Study Guide

Doctor Faustus

by Christopher Marlowe

Doctor Faustus eText - Scene XIV

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Scene XIV

Enter FAUSTUS with two or three Scholars and MEPHISTOPHILIS.

[Music sounds, and HELEN passeth over the stage.]

[Exeunt Scholars.]

Enter an Old Man.

[MEPHISTOPHILIS gives him a dagger.]

[Exit.]

[FAUSTUS stabs his arm and writes on a paper with his blood.]

Re-enter HELEN.

[Exeunt.]

FIRST SCHOLAR.
Master Doctor Faustus, since our confer-
ence about fair ladies, which was the beautifullest in all
the world, we have determined with ourselves that Helen
of Greece was the admirablest lady that ever lived: there-
fore, Master Doctor, if you will do us that favour, as to let(5)
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 unfeigned,(10)
And Faustus' custom is not to deny
The just requests of those that wish him well,
You shall behold that peerless dame of Greece,
No otherways for pomp and majesty
Than when Sir Paris crossed the seas with her,(15)
And brought the spoils to rich Dardania.
Be silent, then, for danger is in words.
SECOND SCHOLAR.
Too simple is my wit to tell her praise,
Whom all the world admires for majesty.
THIRD SCHOLAR.
No marvel though the angry Greeks(20)
pursued
With ten years' war the rape of such a queen,
Whose heavenly beauty passeth all compare.
FIRST SCHOLAR.
Since we have seen the pride of Nature's
works,(25)
And only paragon of excellence,
Let us depart; and for this glorious deed
Happy and blest be Faustus evermore.
FAUSTUS.
Gentlemen, farewell—the same I wish to you.
OLD MAN.
Ah, Doctor Faustus, that I might prevail(30)
To guide thy steps unto the way of life,
By which sweet path thou may'st attain the goal
That shall conduct thee to celestial rest!
Break heart, drop blood, and mingle it with tears,
Tears falling from repentant heaviness(35)
Of thy most vile and loathsome filthiness,
The stench whereof corrupts the inward soul
With such flagitious crimes of heinous sins
As no commiseration may expel,
But mercy, Faustus, of thy Saviour sweet,(40)
Whose blood alone must wash away thy guilt.
FAUSTUS.
Where art thou, Faustus? wretch, what hast
thou done?
Damned art thou, Faustus, damned; despair and die!
Hell calls for right, and with a roaring voice(45)
Says “Faustus come! thine hour is almost come!”
And Faustus now will come to do the right.
OLD MAN.
Ah stay, good Faustus, stay thy desperate
steps!
I see an angel hovers o'er thy head,(50)
And, with a vial full of precious grace,
Offers to pour the same into thy soul:
Then call for mercy, and avoid despair.
FAUSTUS.
Ah, my sweet friend, I feel
Thy words do comfort my distressed soul.(55)
Leave me a while to ponder on my sins.
OLD MAN.
I go, sweet Faustus, but with heavy cheer,
Fearing the ruin of thy hopeless soul.
FAUSTUS.
Accursed Faustus, where is mercy now?
I do repent; and yet I do despair;(60)
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
For disobedience to my sovereign lord;
Revolt, or I'll in piecemeal tear thy flesh.(65)
FAUSTUS.
Sweet Mephistophilis, entreat thy lord
To pardon my unjust presumption.
And with my blood again I will confirm
My former vow I made to Lucifer.
MEPHIST.
Do it then quickly, with unfeigned heart,(70)
Lest greater danger do attend thy drift.
FAUSTUS.
Torment, sweet friend, that base and crooked
age,
That durst dissuade me from thy Lucifer,
With greatest torments that our hell affords.(75)
MEPHIST.
His faith is great: I cannot touch his soul,
But what I may afflict his body with
I will attempt, which is but little worth.
FAUSTUS.
One thing, good servant, let me crave of thee,
To glut the longing of my heart's desire,—(80)
That I might have unto my paramour
That heavenly Helen which I saw of late,
Whose sweet embracings may extinguish clean
These thoughts that do dissuade me from my vow,
And keep mine oath I made to Lucifer.(85)
MEPHIST.
Faustus, this or what else thou shalt desire
Shall be performed in twinkling of an eye.
FAUSTUS.
Was this the face that launched a thousand
ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?(90)
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.
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.(95)
I will be Paris, and for love of thee,
Instead of Troy, shall Wertenberg be sacked:
And I will combat with weak Menelaus,
And wear thy colours on my plumed crest:
Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel,(100)
And then return to Helen for a kiss.
Oh, thou art fairer than the evening air
Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
When he appeared to hapless Semele:(105)
More lovely than the monarch of the sky
In wanton Arethusa's azured arms:
And none but thou shalt be my paramour.

[Kisses her.]