Mephistopheles (in FAUST'S long robe).
Humanity's most lofty power,
Reason and knowledge, pray despise!
Let but the Spirit of all Lies
With works of dazzling magic blind you;
Then, absolutely mine, I'll have and bind you!
To him has Fate a spirit given
That, uncurbed, ever onward sweeps,
Whose striving, by too hasty impulse driven,
The joys of this earth overleaps.
Him will I drag through wild life whirling past,
Through all that is unmeaning, shallow stuff;
I'll see him struggle, weaken, and stick fast!
Before his greedy lips that can not feast enough
Shall hover food and drink as if for some grand revel;
Refreshment will he all in vain implore;
And had he not surrendered to the Devil,
Still were he lost forevermore.

A STUDENT enters

Student. I've been here just a little while or so
And come to pay an humble call,
To talk with you, a man to know,
One who is named with reverence by all.

Mephistopheles. You please me greatly by your courtesy!
A man like many another one you see.
Have you already looked about elsewhere?

Student. I beg you, take me in your kindly care!
I come with every good intention,
Fresh blood, and money, though not much to mention.
My mother scarcely would permit my going.
I'd fain learn here abroad something worth knowing.

Mephistopheles. Well, now you're at the proper place.

Student. Yet, frankly, would I could my steps retrace!
Within these walls the lecture hall,
I do not like it here at all.
It is a space that's so confined;
One sees no green nor any tree,
And in the halls with benches lined,
Sight, hearing, thought, all go from me.

Mephistopheles. That only comes with habit, so
A child takes not its mother's breast
Quite willingly in the beginning, though
Soon nourishes itself with zest.
So at the breasts of Wisdom nursed,
Each day you'll lust for them the more athirst.

Student. I'll cling about her neck with joy,
But say what means thereto I shall employ.

Mephistopheles. Ere you go on, explain your views.
Which is the faculty you choose?

Student. I'd like right learned to become; what is
On earth I'd gladly comprehend,
To heaven itself my range extend,
Know all of nature and the sciences.

Mephistopheles. Then you are on the proper way
But must not let yourself be lured astray.

Student. Body and soul I'm for it bent;
Yet there would please me, I must say,
A little freedom and divertisement
Upon a pleasant summer holiday.

Mephistopheles. Make use of time, its course so soon is run,
Yet system teaches you how time is won.
I counsel you, dear friend, in sum,
That first you take collegium logicum.
Your spirit's then well broken in for you,
In Spanish boots laced tightly to,
That you henceforth may more deliberately keep
The path of thought and straight along it creep,
And not perchance criss-cross may go,
A- will-o'-wisping to and fro.
Then you'll be taught full many a day
What at one stroke you've done alway,
Like eating and like drinking free,
It now must go like: One! Two! Three!
In fact, when men are fabricating thought,
It goes as when a weaver's masterpiece is wrought.
One treadle sets a thousand threads a-going,
And to and fro the shuttle flies;
Quite unperceived the threads are flowing,
One stroke effects a thousand ties.
Then some philosopher steps in, and he
Will demonstrate to you it so must be:
The first was so, the second so,
And thus the third and fourth are so;
And if no first nor second had been there,
The third and fourth one would be never.
All students prize that everywhere,
But are they weavers? No, they're not that clever.
Who'll know aught living and describe it well,
Seeks first the spirit to expel.
He then has the component parts in hand
But lacks, alas! the spirit's band.
Encheirisis naturae, Chemistry names it so,
Mocking herself but all unwitting though.

Student. I can't quite understand you, I confess.

Mephistopheles. Next time, be sure, you will have more success,
When you have learned how to reduce
And classify all by its use.

Student. I feel as stupid after all you've said
As if a miller's wheel were whirling in my head.

Mephistopheles. And next- the first of all worth mention-
To Metaphysics you must give attention,
And see that you profoundly strive to gain
What is not suited for the human brain
For what goes in or won't go in the head,
A brilliant phrase will serve you in good stead.
Yet, first of all for this half-year,
Observe the best of systems here
You take five lectures daily- understand?
And when the clock strikes, be on hand!
Be well prepared before the start,
With paragraphs well got by heart,
So later you can better look
And see he says naught save what's in the book;
But write away as unabated
As if the Holy Ghost dictated!

Student. You will not need to say that to me twice!
I can foresee how much I'll gain from this advice;
Because what one has down in black and white
It is a comfort to take home at night.

