Doctor Faustus eText - Scene X

This eText contains embedded glossary terms and other notes added by our community of educators. Simply mouseover or tap on the yellow highlighted words within the text to see the annotations.
Turn Off

Scene X

Enter EMPEROR, FAUSTUS, and a Knight, with Attendants.

[Aside.]

[Aside.]

[Aside.]

[Exit MEPHISTOPHILIS.]

[Exit.]

Re-enter MEPHISTOPHILIS with Spirits in the shape of ALEXANDER and his Paramour.

[Exeunt Spirits.]

[Exeunt.]

EMPEROR.
Master Doctor Faustus, I have heard strange
report of thy knowledge in the black art, how that none
in my empire nor in the whole world can compare with
thee for the rare effects of magic: they say thou hast a
familiar spirit, by whom thou canst accomplish what(5)
thou list. This therefore is my request, that thou let me
see some proof of thy skill, that mine eyes may be wit-
nesses to confirm what mine ears have heard reported:
and here I swear to thee by the honour of mine imperial
crown, that, whatever thou doest, thou shalt be no ways(10)
prejudiced or endamaged.
KNIGHT.
I'faith, he looks much like a conjuror.
FAUSTUS.
My gracious sovereign, though I must confess
myself far inferior to the report men have published,
and nothing answerable to the honour of your imperial(15)
majesty, yet for that love and duty binds me thereunto,
I am content to do whatsoever your majesty shall com-
mand me.
EMPEROR.
Then, Doctor Faustus, mark what I shall say.
As I was sometime solitary set(20)
Within my closet, sundry thoughts arose
About the honour of mine ancestors,
How they had won by prowess such exploits,
Got such riches, subdued so many kingdoms
As we that do succeed, or they that shall(25)
Hereafter possess our throne, shall
(I fear me) ne'er attain to that degree
Of high renown and great authority;
Amongst which kings is Alexander the Great,
Chief spectacle of the world's pre-eminence,(30)
The bright shining of whose glorious acts
Lightens the world with his reflecting beams,
As when I hear but motion made of him
It grieves my soul I never saw the man.
If therefore thou by cunning of thine art(35)
Canst raise this man from hollow vaults below,
Where lies entombed this famous conqueror,
And bring with him his beauteous paramour,
Both in their right shapes, gesture, and attire
They used to wear during their time of life,(40)
Thou shalt both satisfy my just desire,
And give me cause to praise thee whilst I live.
FAUSTUS.
My gracious lord, I am ready to accomplish
your request so far forth as by art, and power of my
Spirit, I am able to perform.(45)
KNIGHT.
I'faith that's just nothing at all.
FAUSTUS.
But, if it like your grace, it is not in my ability
to present before your eyes the true substantial bodies
of those two deceased princes, which long since are
consumed to dust.(50)
KNIGHT.
Ay, marry, Master Doctor, now there's a sign of
grace in you, when you will confess the truth.
FAUSTUS.
But such spirits as can lively resemble Alexander
and his paramour shall appear before your grace, in
that manner that they both lived in, in their most(55)
flourishing estate; which I doubt not shall sufficiently
content your imperial majesty.
EMPEROR.
Go to, Master Doctor; let me see them
presently.
KNIGHT.
Do you hear, Master Doctor? You bring Alexander(60)
and his paramour before the Emperor!
FAUSTUS.
How then, sir?
KNIGHT.
I'faith, that's as true as Diana turned me to a stag!
FAUSTUS.
No, sir, but when Actaeon died, he left the horns
for you. Mephistophilis, begone.(65)
KNIGHT.
Nay, an you go to conjuring, I'll be gone.
FAUSTUS.
I'll meet with you anon for interrupting me so.
Here they are, my gracious lord.
EMPEROR.
Master Doctor, I heard this lady while she lived
had a wart or mole in her neck: how shall I know whether(70)
it be so or no?
FAUSTUS.
Your highness may boldly go and see.
EMPEROR.
Sure these are no spirits, but the true substantial
bodies of those two deceased princes.
FAUSTUS.
Will't please your highness now to send for the(75)
knight that was so pleasant with me here of late?
EMPEROR.
One of you call him forth!
How now, sir knight! why, I had thought thou had'st been
a bachelor, but now I see thou hast a wife, that not only
gives thee horns, but makes thee wear them. Feel on thy(80)
head.

[Exit Attendant.]

Re-enter the Knight with a pair of horns on his head.

KNIGHT.
Thou damned wretch and execrable dog,
Bred in the concave of some monstrous rock,
How darest thou thus abuse a gentleman?
Villain, I say, undo what thou hast done!(85)
FAUSTUS.
O, not so fast, sir; there's no haste; but, good,
are you remembered how you crossed me in my con-
ference with the Emperor? I think I have met with you
for it.
EMPEROR.
Good Master Doctor, at my entreaty release(90)
him: he hath done penance sufficient.
FAUSTUS.
My gracious lord, not so much for the injury
he offered me here in your presence, as to delight you
with some mirth, hath Faustus worthily requited this
injurious knight: which being all I desire, I am content(95)
to release him of his horns: and, sir knight, hereafter
speak well of scholars. Mephistophilis, transform him
straight. [MEPHISTOPHILIS removes the horns.] Now,
my good lord, having done my duty, I humbly take my
leave.(100)
EMPEROR.
Farewell, Master Doctor; yet, ere you go,
Expect from me a bounteous reward.