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HARVARD 
CLASSICS 

-THE FIVE-FOOT 
SHELFOFBOOKS 



f AUST 
I6MONT ETC 

DOCTOR 

FAUSTUS 

GOETHE 

MAKLOWE 




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THE HARVARD CLASSICS 



The Five-Foot Shelf of Books 



THE HARVARD CLASSICS 
EDITED BY CHARLES W. ELIOT, LL.D. 



Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

Faust, Part I • Egmont 
Hermann and Dorothea 



Christopher Marlowe 

Doctor Faustus 

W/M Introduction and Notes 
Yo/ume 19 




P. F. Collier & Son Corporation 

NEW YORK 



Copyright, 1909 
By p. F. Collies & Sow 

UANUFACTUKKD m U. S. A. 



CONTENTS 

THE TRAGEDY OF FAUST 

PAOE 

Dedication 9 

Prologue for the Theatre 11 

Prologue in Heaven 18 

Part I 23 

THE TRAGICAL HISTORY OF DOCTOR FAUSTUS . . .205 

EGMONT 253 

HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 

Calliope 337 

Terpsichore 345 

Thalia 354 

Euterpe 35^ 

Polyhymnia 3^ 

Clio 37^ 

Erato 3^7 

Melpomene 395 

Urania 400 



THE TRAGEDY OF FAUST 



BY 
GOETHE 

TRANSLATED BY 
ANNA SWANWICX 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE 

JoHANN WoLFCANC VON GoETHE, the greatest of German men of 
letters, was born at Frankfort-on-the-Main, August 28, 1749. His father 
was a man of means and f)Osition, and he personally supervised the early 
education of his son. The young Goethe studied at the universities of 
Leipsic and Strasburg, and in 1772 entered upon the practise of law at 
Wetzlar. At the invitation of Karl August, Duke of Saxe- Weimar, he 
went in 1775 to live in Weimar, where he held a succession of political 
offices, becoming the Duke's chief adviser. From 1786 to 1788 he traveled 
in Italy, and from 1791 to 1817 directed the ducal theater at Weimar. 
He took part in the wars against France, 1792-3, and in the following 
year began his friendship with Schiller, which lasted till the latter's 
death in 1805. In 1806 he married Christiane Vulpius. From about 
1794 he devoted himself chiefly to literature, and after a life of extraor- 
dinary productiveness died at Weimar, March 22, 1832. The most 
important of Goethe's works produced before he went to Weimar were 
his tragedy "Gotz von Berlichingen" (1773), which first brought him 
fame, and "The Sorrows of Young Werther," a novel which obtained 
enormous popularity during the so-called "Sturm und Drang" period. 
During the years at Weimar before he knew Schiller he began "Wilhelm 
Meister," wrote the dramas, "Iphigenie," "Egmont," and "Torquato 
Tasso," and his "Reinecke Fuchs." To the jjeriod of his friendship with 
Schiller belong the continuation of "Wilhelm Meister," the beautiful 
idyl of "Hermann and Dorothea," and the "Roman Elegies." In the last 
period, between Schiller's death in 1805 and his own, appeared "Faust," 
"Elective Affinities," his autobiographical "Dichtung und Wahrheit" 
("Poetry and Truth"), his "Italian Journey," much scientific work, and 
a series of treatises on German Art. 

Though the foregoing enumeration contains but a selection from the 
titles of Goethe's best known writings, it suffices to show the extraor- 
dinary fertility and versatility of his genius. Rarely has a man of letters 
had so full and varied a life, or been capable of so many-sided a develop- 
ment. His political and scientific activities, though dwarfed in the eyes 
of our generation by his artistic production, yet showed the adaptability 
of his talent in the most diverse directions, and helped to give him that 
balance of temper and breadth of vision in which he has been surpassed 
by no genius of the ancient or modern world. 

The greatest and most representative expression of Goethe's powers is 



O INTRODUCTION 

without doubt to be found in his drama of "Faust"; but before dealing 
with Goethe's masterpiece, it is worth while to say something of the 
history of the story on which it is founded — the most famous instance 
of the old and widespread legend of the man who sold his soul to the 
devil. The historical Dr. Faust seems to have been a self-called philos- 
opher who traveled about Germany in the first half of the sixteenth 
century, making money by the practise of magic, fortune-telling, and 
pretended cures. He died mysteriously about 1540, and a legend soon 
sprang up that the devil, by whose aid he wrought his wonders, had 
finally carried him off. In 1587 a life of him appeared, in which are 
attributed to him many marvelous exploits and in which he is held up 
as an awful warning against the excessive desire for secular learning 
and admiration for antique beauty which characterized the humanist 
movement of the time. In this aspect the Faust legend is an expression 
of early popular Protestantism, and of its antagonism to the scientific 
and classical tendencies of the Renaissance. 

While a succession of Faust books were appearing in Germany, the 
original life was translated into English and dramatized by Marlowe. 
English players brought Marlowe's work back to Germany, where it was 
copied by German actors, degenerated into spectacular farce, and finally 
into a puppet show. Through this puppet show Goethe made acquaint- 
ance with the legend. 

By the time that Goethe was twenty, the Faust legend had fascinated 
his imagination; for three years before he went to Weimar he had been 
working on scattered scenes and bits of dialogue; and though he sus- 
pended actual composition on it during three distinct periods, it was 
always to resume, and he closed his labors upon it only with his life. 
Thus the period of time between his first experiments and the final 
touches is more than sixty years. During this period the plans for the 
structure and the signification of the work inevitably underwent profound 
modifications, and these have naturally affected the unity of the result; 
but, on the other hand, this long companionship and persistent recurrence 
to the task from youth to old age have made it in a unique way the 
record of Goethe's personality in all its richness and diversity. 

The drama was given to the public first as a fragment in 1790; then 
the completed First Part appeared in 1808; and finally the Second Part 
was published in 1833, the year after the author's death. Writing in 
"Dichtung und Wahrheit" of the period about 1770, when he was in 
Strasburg with Herder, Goethe says, "The significant puppet-play legend 
. . . echoed and buzzed in many tones within me. I too had drifted 



INTRODUCTION 7 

about in all knowledge, and early enough had been brought to feel the 
vanity of it. I too had made all sorts of experiments in life, and had 
always come back more unsatisfied and more tormented. I was now 
carrying these things, like many others, about with me and delighting 
myself with them in lonely hours, but without writing anything down." 
Without going into the details of the experience which underlies these 
words, we can see the beginning of that sympathy with the hero of the 
old story that was the basis of its fascination and that accounted for 
Goethe's departure from the traditional catastrophe of Faust's damnation. 

Of the elements in the finished Faust that are derived from the legend a 
rough idea may be obtained from the "Doctor Faustus" of Marlowe, 
printed in the present volume. As early as 1674 a life of Faust had con- 
tained the incident of the philosopher's falling in love with a servant- 
girl; but the developed story of Gretchen is Goethe's own. The other 
elements added to the plot can be noted by a comparison with Marlowe. 

It need hardly be said that Goethe's "Faust" does not derive its 
greatness from its conformity to the traditional standards of what a 
tragedy should be. He himself was accustomed to refer to it cynically 
as a monstrosity, and yet he put himself into it as intensely as Dante put 
himself into "The Divine Comedy." A partial explanation of this ap- 
parent contradiction in the author's attitude is to be found in what has 
been said of its manner of composition. Goethe began it in his romantic 
youth, and availed himself recklessly of the supernatural elements in the 
legend, with the disregard of reason and plausibility characteristic of 
the romantic mood. When he returned to it in the beginning of the 
new century his artistic standards had changed, and the sup>ernaturalism 
could now be tolerated only by being made symbolic. Thus he makes the 
career of Faust as a whole emblematic of the triumph of the persistent 
striving for the ideal over the temptation to find complete satisfaction in 
the sense, and prepares the reader for this interpretation by prefixing 
the "Prologue in Heaven." The elaboration of this symbolic element 
is responsible for such scenes as the Walpurgis-Night and the Inter- 
mezzo, scenes full of power and infinitely suggestive, but destructive of 
the unity of the play as a tragedy of human life. Yet there remains in 
this First Part even in its final form much that is realistic in the best 
sense, the carousal in Auerbach's cellar, the pwrtrait of Martha, the 
Easter-morning walk, the character and fate of Margaret. It is such ele- 
ments as these that have appealed to the larger reading public and that 
have naturally been emphasized by performance on the stage, and by vir- 
tue of these alone "Faust" may rank as a great drama; but it is the result 



8 INTRODUCTION 

of Goethe's broodings on the mystery of human life, shadowed forth in 
the symbolic parts and elaborated with still greater complexity and still 
more far-reaching suggestiveness — and, it must be added, with deepen- 
ing obscurity — in the Second Part, that have given the work its place with 
"Job," with the "Prometheus Bound," with "The Divine Comedy," 
and with "Hamlet." 



DEDICATION 

Ye wavering shapes, again ye do enfold me, 

As erst upon my troubled sight ye stole; 

Shall I this time attempt to clasp, to hold ye ? 

Still for the fond illusion yearns my soul? 

Ye press around! Come then, your captive hold me, 

As upward from the vapoury mist ye roll; 

Within my breast youth's throbbing pulse is bounding, 

Fann'd by the magic breath your march surrounding. 

Shades fondly loved appear, your train attending, 

And visions fair of many a blissful day; 

First-love and friendship their fond accents blending. 

Like to some ancient, half-expiring lay; 

Sorrow revives, her wail of anguish sending 

Back ^'er life's devious labyrinthine way. 

And names the dear ones, they whom Fate bereaving 

Of life's fair hours, left me behind them grieving. 

They hear me not my later cadence singing, 

The souls to whom my earlier lays I sang; 

Dispersed the throng, their severed flight now winging; 

Mute are the voices that responsive rang. 

For stranger crowds the Orphean lyre now stringing. 

E'en their applause is to my heart a pang; 

Of old who listened to my song, glad hearted. 

If yet they live, now wander widely parted. 

A yearning long unfelt, each impulse swaying. 
To yon calm spirit-realm uplifts my soul; 
In faltering cadence, as when Zephyr playing. 
Fans the jEolian harp, my numbers roll; 



10 DEDICATION 

Tear follows tear, my steadfast heart obeying 
The tender impulse, loses its control ; 
What 1 possess as from afar I see; 
Those 1 have lost become realities to me. 



PROLOGUE FOR THE THEATRE 

Manager. Dramatic Poet. Merryman. 
Manager 
Ye twain, in trouble and distress 
True friends whom I so oft have found, 
Say, for our scheme on German ground, 
What prospect have we of success? 
Fain would I please the public, win their thanks; 
They live and let live, hence it is but meet. 
The posts are now erected, and the planks. 
And all look forward to a festal treat. 
Their places taken, they, with eyebrows rais'd, 
Sit patiently, and fain would be amaz'd. 
I know the art to hit the public taste, 
Yet ne'er of failure felt so keen a dread; 
True, they are not accustomed to the best, 
But then appalling the amount they've read. 
How make our entertainment striking, new, 
And yet significant and pleasing too? 
For to be plain, I love to see the throng, 
As to our booth the living tide progresses; 
As wave on wave successive rolls along, 
And through heaven's narrow portal forceful presses; 
Still in broad daylight, ere the clock strikes four. 
With blows their way towards the box they take; 
And, as for bread in famine, at the baker's door. 
For tickets are content their necks to break. 
Such various minds the bard alone can sway, 
My friend, oh work this miracle to-day! 

Poet 
Oh of the motley throng speak not before me, 
At whose aspect the Spirit wings its flightl 



12 PROLOGUE 

Conceal the surging concourse, I implore thee, 
Whose vortex draws us with resistless might. 
No, to some peaceful heavenly nook restore me, 
Where only for the bard blooms pure delight, 
Where love and friendship yield their choicest blessing. 
Our heart's true bliss, with god-like hand caressing. 

What in the spirit's depths was there created, 
What shyly there the lip shaped forth in sound; 
A failure now, with words now fitly mated, 
In the wild tumult of the hour is drown'd; 
Full oft the poet's thought for years hath waited 
Until at length with perfect form 'tis crowned; 
What dazzles, for the moment bom, must perish; 
What genuine is posterity will cherish. 

Merryman 

This cant about posterity I hate; 

About posterity were I to prate. 

Who then the living would amuse.? For they 

Will have diversion, ay, and 'tis their due. 

A sprightly fellow's presence at your play, 

Methinks should also count for something too; 

Whose genial wit the audience still inspires, 

Knows from their changeful mood no angry feeling; 

A wider circle he desires, 

To their heart's depths more surely thus appealing. 

To work, then! Give a master-piece, my friend; 

Bring Fancy with her choral trains before us, 

Sense, reason, feeling, passion, but attend! 

Let folly also swell the tragic chorus. 

Manager 

In chief, of incident enough prepare! 

A show they want, they come to gape and stare. 

Spin for their eyes abundant occupation. 

So that the multitude may wondering gaze, 



PROLOGUE 13 

You by sheer bulk have won your reputation, 

The man you are all love to praise. 

By mass alone can you subdue the masses, 

Each then selects in time what suits his bent. 

Bring much, you something bring for various classes, 

And from the house goes every one content. 

You give a piece, abroad in pieces send it! 

'Tis a ragout — success must needs attend it; 

'Tis easy to serve up, as easy to invent. 

A finish 'd whole what boots it to present! 

Full soon the public will in pieces rend it. 

Poet 

How mean such handicraft as this you cannot feel! 
How it revolts the genuine artist's mind! 
The sorry trash in which these coxcombs deal. 
Is here approved on principle, I find. 

Manager 

Such a reproof disturbs me not a whit! 

Who on efficient work is bent. 

Must choose the fittest instrument. 

Consider! 'tis soft wood you have to split; 

Think too for whom you write, I pray! 

One comes to while an hour away; 

One from the festive board, a sated guest; 

Others, more dreaded than the rest. 

From journal-reading hurry to the play. 

As to a masquerade, with absent minds, they press, 

Sheer curiosity their footsteps winging; 

Ladies display their persons and their dress, 

Actors unpaid their service bringing. 

What dreams beguile you on your poet's height.? 

What puts a full house in a merry mood? 

More closely view your patrons of the night! 

The half are cold, the half are rude. 

One, the play over, craves a game of cards; 



14 PROLCXJUE 

Another a wild night in wanton joy would spend. 

Poor fools the muses' fair regards. 

Why court for such a paltry end? 

I tell you, give them more, still more, 'tis all I ask. 

Thus you will ne'er stray widely from the goal; 

Your audience seek to mystify, cajole; — 

To satisfy them — that's a harder task. 

What ails thee.' art enraptured or distressed? 

Poet 

Depart! elsewhere another servant choose 
What! shall the bard his godlike power abuse? 
Man's loftiest right, kind nature's high bequest, 
For your mean purpose basely sport away? 
Whence comes his mastery o'er the human breast, 
Whence o'er the elements his sway, 
But from the harmony that, gushing from his soul, 
Draws back into his heart the wondrous whole? 
With careless hand when round her spindle, Nature 
Winds the interminable thread of life; 
When 'mid the clash of Being every creature 
Mingles in harsh inextricable strife; 
Who deals their course unvaried till it falleth, 
In rhythmic flow to music's measur'd tone? 
Each solitary note whose genius calleth, 
To swell the mighty choir in unison ? 
Who in the raging storm sees passion low'ring? 
Or flush of earnest thought in evening's glow? 
Who every blossom in sweet spring-time flowering 
Along the loved one's path would strow? 
Who, Nature's green familiar leaves entwining, 
Wreathe's glory's garland, won on every field? 
Makes sure Olympus, heavenly powers combining? 
Man's mighty spirit, in the bard reveal 'd! 

Merryman 

Come then, employ your lofty inspiration, 
And carry on the poet's avocation. 



PROLOGUE 15 

Just as we carry on a love affair. 

Two meet by chance, are pleased, they linger there, 

Insensibly are link'd, they scarce know how; 

Fortune seems now propitious, adverse now, 

Then come alternate rapture and despair; 

And 'tis a true romance ere one's aware. 

Just such a drama let us now compose. 

Plunge boldly into life — its depths disclose! 

Each lives it, not to many is it known, 

'Twill interest wheresoever seiz'd and shown; 

Bright pictures, but obscure their meaning: 

A ray of truth through error gleaming. 

Thus you the best elixir brew. 

To charm mankind, and edify them too. 

Then youth's fair blossoms crowd to view your play. 

And wait as on an oracle; while they. 

The tender souls, who love the melting mood, 

Suck from your work their melancholy food; 

Now this one, and now that, you deeply stir, 

Each sees the working of his heart laid bare. 

Their tears, their laughter, you command with ease. 

The lofty still they honour, the illusive love. 

Your finish 'd gentlemen you ne'er can please; 

A growing mind alone will grateful prove. 

Poet 

Then give me back youth's golden prime. 
When my own spirit too was growing, 
When from my heart th' unbidden rhyme 
Gush'd forth, a fount for ever flowing; 
Then shadowy mist the world conceal'd, 
And every bud sweet promise made. 
Of wonders yet to be reveal'd. 
As through the vales, with blooms inlaid. 
Culling a thousand flowers I stray'd. 
Naught had I, yet a rich profusion! 
The thirst for truth, joy in each fond illusion- 
Give me unquell'd those impulses to prove; — 



1 6 PROLOGUE 

Rapture so deep, its ecstasy was pain. 
The power of hate, the energy of love, 
Give me, oh give me back my youth again! 

Merryman 

Youth, my good friend, you certainly require 
When foes in battle round are pressing. 
When a fair maid her heart on fire, 
Hangs on your neck with fond caressing. 
When from afar, the victor's crown, 
To reach the hard-won goal inciteth; 
When from the whirling dance, to drown 
Your sense, the night's carouse inviteth. 
But the familiar chords among 
Boldly to sweep, with graceful cunning, 
While to its goal, the verse along 
Its winding path is sweetly running; 
This task is yours, old gentlemen, to-day; 
Nor are you therefore less in reverence held; 
Age does not make us childish, as folk say, 
It finds us genuine children e'en in eld. 

Manager 

A truce to words, mere empty sound, 

Let deeds at length appear, my friends! 

While idle compliments you round. 

You might achieve some useful ends. 

Why talk of the poetic vein? 

Who hesitates will never know it; 

If bards ye are, as ye maintain, 

Now let your inspiration show it. 

To you is known what we require, 

Strong drink to sip is our desire; 

Come, brew me such without delay! 

To-morrow sees undone, what happens not to-day; 

Still forward press, nor ever tire! 

The possible, with steadfast trust, 



PROLOGUE 17 

Resolve should by the forelock grasp; 
Then she will ne'er let go her clasp, 
And labours on, because she must. 

On German boards, you're well aware, 

The taste of each may have full sway; 

Therefore in bringing out your play, 

Nor scenes nor mechanism spare! 

Heaven's lamps employ, the greatest and the least, 

Be lavish of the stellar lights, 

Water, and fire, and rocky heights. 

Spare not at all, nor birds, nor beast. 

Thus let creation's ample sphere 

Forthwith in this our narrow booth appear. 

And with considerate speed, through fancy's spell. 

Journey from heaven, thence through the world, to helll 



PROLOGUE IN HEAVEN 

The Lord. The Heavenly Hosts. Afterwards 
Mephistopheles. 

The three Archangels come forward 

Raphael 

The Sun, in ancient guise, competing 
With brother spheres in rival song, 
With thunder-march, his orb completing, 
Moves his predestin'd course along; 
His aspect to the powers supernal 
Gives strength, though fathom him none may; 
Transcending thought, the works eternal 
Are fair as on the primal day. 

Gabriel 

With sp)eed, thought baffling, unabating, 
Earth's splendour whirls in circling flight; 
Its Eden-brightness alternating 
With solemn, awe-inspiring night; 
Ocean's broad waves in wild commotion, 
Against the rocks' deep base are hurled; 
And with the spheres, both rock and ocean 
Eternally are swiftly whirled. 

Michael 

And tempests roar in emulation 
From sea to land, from land to sea. 
And raging form, without cessation, 
A chain of wondrous agency. 
Full in the thunder's path careering, 
i8 



PROLOGUE 19 

Flaring the swift destructions play; 
But, Lx)rd, Thy servants are revering 
The mild procession of thy day. 

The Three 
Thine aspect to the powers supernal 
Gives strength, though fathom thee none may; 
And all thy works, sublime, eternal, 
Are fair as on the primal day. 

Mephistopheles 
Since thou, O Lord, approachest us once more. 
And how it fares with us, to ask art fain. 
Since thou hast kindly welcom'd me of yore. 
Thou see'st me also now among thy train. 
Excuse me, fine harangues I cannot make, 
Though all the circle look on me with scorn; 
My pathos soon thy laughter would awake, 
Hadst thou the laughing mood not long forsworn. 
Of suns and worlds I nothing have to say, 
I see alone mankind's self-torturing pains. 
The little world-god still the self-same stamp retains, 
And is as wondrous now as on the primal day. 
Better he might have fared, poor wight, 
Hadst thou not given him a gleam of heavenly light; 
Reason.he names it, and doth so 
Use it, than brutes more brutish still to grow. 
With deference to your grace, he seems to me 
Like any long-legged grasshopper to be, 
Which ever flies, and flying springs, 
And in the grass its ancient ditty sings. 
Would he but always in the grass rep)ose! 
In every heap of dung he thrusts his nose. 

The Lord 
Hast thou naught else to say? Is blame 
In coming here, as ever, thy sole aim ? 
Does nothing on the earth to thee seem right ? 



20 PROLOGUE 

Mephistopheles 

No, Lord! I find things there, as ever, in sad plight. 
Men, in their evil days, move my compassion; 
Such sorry things to plague is nothing worth. 

The Lord 
Know'st thou my servant, Faust? 

Mephistopheles 



The doctor? 



The Lard 



Right. 



Mephistopheles 

He serves thee truly in a wondrous fashion. 
Poor fool! His food and drink are not of earth. 
An inward impulse hurries him afar. 
Himself half conscious of his frenzied mood; 
From heaven claimeth he the fairest star, 
And from the earth craves every highest good, 
And all that's near, and all that's far. 
Fails to allay the tumult in his blood. 

The Lord 

Though in perplexity he serves me now, 
I soon will lead him where more light appyears; 
When buds the sapling, doth the gardener know 
That flowers and fruit will deck the coming years. 

Mephistopheles 

What wilt thou wager? Him thou yet shall lose. 
If leave to me thou wilt but give. 
Gently to lead him as I choose! 



PROLOGUE 21 

The Lord 
So long as he on earth doth live, 
So long 'tis not forbidden thee. 
Man still must err, while he doth strive. 

Mephistopheles 

I thank you; for not willingly 

I traffic with the dead, and still aver 

That youth's plump blooming cheek I very much prefer. 

I'm not at home to corpses; 'tis my way, 

Like cats with captive mice to toy and play. 

The Lord 

Enough! 'tis granted thee! Divert 

This mortal spirit from his primal source; 

Him, canst thou seize, thy power exert 

And lead him on thy downward course. 

Then stand abash 'd, when thou perforce must own, 

A good man in his darkest aberration, 

Of the right path is conscious still. 

Mephistopheles 

Tis done! Full soon thou'lt see my exultation; 
As for my bet no fears I entertain. 
And if my end I finally should gain. 
Excuse my triumphing with all my soul. 
Dust he shall eat, ay, and with relish take, 
As did my cousin, the renowned snake. 

The Lord 

Here too thou'rt free to act without control; 
I ne'er have cherished hate for such as thee. 
Of all the spirits who deny, 
The scoffer is least wearisome to me. 
Ever too prone is man activity to shirk. 
In unconditioned rest he fain would live; 



22 PROLOGUE 

Hence this companion purposely I give, 

Who stirs, excites, and must, as devil, work. 

But ye, the genuine sons of heaven, rejoice! 

In the full living beauty still rejoice! 

May that which works and lives, the ever-growing, 

In bonds of love enfold you, mercy-fraught. 

And Seeming's changeful forms, around you flowing. 

Do ye arrest, in ever-during thought! 

{Heaven closes, the Archangels disperse.) 

Mephistopheles (alone) 

The ancient one I like sometimes to see. 
And not to break with him am always civil; 
'Tis courteous in so great a lord as he, 
To speak so kindly even to the devil. 



THE TRAGEDY OF FAUST 



DRAMATIS PERSONS 

Characters in the Prologue jar the Theatre 
The Manageji. The Dramatic Poet. Merryman. 

Characters in the Prologue in Heaven 

The Lord. 

Raphaei., Gabriel, Michael, (The Heavenly Host). 

Mephistopheles. 

Characters in the Tragedy 

Faust. Mepiiistopheles. Wagner, a Student. 

Margaret. Martha, Margaret's Neighbour. 

Valektine, Margaret's Brother. Old Peasant. A Student. 

Elizabeth, an Acquaintance of Margaret's. 

Frosch, Brander, Siebel, Altmayer, 

(Guests in Auerbach's Wine Cellar). 

Witches; old and young; Wizards, Will-o'-the-Wisp, Witch Pedlar, 

Protophantasmist, Servibilis, Monkeys, Spirits, Journeymen, 

Country-folk, Citizens, Beggar, Old Fortune-teller, 

Shepherd, Soldier, Students, &c. 

In the Intermezzo 
Oberon. Titania. Ariel. Puck, Jic. &c. 



PART I. 

NIGHT 

A high t/aulted narrow Gothic chamber. 
Faust, restless, seated at his des\. 

Faust 

I HAVE, alas! Philosophy, 
Medicine, Jurisprudence too, 
And to my cost Theology, 
With ardent labour, studied through. 
And here I stand, with all my lore. 
Poor fool, no wiser than before. 



24 GOETHE 

Magister, doctor styled, indeed, 

Already these ten years I lead. 

Up, down, across, and to and fro, 

My pupils by the nose, — and learn. 

That we in truth can nothing know! 

That in my heart like fire doth burn. 

"Tis true I've more cunning than all your dull tribe, 

Magister and doctor, priest, parson, and scribe; 

Scruple or doubt comes not to enthrall me. 

Neither can devil nor hell now appal me — 

Hence also my heart must all pleasure forego! 

I may not pretend, aught rightly to know, 

I may not pretend, through teaching, to find 

A means to improve or convert mankind. 

Then I have neither goods nor treasure. 

No worldly honour, rank, or pleasure; 

No dog in such fashion would longer live! 

Therefore myself to magic I give. 

In hope, through spirit-voice and might, 

Secrets now veiled to bring to light. 

That I no more, with aching brow. 

Need speak of what I nothing know; 

That I the force may recognise 

That binds creation's inmost energies; 

Her vital powers, her embryo seeds survey, 

And fling the trade in empty words away. 

O full-orb'd moon, did but thy rays 

Their last upon mine anguish gaze! 

Beside this desk, at dead of night. 

Oft have I watched to hail thy light: 

Then, pensive friend! o'er book and scroll. 

With soothing power, thy radiance stole! 

In thy dear light, ah, might I climb, 

Freely, some mountain height sublime, 

Round mountain caves with spirits ride, 

In thy mild haze o'er meadows glide, 

And, purged from knowledge-fumes, renew 



FAUST 25 

My spirit, in thy healing dew! 

Woe's me! still prison'd in the gloom 

Of this abhorr'd and musty room! 

Where heaven's dear light itself doth pass, 

But dimly through the painted glass! 

Hemmed in by volumes thick with dust, 

Worm-eaten, hid 'neath rust and mould. 

And to the high vault's topmost bound, 

A smoke-stained paper compassed round; 

With boxes round thee piled, and glass, 

And many a useless instrument. 

With old ancestral lumber blent — 

This is thy world! a world! alas! 

And dost thou ask why heaves thy heart, 

With tighten 'd pressure in thy breast? 

Why the dull ache will not depart. 

By which thy life-pulse is oppress'd? 

Instead of nature's living sphere, 

Created for mankind of old, 

Brirte skeletons surround thee here. 

And dead men's bones in smoke and mould. 

Up! Forth into the distant land! 
Is not this book of mystery 
By Nostradamus' proper hand. 
An all-sufficient guide? Thou'lt see 
The courses of the stars unroll'd; 
When nature doth her thoughts unfold 
To thee, thy soul shall rise, and seek 
Communion high with her to hold, 
As spirit doth with spirit speak! 
Vain by dull poring to divine 
The meaning of each hallow'd sign. 
Spirits! I feel you hov'ring near; 
Make answer, if my voice ye hear! 
{He opens the boof^ and perceives the sign of the Macro- 
cosmos.) 



26 GOETHE 

Ah! at this spectacle through every sense, 

What sudden ecstasy of joy is flowing! 

1 feel new rapture, hallow'd and intense, 

Through every nerve and vein with ardour glowing. 

Was it a god who chararter'd this scroll, 

The tumult in my spirit healing. 

O'er my sad heart with rapture stealing, 

And by a mystic impulse, to my soul. 

The powers of nature all around revealing. 

Am I a God? What light intense! 

In these pure symbols do I see. 

Nature exert her vital energy. 

Now of the wise man's words I learn the sense; 

"Unlock'd the spirit-world doth lie. 
Thy sense is shut, thy heart is dead! 
Up scholar, lave, with courage high. 
Thine earthly breast in the morning-red!" 

(He contemplates the sign.) 

How all things live and work, and ever blending. 

Weave one vast whole from Being's ample range! 

How powers celestial, rising and descending, 

Their golden buckets ceaseless interchange! 

Their flight on rapture-breathing pinions winging. 

From heaven to earth their genial influence bringing. 

Through the wild sphere their chimes melodious ringing! 

A wondrous show! but ah! a show alone! 

Where shall I grasp thee, infinite nature, where? 

Ye breasts, ye fountains of all life, whereon 

Hang heaven and earth, from which the withered heart 

For solace yearns, ye still impart 

Your sweet and fostering tides — where are ye — where? 

Ye gush, and must I languish in despair? 

{He turns over the leaves of the boof^^ impatiently, and 
perceives the sign of the Earth-spirit.) 



FAUST 27 

How all unlike the influence of this sign! 
Earth-spirit, thou to me art nigher, 
E'en now my strength is rising higher, 
E'en now I glow as with new wine; 
Courage I feel, abroad the world to dare, 
The woe of earth, the bliss of earth to bear. 
With storms to wrestle, brave the lightning's glare, 
And mid the crashing shipwreck not despair. 

Clouds gather over me — 
The moon conceals her light — 
The lamp is quench 'd — 
Vapours are rising — Quiv'ring round my head 
Flash the red beams — Down from the vaulted roof 
A shuddering horror floats. 
And seizes me! 

I feel it, spirit, prayer-compell'd, 'tis thou 
Art hovering near! 
Unveil thyself! 

Ha! How my heart is riven now! 
Each sense, with eager palpitation. 
Is strain'd to catch some new sensation! 
I feel my heart surrender 'd unto thee! 
Thou must! Thou must! Though life should be the fee! 
{He seizes the bool{, and pronounces mysteriously the sign 

of the spirit. A ruddy flame flashes up; the spirit 

appears in the flame.) 

Spirit 
Who calls me? 

Faust {turning aside) 
Dreadful shape! 

Spirit 

With might, 
Thou hast compelled me to appear, 



28 GOETHE 

Long hast been sucking at my sphere, 
And now — 

Faust 

Woe's me! I cannot bear thy sight! 

Spirit 

To see me thou dost breathe thine invocation, 

My voice to hear, to gaze upon my brow; 

Me doth thy strong entreaty bow — 

Lo! I am here! — What cowering agitation 

Grasps thee, the demigod! Where's now the soul's deep cry? 

Where is the breast, which in its depths a world conceiv'd 

And bore and cherished? which, with ecstasy. 

To rank itself with us, the spirits, heaved? 

Where art thou, Faust? whose voice I heard resound, 

Who towards me press'd with energy profound? 

Art thou he? Thou, — who by my breath art blighted, 

Who, in his spirit's depths affrighted. 

Trembles, a crush'd and writhing worm! 

Faust 

Shall I yield, thing of flame, to thee? 
Faust, and thine equal, I am he! 

Spirit 

In the currents of life, in action's storm, 

I float and I wave 

With billowy motion! 

Birth and the grave 

A limitless ocean, 

A constant weaving 

With change still rife, 

A restless heaving, 

A glowing life — 
Thus time's whirring loom unceasing I ply, 
And weave the life-garment of deity. 



FAUST 29 

Faust 

Thou, restless spirit, dost from end to end 
O'ersweep the world; how near I feel to thee! 

Spirit 

Thou rt like the spirit, thou dost comprehend, 

Not me I {Vanishes.) 

Faust {deeply moved) 

Not thee? 

Whom then? 

I, God's own image! 

And not rank with thee! {A l^nocf^^.) 

Oh death! I know it — 'tis my famulus — 

My fairest fortune now escapes! 

That all these visionary shapes 

A soulless groveller should banish thus! 

(Wagner in his dressing gown and night-cap, a lamp 
in his hand. Faust turns round reluctantly.) 

Wagner 

Pardon! I heard you here declaim; 
A Grecian tragedy you doubtless read? 
Improvement in this art is now my aim. 
For now-a-days it much avails. Indeed 
An actor, oft I've heard it said, as teacher. 
May give instruction to a preacher. 

Faust 

Ay, if your priest should be an actor too, 
As not improbably may come to pass. 

Wagner 

When in his study pent the whole year through, 
Man views the world, as through an optic glass, 



30 GOETHE 

On a chance holiday, and scarcely then, 
How by persuasion can he govern men ? 

Faust 

If feeling prompt not, if it doth not flow 

Fresh from the spirit's depths, with strong control 

Swaying to rapture every listener's soul, 

Idle your toil; the chase you may forego! 

Brood o'er your task! Together glue. 

Cook from another's feast your own ragout, 

Still prosecute your paltry game. 

And fan your ash-heaps into flame! 

Thus children's wonder you'll excite, 

And apes', if such your appetite; 

But that which issues from the heart alone. 

Will bend the hearts of others to your own. 

Wagner 

The speaker in delivery will find 
Success alone; I still am far behind. 

Faust 

A worthy object still pursue! 

Be not a hollow tinkling fool! 

Sound understanding, judgment true, 

Find utterance without art or rule; 

And when in earnest you are moved to speak, 

Then is it needful cunning words to seek? 

Your fine harangues, so polish 'd in their kind. 

Wherein the shreds of human thought ye twist. 

Are unrefreshing as the empty wind. 

Whistling through wither'd leaves and autumn mist! 

Wagner 

Oh God! How long is art, 

Our life how short! With earnest zeal 



FAUST 31 

Still as I ply the critic's task, I feel 

A strange oppression both of head and heart. 

The very means how hardly are they won, 

By which we to the fountains rise! 

And haply, ere one half the course is run, 

Check'd in his progress, the poor devil dies. 

Faust 

Parchment, is that the sacred fount whence roll 
Waters, he thirsteth not who once hath quaffed? 
Oh, if it gush not from thine inmost soul, 
Thou has not won the life-restoring draught. 

Wagner 

Your pardon! 'tis delightful to transport 

Oneself into the spirit of the past. 

To see in times before us how a wise man thought, 

And what a glorious height we have achieved at last. 

Faust 

Ay truly! even to the loftiest star! 
To us, my friend, the ages that are pass'd 
A book with seven seals, close-fasten'd, are; 
And what the spirit of the times men call, 
Is merely their own spirit after all. 
Wherein, distorted oft, the times are glass'd. 
Then truly, 'tis a sight to grieve the soul! 
At the first glance we fly it in dismay; 
A very lumber-room, a rubbish-hole; 
At best a sort of mock-heroic play. 
With saws pragmatical, and maxims sage. 
To suit the puppets and their mimic stage. 

Wagner 

But then the world and man, his heart and brain! 
Touching these things all men would something know. 



32 GOETHE 

Faust 

Ay! what 'mong men as knowledge doth obtain! 
Who on the child its true name dares bestow? 
The few who somewhat of these things have known, 
Who their full hearts unguardedly reveal'd, 
Nor thoughts, nor feelings, from the mob conceal'd, 
Have died on crosses, or in flames been thrown. — 
Excuse me, friend, far now the night is spent, 
For this time we must say adieu. 

Wagner 

Still to watch on I had been well content, 

Thus to converse so learnedly with you. 

But as to-morrow will be Easter-day, 

Some further questions grant, I pray. 

With diligence to study still I fondly cling; 

Already I know much, but would know everything. 

{Exit.) 

Faust (alone) 

How him alone all hope abandons never. 
To empty trash who clings, with zeal untired, 
With greed for treasure gropes, and, joy-inspir'd, 
Exuits il earth-worms second his endeavour. 

And dare a voice of merely human birth. 

E'en here, where shapes immortal throng'd, intrude.' 

Yet ah! thou poorest of the sons of earth. 

For once, I e'en to thee feel gratitude. 

Despair the power of sense did well-nigh blast. 

And thou didst save me ere I sank dismay'd. 

So giant-like the vision seem'd, so vast, 

I felt myself shrink dwarf 'd as I survey 'd! 

I, God's own image, from this toil of clay 
Already freed, with eager joy who hail'd 



FAUST 33 

The mirror of eternal truth unveil'd, 

Mid Hght effulgent and celestial day: — 

I, more than cherub, whose unfetter'd soul 

With penetrative glance aspir'd to flow 

Through nature's veins, and, still creating, know 

The life of gods, — how am I punish 'd now! 

One thunder-word hath hurl'd me from the goal! 

Spirit! I dare not lift me to thy sphere. 

What though my fxjwer compell'd thee to appear, 

My art was powerless to detain thee here. 

In that great moment, rapture-fraught, 

I felt myself so small, so great; 

Fiercely didst thrust me from the realm of thought 

Back on humanity's uncertain fate! 

Who'll teach me now? What ought I to forego? 

Ought I that impulse to obey? 

Alas! our every deed, as well as every woe, 

Impedes the tenor of life's onward way! 

E'en to the noblest by the soul conceiv'd. 

Some feelings cling of baser quality; 

And when the goods of this world are achiev'd, 

Each nobler aim is termed a cheat, a lie. 

Our aspirations, our soul's genuine life. 

Grow torpid in the din of earthly strife. 

Though youthful phantasy, while hope inspires, 

Stretch o'er the infinite her wing sublime, 

A narrow compass limits her desires, 

When wreck'd our fortunes in the gulf of time. 

In the deep heart of man care builds her nest, 

O'er secret woes she broodeth there. 

Sleepless she rocks herself and scareth joy and rest; 

Still is she wont some new disguise to wear, 

She may as house and court, as wife and child appear, 

As dagger, poison, fire and flood; 

Imagined evils chill thy blood, 



34 GOETHE 

And what thou ne'er shall lose, o'er that dost shed the tear. 

I am not like the gods! Feel it I must; 

I'm like the earth-worm, writhing in the dust. 

Which, as on dust it feeds, its native fare. 

Crushed 'neath the passer's tread, lies buried there. 

Is it not dust, wherewith this lofty wall. 

With hundred shelves, confines me round; 

Rubbish, in thousand shapes, may I not call 

What in this moth-world doth my being bound? 

Here, what doth fail me, shall I find ? 

Read in a thousand tomes that, everywhere, 

Self-torture is the lot of human-kind. 

With but one mortal happy, here and there? 

Thou hollow skull, that grin, what should it say. 

But that thy brain, like mine, of old perplexed, 

Still yearning for the truth, hath sought the light of day. 

And in the twilight wandered, sorely vexed? 

Ye instruments, forsooth, ye mock at me, — 

With wheel, and cog, and ring, and cylinder; 

To nature's portals ye should be the key; 

Cunning your wards, and yet the bolts ye fail to stir. 

Inscrutable in broadest light. 

To be unveil'd by force she doth refuse, 

What she reveals not to thy mental sight. 

Thou wilt not wrest me from her with levers and with screws. 

Old useless furnitures, yet stand ye here, 

Because my sire ye served, now dead and gone. 

Old scroll, the smoke of years dost wear. 

So long as o'er this desk the sorry lamp hath shone. 

Better my little means hath squandered quite away. 

Than burden'd by that little here to sweat and groan! 

Wouldst thou possess thy heritage, essay. 

By use to render it thine own! 

What we employ not, but impedes our way. 

That which the hour creates, that can it use alone! 



FAUST 35 

But wherefore to yon spot is riveted my gaze? 

Is yonder flasket there a magnet to my sight? 

Whence this mild radiance that around me plays, 

As when, 'mid forest gloom, reigneth the moon's soft light? 

Hail precious phial! Thee, with reverent awe, 
Down from thine old receptacle I draw! 
Science in thee I hail and human art. 
Essence of deadliest powers, refin'd and sure. 
Of soothing anodynes abstraction pure. 
Now in thy master's need thy grace impart! 
I gaze on thee, my pain is luU'd to rest; 
I grasp thee, calm'd the tumult in my breast; 
The flood-tide of my spirit ebbs away; 
Onward I'm summon'd o'er a boundless main, 
Calm at my feet expands the glassy plain, 
To shores unknown allures a brighter day. 

Lo, where a car of fire, on airy pinion. 

Comes floating towards me! I'm prepar'd to fly 

By a new track through ether's wide dominion. 

To distant spheres of pure activity. 

This life intense, this godlike ecstasy — 

Worm that thou art such rapture canst thou earn ? 

Only resolve with courage stern and high. 

Thy visage from the radiant sun to turn! 

Dare with determin'd will to burst the portals 

Past which in terror others fain would steal! 

Now is the time, through deeds, to show that mortals 

The calm sublimity of gods can feel; 

To shudder not at yonder dark abyss. 

Where phantasy creates her own self-torturing brood. 

Right onward to the yawning gulf to press. 

Around whose narrow jaws rolleth hell's fiery flood; 

With glad resolve to take the fatal leap. 

Though danger threaten thee, to sink in endless sleep! 



36 GOETHE 

Pure crystal goblet! forth I draw thee now, 

From out thine antiquated case, where thou 

Forgotten hast reposed for many a year! 

Oft at my father's revels thou didst shine, 

To glad the earnest guests was thine, 

As each to other passed the generous cheer. 

The gorgeous brede of figures, quaintly wrought, 

Which he who quaff'd must first in rhyme expound, 

Then drain the goblet at one draught profound, 

Hath nights of boyhood to fond memory brought. 

I to my neighbour shall not reach thee now, 

Nor on thy rich device shall I my cunning show. 

Here is a juice, makes drunk without delay; 

Its dark brown flood thy crystal round doth fill; 

Let this last draught, the product of my skill, 

My own free choice, be quaff'd with resolute will, 

A solemn festive greeting, to the coming day! 

(//<r places the goblet to his mouth.) 
(The ringing of bells, and choral voices.) 

Chorus of Angels 
Christ is arisen! 
Mortal, all hail to thee, 
Thou whom mortality, 
Earth's sad reality. 
Held as in prison. 

Faust 

What hum melodious, what clear silvery chime 
Thus draws the goblet from my lips away? 
Ye deep-ton 'd bells, do ye with voice sublime, 
Announce the solemn dawn of Easter-day? 
Sweet choir! are ye the hymn of comfort singing, 
Which once around the darkness of the grave, 
From seraph-voices, in glad triumph ringing. 
Of a new covenant assurance gave? 



FAUST 37 

Chorus of Women 
We, his true-hearted, 
With spices and myrrh, 
Embalmed the departed, 
And swathed him with care; 
Here we conveyed Him, 
Our Master, so dear; 
Alas! Where we laid Him, 
The Christ is not here. 

Chorus of Angels 
Christ is arisen! 
Blessed the loving one. 
Who from earth's trial throes, 
Healing and strengthening woes. 
Soars as from prison. 

Faust 
Wherefore, ye tones celestial, sweet and strong. 
Come ye a dweller in the dust to seek? 
Ring out your chimes believing crowds among. 
The message well I hear, my faith alone is weak; 
From faith her darling, miracle, hath sprung. 
Aloft to yonder spheres I dare not soar. 
Whence sound the tidings of great joy; 
And yet, with this sweet strain familiar when a boy. 
Back it recalleth me to life once more. 
Then would celestial love, with holy kiss. 
Come o'er me in the Sabbath's stilly hour, 
While, fraught with solemn meaning and mysterious power, 
Chim'd the deep-sounding bell, and prayer was bliss; 
A yearning impulse, undefin'd yet dear. 
Drove me to wander on through wood and field; 
With heaving breast and many a burning tear, 
I felt with holy joy a world reveal'd. 
Gay sports and festive hours proclaim'd with joyous pealing, 



38 



GOETHE 

This Easter hymn in days of old; 

And fond remembrance now doth me, with childlike feeling, 

Back from the last, the solemn step, withhold. 

O still sound on, thou sweet celestial strain! 

The tear-drop flows,— Earth, I am thine again! 

Chorus of Disciples 

He whom we mourned as dead, 

Living and glorious. 

From the dark grave hath fled, 

O'er death victorious; 

Almost creative bliss 

Waits on his growing powers; 

Ah! Him on earth we miss; 

Sorrow and grief are ours. 

Yearning he left his own. 

Mid sore annoy; 

Ah! we must needs bemoan. 

Master, thy joy! 

Chorus of Angels 

Christ is arisen, 
Redeem 'd from decay. 
The bonds which imprison 
Your souls, rend away! 
Praising the Lord with zeal, 
By deeds that love reveal. 
Like brethren true and leal 
Sharing the daily meal. 
To all that sorrow feel 
Whisp'ring of heaven's weal. 
Still is the master near, 
Still is he here I 



FAUST 39 

BEFORE THE GATE 
Promcnaders of all sorts pass out. 

Artisans 
Why choose ye that direction, pray? 

Others 
To the hunting-lodge we're on our way. 

The First 
We towards the mill are strolling on. 

A Mechanic 
A walk to Wasserhof were best. 

A Second 
The road is not a pleasant one. 

The Others 
What will you do? 

A Third 
I'll join the rest. 

A Fourth 

Let's up to Burghof, there you'll find good cheer, 
The prettiest maidens and the best of beer, 
And brawls of a prime sort. 

A Fifth 

You scapegrace! How; 
Your skin still itching for a row? 
Thither I will not go, I loathe the place. 

Servant Girl 
No, no! I to the town my steps retrace. 



40 GOETHE 

Another 
Near yonder poplars he is sure to be. 

The First 

And if he is, what matters it to me! 

With you he'll walk, he'll dance with none but you, 

And with your pleasures what have I to do? 

The Second 

To-day he will not be alone, he said 

His friend would be with him, the curly-head. 

Student 

Why how those buxom girls step on! 
Come, brother, we will follow them anon. 
Strong beer, a damsel smartly dress'd, 
Stinging tobacco, — these I love the best. 

Burgher's Daughter 

Look at those handsome fellows there! 
'Tis really shameful, I declare. 
The very best society they shun, 
After those servant girls forsooth, to run. 

Second Student {to the first) 

Not quite so fast! for in our rear, 
Two girls, well-dress'd, are drawing near; 
Not far from us the one doth dwell, 
And sooth to say, I like her well. 
They walk demurely, yet you'll see, 
That they will let us join them presendy. 