Mephistopheles. But come now, choose a faculty!

Student. I can't adjust myself to Law- not possibly.

Mephistopheles. I can't blame that in you, it's no demerit.
This science as it really is I see.
Statutes and laws that we inherit
Like an eternal malady
Go trailing on from race to race
And furtive shift from place to place.
To nonsense reason turns, and benefit to worry.
Woe unto you that you're a grandchild, woe!
For of the law that was born with us, no!
Of that, alas! there never is a query.

Student. You have increased my own disgust. The youth
Whom you instruct is blessed in sooth!
I'm now almost inclined to try Theology.

Mephistopheles. I would not wish to lead you so astray.
In what this science teaches, it would be
So hard to shun the false, misleading way;
So much of hidden poison lies therein,
You scarce can tell it from its medicine.
'Tis best here too that only one be heard
And that you swear then by the master's word.
Upon the whole- to words stick fast!
Then through a sure gate you'll at last
Enter the templed hall of Certainty.

Student. Yet in each word some concept there must be.

Mephistopheles. Quite true! But don't torment yourself to anxiously;
For at the point where concepts fail,
At the right time a word is thrust in there.
With words we fitly can our foes assail,
With words a system we prepare,
Words we quite fitly can believe,
Nor from a word a mere iota thieve.

Student. Pardon, I keep you here with many a question,
But I must cause more trouble still.
Concerning Medicine as well you will
Not make some pithy, keen suggestion?
Three years! how quickly they are past!
And, God! the field is far too vast.
If but some sign is indicated,
A man can sooner feel his way.

Mephistopheles (aside). With this dry tone I am now satiated;
The downright devil I must once more play.


Medicine's spirit one can grasp with ease.
The great and little world you study through,
To let things finally their course pursue
As God may please.
It's vain that you in search of knowledge roam and drift,
Each only learns what learn he can;
Yet he who grasps the moment's gift,
He is your proper man.
You are moreover quite well-built, beside,
Will never lack for boldness too;
And if you only in yourself confide,
All other souls confide in you.
Learn chiefly how to lead the women; be assured
That all their "Ohs" and "Ahs," eternal, old,
So thousandfold,
Can at a single point be cured;
And if you half-way decorously come,
You have them all beneath your thumb.
A title first must make them comprehend
That your art many arts doth far transcend.
By way of welcome then you touch all matters
For sake of which, long years, another flatters.
Learn how the little pulse to squeeze
And then with sly and fiery glances seize
Her freely round the slender hips to see
How firmly laced up she may be.

Student. Now that looks better! Now one sees the where and how!

Mephistopheles. Dear friend, all theory is grey,
And green the golden tree of life.

Student. I vow,
It's all just like a dream to me.
Another time I'll bore you, if I may,
To hear your wisdom through and through.

Mephistopheles. All that I can I'll gladly do.

Student. It is impossible for me to go away
Before I hand my album here to you.
Will your grace grant this favour to me too?

Mephistopheles. Oh, very well!

He writes and gives it back.


He closes the book reverently and takes his leave.

Mephistopheles. Follow the ancient text and heed my coz the snake;
With all your likeness to God you'll sometimes tremble and quake.

FAUST enters.

Faust. Now whither shall we go?

Mephistopheles. Whither it pleases you.
We'll see the little world and then we'll see the great.
With how much joy and how much profit too
You'll sponge the whole course through until you graduate.

Faust. But with my beard so long I may
Quite lack life's free and easy way.
In this attempt no luck will come to me;
I never fitted in society at all.
With other men I feel myself so small;
I'll feel embarrassed constantly.

Mephistopheles. For that, good friend, this is the remedy I give:
Just trust yourself, then you'll know how to live.

Faust. We'll leave the house but how shall we set out?
Have you a horse, a servant, carriage, anywhere?

Mephistopheles. We'll only spread this mantle out
And have it bear us through the air.
You'll take upon this daring flight
No heavy luggage, only light.
A bit of fiery air- I'll have it ready here-
Will lift us from this earth without ado,
And if we're light, we'll go up swiftly too.
I must congratulate you on your new career.

Auerbach's cellar in Leipsic
Drinking-bout of Jolly Companions

Frosch. Will no one drink? and no one laugh?
I'll teach you how to look so wry!
You're everyone like sodden chaff
And always used to blaze sky-high!

Brander. That's your fault; you don't add a single stroke,
No beastliness and not one silly joke.

Frosch (pours a glass of wine over Brander's head).
There you have both!

