, known as the Corpus Juris Civilis, which is the basis for modern day civil law.
Si una eademque res legatur duobus, alter rem, alter valorem rei, &c.—If the same thing is willed to two people, one person gets the thing and the other person gets the value of that thing
things that are handed down from the past
Exhaereditare filium non potest pater, nisi, &c.—The father is not able to disinherit the son except when…[This is they typical language of wills; Faustus is putting down lawyers.]
someone who does something purely for reward or money
without culture or refinement
called The Vulgate; the Latin translation of the Bible by St. Jerome in the 4th century A.D.
Stipendium peccati mors est. Ha!Stipendium, &c. — The wages of sin is death. Ha! Wages, etc.
Si peccasse negamus fallimur et nulla est in nobis veritas— If we claim not to have sinned, we are liars and there is no truth in us
a teaching; philosophy, belief
Che sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be.
relating to magic
the quality of having unlimited power
a skilled craftsman
a territory ruled by one person or entity
possibly Paracelsus (1493-1541), a prominent physician and alchemist
the famous mystic and alchemist, Cornelius Agrippa (63-12B.C.)
sacred writings from the Bible
expressing disrespect for something sacred
the Roman god Jupiter, who is the god of the sky and the supreme Roman deity
unclear or uncertain meanings or intentions
a difficult or complicated project
a reference to the “Duke of Parma” (Alexander Farnese: 1545-1592), who re-established Spanish rule in the Netherlands
In 1585, during the Eighty Years' War, Farnese's forces built a bridge over the river Scheldt as a blockade during the Siege at Antwerp. It was later blown up by a ship filled with explosives.
suitable for or like a servant
unclear; difficult to understand
held one's attention; captivated
short and to the point
statements made from deductive reasoning
a Greek poet and mystic, the pupil or son of Orpheus in Virgil's Aeneid VI 667
to glorify; treat as sacred; in Catholicism, to be made a saint
refers to Spain's enslavement of American Indians
[plural of staff] strong sticks used as weapons
an error by the author; the people of Lapland were not known to be giants, but they were said to practice magic.
large, cargo-laden, merchant ships
refers to the gold in Prince Philip of Spain's treasury, some of it coming from America; it might also be an allusion to the Greek myth of Jason and his search for the mystical golden fleece.
in Greek mythology, the prophetic stone dedicated to Apollo, the god of prophecy
to practice magic to bring forth something
Roger Bacon (1214-1294), an English philosopher; his studies are considered by many to be the prelude to modern science.
perhaps Pietro d'Albano, a medieval, Italian alchemist; perhaps it is a misprint for Albertus (Magnus), the great schoolman.
necessary for a particular purpose
the fundamental elements; basics
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