The First 
Not I! restraints of all kinds I detest. 
Quick! let us catch the wild-game ere it flies, 



FAUST 41 

The hand on Saturday the mop that plies, 
Will on the Sunday fondle you the best. 

Burgher 

No, this new Burgomaster, I like him not, God knows, 
Now, he's in office, daily more arrogant he grows; 
And for the town, what doth he do for it? 
Are not things worse from day to day? 
To more restraints we must submit; 
And taxes more than ever pay. 

B'^gg"!' {"»g') 
Kind gentleman and ladies fair, 
So rosy-cheek'd and trimly dress'd. 
Be pleas'd to listen to my prayer, 
Relieve and pity the distress'd. 
Let me not vainly sing my lay! 
His heart's most glad whose hand is free. 
Now when all men keep holiday. 
Should be a harvest-day to me. 

Another Burgher 

On holidays and Sundays naught know I more inviting 

Than chatting about war and war's alarms. 

When folk in Turkey, up in arms. 

Far off, are 'gainst each other fighting. 

We at the window stand, our glasses drain. 

And watch adown the stream the painted vessels gliding. 

Then joyful we at eve come home again, 

And peaceful times we bless, peace long-abiding. 

Third Burgher 

Ay, neighbour! So let matters stand for me! 
There they may scatter one another's brains, 
And wild confusion round them see — 
So here at home in quiet all remains! 



42 GOETHE 

Old Woman {to the Burghers' Daughters) 

Heyday! How smart! The fresh young blood! 
Who would not fall in love with you? 
Not quite so proud! 'Tis well and good! 
And what you wish, that I could help you to. 

Burgher's Daughter 

Come, Agatha! I care not to be seen 
Walking in public with these witches. True, 
My future lover, last St. Andrew's E'en, 
In flesh and blood she brought before my view. 

Another 

And mine she show'd me also in the glass, 
A soldier's figure, with companions bold; 
I look around, I seek him as I pass. 
In vain, his form I nowhere can behold. 

Soldiers 

Fortress with turrets 
And walls high in air, 
Damsel disdainful. 
Haughty and fair. 
These be my prey! 
Bold is the venture, 
Costly the pay! 

Hark how the trumpet 
Thither doth call us. 
Where either pleasure 
Or death may befall us. 
Hail to the tumult! 
Life's in the field! 
Damsel and fortress 
To us must yield. 



FAUST 43 

Bold is the venture, 
Costly the pay! 
Gaily the soldier 
Marches away. 

Faust and Wagner 
Faust 

Loosed from their fetters are streams and rills 

Through the gracious spring-tide's all-quickening glow; 

Hope's budding joy in the vale doth blow; 

Old Winter back to the savage hills 

Withdraweth his force, decrepid now. 

Thence only impotent icy grains 

Scatters he as he wings his flight, 

Striping with sleet the verdant plains; 

But the sun endureth no trace of white; 

Everywhere growth and movement are rife. 

All things investing with hues of life: 

Though flowers are lacking, varied of dye, 

Their colours the motly throng supply. 

Turn thee around, and from this height, 

Back to the town direct thy sight. 

Forth from the hollow, gloomy gate, 

Stream forth the masses, in bright array. 

Gladly seek they the sun to-day; 

The Lord's Resurrection they celebrate: 

For they themselves have risen, with joy. 

From tenement sordid, from cheerless room, 

From bonds of toil, from care and annoy. 

From gable and roof's o'er-hanging gloom. 

From crowded alley and narrow street. 

And from the churches' awe-breathing night. 

All now have come forth into the light. 

Look, only look, on nimble feet. 

Through garden and field how spread the throng. 

How o'er the river's ample sheet, 



44 GOETHE 

Many a gay wherry glides along; 
And see, deep sinking in the tide, 
Pushes the last boat now away. 
E'en from yon far hill's path-worn side, 
Flash the bright hues of garments gay. 
Hark! Sounds of village mirth arise; 
This is the people's paradise. 
Both great and small send up a cheer; 
Here am I man, I feel it here. 

Wagner 

Sir Doctor, in a walk with you 
There's honour and instruction too; 
Yet here alone I care not to resort. 
Because I coarseness hate of every sort. 
This fiddling, shouting, skittling, I detest; 
I hate the tumult of the vulgar throng; 
They roar as by the evil one possess'd. 
And call it pleasure, call it song. 

Peasants {under the linden-tree) 
Dance and song 

The shepherd for the dance was dress'd, 
With ribbon, wreath, and coloured vest, 
A gallant show displaying. 
And round about the linden-tree, 
They footed it right merrily. 

Juchhe! Juchhe! 

Juchheisal Heisa! He! 
So fiddle-bow was braying. 

Our swain amidst the circle press'd. 
He push'd a maiden trimly dress'd. 
And jogg'd her with his elbow; 
The buxom damsel turn'd her head, 
"Now that's a stupid trick!" she said, 
Juchhe! Juchhe! 



FAUST 45 

Juchheisa! Heisa! He! 
Don't be so rude, good fellow! 

Swift in the circle they advanced, 

They danced to right, to left they danced. 

And all the skirts were swinging. 

And they grew red, and they grew warm, 

Panting, they rested arm in arm, 

Juchhe! Juchhe! 

Juchheisa! Heisa! He! 
To hip their elbow bringing. 

Don't make so free! How many a maid 

Has been betroth'd and then betray 'd; 

And has repented after! 

Yet still he flatter'd her aside, 

And from the linden, far and wide, 

Juchhe! Juchhe! 

Juchheisa! Heisa! He! 
Rang fiddle-bow and laughter. 

Old Peasant 

Doctor, 'tis really kind of you, 

To condescend to come this way, 

A highly learned man like you. 

To join our mirthful throng to-day. 

Our fairest cup I offer you. 

Which we with sparkling drink have crown'd, 

And pledging you, I pray aloud, 

That every drop within its round. 

While it your present thirst allays, 

May swell the number of your days. 

Faust 

I take the cup you kindly reach, 
Thanks and prosperity to each! 

{The crowd gather round in a circle.) 



46 GOETHE 

Old Peasant 

Ay, truly! 'tis well done, that you 

Our festive meeting thus attend; 

You, who in evil days of yore, 

So often show'd yourself our friend! 

Full many a one stands living here. 

Who from the fever's deadly blast, 

Your father rescu'd, when his skill 

The fatal sickness stay'd at last. 

A young man then, each house you sought, 

Where reign'd the mortal pestilence. 

Corpse after corpse was carried forth. 

But still unscath'd you issued thence. 

Sore then your trials and severe; 

The Helper yonder aids the helper here. 

All 
Heaven bless the trusty friend, and long 
To help the poor his life prolong! 

Faust 
To Him above in homage bend, 
Who prompts the helper and Who help doth send. 

{He proceeds with Wagner.) 

Wagner 
What feelings, great man, must thy breast inspire, 
At homage paid thee by this crowd! Thrice blest 
Who from the gifts by him possessed 
Such benefit can draw! The sire 
Thee to his boy with reverence shows; 
They press around, inquire, advance, 
Hush'd is the fiddle, check'd the dance. 
Where thou dost pass they stand in rows, 
And each aloft his bonnet throws. 



FAUST 47 

But little fails and they to thee, 

As though the Host came by, would bend the knee. 

Faust 

A few steps further, up to yonder stone I 

Here rest we from our walk. In times long past, 

Absorb'd in thought, here oft I sat alone, 

And disciplin'd myself with prayer and fast. 

Then rich in hope, with faith sincere, 

With sighs, and hands in anguish press'd. 

The end of that sore plague, with many a tear. 

From heaven's dread Lord, I sought to wrest. 

The crowd's applause assumes a scornful tone. 

Oh, could'st thou in my inner being read. 

How little either sire or son. 

Of such renown deserves the meed! 

My sire, of good repute, and sombre mood. 

O'er nature's powers and every mystic zone. 

With honest zeal, but methods of his own, 

With toil fantastic loved to brood; 

His time in dark alchemic cell. 

With brother adepts he would spend. 

And there antagonists compel. 

Through numberless receipts to blend. 

A ruddy lion there, a suitor bold. 

In tepid bath was with the lily wed. 

Thence both, while open flames around them roll'd. 

Were tortur'd to another bridal bed. 

Was then the youthful queen descried 

With varied colours in the flask; — 

This was our medicine; the patients died, 

"Who were restored?" none cared to ask. 

With our infernal mixture thus, ere long. 

These hills and peaceful vales among. 

We rag'd more fiercely than the pest; 

Myself the deadly poison did to thousands give; 



48 GOETHE 

They pined away, I yet must live, 
To hear the reckless murderers blest. 

Wagner 

Why let this thought your soul o'ercast? 

Can man do more than with nice skill. 

With firm and conscientious will, 

Practise the art transmitted from the past? 

If thou thy sire dost honour in thy youth, 

His lore thou gladly wilt receive; 

In manhood, dost thou spread the bounds of truth, 

Then may thy son a higher goal achieve. 

Faust 

How blest, in whom the fond desire 

From error's sea to rise, hope still renews! 

What a man knows not, that he doth require, 

And what he knoweth, that he cannot use. 

But let not moody thoughts their shadow throw 

O'er the calm beauty of this hour serene! 

In the rich sunset see how brightly glow 

Yon cottage homes, girt round with verdant green! 

Slow sinks the orb, the day is now no more; 

Yonder he hastens to diffuse new life. 

Oh for a pinion from the earth to soar, 

And after, ever after him to strive! 

Then should I see the world below. 

Bathed in the deathless evening-beams. 

The vales reposing, every height a-glow, 

The silver brooklets meeting golden streams. 

The savage mountain, with its cavern 'd side. 

Bars not my godlike progress. Lo, the ocean, 

Its warm bays heaving with a tranquil modon. 

To my rapt vision opes its ample tide! 

But now at length the god appears to sink; 

A new-born impulse wings my flight. 

Onward I press, his quenchless light to drink, 



FAUST 49 

The day before me, and behind the night, 

The pathless waves beneath, and over me the skies. 

Fair dream, it vanish'd with the parting day! 

Alas! that when on spirit-wing we rise. 

No wing material Hfts our mortal clay. 

But 'tis our inborn impulse, deep and strong, 

Upwards and onwards still to urge our flight, 

When far above us pours its thrilling song 

The sky-lark, lost in azure light. 

When on extended wing amain 

O'er pine<rown'd height the eagle soars. 

And over moor and lake, the crane 

Still striveth towards its native shores. 

Wagner 

To strange conceits oft I myself must own, 

But impulse such as this I ne'er have known: 

Nor woods, nor fields, can long our thoughts engage. 

Their wings I envy not the feather'd kind; 

Far otherwise the pleasures of the mind, 

Bear us from book to book, from page to page! 

Then winter nights grow cheerful; keen delight 

Warms every limb; and ah! when we unroll 

Some old and precious parchment, at the sight 

All heaven itself descends upon the soul. 

Faust 

Thy heart by one sole impulse is possess'd; 

Unconscious of the other still remain! 

Two souls, alas! are lodg'd within my breast. 

Which struggle there for undivided reign: 

One to the world, with obstinate desire. 

And closely<leaving organs, still adheres; 

Above the mist, the other doth aspire. 

With sacred vehemence, to purer spheres. 

Oh, are there spirits in the air, 

Who float 'twixt heaven and earth dominion wielding, 



5© GOETHE 

Stoop hither from your golden atmosphere. 

Lead me to scenes, new life and fuller yielding! 

A magic mantle did I but [X)ssess, 

Abroad to waft me as on viewless wings, 

I'd prize it far beyond the costliest dress, 

Nor would I change it for the robe of kings. 

Wagner 

Call not the spirits who on mischief wait! 

Their troop familiar, streaming through the air, 

From every quarter threaten man's estate, 

And danger in a thousand forms prepare! 

They drive impetuous from the frozen north, 

With fangs sharjvpiercing, and keen arrowy tongues; 

From the ungenial east they issue forth, 

And prey, with parching breath, upon thy lungs; 

If, waft'd on the desert's flaming wing, 

They from the south heap fire upon the brain. 

Refreshment from the west at first they brin<;, 

Anon to drown thyself and field and plain. 

In wait for mischief, they are prompt to hear; 

With guileful purpose our behests obey; 

Like ministers of grace they oft appear. 

And lisp like angels, to betray. 

But let us hence! Grey eve doth all things blend, 

The air grows chill, the mists descend! 

'Tis in the evening first our home we prize — 

Why stand you thus, and gaze with wondering eyes? 

What in the gloom thus moves you ? 

Faust 

Yon black hound 
See'st thou, through corn and stubble scampering round ? 

Wagner 
I've mark'd him long, naught strange in him I see! 



FAUST 51 

Faust 
Note him! What takest thou the brute to be? 

Wagner 

But for a poodle, whom his instinct serves 
His master's track to find once more. 

Faust 

Dost mark how round us, with wide spiral curves. 
He wheels, each circle closer than before? 
And, if I err not, he appears to me 
A line of fire upon his track to leave. 

Wagner 

Naught but a poodle black of hue I see; 
Tis some illusion doth your sight deceive. 

Faust 

Methinks a magic coil our feet around, 
He for a future snare doth lightly spread. 

Wagner 

Around us as in doubt I see him shyly bound. 
Since he two strangers seeth in his master's stead. 

Faust 
The circle narrows, he's already near! 

Wagner 

A dog dost see, no spectre have we here; 

He growls, doubts, lays him on his belly, too, 

And wags his tail — as dogs are wont to do. 

Faust 
Come hither. Sirrah! join our company! 



52 GOETHE 

Wagner 

A very poodle, he appears to be! 

Thou standest still, for thee he'll wait; 

Thou speak'st to him, he fawns upon thee straight; 

Aught thou mayst lose, again he'll bring, 

And for thy stick will into water spring. 

Faust 

Thou'rt right indeed; no traces now I see 
Whatever of a spirit's agency. 
Tis training — nothing more. 

Wagner 

A dog well taught 
E'en by the wisest of us may be sought. 
Ay, to your favour he's entitled too. 
Apt scholar of the students, 'tis his due! 

{They enter the gate of the town.) 

STUDY 
Faust {entering with the poodle) 
Now field and meadow I've forsaken; 
O'er them deep night her veil doth draw; 
In us the better soul doth waken, 
With feelings of foreboding awe. 
All lawless promptings, deeds unholy. 
Now slumber, and all wild desires; 
The love of man doth sway us wholly, 
And love to God the soul inspires. 

Peace, poodle, peace! Scamper not thus; obey me! 

Why at the threshold snuflest thou so? 

Behind the stove now quietly lay thee. 

My softest cushion to thee I'll throw. 

As thou, without, didst please and amuse me 



FAUST 53 

Running and frisking about on the hill, 
So tendance now I will not refuse thee; 
A welcome guest, if thou'lt be still. 

Ah! when the friendly taper gloweth, 
Once more within our narrow cell. 
Then in the heart itself that knoweth, 
A light the darkness doth dispel. 
Reason her voice resumes; returneth 
Hope's gracious bloom, with promise rife; 
For streams of life the spirit yearneth, 
Ah! for the very fount of life. 

Poodle, snarl not! with the tone that arises, 
Hallow'd and peaceful, my soul within. 
Accords not thy growl, thy bestial din. 
We find it not strange, that man despises 
What he conceives not; 
That he the good and fair misprizes — 
Finding them often beyond his ken; 
Will the dog snarl at them like men? 

But ah! Despite my will, it stands confessed. 

Contentment welleth up no longer in my breast. 

Yet wherefore must the stream, alas, so soon be dry, 

That we once more athirst should lie? 

Full oft this sad experience hath been mine; 

Nathless the want admits of compensation; 

For things above the earth we learn to pine. 

Our spirits yearn for revelation, 

Which nowhere burns with purer beauty blent, 

Than here in the New Testament. 

To ope the ancient text an impulse strong 

Impels me, and its sacred lore, 

With honest purpose to explore. 

And render into my loved German tongue. 

(He opens a volume, and applies himself to it.) 



54 GOETHE 

'Tis writ, "In the beginning was the Word!" 

I pause, perplex 'd! Who now will help afford? 

I cannot the mere Word so highly prize; 

I must translate it otherwise, 

If by the spirit guided as 1 read. 

"In the beginning was the Sense!" Take heed. 

The import of this primal sentence weigh, 

Lest thy too hasty p)en be led astray! 

Is force creative then of Sense the dower? 

"In the beginning was the Power!" 

Thus should it stand: yet, while the line I trace, 

A something warns me, once more to efface. 

The spirit aids! from anxious scruples freed, 

I write, "In the beginning was the Deed!" 

Am I with thee my room to share, 

Poodle, thy barking now forbear, 

Forbear thy howling! 

Comrade so noisy, ever growling, 

I cannot suffer here to dwell. 

One or the other, mark me well. 

Forthwith must leave the cell. 

I'm loath the guest-right to withhold; 

The door's ajar, the passage clear; 

But what must now mine eyes behold! 

Are nature's laws suspended here? 

Real is it, or a phantom show ? 

In length and breadth how doth my poodle grow! 

He lifts himself with threat'ning mien, 

In likeness of a dog no longer seen! 

What spectre have I harbour'd thus! 

Huge as a hippopotamus. 

With fiery eye, terrific tooth! 

Ah .' now I know thee, sure enough ! 

For such a base, half-hellish brood. 

The key of Solomon is good. 



FAUST 55 



Spirits (without) 

Captur'd there within is one! 
Stay without and follow none! 
Like a fox in iron snare, 
Hell's old lynx is quaking there, 

But take heed! 
Hover round, above, below, 

To and fro. 
Then from durance is he freed! 
Can ye aid him, spirits all. 
Leave him not in mortal thrall ! 
Many a time and oft hath he 
Served us, when at liberty. 

Fatist 

The monster to confront, at first. 
The spell of Four must be rehears'd; 

Salamander shall kindle. 
Writhe nymph of the wave. 
In air sylph shall dwindle, 
And Kobold shall slave. 

Who doth ignore 
The primal Four, 
Nor knows aright 
Their use and might. 
O'er spirits will he 
Ne'er master be! 

Vanish in the fiery glow, 

Salamander! 

Rushingly together flow. 

Undine! 

Shimmer in the meteor's gleam, 

Sylphide! 



56 GOETHE 

Hither bring thine homely aid, 

Incubus! Incubus! 

Step forth! I do adjure thee thus! 
None of the Four 
Lurks in the beast: 
He grins at me, untroubled as before; 
I have not hurt him in the least. 
A spell of fear 
Thou now shalt hear. 

Art thou, comrade fell, 

Fugitive from Hell? 

See then this sign. 

Before which incline 

The murky troops of Hell! 
With bristling hair now doth the creature swell. 

Canst thou, reprobate, 
Read the uncreate, 
Unspeakable, diffused 
Throughout the heavenly sphere, 
Shamefully abused. 
Transpierced with nail and spear! 

Behind the stove, tam'd by my spells, 
Like an elephant he swells; 
Wholly now he fills the room, 
He into mist will melt away. 
Ascend not to the ceiling! Come, 
Thyself at the master's feet now lay! 
Thou seest that mine is no idle threat. 
With holy fire I will scorch thee yet! 
Wait not the might 
That lies in the triple-glowing light! 
Wait not the might 
Of all my arts in fullest measure! 



FAUST 57 

Mephistopheles 
{As the mist sinl{s, comes forward from behind the stove, 

in the dress of a travelling scholar) 
Why all this uproar? What's the master's pleasure? 

Faust 

This then the kernel of the brute! 

A traveling scholar? Why I needs must smile. 

Mephistopheles 

Your learned reverence humbly I salute! 
You've made me swelter in a pretty style. 

Faust 
Thy name ? 

Mephistopheles 

The question trifling seems from one, 
Who it appears the Word doth rate so low; 
Who, undeluded by mere outward show, 
To Being's depths would penetrate alone. 

Fatist 

With gentlemen like you indeed 

The inward essence from the name we read, 

As all too plainly it doth apf)ear. 

When Beelzebub, Destroyer, Liar, meets the ear. 

Who then art thou? 

Mephistopheles 

Part of that power which still 
Produceth good, whilst ever scheming ill. 

Faust 
What hidden mystery in this riddle lies? 



58 GOETHE 

Mephtstopheles 

The spirit I, which evermore denies! 
And justly; for whate'er to light is brought 
Deserves again to be reduced to naught; 
Then better 'twere that naught should be. 
Thus all the elements which ye 
Destruction, Sin, or briefly. Evil, name, 
As my peculiar element I claim. 

Faust 
Thou nam'st thyself a part, and yet a whole I see. 

Mephtstopheles 

The modest truth I speak to thee. 
Though folly's microcosm, man, it seems, 
Himself to be a perfect whole esteems: 
Part of the part am I, which at the first was all, 
A part of darkness, which gave birth to light, 
Proud light, who now his mother would enthrall. 
Contesting space and ancient rank with night. 
Yet he succeedeth not, for struggle as he will, 
To forms material he adhereth still; 
From them he streameth, them he maketh fair, 
And still the progress of his beams they check ; 
And so, I trust, when comes the final wreck, 
Light will, ere long, the doom of matter sliare. 

Faust 
Thy worthy avocation now I guess! 
Wholesale annihilation won't prevail, 
So thou'rt beginning on a smaller scale. 

Mephtstopheles 

And, to say truth, as yet with small success. 
Oppos'd to naught, this clumsy world. 
The something — it subsisteth still; 
Not yet is it to ruin hurl'd. 



FAUST 59 

Despite the efforts of my will. 

Tempests and earthquakes, fire and flood, I've tried; 

Yet land and ocean still unchang'd abide! 

And then of humankind and beasts, the accursed brood, — 

Neither o'er them can I extend my sway. 

What countless myriads have I swept away! 

Yet ever circulates the fresh young blood. 

It is enough to drive me to despair! 

As in the earth, in water, and in air, 

A thousand germs burst forth spontaneously; 

In moisture, drought, heat, cold, they still appear! 

Had I not flame selected as my sphere 

Nothing apart had been reserved for me. 

Faust 
So thou with thy cold devil's fist 
Still clench'd in malice impotent 
Dost the creative power resist, 
The active, the beneficent! 
Henceforth some other task essay, 
Of Chaos thou the wondrous son! 

Mepliistopheles 
We will consider what you say, 
And talk about it more anon! 
For this time have I leave to go? 

Faust 
Why thou shouldst ask, I cannot see. 
Since thee I now have learned to know. 
At thy good pleasure, visit me. 
Here is the window, here the door, 
The chimney, too, may serve thy need. 

Mep/itstnfyficlcs 
I must confess, my stepping o'er 
Thy threshold a slight hindrance doth impede; 
The wizard-foot doth me retain. 



60 GOETHE 

Faust 

The pentagram thy peace doth mar? 
To me, thou son of hell, explain. 
How earnest thou in, if this thine exit bar? 
Could such a spirit aught ensnare? 

Mephistopheles 

Observe it well, it is not drawn with care, 
One of the angles, that which points without, 
Is, as thou seest, not quite closed. 

Faust 

Chance hath the matter happily dispos'dl 
So thou my captive art? No doubt! 
By accident thou thus art caught! 

Mephistopheles 

In sprang the dog, indeed, observing naught; 
Things now assume another shape. 
The devil's in the house and can't escape. 

Faust 
Why through the window not withdraw? 

Mephistopheles 
For ghosts and for the devil 'tis a law. 
Where they stole in, there they must forth. We're free 
The first to choose; as to the second, slaves are we. 

Faust 

E'en hell hath its peculiar laws, I see! 

I'm glad of that! a pact may then be made, 

The which you gentlemen will surely keep? 

Mephistopheles 

What e'er therein is promised thou shall reap. 
No tittle shall remain unpaid. 



FAUST 6 1 

But such arrangements time require; 
We'll speak of them when next we meet; 
Most earnestly I now entreat, 
This once permission to retire. 

Faust 

Another moment prithee here remain, 
Me with some happy word to pleasure. 

Mephistopheles 

Now let me go! ere long I'll come again. 
Then thou may'st question at thy leisure. 

Faust 

Twas not my purpose thee to lime; 
The snare hast entered of thine own free will: 
Let him who holds the devil, hold him still! 
So soon he'll catch him not a second time. 

Mephistopheles 

If it so please thee, I'm at thy command; 
Only on this condition, understand; 
That worthily thy leisure to beguile, 
I here may exercise my arts awhile. 

Faust 

Thou'rt free to do so! Gladly I'll attend; 
But be thine art a pleasant one! 

Mephistopheles 

My friend. 
This hour enjoyment more intense. 
Shall captivate each ravish 'd sense. 
Than thou could'st compass in the bound 
Of the whole year's unvarying round; 
And what the dainty spirits sing. 
The lovely images they bring. 



62 GOETHE 

Are no fantastic sorcery. 
Rich odours shall regale your smell, 
On choicest sweets your palate dwell, 
Your feelings thrill with ecstasy. 
No preparation do we need, 
Here we together are. Proceed. 

Spirits 

Hence overshadowing gloom, 

Vanish from sight! 

O'er us thine azure dome. 

Bend, beauteous light! 

Dark clouds that o'er us spread. 

Melt in thin air! 

Stars, your soft radiance shed. 

Tender and fair. 

Girt with celestial might, 

Winging their airy flight. 

Spirits are thronging. 

Follows their forms of light 

Infinite longing! 

Flutter their vestures bright 

O'er field and grove! 

Where in their leafy bower 

Lovers the livelong hour 

Vow deathless love. 

Soft bloometh bud and bower! 

Bloometh the grove! 

Grapes from the spreading vine 

Crown the full measure; 

Fountains of foaming wine 

Gush from the pressure. 

Still where the currents wind, 

Gems brightly gleam. 

Leaving the hills behind 

On rolls the stream; 

Now into ample seas. 



FAUST 63 

Spreadeth the flood ; 

Laving the sunny leas, 

Mantled with wood. 

Rapture the feather'd throng, 

Gaily careering, 

Sip as they float along; 

Sunward they're steering; 

On towards the isles of light 

Winging their way, 

That on the waters bright 

Dancingly play. 

Hark to the choral strain, 

Joyfully ringing! 

While on the grassy plain 

Dancers are springing; 

Climbing the steep hill's side. 

Skimming the glassy tide. 

Wander they there; 

Others on pinions wide 

Wing the blue air; 

All lifeward tending, upward still wending. 

Towards yonder stars that gleam, 

Far, far above; 

Stars from whose tender beam 

Rains blissful love. 

Mephistopheles 

Well done, my dainty spirits! now he slumbers! 

Ye have entranc'd him fairly with your numbers! 

This minstrelsy of yours I must repay, — 

Thou art not yet the man to hold the devil fast! — 

With fairest shapes your spells around him cast. 

And plunge him in a sea of dreams! 

But that this charm be rent, the threshold passed. 

Tooth of rat the way must clear. 

I need not conjure long it seems, 

One rustles hitherward, and soon my voice will hear. 



64 GOETHE 

The master of the rats and mice, 

Of flies and frogs, of bugs and lice, 

Commands thy presence; without fear 

Come forth and gnaw the threshold here. 

Where he with oil has smear'd it. — Thou 

Com'st hopping forth already! Now 

To work! The point that holds me bound 

Is in the outer angle found. 

Another bite — so — now 'tis done — 

Now, Faustus, till we meet again, dream on. 

Faust {au/a\ing) 

Am I once more deluded! must I deem 
That thus the throng of spirits disappear? 
The devil's presence, was it but a dream ? 
Hath but a poodle scap'd and left me here? 



STUDY 
Faust. Mephistopheles 

Faust 
A knock? Come in! Who now would break my rest? 

Mephistopheles 
Tis I! 

Faust 
Come in! 



Mephistopheles 

Thrice be the words express'd. 



Faust 
Then I repeat, Come in! 



FAUST 65 

Mephistopheles 

'Tis well, 
I hope that we shall soon agree! 
For now your fancies to expel, 
Here, as a youth of high degree, 
I come in gold-lac'd scarlet vest. 
And stiff-silk mantle richly dress'd, 
A cock's gay feather for a plume, 
A long and pointed rapier, too; 
And briefly I would counsel you 
To don at once the same costume, 
And, free from trammels, speed away, 
That what life is you may essay. 

Faust 

In every garb I needs must feel oppress'd, 

My heart to earth's low cares a prey. 

Too old the trifler's part to play, 

Too young to live by no desire possess'd. 

What can the world to me afford? 

Renounce! renounce! is still the word; 

This is the everlasting song 

In every ear that ceaseless rings, 

And which, alas, our whole life long, 

Hoarsely each passing moment sings. 

But to new horror I awake each morn. 

And I could weep hot tears, to see the sun 

Dawn on another day, whose round forlorn 

Accomplishes no wish of mine — not one. 

Which still, with froward captiousness, impains 

E'en the presentiment of every joy. 

While low realities and paltry cares 

The spirit's fond imaginings destroy. 

Then must I too, when falls the veil of night, 

Stretch'd on my pallet languish in despair. 

Appalling dreams my soul affright; 



66 GOETHE 

No rest vouchsafed me even there. 

The god, who throned within my breast resides, 

Deep in my soul can stir the springs; 

With sovereign sway my energies he guides, 

He cannot move external things; 

And so existence is to me a weight. 

Death fondly I desire, and life I hate. 

Mephistopheles 

And yet, methinks, by most 'twill be confess'd 
That Death is never quite a welcome guest. 

Faust 

Happy the man around whose brow he binds 

The bloodstain'd wreath in conquest's dazzling hour; 

Or whom, excited by the dance, he finds 

Dissolv'd in bliss, in love's delicious bower! 

O that before the lofty spirit's might. 

Enraptured, I had rendered up my soul! 

Mephistopheles 

Yet did a certain man refrain one night, 
Of its brown juice to drain the crystal bowl. 

Faust 
To play the spy diverts you then? 

Mephistopheles 

I own, 
Though not omniscient, much to me is known. 

Faust 

If o'er my soul the tone familiar, stealing, 

Drew me from harrowing thought's bewild'ring maze, 

Touching the ling'ring chords of childlike feeling. 

With sweet harmonies of happier days: 

So curse I all, around the soul that windeth 



FAUST 67 

Its magic and alluring spell, 

And with delusive flattery bindeth 

Its victim to this dreary cell! 

Curs'd before all things be the high opinion, 

Wherewith the spirit girds itself around! 

Of shows delusive curs'd be the dominion, 

Within whose mocking sphere our sense is bound! 

Accurs'd of dreams the treacherous wiles, 

The cheat of glory, deathless fame! 

Accurs'd what each as property beguiles. 

Wife, child, slave, plough, whate'er its name! 

Accurs'd be mammon, when with treasure 

He doth to daring deeds incite: 

Or when to steep the soul in pleasure, 

He spreads the couch of soft delight! 

Curs'd be the grape's balsamic juice! 

Accurs'd love's dream, of joys the first! 

Accurs'd be hope! accurs'd be faith! 

And more than all, be patience curs'dl 

Chorus of Spirits {jnvisiblc) 

Woe! woe! 

Thou hast destroy'd 

The beautiful world 

With violent blow; 

*Tis shiver'd! 'tis shatter'd! 

The fragments abroad by a demigod scatter'd! 

Now we sweep 

The wrecks into nothingness! 

Fondly we weep 

The beauty that's gone! 

Thou, 'mongst the sons of earth, 

Lofty and mighty one. 

Build it once more! 

In thine own bosom the lost world restore! 

Now with unclouded sense 

Enter a new career; 



68 GOETHE 

Songs shall salute thine ear, 
Ne'er heard before! 

Mephistopheles 

My little ones these spirits be. 
Hark! with shrewd intelligence, 
How they recommend to thee 
Action, and the joys of sense! 
In the busy world to dwell. 
Fain they would allure thee hence: 
For within this lonely cell. 
Stagnate sap of life and sense. 

Forbear to trifle longer with thy grief, 

Which, vulture-like, consumes thee in this den. 

The worst society is some relief. 

Making thee feel thyself a man with men. 

Nathless, it is not meant, I trow. 

To thrust thee 'mid the vulgar throng. 

I to the upper ranks do not belong; 

Yet if, by me companion 'd, thou 

Thy steps through life forthwith wilt take. 

Upon the spot myself I'll make 

Thy comrade; — 

Should it suit thy need, 

I am thy servant, am thy slave indeed! 

Faust 
And how must I thy services repay? 

Mephistopheles 
Thereto thou lengthen'd respite hast! 

Faust 

No! No! 
The devil is an egoist I know: 



FAUST 69 

And, tor Heaven's sake, 'tis not his way 
Kindness to any one to show. 
Let the condition plainly be exprest! 
Such a domestic is a dangerous guest. 

Mephistopheles 

I'll pledge myself to be thy servant here, 
Still at thy back alert and prompt to be; 
But when together yonder we appear, 
Then shah thou do the same for me. 

Faust 

But small concern I feel for yonder world; 

Hast thou this system into ruin hurl'd, 

Another may arise the void to fill. 

This earth the fountain whence my pleasures flow, 

This sun doth daily shine upon my woe. 

And if this world I must forego, 

Let happen then, — what can and will. 

I to this theme will close mine ears, 

If men hereafter hate and love, 

And if there be in yonder spheres 

A depth below or height above. 

Mephistopheles 

In this mood thou mayst venture it. But make 
The compact! I at once will undertake 
To charm thee with mine arts. I'll give thee more 
Than mortal eye hath e'er beheld before. 

Faust 

What, sorry Devil, hast thou to bestow? 
Was ever mortal spirit, in its high endeavour, 
Fathom'd by Being such as thou? 
Yet food thou hast which satisfieth never. 
Hast ruddy gold, that still doth flow 
Like restless quicksilver away. 



70 GOETHE 

A game thou hast, at which none win who play, 

A girl who would, with amorous eyen, 

E'en from my breast, a neighijour snare, 

Lofty ambition's joy divine. 

That, meteor-like, dissolves in air. 

Show me the fruit that, ere 'tis pluck'd, doth rot, 

And trees, whose verdure daily buds anew! 

Mephistopheles 

Such a commission scares me not, 

I can provide such treasures, it is true; 

But, my good friend, a season will come round. 

When on what's good we may regale in peace. 

Faust 

If e'er upon my couch, stretched at my ease, I'm found, 

Then may my life that instant cease! 

Me canst thou cheat with glozing wile 

Till self-reproach away I cast, — 

Me with joy's lure canst thou beguile;— 

Let that day be for me the last! 

Be this our wager! 

Mephistopheles 
Settled! 

Faust 

Sure and fast! 
When to the moment I shall say, 
"Linger awhile! so fair thou art!" 
Then mayst thou fetter me straightway, 
Then to the abyss will I depart! 
Then may the solemn death-bell sound. 
Then from thy service thou art free, 
The index then may cease its round. 
And time be never more for me! 



FAUST 71 

Mephistopheles 
I shall remember: pause, ere 'tis too late. 

Faust 

Thereto a perfect right hast thou. 
My strength I do not rashly overrate. 
Slave am I here, at any rate, 
If thine, or whose, it matters not, I trow. 

Mephistopheles 

At thine inaugural feast I will this day 
Attend, my duties to commence. — 
But one thing! — Accidents may happen, hence 
A line or two in writing grant, I pray. 

Faust 

A writing. Pedant! dost demand from me? 

Man, and man's plighted word, are these unknown to 

thee? 
Is't not enough, that by the word I gave. 
My doom for evermore is cast? 
Doth not the world in all its currents rave. 
And must a promise hold me fast? 
Yet fixed is this delusion in our heart; 
Who, of his own free will, therefrom would part ? 
How blest within whose breast truth reigneth pure! 
No sacrifice will he repent when made! 
A formal deed, with seal and signature, 
A spectre this from which all shrink afraid. 
The word its life resigneth in the pen, 
Leather and wax usurp the mastery then. 
Spirits of evil! what dost thou require? 
Brass, marble, parchment, paper, dost desire? 
Shall I with chisel, pen, or graver write? 
Thy choice is free; to me 'tis all the same. 



72 GOETHE 

Mephistopheles 
Wherefore thy passion so excite 
And thus thine eloquence inflame? 
A scrap is for our compact good. 
Thou under-signest merely with a drop of blood. 

Faust 
If this will satisfy thy mind, 
Thy whim I'll gratify, howe'er absurd. 

Mephistopheles 
Blood is a juice of very special kind. 

Faust 
Be not afraid that I shall break my word I 
The scope of all my energy 
Is in exact accordance with my vow. 
Vainly I have aspired tcx) high; 
I'm on a level but with such as thou; 
Me the great spirit scorn'd, defied; 
Nature from me herself doth hide; 
Rent is the web of thought; my mind 
Doth knowledge loathe of every kind. 
In depths of sensual pleasure drown'd, 
Let us our fiery passions still! 
Enwrapp'd in magic's veil profound, 
Let wondrous charms our senses thrill! 
Plunge we in time's tempestuous flow, 
Stem we the rolling surge of chance! 
There may alternate weal and woe, 
Success and failure, as they can, 
Mingle and shift in changeful dance! 
Excitement is the sphere for man. 

Mephistopheles 
Nor goal, nor measure is prescrib'd to you, 
If you desire to taste of every thing. 



FAUST 73 

To snatch at joy while on the wing, 
May your career amuse and profit tool 
Only fall to and don't be over coy! 

Faust 
Hearken! The end I aim at is not joy; 
I crave excitement, agonizing bliss, 
Enamour'd hatred, quickening vexation. 
Purg'd from the love of knowledge, my vocation, 
The scope of all my powers henceforth be this. 
To bare my breast to every pang, — to know 
In my heart's core all human weal and woe. 
To grasp in thought the lofty and the deep. 
Men's various fortunes on my breast to heap. 
And thus to theirs dilate my individual mind, 
And share at length with them the shipwreck of man- 
kind. 

Mephistopheles 
Oh, credit me, who still as ages roll, 
Have chew'd this bitter fare from year to year. 
No mortal, from the cradle to the bier. 
Digests the ancient leaven! Know, this Whole 
Doth for the Deity alone subsist! 
He in eternal brightness doth exist. 
Us unto darkness he hath brought, and here 
Where day and night alternate, is your sphere. 

Faust 
But 'tis my will! 

Mephistopheles 

Well spoken, I admit! 
But one thing puzzles me, my friend; 
Time's short, art long; methinks 'twere fit 
That you to friendly counsel should attend. 
A poet choose as your ally! 
Let him thought's wide dominion sweep. 



74 GOETHE 

Each good and noble quality, 
Upon your honoured brow to heap; 
The lion's magnanimity, 
The fleetness of the hind. 
The fiery blood of Italy, 
The Northern's steadfast mind. 
Let him to you the mystery show 
To blend high aims and cunning low; 
And while youth's passions are aflame 
To fall in love by rule and plan! 
I fain would meet with such a man; 
Would him Sir Microcosmus name. 

Faust 

What then am I, if I aspire in vain 
The crown of our humanity to gain, 
Towards which my every sense doth strain? 

Mephistopheles 

Thou'rt after all — just what thou art. 
Put on thy head a wig with countless locks, 
And to a cubit's height upraise thy socks. 
Still thou remainest ever, what thou art. 

Faust 

I feel it, I have heap'd upon my brain 
The gather 'd treasure of man's thought in vain; 
And when at length from studious toil I rest, 
No power, new-born, springs up within my breast; 
A hair's breadth is not added to my height, 
I am no nearer to the infinite. 

Mephistopheles 

Good sir, these things you view indeed, 
Just as by other men they're view'd; 
We must more cleverly proceed, 
Before life's joys our grasp elude. 



FAUST 75 

The devil! thou hast hands and feet, 

And head and heart are also thine; 

What I enjoy with relish sweet, 

Is it on that account less mine? 

If for six stallions I can pay, 

Do I not own their strength and speed ? 

A proper man I dash away, 

As their two dozen legs were mine indeed. 

Up then, from idle pondering free. 

And forth into the world with me! 

I tell you what; — your speculative churl 

Is like a beast which some ill spirit leads, 

On barren wilderness, in ceaseless whirl. 

While all around lie fair and verdant meads. 

Faust 
But how shall we begin ? 

Mephistopheles 

We will go hence with speed, 
A place of torment this indeed! 
A precious life, thyself to bore, 
And some few youngsters evermore! 
Leave that to neighbour Paunch! — withdraw. 
Why wilt thou plague thyself with thrashing straw? 
The very best that thou dost know 
Thou dar'st not to the striplings show. 
One in the passage now doth wait! 

Faust 
I'm in no mood to see him now. 

Mephistopheles 
Poor lad! He must be tired, I trow; 
He must not go disconsolate. 
Hand me thy cap and gown; the mask 
Is for my purpose quite first rate. 

{He changes his dress.) 



76 GOETHE 

Now leave it to my wit! I ask 

But quarter of an hour; meanwhile equip, 

And make all ready for our pleasant trip! 

{Exit Faust.) 

Mephistopheles (in Faust's long gown) 

Mortal! the loftiest attributes of men, 

Reason and Knowledge, only thus contemn. 

Still let the Prince of lies, without control. 

With shows, and mocking charms delude thy soul, 

I have thee unconditionally then! 

Fate hath endow'd him with an ardent mind, 

Which unrestrain'd still presses on for ever, 

And whose precipitate endeavour 

Earth's joys o'erleaping, leaveth them behind. 

Him will I drag through life's wild waste, 

Through scenes of vapid dulness, where at last 

Bewilder'd, he shall falter, and stick fast; 

And, still to mock his greedy haste, 

Viands and drink shall float his craving lips beyond — 

Vainly he'll seek refreshment, anguish-tost, 

And were he not the devil's by his bond, 

Yet must his soul infallibly be lost! 

A Student enters 

Student 

But recently I've quitted home, 
Full of devotion am I come 
A man to know and hear, whose name 
With reverence is known to fame. 

Mephistopheles 

Your courtesy much flatters me! 
A man like other men you see; 
Pray have you yet applied elsewhere? 



FAUST 77 

Student 

I would entreat your friendly care! 

I've youthful blood and courage high; 

Of gold I bring a fair supply; 

To let me go my mother was not fain; 

But here I longed true knowledge to attain. 

Mephistopheles 
You've hit upon the very place. 

Student 

And yet my steps I would retrace. 

These walls, this melancholy room, 

O'erpower me with a sense of gloom; 

The space is narrow, nothing green, 

No friendly tree is to be seen: 

And in these halls, with benches filled, distraught, 

Sight, hearing fail me, and the power of thought. 

Mephistopheles 

It all depends on habit. Thus at first 
The infant takes not kindly to the breast. 
But before long, its eager thirst 
Is fain to slake with hearty zest: 
Thus at the breasts of wisdom day by day 
With keener relish you'll your thirst allay. 

Student 

Upon her neck I fain would hang with joy; 
To reach it, say, what means must I employ? 

Mephistopheles 

Explain, ere further time we lose, 
What special faculty you choose? 



78 GOETHE 

Student 

Profoundly learned I would grow, 
What heaven contains would comprehend, 
O'er earth's wide realm my gaze extend. 
Nature and science I desire to know. 

Mephistopheles 
You are uf)on the proper track, I find; 
Take heed, let nothing dissipate your mind. 

Student 
My heart and soul are in the chase! 
Though to be sure I fain would seize, 
On pleasant summer holidays, 
A litde liberty and careless ease. 

Mephistopheles 
Use well your time, so rapidly it flies; 
Method will teach you time to win; 
Hence, my young friend, I would advise, 
With college logic to begin! 
Then will your mind be so well braced. 
In Spanish boots so tightly laced. 
That on 'twill circumspectly creep. 
Thought's beaten track securely keep. 
Nor will it, ignis-fatuus like, 
Into the path of error strike. 
Then many a day they'll teach you how 
The mind's spontaneous acts, till now 
As eating and as drinking free. 
Require a process; — one! two! three! 
In truth the subtle web of thought 
Is like the weaver's fabric wrought: 
One treadle moves a thousand lines. 
Swift dart the shuttles to and fro. 
Unseen the threads together flow, 
A thousand knots one stroke combines. 



FAUST 79 

Then forward steps your sage to showr. 

And prove to you, it must be so; 

The first being so, and so the second, 

The third and fourth deduc'd we see; 

And if there were no first and second, 

Nor third nor fourth would ever be. 

This, scholars of all countries prize, — 

Yet 'mong themselves no weavers rise. — 

He who would know and treat of aught alive, 

Seeks first the living spirit thence to drive: 

Then are the lifeless fragments in his hand. 

There only fails, alas! the spirit-band. 

This process, chemists name, in learned thesis. 

Mocking themselves, Naturx encheiresis. 

Student 
Your words I cannot fully comprehend. 

Mephistopheles 

In a short time you will improve, my friend, 
When of scholastic forms you learn the use; 
And how by method all things to reduce. 

Student 

So doth all this my brain confound, 

As if a mill-wheel there were turning round. 

Mephistopheles 

And next, before aught else you learn, 

You must with zeal to metaphysics turn! 

There see that you profoundly comprehend. 

What doth the limit of man's brain transcend; 

For that which is or is not in the head 

A sounding phrase will serve you in good stead. 

But before all strive this half year 

From one fix'd order ne'er to swerve! 

Five lectures daily you must hear; 



8o GOETHE 

The hour still punctually observe! 
Yourself with studious zeal prepare, 
And closely in your manual look, 
Hereby may you be quite aware 
That all he utters standeth in the book; 
Yet write away without cessation, 
As at the Holy Ghost's dictation! 

Student 

This, Sir, a second time you need not say! 
Your counsel I appreciate quite; 
What we possess in black and white. 
We can in peace and comfort bear away. 

Mephistopheles 
A faculty I pray you name. 

Student 
For jurisprudence, some distaste I own. 

Mephistopheles 

To me this branch of science is well known, 

And hence I cannot your repugnance blame. 

Customs and laws in every place. 

Like a disease, an heir-loom dread, 

Still trail their curse from race to race, 

And furtively abroad they spread. 

To nonsense, reason's self they turn; 

Beneficence becomes a pest; 

Woe unto thee, that thou'rt a grandson borni 

As for the law born with us, unexpressed; — 

That law, alas, none careth to discern. 

Student 

You deepen my dislike. The youth 
Whom you instruct, is blest in sooth! 
To try theology I feel inclined. 



FAUST 8l 

Mephistopheles 
I would not lead you willingly astray, 
But as regards this science, you will find 
So hard it is to shun the erring way, 
And so much hidden poison lies therein. 
Which scarce can you discern from medicine. 
Here too it is the best, to listen but to one, 
And by the master's words to swear alone. 
To sum up all — To words hold fast! 
Then the safe gate securely pass'd, 
You'll reach the fane of certainty at last. 

Student 
But then some meaning must the words convey. 

Mephistopheles 
Right! But o'er-anxious thought, you'll find of no avail, 
For there precisely where ideas fail, 
A word comes opportunely into play 
Most admirable weapons words are found, 
On words a system we securely ground. 
In words we can conveniently believe. 
Nor of a single jot can we a word bereave. 

Student 
Your pardon for my importunity; 
Yet once more must I trouble you: 
On medicine, I'll thank you to supply 
A pregnant utterance or two! 
Three years! how brief the appointed tide! 
The field, heaven knows, is all too wide! 
If but a friendly hint be thrown, 
Tis easier then to feel one's way. 