Brander. You twofold beast!

Frosch. That's what you asked me for, at least!

Siebel. If any quarrel, throw 'em out!
Come, sing with all your lungs, boys, swill and shout!
Up! Holla! Ho!

Altmayer. My God! I'm done for! Here!
Some cotton wool! The fellow bursts my ear.

Siebel. When vaulted ceilings echo back our song,
Then first we feel the bass is deep and strong.

Frosch. Quite right! Then out with him who takes a thing amiss!
Ah! tara lara da!

Altmayer. Ah! tara lara da!

Frosch. The throats are tuned for this!

He sings.

Dear Holy Roman Empire! Say,
How does it stick together?

Brander. A nasty song! Shame! a political song!
A wretched song! Thank God each morning, brother,
That for the Roman Empire you don't need to bother!
There is at least one gain I am most thankful for,
That I'm not Kaiser and not Chancellor.
And yet we must not fail to have a ruler. Stay!
Let us elect a Pope! What do you say?
You know the kind of quality that can
Bear down the scale and elevate the man.

Frosch (sings).
Soar aloft, Dame Nightingale,
Ten thousand times my sweetheart hail!

Siebel. No greeting to a sweetheart! I'll not hear of this!

Frosch. You will not hinder me! My sweetheart, hail! A kiss! He sings.

Lift the latch! In silent night.
Lift the latch! The lover wakes.
Drop the latch! The morning breaks.

Siebel. Yes, sing on, praise and brag of her with all your might!
I will in my own time be sure to laugh at you.
She once led me astray, she'll do it to you too.
Give her a kobold for her lovesick yearning!
At some cross-road let him go woo her.
Let some old buck, from Blocksberg' homeward turning,
Still on the gallop, bleat "Good Evening!" to her.
A gallant fellow of real flesh and blood
Is for that wench a deal too good.
I'll hear no greetings to that lass
But such as smash her window-glass.

Brander (pounding on the table).
Give heed Give heed! Lend me your ear!
You, sirs, confess that I know what is what.
Some lovesick folk are sitting here,
And so in honour due their present lot
I must contribute to their night's good cheer.
Give heed! A brand-new song 'twill be!
And sing the chorus lustily!

He sings.

There once in a cellar lived a rat,
Had a paunch could scarce be smoother,
For it lived on butter and on fat,
A mate for Doctor Luther.
But soon the cook did poison strew
And then the rat, so cramped it grew
As if it had love in its body.

Chorus (shouting).
As if it had love in its body.

Brander. It flew around, and out it flew,
From every puddle swilling,
It gnawed and scratched the whole house through,
But its rage was past all stilling.
It jumped full of in anguish mad,
But soon, poor beast, enough it had,
As if it had love in its body.

Chorus. As if it had love in its body.

Brander. By anguish driven in open day
It rushed into the kitchen,
Fell on the hearth and panting lay,
Most pitiably twitchin'.
Then laughed the poisoner: "Hee! hee! hee!
It's at its last gasp now," said she,
"As if it had love in its body."

Chorus. "As if it had love in its body."

Siebel. How these dull chaps enjoy themselves! Now that's
A fine old art, so it would seem,
To scatter poison for poor rats!

Brander. They stand so high in your esteem?

Altmayer. See the old tub, so bald and fat!
Misfortune makes him mild and tame;
He sees in any bloated rat
His very own image, quite the same.

Faust and Mephistopheles enter.

Mephistopheles. Before all else I now must let you view
The doings of a jovial crew,
That you may see how smoothly life can flow along.
To this crowd every day's a feast and song.
With little wit and much content,
Each, on his own small round intent,
Is like a kitten with its tail.
While no sick headache they bewail
And while their host will still more credit give,
Joyous and free from care they live.

Brander. Those people come directly from a tour,
You see it in their strange, odd ways;
They've not been here an hour, I'm sure.

Frosch. In truth, you're right! My Leipsic will I praise!
A little Paris, one that cultivates its people.

Siebel. Who are these strangers, do you think?

Frosch. Leave it to me! Give me a brimming drink
And from these chaps I'll worm the truth
As one draws out a young child's tooth.
To me they seem of noble family,
So proud and discontented they appear to be.

Brander. They're mountebanks, I'll lay a bet with you!

Altmayer. Perhaps!

Frosch. Pay heed, I'll make them feel the screw!

Mephistopheles (to FAUST). These chaps don't scent the Devil out
And would not if he had them by the snout!

Faust. We greet you, sirs!

Siebel. Thanks and to you the same!

In a low tone, looking at Mephistopheles askance.

Why is that fellow's one foot lame?

Mephistopheles. We'll sit with you if you'll permit the liberty.
Instead of some good drink which is not here,
We shall enjoy your company's good cheer.

Altmayer. A very pampered man you seem to be.

Frosch. I guess you started late from Rippach on your way.
Can you have supped with Master Hans tonight?

Mephistopheles. We passed him by without a stop today!
We spoke with him last time. He'd quite
A lot about his cousins to convey,
Charged us with greetings to each one.

He bows toward Frosch.

(in a low tone). You got it then! He knows!

Siebel. A cunning fellow, he!

Frosch. Just wait a bit, I'll get him on the run.

Mephistopheles. If I mistake not, didn't we
Hear practised voices sing in chorus?
In truth, a song must perfectly
Reecho from this vaulted ceiling o'er us!

Frosch. Are you perchance a virtuoso?

Mephistopheles. Oh no! The zest is great, ability but so-so.

Altmayer. Give us a song!

Mephistopheles. A lot, if that way you incline.

Siebel. But let it be a brand-new strain!

Mephistopheles. We have returned quite recently from Spain, The lovely land of melody and wine.

He sings.

A king there once was reigning,
Who cherished a great big flea-

Frosch. Hear that! A flea! Did you quite grasp the jest?
I say, a flea's a tidy guest.

Mephistopheles (sings).
A king there once was reigning,
Who cherished a great big flea;
No little love attaining,
As his own son loved he.
He called his tailor hireling,
The tailor to him flew:
"Ho, measure now the squireling
For coat and breeches too."

Brander. Be sure to tell that man of stitches
That he must measure to a hair,
And if his head is dear to him, I swear,
No wrinkles must be in those breeches!

In silk and velvet splendid
He now was always dressed,
By ribbons gay attended,
A cross upon his breast.
Was minister created,
A mighty star did sport;
Then all his kin, elated,
Became great lords at court.

Lord, lady, and dependent
Were plagued and sore distressed;
The queen and her attendant
Were bitten by the pest.
And yet they dared not whack them
Nor scratch by day or night.
We smother and we crack them
Whenever we feel them bite.

Chorus shouting.
We smother and we crack them
Whenever we feel them bite.

Frosch. Bravo! Bravo! That was splendid!

Siebel. And so should every flea be ended!

Brander. Point your fingers and squeeze them fine!

Altmayer. Long live freedom! Long live wine!

Mephistopheles. A glass to honour freedom I would gladly clink
If but your wines were better fit to drink.

Siebel. We do not want to hear such talk again!

Mephistopheles. I only fear the landlord might complain;
Else I would treat each worthy guest
With what our cellar offers of the best.

Siebel. Do bring it on! The risk be mine.

Frosch. Produce a good glass and we'll praise your wine.
But don't give us a sample all too small;
If I'm to play the solemn judge at all,
A right good mouthful I require.

Altmayer (in a low tone). They're from the Rhine, I scented that before.

Mephistopheles. Fetch me a gimlet!

Brander. Say, why that desire?
You haven't got the casks outside the door?

Altmayer. Back there the landlord keeps his tool-kit placed.

Mephistopheles (taking the gimlet to Frosch).
Now say, what do you want to taste?

Frosch. What do you mean? Have you so many kinds?

Mephistopheles. I leave the choice to each. Make up your minds!

Altmayer (to FROSCH).
You're licking your chops now! Be careful, steady!

Frosch. 'Tis well! If I'm to choose, it's Rhine wine I propose.
The best of gifts is what the fatherland bestows.

Mephistopheles (boring a hole in the edge of the table at the place where FROSCH is sitting).
Get us some wax at once, to have the stoppers ready!

Altmayer. Ah! These are tricks! It's jugglery!

Mephistopheles (to BRANDER). And you?

Brander. Champagne's the stuff for me,
And bubbling, sparkling, must it be.

Mephistpheles is boring holes; one of the others has meanwhile
made the stoppers and plugged the holes.

Back to:
Faust 1
Faust 2
Faust 3
Faust 4
Faust 5
Faust 6
Faust 7

On to:
Faust 9

Faust 9 will be up tonight (night of when you read this.) The reason for this is that the guy who signs piq's paychecks is stopping by his house to gauge piq's "process."

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