Mephistopheles {aside) 
I'm weary of the dry pedantic tone, 
And must again the genuine devil play. 



82 GOETHE 

(Aloud) 

Of medicine the spirit's caught with ease, 

The great and httle world you study through, 

That things may then their course pursue, 

As heaven may please. 

In vain abroad you range through science' ample 

space. 
Each man learns only that which learn he can; 
Who knows the moment to embrace, 
He is your proper man. 
In person you are tolerably made, 
Nor in assurance will you be deficient: 
Self-confidence acquire, be not afraid, 
Others will then esteem you a proficient. 
Learn chiefly with the sex to deal! 
Their thousands ahs and ohs, 
These the sage doctor knows. 
He only from one point can heal. 
Assume a decent tone of courteous ease. 
You have them then to humour as you please. 
First a diploma must belief infuse. 
That you in your profession take the lead: 
You then at once those easy freedoms use 
For which another many a year must plead; 
Learn how to feel with nice address 
The dainty wrist; — and how to press. 
With ardent furtive glance, the slender waist, 
To feel how tightly it is laced. 

Student 
There is some sense in that! one sees the how and why. 

MephistopheUs 

Grey is, young friend, all theory: 
And green of life the golden tree. 



FAUST 83 

Student 

I swear it seemeth like a dream to me. 

May I some future time repeat my visit, 

To hear on what your wisdom grounds your views? 

Mephistopheles 
Command my humble service when you choose. 

Student 

Ere I retire, one boon I must solicit : 
Here is my album, do not, Sir, deny 
This token of your favour! 

Mephistopheles 

Willingly! 
(He writes and returns the boof(^.) 

Student (reads) 

Eritis sicut Deus, scientes bonum et malum 
(He reverently closes the bool{ and retires.) 

Mephistopheles 

Let but this ancient proverb be your rule, 

My cousin follow still, the wily snake. 

And with your likeness to the gods, poor fool. 

Ere long be sure your poor sick heart will quake! 

Faust (enters) 
Whither away? 

Mephistopheles 

Tis thine our course to steer. 

The little world, and then the great we'll view. 

With what delight, what profit too, 

Thou'lt revel through thy gay career! 



84 GOETHE 

Faust 

Despite my length of beard I need 
The easy manners that insure success; 
Th' attempt I fear can ne'er succeed; 
To mingle in the world I want address; 
I still have an embarrass'd air, and then 
I feel myself so small with other men. 

Mephistopheles 

Time, my good friend, will all that's needful give; 
Be only self-possessed, and thou hast learn 'd to live. 

Faust 

But how are we to start, I pray? 

Steeds, servants, carriage, where are they? 

Mephistopheles 

We've but to spread this mantle wide. 
Twill serve whereon through air to ride, 
No heavy baggage need you take. 
When we our bold excursion make, 
A little gas, which I will soon prepare, 
Lifts us from earth; aloft through air, 
Light laden, we shall swiftly steer; — 
I wish you joy of your new life-career. 



AUERBACH'S CELLAR IN LEIPZIG 
A Drinking Party 

Frosch 

No drinking? Naught a laugh to raise? 
None of your gloomy looks, I pray! 
You, who so bright were wont to blaze, 
Are dull as wetted straw to-day. 



FAUST 85 



Brander 

*Tis all your fault; your part you do not bear, 
No beastliness, no folly. 

Frosch 
{pours a glass of wine over his head) 

There, 
You have them both! 

Brander 

You double beast! 

Frosch 
Tis what you ask'd me for, at least! 

Siebel 

Whoever quarrels, turn him out! 

With open throat drink, roar, and shout. 

Hollo! Hollo! Ho! 

Altmayer 

Zounds, fellow, cease your deaf'ning cheers! 
Bring cotton-wool! He splits my ears. 

Siebel 

'Tis when the roof rings back the tone, 

Then first the full power of the bass is known. 

Frosch 

Right! out with him who takes offence! 
A! tara lara da! 

Altmayer 
A! tara lara da! 

Frosch 
Our throats are tuned. Come let's commence! 



86 GOETHE 

(Sings) 

The holy Roman empire now, 
How holds it still together? 

Brander 

An ugly song! a song political! 

A song offensive! Thank God, every morn 

To rule the Roman empire, that you were not born! 

I bless my stars at least that mine is not 

Either a kaiser's or a chancellor's lot. 

Yet 'mong ourselves should one still lord it o'er the rest; 

That we elect a pope I now suggest. 

Ye know, what quality ensures 

A man's success, his rise secures. 

Frosch (sings) 

Bear, lady nightingale above, 

Ten thousand greetings to my love. 

Siebel 

No greetings to a sweetheart! No love-songs shall there 
be! 

Frosch 

Love-greetings and love kisses! Thou shalt not hinder 
me! 

(Sings) 

Undo the bolt! in silly night, 

Undo the bolt! the lover wakes. 

Shut to the bolt! when morning breaks. 

Siebel 

Ay, sing, sing on, praise her with all thy might! 

My turn to laugh will come some day. 

Me hath she jilted once, you the same trick she'll play. 

Some gnome her lover be! where cross-roads meet, 



FAUST 87 

With her to play the fool; or old he-goat, 

From Blocksberg coming in swift gallop, bleat 

A good night to her, from his hairy throat! 

A proper lad of genuine flesh and blood, 

Is for the damsel far too good; 

The greeting she shall have from me, 

To smash her window-panes will be! 

Brander (stri/^ing on the table) 
Silence! Attend! to me give ear! 
Confess, sirs, I know how to live: 
Some love-sick folk are sitting here! 
Hence, 'tis but fit, their hearts to cheer, 
That I a good-night strain to them should give. 
Hark! of the newest fashion is my song! 
Strike boldly in the chorus, clear and strong! 

{He sings) 

Once in a cellar lived a rat, 

He feasted there on butter. 

Until his paunch became as fat 

As that of Doctor Luther. 

The cook laid poison for the guest, 

Then was his heart with pangs oppress'd, 

As if his frame love wasted. 

Chorus {shouting) 
As if liis frame love wasted. 

Brander 
He ran around, he ran abroad. 
Of every puddle drinking. 
The house with rage he scratch 'd and gnaw'd, 
In vain, — he fast was sinking; 
Full many an anguish 'd bound he gave, 
Nothing the hapless brute could save, 
As if his frame love wasted. 



88 GOETHE 

Chorus 
As if his frame love wasted. 

Brander 

By torture driven, in open day, 

The kitchen he invaded, 

Convulsed upon the hearth he lay, 

With anguish sorely jaded; 

The poisoner laugh'd, Ha! ha I quoth she^ 

His life is ebbing fast, I see. 

As if his frame love wasted. 

Chorus 
As if his frame love wasted. 

Siebd 
How the dull boors exulting shouti 
Poison for the poor rats to strew 
A fine exploit it is no doubt. 

Brander 
They, as it seems, stand well with you! 

Altmayer 
Old bald-pate! with the paunch profound! 
The rat's mishap hath tamed his nature; 
For he his counterpart hath found 
Depicted in the swollen creature. 

Faust and Mephistopheles 
Mephistopheles 

I now must introduce to you 

Before aught else, this jovial crew. 

To show how lightly life may glide away; 

With the folk here each day's a holiday. 

With litde wit and much content. 



FAUST 89 

Each on his own small round intent, 
Like sportive kitten with its tail; 
While no sick-headache they bewail, 
And while their host will credit give, 
Joyous and free from care they live. 

Brander 

They're off a journey, that is clear, — 

From their strange manners; they have scarce been here 

An hour. 

Frosch 

You're right! Leipzig's the place for me! 
Tis quite a little Paris; people there 
Acquire a certain easy finish'd air. 

SieM 
What take you now these travellers to be? 

Frosch 

Let me alone! O'er a full glass you'll see, 
As easily I'll worm their secret out, 
As draw an infant's tooth. I've not a doubt 
That my two gentlemen are nobly born. 
They look dissatisfied and full of scorn. 

Brander 
They are but mountebanks, I'll lay a bet! 

Alt may er 
Most like. 

Frosch 

Mark me, I'll screw it from them yet! 

Mephistopheles {to Faust) 

These fellows would not scent the devil out, 
E'en though he had them by the very throat! 



90 GOETHE 

Faust 
Good-morrow, gentlemen! 

Siebel 

Thanks for your fair salute. 
(Aside, glancing at Mephistopheles.) 
How! goes the fellow on a halting foot? 

Mephistopheles 

Is it permitted here with you to sit? 

Then though good wine is not forthcoming here, 

Good company at least our hearts will cheer. 

Alttnayer 
A dainty gentleman, no doubt of it. 

Frosch 

You're doubtless recently from Rippach? Pray, 
Did you with Master Hans there chance to sup? 

Mephistopheles 

To-day we pass'd him, but we did not stop! 
When last we met him he had much to say 
Touching his cousins, and to each he sent 
Full many a greeting and kind compliment. 

( With an inclination totvards Frosch.) 

Altmayer (aside to Frosch) 
You have it there! 

Siebel 

Faith! he's a knowing one! 

Frosch 
Have patience! I will show him up anon! 



FAUST 91 

Mephistopheles 

We heard erewhile, unless I'm wrong, 
Voices well trained in chorus pealing? 
Certes, most choicely here must song 
Re-echo from this vaulted ceiling! 

Frosch 
That you're an amateur one plainly sees! 

Mephistopheles 
Oh no, though strong the love, I cannot boast much skill. 

Altmayer 
Give us a song! 

Mephistopheles 
As many as you will. 

Siebel 
But be it a brand new one, if you please! 

Mephistopheles 

But recently returned from Spain are we. 
The pleasant land of wine and minstrelsy. 

{Sings) 

A king there was once reigning, 
Who had a goodly flea — 

Frosch 

Hark! did you rightly catch the words? a flea! 
An odd sort of a guest he needs must be. 

Mephistopheles (sings) 

A king there was once reigning. 

Who had a goodly flea, 

Him loved he without feigning, 



92 GOETHE 

As his own son were he! 
His tailor then he summon'd, 
The tailor to him goes: 
Now measure me the youngster 
For jerkin and for hose! 

Brander 

Take proper heed, the tailor strictly charge, 

The nicest measurement to take, 

And as he loves his head, to make 

The hose quite smooth and not too large! 

Mephistopheles 

In satin and in velvet. 
Behold the yonker dressed; 
Bedizen'd o'er with ribbons, 
A cross ufxjn his breast. 
Prime minister they made him, 
He wore a star of state; 
And all his poor relations 
Were courtiers, rich and great. 

The gentlemen and ladies 

At court were sore distressed; 

The queen and all her maidens 

Were bitten by the pest, 

And yet they dared not scratch them. 

Or chase the fleas away. 

If we are bit, we catch them, 

And crack without delay. 

Chorus {shouting) 
If we are bit, &c. 

Frosch 
Bravo! That's the song for me! 



FAUST 93 

Siebel 
Such be the fate of every flea! 

Brander 
With clever finger catch and kill! 

Altmayer 
Hurrah for wine and freedom still! 

Mephistopheles 
Were but your wine a trifle better, friend, 
A glass to freedom I would gladly drain. 

Siebel 
You'd better not repeat those words again! 

Mephistopheles 
I am afraid the landlord to offend; 
Else freely I would treat each worthy guest 
From our own cellar to the very best. 

Siebel 
Out with it then! Your doings I'll defend. 

Frosch 
Give a good glass, and straight we'll praise you, one and 

all. 
Only let not your samples be too small; 
For if my judgment you desire, 
Certes, an ample mouthful I require. 

Altmayer (aside) 
I guess they're from the Rhenish land. 

Mephistopheles 
Fetch me a gimlet here! 



94 GOETHE 

Brander 

Say, what therewith to bore? 
You cannot have the wine<asks at the door? 

Altmayer 
Our landlord's tool-basket behind doth yonder stand. 

Mephistopheles (takfs the gimlet) 

{To Froscii) 
Now only say! what liquor will you take? 

Frosch 
How mean you that? have you of every sort? 

Mephistopheles 
Each may his own selection make. 

Altmayer {to Frosch) 
Ha! Ha! You lick your hps already at the thought. 

Frosch 
Good, if I have my choice, the Rhenish I propose; 
For still the fairest gifts the fatherland bestows. 

Mephistopheles 
{boring a hole in the edge of the table opposite to 

where Frosch is sitting) 
Give me a litde wax — and make some stoppers — quick! 

Altmayer 
Why, this is nothing but a juggler's trick! 

Mephistopheles {to Brander) 
And you? 

Brander 
Champagne's the wine for me; 
Right brisk, and sparkling let it be! 



FAUST 95 

(Mephistopheles bores; one of the party has 
in the meantime prepared the wax-stop- 
pers and stopped the holes.) 

Brander 

What foreign is one always can't decline, 

What's good is often scaiter'd far apart. 

The French your genuine German hates with all his heart, 

Yet has a relish for their wine. 

Siebel 
(as Mephistopheles approaches him) 

I like not acid wine, I must allow, 
Give me a glass of genuine sweet! 



Mephistopheles (bores) 



Tokay 



Shall, if you wi^ it, flow without delay. 

Altmayer 

Come! look me in the face! no fooUng now! 
You are but making fun of us, I trow, 

Mephistopheles 

Ah! ah! that would indeed be making free 
With such distinguished guests. Come, no delay; 
What liquor can I serve you with, I pray? 

Altmayer 

Only be quick, it matters not to me. 

(After the holes are bored and stopped.) 

Mephistopheles (with strange gestures) 

Grapes the vine-stock bears, 

Horns the buck-goat wears! 

Wine is sap, the vine is wood. 

The wooden board yields wine as good. 



g6 GOETHE 

With a deeper glance and true 
The mysteries of nature view! 
Have faith and here's a miracle! 
Your stoppers draw and drink your fill! 

All 

(as they draw the stoppers and the wine chosen by 
each runs into his glass) 

Oh beauteous spring, which flows so far! 

Mephistopheles 

Spill not a single drop, of this beware! 

{They drinJ{ repeatedly.) 

All (sing) 

Happy as cannibals are we, 
Or as five hundred swine. 

Mephistopheles 
They're in their glory, mark their elevation! 

Faust 
Let's hence, nor here our stay prolong. 

Mephistopheles 

Attend, of brutishness ere long 
You'll see a glorious revelation. 

Siebel 

(drinks carelessly; the wine is spilt upon the ground, 
and turns to flame) 

Help! fire! help! Hell is burning! 

Mephistopheles 
(addressing the flames) 

Stop, 
Kind element, be still, I say! 



FAUST 97 

{To the Company.) 
Of purgatorial fire as yet 'tis but a drop. 

Siebel 

What means the knave! For this you'll dearly pay! 
Us, it appears, you do not know. 

Frosch 
Such tricks a second time he'd better show! 

Altmayer 
Methinks 'twere well we pack'd him quietly away. 

Siebel 
What, sir! with us your hocus-pocus play! 

Mephistopheles 
Silence, old wine-cask! 

Siebel 

Howl add insult, too! 
Vile broomstick! 

Brander 

Hold, or blows shall rain on you! 

Altmayer 
(draws a stopper out of the table; fire springs out 

against him) 
I burn! I burn! 

Siebel 

'Tis sorcery, I vow! 
Strike home! The fellow is fair game, I trow! 
(They draw their l{nives and attack^ Mephistopheles.) 



98 GOETHE 

Mephistopheles {with solemn gestures) 
Visionary scenes appear! 
Words delusive cheat the ear! 
Be ye there, and be ye here! 
(They stand amazed and gaze at each other.) 

Altmayer 
Where am I? What a beauteous land! 

Frosch 
Vineyards! unless my sight deceives? 

Siebel 
And clust'ring grapes too, close at hand! 

Brander 
And underneath the spreading leaves. 
What stems there be! What grapes I see! 

{He seizes Siebel by the nose. The others recipro- 
cally do the same, and raise their knives.) 

Mephistopheles {as above) 
Delusion, from their eyes the bandage take! 
Note how the devil loves a jest to break! 

{He disappears with Faust; the fellows draw bacl{ 

from one another.) 

Siebel 
What was it? 

Altmayer 
How? 

Frosch 
Was that your nose? 

Brander {to Siebel) 
And look, my hand doth thine enclose! 



FAUST 99 

Altmayer 

I felt a shock, it went through every limb! 
A chair! I'm fainting! All things swim! 

Frosch 
Say what has happened, what's it all about? 

Siebel 

Where is the fellow? Could I scent him out. 
His body from his soul I'd soon divide! 

Altmayer 
With my own eyes, upon a cask astride, 
Forth through the cellar-door I saw him ride — 
Heavy as lead my feet are growing. 

{Turning to the table.) 
I wonder is the wine still fk>wing! 

Siebel 
Twas all delusion, cheat and lie. 

Frosch 
'Twas wine I drank, most certainly. 

Brander 
But with the grapes how was it, pray? 

Altmayer 
That none may miracles believe, who now will say ? 

WITCHES' KITCHEN 

A large caldron hangs over the fire on a low hearth; various figures 
appear in the vapour rising from it. A Female Monkey sits 
beside the caldron to skjm it, and watch that it does not boil 
over. The Male Monkey with the young ones is seated near, 
warming himself. The walls and ceiling are adorned with the 
strangest articles of witch-furniture. 



100 GOETHE 

Faust, Mephistopheles 

Faust 

This senseless, juggling witchcraft I detest! 

Dost promise that in this foul nest 

Of madness, I shall be restored? 

Must I seek counsel from an ancient dame? 

And can she, by these rites abhorred. 

Take thirty winters from my frame? 

Woe's me, if thou naught better canst suggest I 

Hope has already fled my breast. 

Has neither nature nor a noble mind 

A balsam yet devis'd of any kind? 

Mephistopheles 

My friend, you now speak sensibly. In truth. 
Nature a method giveth to renew thy youth: 
But in another book the lesson's writ; — 
It forms a curious chapter, I admit. 

Faust 
I fain would know it. 

Mephistopheles 

Good! A remedy 
Without physician, gold, or sorcery: 
Away forthwith, and to the fields repair, 
Begin to delve, to cultivate the ground. 
Thy senses and thyself confine 
Within the very narrowest round. 
Support thyself upon tlie simplest fare. 
Live like a very brute the brutes among. 
Neither esteem it robbery 
The acre thou dost reap, thyself to dung; 
This is the best method, credit me. 
Again at eighty to grow hale and young. 



FAUST lOI 

Faust 

I am not used to it, nor can myself degrade 
So far, as in my hand to take the spade. 
This narrow life would suit me not at all. 

Mephistopheles 
Then we the witch must summon after all. 

Faust 
Will none but this old beldame do? 
Canst not thyself the potion brew? 

Mephistopheles 

A pretty play our leisure to beguile! 

A thousand bridges I could build meanwhile. 

Not science only and consummate art, 

Patience must also bear her part. 

A quiet spirit worketh whole years long; 

Time only makes the subtle ferment strong. 

And all things that belong thereto, 

Are wondrous and exceeding rare! 

The devil taught her, it is true; 

But yet the draught the devil can't prepare. 

{Perceiving the beasts.) 
Look yonder, what a dainty pair! 
Here is the maid! the knave is there! 

{To the beasts) 
It seems your dame is not at home? 

The Monkeys 
Gone to carouse. 
Out of the house, 
Thro' the chimney and away! 

Mephistopheles 
How long is it her wont to roam? 



102 GOETHE 

The Monkeys 
While we can warm our paws she'll stay. 

Mephistopheles (to Faust) 
What think you of the charming creatures? 

Faust 
I loathe alike their form and features! 

Mephistopheles 

Nay, such discourse, be it confessed, 

Is just the thing that pleases me the best. 

{To the Monkeys) 

Tell me, ye whelps, accursed crew! 
What stir ye in the broth about? 

Monf^eys 
Coarse beggar's gruel here we stew. 

Mephistopheles 
Of customers you'll have a rout. 

The He-Monkey 
{approaching and fawning on Mephistopheles) 

Quick! quick! throw the dice. 
Make me rich in a trice, 
Oh give me the prize! 
Alas, for myself! 
Had I plenty of pelf, 
I then should be wise. 

Mephistopheles 

How blest the ape would think himself, if he 
Could only put into the lottery! 



FAUST 103 

(/« the meantime the young Monkeys have been playing with a 
large globe, which they roll forwards) 

The He-Monl{ey 

The world behold; 

Unceasingly roll'd, 

It riseth and falleth ever; 

It ringeth like glassi 

How brittle, alas! 

Tis hollow, and resteth never. 

How bright the sphere, 

Still brighter here! 

Now living am I! 

Dear son, beware! 

Nor venture there! 

Thou too must diel 

It is of clay; 

Twill crumble away; 

There fragments lie. 

Mephistopheles 
Of what use is the sieve? 

The He-Mon\ey {ta\ing it down) 

The sieve would show. 
If thou wert a thief or no? 
{He runs to the She-Monkey, and ma\es her loo^ 

through it.) 
Look through the sieve! 
Dost know him the thief, 
And dar'st thou not call him so? 

Mephistopheles (approaching the fire) 
And then this pot? 

The Moni{eys 
The half-witted sot! 



104 GOETHE 

He knows not the pot! 
He knows not the kettlel 

Mephistopheles 

Unmannerly beast! 
Be civil at least! 

The He-Monl(ey 

Take the whisk and sit down in the settle! 

{He ma\es Mephistopheles sit down.) 

Faust 
{who all this time has been standing before a lool{ing-glass, 
now approaching, and now retiring from it) 

What do I see? what form, whose charms transcend 

The loveliness of earth, is mirror'd here! 

O Love, to waft me to her sphere, 

To me the swiftest of thy pinions lend! 

Alas! If I remain not rooted to this place, 

If to approach more near I'm fondly lur'd, 

Her image fades, in veiling mist obscur'dl — 

Model of beauty both in form and face! 

Is't possible? Hath woman charms so rare? 

In this recumbent form, supremely fair, 

The essence must I see of heavenly grace? 

Can aught so exquisite on earth be found? 

Mephistopheles 

The six days' labour of a god, my friend, 

Who doth himself cry bravo, at the end. 

By something clever doubtless should be crown'd. 

For this time gaze your fill, and when you please 

Just such a prize for you I can provide; 

How blest is he to whom kind fate decrees, 

To take her to his home, a lovely bride! 



FAUST 105 

(Faust continues to gaze into the mirror. Mephisto- 
PHELES stretching himself on the settle and playing 
tvith the whisl{, continues to spea}{.) 

Here sit I, like a king upon his throne; 
My sceptre this; — the crown I want alone. 

The Monkeys 

{who have hitherto been making all sorts of strange gestures, bring 

Mephistopheles a croivn, tvith loud cries) 

Oh, be so good, 
With sweat and with blood 
The crown to lime! 
{They handle the crown awkwardly and brea^ it in two pieces, 

with which they s/{ip about.) 
Twas fate's decree! 
We speak and see! 
We hear and rhyme. 

Faust {before the mirror) 
Woe's me! well-nigh distraught I feel! 

Mephistopheles 
{pointing to the beasts) 
And even my own head almost begins to reel. 

The Monkeys 

If good luck attend, 
If fitly things blend, 
Our jargon with thought 
And with reason is fraught! 

Faust {as above) 

A flame is kindled in my breast! 
Let us begone! nor linger here! 



I06 GOETHE 

Mephistopheles 
{in the same position) 

It now at least must be confessed, 
That poets sometimes are sincere. 

{The caldron tvhich the She-Monkey has neglected be- 
gins to boil over; a great flame arises, which streams 
up the chimney. The Witch comes down the chim- 
ney with horrible cries.) 

The Witch 

Ough! ough! ough! ough! 
Accursed brute! accursed sow! 
The caldron dost neglect, for shame! 
Accursed brute to scorch the dame! 

{Perceiving Faust and Mephistopheles) 

Whom have we here? 
Who's sneaking here? 
Whence are ye come? 
With what desire? 
The plague of fire 
Your bones consume! 
{She dips the sl{imming-ladle into the caldron and throws 

flames at Faust, Mephistopheles, and the Monkeys. 

The Monkeys whimper.) 

Mephistopheles 

{twirling the whisky which he holds in his hand, and 
striking among the glasses and pots) 

Dash! Smash! 
There lies the glass! 
There lies the slime! 
"Tis but a jest; 
I but keep time, 
Thou hellish pest. 
To thine own chime! 



FAUST 107 

{While the Witch steps bac\ in rage and astonishment.) 

Dost know me! Skeleton! Vile scarecrow, thou! 
Thy lord and master dost thou know? 
What holds me, that I deal not now 
Thee and thine apes a stunning blow? 
No more respect to my red vest dost pay? 
Does my cock's feather no allegiance claim? 
Have I my visage masked to-day? 
Must I be forced myself to name? 

The Witch 
Master, forgive this rude salute! 
But I perceive no cloven foot. 
And your two ravens, where are they? 

Mephistopheles 
This once I must admit your plea; — 
For truly I must own that we 
Each other have not seen for many a day. 
The culture, too, that shapes the world, at last 
Hath e'en the devil in its sphere embraced; 
The northern phantom from the scene hath pass'd, 
Tail, talons, horns, are nowhere to be traced! 
As for the foot, with which I can't dispense, 
'Twould injiu^e me in company, and hence, 
Like many a youthful cavalier, 
False calves 1 now have worn for many a year. 

The Witch {dancing) 
I am beside myself with joy, 
To see once more the gallant Satan here! 

Meph istopheles 
Woman, no more that name employ! 

The Witch 
But why? what mischief hath it done? 



I08 GOETHE 

Mephistopheles 

To fable-tooks it now doth appertain; 

But people from the change have nothing won. 

Rid of the evil one, the evil ones remain. 

Lord Baron call thou me, so is the matter good; 

Of other cavaliers the mien I wear. 

Dost make no question of my gentle blood; 

See here, this is the scutcheon that I bear! 

{He maizes an unseemly gesture.) 

The Witch 
{laughing immoderately) 

Ha! Ha! Just like yourself! You are, I ween, 
The same mad wag that you have ever been! 

Mephistopheles {to Faust) 

My friend, learn this to understand, I pray! 
To deal with witches this is still the way. 

The Witch 
Now tell me, gentlemen, what you desire? 

Mephistopheles 

Of your known juice a goblet we require. 
But for the very oldest let me ask; 
Double its strength with years doth grow. 

The Witch 

Most willingly! And here I have a flask. 
From which I've sipp'd myself ere now; 
What's more, it doth no longer stink; 
To you a glass I joyfully will give. 



If unprepar'd, however, this man drink. 
He hath not, as you know, an hour to live. 



{Aside.) 



FAUST 109 

Mephistopheles 

He's my good friend, with whom 'twill prosper well; 

I grudge him not the choicest of thy store. 

Now draw thy circle, speak thy spell, 

And straight a bumper for him pour! 

(The Witch, with extraordinary gestures, describes a 
circle, and places strange things within it. The glasses 
meanwhile begin to ring, the caldron to sound, and 
to ma\e music. Lastly, she brings a great bool{; places 
the Monkeys in the circle to serve her as a des\, and 
to hold the torches. She becl{ons Faust to approach.) 

Faust {to Mephistopheles) 

Tell me, to what doth all this tend? 
Where will these frantic gestures end ? 
This loathsome cheat, this senseless stuff 
I've known and hated long enough. 

Mephistopheles 

Mere mummery, a laugh to raise! 
Pray don't be so fastidious! She 
But as a leech, her hocus-pocus plays. 
That well with you her potion may agree. 

{He compels Faust to enter the circle.) 

(The Witch, with great emphasis, begins to declaim 
the boo]{.) 

This must thou ken: 
Of one make ten. 
Pass two, and then 
Make square the three, 
So rich thou'lt be. 
Drop out the four! 
From five and six, 
Thus says the witch, 
Make seven and eight. 



no GOETHE 

So all is straight! 

And nine is one, 

And ten is none, 

This is the witch's one-time-one! 

Faust 
The hag doth as in fever rave. 

Mephistopheles 

To these will follow many a stave. 

I know it well, so rings the book throughout; 

Much time I've lost in puzzling o'er its pages, 

For downright paradox, no doubt, 

A mystery remains alike to fools and sages. 

Ancient the art and modern too, my friend. 

'Tis still the fashion as it used to be. 

Error instead of truth abroad to send 

By means of three and one, and one and three. 

'Tis ever taught and babbled in the schools. 

Who'd take the trouble to dispute with fools? 

When words men hear, in sooth, they usually believe. 

That there must needs therein be something to conceive. 

The Witch {continues) 

The lofty power 

Of wisdom's dower. 

From all the world conceal'd! 

Who thinketh not. 

To him I wot, 

Unsought it is reveal'd. 

Faust 

What nonsense doth the hag propound ? 
My brain it doth well-nigh confound. 
A hundred thousand fools or more, 
Methinks I hear in chorus roar. 



FAUST III 

Mephistopheles 

Incomparable Sibyl cease, I pray! 

Hand us thy liquor without more delay. 

And to the very brim the goblet crown! 

My friend he is, and need not be afraid; 

Besides, he is a man of many a grade, 

Who hath drunk deep already. 

{The Witch, with many ceremonies, pours the liquor 

into a cup; as Faust lifts it to his mouth, a light 

flame arises.) 

Meph i staph eles 

Gulp it down! 
No hesitation! It will prove 
A cordial, and your heart inspire! 
What! with the devil hand and glove, 
And yet shrink back afraid of fire? 
{The WjTCH dissolves the circle, Faust steps out.) 

Mephistopheles 
Now forth at once! thou dar'st not resL 

Witch 
And much, sir, may the liquor profit you! 

Mephistopheles {to the Witch) 

And if to pleasure thee I aught can do. 
Pray on Walpurgis mention thy request. 

Witch 

Here is a song, sung o'er, sometimes you'll see, 
That 'twill a singular effect produce, 

Mephistopheles {to Faust) 

Come, quick, and let thyself be led by me; 
Thou must perspire, in order that the juice 
Thy frame may penetrate through every part. 



112 GOETHE 

Then noble idleness I thee will teach to prize, 
And soon with ecstasy thou'k recognise 
How Cupid stirs and gambols in thy heart. 

Faust 

Let me but gaze one moment in the glass! 
Too lovely was that female form! 



Mephistopheles 



Nay! nay! 



A model which all women shall surpass, 

In flesh and blood ere long thou shait survey. 

{Aside.) 
As works the draught, thou presendy shalt greet 
A Helen in each woman thou dost meet. 



A STREET 
Faust (Margaret passing by) 

Faust 

Fair lady, may I thus make free 
To offer you my arm and company? 

Margaret 

I am no lady, am not fair. 

Can without escort home repair. 

{She disengages herself and exit.) 

Faust 

By heaven! This girl is fair indeed! 
No form like hers can I recall. 
Virtue she hath, and modest heed, 
Is piquant too, and sharp withal. 
Her cheek's soft light, her rosy lips. 
No length of time will e'er eclipse! 
Her downward glance in passing by, 



FAUST 113 

Deep in my heart is stamp'd for aye; 
How curt and sharp her answer too, 
To ecstasy the feeling grew! 

(Mephistopheles enters.) 

Faust 
This girl must win for me! Dost hear? 

Mephistopheles 
Which? 

Faust 
She who but now passed, 

Mephistopheles 

What! She? 
She from confession cometh here, 
From every sin absolved and free; 
I crept near the confessor's chair. 
All innocence her virgin soul, 
For next to nothing went she there; 
O'er such as she I've no control! 

Faust 
She's past fourteen. 

Mephistopheles 

You really talk 
Like any gay Lothario, 
Who every floweret from its stalk 
Would pluck, and deems nor grace, nor truth, 
Secure against his arts, forsooth! 
This ne'er the less won't always do. 

Faust 

Sir Moralizer, prithee, pause; 

Nor plague me with your tiresome laws! 



114 GOETHE 

To cut the matter short, my friend, 
She must this very night be mine, — 
And if to help me you decline. 
Midnight shall see our compact end. 

Mephistopheles 
What may occur just bear in mind I 
A fortnight's space, at least, I need, 
A fit occasion but to find. 

Faust 
With but seven hours I could succeed; 
Nor should I want the devil's wile. 
So young a creature to beguile. 

Mephistopheles 
Like any Frenchman now you speak. 
But do not fret, I pray; why seek 
To hurry to enjoyment straight? 
The pleasure is not half so great, 
As when at first around, above, 
With all the fooleries of love, 
The puppet you can knead and mould 
As in Italian story oft is told. 

Faust 
No such incentives do I need. 

Mephistopheles 
But now, without offense or jest! 
You cannot quickly, I protest. 
In winning this sweet child succeed. 
By storm we cannot take the fort. 
To stratagem we must resort. 

Faust 
Conduct me to her place of rest! 
Some token of the angel bring! 



FAUST 115 

A kerchief from her snowy breast, 
A garter bring me, — any thing! 

Mephistopheles 
That I my anxious zeal may prove, 
Your pangs to sooth and aid your love, 
A single moment will we not delay, 
Will lead you to her room this very day. 

Faust 
And shall I see her? — Have her? 

Mephistopheles 

No! 
She to a neighbour's house will go; 
But in her atmosphere alone. 
The tedious hours meanwhile you may employ. 
In blissful dreams of future joy. 

Faust 
Can we go now? 

Mephistopheles 

Tis yet too soon. 

Faust 
Some present for my love procure! (Exit.) 

Mephistopheles 
Presents so soon! 'tis well! success is sure! 
Full many a goodly place I know, 
And treasures buried long ago; 
I must a bit o'erlook them now. (Exit.) 

EVENING. A SMALL AND NEAT ROOM 

Margaret 
(braiding and binding up her hair) 
I would give something now to know, 



Il6 GOETHE 

Who yonder gentleman could be! 

He had a gallant air, I trow. 

And doubtless was of high degree: 

That written on his brow was seen — 

Nor else would he so bold have been. (Exit.) 

Mephistopheles 
Come in! tread softly! be discreet! 

Faust (after a pause) 
Begone and leave me, I entreat! 

Mephistopheles (looking round) 
Not every maiden is so neat. (Exit.) 

Faust (gazing round) 

Welcome sweet twilight, calm and blest, 

That in this hallow'd precinct reigns! 

Fond yearning love, inspire my breast. 

Feeding on hope's sweet dew thy blissful pains! 

What stillness here environs me! 

Content and order brood around. 

What fulness in this poverty! 

In this small cell what bliss profound! 

(He throws himself on the leather arm-chair beside 

the bed) 
Receive me thou, who hast in thine embrace, 
Welcom'd in joy and grief the ages flown! 
How oft the children of a by-gone race 
Have cluster'd round this patriarchal throne! 
Haply she, also, whom I hold so dear, 
For Christmas gift, with grateful joy jxjssess'd. 
Hath with the full round cheek of childhood, here, 
Her grandsire's wither'd hand devoutly press'd. 
Maiden! I feel thy spirit haunt the place, 
Breathing of order and abounding grace. 
As with a mother's voice it prompteth thee. 



FAUST 117 

The pure white cover o'er the board to spread, 

To strew the crisping sand beneath thy tread. 

Dear hand! so godhke in its ministry! 

The hut becomes a paradise through thee! 

And here — (He raises the bed-curtain.) 

How thrills my pulse with strange delight! 

Here could I linger hours untold; 

Thou, Nature, didst in vision bright. 

The embryo angel here unfold. 

Here lay the child, her bosom warm 

With life; while steeped in slumber's dew, 

To perfect grace, her godlike form, 

With pure and hallow'd weavings grew! 

And thou! ah here what seekest thou? 

How quails mine inmost being now! 

What wouldst thou here? what makes thy heart so sore? 

Unhappy Faust! I know thee now no more. 

Do I a magic atmosphere inhale? 
Erewhile, my passion would not brook delay! 
Now in a pure love-dream I melt away. 
Are we the sport of every passing gale? 

Should she return and enter now. 
How wouldst thou rue thy guilty flame! 
Proud vaunter — thou wouldst hide thy brow, — 
And at her feet sink down with shame. 

Meph i staph eles 
Quick! quick! below I see her there. 

Faust 
Away! I will return no more! 

Mephistopheles 
Here is a casket, with a store 
Of jewels, which I got elsewhere 



Il8 GOETHE 

Just lay it in the press; make haste! 
I swear to you, 'twill turn her brain; 
Therein some trifles I have placed, 
Wherewith another to obtain. 
But child is child, and play is play. 

Faust 
I know not — shall I ? 

Mephistopheles 

Do you ask ? 
Perchance you would retain the treasure? 
If such your wish, why then, I say, 
Henceforth absolve me from my task. 
Nor longer waste your hours of leisure. 
I trust you're not by avarice led! 
I rub my hands, I scratch my head, — 

(//<r places the casl^et in the press and closes the 

lock,:) 
Now quick! Away! 

That soon the sweet young creature may 
The wish and purpose of your heart obey; 
Yet stand you there 

As would you to the lecture-room repair, 
As if before you stood, 
Arrayed in flesh and blood. 
Physics and metaphysics weird and grey! — 
Away! {Exeunt) 

Margaret {with a lamp) 

Here 'tis so close, so sultry now, 

{She opens the window.) 
Yet out of doors 'tis not so warm. 
I feel so strange, I know not how — 
I wish my mother would come home. 
Through me there runs a shuddering — 
I'm but a foolish timid thing! 



FAUST 119 

(While undressing herself she begins to sing.) 
There was a king in Thule, 
True even to the grave; 
To whom his dying mistress 
A golden beaker gave. 

At every feast he drained it, 
Naught was to him so dear, 
And often as he drained it, 
Gush'd from his eyes the tear. 

When death came, unrepining 
His cities o'er he told; 
All to his heir resigning. 
Except his cup of gold. 

With many a knighdy vassal 
At a royal feast sat he, 
In yon proud hall ancestral, 
In his castle o'er the sea. 

Up stood the jovial monarch, 
And quafi'd his last life's glow, 
Then hurled the hallow'd goblet 
Into the flood below. 

He saw it splashing, drinking. 

And plunging in the sea; 

His eyes meanwhile were sinking. 

And never again drank he. 
{She opens the press to put away her clothes, and per- 
ceives the casket.) 
How comes this lovely casket here? The press 
I locked, of that I'm confident. 
'Tis very wonderful I What's in it I can't guess; 
Perhaps 'twas brought by some one in distress. 
And left in pledge for loan my mother lent. 



120 GOETHE 

Here by a ribbon hangs a little key! 
I have a mind to open it and see! 
Heavens! only look! what have we here! 
In all my days ne'er saw I such a sight! 
Jewels! which any noble dame might wear, 
For some high pageant richly dight! 
This chain — how would it look on me! 
These splendid gems, whose may they be? 

{She puts them on and steps before the glass.) 
Were but the ear-rings only mine! 
Thus one has quite another air. 
What boots it to be young and fair? 
It doubtless may be very fine; 
But then, alas, none cares for you, 
And praise sounds half like pity too. 
Gold all doth lure, 
Gold doth secure 
All things. Alas, we poor! 

PROMENADE 

Faust walking thoughtfully up and down. To him Mephistopheles 

Mephistopheles 

By all rejected love! By hellish fire I curse, 

Would I knew aught to make my imprecation worse! 

Faust 

What aileth thee? what chafes thee now so sore? 
A face like that I never saw before! 

Mephistopheles 

I'd yield me to the devil instantly, 
Did it not happen that myself am he! 

Faust 

There must be some disorder in thy wit! 
To rave thus like a madman, is it fit ? 



FAUST 121 

Mephistopheles 
Think! only think! The gems for Gretchen brought, 
Them hath a priest now made his own! — 
A ghmpse of them the mother caught, 
And 'gan with secret fear to groan. 
The woman's scent is keen enough; 
Doth ever in the prayer-book snuff; 
Smells every article to ascertain 
Whether the thing is holy or profane. 
And scented in the jewels rare, 
That there was not much blessing there. 
"My child," she cries, "ill-gotten good 
Ensnares the soul, consumes the blood; 
With them we'll deck our Lady's shrine, 
She'll cheer our souls with bread divine!" 
At this poor Gretchen 'gan to pout; 
'Tis a gift-horse, at least, she thought, 
And sure, he godless cannot be, 
Who brought them here so cleverly. 
Straight for a priest the mother sent. 
Who, when he understood the jest. 
With what he saw was well content. 
"This shows a pious mind!" Quoth he: 
"Self-conquest is true victory. 

The Church hath a good stomach, she, with zest, 
Whole countries hath swallow'd down. 
And never yet a surfeit known. 
The Church alone, be it confessed. 
Daughters, can ill-got wealth digest." 

Faust 
It is a general custom, too. 
Practised alike by king and jew. 

Mephistopheles 
With that, clasp, chain, and ring, he swept 
As they were mushrooms; and the casket, 



122 GOETHE 

Without one word of thanks, he kept, 

As if of nuts it were a basket. 

Promised reward in heaven, then forth he hied- 

And greatly they were edified. 

Faust 
And Gretchen! 

Mephistopheles 

In unquiet mood 
Knows neither what she would or should; 
The trinkets night and day thinks o'er. 
On him who brought them, dwells still more. 

Faust 

The darling's sorrow grieves me, bring 

Another set without delay! 

The first, methinks, was no great thing. 

Mephistopheles 
All's to my gentleman child's play! 

Faust 

Plan all things to achieve my end I 
Engage the attention of her friend! 
No milk-and-water devil be, 
And bring fresh jewels instantly! 



Mephistopheles 
Ay, sir! Most gladly I'll obey. 



(Faust exit.) 



Mephistopheles 

Your doting love-sick fool, with ease. 

Merely his lady-love to please, 

Sun, moon, and stars in sport would pufJ away. (Exit.) 



FAUST 123 

THE NEIGHBOUR'S HOUSE 
Martha {alone) 

God pardon my dear husband, he 
Doth not in truth act well by me! 
Forth in the world abroad to roam, 
And leave me on the straw at home. 
And yet his will I ne'er did thwart, 
God knows, I lov'd him from my heart. 

(She weeps.) 
Perchance he's dead! — oh wretched state! — 
Had I but a certificate! 

(Margaret comes) 

Margaret 
Dame Martha! 

Martha 

Gretchen ? 

Margaret 

Only think! 
My knees beneath me well-nigh sink! 
Within my press I've found to-day, 
Another case, of ebony. 
And things — magnificent they are, 
More costly than the first, by far. 

Martha 

You must not name it to your mother! 
It would to shrift, just like the other. 

Margaret 
Nay look at them! now only see! 

Martha (dresses her up) 
Thou happy creature! 



124 GOETHE 

Margaret 

Woe is me! 
Them in the street I cannot wear, 
Or in the church, or any where. 

Martha 

Come often over here to me, 

The gems put on quite privately; 

And then before the mirror walk an hour or so. 

Thus we shall have our pleasure too. 

Then suitable occasions we must seize, 

As at a feast, to show them by degrees: 

A chain at first, pearl ear-drops then, — your mother 

Won't see them, or we'll coin some tale or other. 

Margaret 

But, who, I wonder, could the caskets bring? 
I fear there's something wrong about the thing! 

(A l(^nocl(.) 
Good heavens! can that my mother be? 

Martha (peering through the blind) 

*Tis a strange gentleman, I see. 
Come in! 

(Mephistopheles enters) 

Mephistopheles 

I've ventur'd to intrude to-day. 
Ladies, excuse the liberty, I pray. 

{He steps bacl{^ respectfully before Margaret.) 
After dame Martha Schwerdtlein I inquire! 

Martha 
'Tis I. Pray what have you to say to me? 



FAUST 125 

Mephistopheles (aside to her) 
I know you now, — and therefore will retire; 
At present you've distinguished company. 
Pardon the freedom, Madam, with your leave, 
I will make free to call again at eve. 

Martha (aloud) 

Why, child, of all strange notions, he 
For some grand lady taketh thee! 

Margaret 

I am, in truth, of humble blood — 
The gentleman is far too good — 
Nor gems nor trinkets are my own. 

Mephistopheles 

Oh 'tis not the mere ornaments alone; 
Her glance and mien far more betray. 
Rejoiced I am that I may stay. 

Martha 
Your business. Sir? I long to know — 

Mephistopheles 
Would I could happier tidings show! 
I trust mine errand you'll not let me rue; 
Your husband's dead, and greeteth you. 

Martha 

Is dead? True heart! Oh misery! 
My husband dead! Oh, I shall die! 

Margaret 
Alas! good Martha! don't despair! 

Mephistopheles 
Now listen to the sad afTair! 



126 GOETHE 

Margaret 

I for this cause should fear to love. 
The loss my certain death would prove. 

Mephistopheles 
Joy still must sorrow, sorrow joy attend. 

Martha 
Proceed, and tell the story of his end! 

Mephistopheles 

At Padua, in St. Anthony's, 
In holy ground his body lies; 
Quiet and cool his place of rest, 
With pious ceremonials blest. 

Martha 
And had you naught besides to bring.' 

Mephistopheles 

Oh yes! one grave and solemn prayer; 

Let them for him three hundred masses sing! 

But in my pockets, I have nothing there. 

Martha 

No trinket! no love-token did he send! 

What every journeyman safe in his pouch will hoard 

There for remembrance fondly stored. 

And rather hungers, rather begs than spend! 

Mephistopheles 

Madam, in truth, it grieves me sore. 
But he his gold not lavishly hath spent. 
His failings too he deeply did repent. 
Ay! and his evil plight bewail'd still more. 



FAUST 127 

Margaret 

Alas! That men should thus be doomed to woe! 
I for his soul will many a requiem pray. 

Mephistopheles 

A husband you deserve this very day; 
A child so worthy to be loved. 

Margaret 

Ah no. 
That time hath not yet come for me. 

Mephistopheles 

If not a spouse, a gallant let it be. 
Among heaven's choicest gifts, I place, 
So sweet a darling to embrace. 

Margaret 
Our land doth no such usage know. 

Mephistopheles 
Usage or not, it happens so. 

Martha 
Go on, I pray! 

Mephistopheles 

I stood by his bedside. 
Something less foul it was than dung; 
'Twas straw half rotten; yet, he as a Christian died. 
And sorely hath remorse his conscience wrung. 
"Wretch that I was," quoth he, with parting breath, 
"So to forsake my business and my wife! 
Ah! the remembrance is my death. 
Could I but have her pardon in this life!" — 



128 GOETHE 

Martha {weeping) 
Dear soul! I've long forgiven him, indeed I 

Mephistopheles 
"Though she, God knows, was more to blame than I." 

Martha 
He lied! What, on the brink of death to lie! 

Mephistopheles 

If I am skili'd the countenance to read, 

He doubtless fabled as he parted hence. — 

"No time had I to gape, or take my ease," he said, 

"First to get children, and then get them bread; 

And bread, too, in the very widest sense; 

Nor could I eat in peace even my proper share." 

Martha < 

What, all my truth, my love forgotten quite? 
My weary drudgery by day and night! 

Mephistopheles 

Not so! He thought of you with tender care. 
Quoth he: "Heaven knows how fervently I prayed, 
For wife and children when from Malta bound; — 
The prayer hath heaven with favour crowned; 
We took a Turkish vessel which conveyed 
Rich store of treasure for the Sultan's court; 
It's own reward our gallant action brought; 
The captur'd prize was shared among the crew 
And of the treasure I received my due." 

Martha 
How? Where? The treasure hath he buried, pray? 



FAUST 129 

Mephistopheles 

Where the four winds have blown it, who can say? 
In Naples as he stroll'd, a stranger there, — 
A comely maid took pity on my friend; 
And gave such tokens of her love and care, 
That he retained them to his blessed end. 

Martha 

Scoundrel! to rob his children of their bread! 
And all this misery, this bitter need. 
Could not his course of recklessness impede! 

Mephistopheles 

Well, he hath paid the forfeit, and is dead. 
Now were I in your place, my counsel hear; 
My weeds I'd wear for one chaste year, 
And for another lover meanwhile would look out. 

Martha 

Alas, I might search far and near, 
Not quickly should I find another like my first! 
There could not be a fonder fool than mine. 
Only he loved too well abroad to roam; 
Loved foreign women too, and foreign wine, 
And loved besides the dice accurs'd. 

Mephistopheles 

All had gone swimmingly, no doubt. 

Had he but given you at home. 

On his side, just as wide a range. 

Upon such terms, to you I swear. 

Myself with you would gladly rings exchange! 

Martha 
The gentleman is surely pleas'd to jest! 



130 GOETHE 

Mephistopheles {aside) 
Now to be ofl in time, were best! 
She'd make the very devil marry her. 

(To Margaret.) 
How fares it with your heart? 

Margaret 

How mean you, Sir? 

Mephistopheles {aside) 
The sweet young innocent! 

(aloud) 
Ladies, farewell I 

Margaret 
Farewell! 

Martha 
But ere you leave us, quickly tell! 
I from a witness fain had heard, 

Where, how, and when my husband died and was interr'd. 
To forms I've always been attached indeed. 
His death I fain would in the journals read. 

Mephistopheles 
Ay, madam, what two witnesses declare 
Is held as valid everywhere; 
A gallant friend I have, not far from here. 
Who will for you before the judge appear. 
I'll bring him straight. 

Martha 

I pray you do! 

Mephistopheles 
And this young lady, we shall find her too? 
A noble youth, far travelled, he 
Shows to the sex all courtesy. 



FAUST 131 

Margaret 
I in his presence needs must blush for shame. 

Mephistopheles 
Not in the presence of a crowned king! 

Martha 

The garden, then, behind my house, we'll name. 
There we'll await you both this evening. 

A STREET 
Faust. Mephistopheles 

Faust 
How is it now? How speeds it? Is't in train? 

Mephistopheles 

Bravo! I find you all aflame! 

Gretchen full soon your own you'll name. 

This eve, at neighbour Martha's, her you'll meet again; 

The woman seems expressly made 

To drive the pimp and gipsy's trade. 

Faust 
Good! 

Mephistopheles 

But from us she something would request. 

Faust 

A favour claims return as this world goes. 

Mephistopheles 

We have on oath but duly to attest, 

That her dead husband's limbs, outstretch'd, repose 

In holy ground at Padua. 



132 GOETHE 

Faust 

Sage indeed! 
So I suppose we straight must journey therel 

Mephistopheles 

Sancta simplicitas! For that no need! 

Without much knowledge we have but to swear. 

Faust 

If you have nothing better to suggest, 
Against your plan I must at once protest. 

Mephistopheles 

Oh, holy man! methinks I have you therel 

In all your life say, have you ne'er 

False witness borne, until this hour? 

Have you of God, the world, and all it doth contain, 

Of man, and that which worketh in his heart and brain, 

Not definitions given, in words of weight and power. 

With front unblushing, and a dauntless breast? 

Yet, if into the depth of things you go. 

Touching these matters, it must be confess'd. 

As much as of Herr Schwerdtlein's death you know! 

Faust 
Thou art and dost remain liar and sophist too. 

Mephistopheles 

Ay, if one did not take a somewhat deeper view! 
To-morrow, in all honour, thou 
Poor Gretchen wilt befool, and vow 
Thy soul's deep love, in lover's fashion. 

Faust 
And from my heart. 



FAUST 133 

Mephistopheles 

All good and fair! 
Then deathless constancy thou'lt swear; 
Speak of one all o'ermastering passion, — 
Will that too issue from the heart? 

Faust 

Forbear! 
When passion sways me, and I seek to frame 
Fit utterance for feeling, deep, intense. 
And for my frenzy finding no fit name. 
Sweep round the ample world with every sense. 
Grasp at the loftiest words to speak my flame, 
And call the glow, wherewith I burn, 
Quenchless, eternal, yea, eterne — 
Is that of sophistry a devilish play? 

Mephistopheles 
Yet am I right! 

Faust 

Mark this, my friend. 
And spare my lungs; who would the right maintain, 
And hath a tongue wherewith his point to gain, 
Will gain it in the end. 
But come, of gossip I am weary quite; 
Because I've no resource, thou'rt in the right. 

GARDEN 

Margaret on Faust's arm. Martha with Mephistopheles 
walking up and down 

Margaret 
I feel it, you but spare my ignorance. 
The gentleman to shame me stoops thus low. 
A traveller from complaisance. 
Still makes the best of things; I know 



134 GOETHE 

Too well, my humble prattle never can 
Have power to entertain so wise a man. 

Faust 

One glance, one word from thee doth charm me more, 
Than the world's wisdom or the sage's lore. 

(^He /{tsses her hand.) 

Margaret 

Nay! trouble not yourself! A hand so coarse, 

So rude as mine, how can you kiss! 

What constant work at home must I not do perforce! 

My mother too exacting is. 

{They pass on.) 

Martha 
Thus, sir, unceasing travel is your lot? 

Mephistopheles 

Traffic and duty urge us! With what pain 
Are we compelled to leave full many a spot. 
Where yet we dare not once remain! 

Martha 

In youth's wild years, with vigour crown'd, 
'Tis not amiss thus through the world to sweep; 
But ah, the evil days come round! 
And to a lonely grave as bachelor to creep, 
A pleasant thing has no one found. 

Mephistopheles 
The prospect fills me with dismay. 

Martha 

Therefore in time, dear sir, reflect, I pray. 

{They pass on.) 



FAUST 135 

Margaret 

Ay, out of sight is out of mindl 
Politeness easy is to you; 
Friends everywhere, and not a few, 
Wiser than I am, you will find. 

Faust 

O dearest, trust me, what doth pass for sense 
Full oft is self<onceit and blindness! 

Margaret 

How? 

Faust 

Simplicity and holy innocence, — 

When will ye learn your hallow'd worth to know! 

Ah, when will meekness and humility. 

Kind and all-bounteous nature's loftiest dower — 

Margaret 

Only one little moment think of me! 

To think of you 1 shall have many an hour. 

Faust 
You are perhaps much alone ? 

Margaret 

Yes, small our household is, I own. 

Yet must I see to it. No maid we keep, 

And I must cook, sew, knit, and sweep, 

Still early on my feet and late; 

My mother is in all things, great and small, 

So accurate! 

Not that for thrift there is such pressing need; 

Than others we might make more show indeed: 

My father left behind a small estate, 

A house and garden near the city-wall. 



136 GOETHE 

But fairly quiet now my days, I own; 
As soldier is my brother gone; 
My little sister's dead; the babe to rear 
Occasion'd me some care and fond annoy; 
But I would go through all again with joy, 
The darling was to me so dear. 

Faust 
An angel, sweet, if it resembled thee! 

Margaret 

I reared it up, and it grew fond of me. 
After my father's death it saw the day; 
We gave my mother up for lost, she lay 
In such a wretched plight, and then at length 
So very slowly she regain'd her strength. 
Weak as she was, 'twas vain for her to try 
Herself to suckle the poor babe, so I 
Reared it on milk and water all alone; 
And thus the child became as 'twere my own; 
Within my arms it stretched itself and grew, 
And smiling, nestled in my bosom too. 

Faust 
Doubtless the purest happiness was thine. 

Margaret 

But many weary hours, in sooth, were also mine. 

At night its little cradle stood 

Close to my bed; so was 1 wide awake 

If it but stirred; 

One while I was obliged to give it food. 

Or to my arms the darling take; 

From bed full oft must rise, whene'er its cry I heard. 

And, dancing it, must pace the chamber to and fro; 

Stand at the wash-tub early; forthwith go 

To market, and then mind the cooking too — 



FAUST 137 

To-morrow like to-day, the whole year through. 

Ah, sir, thus living, it must be confess'd 

One's spirits are not always of the best; 

Yet it a reUsh gives to food and rest. (T^^ P<^^^ on.) 

Martha 

Poor women! we are badly off, I own; 
A bachelor's conversion's hard, indeed! 

Mephistopheles 

Madam, with one like you it rests alone, 
To tutor me a better course to lead. 

Martha 

Speak frankly, sir, none is there you have met? 
Has your heart ne'er attach'd itself as yet? 

Mephistopheles 

One's own fire-side and a good wife are gold 
And pearls of price, so says the proverb old. 

Martha 
I mean, has passion never stirred your breast? 

Mephistopheles 
I've everywhere been well received, I own. 

Martha 
Yet hath your heart no earnest preference known? 

Mephistopheles 
With ladies one should ne'er presume to jest. 

Martha 
Ah! you mistake! 



138 GOETHE 

Mephistopheles 

I'm sorry I'm so blind! 
But this I know — that you are very kind. 

(They pass on.) 

Faust 

Me, little angel, didst thou recognise, 
When in the garden first I came ? 

Margaret 
Did you not see it ? I cast down my eyes. 

Faust 

Thou dost forgive my boldness, dost not blame 

The liberty I took that day, 

When thou from church didst lately wend thy way? 

Margaret 

I was confused. So had it never been; 

No one of me could any evil say. 

Alas, thought I, he doubtless in thy mien. 

Something unmaidenly or bold hath seen? 

It seemed as if it struck him suddenly. 

Here's just a girl with whom one may make free! 

Yet I must own that then I scarcely knew 

What in your favour here began at once to plead; 

Yet I was angry with myself indeed. 

That I more angry could not feel with you. 

Faust 
Sweet love! 

Margaret 

Just wait awhile! 
(^She gathers a star-flower and plucks off the leaves 
one after another.) 









FAUST 




139 








Faust 


A nosegay may 


that be ? 








Margaret 






No! 


It 


is but ; 


1 game. 

Faust 

Howi 

Margaret 


5 










Goj 


, you'll laugh at 


me! 



{She pluct{s off the leaves and murmurs to herself.) 

Faust 
What murmurest thou? 

Margaret {half aloud) 
He loves me — loves me not. 

Faust 
Sweet angel, with thy face of heavenly bliss! 

Margaret {continues) 

He loves me — not — he loves me — not — 

{Piuc/{ing off the last leaf with fond joy.) 
He loves me! 

Faust 

Yes! 
And this flower-language, darling, let it be, 
A heavenly oracle! He loveth thee! 
Know'st thou the meaning of, He loveth thee? 

{He seizes both her hands.) 

Margaret 
I tremble sol 



140 GOETHE 

Faust 

Nay! Do not tremble, love! 
Let this hand-pressure, let this glance reveal 
Feelings, all power of speech above; 
To give oneself up wholly and to feel 
A joy that must eternal prove! 
Eternal ! — Yes, its end would be despair. 
No end! — It cannot end! 

(Margaret presses his hand, extricates herself, and 
runs away. He stands a moment in thought 
and then follows her.) 

Martha (approaching) 
Night's closing. 

Mephistopheles 

Yes, we'll presently away. 

Martha 

I would entreat you longer yet to stay; 

But 'tis a wicked place, just here about; 

It is as if the folk had nothing else to do, 

Nothing to think of too. 

But gaping watch their neighbours, who goes in and out; 

And scandal's busy still, do whatsoe'er one may. 

And our young couple? 

Mephistopheles 

They have flown up there. 
The wanton butterflies! 

Martha 

He seems to take to her. 

Mephistopheles 
And she to him. 'Tis of the world the way! 



FAUST 141 

A SUMMER-HOUSE 

(Margaret runs in, hides behind the door, holds the tip 
of her finger to her lip, and peeps through the crevice.) 

Margaret 
He comes! 

Faust 

Ah, little rogue, so thou 
Think 'st to provoke me! I have caught thee now! 

{He f{isses her.) 

Margaret 

{embracing him, and returning the l^iss) 
Dearest of men! I love thee from my heart! 

(Mephistopheles ^noc^s.) 

Faust (stamping) 
Who's there? 

Mephistopheles 
A friend! 

Faust 
A brute! 
Mephistopheles 

'Tis time to part. 

Martha {comes) 
Ay, it is late, good sir. 

Faust 

Mayn't I attend you, then ? 

Margaret 
Oh no — my mother would — adieu, adieu! 



142 GOETHE 

Faust 

And must I really then take leave of you? 
Farewell! 

Martha 
Good-bye! 

Margaret 

Ere long to meet again! 
(Exeunt Faust and Mephistopheles.) 

Margaret 

Good heavens! how all things far and near 

Must fill his mind, — a man like this! 

Abash 'd before him I appear, 

And say to all things only, yes. 

Poor simple child, I cannot see, 

What 'tis that he can find in me. (Exit.) 

FOREST AND CAVERN 
Faust (alone) 

Spirit sublime! Thou gav'st me, gav'st me all 

For which I prayed! Not vainly hast thou turn'd 

To me thy countenance in flaming fire: 

Gavest me glorious nature for my realm. 

And also power to feel her and enjoy; 

Not merely with a cold and wondering glance, 

Thou dost permit me in her depths profound, 

As in the bosom of a friend to gaze. 

Before me thou dost lead her living tribes, 

And dost in silent grove, in air and stream 

Teach me to know my kindred. And when roars 

The howling storm-blast through the groaning wood, 

Wrenching the giant pine, which in its fall 

Crashing sweeps down its neighix>ur trunks and boughs, 



FAUST 143 

While hollow thunder from the hill resounds; 

Then thou dost lead me to some shelter'd cave, 

Dost there reveal me to myself, and show 

Of my own bosom the mysterious depths. 

And when with soothing beam, the moon's pale orb 

Full in my view climbs up the pathless sky, 

From crag and dewy grove, the silvery forms 

Of by-gone ages hover, and assuage 

The joy austere of contemplative thought. 

Oh, that naught perfect is assign'd to man, 
I feel, alas! With this exalted joy. 
Which lifts me near and nearer to the gods, 
Thou gav'st me this companion, unto whom 
I needs must cling, though cold and insolent, 
He still degrades me to myself, and turns 
Thy glorious gifts to nothing, with a breath. 
He in my bosom with malicious zeal 
For that fair image fans a raging fire; 
From craving to enjoyment thus I reel. 
And in enjoyment languish for desire. 

(Mephistopheles enters.) 

Mephistopheles 

Of this lone life have you not had your fill? 
How for so long can it have charms for you? 
Tis well enough to try it if you will; 
But then away again to something new! 

Faust 
Would you could better occupy your leisure, 
Than in disturbing thus my hours of joy. 

Mephistopheles 

Weill Well! I'll leave you to yourself with pleasure, 
A serious tone you hardly dare employ. 
To part from one so crazy, harsh, and cross. 



144 GOETHE 

Were not in truth a grievous loss. 
The Hve-long day, for you I toil and fret; 
Ne'er from his worship's face a hint I get, 
What pleases him, or what to let alone. 

Faust 

Ay truly! that is just the proper tone! 

He wearies me, and would with thanks be paid! 

Mephistopheles 
Poor Son of Earth, without my aid, 
How would thy weary days have flown? 
Thee of thy foolish whims I've cured, 
Thy vain imaginations banished. 
And but for me, be well assured. 
Thou from this sphere must soon have vanished. 
In rocky hollows and in caverns drear, 
Why like an owl sit moping here? 
Wherefore from dripping stones and moss with ooze em- 
fa ued, 
Dost suck, like any toad, thy food? 
A rare, sweet pastime. Verily! 
The doctor deaveth still to thee. 

Faust 
Dost comprehend what bliss without alloy 
From this wild wand'ring in the desert springs? — 
Couldst thou but guess the new life-power it brings. 
Thou wouldst be fiend enough to envy me my joy. 

Mephistopheles 
What super-earthly ecstasy! at night. 
To lie in darkness on the dewy height. 
Embracing heaven and earth in rapture high. 
The soul dilating to a deity; 
With prescient yearnings pierce the core of earth. 
Feel in your labouring breast the six-days' birth. 
Enjoy, in proud delight what no one knows. 



FAUST 145 

While your love-rapture o'er creation flows, — 
The earthly lost in beatific vision, 
And then the lofty intuition — 

(With a gesture.) 
I need not tell you how — to close! 

Faust 
Fie on you! 

Mephistopheles 

This displeases you ? "For shame!" 
You are forsooth entitled to exclaim; 
We to chaste ears it seems must not pronounce 
What, nathless, the chaste heart cannot renounce. 
Well, to be brief, the joy as fit occasions rise, 
I grudge you not, of specious lies. 
But long this mood thou'lt not retain. 
Already thou'rt again outworn. 
And should this last, thou wilt be torn 
By frenzy or remorse and pain. 
Enough of this! Thy true love dwells apart. 
And all to her seems flat and tame; 
Alone thine image fills her heart. 
She loves thee with an all-devouring flame. 
First came thy passion with o'erpowering rush, 
Like mountain torrent, swollen by the melted snow; 
Full in her heart didst pour the sudden gush, 
Now has thy brooklet ceased to flow. 
Instead of sitting throned midst forests wild, 
It would become so great a lord 
To comfort the enamour'd child. 
And the young monkey for her Jove reward. 
To her the hours seem miserably long; 
She from the window sees the clouds float by 
As o'er the lofty city-walls they fly, 
"If I a birdie were!" so runs her song. 
Half through the night and all day long. 



146 GOETHE 

Cheerful sometimes, more oft at heart full sore; 
Fairly outwept seem now her tears, 
Anon she tranquil is, or so appears, 
And love-sick evermore. 

Faust 
Snake! Serpent vile! 

Mephistopheles {aside) 
Good! If I catch thee with my guile! 

Faust 

Vile reprobate! go get thee hence; 
Forbear the lovely girl to name! 
Nor in my half-distracted sense, 
Kindle anew the smouldering flame! 

Mephistopheles 

What wouldest thou! She thinks you've taken flight; 
It seems, she's partly in the right. 

Faust 

I'm near her still — and should I distant rove. 
Her I can ne'er forget, ne'er lose her love; 
And all things touch'd by those sweet lips of hers, 
Even the very Host, my envy stirs. 

Mephistopheles 

Tis well! I oft have envied you indeed. 
The twin-pair that among the roses feed. 

Faust 
Pander, avaunt! 

Mephistopheles 

Go to! I laugh, the while you rail. 
The power which fashion'd youth and maid. 
Well understood the noble trade; 



FAUST 147 

So neither shall occasion fail. 
But hence! — A mighty grief I trow! 
Unto thy lov'd one's chamber thou 
And not to death shouldst go. 

Faust 

What is to me heaven's joy within her arms? 

What though my life her bosom warms! — 

Do I not ever feel her woe? 

The outcast am I not, unhoused, unblest. 

Inhuman monster, without aim or rest, 

Who, like the greedy surge, from rock to rock, 

Sweeps down the dread abyss with desf)erate shock? 

While she, within her lowly cot, which graced 

The Alpine slope, beside the waters wild, 

Her homely cares in that small world embraced, 

Secluded lived, a simple, artless child. 

Was't not enough, in thy deUrious whirl 

To blast the steadfast rocks; 

Her, and her peace as well. 

Must I, God-hated one, to ruin hurl! 

Dost claim this holocaust, remorseless Hell! 

Fiend, help me to cut short the hours of dread! 

Let what must happen, happen speedily! 

Her direful doom fall crushing on my head, 

And into ruin let her plunge with me! 

Mephistophdei 

Why how again it seethes and glows! 
Away, thou fool! Her torment ease! 
When such a head no issue sees, 
It pictures straight the final close. 
Long life to him who boldly dares! 
A devil's pluck thou'rt wont to show; 
As for a devil who despairs, 
Nothing I find so mawkish here below. 



148 GOETHE 

MARGARET'S ROOM 
Margaret {alone at her spinning wheel) 

My peace is gone, 
My heart is sore, 

I find it never. 
And nevermore I 

Where him I have not. 
Is the grave; and all 

The world to me 
Is turned to gall. 

My wilder'd brain 
Is overwrought; 

My feeble senses 
Are distraught. 

My peace is gone, 
My heart is sore, 

I find it never, 
And nevermore! 

For him from the window 
I gaze, at home; 

For him and him only 
Abroad I roam. 

His lofty step, 
His bearing high, 

The smile of his lip, 
The power of his eye, 

His witching words, 
Their tones of bliss, 

His hand's fond pressure, 
And ah — his kiss! 



FAUST 149 

My peace is gone, 

My heart is sore, 
I find it never, 

And nevermore. 

My bosom aches 

To feel him near; 
Ah, could I clasp 

And fold him here! 

Kiss him and kiss him 

Again would I, 
And on his kisses 

I fain would die. 

MARTHA'S GARDEN 

Margaret and Faust 

Margaret 
Promise me, Henry! 

Faust 

What I can! 

Margaret 

How thy religion fares, I fain would hear. 
Thou art a good kind-hearted man, 
Only that way not well-disposed, I fear. 

Faust 

Forbear, my child! Thou feelest thee I love; 
My heart, my blood I'd give, my love to prove. 
And none would of their faith or church bereave. 

Margaret 
That's not enough, we must ourselves believe! 



150 GOETHE 

Faust 
Must we? 

Margaret 

Ah, could I but thy soul inspire! 
Thou honourest not the sacraments, alas! 

Faust 
I honour them. 

Margaret 

But yet without desire; 
'Tis long since thou hast been either to shrift or mass. 
Dost thou believe in God? 

Faust 

My darling, who dares say, 
Yes, I in God believe? 
Question or priest or sage, and they 
Seem, in the answer you receive, 
To mock the questioner. 

Margaret 

Then thou dost not believe? 

Faust 

Sweet one! my meaning do not misconceive! 

Him who dare name? 

And who proclaim, 

Him I believe? 

Who that can feel, 

His heart can steel. 

To say: I believe him not? 

The All-embracer, 

All-sustainer, 

Holds and sustains he not 



FAUST 151 

Thee, me, himself? 

Lifts not the Heaven its dome above? 

Doth not the firm-set earth beneath us lie? 

And beaming tenderly with looks of love, 

Climb not the everlasting stars on high? 

Do we not gaze into each other's eyes? 

Nature's impenetrable agencies, 

Are they not thronging on thy heart and brain, 

Viewless, or visible to mortal ken, 

Around thee weaving their mysterious chain? 

Fill thence thy heart, how large soe'er it be; 

And in the feeling when thou utterly art blest. 

Then call it, what thou wilt, — 

Call it Bliss! Heart! Love! God! 

I have no name for it! 

'Tis feeling all; 

Name is but sound and smoke 

Shrouding the glow of heaven. 

Margaret 
All this is doubdess good and fair; 
Almost the same the parson says, 
Only in slightly different phrase. 

Faust 
Beneath Heaven's sunshine, everywhere 
This is the utterance of the human heart; 
Each in his language doth the like impart; 
Then why not I in mine? 

Margaret 

What thus I hear 
Sounds plausible, yet I'm not reconciled; 
There's something wrong about it; much I fear 
That thou art not a Christian. 

Faust 

My sweet child! 



152 GOETHE 

Margaret 
Alas! it long hath sorely troubled me. 
To see thee in such odious company. 

Faust 
How so? 

Margaret 

The man who comes with thee, I hate. 
Yea, in my spirit's inmost depths abhor; 
As his loath'd visage, in my life before, 
Naught to my heart e'er gave a pang so great. 

Faust 
Him fear not, my sweet love! 

Margaret 

His presence chills my blood. 
Towards all beside I have a kindly mood; 
Yet, though I yearn to gaze on thee, I feel 
At sight of him strange horror o'er me steal; 
That he's a villain my conviction's strong. 
May Heaven forgive me, if I do him wrong! 

Faust 
Yet such strange fellows in the world must be! 

Margaret 
I would not live with such an one as he. 
If for a moment he but enter here, 
He looks around him with a mocking sneer, 
And malice ill-conceal 'd; 

That he with naught on earth can sympathize is clear 
Upon his brow 'tis legibly revealed, 
That to his heart no living soul is dear. 
So blest I feel, within thine arms, 
So warm and happy, — free from all alarms; 
And still my heart doth close when he comes near. 



FAUST 153 

Faust 
Foreboding angel! check thy fear! 

Margaret 

It so o'ermasters me, that when, 

Or wheresoe'er, his step I hear, 

I almost think, no more I love thee then. 

Besides, when he is near, I ne'er could pray. 

This eats into my heart; with thee 

The same, my Henry, it must be. 

Faust 
This is antipathy I 

Margaret 
I must away. 

Faust 

For one brief hour then may I never rest, 
And heart to heart, and soul to soul be pressed? 

Margaret 
Ah, if I slept alone! To-night 
The bolt I fain would leave undrawn for thee; 
But then my mother's sleep is light, 
Were we surprised by her, ah me! 
Upon the spot I should be dead. 

Faust 

Dear angel! there's no cause for dread. 
Here is a little phial, — if she take 
Mixed in her drink three drops, 'twill steep 
Her nature in a deep and soothing sleep. 

Margaret 
What do I not for thy dear sake! 
To her it will not harmful prove? 



{Exit.) 



154 GOETHE 

Faust 
Should I advise it else, sweet love? 

Margaret 
I know not, dearest, when thy face I see, 
What doth my spirit to thy will constrain; 
Already I have done so much for thee, 
That scarcely more to do doth now remain. 

Mephistopheles (enters) 

Mephistopheles 
The monkey! Is she gone? 

Faust 

Again hast played the spy? 

Mephistopheles 
Of all that pass'd I'm well apprized, 
I heard the doctor catechised, 
And trust he'll profit much thereby! 
Fain would the girls inquire indeed 
Touching their lover's faith and creed. 
And whether pious in the good old way; 
They think, if pliant there, us too he will obey. 

Faust 
Thou monster, does not see that this 
Pure soul, possessed by ardent love, 
Full of the living faith, 
To her of bliss 

The only pledge, must holy anguish prove. 
Holding the man she loves, fore-doomed to endless death! 

Mephistopheles 
Most sensual, supersensualist ? The while 
A damsel leads thee by the nose! 



FAUST 155 

Faust 
Of filth and fire abortion vile! 

Mephistopheles 
In physiognomy strange skill she shows; 
She in my presence feels she knows not how; 
My mask it seems a hidden sense reveals; 
That I'm a genius she must needs allow, 
That I'm the very devil perhaps she feels. 
So then to-night — 

Faust 

What's that to you? 

Mephistopheles 
I've my amusement in it too! 

AT THE WELL 

Margaret and Bessy, with pitchers 

Bessy 
Of Barbara hast nothing heard? 

Margaret 
I rarely go from home, — no, not a word. 

Bessy 
'Tis true: Sybilla told me so to-day! 
That comes of being proud, methinks; 
She played the fool at last. 

Margaret 

How so ? 

Bessy 

They say 
That two she feedeth when she eats and drinks. 



156 GOETHE 

Margaret 
Alas! 

Bessy 

She's rightly served, in sooth, 
How long she hung upon the youth! 
What promenades, what jaunts there were, 
To dancing booth and village fair! 
The first she everywhere must shine, 
He always treating her to pastry and to wine 
Of her good looks she was so vain, 
So shameless too, that to retain 
His presents, she did not disdain; 
Sweet words and kisses came anon — 
And then the virgin flower was gone. 

Margaret 
Poor thing! 

Bessy 

Forsooth dost pity her? 
At night, when at our wheels we sat, 
Abroad our mothers ne'er would let us stir. 
Then with her lover she must chat. 
Or on the bench or in the dusky walk. 
Thinking the hours too brief for their sweet talk; 
Her proud head she will have to bow, 
And in white sheet do penance now I 

Margaret 
But he will surely marry her? 

Bessy 

Not he! 
He won't be such a fool! a gallant lad 
Like him, can roam o'er land and sea, 
Besides, he's off. 



FAUST 157 

Margaret 
That is not fair! 

Bessy 

If she should get him, 'twere almost as bad! 

Her myrtle wreath the boys would tear; 

And then we girls would plague her too, 

For we chopp'd straw before her door would strew! 

(Exit.) 
Margaret {watting towards home) 

How stoutly once I could inveigh, 

If a poor maiden went astray; 

Not words enough my tongue could find, 

'Gainst others' sin to speak my mind! 

Black as it seemed, I blacken 'd it still more, 

And strove to make it blacker than before. 

And did myself securely bless — 

Now my own trespass doth appear! 

Yet ah! — what urg'd me to transgress, 

God knows, it was so sweet, so dear! 

ZWINGER 

Enclosure between the City-wall and the Gate. 

{In the niche of the wall a devotional image of the Mater 
dolorosa, with flower-pots before it.) 

Margaret (putting fresh flowers in the pots) 

Ah, rich in sorrow, thou, 

Stoop thy maternal brow. 

And mark with pitying eye my misery! 

The sword in thy pierced heart. 

Thou dost with bitter smart. 

Gaze upwards on thy Son's death agony. 

To the dear God on high. 



158 GOETHE 

Ascends thy piteous sigh, 
Pleading for his and thy sore misery. 
Ah, who can know 
The torturing woe, 
. The pangs that rack me to the bone ? 
How my poor heart, without reUef, 
Trembles and throbs, its yearning grief 
Thou knowest, thou alone! 
Ah, wheresoe'er I go, 
With woe, with woe, with woe, 
My anguish 'd breast is aching! 
When all alone I creep, 
I weep, I weep, I weep, 
Alas! my heart is breaking! 
The flower-pots at my window 
Were wet with tears of mine. 
The while I pluck'd these blossoms, 
At dawn to deck thy shrine! 
When early in my chamber 
Shone bright the rising morn, 
I sat there on my pallet, 
My heart with anguish torn. 
Help! from disgrace and death deliver me! 
Ah! rich in sorrow, thou. 
Stoop thy maternal brow, 
And mark with pitying eye my misery! 

NIGHT. STREET BEFORE MARGARET'S DOOR 
Valentine (a soldier, Margaret's brother) 

When seated 'mong the jovial crowd, 
Where merry comrades boasting loud 
Each named with pride his favourite lass, 
And in her honour drain'd his glass; 
Upon my elbows I would lean. 
With easy quiet view the scene. 
Nor give my tongue the rein until 



FAUST 159 

Each swaggering blade had talked his fill. 
Then smiling I my beard would stroke, 
The while, with brimming glass, I spoke; 
"Each to his taste! — but to my mind. 
Where in the country will you find, 
A maid, as my dear Gretchen fair, 
Who with my sister can compare?" 
Cling! Clang! so rang the jovial sound! 
Shouts of assent went circling round; 
Pride of her sex is she! — cried some; 
Then were the noisy boasters dumb. 

And now! — I could tear out my hair, 
Or dash my brains out in despair! — 
Me every scurvy knave may twit. 
With stinging jest and taunting sneer! 
Like skulking debtor I must sit, 
And sweat each casual word to hear! 
And though I smash'd them one and all, — 
Yet them I could not liars call. 

Who comes this way? who's sneaking here? 
If I mistake not, two draw near. 
If he be one, have at him ; — well I wot 
Alive he shall not leave this spot! 

Faust. Mephistopheles 
Faust 
How from yon sacristy, athwart the night. 
Its beams the ever-burning tajjer throws. 
While ever waning, fades the glimmering light, 
As gathering darkness doth around it close! 
So night-like gloom doth in my bosom reign. 

Mephistopheles 
I'm like a tom<at in a thievish vein, 
That up fire-ladders tall and steep, 



l60 GOETHE 

And round the walls doth slyly creep; 
Virtuous withal, I feel, with, I confess, 
A touch of thievish joy and wantonness. 
Thus through my limbs already burns 
The glorious Walpurgis night! 
After to-morrow it returns, 
Then why one wakes, one knows aright! 

Faust 

Meanwhile, the treasure I see glimmering there, 
Will it ascend into the open air? 

Mephistopheles 

Ere long thou wilt proceed with pleasure, 
To raise the casket with its treasure; 
I took a peep, therein are stored, 
Of lion-dollars a rich hoard. 

Faust 

And not a trinket? not a ring? 
Wherewith my lovely girl to deck? 

Mephistopheles 

I saw among them some such thing, 
A string of pearls to grace her neck. 

Faust 

*Tis well! I'm always loath to go. 
Without some gift my love to show. 

Mephistopheles 

Some pleasures gratis to enjoy. 

Should surely cause you no annoy. 

While bright with stars the heavens appear, 

I'll sing a masterpiece of art: 

A moral song shall charm her ear, 

More surely to beguile her heart. 



FAUST l6l 

{Sings to the guitar.) 
Kathrina say. 
Why lingering stay 
At dawn of day 
Before your lover's door? 
Maiden, beware, 
Nor enter there, 
Lest forth you fare, 
A maiden never more. 

Maiden take heed! 

Reck well my rede! 

Is't done, the deed? 

Good night, you poor, poor thing! 

The spoiler's lies. 

His arts despise. 

Nor yield your prize, 

Without the marriage ring! 

Valentine {steps forward) 

Whom are you luring here? I'll give it you! 
Accursed rat<atchers, your strains I'll end! 
First, to the devil the guitar I'll send! 
Then to the devil with the singer too! 

Mephistopheles 
The poor guitar! 'tis done for now. 

Valentine 
Your skull shall follow next, I trow! 

Mephistopheles {to Faust) 

Doctor, stand fast! your strength collect! 
Be prompt, and do as I direct. 
Out with your whisk, keep close, I pray, 
I'll parry! do you thrust away! 



l62 GOETHE 

Valentine 
Then parry that! 

Mephistopheles 
Why not? 

Valentine 

That tool 

Mephistopheles 
Valentine 



With ease! 



The devil fights for youf 
Why how is this? my hand's already lamed! 

Mephistopheles (to Faust) 
Thrust home! 

Valentine {jdls) 
Alas! 

Mephistopheles 

There! Now the lubber's tamed! 
But quick, away! We must at once take wing; 
A cry of murder strikes upon the ear; 
With the police I know my course to steer, 
But with the blood-ban 'tis another thing. 

Martha {at the window) 
Without! without! 

Margaret (at the window) 
Quick, bring a light! 

Martha (as above) 
They rail and scuffle, scream and fight! 



FAUST 163 

People 
One lieth here already dead! 

Martha {coming out) 
Where are the murderers? are they fled? 

Margaret {coming out) 
Who lieth here? 

People 
Thy mother's soa 

Margaret 
Almighty God! I am undone! 

Valentine 

I'm dying — 'tis a soon-told tale, 

And sooner done the deed. 

Why, women, do ye howl and wail? 

To my last words give heed! {All gather round him.) 

My Gretchen, see! still young art thou. 

Art not discreet enough, I trow, 

Thou dost thy matters ill; 

Let this in confidence be said: 

Since thou the path of shame dost tread. 

Tread it with right good will! 

Margaret 
My brother! God! what can this mean? 

Valentine 



Nor dare God's holy name profane! 
What's done, alas, is done and past! 
Matters will take their course at last; 
By stealth thou dost begin with one. 



Abstain, 



164 GOETHE 

Others will follow him anon; 

And when a dozen thee have known, 

Thou'lt common be to all the town. 

When infamy is newly born, 

In secret she is brought to light. 

And the mysterious veil of night 

O'er head and ears is drawn; 

The loathsome birth men fain would slay; 

But soon, full grown, she waxes bold. 

And though not fairer to behold, 

With brazen front insults the day: 

The more abhorrent to the sight. 

The more she courts the day's pure light. 

The time already I discern. 
When thee all honest folk will spurn, 
And shun thy hated form to meet. 
As when a corpse infects the street. 
Thy heart will sink in blank despair. 
When they shall look thee in the face! 
A golden chain no more thou'lt wear! 
Nor near the altar take in church thy place! 
In fair lace collar simply dight 
Thou'lt dance no more with spirits light! 
In darksome corners thou wilt bide, 
Where beggars vile and cripples hide. 
And e'en though God thy crime forgive. 
On earth, a thing .iccursed, thou'lt live! 

Martha 
Your parting soul to God commend! 
Your dying breath in slander will you spend? 

Valentine 
Could I but reach thy wither'd frame. 
Thou wretched beldame, void of shame! 
Full measure I might hope to win 
Of pardon then for every sin. 



FAUST 165 

Margaret 
Brother! what agonizing pain! 

Valentine 

I tell thee, from vain tears abstain! 

'Twas thy dishonour pierced my heart, 

Thy fall the fatal death-stab gave. 

Through the death-sleep I now depart 

To God, a soldier true and brave. (dies.) 

CATHEDRAL 

Service, Organ, and Anthem 

Margaret amongst a number of people 

Evil-Spirit behind Margaret 

Evil-Spirit 

How different, Gretchen, was it once with thee, 

When thou, still full of innocence, 

Here to the altar camest. 

And from the small and well<onn'd book 

Didst lisp thy prayer, 

Half childish sport. 

Half God in thy young heart! 

Gretchen! 

What thoughts are thine? 

What deed of shame 

Lurks in thy sinful heart? 

Is thy prayer utter'd for thy mother's soul. 

Who into long, long torment slept through thee? 

Whose blood is on thy threshold? 

— And stirs there not already 'neath thy heart 

Another quick'ning pulse, that even now 

Tortures itself and thee 

With its foreboding presence? 



l66 GOETHE 

Margaret 



Woe! Woel 

Oh could I free me from the thoughts 
That hither, thither, crowd upon my brain. 
Against my will! 

Chorus 
Dies iree, dies ilia, 
Solvet seeclum in favilla. 

{The organ sounds.) 

Evil-Spirit 
Grim horror seizes thee! 
The trumpet sounds! 
The graves are shaken! 
And thy heart 
From ashy rest 
For torturing flames 
Anew created. 
Trembles into life! 

Margaret 
Would I were hence! 
It is as if the organ 
Choked my breath. 
As if the choir 
Melted my inmost heart! 

Chorus 
Judex ergo cum sedebit, 
Quidquid latet adparebit, 
Nil inultum remanebit. 

Margaret 
I feel oppressed! 
The pillars of the wall 
Imprison me! 



FAUST 167 

The vaulted roof 

Weighs down upon me! — air! 

Evil-Spirit 
Wouldst hide thee? sin and shame 
Remain not hidden! 
Air! light! 
Woe's thee! 

Chorus 
Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? 
Quern patronum rogaturusl 
Cum fix Justus sit securus. 

Evil-Spirit 

The glorified their faces turn 
Away from thee! 
Shudder the pure to reach 
Their hands to thee! 
Woe! 

Chorus 
Quid sum miser tunc dicturus — 

Margaret 

Neighbour! your smelling botde! 

{She stvoons aivay.) 

WALPURGIS-NIGHT 

THE HARTZ MOUNTAINS. DISTRICT OF SCHIERKE AND ELEND 

Faust and Mephistopheles 
Mephistopheles 

A broomstick dost thou not at least desire? 
The roughest he-goat fain would I bestride, 
By this road from our goal we're still far wide. 



1 68 GOETHE 



Faust 



While fresh upon my legs, so long I naught require. 

Except this knotty staff. Beside, 

What boots it to abridge a pleasant way? 

Along the labyrinth of these vales to creep. 

Then scale these rocks, whence, in eternal spray, 

Adown the cliffs the silvery fountains leap: 

Such is the joy that seasons paths like these! 

Spring weaves already in the birchen trees; 

E'en the late pine-grove feels her quickening powers; 

Should she not work within these limbs of ours? 

Mephistopheles 

Naught of this genial influence do I know! 
Within me all is wintry. Frost and snow 
I should prefer my dismal path to bound. 
How sadly, yonder, with belated glow 
Rises the ruddy moon's imperfect round, 
Shedding so faint a light, at every tread 
One's sure to stumble 'gainst a rock or tree! 
An Ignis Fatuus I must call instead. 
Yonder one burning merrily, I see. 
Holla! my friend! may I request your light? 
Why should you flare away so uselessly? 
Be kind enough to show us up the height! 

Ignis Fatuus 

Through reverence, I hope I may subdue 
The lightness of my nature; true. 
Our course is but a zigzag one. 

Mephistopheles 

Ho! ho! 
So men, forsooth, he thinks to imitate! 
Now, in the devil's name, for once go straight! 
Or out at once your flickering life I'll blow. 



FAUST 169 

Ignis Fatuus 

That you are master here is obvious quite; 

To do your will, I'll cordially essay; 

Only reflect! The hill is magic-mad to-night; 

And if to show the path you choose a meteor's light, 

You must not wonder should we go astray. 

Faust, Mephistopheles, Ignis Fatuus 
{in alternate song) 

Through the dream and magic-sphere^ 
As it seems, we now are speeding; 
Honour win, us rightly leading, 
That betimes we may appear 
In yon wide and desert region! 

Trees on trees, a stalwart legion, 
Swiftly past us are retreating, 
And the cliffs with lowly greeting; 
Rocks long-snouted, row on row. 
How they snort, and how they blow! 

Through the stones and heather springing, 
Brook and brooklet haste below; 
Hark the rustling! Hark the singing! 
Hearken to love's plaintive lays; 
Voices of those heavenly days — 
What we hope, and what we love! 
Like a tale of olden time. 
Echo's voice prolongs the chime. 

To-whit! To-whoo! It sounds more near; 

Plover, owl and jay appear. 

All awake, around, above? 

Paunchy salamanders too 

Peer, long-limbed, the bushes through! 

And, like snakes, the roots of trees 



170 GOETHE 

Coil themselves from rock and sand, 

Stretching many a wondrous band, 

Us to frighten, us to seize; 

From rude knots with life embued, 

Polyp-fangs abroad they spread, 

To snare the wanderer! 'Neath our tread, 

Mice, in myriads, thousand-hued. 

Through the heath and through the moss! 

And the fire-flies' glittering throng, 

Wildering escort, whirls along. 

Here and there, our path across. 

Tell me, stand we motionless, 

Or still forward do we press? 

All things round us whirl and fly; 

Rocks and trees make strange grimaces, 

Dazzling meteors change their places, 

How they puff and multiply! 

Mephistopheles 

Now grasp my doublet — we at last 
A central peak have reached, which shows. 
If round a wondering glance we cast, 
How in the mountain Mammon glows. 

Faust 

How through the chasms strangely gleams, 
A lurid light, like dawn's red glow. 
Pervading with its quivering beams. 
The gorges of the gulf below! 
Here vapours rise, there clouds float by, 
Here through the mist the light doth shine; 
Now, like a fount, it bursts on high, 
Meanders now, a slender line; 
Far reaching, with a hundred veins, 
Here through the valley see it glide; 
Here, where its force the gorge restrains. 
At once it scatters, far and wide; 



FAUST 171 

Anear, like showers of golden sand 
Strewn broadcast, sputter sparks of light: 
And mark yon rocky walls that stand 
Ablaze, in all their towering height! 

Mephistopheles 

Doth not Sir Mammon for this fete 

Grandly illume his palace! Thou 

Art lucky to have seen it; now. 

The boisterous guests, I feel, are coming straight. 

Faust 

How through the air the storm doth whirl! 
Upon my neck it strikes with sudden shock. 

Mephistopheles 

Cling to these ancient ribs of granite rock, 

Else to yon depths profound it you will hurl. 

A murky vapour thickens night. 

Hark! Through the woods the tempests roar! 

The owlets flit in wild affright. 

Hark! Splinter 'd are the columns that upbore 

The leafy palace, green for aye: 

The shivered branches whirr and sigh, 

Yawn the huge trunks with mighty groan. 

The roots upriven, creak and moan! 

In fearful and entangled fall, 

One crashing ruin whelms them all. 

While through the desolate abyss. 

Sweeping the wreck-strewn precipice, 

The raging storm-blasts howl and hiss! 

Aloft strange voices dost thou hear? 

Distant now and now more near? 

Hark! the mountain ridge along, 

Streameth a raving magic-song! 



172 GOETHE 

Witches {in chorus) 

Now to the Brocken the witches hie, 

The stubble is yellow, the corn is green; 

Thither the gathering legions fly, 

And sitting aloft is Sir Urian seen: 

O'er stick and o'er stone they go whirling along, 

Witches and he-goats, a modey throng. 

Voices 
Alone old Baubo's coming now; 
She rides upon a farrow sow. 

Chorus 
Honour to her, to whom honour is due! 
Forward, Dame Baubo! Honour to you! 
A goodly sow and mother thereon, 
The whole witch chorus follows anon. 

Voice 
Which way didst come? 

Voice 
O'er Ilsenstein! 
There I peep'd in an owlet's nest. 
With her broad eye she gazed in mine! 

Voice 
Drive to the devil, thou hellish pest! 
Why ride so hard? 

Voice 
She has graz'd my side. 
Look at the wounds, how deep and how wide! 

Witches (in chorus) 
The way is broad, the way is long; 
What mad pursuit! What tumult wild! 



FAUST 173 

Scratches the besom and sticks the prong; 
Crush 'd is the mother, and stifled the child. 

Wizards (half chorus) 

Like house-encumber'd snail we creep; 
While far ahead the women keep, 
For when to the devil's house we speed, 
By a thousand steps they take the lead. 

The Other Half 

Not so, precisely do we view it;^ 
They with a thousand steps may do it; 
But let them hasten as they can. 
With one long bound 'tis clear'd by man. 

Voices (above) 
Come with us, come with us from Felsensee. 

Voices (from below) 

Aloft to you we would mount with glee! 
We wash, and free from all stain are we, 
Yet barren evermore must be! 

Both Choruses 

The wind is hushed, the stars grow pale, 
The pensive moon her light doth veil; 
And whirling on, the magic choir 
Sputters forth sparks of drizzling fire. 

Voice (from below) 
Stay! stay! 

Voice (from above) 

What voice of woe 
Calls from the cavern'd depths below? 



174 GOETHE 

Voice {from below) 
Take me with you! Oh take me tool 
Three centuries I climb in vain, 
And yet can ne'er the summit gain! 
To be with my kindred I am fain. 

Both Choruses 

Broom and pitch-fork, goat and prong, 
Mounted on these we whirl along; 
Who vainly strives to climb to-night, 
Is evermore a luckless wight! 

Demi-Witch (below) 

I hobble after, many a day; 
Already the others are far away! 
No rest at home can I obtain — 
Here too my efforts are in vain I 

Chorus of Witches 

Salve gives the witches strength to rise; 
A rag for a sail does well enough; 
A goodly ship is every trough; 
To-night who flies not, never flies. 

Both Choruses 

And when the topmost peak we round, 
Then alight ye on the ground; 
The heath's wide regions cover ye 
With your mad swarms of witchery! 

{They let themselves down.) 

Mephistopheles 

They crowd and jostle, whirl and flutter! 
They whisper, babble, twirl, and splutter! 
They glimmer, sparkle, stink and flare — 
A true witch-element! Beware! 



FAUST 175 

Stick close! else we shall severed be. 
Where art thou? 

Faust {in the distance) 
Here! 
Mephistopheles 

Already, whirl'd so far away! 
The master then indeed I needs must play. 
Give ground! Squire Voland comes! Sweet folk, give 

ground! 
Here, doctor, grasp me! With a single bound 
Let us escape this ceaseless jar; 
Even for me too mad these people are. 
Hard by there shineth something with peculiar glare. 
Yon brake allureth me; it is not far; 
Come, come along with me! we'll slip in there. 

Faust 
Spirit of contradiction! Lead! I'll follow straight! 
'Twas wisely done, however, to repair 
On May-night to the Brocken, and when there 
By our own choice ourselves to isolate! 

Mephistopheles 
Mark, of those flames the motley glare! 
A merry club assembles there. 
In a small circle one is not alone. 

Faust 
I'd rather be atove, though, I must own! 
Already fire and eddying smoke I view; 
The impetuous millions to the devil ride; 
Full many a riddle will be there untied. 

Mephistoph eles 
Ay! and full many a riddle tied anew. 
But let the great world rave and riot! 



176 GOETHE 

Here will we house ourselves in quiet. 

A custom 'tis of ancient date, 

Our lesser worlds within the great world to create! 

Young witches there I see, naked and bare, 

And old ones, veil'd more prudently. 

For my sake only courteous be! 

The trouble's small, the sjxjrt is rare. 

Of instruments I hear the cursed din — 

One must get used to it. Come in! come in! 

There's now no help for it. I'll step before 

And introducing you as my good friend, 

Confer on you one obligation more. 

How say you now? 'Tis no such paltry room; 

Why only look, you scarce can see the end. 

A hundred fires in rows disperse the gloom; 

They dance, they talk, they cook, make love, and drink: 

Where could we find aught better, do you think? 

Faust 

To introduce us, do you purpose here 
As devil or as wizard to appear? 

Mephistopheles 

Though I am wont indeed to strict incognito. 
Yet upon gala-days one must one's orders show. 
No garter have I to distinguish me, 
Nathless the cloven foot doth here give dignity. 
Seest thou yonder snail ? Crawling this way she hies: 
With searching feelers, she, no doubt, 
Hath me already scented out; 
Here, even if I would, for me there's no disguise. 
From fire to fire, we'll saunter at our leisure, 
The gallant you, I'll cater for your pleasure. 

(To a party seated round some expiring embers.) 
Old gentleman, apart, why sit ye moping here? 
Ye in the midst should be of all this jovial cheer. 



FAUST 177 

Girt round with noise and youthful riot; 
At home one surely has enough of quiet. 

General 

In nations put his trust, who may, 
Whate'er for them one may have done; 
For with the people, as with women, tliey 
Honour your rising stars alone! 

Minister 

Now all too far they wander from the right; 
I praise the good old ways, to them I hold, 
Then was the genuine age of gold. 
When we ourselves were foremost in men's sight. 

Parvenu 

Ne'er were we 'mong your dullards found, 
And what we ought not, that to do were fair; 
Yet now are all things turning round and round, 
When on firm basis we would them maintain. 

Author 

Who, as a rule, a treatise now would care 

To read, of even moderate sense? 

As for the rising generation, ne'er 

Has youth displayed such arrogant pretence. 

Mephistopheles 
{suddenly appearing very old) 

Since for the last time I the Brocken scale. 
That folk are ripe for doomsday, now one sees; 
And just because my cask begins to fail. 
So the whole world is also on the lees. 

Hucl(ster-Witch 
Stop, gentlemen, nor pass me by, 
Of wares I have a choice collection: 



178 GOETHE 

Pray honour them with your inspection. 

Lose not this opportunity! 

Yet nothing in my booth you'll find 

Without its counterpart on earth; there's naught, 

Which to the world, and to mankind. 

Hath not some direful mischief wrought. 

No dagger here, which hath not fiow'd with blood. 

No chalice, whence, into some healthy frame 

Hath not been poured hot poison's wasting flood. 

No trinket, but hath wrought some woman's shame, 

No weapon but hath cut some sacred tie, 

Or from behind hath stabb'd an enemy. 

Mephistopheles 

Gossip! For wares like these the time's gone by, 
What's done is past! what's past is done! 
With novelties your booth supply; 
Us novelties attract alone. 

Faust 

May this wild scene my senses spare! 
This, may in truth be called a fair! 

Mephistopheles 

Upward the eddying concourse throng; 
Thinking to push, thyself art push'd along. 

Faust 
Who's that, pray? 

Mephistopheles 

Mark her well! That's Lilith. 

Faust 

Who? 



FAUST 179 

Mephistopheles 

Adam's first wife. Of her rich locks beware! 
That charm in which she's parallel'd by few; 
When in its toils a youth she doth ensnare, 
He will not soon escape, I promise you. 

Faust 

There sit a pair, the old one with the young; 
Already they have bravely danced and sprung! 

Mephi staph eles 

Here there is no repose to-day. 

Another dance begins; we'll join it, come away! 

Faust 
{dancing with the young one) 

Once a fair vision came to me; 

Therein I saw an apple-tree, 

Two beauteous apples charmed mine eyes; 

I climb'd forthwith to reach the prize. 

The Fair One 

Apples still fondly ye desire, 
From paradise it hath been so. 
Feelings of joy my breast inspire 
That such too in my garden grow. 

Mephistopheles {with the old one) 

Once a weird vision came to me; 
Therein I saw a rifted tree. 

It had a ; 

But as it was it pleased me too. 

The Old One 

I beg most humbly to salute 
The gallant with the cloven foot! 



l8o GOETHE 

Let him a . . . have ready here, 
If he a . . . does not fear. 

Proctophantasmist 

Accursed mob! How dare ye thus to meet? 
Have I not shown and demonstrated too, 
That ghosts stand not on ordinary feet? 
Yet here ye dance, as other mortals do! 

The Fair One {^dancing) 
Then at our ball, what doth he here? 

Faust {dancing) 

Oh! He must everywhere appear. 

He must adjudge, when others dance; 

If on each step his say's not said. 

So is that step as good as never made. 

He's most annoyed, so soon as we advance; 

If ye would circle in one narrow round. 

As he in his old mill, then doubtless he 

Your dancing would approve, — especially 

If ye forthwith salute him with respect profound! 

Proctophantasmist 

Still here! what arrogance! unheard of quite! 

Vanish; we now have fill'd the world with light! 

Laws are unheeded by the devil's host; 

Wise as we are, yet Tegel hath its ghost! 

How long at this conceit I've swept with all my might, 

Lost is the labour: 'tis unheard of quite! 

The Fair One 
Cease here to teaze us any more, I pray. 

Proctophantasmist 

Spirits, I plainly to your face declare: 
No spiritual control myself will bear, 



FAUST 



i8i 



Since my own spirit can exert no sway. 

{The dancing continues^ 
To-night, I see, I shall in naught succeed; 
But I'm prepar'd my travels to pursue. 
And hope, before my final step indeed, 
To triumph over bards and devils too. 

MephistopheUs 
Now in some puddle will he take his station, 
Such is his mode of seeking consolation; 
Where leeches, feasting on his rump, will drain 
Spirits alike and spirit from his brain. 

{To Faust, who has left the dance.) 
But why the charming damsel leave, I pray, 
Who to you in the dance so sweetly sang? 

Faust 
Ah, in the very middle of her lay. 
Out of her mouth a small red mouse there sprang. 

Mephistopheles 
Suppose there did! One must not be too nice. 
'Twas well it was not grey, let that suffice. 
Who 'mid his pleasures for a trifle cares? 

Faust 
Then saw I — 

Mephistopheles 
What? 

Faust 

Mephisto, seest thou there 
Standing far off, a lone child, pale and fair? 
Slow from the spot her drooping form she tears, 
And seems with shackled feet to move along; 
I own, within me the delusion's strong. 
That she the likeness of my Gretchen wears. 



1 82 GOETHE 

Mephistopheles 

Gaze not upon her! 'Tis not good! Forbear! 
*Tis lifeless, magical, a shape of air. 
An idol. Such to meet with, bodes no good; 
That rigid look of hers doth freeze man's blood. 
And well-nigh petrifies his heart to stone: — 
The story of Medusa thou hast known. 

Faust 

Ay, verily! a corpse's eyes are those, 

Which there was no fond loving hand to close. 

That is the bosom I so fondly press'd, 

That my sweet Gretchen's form, so oft caress'd! 

Mephistopheles 

Deluded fool! 'Tis magic, I declare! 

To each she doth his lov'd one's image wear. 

Faust 

What bliss! what torture! vainly I essay 

To turn me from that piteous look away. 

How strangely doth a single crimson line 

Around that lovely neck its coil entwine, 

It shows no broader than a knife's blunt edge! 

Mephistopheles 

Quite right. I see it also, and allege 

That she beneath her arm her head can bear, 

Since Perseus cut it off. — But you I swear 

Are craving for illusion still! 

Come then, ascend yon little hill! 

As on the Prater all is gay. 

And if my senses are not gone, 

I see a theatre, — what's going on? 



FAUST 183 

Servibilis 

They are about to recommence; — the play 

Will be the last of seven, and spick-span new — 

'Tis usual here that number to present. 

A dilettante did the piece invent, 

And dilettanti will enact it too. 

Excuse me, gentlemen; to me's assign'd 

As dilettante to uplift the curtain. 

Mephistopheles 

You on the Blocksberg I'm rejoiced to find, 

That 'tis your most appropriate sphere is certain. 



WALPURGIS-NIGHT'S DREAM 

OR 
OBERON AND TITANIA's GOLDEN WEDDING-FEAST 

Intermezzo 



THEATRE 

Manager 
Vales, where mists still shift and play, 

To ancient hills succeeding, — 
These our scenes; — so we, to-day. 

May rest, brave sons of Mieding. 

Herald 
That the marriage golden be, 

Must fifty years be ended; 
More dear this feast of gold to me, 

Contention now suspended. 

Oberon 
Spirits, if present, grace the scene, 
And if with me united, 



184 GOETHE 

Then gratulate the king and queen, 
Their troth thus newly pUghted! 

Puck draws near and wheels about, 

In mazy circles dancing! 
Hundreds swell his joyous shout, 

Behind him still advancing. 

Ariel 
Ariel wakes his dainty air, 

His lyre celestial stringing. — 
Fools he lureth, and the fair, 

With his celestial singing. 

Oberon 
Wedded ones, would ye agree, 

We court your imitation: 
Would ye fondly love as we, 

We counsel separation. 

Titania 
If husband scold and wife retort, 

Then bear them far asunder; 
Her to the burning south transport. 

And him the North Pole under. 

The Whole Orchestra {fortissimo) 
Flies and midges all unite 

With frog and chirping cricket, 
Our orchestra throughout the night, 

Resounding in the thicket! 

{Solo) 
Yonder doth the bagpipe come! 

Its sack an airy bubble. 
Schnick, schnick, schnack, with nasal hum. 

Its notes it doth redouble. 



FAUST 185 

Embryo Spirit 

Spider's foot and midge's wing, 

A toad in form and feature; 
Together verses it can string. 

Though scarce a living creature. 

A Utile Pair 

Tiny step and lofty bound. 

Through dew and exhalation; 
Ye trip it defdy on the ground. 

But gain no elevation. 

Inquisitive Traveller 

Can I indeed believe my eyes? 

Is't not mere masquerading? 
What! Oberon in beauteous guise. 

Among the groups parading! 

Orthodox 

No claws, no tail to whisk about, 

To fright us at our revel; — 
Yet like the gods of Greece, no doubt. 

He too's a genuine devil. 

Northern Artist 

These that I'm hitting off to-day 

Are sketches unpretending; 
Towards Italy without delay. 

My steps I think of bending. 

Purist 

Alas! ill-fortune leads me here, 

Where riot still grows louder; 
And 'mong the witches gather'd here 

But two alone wear powder! 



1 86 GOETHE 



Young Witch 

Your powder and your petticoat, 
Suit hags, there's no gainsaying; 

Hence I sit fearless on my goat, 
My naked charms displaying. 

Matron 

We're too well-bred to squabble here, 

Or insult back to render; 
But may you wither soon, my dear, 

Although so young and tender. 

Leader of the Band 

Nose of fly and gnat's proboscis, 
Throng not the naked beauty! 

Frogs and crickets in the mosses. 
Keep time and do your duty! 

Weathercocl{ {totvards one side) 

What charming company I view 

Together here collected! 
Gay bachelors, a hopeful crew. 

And brides so unaffected! 

Weathercock^ {towards the other side) 

Unless indeed the yawning ground 
Should open to receive them, 

From this vile crew, with sudden bound, 
To Hell I'd jump and leave them. 

Xenien 

With small sharp shears, in insect guise 

Behold us at your revel! 
That we may tender, filial-wise, 

Our homage to the devil. 



FAUST 187 

Hennings 

Look now at yonder eager crew, 

How naively they're jesting! 
That they have tender hearts and true. 

They stoutly keep protesting! 

Musaget 

Oneself amid this witchery 

How pleasantly one loses; 
For witches easier are to me 

To govern than the Muses! 

Ci-devant Genius of the Age 

With proper folks when we appear, 

No one can then surpass us! 
Keep close, wide is the Blocksberg here 

As Germany's Parnassus. 

Inquisitive Traveller 

How name ye that stiff formal man. 

Who strides with lofty paces? 
He tracks the game where'er he can, 

"He scents the Jesuits' traces." 

Crane 

Where waters troubled are or clear, 

To fish I am delighted; 
Thus pious gentlemen appear 

With devils here united. 

Worldling 

By pious people, it is true. 

No medium is rejected; 
Conventicles, and not a few, 

On Blocksberg are erected. 



I 88 GOETHE 



Dancer 



Another chorus now succeeds, 
Far off the drums are beating. 

Be still! The bitterns 'mong the reeds 
Their one note are repeating. 

Dancing Master 

Each twirls about and never stops, 

And as he can he fareth. 
The crooked leaps, the clumsy hops, 

Nor for appearance careth. 

Fiddler 

To take each other's life, I trow. 
Would cordially delight them! 

As Orpheus' lyre the beasts, so now 
The bagpipe doth unite them. 

Dogmatist 

My views, in spite of doubt and sneer, 
I hold with stout persistence. 

Inferring from the devils here, 
The evil one's existence. 

Idealist 

My every sense rules Phantasy 
With sway quite too potential; 

Sure I'm demented if the / 
Alone is the essential. 

Realist 

This entity's a dreadful bore. 
And cannot choose but vex me; 

The ground beneath me ne'er before 
Thus totter'd to perplex me. 



FAUST 189 

Supernaturalist 

Well pleased assembled here I view 

Of spirits this profusion; 
From devils, touching angels too, 

I gather some conclusion. 

Sceptic 

The ignis fatuus they track out, 
And think they're near the treasure. 

Devil alliterates with doubt, 
Here I abide with pleasure. 

Leader of the Band 

Frog and cricket in the mosses, — 

Confound your gasconading! 
Nose of fly and gnat's proboscis; — 

Most tuneful serenading! 

The Knowing Ones 

Sans-souci, so this host we greet, 

Their jovial humour showing; 
There's now no walking on our feet, 

So on our heads we're going. 

The Au/^ward Ones 

In seasons past we snatch'd, 'tis true, 

Some tit-bits by our cunning; 
Our shoes, alas, are now danced through. 

On our bare soles we're running. 

Will-o'-the-Wisps 

From marshy bogs we sprang to light. 

Yet here behold us dancing; 
The gayest gallants of the night, 

In glitt'ring rows advancing. 



190 GOETHE 

Shooting Star 
With rapid motion from on high, 

I shot in starry splendour; 
Now prostrate on the grass I He; — 

Who aid will kindly render? 

The Massive Ones 
Room! wheel round! They're coming lo! 

Down sink the bending grasses. 
Though spirits, yet their limbs, we know. 

Are huge substantial masses. 

Puck. 
Don't stamp so heavily, I pray; 

Like elephants you're treading! 
And 'mong the elves be Puck to-day, 

The stoutest at the wedding! 

Ariel 
If nature boon, or subtle sprite, 

Endow your soul with pinions; — 
Then follow to yon rosy height. 

Through ether's calm dominions! 

Orchestra (^pianissimo) 
Drifting cloud and misty wreathes 

Are fill'd with light elysian; 
O'er reed and leaf the zephyr breathes — 

So fades the fairy vision! 

A GLOOMY DAY. A PLAIN 
Faust and Mephistopheles 

Faust 
In misery! despairing! long wandering pitifully on the face of the 
eaith and now imprisoned! This gende hapless creature, immured 



FAUST 191 

in the dungeon as a malefaaor and reserved for horrid tortures! 
That it should come to this! To this! — Perfidious, worthless spirit, 
and this thou hast concealed from me! — Stand! ay, stand! roll in 
malicious rage thy fiendish eyes! Stand and brave me with thine 
insupportable presence! Imprisoned! In hopeless misery! Delivered 
over to the power of evil spirits and the judgment of unpitying 
humanity! — And me, the while, thou wert lulling with tasteless 
dissipations, concealing from me her growing anguish, and leaving 
her to perish without help! 

Mephistopheles 

She is not the first. 

Faust 

Hound! Execrable monster! — Back with him, oh thou infinite 
spirit! back with the reptile into his dog's shape, in which it was his 
wont to scamper before me at eventide, to roll before the feet of the 
harmless wanderer, and to fasten on his shoulders when he fell! 
Change him again into his favourite shape, that he may crouch on 
his belly before me in the dust, whilst I spurn him with my foot, 
the reprobate! — Not the first! — Woe! Woe! By no human soul is 
it conceivable, that more than one human creature has ever sunk 
into a depth of wretchedness like this, or that the first in her writhing 
death-agony should not have atoned in the sight of all-pardoning 
Heaven for the guilt of all the rest! The misery of this one pierces 
me to the very marrow, and harrows up my soul; thou art grinning 
calmly over the doom of thousands! 

Mephistopheles 

Now we are once again at our wit's end, just where the reason of 
you mortals snaps! Why dost thou seek our fellowship, if thou 
canst not go through with it? Wilt fly, and art not proof against 
dizziness? Did we force ourselves on thee, or thou on us? 

Faust 

Cease thus to gnash thy ravenous fangs at me! I loathe thee! — 
Great and glorious spirit, thou who didst vouchsafe to reveal thyself 



192 GOETHE 

unto me, thou who dost know my very heart and soul, why hast 
thou linked me with this base associate, who feeds on mischief 
and revels in destruction? 

Mephistopheles 
Hast done ? 

Faust 

Save her! — or woe to thee! The direst of curses on thee for 
thousands of years! 

Mephistopheles 

I cannot loose the bands of the avenger, nor withdraw his bolts. — 
Save her! — Who was it plunged her into perdition? I or thou? 

(Faust lool{s wildly around.) 

Mephistopheles 

Would'st grasp phe thunder ? Well for you, poor mortals, that 'tis 
not yours to wield! To smite to atoms the being however innocent, 
who obstructs his path, such is the tyrant's fashion of relieving him- 
self in difficulties! 

Faust 
Convey me thither! She shall be free! 

Mephistopheles 

And the danger to which thou dost expose thyself? Know, the 
guilt of blood, shed by thy hand, lies yet upon the town. Over the 
place where fell the murdered one, avenging spirits hover and watch 
for the returning murderer. 

Faust 

This too from thee? The death and downfall of a world be on 
thee, monster! Condua me thither, I say, and set her free! 

Mephistopheles 

I will conduct thee. And what I can do, — ^hear! Have I all power 
in heaven and upon earth ? I'll cloud the senses of the warder, — do 



FAUST 193 

thou possess thyself of the keys and lead her forth with human hand! 
I will keep watch! The magic steeds are waiting, I bear thee off. 
Thus much is in my power. 

Faust 
Up and away! 

NIGHT. OPEN COUNTRY 

Faust. Mephistopheles 
{Rushing along on blact{ horses) 

Faust 
What weave they yonder round the Ravenstone? 

Mephistopheles 
I know not what they shape and brew. 

Faust 
They're soaring, swooping, bending, stooping. 

Mephistopheles 
A witches' pack. 

Faust 
They charm, they strew. 

Mephistopheles 

On! On! 

DUNGEON 

Faust 

{with a bunch of l{eys and a lamp before a small 

iron door) 
A fear unwonted o'er my spirit falls; 
Man's concentrated woe o'erwhelms me here! 



194 GOETHE 

She dwells immur'd within these dripping walls; 

Her only trespass a delusion dearl 

Thou lingerest at the fatal door, 

Thou dread'st to see her face once more? 

On! While thou dalliest, draws her death-hour near. 

(He seizes the locf(^. Singing within.) 

My mother, the harlot. 

She took me and slew! 

My father, the scoundrel, 

Hath eaten me too! 

My sweet little sister 

Hath all my bones laid, 

Where soft breezes whisper 

All in the cool shade! 
Then became I a wood-bird, and sang on the spray. 
Fly away! little bird, fly away! fly away! 

Faust (opening the locfO 

Ah! she forebodes not that her lover's near. 
The clanking chains, the rustling straw, to hear. 

(He enters.) 

Margaret 

(hiding her face in the bed of straw) 

Woe! woe! they come! oh bitter 'tis to die! 

Faust (softly) 
Hush! hush! be still! I come to set thee free! 

Margaret 
(throwing herself at his feet) 
If thou art human, feel my misery! 

Faust 

Thou wilt awake the jailor with thy cry! 

(He grasps the chains to unloc\ them.) 



FAUST 195 

Margaret {on her \nees) 

Who, headsman, unto thee this power 

O'er me could give? 

Thou com'st for me at midnight-hour. 

Be merciful, and let me Jive! 

Is morrow's dawn not time enough ? {She stands up.) 

I'm still so young, so young — 

And must so early die! 

Fair was I too, and that was my undoing. 

My love is now afar, he then was nigh; 

Torn lies the garland, the fair blossoms strew'd. 

Nay, seize me not with hand so rude! 

Spare me! What harm have I e'er done to thee? 

Oh let me not in vain implore! 

I ne'er have seen thee in my life before! 

Faust 
Can I endure this bitter agony? 

Margaret 

I now am at thy mercy qui'te. 

Let me my babe but suckle once again! 

I fondled it the live-long night; 

They took it from me but to give me pain, 

And now, they say that I my child have slain. 

Gladness I ne'er again shall know. 

Then they sing songs about me, — 'lis wicked of the 

throng — 
An ancient ballad endeth so; 
Who bade them thus apply the song? 

Faust 

{throwing himself on the ground) 

A lover at thy feet bends low. 

To loose the bonds of wretchedness and woe. 



196 GOETHE 

Margaret 
{throws herself beside him) 

Oh, let us kneel and move the saints by prayer! 

Look! look! yon stairs below, 

Under the threshold there, 

Hell's flames are all aglowl 

Beneath the floor. 

With hideous noise. 

The devils roar! 

Faust (aloud) 
Gretchen! Gretchen! 

Margaret (listening) 

That was my lov'd one's voice! 

(She springs up, the chains fall off.) 
Where is he? I heard him calling me. 
Free am I! There's none shall hinder me. 
To his neck will I fly, 
On his bosom will lie! 

Gretchen, he called! — On yon threshold he stood; 
Amidst all the howling of hell's fiery flood, 
The scoff and the scorn of its devilish crew, 
The tones of his voice, sweet and loving, I knew. 

Faust 

nrisii 

Margaret 

'Tis thou! O say so once again! 

(embracing him.) 
"Tis he! 'Tis he! where's now the torturing pain? 
Where are the fetters ? where the dungeon's gloom ? 
'Tis thou! To save me thou art come! 
And I am sav'd! — 
Already now the street I see 



FAUST 197 

Where the first time I caught a glimpse of thee. 
There too the pleasant garden shade. 
Where I and Martha for thy coming stay'd. 

Faust 

(^endeavouring to lead her away) 

Comal come away! 

Margaret 

Oh do not haste! 
I love to linger where thou stayest. (caressing him.) 

Faust 

Ah haste! For if thou still delayest, 
Our lingering we shall both deplore. 

Margaret 

How, dearest? canst thou kiss no more! 

So short a time away from me, and yet, 

To kiss thou couldst so soon forget! 

Why on thy neck so anxious do I feel — 

When formerly a perfect heaven of bliss 

From thy dear looks and words would o'er me steal ? 

As thou wouldst stifle me thou then didst kiss! — 

Kiss me! 

Or I'll kiss thee! (She embraces him.) 

Woe! woe! Thy lips are cold, — 

Are dumb! 

Thy love where hast thou left? 

Who hath me of thy love bereft? 

(She turns away from him.) 

Faust 

Come! Follow me, my dearest love, be bold! 
I'll cherish thee with ardour thousand-fold; 
I but entreat thee now to follow me! 



198 GOETHE 

Margaret 
{turning towards him) 
And art thou he? and art thou really he? 

Faust 
TisI! Ocome! 

Margaret 

Thou wilt strike off my chain, 
And thou wilt take me to thine arms again. 
How comes it that thou dost not shrink from me? — 
And dost thou know, love, whom thou wouldst set free? 

Faust 
Come! come! already night begins to wane. 

Margaret 

I sent my mother to her grave, 

I drown'd my child beneath the wave. 

Was it not given to thee and me — thee too? 

Tis thou thyself! I scarce believe it yet. 

Give me thy hand! It is no dream! 'Tis true! 

Thine own dear hand! — But how is this? Tis wet? 

Quick, wipe it of?! Meseems that yet 

There's blood thereon. 

Ah God! what hast thou done? 

Put up thy sword, 

I beg of thee! 

Faust 

Oh, dearest, let the past forgotten be! 
Death is in every word. 

Margaret 

No, thou must linger here in sorrow! 
The graves I will describe to thee. 
And thou to them must see 



FAUST 199 

To-morrow: 

The best place give to my mother, 

Close at her side my brother, 

Me at some distance lay — 

But not too far away! 

And the little one place on my right breast. 

Nobody else will near me lie! 

To nestle beside thee so lovingly. 

That was a rapture, gracious and sweet! 

A rapture I never again shall prove; 

Methinks I would force myself on thee, love. 

And thou dost spurn me, and back retreat — 

Yet 'tis thyself, thy fond kind looks I see. 

Faust 
If thou dost feel 'tis I, then come with mel 

Margaret 
What, there? without? 

Faust 

Yes, forth in the free air. 

Margaret 

Ay, if the grave's without, — If death lurk there! 
Hence to the everlasting resting-place, 
And not one step beyond! — Thou'rt leaving me? 
Oh Henry! would that I could go with thee! 

Faust 
Thou canst! But will it! Open stands the door. 

Margaret 

I dare not go! I've naught to hope for more. 
What boots it to escape? They lurk for me! 
'Tis wretched to beg, as I must do, 
And with an evil conscience thereto! 



200 GOETHE 

'Tis wretched, in foreign lands to stray; 
And me they will catch, do what I may! 

Faust 
With thee will I abide. 

Margaret 
Quick! Quick! 
Save thy poor child! 
Keep to the path 
The brook along, 
Over the bridge 
To the wood beyond, 
To the left, where the plank is, 
In the pond. 
Seize it at once! 
It fain would rise, 
It struggles still! 
Save it. Oh save! 

Faust 
Dear Gretchen, more collected be I 
One little step, and thou art free! 

Margaret 
Were we but only past the hill! 
There sits my mother upon a stone — 
My brain, alas, is cold with dread! — 
There sits my mother upon a stone, 
And to and fro she shakes her head; 
She winks not, she nods not, her head it droops sore; 
She slept so long, she waked no more; 
She slept, that we might taste of bliss: 
Ah! those were happy times, I wis! 

Faust 
Since here avails nor argument nor prayer, 
Thee hence by force I needs must bear. 



FAUST 201 

Margaret 

Loose me! I will not suffer violence! 
With murderous hand hold not so fast! 
I have done all to please thee in the past! 

Faust 
Day dawns! My love! My love! 

Margaret 

Yes! day draws near. 
The day of judgment too will soon appear! 
It should have been my bridal! No one tell, 
That thy poor Gretchen thou hast known too well. 
Woe to my garland! 
Its bloom is o'er! 
Though not at the dance — 
We shall meet once more. 
The crowd doth gather, in silence it rolls; 
The squares, the streets, 
Scarce hold the throng. 
The staff is broken, — <he death-bell tolls, — 
They bind and seize me! I'm hurried along, 
To the seat of blood already I'm bound! 
Quivers each neck as the naked steel 
Quivers on mine the blow to deal — 
The silence of the grave now broods around! 

Faust 
Would I had ne'er been born! 

Mephistopheles {appears without) 

Up! or you're lost. 

Vain hesitation! Babbling, quaking! 

My steeds are shivering, 

Morn is breaking. 



202 GOETHE 

Margaret 

What from the floor ascendcth like a ghost? 
'Tis he! 'Tis he! Him from my presence chase! 
What would he in this holy place? 
It is for me he cometh! 

Faust 

Thou shalt live! 

Margaret 
Judgment of God! To thee my soul I give! 

Mephistopheles {to Faust) 
Come, come! With her I'll else abandon thee! 

Margaret 

Father, I'm thine! Do thou deliver me! 
Ye angels! Ye angelic hosts! descend, 
Encamp around to guard me and defend! — 
Henry! I shudder now to look on theel 

Mephistopheles 
She now is judged! 

Voices (from above) 
Is saved! 

Mephistopheles {to Faust) 

Come thou with me! 
{Vanishes with Faust.) 

Voice {from within, dying away) 
Henry! Henry! 



THE TRAGICAL HISTORY OF 
DR. FAUSTUS 

BY 
CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE 

Christopher Marlowe, the author of the earliest dramatic version of 
the Faust legend, was the son of a shoemaker in Canterbury, where he 
was born in February, 1564, some two months before Shakespeare. After 
graduating as M.A. from the University of Cambridge in 1587, he seems 
to have settled in London; and that same year is generally accepted as the 
latest date for the production of his tragedy of "Tamburlaine," the play 
which is regarded as having established blank verse as the standard meter 
of the English Drama. "Doctor Faustus" probably came next in 1588, 
followed by "The Jew of Malta" and "Edward II." Marlowe had a share 
in the production of several other plays, wrote the first two sestiads of 
"Hero and Leander," and made translations from Ovid and Lucan. He 
met his death in a tavern brawl, June i, 1593. 

Of Marlowe personally little is known. The common accounts of his 
atheistical beliefs and dissipated life are probably exaggerated, recent 
researches having given ground for believing that his heterodoxy may 
have amounted to little more than a form of Unitarianism. Some of the 
attacks on his character are based on the evidence of witnesses whose 
reputation will not bear investigation, while the character of some of his 
friends and their manner of speaking of him are of weight on the 
other side. 

The most striking feature of Marlowe's dramas is the concentration 
of interest on an impressive central figure dominated by a single passion, 
the thirst for the unattainable. In "Tamburlaine" this takes the form of 
universal power; in "The Jew of Malta," infinite riches; in "Doctor 
Faustus" universal knowledge. The aspirations of these dominant per- 
sonalities are uttered in sonorous blank verse, and in a rhetoric which 
at times rises to the sublime, at times descends to rant. "Doctor Faustus," 
though disfigured by poor comic scenes for which Marlowe is probably 
not responsible, and though lacking unity of structure, yet presents the 
career and fate of the hero with great power, and contains in the speech 
to Helen of Troy and in the dying utterance of Faustus two of the most 
superb passages of pnjetry in the English language. 



THE TRAGICAL HISTORY OF 
DR. FAUSTUS 

DRAMATIS PERSONiE 

[The Pope. Cardinal of Lorrain. Emperor of Germany. 

Duke of Vanholt. Faustus. 

Valoes and Cornelius, Friends to Faustus. 

Wagner, Servant to Faustus. 

Clown. Robin. Ralph. 

Vintner, Horse-Courser, Knight, Old Man, 

Scholars, Friars, and Attendants. 

Duchess of Vanholt. 

Lucifer. Belzebub. Mephistophilis. 

Good Angel, Evil Angel, The Seven Deadly Sins, Devils, 

Spirits in the shape of Alexander the Great, 

of his Paramour, and of Helen of Troy. 

Chorus.] 

Enter Chorus 
Chorus 

NOT marching now in fields of Trasimene, 
Where Mars did mate' the Carthaginians; 
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 his heavenly verse: 
Only this, gentlemen, — we must perform 
The form of Faustus' fortunes, good or bad. 
To patient judgments we appeal our plaud,* 
And speak for Faustus in his infancy. 
Now is he born, his parents base of stock. 
In Germany, within a town call'd Rhodes;' 
Of riper years to Wittenberg he went, 

' Confound. But Hannibal was victorious at Lake Trasimenus, b. c. 217. 

* For applause. 

' Roda, in the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg, near Jena. 

MS 



206 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

Whereas his kinsmen chiefly brought him up. 

So soon he profits in divinity, 

The fruitful plot of scholarism grac'd,* 

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

Excelling all those sweet delight disputes 

In heavenly matters of theology; 

Till swollen with cunning,' of a self-conceit, 

His waxen wings' did mount above his reach. 

And, melting. Heavens conspir'd his overthrow; 

For, falling to a devilish exercise, 

And glutted [now] with learning's golden gifts, 

He surfeits upon cursed necromancy. 

Nothing so sweet as magic is to him. 

Which he prefers before his chiefest bliss. 

And this the man that in his study sits! [Exit' 

[Scene I.] 

Faustus [discovered] in his Study 

Faust. Settle my studies, Faustus, and begin 
To sound the depth of that thou wilt profess'; 
Having commenc'd, be a divine in show. 
Yet level' and at the end of every art, 
And live and die in Aristotle's works. 
Sweet Analytics,* 'tis thou hast ravish'd me, 
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 the end; 
A greater subject fitteth Faustus' wit. 
Bid So Kal fiii Sv" farewell; Galen come. 
Seeing Ubi desinit Philosophus ibi incipit Medicus;" 

* The garden of scholarship being adorned by him. 

' Knowledge. 

' An allusion to the myth of Icarus, who f)ew too near the sun. 

'Teach publicly. 'Aim. 'Logic. 
"• "To argue well is the end of logic." 

" This is Mr. Bullen's emendation of Qi., Oncaymaton, a corruption of the Aristo- 
telian phrase for "being and not being." 

" "Where the philosopher leaves off, there the physician begins." 



DR. FAUSTUS 207 

Be a physician, Faustus, heap up gold. 
And be eternis'd for some wondrous cure. 
Sumtnum bonum medicina sanitas,^^ 
"The end of physic is our body's health." 
Why, Faustus, hast thou not attain'd that end! 
Is not thy common talk sound Aphorisms?" 
Are not thy bills" hung up as monuments, 
Whereby whole cities have escap'd the plague, 
And thousand desperate maladies been eas'd? 
Yet art thou still but Faustus and a man. 
Couldst thou make men to live eternally. 
Or, being dead, raise them to life again. 
Then this profession were to be esteem'd. 
Physic, farewell. — Where is Justinian? \Reads.\ 

Si una eademque res legatur duobus, alter rem, alter valo- 
rem ret, (St." 
A pretty case of paltry legacies! [Reads.] 

Ex hcereditare filium non potest pater nisi, &-c" 
Such is the subject of the Institute" 
And universal Body of the Law.'* 
His"* study fits a mercenary drudge. 
Who aims at nothing but external trash; 
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.] 

Si peccasse negamus fallimur et nulla est in nobis Veritas. 
"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 con- 
sequently die. 
Ay, we must die an everlasting death. 

"This and the previous quotation arc from Aristotle. 
" Medical maxims. " Announcements. 

" "If one and the same thing is bequeathed to two persons, one gets the thing and 
the other the value of the thing." 

" "A father cannot disinherit the son except," etc. 

" Of Justinian, under whom the Roman law was codified. ^' Qi., Church. 

"Its. "The Vulgate. 



208 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

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 charaaers, 

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! 

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 

Stretcheth as far as doth the mind of man. 

A sound magician is a mighty god: 

Here, Faustus, try thy" brains to gain a deity. 

Wagner! 

Enter Wagner 

Commend me to my dearest friends, 
The German Valdes and Cornelius; 
Request them earnestly to visit me. 

Wag. I will, sir. Exit. 

Faust. Their conference will be a greater help to me 
Than all my labours, plod I ne'er so fast. 

Enter Good Angel and Evil Angel 

G. Ang. 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. 

E. Ang. 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, 

** Excels. ^Qi; tire my. 



DR. FAUSTUS 209 

Lord and commander of these elements. [Exeunt Angels.] 

Faust. 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 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 Wittenberg; 
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; 
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 Vau)es and Cornelius" 

Come, German Valdes and Cornelius, 

And make me blest with your sage conference. 

Valdes, sweet Valdes, and Cornelius, 

Know that your words have won me at the last 

To practise magic and concealed arts: 

Yet not your words only, but mine own fantasy 

That will receive no object, for my head 

But ruminates on necromantic skill. 

Philosophy is odious and obscure, 

Both law and physic are for petty wits; 

"Idea. "Qq., skill. 

^ The Netherlands, over which Parma re-established the Spanish dominions. 
" A ship filled with explosives used to blow up a bridge built by Parma in 1585 at 
the siege of Antwerp. 
" The famous Cornelius Agrippa. German Valdes is not known. 



210 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

Divinity is basest of the three, 
Unpleasant, harsh, contemptible, and vile: 
'Tis magic, magic, that hath ravish 'd me. 
Then, gentle friends, aid me in this attempt; 
And I that have with concise syllogisms 
Graveli'd the pastors of the German church. 
And made the flowering pride of Wittenberg 
Swarm to my problems, as the infernal spirits 
On sweet Musacus,^' when he came to hell, 
Will be as cunning as Agrippa was. 
Whose shadows made all Europe honour him. 

Void. Faustus, these books, thy wit, and our experience 
Shall make all nations to can6nise us. 
As Indian Moors" obey their Spanish lords, 
So shall the subjects " 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 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. 

Faust. Valdes, as resolute am I in this 
As thou to live; therefore object it not. 

Corn. The miracles that magic will perform 
Will make thee vow to study nothing else. 
He that is grounded in astrology, 
Enrich'd with tongues, as well seen" in minerals, 
Hath all the principles magic doth require. 
Then doubt not, Faustus, but to be renown'd, 
And more frequented for this mystery 

'•Cf. Virgil, if.n. vi. 667; Dryden's trans, vi. 905 ff. 

•" American Indians. " Qj., spirits. ** Troopers. Germ. Reiters. 

M Versed. 



DR. FAUSTUS 211 

Than heretofore the Delphian Oracle. 

The spirits tell me they can dry the sea, 

And fetch the treasure oi all foreign wreclcs, 

Ay, all the wealth that our forefathers hid 

Within the massy entrails of the earth; 

Then tell me, Faustus, what shall we three want? 

Faust. Nothing, Cornelius! O this cheers my soul! 
Come show me some demonstrations magical, 
That I may conjure in some lusty grove. 
And have these joys in full p)ossession. 

Vald. Then haste thee to some solitary grove. 
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. 

Corn. Valdes, first let him know the words of art; 
And then, all other ceremonies learn'd, 
Faustus may try his cunning by himself. 

Vald. First I'll instruct thee in the rudiments, 
And then wilt thou be perfecter than I. 

Faust. 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. [Exeunt. 

[Scene II. — Before Faustus's House] 
Enter two Scholars 
1st Schol. I wonder what's become of Faustus that was wont to 
make our schools ring with sic probo?^ 
2nd Schol. That shall we know, for see here comes his boy. 

Enter Wagner 

I St Schol. How now, sirrah! Where's thy master? 

Wag. God in heaven knows! 

2nd Schol. Why, dost not thou know ? 

'* Ro(ter Bacon. •* Perhaps Pietro d'Abano, a medieval alchemist; perhaps a mis- 
pnnt for Albemu (Magnus), the great schoolman. 

' "Thus I prove" — a common formula in scholastic discussions. 



212 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

Wag. Yes, I know. But that follows not. 

ist Schol. Go to, sirrah! Leave your jesting, and tell us where 
he is. 

Wag. That follows not necessary by force of argument, that you, 
being licentiate, should stand upon't: therefore, acknowledge your 
error and be attentive. 

2nd Schol. Why, didst thou not say thou knew'st? 

Wag. Have you any witness on't ? 

ist Schol. Yes, sirrah, I heard you. 

Wag. Ask my fellow if I be a thief. 

2nd Schol. Well, you will not tell us ? 

Wag. Yes, sir, I will tell you; yet if you were not dunces, you 
would never ask me such a question; for is not he corpus naturde?^ 
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 feet of the place of execution, although I do not doubt 
to see you both hang'd the next sessions. Thus having triumph'd 
over you, I will set my countenance like a precisian,' and begin to 
speak thus: — Truly, my dear brethren, my master is within at din- 
ner, 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, my dear brethren. 

ist Schol. Nay, then, I fear he has fallen into that damned Art, 
for which they two are infamous through the world. 

2nd Schol. Were he a stranger, and not allied to me, yet should 
I grieve for him. But come, let us go and inform the Rector, and 
see if he by his grave counsel can reclaim him. 

tst Schol. O, but I fear me nothing can reclaim him. 

2nd Schol. Yet let us try what we can do. [Exeunt. 

[Scene III. — A Grove.] 

Enter Faustus to conjure 

Faust. Now that the gloomy shadow of the earth 

Longing to view Orion's drizzling look, 

• " 'Corpus naturale seu mobile' is the current scholastic expression for the subject- 
matter of Physics." — Ward. ' Puritan. 



DR. FAUSTUS 213 

Leaps from the antarctic world unto the sky, 
And dims the welkin with her pitchy breath, 
Faustus, begin thine incantations, 
And try if devils will obey thy best. 
Seeing thou hast pray'd and sacrific'd to them. 
Within this circle is Jehovah's name, 
Forward and backward anagrammatis'd, 
The breviated names of holy saints. 
Figures of every adjunct to the Heavens, 
And characters of signs and erring' stars. 
By which the spirits are enforc'd to rise: 
Then fear not, Faustus, but be resolute. 
And try the uttermost magic can perform. 

Sint mihi Dei Acherontis propitii! Valeat numen triplex ]ehovcel 
Ignei, aerii, aquatani spiritus, salvete! Orientis princeps Belzebub, 
injerni ardentis monarcha, et Demogorgon, propitiamus vos, ut ap- 
pareat et surgat Mephistophilis. Quid tu moraris? per Jehovam, 
Gehennam, et consecratum aquam quam nunc spargo, signumque 
crucis quod nunc facio, et per vota nostra, ipse nunc surgat nobis 
dicatus Mephistophilis!* 

Enter [Mephistophilis] a Devil 

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. [Exit Devil 

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. 

[Now,] Faustus, thou art conjuror laureat, 

' Wandering. 

' "Be propitious to me, gods of Acheron! May the triple deity of Jehovah prevail I 
Spirits of fire, air, water, hail! Belzebub, Prince of the East, monarch of burning hell, 
and Demogorgon, we propitiate ye, that Mephistophilis may appear and rise. Why 
dost thou delay? By Jehovah, Gehenna, and the holy water which now I sprinkle, 
and the sign of the cross which now I make, and by our prayer, may Mephistophilis 
now summoned by us arise I" 



214 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

Thou canst command great Mephistophilis: 
Quin regis Mephistophilis jratris imagine? 

Re-enter Mephistophilis {lil{e a Franciscan Friar] 

Meph. Now, Faustus, what would'st thou have me to do? 

Faust. 1 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. 

Meph. I am a servant to great Lucifer, 
And may not follow thee without his leave 
No more than he commands must we perform, 

Faust. Did not he charge thee to appear to me? 

Meph. No, I came hither of mine own accord. 

Faust. Did not my conjuring sf)eeches raise thee? Sp>eak. 

Meph. That was the cause, but yet per accidens; 
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 the Trinity, 
And pray devoutly to the Prince of Hell. 

Faust. 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 him. 
For he confounds hell in Elysium;' 
His ghost be with the old philosophers! 
But, leaving these vain trifles of men's souls. 
Tell me what is that Lucifer thy lord ? 

Meph. Arch-regent and commander of all spirits. 

Faust. Was not that Lucifer an angel once ? 

* "For indeed thou hast power in the image of thy brother Mephistophilis." 

* Twist in anagrams. ' Heaven and hell are indifferent to him. 



DR. FAUSTUS 215 

Meph. Yes, Faustus, and most dearly lov'd of God. 

Faust. How comes it then that he is Prince of devils? 

Meph. O, by aspiring pride and insolence; 
For which God threw him from the face of Heaven. 

Faust. And what are you that you live with Lucifer? 

Meph. Unhappy spirits that fell with Lucifer, 
Conspir'd against our God with Lucifer, 
And are for ever damn'd with Lucifer. 

Faust. Where are you damn'd? 

Meph. In hell. 

Faust. How comes it then that thou art out of hell ? 

Meph. Why this is hell, nor am I out of it. 
Think'st thou that I who 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 a terror to my fainting soul. 

Faust. What, is great Mephistophilis so passionate 
For being depriv'd of the joys of Heaven ? 
Learn thou of Faustus manly fortitude, 
And scorn those joys thou never shah 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 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. 

•Inform. 



2l6 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

Meph. I will, Faustus. Exit. 

Faust. 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 through 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 contributory 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 desire, 
I'll live in speculation' of this art 
Till Mephistophilis return again. Exit. 

[Scene \W.—A Street.] 
Enter Wagner and Clown 

Wag. Sirrah, boy, come hither. 

Clown. How, boy! Swowns,' boy! I hope you have seen many 
boys with such pickadevaunts' as I have. Boy, quotha! 

Wag. Tell me, sirrah, hast thou any comings in ? 

Clown. Ay, and goings out too. You may see else. 

Wag. Alas, poor slave! See how poverty jesteth in his nakedness! 
The villain is bare and 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. How? My soul to the Devil for a shoulder of mutton, 
though 'twere blood-raw! Not so, good friend. By'r Lady, I had 
need have it well roasted and good sauce to it, if I pay so dear. 

Wag. Well, wilt thou serve me, and I'll make thee go like Qui 
mihi discipulus?^ 

Clown. How, in verse? 

Wag. No, sirrah; in beaten silk and stavesacre.* 

' Study. ' 2^und$, i. e., God's wounds. 
' Beards cut to a sharp point (Fr. pic-a-devant). 

' Dyce points out that these are the first words of W. Lily'i "Ad diicipulos carmen 
de moribus." * A kind of larkspur, used for destroying lice. 



DR. FAUSTUS 21 7 

Clown. How, how, Knave's acre!^ Ay, I thought that was all the 
land his father left him. Do you hear? I would be sorry to rob you 
of your living. 

Wag. Sirrah, I say in stavesacre. 

Clown. Oho! Oho! Stavesacre! Why, then, belike if I were your 
man I should be full of vermin. 

Wag. So thou shalt, whether thou beest with me or no. But, 
sirrah, leave your jesting, and bind yourself presently unto me for 
seven years, or I'll turn all the lice about thee into familiars, and they 
shall tear thee in pieces. 

Clown. Do you hear, sir? You may save that labour; they are too 
familiar with me already. Swowns! they are as bold with my flesh 
as if they had paid for [their J meat and drink. 

Wag. Well, do you hear, sirrah ? Hold, take these guilders. 

[Gifts money.] 

Clown. Gridirons! what be they? 

Wag. Why, French crowns. 

Clown. Mass, but for the name of French crowns, a man were as 
good have as many English counters. And what should I do with 
these ? 

Wag. Why, now, sirrah, thou art at an hour's warning, whenso- 
ever and wheresoever the Devil shall fetch thee. 

Clown. No, no. Here, take your gridirons again. 

Wag. Truly I'll none of them. 

Clown. Truly but you shall. 

Wag. Bear witness I gave them him. 

Clown. Bear witness I gave them you again. 

Wag. Well, I will cause two devils presently to fetch thee away — 
Baliol and Belcher. 

Clown. Let your Baliol and your Belcher come here, and I'll 
knock them, they were never so knock'd since they were devils. 
Say I should kill one of them, what would folks say ? "Do you see 
yonder tall fellow in the round slop' — he has kill'd the devil." So I 
should be called Kill-devil all the parish over. 

' A mean street in London. * Short wide breeches. 



2l8 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

Enter two Devils: the Clown runs up and down crying 

Wag. Baliol and Belcher! Spirits, away! "Exeunt Devils. 

Clown. What, are they gone? A vengeance on them, they have 
vile long nails! There was a he-devil, and a she-devil! I'll tell you 
how you shall know them : all he-devils has horns, and all she-devils 
has clifts and cloven feet. 

Wag. Well, sirrah, follow me. 

Clown. But, do you hear — if I should serve you, would you teach 
me to raise up Banios and Belcheos? 

Wag. I will teach thee to turn thyself to anything; to a dog, or a 
cat, or a mouse, or a rat, or anything. 

Clown. How! a Christian fellow to a dog or a cat, a mouse or a 
rat! No, no, sir. If you turn me into anything, let it be in the likeness 
of a little pretty frisky flea, that I may be here and there and every- 
where. Oh, I'll tickle the pretty wenches' plackets; I'll be amongst 
them, i' faith. 

Wag. Well, sirrah, come. 

Clown. But, do you hear, Wagner ? 

Wag. How! Baliol and Belcher! 

Clown. O Lord! I pray, sir, let Banio and Belcher go sleep. 

Wag. Villain — call me Master Wagner, and let thy left eye be 
diametarily' fixed upon my right heel, with quasi vestigias nostras 
insistere.' Exit. 

Clown. God forgive me, he speaks Dutch fustian. Well, I'll follow 
him, I'll serve him, that's flat. Exit. 

[Scene V.] 
Faustus [discoi/ered] in his Study 

Faust. Now, Faustus, must 
Thou needs be damn'd, and canst thou not be sav'd : 
What boots it then to think of God or Heaven ? 
Away with such vain fancies, and despair: 
Despair in God, and trust in Belzebub. 

' For diametrically. ' "As if to tread in my tracks." 



DR. FAUSTUS 219 

Now go not backward: no, Faustus, be resolute. 

Why waverest thou ? O, something soundeth in mine ears 

"Abjure this magic, turn to God again!" 

Ay, and Faustus will turn to God again. 

To God? — 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. 

Enter Good Angel and Evil Angel 

G. Ang. Sweet Faustus, leave that execrable art. 

Faust. Contrition, prayer, repentance! What of them? 

G. Ang. O, they are means to bring thee unto Heaven. 

E. Ang. Rather, illusions, fruits of lunacy. 
That makes men foolish that do trust them most. 

G. Ang. Sweet Faustus, think of Heaven, and heavenly things. 

£. Ang. No, Faustus, think of honour and of wealth. 

[Exeunt Angels. 

Faust. Of wealth! 
What the signiory of Embden' shall be mine. 
When Mephistophilis shall stand by me. 
What God can hurt thee, Faustus? Thou art safe; 
Cast no more doubts. Come, Mephistophilis, 
And bring glad tidings from great Lucifer; — 
Is't not midnight? Come, Mephistophilis; 
Vent, veni, Mephistophile! 

Enter Mephistophu.is 

Now tell me, what says Lucifer thy lord? 

Meph. That I shall wait on Faustus whilst he lives, 
So he will buy my service with his soul. 

Faust. Already Faustus hath hazarded that for thee. 

Meph. But, Faustus, thou must bequeath it solemnly, 

' F.mden, near the mouth of the river Ems, was an important commercial town in 
Elizabethan times. 



220 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

And write a deed of gift with thine own blood, 
For that security craves great Lucifer. 
If thou deny it, I will back to hell. 

Faust. Stay, Mephistophilis! and tell me what good 
Will my soul do thy lord. 

Meph. Enlarge his kingdom. 

Faust. Is that the reason why he tempts us thus? 

Meph. Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris^ 

Faust. Why, have you any pain that torture others? 

Meph. As great as have the human souls of men. 
But tell me, Faustus, shall I have thy soul? 
And I will be thy slave, and wait on thee, 
And give thee more than thou hast wit to ask. 

Faust. Ay, Mephistophihs, I give it thee. 

Meph. Then, Faustus, stab thine arm courageously. 
And bind thy soul that at some certain day 
Great Lucifer may claim it as his own; 
And then be thou as great as Lucifer. 

Faust, [stabbing his arm.] Lo, Mephistophilis, for love of thee, 
I cut mine arm, and with my proper blood 
Assure my soul to be great Lucifer's, 
Chief lord and regent of perpetual night! 
View here the blood that trickles from mine arm. 
And let it be propitious for my wish. 

Meph. But, Faustus, thou must 
Write it in manner of a deed of gift. 

Faust. Ay, so I will. [Ifr;V«.] But, MephistophiUs, 
My blood congeals, and I can write no more. 

Meph. I'll fetch thee fire to dissolve it straight. Exit. 

Faust. What might the staying of my blood portend? 
Is it unwilling I should write this bill? 
Why streams it not that I may write afresh? 
Faustus gives to thee his soul. Ah, there it stay'd. 
Why should'st thou not ? Is not thy soul thine own ? 
Then write again, Faustus gives to thee his soul. 
' "Misery loves company." 



DR. FAUSTUS 221 

Re-enter Mephistophilis with a chafer of coats 

Meph. Here's fire. Come, Faustus, set it on. 

Faust. So now the blood begins to clear again; 
Now will I make an end immediately. [H^nV«.] 

Meph. O what will not I do to obtain his soul. [Aside.] 

Faust. Consummatum est:* this bill is ended, 
And Faustus hath bequeath'd his soul to Lucifer — 
But what is this inscription on mine arm? 
Homo, fuge!* Whither should I fly ? 
If unto God, he'll throw me down to hell. 
My senses are deceiv'd; here's nothing writ: — 
I see it plain; here in this place is writ 
Homo, fugel Yet shall not Faustus fly. 

Meph. I'll fetch him somewhat to delight his mind. [Exit. 

Re-enter [Mephistophilis] with Devils, giving crowns and rich 
apparel to Faustus, dance, and depart 

Faust. Speak, Mephistophilis, what means this show? 

Meph. Nothing, Faustus, but to delight thy mind withal, 
And to show thee what magic can perform. 

Faust. But may I raise up spirits when I please? 

Meph. Ay, Faustus, and do greater things than these. 

Faust. Then there's enough for a thousand souls. 
Here, Mephistophilis, receive this scroll, 
A deed of gift of body and of soul: 
But yet conditionally that thou perform 
All articles prescrib'd between us both. 

Meph. Faustus, I swear by hell and Lucifer 
To effect all promises between us made. 

Faust. Then hear me read them: On these conditions following. 
First, that Faustus may be a spirit in form and substance. Secondly, 
that Mephistophilis shall be his servant, and at his command. 
Thirdly, that Mephistophilis shall do for him and bring him what- 
soever [he desires]. Fourthly, that he shall be in his chamber or 
' "It is finished." * "Man, fly I" 



222 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

house invisible. Lastly, that he shall appear to the said John Faustus. 
at all times, and in what form or shape soever he pleases. I, John 
Faustus, of Wittenberg, Doctor, by these presents do give both body 
and soul to Lucifer, Prince of the East, and his minister, Mephis- 
tophilis; and furthermore grant unto them, that twenty-four years 
being expired, the articles above written inviolate, full power to fetch 
or carry the said John Faustus, body and soul, flesh, blood, or goods, 
into their habitation wheresoever. By me, John Faustus. 

Meph. Speak, Faustus, do you deliver this as your deed ? 

Faust. Ay, take it, and the Devil give thee good on't. 

Meph. Now, Faustus, ask what thou wilt. 

Faust. First will I question with thee about hell. 
Tell me where is the place that men call hell? 

Meph. Under the Heaven. 

Faust. Ay, but whereabout? 

Meph. Within the bowels of these elements, 
Where we are tortur'd and remain for ever; 
Hell hath no limits, nor is circimiscrib'd 
In one self place; for where we are is hell. 
And where hell is there must we ever be: 
And, to conclude, when all the world dissolves, 
And every creature shall be purified, 
All places shall be hell that is not Heaven. 

Faust. Come, I think hell's a fable. 

Meph. Ay, think so still, till experience change thy mind. 

Faust. Why, think'st thou then that Faustus shall be damn'd? 

Meph. Ay, of necessity, for here's the scroll 
Wherein thou hast given thy soul to Lucifer. 

Faust. Ay, and body too; but what of that? 
Think'st thou -that Faustus is so fond' to imagine 
That, after this life, there is any pain ? 
Tush; these are trifles, and mere old wives' tales. 

Meph. But, Faustus, I am an instance to prove the contrary, 
For I am damned, and am now in hell. 

Faust. Howl now in hell! 
Nay, an this be hell, I'll willingly be damn'd here; 

' Foolish. 



DR. FAUSTUS 223 

What? walking, disputing, &c.? 

But, leaving off this, let me have a wife, 

The fairest maid in Germany; 

For I am wanton and lascivious, 

And cannot live without a wife. 

Meph. How — a wife? 
I prithee, Faustus, talk not of a wife. 

Faust. Nay, sweet Mephistophilis, fetch me one, for I will have one. 

Meph. Well — thou wilt have one. Sit there till I come: 
I'll fetch thee a wife in the Devil's name. [Exit.\ 

Re-enter Mephistophilis with a Devil dressed lil^e a woman, with 

fireworl^s 

Meph. Tell me, Faustus, how dost thou like thy wife? 

Faust. A plague on her for a hot whore! 

Meph. Tut, Faustus, 
Marriage is but a ceremonial toy; 
And if thou lovest me, think no more of it. 
I'll cull thee out the fairest courtesans, 
And bring them every morning to thy bed; 
She whom thine eye shall like, thy heart shall have, 
Be she as chaste as was Penelope, 
As wise as Saba,' or as beautiful 
As was bright Lucifer before his fall. 

Here, take this book, peruse it thoroughly: [Gives a boot^.^ 

The iterating' of these lines brings gold; 
The framing of this circle on the ground 
Brings whirlwinds, tempests, thunder and lightning; 
Pronounce this thrice devoudy to thyself. 
And men in armour shall appear to thee, 
Ready to execute what thou desir'st. 

Faust. Thanks, Mephistophilis; yet fain would I have a book 
wherein I might behold all spells and incantations, that I might raise 
up spirits when I please. 

Meph. Here they are, in this book. Turns to them. 

Faust. Now would I have a book where I might see all charaaers 
' The Queen of Shcba. " Repealing. 



224 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

and planets of the heavens, that I might know their motions and 
disfwsitions. 

Meph. Here they are too. Turns to them. 

Faust. Nay, let me have one book more, — and then I have done, — 
wherein I might see all plants, herbs, and trees that grow upon the 
earth. 

Meph. Here they be. 

Faust. O, thou art deceived. 

Meph. Tut, I warrant thee. Turns to them. Exeunt. 

[Scene VI. — The Same.^ 
Enter Faustus and Mephistophilis 

Faust. When I behold the heavens, then I repent, 
And curse thee, wicked Mephistophilis, 
Because thou hast depriv'd me of those joys. 

Meph. Why, Faustus, 
Thinkest thou Heaven is such a glorious thing? 
I tell thee 'tis not half so fair as thou, 
Or any man that breathes on earth. 

Faust. How provest thou that ? 

Meph. 'Twas made for man, therefore is man more excellent. 

Faust. If it were made for man, 'twas made for me: 
I will renounce this magic and repent. 

Enter Good Ancel and Evil Angel 

G. Ang. Faustus, repent; yet God will pity thee. 

E. Ang. Thou art a spirit; God can not pity thee. 

Faust. Who buzzeth in mine ears I am a spirit.? 
Be I a devil, yet God may pity me; 
Ay, God will pity me if I repent. 

E. Ang. Ay, but Faustus never shall repent. Exeunt Angels. 

Faust. My heart's so hard'ned I cannot repent. 
Scarce can I name salvation, faith, or heaven. 
But fearful echoes thunder in mine ears 
"Faustus, thou art damn'd!" Then swords and knives, 
Poison, gun, halters, and envenom'd steel 



DR. FAUSTUS 225 

Are laid before me to despatch myself, 

And long ere this I should have slain myself, 

Had not sweet pleasure conquer'd deep despair. 

Have I not made blind Homer sing to me 

Of Alexander's love and CEnon's death ? 

And hath not he that built the walls of Thebes 

With ravishing sound of his melodious harp, 

Made music with my Mephistophilis? 

Why should I die then, or basely despair? 

I am resolv'd: Faustus shall ne'er repent. 

Come, Mephistophilis, let us dispute again. 

And argue of divine astrology. 

Tell me, are there many heavens above the moon? 

Are all celestial bodies but one globe. 

As is the substance of this centric earth? 

Meph. As are the elements, such are the spheres 
Mutually folded in each other's orb, 
And, Faustus, 

All jointly move upon one axletree 
Whose terminine is termed the world's wide pole; 
Nor are the names of Saturn, Mars, or Jupiter 
Feign'd, but are erring stars. 

Faust. But tell me, have they all one motion, both situ et tern- 
pore?"^ 

Meph. All jointly move from east to west in twenty-four hours 
upon the poles of the world; but differ in their motion upon the 
poles of the zodiac. 

Faust. Tush! 
These slender trifles Wagner can decide; 
Hath Mephistophilis no greater skill? 
Who knows not the double motion of the planets? 
The first is finish 'd in a natural day; 

The second thus: as Saturn in thirty years; Jupiter in twelve; Mars 
in four; the Sun, Venus, and Mercury in a year; the moon in twenty- 
eight days. Tush, these are freshmen's suppositions. But tell me, 
hath every sphere a dominion or intelligentia? 
' "In directioa and in time?" 



226 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

Meph. Ay. 

Faust. How many heavens, or spheres, are there? 

Meph. Nine: the seven planets, the firmament, and the empyreal 
heaven. 

Faust. Well, resolve me in this question: Why have we not con- 
junctions, oppositions, aspects, eclipses, all at one time, but in some 
years we have more, in some less? 

Meph. Per ineequalem motum respectu totius} 

Faust. Well, I am answered. Tell me who made the world. 

Meph. I will not. 

Faust. Sweet Mephistophilis, tell me. 

Meph. Move me not, for I will not tell thee. 

Faust. Villain, have I not bound thee to tell me anything? 

Meph. Ay, that is not against our kingdom; but this is. 
Think thou on hell, Faustus, for thou art damn'd. 

Faust. Think, Faustus, upon God that made the world. 

Meph. Remember this. 

Faust. Ay, go, accursed spirit, to ugly hell. 
'Tis thou hast damn'd distressed Faustus' soul. 
Is't not too late? 

Re-enter Good Angel and Evil Angel. 

£. Ang. Too late. 

G. Ang. Never too late, if Faustus can repent. 

E. Ang. If thou repent, devils shall tear rhee in pieces. 

G. Ang. Repent, and they shall never raze thy skin. 

[Exeunt Angels.] 
Faust. Ah, Christ, my Saviour, 
Seek to save distressed Faustus' soul. 

Enter Lucifer, Belzebub, and Mephistophilis. 

Imc. Christ cannot save thy soul, for he is just; 
There's none but I have interest in the same. 

Faust. O, who art thou that look'st so terrible? 

Luc. I am Lucifer, 
And this is my companion-prince in hell. 

' "On account of their unequal motion in relation to the whole." 



DR. FAUSTUS 227 

Faust. O FaustusI they are come to fetch away thy soull 

Luc. We come to tell thee thou dost injure us; 
Thou talk'st of Christ contrary to thy promise; 
Thou should'st not think of God : think of the Devil, 
And of his dam, too. 

Faust. Nor will I henceforth: pardon me in this. 
And Faustus vows never to look to Heaven, 
Never to name God, or to pray to him, 
To burn his Scriptures, slay his ministers, 
And make my spirits pull his churches down. 

Luc. Do so, and we will highly gratify thee. Faustus, we are come 
from hell to show thee some pastime. Sit down, and thou shalt see 
all the Seven Deadly Sins appear in their proper shapes. 

Faust. That sight will be as pleasing unto me, 
As Paradise was to Adam the first day 
Of his creation. 

Luc. Talk not of Paradise nor creation, but mark this show: talk 
of the Devil, and nothing else. — Come away! 

Enter the Seven Deadly Sins. 

Now, Faustus, examine them of their several names and disposi- 
tions. 

Faust. What art thou — the first? 

Pride. I am Pride. I disdain to have any parents. I am like to 
Ovid's flea: I can creep into every corner of a wench; sometimes, 
like a periwig, I sit upon her brow; or like a fan of feathers, I kiss 
her lips; indeed I do — what do I not? But, fie, what a scent is here! 
I'll not speak another word, except the ground were perfum'd, and 
covered with cloth of arras. 

Faust. What art thou — the second? 

Covet. I am Covetousness, begotten of an old churl in an old 
leathern bag; and might I have my wish I would desire that this 
house and all the people in it were turn'd to gold, that I might lock 
you up in my good chest. O, my sweet gold! 

Faust. What art thou — the third? 

Wrath. I am Wrath. I had neither father nor mother: I leapt 
out of a lion's mouth when I was scarce half an hour old; and ever 



228 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

since I have run up and down the world with this case' of rapiers, 
wounding myself when 1 had nobody to fight withal. I was born 
in hell; and look to it, for some of you shall be my father. 

Faust. What art thou — the fourth? 

Envy. I am Envy, begotten of a chimney sweeper and an oyster- 
wife. I cannot read, and therefore wish all books were burnt. I am 
lean with seeing others eat. O that there would come a famine 
through all the world, that all might die, and I live alone! then 
thou should'st see how fat I would be. But must thou sit and I 
stand! Come down with a vengeance! 

Faust. Away, envious rascal! What art thou — the fifth? 

Glut, Who, I, sir ? I am Gluttony. My parents are all dead, and 
the devil a penny they have left me, but a bare pension, and that is 
thirty meals a day and ten bevers* — a small trifle to suffice nature. 
O, I come of a royal parentage! My grandfather was a Gammon of 
Bacon, my grandmother a Hogshead of Claret-wine; my godfathers 
were these, Peter Pickleherring, and Martin Martlemas-beef ." O, but 
my godmother, she was a jolly gentlewoman, and well beloved in 
every good town and city; her name was Mistress Margery March- 
beer. Now, Faustus, thou hast heard all my progeny, wilt thou 
bid me to supper? 

Faust. No, I'll see thee hanged : thou wilt eat up all my victuals. 

Glut. Then the Devil choke thee! 

Faust. Choke thyself, glutton! Who art thou — the sixth? 

Sloth. I am Sloth. I was begotten on a sunny bank, where I have 
lain ever since; and you have done me great injury to bring me from 
thence: let me be carried thither again by Gluttony and Lechery. 
I'll not speak another word for a king's ransom. 

Faust. What are you. Mistress Minx, the seventh and last? 

Lech. Who, I, sir? I am one that loves an inch of raw mutton 
better than an ell of fried stockfish; and the first letter of my name 
begins with Lechery. 

Luc. Away to hell, to hell! — Now, Faustus, how dost thou like 

this? [Exeunt the Sins. 

•Pair. * Refreshments between meali. 

' Martlemas or Martinmas was "the customary time for banging up provisions to 
dry which had been salted for the winter." — Naret. 



DR. FAUSTUS 229 

Faust. O, this feeds my soul! 

Lmc. Tut, Faustus, in hell is all manner of delight. 

Faust. O might I see hell, and return again, 
How happy were I then! 

Luc. Thou shalt; I will send for thee at midnight. 
In meantime take this book; peruse it throughly, 
And thou shalt turn thyself into what shape thou wilt. 

Faust. Great thanks, mighty Lucifer! 
This will I keep as chary as my life. 

Luc. Farewell, Faustus, and think on the Devil. 

Faust. Farewell, great Lucifer! Come, Mephistophilis. [Exeunt. 

Enter Chorus 
Chorus. Learned Faustus, 
To know the secrets of astronomy. 
Graven in the book of Jove's high firmament, 
Did mount himself to scale Olympus' top. 
Being seated in a chariot burning bright, 
Drawn by the strength of yoky dragons' necks. 
He now is gone to prove cosmography. 
And, as I guess, will first arrive at Rome, 
To see the Pope and manner of his court, 
And take some part of holy Peter's feast, 
That to this day is highly solemnis'd. [Exit. 

[Scene VII. — The Pope's Privy-chamber.] 
Enter Faustus and Mephistophilis 
Faust. Having now, my good Mephistophilis, 
Passed with delight the stately town of Trier,' 
Environ'd round with airy mountain-tops, 
With walls of flint, and deep entrenched lakes, 
Not to be won by any conquering prince; 
From Paris next, coasting the realm of France, 
We saw the river Maine fall into Rhine, 
Whose banks are set with groves of fruitful vines; 

■ Treves. 



230 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

Then up to Naples, rich Campania, 

Whose buildings fair and gorgeous to the eye. 

The streets straight forth, and pav'd with finest brick. 

Quarter the town in four equivalents. 

There saw we learned Maro's^ golden tomb, 

The way he cut, an Enghsh mile in length. 

Thorough a rock of stone in one night's space; 

From thence to Venice, Padua, and the rest. 

In one of which a sumptuous temple stands. 

That threats the stars with her aspiring top. 

Thus hitherto has Faustus spent his time: 

But tell me, now, what resting-place is this ? 

Hast thou, as erst I did command, 

Conducted me within the walls of Rome? 

Meph. Faustus, I have; and because we will not be unprovided, I 
have taken up his Holiness' privy-chamber for our use. 

Faust. I hope his Holiness will bid us welcome. 

Meph. Tut, 'tis no matter, man, we'll be bold with his good cheer. 
And now, my Faustus, that thou may'st perceive 
What Rome containeth to deHght thee with, 
Know that this city stands upon seven hills 
That underprop the groundwork of the same. 
[Just through the midst runs flowing Tiber's stream. 
With winding banks that cut it in two parts:] 
Over the which four stately bridges lean, 
That make safe passage to each part of Rome: 
Upon the bridge called Ponte Angelo 
Erected is a castle passing strong, 
Within whose walls such store of ordnance are, 
And double cannons fram'd of carved brass, 
As match the days within one complete year; 
Besides the gates and high pyramides. 
Which Julius Carsar brought from Africa. 

Faust. Now by the kingdoms of infernal rule, 
Of Styx, of Acheron, and the fiery lake 

'Virgil, who was reputed a magician in the Middle Ages, was buried at Naples. 



DR. FAUSTUS 23 1 

Of ever-burning Phlegethon, I swear 
That I do long to see the monuments 
And situation of bright-splendent Rome: 
Game therefore, let's away. 

Meph. Nay, Faustus, stay; I know you'd see the Pope, 
And take some part of holy Peter's feast, 
Where thou shalt see a troop of bald-pate friars. 
Whose summum bonum is in belly<heer. 

Faust. Weil, I'm content to compass then some sport. 
And by their folly make us merriment. 
Then charm me, [Mephistophilis,] that I 
May be invisible, to do what I pleiise 
Unseen of any whilst I stay in Rome. 

I Mephistophilis charms him.\ 

Meph. So, Faustus, now 
Do what thou wilt, thou shalt not be discern'd. 

Sound a sennett? Enter the Pope and the Cardinal of Lorrain to 
the banquet, with Friars attending 

Pope, My Lord of Lorrain, wilt please you draw near ? 

Faust. Fall to, and the devil choke you an* you spare! 

Pope. How now I Who's that which spake? — Friars, look about. 

First Friar. Here's nobody, if it like your Holiness. 

Pope. My lord, here is a dainty dish was sent me from the Bishop 
of Milan. 

Faust. I thank you, sir. {Snatches the dish.] 

Pope. How now! Who's that which snatched the meat from me? 
Will no man look? My lord, this dish was sent me from the Cardinal 
of Florence. 

Faust. You say true; I'll ha't. [Snatches the dish.] 

Pope. What, again! My lord, I'll drink to your Grace. 

Faust. I'll pledge your Grace. {Snatches the cup.] 

C. of Lor. My lord, it may be some ghost newly crept out of 

purgatory, come to beg a pardon of your Holiness. 

' "A pankular set of notes on the trumpet or cornet, difierent from a flourish." — 
ttares. 
«If. 



2J2 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

Pope. It may be so. Friars, prepare a dirge to lay the fury of this 
ghost. Once again, my lord, fall to. 

The Pope crosses himself. 
Faust. What, are you crossing of yourself? 
Well, use that trick no more I would advise you. 

The Pope crosses himself again. 
Well, there's the second time. Aware the third, 
I give you fair warning. 

The Pope crosses himself again, and Faustus hits 
him a box 'f the ear; and they all run away. 
Come on, Mephistophilis, what shall we do ? 
Meph. Nay, I know not. We shall be curs'd with bell, book, and 

candle. 
Faust. How! bell, book, and candle, — candle, book, and bell, 
Forward and backward to curse Faustus to hell! 
Anon you shall hear a hog grunt, a calf bleat, and an ass bray. 
Because it is Saint Peter's holiday. 

Re-enter all the Friars to sing the Dirge 
1st. Friar. Come, brethren, let's about our business with good 
devotion. 

They sing: 

Cursed be he that stole away his Holiness* meat from the table! 
Maledicat Dominus!^ 

Cursed be he that struck his Holiness a blow on the face! Maledicat 
Dominusl 

Cursed be he that took Friar Sandelo a blow on the pate! Maledicat 
Do minus! 

Cursed be he that disturbeth our holy dirge! Maledicat Dominusl 

Cursed be he that took away his Holiness' wine! Maledicat Dom- 
inusl Et omnes sanctil* Amen! 

[Mephistophilis and Faustus beat the Friars, and fling fire- 
wor/^s among them : and so exeunt. 

* "May the Lord curse him." • "And ill the saints." 



DR. FAUSTUS 233 

Enter Chorus 
Chorus. When Faustus had with pleasure ta'en the view 
Of rarest things, and royal courts of kings, 
He stay'd his course, and so returned home; 
Where such as bear his absence but with grief, 
I mean his friends, and near'st companions, 
Did gratulate his safety with kind words. 
And in their conference of what befell, 
Touching his journey through the world and air, 
They put forth questions of Astrology, 
Which Faustus answer'd with such learned skill, 
As they admir'd and wond'red at his wit. 
Now is his fame spread forth in every land; 
Amongst the rest the Emperor is one, 
Carolus the Fifth, at whose palace now 
Faustus is feasted 'mongst his noblemen. 
What there he did in trial of his art, 
I leave untold — your eyes shall see perform'd. [£x/>.] 

[Scene VIII. — An Inn-yard.] 

Enter Robin the Ostler with a boof^ in his hand 

Robin. O, this is admirable! here I ha' stolen one of Dr. Faustus's 
conjuring books, and i' faith I mean to search some circles for my 
own use. Now will I make all the maidens in our parish dance at 
my pleasure, stark naked before me; and so by that means I shall 
see more than e'er I felt or saw yet. 

Enter Ralph calling Robin 

Ralph. Robin, prithee come away; there's a gentleman tarries to 
have his horse, and he would have his things rubb'd and made clean. 
He keeps such a chafing with my mistress about it; and she has 
sent me to look thee out; prithee come away. 

Robin. Keep out, keep out, or else you are blown up; you are 
dismemb'red, Ralph: keep out, for I am about a roaring piece of 
work. 



234 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

Ralph. Come, what dost thou with that same book ? Thou canst 
not read. 

Robin. Yes, my master and mistress shall find that I can read, he 
for his forehead, she for her private study; she's born to bear with 
me, or else my art fails. 

Ralph. Why, Robin, what book is that? 

Robin. What book! Why, the most intolerable book for conjuring 
that e'er was invented by any brimstone devil. 

Ralph. Canst thou conjure with it? 

Robin. I can do all these things easily with it: first, I can make 
thee drunk with ippocras' at any tabern* in Europe for nothing; 
that's one of my conjuring works, 

Ralph. Our Master Parson says that's nothing. 

Robin. True, Ralph; and more, Ralph, if thou hast any mind to 
Nan Spit, our kitchenmaid, then turn her and wind her to thy own 
use as often as thou wilt, and at midnight. 

Ralph. O brave Robin, shall I have Nan Spit, and to mine own 
use? On that condition I'll feed thy devil with horsebread as long 
as he lives, of free cost. 

Robin. No more, sweet Ralph : let's go and make clean our boots, 
which lie foul upon our hands, and then to our conjuring in the 
Devil's name. Exeunt. 

[Scene IX. — An Inn.\ 
Enter Robin and Ralph with a silver goblet. 

Robin. Come, Ralph, did not I tell thee we were for ever made 
by this Doctor Faustus' book? Ecce signum* here's a simple pur- 
chase* for horsekeepers; our horses shall eat no hay as long as this 
lasts. 

Enter the Vintner 

Ralph. But, Robin, here come the vintner. 

Robin. Hush! I'll gull him supernaturally. 
Drawer, I hope all is paid : God be with you. Come, Ralph. 

Vint. Soft, sir; a word with you. I must yet have a goblet paid 

from you, ere you go. 

' Wioe mixed with suj^r and spices, * Tavern. 

' "Behold a sign." * Gain. 



DR. FAUSTDS 235 

Robin. I, a goblet, Ralph; I, a goblet! I scorn you, and you are but 
a,' &c. I, a goblet! search me. 

Vint. I mean so, sir, with your favour. [Searches him.] 

Robin. How say you now? 

Vint. I must say somewhat to your fellow. You, sir! 

Ralph. Me, sir! me, sir! search your fill. [Vintner searches him.] 
Now, sir, you may be ashamed to burden honest men with a matter 
of truth. 

Vint. Well, tone of you hath this goblet about you. 

Robin. You lie, drawer, 'tis afore me. \ Aside.] Sirrah you, I'll 
teach ye to impeach honest men; — stand by; — I'll scour you for a 
goblet! — stand aside you had best, I charge you in the name of 
Belzebub. Look to the goblet, Ralph. [Aside to Ralph.] 

Vint. What mean you, sirrah? 

Robin. I'll tell you what I mean. Reads [from a boo^.] 

Sanctobulorum. Periphrasticon — Nay, I'll tickle you, vintner. Look 
to the goblet, Ralph. [Aside to Ralph.] 

Polypragmos Belseborams framanto pacostiphos tostu, Mephis- 
tophilis, &c. [Reads. 

Enter Mephistophilis, sets squibs at their bac^s, [and then exit]. 

They run about 

Vint. O nomine Domini!* what meanest thou, Robin ? Thou hast 
no goblet. 

Ralph. Peccatum peccatorumT Here's thy goblet, good vintner. 
[Gives the goblet to Vintner, tvho exit.] 

Robin. Misericordia pro nobis!* What shall I do? Good Devil, 
forgive me now, and I'll never rob thy library more. 

Re-enter Mephistophilis 

Meph. Monarch of hell, under whose black survey 
Great potentates do kneel with awful fear, 
Upon whose altars thousand souls do lie. 
How am I vexed with these villains' charms? 

' The abuse was left to the actor's inventiveness. 

• "In the name of the Lord." ^ "Sin of sins." • "Mercy on us." 



236 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

From Constantinople am I hither come 
Only for pleasure of these damned slaves. 

Robin. How from Constantinople? You have had a great journey. 
Will you take sixpence in your purse to pay for your supper, and 
begone ? 

Meph. Well, villains, for your presumption, I transform thee into 
an ape, and thee into a dog; and so begone. \Exit. 

Robin. How, into an ape? That's brave! I'll have fine sport with 
the boys. I'll get nuts and apples enow. 

Ralph. And I must be a dog. 

Robin. I'faith thy head will never be out of the pottage pot. 

Exeunt. 

[Scene X. — The Court of the Emperor. \ 
Enter Emperor, Faustus, and a Knight with attendants 

Emp. 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 thou list. This therefore is my request, that thou let me see 
some proof of thy skill, that mine eyes may be witnesses 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 
shah be no ways prejudiced or endamaged. 

Knight. I'faith he looks much like a conjuror. Aside. 

Faust. 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 majesty, yet for that love and duty 
binds me thereunto, I am content to do whatsoever your majesty 
shall command me. 

Emp. Then, Doctor Faustus, mark what I shall say. 
As I was sometime solitary set 
Within my closet, sundry thoughts arose 
About the honour of mine ancestors. 
How they had won by prowess such exploits, 

• Proportionate. 



DR. FAUSTUS 237 

Got such riches, subdued so many kingdoms 
As we that do succeed, or they that shall 
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. 
The bright shining of whose glorious acts 
Lightens the world with his' reflecting beams. 
As when I heard but motion' made of him 
It grieves my soul I never saw the man. 
If therefore thou by cunning of thine art 
Canst raise this man from hollow vaults below. 
Where lies entomb'd this famous conqueror. 
And bring with him his beauteous paramour. 
Both in their right shapes, gesture, and attire 
They us'd to wear during their time of life, 
Thou shalt both satisfy my just desire. 
And give me cause to praise thee whilst I live. 

Faust. 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. 

Knight. I'faith that's just nothing at all. Aside. 

Faust. 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. 

Knight. Ay, marry, Master Doctor, now there's a sign of grace 
in you, when you will confess the truth. Aside. 

Faust. But such spirits as can lively resemble Alexander and his 
paramour shall appear before your Grace in that manner that they 
[best] lived in, in their most flourishing estate; which I doubt not 
shall sufficiendy content your imperial majesty. 

Emp. Go to. Master Doctor, let me see them presently. 

Knight. Do you hear, Master Doctor? You bring Alexander and 
his paramour before the Emperor! 

Faust. How then, sir ? 

Knight. I'faith that's as true as Diana turn'd me to a stag! 

* Its. ' Mention. 



238 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

Faust. No, sir, but when Actaron died, he left the horns for you. 
Mephistophilis, begone. Exit Mephisto. 

Knight. Nay, an you go to conjuring, I'll begone. Exit. 

Faust. I'll meet with you anon for interrupting me so. Here they 
are, my gracious lord. 

Re-enter Mephistophilis with [Spirits in the shape of] Alexander 
and his Paramour 

Emp. Master Doctor, I heard this lady while she liv'd had a wart 
or mole in her neck: how shall I know whether it be so or no? 

Faust. Your Highness may boldly go and see. 

Emp. Sure these are no spirits, but the true substantial bodies of 
those two deceased princes. [Exeunt Spirits.] 

Faust. Will't please your Highness now to send for the knight that 
was so pleasant with me here of late? 

Emp. One of you call him forth. [Exit Attendant.] 

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

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 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! 

Faust. O, not so fast, sir; there's no haste; but, good, are you re- 
memb'red how you crossed me in my conference with the Emperor? 
I think I have met with you for it. 

Emp. Good Master Doctor, at my entreaty release him; he hath 
done penance sufficient. 

Faust. My gracious lord, not so much for the injury he off'red 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 to release him of his horns: and, sir knight, 
hereafter speak well of scholars. Mephistophilis, transform him 
straight. [Mephistophilis r<rwof«/Af Aorn^.] Now, my good lord, 
having done my duty I humbly take my leave. 



DR. FAUSTUS 239 

Emp. Farewell, Master Doctor; yet, ere you go, 
Expect from me a bounteous reward. [Exeunt. 

[Scene XI. — A Green; ajterwards the House of Faustus.] 
[Enter Faustus and Mephistophilis] 

Faust. Now, Mephistophilis, the restless course 
That Time doth run with calm and silent foot, 
Short'ning my days and thread of vital life, 
Calls for the payment of my latest years; 
Therefore, sweet Mephistophilis, let us 
Make haste to Wittenberg. 

Meph. What, will you go on horseback or on foot? 

Faust. Nay, till I'm past this fair and pleasant green, I'll walk 
on foot. 

Enter a Horse-Courser 

Horse-C. I have been all this day seeking one Master Fustian: 
mass, see where he is! God save you. Master Doctor! 

Faust. What, horse-courser! You are well met. 

Horse-C. Do you hear, sir? I have brought you forty dollars for 
your horse. 

Faust. I cannot sell him so: if thou likest him for fifty take him. 

Horse-C. Alas, sir, I have no more. — I pray you speak for me. 

Meph. I pray you let him have him: he is an honest fellow, and 
he has a great charge, neither wife nor child. 

Faust. Well, come, give me your money. [Horse-Courser gives 
Faustus the money. \ My boy will deliver him to you. But I must 
tell you one thing before you have him; ride him not into the water 
at any hand. 

Horse-C. Why, sir, will he not drink of all waters? 

Faust. O yes, he will drink of all waters, but ride him not into the 
water: ride him over hedge or ditch, or where thou wilt, but not 
into the water. 

Horse-C. Well, sir. — Now I am made man for ever. I'll not leave 
my horse for forty. If he had but the quality of hey-ding-ding, hey- 
ding-ding, I'd made a brave living on him : he has a buttock as slick 



240 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

as an eel. [Aside.] Well, God b' wi' ye, sir, your boy will deliver 
him me: but hark you, sir; if my horse be sick or ill at ease, if I 
bring his water to you, you'll tell me what it is. 
Faust. Away, you villain; what, dost think I am a horse-doctor? 

Exit HoRSE-CoURSER. 

What art thou, Faustus, but a man condemn'd to die ? 

Thy fatal time doth draw to final end; 

Despair doth drive distrust unto my thoughts: 

Confound these passions with a quiet sleep: 

Tush, Christ did call the thief upon the cross; 

Then rest thee, Faustus, quiet in conceit. Sleeps in his chair. 

Re-enter Horse-Courser, all wet, crying 

Horse-C. Alas, alas! Doctor Fustian quotha? Mass, Doctor Lopus' 
was never such a doctor. Has given me a purgation has purg'd me 
of forty dollars; I shall never see them more. But yet, like an ass 
as I was, I would not be ruled by him, for he bade me I should ride 
him into no water. Now I, thinking my horse had had some rare 
quality that he would not have had me known of, I, like a ven- 
turous youth, rid him into the deep pond at the town's end. I was no 
sooner in the middle of the pond, but my horse vanished away, and I 
sat upon a bottle of hay, never so near drowning in my life. But 
I'll seek out my Doctor, and have my forty dollars again, or I'll 
make it the dearest horse! — O, yonder is his snipper-snapper. — Do 
you hear? You hey-pass,' where's your master? 

Meph. Why, sir, what would you? You cannot speak with him. 

Horse-C. But I will speak with him. 

Meph. Why, he's fast asleep. Come some other time. 

Horse-C. I'll speak with him now, or I'll break his glass windows 
about his ears. 

Meph. I tell thee he has not slept this eight nights. 

Horse-C. An he have not slept this eight weeks, I'll speak with 
him. 

Meph. See where he is, fast asleep. 

'Dr. Lopez, physician to Queen Elizabeth, was hanged in 1594 on the charge of 
conspiring to poison the Queen. 

' A juggler's term, like "presto, fly!" Hence applied to the juggler himself. — Bullen. 



DR. FAUSTUS 24 1 

Horse-C. Ay, this is he. God save you, Master Doctor! Master 
Doaor, Master Doctor Fustian I — Forty dollars, forty dollars for a 
bottle of hay! 

Meph. Why, thou seest he hears thee not. 

Horse-C. So ho, ho! — so ho, ho! {Hollas in his ear.) 

No, will you not wake? I'll make you wake ere I go. (Pulls¥ avstvs 
by the leg, and pulls it away.) Alas, I am undone! What shall I do? 

Faust. O my leg, my leg! Help, Mephistophilis! call the officers. 
My leg, my leg! 

Meph. Come, villain, to the constable. 

Horse-C. O lord, sir, let me go, and I'll give you forty dollars 
more. 

Meph. Where be they ? 

Horse-C. I have none about me. Come to my ostry' and I'll give 
them you. 

Meph. Begone quickly. Horse-Courser runs away. 

Faust. What, is he gone? Farewell he! Faustus has his leg again, 
and the horse-courser, I take it, a bottle of hay for his labour. Well, 
this trick shall cost him forty dollars more. 

Enter Wagner 
How now, Wagner, what's the news with thee? 

Wag. Sir, the Duke of Vanholt doth earnestly entreat your com- 
pany. 

Faust. The Duke of Vanholt! an honourable gentleman, to whom 
I must be no niggard of my cunning. Come, Mephistophilis, let's 
away to him. Exeunt. 

[Scene XII. — The Court of the Du\e of Vanholt.] 

Enter the Duke [of Vanholt], the Duchess, Faustus, and 
Mephistophilis 

Duke. Believe me, Master Doctor, this merriment hath much 
pleased me. 

Faust. My gracious lord, I am glad it contents you so well. — But 
it may be, madam, you take no delight in this. I have heard that 

'Inn. 



242 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

great-bellied women do long for some dainties or other. What is 
it, madam? Tell me, and you shall have it. 

Duchess. Thanks, good Master Doctor; and for I see your courte- 
ous intent to pleasure me, I will not hide from you the thing my 
heart desires; and were it now summer, as it is January and the 
dead time of the winter, I would desire no better meat than a dish 
of ripe grapes. 

Faust. Alas, madam, that's nothing! Mephistophilis, begone. 
{Exit Mephistophilis.) Were it a greater thing than this, so it would 
content you, you should have it. 

Re-enter Mephistophilis tvith the grapes 

Here they be, madam; wilt please you taste on them? 

Du^e. Believe me. Master Doctor, this makes me wonder above 
the rest, that being in the dead time of winter, and in the month 
of January, how you should come by these grapes. 

Faust. If it like your Grace, the year is divided into two circles 
over the whole world, that, when it is here winter with us, in the 
contrary circle it is summer with them, as in India, Saba, and farther 
countries in the East; and by means of a swift spirit that I have I 
had them brought hither, as ye see. — How do you like them, 
madam; be they good? 

Duchess. Believe me. Master Doctor, they be the best grapes that 
I e'er tasted in my life before. 

Faust. I am glad they content you so, madam. 

Du^e. Come, madam, let us in, where you must well reward this 
learned man for the great kindness he hath show'd to you. 

Duchess. And so I will, my lord; and, whilst I live, rest beholding 
for this courtesy. 

Faust. I humbly thank your Grace. 

Du/^e. Come, Master Doctor, follow us and receive your reward. 

[Exeunt. 



DR. FAUSTUS 243 

[Scene XIII. — A room in Faustus's House.] 
Enter Wagner 

Wag. I think my master shortly means to die, 
For he hath given to me all his goods; 
And yet, methinks, if that death were so near. 
He would not banquet and carouse and swill 
Amongst the students, as even now he doth. 
Who are at supper with such belly<heer 
As Wagner ne'er beheld in all his life. 
See where they come! Belike the feast is ended. 

Enter Faustus, with two or three Scholars [and 
MephistophilisJ 

1st Schol. Master Doctor Faustus, since our conference about fair 
ladies, which was the beautifullest in all the world, we have de- 
termined with ourselves that Helen of Greece was the admirablest 
lady that ever lived : therefore. Master Doctor, if you will do us that 
favour, as to let us see that peerless dame of Greece, whom all the 
world admires for majesty, we should think ourselves much behold- 
ing unto you. 

Faust. Gentlemen, 
For that I know your friendship is unfeigned, 
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 cross'd the seas with her. 
And brought the spoils to rich Dardania. 
Be silent, then, for danger is in words. 

Music sounds, and Helen passetk over the stage. 

2nd Schol. Too simple is my wit to tell her praise, 
Whom all the world admires for majesty. 

^rd Schol. No marvel though the angry Greeks pursued 
With ten years' war the rape of such a queen, 
Whose heavenly beauty passeth all compare. 



244 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

1st Schol. Since we have seen the pride of Nature's works, 
And only paragon of excellence, 
Let us depart; and for this glorious deed 
Happy and blest be Faustus evermore. 

Faustus. Gendemen, farewell — the same I wish to you. 

Exeunt Scholars [and Wagner]. 

Enter an Old Man 

Old Man. Ah, Doctor Faustus, that I might prevail 
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 
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. 
Whose blood alone must wash away thy guilt. 

Faust. Where art thou, Faustus? Wretch, what hast thou done? 
Damn'd art thou, Faustus, damn'd; despair and die! 
Hell calls for right, and with a roaring voice 
Says "Faustus! come! thine hour is (almost] come!" 
And Faustus [now] will come to do the right. 

Mephistophilis gives him a dagger. 

Old Man. Ah stay, good Faustus, stay thy desperate steps! 
I see an angel hovers o'er thy head. 
And, with a vial full of precious grace. 
Offers to pour the same into thy soul: 
Then call for mercy, and avoid despair. 

Faust. Ah, my sweet friend, 1 feel 
Thy words do comfort my distressed soul. 
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. [E«V.] 



DR. FAUSTUS 245 

Faust. Accursed Faustus, where is mercy now? 
I do repent; and yet I do despair; 
Hell strives with grace for conquest in my breast: 
What shall I do to shun the snares of death ? 

Meph. Thou traitor, Faustus, I arrest thy soul 
For disobedience to my sovereign lord; 
Revolt, or I'll in piecemeal tear thy flesh. 

Faust. 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. 

Meph. Do it then quickly, with unfeigned heart. 
Lest greater danger do attend thy drift. 

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

Faust. Torment, sweet friend, that base and crooked age,' 
That durst dissuade me from my Lucifer, 
With greatest torments that our hell affords. 

Meph. 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. 

Faust. One thing, good servant, let me crave of thee, 
To glut the longing of my heart's desire, — 
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. 

Meph. Faustus, this or what else thou shalt desire 
Shall be perform'd in twinkling of an eye. 

Re-^nter Helen 

Faust. Was this the face that launched a thousand ships 
And burnt the topless' towers of Ilium? 

Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss. [Kisses her.] 

Her lips suck forth my soul; see where it flies! — 

' old man. ' Unsurpassed in height. 



246 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

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. Enter Old Man. 

I will be Paris, and for love of thee. 

Instead of Troy, shall Wittenberg be sack'd; 

And I will combat with weak Menelaus, 

And wear thy colours on my plumed crest; 

Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel. 

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 appear'd to hapless Semele : 

More lovely than the monarch of the sky 

In wanton Arethusa's azured arms: 

And none but thou shalt be my paramour. Exeunt. 

Old Man. Accursed Faustus, miserable man, 
That from thy soul exclud'st the grace of Heaven, 
And fly'st the throne of his tribunal seat I 

Enter Devils 
Satan begins to sift me with his pride: 
As in this furnace God shall try my faith. 
My faith, vile hell, shall triumph over thee. 
Ambitious fiends! see how the heavens smiles 
At your repulse, and laughs your state to scorn! 
Hence, hell! for hence I fly unto my God. 

Exeunt [on one side Devils, on the other, Old Man]. 

[Scene XIV. — The Same.] 
Enter Faustus with Scholars 

Faust. Ah, gendemen! 

I St Schol. What ails Faustus? 

Faust. Ah, my sweet chamber-fellow, had I lived with thee, then 
had I lived still! but now I die eternally. Look, comes he not, comes 
he not.? 



DR. FAUSTUS 247 

2nd Schol. What means Faustus? 

^d Schol. Belike he is grown into some sickness by being over 
soHtary. 

1st Schol. If it be so, we'll have physicians to cure him. 'Tis but a 
surfeit. Never fear, man. 

Faust. A surfeit of deadly sin that hath damn'd both body and 
soul. 

2nd Schol. Yet, Faustus, look up to Heaven; remember God's 
mercies are infinite. 

Faust. But Faustus' offenses can never be pardoned: the serpent 
that tempted Eve may be sav'd, but not Faustus. Ah, gentlemen, 
hear me with patience, and tremble not at my speeches! Though my 
heart pants and quivers to remember that I have been a student here 
these thirty years, oh, would I had never seen Wittenberg, never read 
book! And what wonders I have done, all Germany can witness, 
yea, the world; for which Faustus hath lost both Germany and the 
world, yea Heaven itself, Heaven, the seat of God, the throne of 
the blessed, the kingdom of joy; and must remain in hell for ever, 
hell, ah, hell, for ever! Sweet friends! what shall become of Faustus 
being in hell for ever? 

^d Schol. Yet, Faustus, call on God. 

Faust. On God, whom Faustus hath abjur'd! on God, whom Faus- 
tus hath blasphemed! Ah, my God, I would weep, but the Devil 
draws in my tears. Gush forth blood instead of tears! Yea, life and 
soul! Oh, he stays my tongue! I would lift up my hands, but see, 
they hold them, they hold them! 

All. Who, Faustus? 

Faust. Lucifer and Mephistophilis. Ah, gendemen, I gave them 
my soul for my cunning! 

All. God forbid! 

Faust. God forbade it indeed ; but Faustus hath done it. For vain 
pleasure of twenty-four years hath Faustus lost eternal joy and 
felicity. I writ them a bill with mine own blood: the date is expired; 
the time will come, and he will fetch me. 

1st Schol. Why did not Faustus tell us of this before, that divines 
might have pray'd for thee? 

Faust. Oft have I thought to have done so; but the Devil threat'ned 



248 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

to tear me in pieces if I nam'd God; to fetch both body and soul if I 
once gave ear to divinity: and now 'tis too late. Gentlemen, away! 
lest you perish with me. 

2nd Schol. Oh, what shall we do to save Faustus? 

Faust. Talk not of me, but save yourselves, and depart. 

jrd Schol. God will strengthen me. I will stay with Faustus. 

ist Schol. Tempt not God, sweet friend; but let us into the next 
room, and there pray for him, 

Faust. Ay, pray for me, pray for me! and what noise soever ye 
hear, come not unto me, for nothing can rescue me. 

2nd Schol. Pray thou, and we will pray that God may have mercy 
upon thee. 

Faust. Gentlemen, farewell! If I live till morning I'll visit you: 
if not — Faustus is gone to hell. 

All. Faustus, farewell! 

Exeunt Scholars. The clocl{ strif^es eleven. 

Faust. Ah, Faustus, 
Now hast thou but one bare hour to live. 
And then thou must be damn'd perpetually! 
Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of Heaven, 
That time may cease, and midnight never come; 
Fair Nature's eye, rise, rise again and make 
Perpetual day; or let this hour be but 
A year, a month, a week, a natural day. 
That Faustus may repent and save his soul! 
O lente, lente, curite noctis equi!^ 
The stars move still,' time runs, the clock will strike, 
The Devil will come, and Faustus must be damn'd. 
O, I'll leap up to my God! Who pulls me down? 
See, see where Christ's blood streams in the firmament! 
One drop would save my soul — half a drop: ah, my Christ! 
Ah, rend not my heart for naming of my Christ! 
Yet will I call on him: O spare me, Lucifer! — 
Where is it now? "Tis gone; and see where God 
Stretcheth out his arm, and bends his ireful brows! 

• "Run softly, softly, horses of the night" — Ovid's Amores, i. 13. 

* Without ceasing. 



DR. FAUSTUS 249 

Mountain and hills come, come and fall on me, 
And hide me from the heavy wrath of God! 
No! no! 

Then will I headlong run into the earth; 
Earth gape! O no, it will not harbour me! 
You stars that reign'd at my nativity. 
Whose influence hath alloted death and hell. 
Now draw up Faustus like a foggy mist 
Into the entrails of yon labouring clouds. 
That when they vomit forth into the air. 
My limbs may issue from their smoky mouths, 
So that my soul may but ascend to Heaven. 

The watch strides {the half hour]. 
Ah, half the hour is past! 'Twill all be past anon! 
OGod! 

If thou wilt not have mercy on my soul. 
Yet for Christ's sake whose blood hath ransom 'd me. 
Impose some end to my incessant pain; 
Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years — 
A hundred thousand, and — ^at last — be sav'd! 
O, no end is limited to damned souls! 
Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul? 
Or why is this immortal that thou hast? 
Ah, Pythagoras' metempsychosis! were that true, 
This soul should fly from me, and I be chang'd 
Unto some brutish beast! All beasts are happy. 
For, when they die, 

Their souls are soon dissolv'd in elements; 
But mine must live, still to be plagu'd in hell. 
Curst be the parents that engend'red me! 
No, Faustus: curse thyself: curse Lucifer 
That hath depriv'd thee of the joys of Heaven. 

The cloc\ striketh twelve. 
O, it strikes, it strikes! Now, body, turn to air. 
Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell. 

Thunder and lightning. 
O soul, be chang'd into little water-drops. 



250 CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE 

And fall into the ocean — ne'er be found. 

My God! my God! look not so fierce on me! Enter Devils. 

Adders and serpents, let me breathe awhile! 

Ugly hell, gape not! come not, Lucifer! 

I'll burn my books! — Ah Mephistophilis! 

Exeunt Devils with Faustus. 

Enter Chorus 

Cho. Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight, 
And burned is Apollo's laurel bough, 
That sometime grew within this learned man. 
Faustus is gone; regard his hellish fall. 
Whose fiendful fortune may exhort the wise 
Only to wonder at unlawful things. 
Whose deepness doth entice such forward wits 
To practise more than heavenly power permits. [£«>.] 



EGMONT 
A TRAGEDY IN FIVE ACTS 

BY 
GOETHE 

TRANSLATED BY 
ANNA SWANWICK 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE 

In 1775, when Goethe was twenty-six, and before he went to Weimar, 
he began to write "Egmont." After working on it at intervals for twelve 
years, he finished it at Rome, in 1787. 

The scene of the drama is laid in the Low Countries at the beginning 
of the revolt against Spain. In the fifteenth century Philip of Burgundy 
had usurped dominion over several of the provinces of the Netherlands, 
and through him they had passed into the power of his descendant, the 
Emperor Charles V. This powerful ruler abolished the constitutional 
rights of the provinces, and introduced the Inquisition in order to stamp 
out Protestantism. Prominent among his officers was the Fleming, 
Lamoral, Count Egmont, upon whom he lavished honors and oppor- 
tunities of service — opportunities so well improved that, by his victories 
over the French at Saint-Quentin (1557) and Gravelines (1558) Egmont 
made a reputation as one of the most brilliant generals in Europe, and 
became the idol of his countrymen. When in 1559 a new Regent of 
the Netherlands was to be created, the people hoped that Philip II, who 
had succeeded Charles, would choose Egmont; but instead he appointed 
his half-sister Margaret, Duchess of Parma. Under the new Regent the 
persecution of the Protestants was rigorously pressed, and in 1565 Egmont, 
though a Catholic, was sent to Madrid to plead for clemency. He was 
received by the King with every appearance of cordiality, but shortly 
after his return home the Duke of Alva was sent to the Netherlands with 
instructions to put down with an iron hand all resistance to his master's 
will. How terribly he carried out his orders has been told by Prescott 
and Motley. Egmont was an early victim, but his martyrdom, with that 
of Count Horn, and later the assassination of William of Orange, roused 
the Netherlands to a resistance that ended only with the complete throw- 
ing off of the Spanish yoke. 

Such in outline is the background chosen by Goethe for his tragedy. 
With many changes in detail, the dramatist has still preserved a picture 
of a historical situation of absorbing interest, and has painted a group of 
admirable portraits. The drama has long been a favorite on the stage, 
where it enjoys the advantage of Beethoven's musical setting. 



EGMONT 



DRAMATIS PERSONS 

Makcaket of Parma, Daughter of Charles V., and Regent of the 

Netherlands. 

Count Egmont, Prince of Gaure The Duke op Alva 

William of Orange Ferdinand, his naturcd Son 

Machiavel, in the service of the Regent Richard, Ecmont's Private Secretary 

SiLVA, \ • ,t I ji Clara, the Beloved of Ecmont 

^ > in the service of Alva „ ,, 

Gomez, J Her Mother 

Brackenburg, a Citizen's Son, and Vansen, a Clerk, 
SoEST, a Shopkeeper, ^ 
Ietter, a Tailor, l ^■.- / d i 

A Carpenter, '^C.zens of Brussels 

A Soapboiler, J 

BuYCK, a Hollander, a Soldier under Ruysum, a Frieslander, an invalid Soldier, 

Ecmont and deaf 

People, Attendants, Guards, &c. 

SCENE: BRUSSELS 



ACT I 

Scene I. — Soldiers and Citizens (ivith cross-bows) 

Jetter {steps jorivard, and bends his cross-boiv) . 
SoEST, BuYCK, Ruysum 
Soest. 

COME, shoot away, and have done with it! You won't beat 
me! Three black rings, you never made such a shot in all 
your life. And so I'm master for this year. 
Jetter. Master and king to boot; who envies you? You'll have to 
pay double reckoning; 'tis only fair you should pay for your dexterity. 
Buyc^. Jetter, I'll buy your shot, share the prize, and treat the 
company. I have already been here so long, and am a debtor for so 
many civilities. If I miss, then it shall be as if you had shot. 

Soest. I ought to have a voice, for in fact I am the loser. No mat- 
ter! Come, Buyck, shoot away. 

253 



254 GOETHE 

Buycl{ (shoots). Now, corporal, look out! — One! Two! Three! 
Four! 

Soest. Four rings! So be it! 

All. Hurrah! Long live the King! Hurrah! Hurrah! 

Buycf{. Thanks, sirs, master even were too much! Thanks for 
the honour. 

Jetter. You have no one to thank but yourself. 

Ruysum. Let me tell you — 

Soest. How now, grey-beard? 

Ruysum. Let me tell you! — He shoots like his master, he shoots 
like Egmont. 

Buycl{. Compared with him I am only a bungler. He aims with 
the rifle as no one else does. Not only when he's lucky or in the 
vein; no! he levels, and the bull's-eye is pierced. I have learned from 
him. He were indeed a blockhead, who could serve under him and 
learn nothing! — But, sirs, let us not forget! A king maintains his 
followers; and so, wine here, at the king's charge! 

Jetter. We have agreed among ourselves that each — 

Buycf{. I am a foreigner, and a king, and care not a jot for your 
laws and customs. 

Jetter. Why, you are worse than the Spaniard, who has not yet 
ventured to meddle with them. 

Ruysum. What does he say? 

Soest (loud to Ruysum). He wants to treat us; he will not hear 
of our clubbing together, the king paying only a double share. 

Ruysum. Let him! under protest, however! 'Tis his master's 
fashion, too, to be munificent, and to let the money flow in a good 
cause. ( Wine is brought.) 

All. Here's to his Majesty! Hurrah! 

Jetter (to Buyck). That means your Majesty, of course. 

Buyc/^. My hearty thanks, if it be so. 

Soest. Assuredly! A Netherlander does not find it easy to drink 
the health of his Spanish majesty from his heart. 

Ruysum. Who? 

Soest (aloud). Phihp the Second, King of Spain. 

Ruysum. Our most gracious king and master! Long life to him. 



EGMONT 255 

Soest. Did you not like his father, Charles the Fifth, better? 

Ruysum. God bless him! He was a king indeed! His hand 
reached over the whole earth, and he was all in all. Yet, when he 
met you, he'd greet you just as one neighbour greets another, — and 
if you were frightened, he knew so well how to put you at your 
ease — ay, you understand me — he walked out, rode out, just as it 
came into his head, with very few followers. We all wept when he 
resigned the government here to his son. You understand me — he 
is another sort of man, he's more majestic. 

fetter. When he was here, he never appeared in pubUc, except 
in pomp and royal state. He speaks little, they say. 

Soest. He is no king for us Netherlanders. Our princes must be 
joyous and free like ourselves, must live and let live. We will neither 
be despised nor oppressed, good-natured fools though we be. 

fetter. The king, methinks, were a gracious sovereign enough, if 
he had only better counsellors. 

Soest. No, no! He has no affection for us Netherlanders; he has 
no heart for the people; he loves us not; how then can we love 
him? Why is everybody so fond of Count Egmont? Why are we 
all so devoted to him? Why, because one can read in his face that 
he loves us; because joyousness, open-heartedness, and good-nature, 
speak in his eyes; because he possesses nothing that he does not share 
with him who needs it, ay, and with him who needs it not. Long live 
Count Egmont! Buyck, it is for you to give the first toast; give us 
your master's health. 

Buyc^. With all my heart; here's to Count Egmont! Hurrah! 

Ruysum. Conqueror of St. Quintin. 

Buyc/(. The hero of Gravelines. 

All. Hurrah! 

Ruysum. St. Quintin was my last battle. I was hardly able to 
crawl along, and could with difficulty carry my heavy rifle. I man- 
aged, notwithstanding, to singe the skin of the French once more, 
and, as a parting gift, received a grazing shot in my right leg. 

Buyc^. Gravelines! Ha, my friends, we had sharp work of it 
there! The victory was all our own. Did not those French dogs 
carry fire and desolation into the very heart of Flanders ? We gave it 



256 GOETHE 

them, however! The old hard-fisted veterans held out bravely for a 
while, but we pushed on, fired away, and laid about us, till they 
made wry faces, and their lines gave way. Then Egmont's horse 
was shot under him; and for a long time we fought pell-mell, man 
to man, horse to horse, troop to troop, on the broad, flat, sea-sand. 
Suddenly, as if from heaven, down came the cannon shot from the 
mouth of the river, bang, bang, right into the midst of the French. 
These were English, who, under Admiral Malin, happened to be 
sailing past from Dunkirk. They did not help us much, 'tis true; 
they could only approach with their smallest vessels, and that not 
near enough; — besides, their shot fell sometimes among our troops. 
It did some good, however! It broke the French lines, and raised 
our courage. Away it went. Helter-skelter! topsy-turvy! all struck 
dead, or forced into the water; the fellows were drowned the 
moment they tasted the water, while we Hollanders dashed in after 
them. Being amphibious, we were as much in our element as frogs, 
and hacked away at the enemy, and shot them down as if they had 
been ducks. The few who struggled through, were struck dead in 
their flight by the peasant women, armed with hoes and pitchforks. 
His Gallic majesty was compelled at once to hold out his paw and 
make peace. And that peace you owe to us, to the great Egmont. 

All. Hurrah, for the great Egmont! Hurrah! Hurrah! 

fetter. Had they but appointed him Regent, instead of Margaret 
of Parma! 

Soest. Not so! Truth is truth! I'll not hear Margaret abused. 
Now it is my turn. Long live our gracious lady! 

All. Long life to her! 

Soest. Truly, there are excellent women in that family. Long live 
the Regent! 

fetter. Prudent is she, and moderate in all she does; if she would 
only not hold so fast and stiffly with the priests. It is partly her fault, 
too, that we have the fourteen new mitres in the land. Of what use 
are they, I should like to know? Why, that foreigners may be shoved 
into the good benefices, where formerly abbots were chosen out of 
the chapters! And we're to believe it's for the sake of religion. We 
know better. Three bishops were enough for us; things went on 



EGMONT 257 

decently and reputably. Now each must busy himself as if he were 
needed; and this gives rise every moment to dissensions and ill-will. 
And the more you agitate the matter, so much the worse it grows. 

(They drin/^.) 

Soest. But it was the will of the king; she cannot alter it, one way 
or another. 

Jettcr. Then we may not even sing the new psalms; but ribald 
songs, as many as we please. And why? There is heresy in them, 
they say, and heaven knows what. I have sung some of them, how- 
ever; they are new, to be sure, but I see no harm in them. 

Buycl{. Ask their leave, forsooth! In our province, we sing just 
what we please. That's because Count Egmont is our stadtholder, 
who does not trouble himself about such matters. In Ghent, Ypres, 
and throughout the whole of Flanders, anybody sings them that 
chooses. {Aloud to Ruysum.) There is nothing more harmless than 
a spiritual song — Is there, father? 

Ruysum. What, indeed! It is a godly work, and truly edifying. 

Jetter. They say, however, that they are not of the right sort, not 
of their sort, and, since it is dangerous, we had better leave them 
alone. The officers of the Inquisition are always lurking and spying 
about; many an honest fellow has already fallen into their clutches. 
They had not gone so far as to meddle with conscience! If they will 
not allow me to do what I like, they might at least let me think and 
sing as I please. 

Soest. The Inquisition won't do here. We are not made like the 
Spaniards, to let our consciences be tyrannized over. The nobles 
must look to it, and clip its wings betimes. 

Jetter. It is a great bore. Whenever it comes into their worships' 
heads to break into my house, and I am sitting there at my work, 
humming a French psalm, thinking nothing about it, neither good 
nor bad — singing it just because it is in my throat; — forthwith I'm 
a heretic, and am clapped into prison. Or if I am passing through 
the country, and stand near a crowd listening to a new preacher, one 
of those who have come from Germany; instantly I'm called a rebel, 
and am in danger of losing my head! Have you ever heard one of 
these preachers? 

Soest. Brave fellows! Not long ago, I heard one of them preach 



258 GOETHE 

in a field, before thousands and thousands of people. A different 
sort of dish he gave us from that of our humdrum preachers, who, 
from the pulpit, choke their hearers with scraps of Latin. He spoke 
from his heart; told us how we had till now been led by the nose, 
how we had been kept in darkness, and how we might procure more 
light; — ay, and he proved it all out of the Bible. 

Jetter. There may be something in it. I always said as much, and 
have often pondered over the matter. It has long been running in 
my head. 

Buyc/^. All the people run after them. 

Soest. No wonder, since they hear both what is good and what 
is new. 

letter. And what is it all about ? Surely they might let every one 
preach after his own fashion. 

Buycl{. Come, sirs! While you are talking, you forget the wine 
and the Prince of Orange. 

Jetter. We must not forget him. He's a very wall of defense. In 
thinking of him, one fancies, that if one could only hide behind him, 
the devil himself could not get at one. Here's to William of Orange! 
Hurrah! 

y4//. Hurrah! Hurrah! 

Soest. Now, grey-beard, let's have your toast. 

Ruysum. Here's to old soldiers! To all soldiers! War for ever! 

Buyc/^. Bravo, old fellow. Here's to all soldiers. War for ever! 

Jetter. War! War! Do ye know what ye are shouting about? 
That it should slip glibly from your tongue is natural enough; but 
what wretched work it is for us, I have not words to tell you. To be 
stunned the whole year round by the beating of the drum; to hear 
of nothing except how one troop marched here, and another there; 
how they came over this height, and halted near that mill; how many 
were left dead on this field, and how many on that; how they press 
forward, and how one wins, and another loses, without being able 
to comprehend what they are fighting about; how a town is taken, 
how the citizens are put to the sword, and how it fares with the 
poor women and innocent children. This is a grief and a trouble, 
and then one thinks every moment, "Here they come! It will be 
our turn next." 



EGMONT 259 

Soest. Therefore every citizen must be practised in the use of arms. 
Jetter. Fine talking, indeed, for him who has a wife and children. 
And yet I would rather hear of soldiers than see them. 
Buycl{. I might take offence at that. 

Jetter. It was not intended for you, countryman. When we got rid 
of the Spanish garrison, we breathed freely again. 
Soest. Faith! They pressed on you heavily enough. 
Jetter. Mind your own business. 
Soest. They came to sharp quarters with you. 
Jetter. Hold your tongue. 
Soest. They drove him out of kitchen, cellar, chamber — and bed. 

(They laugh.) 
Jetter. You are a blockhead. 

Buyc/(. Peace, sirs! Must the soldier cry peace? Since you will not 
hear anything about us, let us have a toast of your own — a citizen's 
toast. 
Jetter. We're all ready for that! Safety and peace! 
Soest. Order and freedom! 
Buyc/(. Bravo! That will content us all. 

{They ring their glasses together, and joyously repeat the 
words, but in such a manner that each utters a different 
sound, and it becomes a kind of chant. The old man 
listens, and at length joins in.) 
All. Safety and peace! Order and freedom! 

Scene II. — Palace of the Regent 

Margaket of Parma {in a hunting dress). Courtiers, Pages, 

Servants 

Regent. Put off the hunt, I shall not ride to-day. Bid Machiavd 
attend me. [Exeunt all but the Recent. 

The thought of these terrible events leaves me no repose! Nothing 
can amuse, nothing divert my mind. These images, these cares are 
always before me. The king will now say that these are the natural 
fruits of my kindness, of my clemency; yet my conscience assures 
me that I have adopted the wisest, the most prudent course. Ought 
I sooner to have kindled, and spread abroad these flames with the 



26o GOETHE 

breath of wrath ? My hope was to keep them in, to let them smoulder 
in their own ashes. Yes, my inward conviction, and my knowledge 
of the circumstances, justify my conduct in my own eyes; but in 
what light will it appear to my brother! For, can it be denied that 
the insolence of these foreign teachers waxes daily more audacious? 
They have desecrated our sanctuaries, unsettled the dull minds of 
the jjeople, and conjured up amongst them a spirit of delusion. Im- 
pure spirits have mingled among the insurgents, horrible deeds have 
been perpetrated, which to think of makes one shudder, and of these 
a circumstantial account must be transmitted instantly to court. 
Prompt and minute must be my communication, lest rumour outrun 
my messenger, and the king suspect that some particulars have been 
purposely withheld. I can see no means, severe or mild, by which 
to stem the evil. Oh, what are we great ones on the waves of 
humanity? We think to control them, and are ourselves driven to 
and fro, hither and thither. 

Enter Machiavel 

Regent. Are the despatches to the king prepared ? 

Machiavel. In an hour they will be ready for your signature. 

Regent. Have you made the report sufficiently circumstantial? 

Machiavel. Full and circumstantial, as the king loves to have it. 
I relate how the rage of the iconoclasts first broke out at St. Omer. 
How a furious multitude, with staves, hatchets, hammers, ladders, 
and cords, accompanied by a few armed men, first assailed the 
chapels, churches, and convents, drove out the worshippers, forced 
the barred gates, threw everything into confusion, tore down the 
altars, destroyed the statues of the saints, defaced the pictures, and 
dashed to atoms, and trampled under foot, whatever came in their 
way that was consecrated and holy. How the crowd increased as it 
advanced, and how the inhabitants of Ypres opened their gates at its 
approach. How, with incredible rapidity, they demolished the 
cathedral, and burned the library of the bishop. How a vast multi- 
tude, possessed by the like frenzy, disjjersed themselves through 
Menin, Cbmines, Verviers, Lille, nowhere encountered opposition; 
and how, through almost the whole of Flanders, in a single moment, 
the monstrous conspiracy declared itself, and was accomplished. 



EGMONT 261 

Regent. Alas! Your recital rends my heart anew; and the fear 
that the evil will wax greater and greater, adds to my grief. Tell 
me your thoughts, Machiavel! 

Machiavel. Pardon me, your Highness, my thoughts will appear 
to you but as idle fancies; and though you always seem well satisfied 
with my services, you have seldom felt inclined to follow my advice. 
How often have you said in jest: "You see too far, Machiavel! You 
should be an historian; he who acts, must provide for the exigence 
of the hour." And yet have I not predicted this terrible history? 
Have I not foreseen it all? 

Regent. I too foresee many things, without being able to avert 
them. 

Machiavel. In one word, then: — you will not be able to suppress 
the new faith. Let it be recognized, separate its votaries from the 
true believers, give them churches of their own, include them within 
the pale of social order, subject them to the restraints of law, — do 
this, and you will at once tranquillize the insurgents. All other 
measures will prove abortive, and you will depopulate the coun- 
try- 

Regent. Have you forgotten with what aversion the mere sugges- 
tion of toleration was rejected by my brother? Know you not, how 
in every letter he urgently recommends to me the maintenance of 
the true faith? That he will not hear of tranquillity and order being 
restored at the expense of religion? Even in the provinces, does he 
not maintain spies, unknown to us, in order to ascertain who inclines 
to the new doctrines? Has he not, to our astonishment, named to us 
this or that individual residing in our very neighbourhood, who, 
without its being known, was obnoxious to the charge of heresy? 
Does he not enjoin harshness and severity? and am I to be lenient? 
Am I to recommend for his adoption measures of indulgence and 
toleration? Should I not thus lose all credit with him, and at once 
forfeit his confidence? 

Machiavel. I know it. The king commands and puts you in full 
possession of his intentions. You are to restore tranquillity and peace 
by measures which cannot fail still more to embitter men's minds, 
and which must inevitably kindle the flames of war from one ex- 
tremity of the country to the other. Consider well what you are 



262 GOETHE 

doing. The principal merchants are infected — nobles, citizens, 
soldiers. What avails persisting in our opinion, when everything is 
changing around us? Oh, that some good genius would suggest to 
Philip that it better becomes a monarch to govern burghers of two 
different creeds, than to excite them to mutual destruction. 

Regent, Never let me hear such words again. Full well I know 
that the policy of statesmen rarely maintains truth and fidelity; that 
it excludes from the heart candour, charity, toleration. In secular 
affairs, this is, alas! only too true; but shall we trifle with God as we 
do with each other ? Shall we be indifferent to our established faith, 
for the sake of which so many have sacrificed their lives? Shall we 
abandon it to these far-fetched, uncertain, and self<ontradicting 
heresies? 

Machiauel. Think not the worse of me for what I have uttered. 

Regent. I know you and your fidelity. I know too that a man may 
be both honest and sagacious, and yet miss the best and nearest way 
to the salvation of his soul. There are others, Machiavel, men whom 
I esteem, yet whom I needs must blame. 

Machiavel. To whom do you refer? 

Regent. I must confess that Egmont caused me to-day deep and 
heart-felt annoyance. 

Machiavel. How so? 

Regent. By his accustomed demeanour, his usual indifference and 
levity. I received the fatal tidings as 1 was leaving church, attended 
by him and several others. I did not restrain my anguish, I broke 
forth into lamentations, loud and deep, and turning to him, ex- 
claimed, "See what is going on in your province! Do you suffer it, 
Count, you, in whom the king confided so impUcitly?" 

Machiavel. And what was his reply ? 

Regent. As if it were a mere trifle, an affair of no moment, he 
answered: "Were the Netherlanders but satisfied as to their consti- 
tution! The rest would soon follow." 

Machiavel. There was, perhaps, more truth than discretion or 
piety in his words. How can we hope to acquire and to maintain 
the confidence of the Netherlander, when he sees that we are more 
interested in appropriating his possessions, than in promoting his 



EGMONT 263 

welfare, temporal or spiritual? Does the number of souls saved by 
the new bishops exceed that of the fat benefices they have swallowed ? 
And are they not for the most part foreigners? As yet, the office 
of stadtholder has been held by Netherlanders; but do not the Span- 
iards betray their great and irresistible desire to pxjssess themselves 
of these places? Will not people prefer being governed by their own 
countrymen, and according to their ancient customs, rather than by 
foreigners, who, from their first entrance into the land, endeavour to 
enrich themselves at the general expense, who measure everything 
by a foreign standard, and who exercise their authority without 
cordiality or sympathy? 

Regent. You take part with our opponents? 

Machiavel. Assuredly not in my heart. Would that with my 
understanding I could be wholly on our side! 

Regent, If such your disposition, it were better I should resign 
the regency to them; for both Egmont and Orange entertained great 
hopes of occupying this position. Then they were adversaries, now 
they are leagued against me, and have become friends — inseparable 
friends. 

Machiavel. A dangerous pair. 

Regent. To speak candidly, I fear Orange. — I fear for Egmont. — 
Orange meditates some dangerous scheme, his thoughts are far- 
reaching, he is reserved, appears to accede to everything, never con- 
tradicts, and while maintaining the show of reverence, with clear 
foresight accomplishes his own designs. 

Machiavel. Egmont, on the contrary, advances with a bold step, 
as if the world were all his own. 

Regent. He bears his head as proudly as if the hand of majesty 
were not suspended over him. 

Machiavel. The eyes of all the people are fixed upon him, and he 
is the idol of their hearts. 

Regent. He has never assumed the least disguise, and carries him- 
self as if no one had a right to call him to account. He still bears 
the name of Egmont. Count Egmont is the title by which he loves 
to hear himself addressed, as though he would fain be reminded 
that his ancestors were masters of Guelderland. Why does he not 



264 GOETHE 

assume his proper title, — Prince of Gaure? What object has he in 

view? Would he again revive extinguished claims? 

Machiavel. I hold him for a faithful servant of the king. 

Regent. Were he so inclined, what important service could he 
not render to the government? Whereas, now, without benefiting 
himself, he has caused us unspeakable vexation. His banquets and 
entertainment have done more to unite the nobles and to knit them 
together than the most dangerous secret associations. With his 
toasts, his guests have drunk in a permanent intoxication, a giddy 
frenzy, that never subsides. How often have his facetious jests stirred 
up the minds of the populace? and what an excitement was produced 
among the mob by the new liveries, and the extravagant devices 
of his followers! 

Machiat/el. I am convinced he had no design. 

Regent. Be that as it may, it is bad enough. As I said before, he 
injures us without benefiting himself. He treats as a jest matters 
of serious import; and, not to appear negligent and remiss, we 
are forced to treat seriously what he intended as a jest. Thus one 
urges on the other; and what we are endeavouring to avert is 
actually brought to pass. He is more dangerous than the acknowl- 
edged head of a conspiracy; and I am much mistaken if it is not 
all remembered against him at court. I cannot deny that scarcely 
a day passes in which he does not wound me — deeply wound 
me. 

Machiavel. He appears to me to act on all occasions, according 
to the dictates of his conscience. 

Regent. His conscience has a convenient mirror. His demeanour 
is often offensive. He carries himself as if he felt he were the master 
here, and were withheld by courtesy alone from making us feel his 
supremacy; as if he would not exactly drive us out of the country; 
there'll be no need for that. 

Machiavel. I entreat you, put not too harsh a construction upon 
his frank and joyous temper, which treats lightly matters of serious 
moment. You but injure yourself and him. 

Regent. I interpret nothing. I speak only of inevitable conse- 
quences, and I know him. His patent of nobility and the Golden 



EGMONT 265 

Fleece upon his breast strengthen his confidence, his audacity. Both 
can protect him against any sudden outbreak of royal displeasure. 
Consider the matter closely, and he is alone responsible for the whole 
mischief that has broken out in Flanders. From the first, he con- 
nived at the proceedings of the foreign teachers, avoided stringent 
measures, and perhaps rejoiced in secret that they gave us so much 
to do. Let me alone; on this occasion, 1 will give utterance to that 
which weighs upon my heart; I will not shoot my arrow in vain. 
I know where he is vulnerable. For he is vulnerable. 

Machiavel. Have you summoned the council? Will Orange at- 
tend? 

Regent. I have sent for him to Antwerp. I will lay upon their 
shoulders the burden of responsibility; they shall either strenuously 
co-operate with me in quelling the evil, or at once declare themselves 
rebels. Let the letters be completed without delay, and bring them 
for my signature. Then hasten to despatch the trusty Vasca to 
Madrid, he is faithful and indefatigable; let him use all diligence, 
that he may not be anticipated by common report, that my brother 
may receive the intelligence first through him. I will myself speak 
with him ere he departs. 

Machiavel. Your orders shall be promptly and punctually obeyed. 

Scene III. — Citizen's House 
Clara, her Mother, Brackenburg 

Clara. Will you not hold the yarn for me, Brackenburg? 

Bracf{enbtirg. I entreat you, excuse me, Clara. 

Clara. What ails you? Why refuse me this trifling service? 

Bracl{enbiirg. When I hold the yarn, I stand as it were spell-bound 
before you, and cannot escape your eyes. 

Clara. Nonsense! Come and hold! 

Mother {knitting in her arm-chair). Give us a song! Bracken- 
burg sings so good a second. You used to be merry once, and I had 
always something to laugh at. 

Brackenburg. Once! 

Clara. Well, let us sing. 



266 GOETHE 

Brac^enburg. As you please. 

Clara. Merrily, then, and sing away! 'Tis a soldier's song, my 
favourite. {She winds yarn, and sings with Brackenburg.) 

The drum is resounding, 
And shrill the fife plays; 
My love, for the battle, 
His brave troop arrays; 
He lifts his lance high. 
And the people he sways. 
My blood it is boiling! 
My heart throbs pit-pat! 
Oh, had I a jacket. 
With hose and with hat! 

How boldly I'd follow. 
And march through the gate; 
Through all the wide province 
I'd follow him straight. 
The foe yield, we capture 
Or shoot them! Ah, me! 
What heart-thrilling rapture 
A soldier to be! 

{During the song, Brackenburg has frequently looked at Clara; at 
length his voice falters, his eyes fill with tears, he lets the skein 
jail, and goes to the window. Clara finishes the song alone, 
her mother motions to her, half displeased, she rises, advances 
a few steps towards him, turns bacl{, as if irresolute, and 
again sits down.) 
Mother. What is going on in the street, Brackenburg? I hear 
soldiers marching. 
Brackenburg. It is the Regent's body-guard. 
Clara. At this hour? What can it mean? {She rises and joins 
Brackenburg at the window.) That is not the daily guard; it is 
more numerous! almost all the troops! Oh, Brackenburg, go! 



EGMONT 267 

Learn what it means. It must be something unusual. Go, good 
Brackenburg, do me this favour. 

Bracf{enburg. I am going! I will return immediately. 

{He offers his hand to Clara, and she gives him hers.) 

{Exit Brackenburg. 

Mother. Thou sendest him away so soon! 

Clara. I am curious; and, besides — do not be angry, mother — his 
presence pains me. I never know how I ought to behave towards 
him. I have done him a wrong, and it goes to my very heart to 
see how deeply he feels it. Well, it can't be helped now! 

Mother. He is such a true-hearted fellow! 

Clara. I cannot help it, I must treat him kindly. Often without 
a thought, I return the gentle, loving pressure of his hand. I re- 
proach myself that I am deceiving him, that I am nourishing in his 
heart a vain hope. I am in a sad plight! God knows, I do not 
willingly deceive him. I do not wish him to hope, yet I cannot let 
him despair! 

Mother. That is not as it should be. 

Clara. I liked him once, and in my soul I like him still. I could 
have married him; yet I believe I was never really in love with him. 

Mother. Thou wouldst always have been happy with him. 

Clara. I should have been provided for, and have led a quiet life. 

Mother. And through thy fault it has all been trifled away. 

Clara. I am in a strange position. When I think how it has come 
to pass, I know it, indeed, and I know it not. But I have only to look 
upon Egmont, and I understand it all; ay, and stranger things would 
seem natural then. Oh, what a man he is! All the provinces wor- 
ship him. And in his arms, should I not be the happiest creature in 
the world ? 

Mother. And how will it be in the future? 

Clara. I only ask, does he love me? — does he love me? — ^as if 
there were any doubt about it. 

Mother. One has nothing but anxiety of heart with one's chil- 
dren. Always care and sorrow, whatever may be the end of it! It 
cannot come to good! Thou hast made thyself wretched! Thou 
hast made thy mother wretched too. 



268 GOETHE 

Clara {quietly). Yet thou didst allow it in the beginning. 

Mother. Alas! I was too indulgent; I am always too indulgent. 

Clara. When Egmont rode by, and I ran to the window, did you 
chide me then? Did you not come to the window yourself ? When 
he looked up, smiled, nodded, and greeted me, was it displeasing 
to you? Did you not feel yourself honoured in your daughter? 

Mother. Go on with your reproaches. 

Clara {with emotion). Then, when he passed more frequendy, 
and we felt sure that it was on my account that he came this way, 
did you not remark it yourself with secret joy? Did you call me 
away when I stood behind the window-pane and awaited him? 

Mother. Could I imagine that it would go so far? 

Clara {with faltering voice, and repressed tears). And then, one 
evening, when, enveloped in his mantle, he surprised us as we sat 
at our lamp, who busied herself in receiving him, while I remained, 
lost in astonishment, as if fastened to my chair? 

Mother. Could I imagine that the prudent Clara would so soon be 
carried away by this unhappy love? I must now endure that my 
daughter — 

Clara {bursting into tears). Mother! How can you? You take 
pleasure in tormenting me! 

Mother {weeping). Ay, weep away! Make me yet more wretched 
by rhy grief. Is it not misery enough that my only daughter is a 
castaway ? 

Clara {rising, and speaking coldly). A castaway! The beloved 
of Egmont a castaway! — What princess would not envy the pwor 
Clara a place in his heart ? Oh, mother, — my own mother, you were 
not wont to speak thus! Dear mother, be kind! — Let the people 
think, let the neighbours whisper what they like — this chamber, this 
lowly house is a paradise, since Egmont's love dwelt here. 

Mother. One cannot help liking him, that is true. He is always so 
kind, frank, and open-hearted. 

Clara. There is not a drop of false blood in his veins. And then, 
mother, he is indeed the great Egmont; yet, when he comes to me, 
how tender he is, how kind! How he tries to conceal from me his 
rank, his bravery! How anxious he is about me! so entirely the man, 
the friend, the lover. 



EGMONT 269 

Mother. Do you expect him to-day ? 

Clara. Have you not seen how often I go to the window? Have 
you not noticed how I listen to every noise at the door? — Though I 
know that he will not come before night, yet, from the time when I 
rise in the morning, I keep expecting him every moment. Were I 
but a boy, to follow him always, to the court and everywhere! Could 
I but carry his colours in the field! — 

Mother. You were always such a lively, resdess creature; even as a 
little child, now wild, now thoughtful. Will you not dress yourself 
a little better? 

Clara. Perhaps, mother, if I want something to do. — ^Yesterday, 
some of his people went by, singing songs in honour. At least his 
name was in the songs! The rest I could not understand. My heart 
leaped up into my throat, — I would fain have called them back if I 
had not felt ashamed. 

Mother. Take care! Thy impetuous nature will ruin all. Thou 
wilt betray thyself before the people; as, not long ago, at thy cousin's, 
when thou foundest out the woodcut with the description, and didst 
exclaim, with a cry: "Ckjunt Egmont!" — I grew as red as fire. 

Clara. Could I help crying out? It was the battle of Gravelines, 
and I found in the picture the letter C. and then looked for it in the 
description below. There it stood, "Count Egmont, with his horse 
shot under him." I shuddered, and afterwards I could not help 
laughing at the woodcut figure of Egmont, as tall as the neigh- 
bouring tower of Gravelines, and the English ships at the side. — 
When I remember how I used to conceive of a battle, and what an 
idea I had, as a girl, of Count Egmont; when I listened to descrip- 
tions of him, and of all the other earls and princes; — and think how 
it is with me now! 

Enter Brackenburg 

Clara. Well, what is going on? 

Brackenburg. Nothing certain is known. It is rumoured that an 
insurrection has lately broken out in Flanders; the Regent is afraid 
of its spreading here. The castle is strongly garrisoned, the burghers 
are crowding to the gates, and the streets are thronged with people. 
1 will hasten at once to my old father. (^As if about to go.) 



270 GOETHE 

Clara. Shall we see you to-morrow? I must change my dress a 
little. I am expecting my cousin, and I look too untidy. Come, 
mother, help me a moment. Take the book, Brackenburg, and bring 
me such another story. 

Mother. Farewell. 

Bracl{enburg {extending his hand). Your hand. 

Clara {refusing hers). When you come next. 

\ Exeunt Mother and Daughter. 

Bracl{enburg {alone). I had resolved to go away again at once; 
and yet, when she takes me at my word, and lets me leave her, I feel 
as if I could go mad. — Wretched man! Does the fate of thy father- 
land, does the growing disturbance fail to move thee? — Are country- 
man and Spaniard the same to thee? and carest thou not who rules, 
and who is in the right? — I was a different sort of fellow as a school- 
boy! — Then, when an exercise in oratory was given; "Brutus' Speech 
for Liberty," for instance, Fritz was ever the first, and the rector 
would say: "If it were only spoken more deliberately, the words not 
all huddled together." — Then my blood boiled, and longed for ac- 
tion. — Now I drag along, bound by the eyes of a maiden. I cannot 
leave her! yet she, alas, cannot love me! — ah — no — she — she cannot 
have entirely rejected me — not entirely — yet half love is no love! — 
I will endure it no longer! — Can it be true what a friend lately 
whispered in my ear, that she secretly admits a man into the house 
by night, when she always sends me away modestly before evening? 
No, it cannot be true! It is a lie! A base, slanderous lie! Clara is as 
innocent as I am wretched. — She has rejected me, has thrust me frc«n 
her heart — and shall 1 live on thus? I cannot, I will not endure it. 
Already my native land is convulsed by internal strife, and do I 
perish abjectly amid the tumult? I will not endure it! When the 
trumpet sounds, when a shot falls, it thrills through my bone and 
marrow! But, alas, it does not rouse me! It does not summon me to 
join the onslaught, to rescue, to dare. — Wretched, degrading posi- 
tion! Better end it at once! Not long ago, I threw myself into the 
water; I sank — but nature in her agony was too strong for me; I 
felt that I could swim, and saved myself against my will. Could I 
but forget the time when she loved me, seemed to love me! — Why 
has this happiness penetrated my very bone and marrow? Why have 



EGMONT 271 

these hopes, while disclosing to me a distant paradise, consumed all 
the enjoyment of life? — And that first, that only kiss! — Here (laying 
his hand upon the table), here we were alone, — she had always been 
kind and friendly towards me, — then she seemed to soften, — she 
looked at me, — my brain reeled, — I felt her lips on mine, — and — and 
now? — Die, wretch! Why dost thou hesitate? (He draws a phial 
from his pocket.) Thou healing poison, it shall not have been in 
vain that I stole thee from my brother's medicine chest! From this 
anxious fear, this dizziness, this death-agony, thou shalt deliver me 
at once. 

ACT II 

Scene I. — Square in Brussels 

Jetter and a Master Carpenter {meeting) 

Carpenter. Did I not tell you beforehand ? Eight days ago, at the 
guild, I said there would be serious disturbances? 

Jetter. Is it, then, true that they have plundered the churches in 
Flanders? 

Carpenter. They have utterly destroyed both churches and chapels. 
They have left nothing standing but the four bare walls. The lowest 
rabble! And this it is that damages our good cause. We ought rather 
to have laid our claims before the Regent, formally and decidedly, 
and then have stood by them. If we speak now, if we assemble now, 
it will be said that we are joining the insurgents. 

Jetter. Ay, so every one thinks at first. Why should you thrust 
your nose into the mess? The neck is closely connected with it. 

Carpenter. I am always uneasy when tumults arise among the mob 
— among people who have nothing to lose. They use as a pretext that 
to which we also must appeal, and plunge the country in misery. 

Enter Soest 

Soest. Good day, sirs! What news? Is it true that the image- 
breakers are coming straight in this direction? 

Carpenter. Here they shall touch nothing, at any rate. 

Soest. A soldier came into my shop just now to buy tobacco; I 



272 GOETHE 

questioned him about the matter. The Regent, though so brave and 
prudent a lady, has for once lost her presence of mind. Things must 
be bad indeed when she thus takes refuge behind her guards. The 
castle is strongly garrisoned. It is even rumoured that she means to 
fly from the town. 

Carpenter. Forth she shall not go! Her presence protects us, and 
we will ensure her safety better than her mustachioed gentry. If she 
only maintains our rights and privileges, we will stand faithfully 
by her. 

Enter a Soapboiler 

Soapboiler. An ugly business this! a bad business! Troubles are 
beginning; all things are going wrong! Mind you keep quiet, or 
they'll take you also for rioters. 

Soest. Here come the seven wise men of Greece. 

Soapboiler. I know there are many who in secret hold with the 
Calvinists, abuse the bishops, and care not for the king. But a loyal 
subject, a sincere Catholic! — 

{By degrees others join the speakers, and listen.) 

Enter Vansen 

Vansen. God save you, sirs! What news? 

Carpenter. Have nothing to do with him, he's a dangerous fellow. 

fetter. Is he not secretary to Dr. Wiets? 

Carpenter. He has already had several masters. First he was a 
clerk, and as one patron after another turned him off, on account 
of his roguish tricks, he now dabbles in the business of notary and 
advocate, and is a brandy-drinker to boot. 

(More people gather round and stand in groups.) 

Vansen. So here you are, putting your heads together. Well, it is 
worth talking about. 

Soest. I think so too. 

Vansen. Now if only one of you had heart and another head 
enough for the work, we might break the Spanish fetters at once. 

Soest. Sirs! you must not talk thus. We have taken our oath to 
the king. 

Vansen. And the king to us. Mark that! 

fetter. There's sense in that? Tell us your opinion. 



EGMONT 273 

Others. Hearken to him; he's a clever fellow. He's sharp enough. 

Vanscn. I had an old master once, who possessed a collection of 
parchments, among which were charters of ancient constitutions, 
contracts, and privileges. He set great store, too, by the rarest books. 
One of these contained our whole constitution; how, at first, we 
Netherlanders had princes of our own, who governed according to 
hereditary laws, rights, and usages; how our ancestors paid due 
honour to their sovereign so long as he governed them equitably; 
and how they were immediately on their guard the moment he was 
for overstepping his bounds. The states were down upon him at 
once; for every province, however small, had its own chamber and 
representatives. 

Carpenter. Hold your tongue! We knew that long ago! Every 
honest citizen learns as much about the constitution as he needs. 

fetter. Let him speak; one may always learn something. 

Soest. He is quite right. 

Several Citizens. Go on\ Goon! One does not hear this every day. 

Vansen. You citizens, forsooth! You live only in the present; and 
as you tamely follow the trade inherited from your fathers, so you 
let the government do with you just as it pleases. You make no 
inquiry into the origin, the history, or the rights of a Regent; and 
in consequence of this negligence, the Spaniard has drawn the net 
over your ears. 

Soest. Who cares for that, if one has only daily bread ? 

fetter. The devil! Why did not some one come forward and tell 
usthisin time? 

Vansen. I tell it you now. The King of Spain, whose good fortune 
it is to bear sway over these provinces, has no right to govern them 
otherwise than the petty princes who formerly possessed them sepa- 
rately. Do you understand that? 

fetter. Explain it to us. 

Vansen. Why, it is as clear as the sun. Must you not be governed 
according to your provincial laws? How comes that? 

A Citizen. Certainly! 

Vansen. Has not the burgher of Brussels a different law from the 
burgher of Antwerp ? The burgher of Antwerp from the burgher of 
Ghent? How comes that? 



274 GOETHE 

Another Citizen. By heavens! 

Vansen. But if you let matters run on thus, they will soon tell 
you a different story. Fie on you! Philip, through a woman, now 
ventures to do what neither Charles the Bold, Frederick the War- 
rior, nor Charles the Fifth could accomplish. 

Soest. Yes, yes! The old princes tried it also. 

Vansen, Ay I But our ancestors kept a sharp look-out. If they 
thought themselves aggrieved by their sovereign, they would per- 
haps get his son and heir into their hands, detain him as a hostage, 
and surrender him only on the most favourable conditions. Our 
fathers were men! They knew their own interests! They knew how 
to lay hold on what they wanted, and to get it established! They were 
men of the right sort! and hence it is that our privileges are so clearly 
defined, our liberties so well secured. 

Soest. What are you saying about our liberties? 

All. Our liberties! our privileges! Tell us about our privileges. 

Vansen. All the provinces have their peculiar advantages, but we 
of Brabant are the most splendidly provided for. I have read it all. 

Soest. Say on. 

fetter. Let us hear. 

A Citizen. Pray do. 

Vansen. First, it stands written: — The Duke of Brabant shall be 
to us a good and faithful sovereign. 

Soest. Good! Stands it so? 

/rt/<rr. Faithful ? Is that true? 

Vansen. As I tell you. He is bound to us as we are to him. Sec- 
ondly: In the exercise of his authority he shall neither exert arbitrary 
power, nor exhibit caprice, himself, nor shall he, either directly or 
indirectly, sanction them in others. 

Jetter. Bravo! Bravo! Not exert arbitrary power. 

Soest. Nor exhibit caprice. 

Another. And not sanction them in others! That is the main point. 
Not sanction them, either directly or indirectly. 

Vansen. In express words. 

Jetter. Get us the book. 

A Citizen. Yes, we must see it 

Others. The book! The book! 



EGMONT 275 

Another. We will to the Regent with the book. 

Another. Sir doaor, you shall be spokesman. 

Soapboiler. Oh, the dolts! 

Others. Something more out of the book! 

Soapboiler. I'll knock his teeth down his throat if he says another 
word. 

People. We'll see who dares to lay hands upon him. Tell us about 
our privileges! Have we any more privileges? 

Vansen. Many, very good and very wholesome ones too. Thus it 
stands: The sovereign shall neither benefit the clergy, nor increase 
their number, without the consent of the nobles and of the states. 
Mark that! Nor shall he alter the constitution of the country. 

Soest. Stands it so? 

Vansen. I'll show it you, as it was written down two or three cen- 
turies ago. 

A Citizen. And we tolerate the new bishops? The nobles must 
protect us, we will make a row else! 

Others. And we suffer ourselves to be intimidated by the Inquisi- 
tion? 

Vansen. It is your own fault. 

People. We have EgmontI We have Orange! They will protect 
our interests. 

Vansen. Your brothers in Flanders are beginning the good 
work. 

Soapboiler. Dog! (Strides him.) 

Others oppose the Soapboiler, and exclaim, Are you also a 
Spaniard ? 

Another. What! This honourable man? 

Another, This learned man ? 

(They attack, the Soapboiler.) 

Carpenter. For heaven's sake, peace! 

{Others mingle in the fray.) 

Carpenter. Citizens, what means this? 

{Boys whistle, throw stones, set on dogs; citizens stand and 
gape, people come running up, others walk, quietly to and 
fro, others play all sorts of pranks, shout and huzza.) 

Others. Freedom and privilege! Privilege and freedom! 



276 GOETHE 

Enter Egmont, with followers 

Egmont. Peace! Peace! good people. What is the matter? Peace, 
I say! Separate them. 

Carpenter. My good lord, you come like an angel from heaven. 
Hush! See you nothing? Count Egmont! Honour to Count 
Egmont! 

Egmont. Here, too! What are you about? Burgher against 
burgher! Does not even the neighbourhood of our royal mistress 
oppose a barrier to this frenzy? Disperse yourselves, and go about 
your business. 'Tis a bad sign when you thus keep holiday on work- 
ing days. How did the disturbance begin ? 

(The tumult gradually subsides, and the people gather around 
Egmont.) 

Carpenter. They are fighting about their privileges. 

Egmont. Which they will forfeit through their own folly — ^and 
who are you? You seem honest people. 

Carpenter. 'Tis our wash to be so. 

Egmont. Your calling? 

Carpenter. A carpenter, and master of the guild. 

Egmont. And you? 

Soest. A shopkeeper. 

Egmont. And you? 

Jetter. A tailor. 

Egmont. I remember, you were employed upon the liveries of 
my people. Your name is Jetter. 

Jetter. To think of your grace remembering it! 

Egmont. I do not easily forget any one whom I have seen or con- 
versed with. Do what you can, good people, to keep the peace; you 
stand in bad repute enough already. Provoke not the king still 
farther. The power, after all, is in his hands. An honest burgher, 
who maintains himself industriously, has everywhere as much free- 
dom as he wants. 

Carpenter. That now is just our misfortune! With all due defer- 
ence, your grace, 'tis the idle portion of the community, your drunk- 
ards and vagabonds, who quarrel for want of something to do, and 
clamour about privilege because they are hungry; they impose upon 
the curious and the credulous, and, in order to obtain a pot of beer, 



EGMONT 277 

excite disturbances that will bring misery upon thousands. That 
is just what they want. We keep our houses and chests too well 
guarded; they would fain drive us away from them with fire-brands. 

Egmont. You shall have all needful assistance; measures have 
been taken to stem the evil by force. Make a firm stand against the 
new doctrines, and do not imagine that privileges are secured by 
sedition. Remain at home; suffer no crowds to assemble in the 
streets. Sensible p)eople can accomplish much. 

{In the meantime the crowd has for the most part dispersed.) 

Carpenter. Thanks, your excellency — thanks for your good opin- 
ion! We will do what in us lies. (Exit Egmont.) A gracious lord! 
A true Netherlander! Nothing of the Spaniard about him. 

fetter. If we had only him for a regent ? 'Tis a pleasure to follow 
him. 

Soest. The king won't hear of that. He takes care to appoint his 
own people to the place. 

fetter. Did you notice his dress? It was of the newest fashion — 
after the Spanish cut. 

Carpenter. A handsome gentleman. 

fetter. His head now were a dainty morsel for a headsman. 

Soest. Are you mad? What are you thinking about? 

fetter. It is stupid enough that such an idea should come into one's 
head! But so it is. Whenever I see a fine long neck, I cannot help 
thinking how well it would suit the block. These cursed executions! 
One cannot get them out of one's head. When the lads are swim- 
ming, and I chance to see a naked back, I think forthwith of the 
dozens I have seen beaten with rods. If I meet a portly gentleman, 
I fancy I already see him roasting at the stake. At night, in my 
dreams, I am tortured in every limb; one cannot have a single hour's 
enjoyment; all merriment and fun have long been forgotten. These 
terrible images seem burnt in upon my brain. 

Scene II. — Egmont's residence 

His Secretary {at a desl^ with papers. He rises impatiently) 

Secretary. Still he comes not! And I have been waiting already 
full two hours, pen in hand, the paper before me; and just to-day 
I was anxious to be out so early. The floor burns under my feet. I 



278 GOETHE 

can with difficulty restrain my impatience. "Be punctual to the hour." 
Such was his parting injunction; now he comes not. There is so 
much business to get through, I shall not have finished before mid- 
night. He overlooks one's faults, it is true; methinks it would be 
better though, were he more strict, so he dismissed one at the ap- 
pointed time. One could then arrange one's plans. It is now full two 
hours since he left the Regent; who knows whom he may have 
chanced to meet by the way ? 

Enter Egmont 

Egmont. Well, how do matters look ? 

Secretary. I am ready, and three couriers are waiting. 

Egmont. I have detained you too long; you look somewhat out of 
humour. 

Secretary. In obedience to your command I have already been in 
attendance for some time. Here are the papers! 

Egmont. Donna Elvira will be angry with me, when she learns 
that I have detained you. 

Secretary. You are pleased to jest. 

Egmont. No, no. Be not ashamed. I admire your taste. She is 
pretty, and I have no objeaion that you should have a friend at the 
castle. What say the letters.? 

Secretary. Much, my lord, but withal little that is satisfactory. 

Egmont. 'Tis well that we have pleasures at home, we have the 
less occasion to seek them from abroad. Is there much that requires 
attention? 

Secretary. Enough, my lord; three couriers are in attendance. 

Egmont. Proceed! The most important. 

Secretary. All is important. 

Egmont. One after the other; only be prompt. 

Secretary. Captain Breda sends an account of the occurrences that 
have further taken place in Ghent and the surrounding districts. 
The tumult is for the most part allayed. 

Egmont. He doubtless reports individual acts of folly and temer- 
ity? 

Secretary. He does, my lord. 

Egmont. Spare me the recital. 



EGMONT 279 

Secretary. Six of the mob who tore down the image of the Virgin 
at Verviers have been arrested. He inquires whether they are to be 
hanged Hke the others. 

Egmont. I am weary of hanging; let them be flogged and dis- 
charged. 

Secretary. There are two women among them; are they to be 
flogged also? 

Egmont. He may admonish them and let them go. 

Secretary. Brink, of Breda's company, wants to marry; the cap- 
tain hopes you will not allow it. There are so many women among 
the troops, he writes, that when on the march, they resemble a gang 
of gypsies rather than regular soldiers. 

Egmont. We must overlook it in his case. He is a fine young 
fellow, and moreover entreated me so earnestly before I came away. 
This must be the last time, however; though it grieves me to refuse 
the poor fellows their best pastime; they have enough without that 
to torment them. 

Secretary. Two of your people, Seter and Hart, have ill-treated a 
damsel, the daughter of an inn-keeper. They got her alone and she 
could not escape from them. 

Egmont. If she be an honest maiden and they used violence, let 
them be flogged three days in succession; and if they have any 
property, let him retain as much of it as will portion the girl. 

Secretary. One of the foreign preachers has been discovered pass- 
ing secretly through Comines. He swore that he was on the point 
of leaving for France. According to orders, he ought to be beheaded. 

Egmont. Let him be conducted quietly to the frontier, and there 
admonished that, the next time, he will not escape so easily. 

Secretary. A letter from your steward. He writes that money 
comes in slowly, he can with difficulty send you the required sum 
within the week ; the late disturbances have thrown everything into 
the greatest confusion. 

Egmont. Money must be had! It is for him to look to the means. 

Secretary. He says he will do his utmost, and at length proposes 
to sue and imprison Raymond, who has been so long in your debt. 

Egmont. But he has promised to pay! 

Secretary. The last time he fixed a fortnight himself. 



28o GOETHE 

Egmont. Well, grant him another fortnight; after that he may 
proceed against him. 

Secretary. You do well. His non-payment of the money proceeds 
not from inability, but from want of inclination. He will trifle no 
longer when he sees that you are in earnest. The steward further 
proposes to withhold, for half a month, the pensions which you allow 
to the old soldiers, widows, and others. In the meantime some 
expedient may be devised; they must make their arrangements 
accordingly. 

Egmont. But what arrangements can be made here? These poor 
people want the money more than I do. He must not think of it. 

Secretary. How then, my lord, is he to raise the required sum } 

Egmont. It is his business to think of that. He was told so in a 
former letter. 

Secretary. And therefore he makes these proposals. 

Egmont. They will never do; — he must think of something else. 
Let him suggest expedients that are admissible, and, before all, let 
him procure the money. 

Secretary. I have again before me the letter from Count Oliva. 
Pardon my recalling it to your remembrance. Before all others, the 
aged count deserves a detailed reply. You proposed writing to him 
with your own hand. Doubtless, he loves you as a father. 

Egmont. I cannot command the time; — ^and of all detestable 
things, writing is to me the most detestable. You imitate my hand 
so admirably, do you write in my name. I am expecting Orange. I 
cannot do it; — I wish, however, that something soothing should be 
written, to allay his fears. 

Secretary. Just give me a notion of what you wish to communi- 
cate; I will at once draw up the answer, and lay it before you. It 
shall be so written that it might pass for your hand in a court of 
justice. 

Egmont. Give me the letter. (After glancing over it.) Dear, 
excellent, old man! Wert thou then so cautious in thy youth? 
Didst thou never mount a breach? Didst thou remain in the rear 
of battle at the suggestion of prudence? — What affectionate solici- 
tude! He has indeed my safety and happiness at heart, but con- 
siders not, that he who lives but to save his life, is already dead. — 



EGMONT 281 

Charge him not to be anxious on my account; I act as circumstances 
require, and shall be upon my guard. Let him use his influence at 
court in my favour, and be assured of my warmest thanks. 

Secretary. Is that all? He expects still more. 

Egmont. What can I say ? If you choose to write more fully, do 
50. The matter turns upon a single point; he would have me live as 
I cannot live. That I am joyous, live fast, take matters easily, is 
my good fortune; nor would I exchange it for the safety of a 
sepulchre. My blood rebels against the Spanish mode of life, nor 
have I the least inclination to regulate my movements by the new 
and cautious measures of the court. Do I live only to think of life? 
Am I to forego the enjoyment of the present moment in order to 
secure the next? And must that in its turn be consumed in anxieties 
and idle fears? 

Secretary. I entreat you, my lord, be not so harsh towards the 
venerable man. You are wont to be friendly towards every one. Say 
a kindly word to allay the anxiety of your noble friend. See how 
considerate he is, with what delicacy he warns you. 

Egmont. Yet he harps continually on the same string. He knows 
of old how I detest these admonitions. They serve only to perplex 
and are of no avail. What if I were a somnambulist, and trod the 
giddy summit of a lofty house, — were it the part of friendship to 
call me by my name, to warn me of my danger, to waken, to kill 
me? Let each choose his own path, and provide for his own safety. 

Secretary. It may become you to be without a fear, but those who 
know and love you — 

Egmont {loof^ing over the letter). Then he recalls the old story 
of our sayings and doings, one evening, in the wantonness of con- 
viviality and wine; and what conclusions and inferences were thence 
drawn and circulated throughout the whole kingdom! Well, we had 
a cap and bells embroidered on the sleeves of our servants' liveries, 
and afterwards exchanged this senseless device for a bundle of 
arrows; — a still more dangerous symbol for those who are bent 
upon discovering a meaning where nothing is meant. These and 
similar follies were conceived and brought forth in a moment of 
merriment. It was at our suggestion that a noble troop, with 
beggars' wallets, and a self<hosen nickname, with mock humiUty 



282 GOETHE 

recalled the King's duty to his remembrance. It was at our sugges- 
tion too — well, what does it signify? Is a carnival jest to be con- 
strued into high treason? Are we to be grudged the scanty, varie- 
gated rags, wherewith a youthful spirit and heated imagination 
would adorn the poor nakedness of life? Take life too seriously, 
and what is it worth? If the morning wake us to no new joys, if 
in the evening we have no pleasures to hope for, is it worth the 
trouble of dressing and undressing? Does the sun shine on me 
to-day, that I may reflect on what happened yesterday? That I 
may endeavour to foresee and control, what can neither be foreseen 
nor controlled, — the destiny of the morrow? Spare me these reflec- 
tions, we will leave them to scholars and courtiers. Let them ponder 
and contrive, creep hither and thither, and surreptitiously achieve 
their ends. — If you can make use of these suggestions, without swell- 
ing your letter into a volume, it is well. Everything appears of 
exaggerated importance to the good old man. 'Tis thus the friend, 
who has long held our hand, grasps it more warmly ere he quits 
his hold. 

Secretary. Pardon me, the pedestrian grows dizzy when he be- 
holds the charioteer drive past with whirling speed. 

Egmont. Child! Child! Forbear! As if goaded by invisible spirits, 
the sun-steeds of time bear onward the light car of our destiny; 
and nothing remains for us but, with calm self-possession, firmly to 
grasp the reins, and now right, now left, to steer the wheels here 
from the precipice and there from the rock. Whither he is hasting, 
who knows? Does any one consider whence he came? 

Secretary. My lord ! my lord I 

Egmont. I stand high, but I can and must rise yet higher. Cour- 
age, strength, and hope possess my soul. Not yet have I attained 
the height of my ambition; that once achieved, I will stand firmly 
and without fear. Should I fall, should a thunder-clap, a storm- 
blast, ay, a false step of my own, precipitate me into the abyss, so be it! 
I shall lie there with thousands of others. I have never disdained, 
even for a trifling stake, to throw the bloody die with my gallant 
comrades; and shall I hesitate now, when all that is most precious 
in life is set upon the cast? 



EGMONT 283 

Secretary. Oh, my lordl you know not what you sayl May 
Heaven protect you I 

Egmont. Collect your papers. Orange is coming. Dispatch what 
is most urgent, that the couriers may set forth before the gates are 
closed. The rest may wait. Leave the Count's letter till to-morrow. 
Fail not to visit Elvira, and greet her from me. Inform yourself 
concerning the Regent's health. She cannot be well, though she 
would fain conceal it. [Exit Secretary. 

Enter Orange 

Egmont. Welcome, Orange; you appear somewhat disturbed. 

Orange. What say you to our conference with the Regent ? 

Egmont. 1 found nothing extraordinary in her manner of receiv- 
ing us. I have often seen her thus before. She appeared to me to 
be somewhat indisposed. 

Orange. Marked you not that she was more reserved than usual ? 
She began by cautiously approving our conduct during the late 
insurrection; glanced at the false light in which, nevertheless, it 
might be viewed: and finally turned the discourse to her favourite 
topic — that her gracious demeanour, her friendship for us Nether- 
landers, had never been sufficiently recognized, never appreciated 
as it deserved; that nothing came to a prosperous issue; that for 
her part she was beginning to grow weary of it; that the king must 
at last resolve upon other measures. Did you hear that? 

Egmont. Not all; I was thinking at the time of something else. 
She is a woman, good Orange, and all women expect that every 
one shall submit passively to their gentle yoke; that every Hercules 
shall lay aside his lion's skin, assume the distaff, and swell their 
train; and, because they are themselves peaceably inclined, imagine 
forsooth, that <he ferment which seizes a nation, the storm which 
powerful rivals excite against one another, may be allayed by one 
soothing word, and the most discordant elements be brought to 
unite in tranquil harmony at their feet. 'Tis thus with her; and 
since she cannot accomplish her object, why she has no resource left 
but to lose her temper, to menace us with direful prospects for the 
future, and to threaten to take her departure. 

Orange. Think you not that this time she will fulfil her threat? 



284 GOETHE 

Egmont. Never! How often have I seen her actually prepared 
for the journey? Whither should she go? Being here a stadtholder, 
a queen, think you that she could endure to spend her days in insig- 
nificance at her brother's court, or to repair to Italy, and there drag 
on her existence among her old family connections? 

Orange. She is held incapable of this determination, because you 
have already seen her hesitate and draw back; nevertheless, it lies 
in her to take this step; new circumstances may impel her to the 
long-delayed resolve. What if she were to depart, and the king 
to send another? 

Egmont. Why, he would come, and he also would have business 
enough upon his hands. He would arrive with vast projects and 
schemes to reduce all things to order, to subjugate and combine; 
and to-day he would be occupied with this trifle, to-morrow with 
that, and the day following have to deal with some unexpected 
hindrance. He would spend one month in forming plans, another 
in mortification at their failure, and half a year would be consumed 
in cares for a single province. With him also time would pass, his 
head grow dizzy, and things hold on their ordinary course, till 
instead of sailing into the open sea, according to the plan which he 
had previously marked out, he might thank God, if, amid the 
tempest, he were able to keep his vessel off the rocks. 

Orange. What if the king were advised to try an experiment? 

Egmont. Which should be — ? 

Orange. To try how the body would get on without the head. 

Egmont. How ? 

Orange. Egmont, our interests have for years weighed upon my 
heart; I ever stand as over a chess-board, and regard no move of 
my adversary as insignificant; and as men of science carefully 
investigate the secrets of nature, so I hold it to be the duty, ay, the 
very vocation of a prince, to acquaint himself with the dispositions 
and intentions of all parties. I have reason to fear an outbreak. The 
king has long acted according to certain principles; he finds that 
they do not lead to a prosperous issue; what more probable than 
that he should seek it some other way ? 

Egmont. I do not believe it. When a man grows old, has 



EGMONT 285 

attempted much, and finds that the world cannot be made to move 
according to his will, he must needs grow weary of it at last. 

Orange. One thing has yet to be attempted. 

Egmont. What? 

Orange. To spare the people, and to put an end to the princes. 

Egmont. How many have long been haunted by this dread? 
There is no cause for such anxiety. 

Orange. Once I felt anxious; gradually I became suspicious; sus- 
picion has at length grown into certainty. 

Egmont. Has the king more faithful servants than ourselves? 

Orange. We serve him after our own fashion; and, between our- 
selves, it must be confessed that we understand pretty well how to 
make the interests of the king square with our own. 

Egmont. And who does not? He has our duty and submission, 
in so far as they are his due. 

Orange. But what if he should arrogate still more, and regard as 
disloyalty what we esteem the maintenance of our just rights? 

Egmont. We shall know in that case how to defend ourselves. 
Let him assemble the Knights of the Golden Fleece; we will submit 
ourselves to their decision. 

Orange. What if the sentence were to precede the trial ? punish- 
ment, the sentence? 

Egmont. It were an injustice of which Philip is incapable; a folly 
which I cannot impute either to him or to his counsellors. 

Orange. And how if they were both unjust and foolish? 

Egmont. No, Orange, it is impossible. Who would venture to 
lay hands on us? The attempt to capture us were a vain and fruit- 
less enterprize. No, they dare not raise the standard of tyranny 
so high. The breeze that should waft these tidings over the land 
would kindle a mighty conflagration. And what object would they 
have in view? The king alone has no power either to judge or to 
condemn us and would they attempt our lives by assassination? 
They cannot intend it. A terrible league would unite the entire 
people. Direful hate and eternal separation from the crown of Spain 
would, on the instant, be forcibly declared. 

Orange. The flames would then rage over our grave, and the 



286 GOETHE 

blood of our enemies flow, a vain oblation. Let us consider 
Egmont. 

Egmont. But how could they effect this purpose? 

Orange. Alva is on the way. 

Egmont. I do not believe it. 

Orange. 1 know it. 

Egmont. The Regent appeared to know nothing of it. 

Orange. And, therefore, the stronger is my conviction. The Re- 
gent will give place to him. 1 know his blood-thirsty disjxjsition, 
and he brings an army with him. 

Egmont. To harass the provinces anew ? The people will be exas- 
perated to the last degree. 

Orange. Their leaders will be secured. 

Egmont. No! No! 

Orange. Let us retire, each to his province. There we can 
strengthen ourselves; the duke will not begin with open violence. 

Egmont. Must we not greet him when he comes? 

Orange. We will delay. 

Egmont. What if, on his arrival, he should summon us in the 
king's name? 

Orange. We will answer evasively. 

Egmont. And if he is urgent? 

Orange. We will excuse ourselves. 

Egmont. And if he insist ? 

Orange. We shall be the less disposed to come. 

Egmont. Then war is declared; and we are rebels. Do not suffer 
prudence to mislead you. Orange. I know it is not fear that makes 
you yield. Consider this step. 

Orange. I have considered it. 

Egmont. Consider for what you are answerable if you are wrong. 
For the most fatal war that ever yet desolated a country. Your 
refusal is the signal that at once summons the provinces to arms, 
that justifies every cruelty for which Spain has hitherto so anxiously 
sought a pretext. With a single nod you will excite to the direst 
confusion what, with patient effort, we have so long kept in abeyance. 
Think of the towns, the nobles, the people; think of commerce, 
agriculture, trade! Realize the murder, the desolation! Calmly 



EGMONT 287 

the soldier beholds his comrade fall beside him in the battlefield. 
But towards you, carried downwards by the stream, shall float the 
corpses of citizens, of children, of maidens, till, aghast with horror, 
you shall no longer know whose cause you are defending, since you 
shall see those, for whose liberty you drew the sword, perishing 
around you. And what will be your emotions when conscience 
whispers, "It was for my own safety that 1 drew it"? 

Orange. We are not ordinary men, Egmont. If it becomes us to 
sacrifice ourselves for thousands, it becomes us no less to spare our- 
selves for thousands. 

Egmont. He who spares himself becomes an object of suspicion 
ever to himself. 

Orange. He who is sure of his own motives can, with confidence, 
advance or retreat. 

Egmont. Your own act will render certain the evil that you dread. 

Orange. Wisdom and courage alike prompt us to meet an in- 
evitable evil. 

Egmont. When the danger is imminent the faintest hope should 
be taken into account. 

Orange. We have not the smallest footing left; we are on the very 
brink of the precipice. 

Egmont. Is the king's favour on ground so narrow? 

Orange. Not narrow, perhaps, but slippery. 

Egmont. By heavens! he is belied. I cannot endure that he should 
be so meanly thought of! He is Charles's son, and incapable of 
meanness. 

Orange. Kings of course do nothing mean. 

Egmont. He should be better known. 

Orange. Our knowledge counsels us not to await the result of a 
dangerous experiment. 

Egmont. No experiment is dangerous, the result of which we have 
the courage to meet. 

Orange. You are irritated, Egmont. 

Egmont. I must see with my own eyes. 

Orange. Oh that for once you saw with mine! My friend, because 
your eyes are open, you imagine that you see. I go! Await Alva's 
arrival, and God be with you! My refusal to do so may perhaps 



288 GOETHE 

save you. The dragon may deem the prey not worth seizing, if he 
cannot swallow us both. Perhaps he may delay, in order more surely 
to execute his purpose; in the meantime you may see matters in 
their true hght. But then, be prompt! Lose not a moment! Save, — 
oh, save yourself! Farewell! — Let nothing escape your vigilance: — 
how many troops he brings with him; how he garrisons the town; 
what force the Regent retains; how your friends are prepared. Send 
me tidings — Egmont — 

Egmont. What would you? 

Orange {grasping his hand). Be persuaded! Go with me! 

Egmont. How! Tears, Orange! 

Orange. To weep for a lost friend is not unmanly. 

Egmont. You deem me lost? 

Orange. You are lost! Consider! Only a brief respite is left you. 
Farewell. [Exit. 

Egmont {alone) . Strange that the thoughts of other men should 
exert such an influence over us. These fears would never have 
entered my mind; and this man infects me with his solicitude. 
Away! 'Tis a foreign drop in my blood! Kind nature, cast it forth! 
And to erase the furrowed lines from my brow there yet remains 
indeed a friendly means. 

ACT III 

Scene I. — Palace of the Regent 

Margaret of Parma 

Regent. I might have expected it. Ha! when we live immersed 
in anxiety and toil, we imagine that we achieve the utmost that is 
possible; while he, who, from a distance, looks on and commands, 
believes that he requires only the possible. O ye kings! I had not 
thought it could have galled me thus. It is so sweet to reign! — and 
to abdicate? I know not how my father could do so; but I will also. 

Machiavel appears in the bac\-ground 

Regent. Approach, Machiavel. I am thinking over this letter 
from my brother. 
Machiavel. May I know what it contains? 



EGMONT 289 

Regent. As much tender consideration for me as anxiety for his 
states. He extols the firmness, the industry, the fidehty, with which 
I have hitherto watched over the interests of his Majesty in these 
provinces. He condoles with me that the unbridled people occasion 
me so much trouble. He is so thoroughly convinced of the depth 
of my views, so extraordinarily satisfied with the prudence of my 
conduct, that I must almost say the letter is too politely written 
for a king — certainly for a brother. 

Machiavel. It is not the first time that he has testified to you his 
just satisfaction. 

Regent. But the first time that it is a mere rhetorical figure. 

Machiavel. I do not understand you. 

Regent. You soon will. — For after this preamble he is of opinion 
that without soldiers, without a small army indeed, — I shall always 
cut a sorry figure here! We did wrong, he says, to withdraw our 
troops from the provinces at the remonstrance of the inhabitants; 
a garrison, he thinks, which shall press upon the neck of the burgher, 
will prevent him, by its weight, from making any lofty spring. 

Machiavel. It would irritate the public mind to the last degree. 

Regent. The king thinks, however, do you hear? — he thinks 
that a clever general, one who never listens to reason, will be able 
to deal promptly with all parties; — people and nobles, citizens and 
peasants; he therefore sends, with a powerful army, the Duke of 
Alva. 

Machiavel. Alva? 

Regent. You are surprised. 

Machiavel. You say, he sends, he aslcs doubtless whether he should 
send. 

Regent. The king asks not, he sends. 

Machiavel. You will then have an experienced warrior in your 
service. 

Regent. In my service? Speak out, Machiavel. 

Machiavel. I would not anticipate you. 

Regent. And I would I could dissimulate. It wounds me — wounds 
me to the quick. I had rather my brother would speak his mind 
than attach his signature to formal epistles drawn up by a secretary 
of state. 



290 GOETHE 

Machtavel. Can they not comprehend? — 

Regent. I know them both within and without. They would fain 
make a clean sweep; and since they cannot set about it themselves, 
they give their confidence to any one who comes with a besom in 
his hand. Oh, it seems to me as if I saw the king and his council 
worked upon this tapestry. 

Machtavel. So distincdyl 

Regent. No feature is wanting. There are good men among 
them. The honest Roderigo, so experienced and so moderate, who 
does not aim too high, yet lets nothing sink too low; the upright 
Alonzo, the diligent Freneda, the steadfast Las Vargas, and others 
who join them when the good party are in power. But there sits 
the hollow-eyed Toledan, with brazen front and deep fire-glance, 
muttering between his teeth about womanish softness, ill-timed 
concession, and that women can ride trained steeds, well enough, 
but are themselves bad masters of the horse, and the like pleasantries, 
which, in former times, I have been compelled to hear from political 
gendemen. 

Machtavel. You have chosen good colours for your picture. 

Regent. Confess, Machiavel, among the tints from which I might 
select, there is no hue so livid, so jaundice-like, as Alva's complexion, 
and the colour he is wont to paint with. He regards every one as a 
blasphemer or traitor, for under this head they can all be racked, 
impaled, quartered, and burnt at pleasure. The good I have ac- 
complished here appears as nothing seen from a distance, just be- 
cause it is good. Then he dwells on every outbreak that is past, re- 
calls every disturbance that is quieted, and brings before the king 
such a picture of mutiny, sedition, and audacity, that we appear to 
him to be actually devouring one another, when with us the transient 
explosion of a rude people has long been forgotten. Thus he con- 
ceives a cordial hatred for the poor people; he views them with 
horror, as beasts and monsters; looks around for fire and sword, 
and imagines that by such means human beings are subdued. 

Machiavel. You appear to me too vehement; you take the matter 
too seriously. Do you not remain Regent? 

Regent. I am aware of that. He will bring his instructions. I am 
old enough in state affairs to understand how people can be sup- 



EGMONT 291 

planted, without being actually deprived of office. First, he will pro- 
duce a commission, couched in terms somewhat obscure and equiv- 
ocal; he will stretch his authority, for the power is in his hands; 
if I complain, he will hint at secret instructions; if I desire to see 
them, he will answer evasively; if I insist, he will produce a paper of 
totally different import; and if this fail to satisfy me, he will go on 
precisely as if I had never interfered. Meanwhile he will have ac- 
complished what I dread, and have frustrated my most cherished 
schemes. 

Machiavel. I wish I could contradict you. 

Regent. His harshness and cruelty will again arouse the turbulent 
spirit, which, with unspeakable patience, I have succeeded in quell- 
ing; I shall see my work destroyed before my eyes, and have besides 
to bear the blame of his wrong-doing. 

Machiavel. Await it, your Highness. 

Regent. I have sufficient self<ommand to remain quiet. Let him 
come; I will make way for him with the best grace ere he pushes 
me aside. 

Machiavel. So important a step thus suddenly? 

Regent. 'Tis harder than you imagine. He who is accustomed to 
rule, to hold daily in his hand the destiny of thousands, descends 
from the throne as into the grave. Better thus, however, than linger 
a spectre among the living, and with hollow aspect endeavour to 
maintain a place which another has inherited, and already possesses 
and enjoys. 

Scene II. — Clara's dwelling 
Clara and her Mother 

Mother. Such a love as Brackenburg's I have never seen; I thought 
it was to be found only in romance books. 
Clara {wall(ing up and down the room, humming a song). 
With love's thrilling rapture 
What joy can compare! 
Mother. He suspects thy attachment to Egmont; and yet, if thou 
wouldst but treat him a little kindly, I do believe he would marry 
thee still, if thou wouldst have him. 



292 GOETHE 

Clara (sings). 

Blissful 

And tearful, 

With thought-teeming brain; 

Hoping 

And fearing 

In passionate pain; 

Now shouting in triumph, 

Now sunk in despair; — 

With love's thrilling rapture 

What joy can compare! 

Mother. Have done with such baby-nonsense! 

Clara. Nay, do not abuse it; 'tis a song of marvellous virtue. Many 
a time have 1 lulled a grown child to sleep with it. 

Mother. Ay! Thou canst think of nothing but thy love. If it only 
did not put everything else out of thy head. Thou shouldst have 
more regard for Brackenburg, I tell thee. He may make thee happy 
yet some day. 

Clara. He? 

Mother. Oh, yes! A time will come! You children live only in 
the present, and give no ear to our experience. Youth and happy 
love, all has an end; and there comes a time when one thanks God 
if one has any corner to creep into. 

Clara {shudders, and after a pause stands up). Mother, let that 
time come — like death. To think of it beforehand is horrible! And 
if it come! If we must — then — we will bear ourselves as we may. 
Lave without thee, Egmont! (Weeping.) No! It is impossible. 

Enter Ecmont (enveloped in a horseman's cloa\, his hat 
drawn over his face) 
Egmont. Clara! 

Clara (utters a cry and starts baclO. Egmont! (She hastens 
totvards him.) Egmont! (She embraces and leans upon him.) O 
thou good, kind, sweet Egmont! Art thou come.? Art thou here 
indeed! 
Egmont. Good evening, mother? 



EGMONT 293 

Mother. God save you, noble sir! My daughter has well-nigh 
pined to death, because you have stayed away so long; she talks and 
sings about you the live-long day. 

Egmont. You will give me some supper? 

Mother. You do us too much honour. If we only had any- 
thing — 

Clara. Certainly! Be quiet, mother; I have provided everything; 
there is something prepared. Do not betray me, mother. 

Mother. There's little enough. 

Clara. Never mind! And then I think when he is with me I am 
never hungry; so he cannot, I should think, have any great appetite 
when I am with him. 

Egmont. Do you think so? (Clara stamps with her foot and turns 
pettishly away.) What ails you? 

Clara. How cold you are to-day! You have not yet offered me a 
kiss. Why do you keep your arms enveloped in your mantle, Uke a 
new-born babe? It becomes neither a soldier nor a lover to keep 
his arms muffled up. 

Egmont. Sometimes, dearest, sometimes. When the soldier stands 
in ambush and would delude the foe, he collects his thoughts, 
gathers his mantle around him, and matures his plan and a 
lover — 

Mother. Will you not take a seat, and make yourself comfortable? 
I must to the kitchen, Clara thinks of nothing when you are here. 
You must put up with what we have. 

Egmont. Your good-will is the best seasoning. \Exit Mother. 

Clara. And what then is my love? 

Egmont. Just what thou wilt. 

Clara. Liken it to anything, if you have the heart. 

Egmont. But first, (//r flings aside his mantle, and appears 
arrayed in a magnificent dress.) 

Clara. Oh heavens! 

Egmont. Now my arms are free! {Embraces her.) 

Clara. Don't! You will spoil your dress. {She steps bacl^.) How 
magnificent! I dare not touch you. 

Egmont. Art thou satisfied ? I promised to come once arrayed in 
Spanish fashion. 



294 GOETHE 

Clara. I had ceased to remind you of it; I thought you did not 
hke it — ah, and the Golden Fleece! 

Egmont. Thou seest it now. 

Clara. And did the emperor really hang it round thy neck? 

Egmont. He did, my child! And this chain and Order invest the 
wearer with the noblest privileges. On earth I acknowledge no judge 
over my actions, except the grand master of the Order, with the 
assembled chapter of knights. 

Clara. Oh, thou mightest let the whole world sit in judgment over 
thee. The velvet is too splendid! and the braiding! and the em- 
broidery! One knows not where to begin. 

Egmont. There, look thy fill. 

Clara. And the Golden Fleece! You told me its history, and said 
it is the symbol of everything great and precious, of everything that 
can be merited and won by diligence and toil. It is very precious — 
I may liken it to thy love; — even so I wear it next my heart; — and 
then — 

Egmont. What wilt thou say? 

Clara. And then again it is not like. 

Egmont. How so? 

Clara. I have not won it by diligence and toil, I have not de- 
served it. 

Egmont. It is otherwise in love. Thou dost deserve it because thou 
hast not sought it — and, for the most part, those only obtain love 
who seek it not. 

Clara. Is it from thine own experience that thou hast learned 
this? Didst thou make that proud remark in reference to thyself? 
Thou, whom all the people love? 

Egmont. Would that I had done something for them! That I 
could do anything for them! It is their own good pleasure to 
love me. 

Clara. Thou hast doubtless been with the Regent to-day? 

Egmont. I have. 

Clara. Art thou upon good terms with her? 

Egmont. So it would appear. We are kind and serviceable to each 
other. 

Clara. And in thy heart? 



EGMONT 295 

Egmont. I like her. True, we have each our own views; but that 
is nothing to the purpose. She is an excellent woman, knows with 
whom she has to deal, and would be penetrating enough were she 
not quite so suspicious. I give her plenty of employment, because 
she is always suspecting some secret motive in my conduct when, in 
fact, I have none. 

Clara. Really none? 

Egmont. Well, with one little exception, perhaps. All wine 
deposits lees in the cask in the course of time. Orange furnishes her 
still better entertainment, and is a perpetual riddle. He has got the 
credit of harbouring some secret design; and she studies his brow 
to discover his thoughts, and his steps, to learn in what direction 
they are bent. 

Clara. Does she dissemble? 

Egmont. She is Regent — and do you ask? 

Clara. Pardon me; I meant to say, is she false? 

Egmont. Neither more nor less than everyone who has his own 
(Ejects to attain. 

Clara. I should never feel at home in the world. But she has a 
masculine spirit, and is another sort of woman from us housewives 
and sempstresses. She is great, steadfast, resolute. 

Egmont. Yes, when matters are not too much involved. For once, 
however, she is a little disconcerted. 

Clara. How so? 

Egmont. She has a moustache, too, on her upper lip, and occasion- 
ally an attack of the gout. A regular Amazon. 

Clara. A majestic woman! I should dread to appear before her. 

Egmont. Yet thou art not wont to be timid! It would not be fear, 
only maidenly bashfulness. 

(Clara casts down her eyes, tal^es his hand, and 
leans upon him.) 

Egmont. I understand thee, dearest! Thou mayst raise thine 
eyes. {He l{isses her eyes.) 

Clara. Let me be silent! Let me embrace thee! Let me look into 
thine eyes, and find there everything — hope and comfort, joy and 
sorrow! {She embraces and gazes on him.) Tell me! Oh, tell me! 
It seems so strange — art thou indeed Egmont! Count Egmont! The 



296 GOETHE 

great Egmont, who makes so much noise in the world, who figures 
in the newspapers, who is the support and stay of the provinces? 

Egmont. No, Clara, I am not he. 

Clara. How? 

Egmont. Seest thou, Clara ? Let me sit down ! {He seats himself, 
she k^neels on a footstool before him, rests her arms on his knees 
and lool{s up in his face.) That Egmont is a morose, cold, unbend- 
ing Egmont, obliged to be upon his guard, to assume now this 
appearance and now that; harassed, misapprehended and perplexed, 
when the crowd esteem him light-hearted and gay; beloved by a 
people who do not know their own minds; honoured and extolled 
by the intractable multitude; surrounded by friends in whom he 
dares not confide; observed by men who are on the watch to sup- 
plant him; toiling and striving, often without an object, generally 
without a reward. O let me conceal how it fares with him, let me 
not speak of his feelings! But this Egmont, Clara, is calm, unre- 
served, happy, beloved and known by the best of hearts, which is 
also thoroughly known to him, and which he presses to his own 
with unbounded confidence and love. {He embraces her.) This is 
thy Egmont. 

Clara. So let me die! The world has no joy after this! 

ACT IV 
Scene I. — A Street 

Jetter, Carpenter 

fetter. Hist! neighbour, — a word! 

Carpenter. Go your way and be quiet. 

Jetter. Only one word. Is there nothing new? 

Carpenter. Nothing, except that we are anew forbidden to speak. 

Jetter. How? 

Car/'irnfirr. Step here, close to this house. Take heed! Immediately 
on his arrival, the Duke of Alva published a decree, by which two 
or three, found conversing together in the streets, are without trial, 
declared guilty of high treason. 

Jetter. Alas! 



EGMONT 297 

Carpenter. To speak of state affairs is prohibited on pain of per- 
petual imprisonment. 

Jetter. Alas for our liberty! 

Carpenter. And no one, on pain of death, shall censure the 
measures of government. 

Jetter. Alas, for our heads! 

Carpenter. And fathers, mothers, children, kindred, friends, and 
servants, are invited, by the promise of large rewards, to disclose 
what passes in the privacy of our homes, before an expressly 
appointed tribunal. 

Jetter. Let us go home. 

Carpenter. And the obedient are promised that they shall suffer 
no injury, either in person or estate. 

Jetter. How gracious! — I felt ill at ease the moment the duke 
entered the town. Since then, it has seemed to me, as though the 
heavens were covered with black crape, which hangs so low, that 
one must stoop down to avoid knocking one's head against it. 

Carpenter. And how do you like his soldiers? They are a different 
sort of crabs from those we have been used to. 

Jetter. Faugh! It gives one the cramp at one's heart to see such a 
troop march down the street. As straight as tapers, with fixed look, 
only one step, however many there may be; and when they stand 
sentinel, and you pass one of them, it seems as though he would 
look you through and through; and he looks so stiff and morose, 
that you fancy you see a task-master at every corner. They offend 
my sight. Our militia were merry fellows; they took liberties, stood 
their legs astride, their hats over their ears, they lived and let live; 
these fellows are like machines with a devil inside them. 

Carpenter. Were such an one to cry, "Halt!" and to level his 
musket, think you one would stand? 

Jetter. I should fall dead upon the spot. 

Carpenter. Let us go home! 

Jetter, No good can come of it. Farewell. 

Enter Soest 

Soest. Friends! Neighbours! 
Carpenter. Hush! Let us go. 



298 GOETHE 

Soest. Have you heard? 

Jetter. Only too much! 

Soest. The Regent is gone. 

Jetter. Then Heaven help us. 

Carpenter. She was some stay to us. 

Soest. Her departure was sudden and secret. She could not agree 
with the duke; she has sent word to the nobles that she intends to 
return. No one believes it, however. 

Carpenter. God pardon the nobles for letting this new yoke be 
laid upon our necks. They might have prevented it. Our privileges 
are gone. 

Jetter. For Heaven's sake not a word about privileges. I already 
scent an execution; the sun will not come forth; the fogs are rank. 

Soest. Orange, too, is gone. 

Carpenter. Then are we quite deserted! 

Soest. Count Egmont is still here. 

Jetter. God be thanked! Strengthen him, all ye saints, to do his 
utmost; he is the only one who can help us. 

Enter Vansen 

Vansen. Have I at length found a few brave citizens who have 
not crept out of sight ? 

Jetter. Do us the favour to pass on. 

Vansen. You are not civil. 

Jetter. This is no time for compliments. Does your back itch 
again? are your wounds already healed? 

Vansen. Ask a soldier about his wounds? Had I cared for blows, 
nothing good would have come of me. 

Jetter. Matters may grow more serious. 

Vansen. You feel from the gathering storm a pitiful weakness in 
your limbs, it seems. 

Carpenter. Your limbs will soon be in motion elsewhere, if you do 
not keep quiet. 

Vansen. Poor mice! The master of the house procures a new cat, 
and ye are straight in despair! The difference is very trifling; we 
shall get on as we did before, only be quiet. 

Carpenter. You are an insolent knave. 



EGMONT 299 

Vansen. Gossip! Let the duke alone. The old cat looks as though 
he had swallowed devils, instead of mice, and could not now digest 
them. Let him alone, I say; he must eat, drink, and sleep, like other 
men. I am not afraid if we only watch our opportunity. At first 
he makes quick work of it; by-and-by, however, he too will find 
that it is pleasanter to live in the larder, among flitches of bacon, 
and to rest by night, than to entrap a few solitary mice in the 
granary. Go to! I know the stadtholders. 

Carpenter. What such a fellow can say with impunity! Had I said 
such a thing, I should not hold myself safe a moment. 

Vansen. Do not make yourselves uneasy ! God in heaven does not 
trouble himself about you, {X)or worms, much less the Regent. 

letter. Slanderer! 

Vansen. I know some for whom it would be better if, instead of 
their own high spirits, they had a little tailor's blood in their veins. 

Carpenter. What mean you by that? 

Vansen. Hum! I mean the count. 

fetter. Egmont! What has he to fear? 

Vansen. I'm a poor devil, and could live a whole year round on 
what he loses in a single night; yet he would do well to give me his 
revenue for a twelvemonth, to have my head upon his shoulders for 
one quarter of an hour. 

Jetter. You think yourself very clever; yet there is more sense in 
the hairs of Egmont's head, than in your brains. 

Vansen. Perhaps so! Not more shrewdness, however. These 
gentry are the most apt to deceive themselves. He should be more 
chary of his confidence. 

Jetter. How his tongue wags! Such a gendeman! 

Vansen. Just because he is not a tailor. 

Jetter. You audacious scoundrel! 

Vansen. I only wish he had your courage in his limbs for an hour 
to make him uneasy, and plague and torment him, till he were com- 
pelled to leave the town. 

Jetter. What nonsense you talk; why he's as safe as a star in 
heaven. 

Vansen. Have you ever seen one snuff itself out? Off it went! 

Carpenter. Who would dare to meddle with him? 



300 GOETHE 

Vansen. Will you interfere to prevent it? Will you stir up an 
insurrection if he is arrested? 

Jetter. Ah! 

Vansen. Will you risk your ribs for his sake? 

Soest. Eh! 

Vansen {mimic f^^ing them). Eh! Oh! Ah! Run through the alpha- 
bet in your wonderment. So it is, and so it will remain. Heaven 
help himi 

Jetter. Confound your impudence. Can such a noble, upright man 
have anything to fear? 

Vansen. In this world the rogue has everywhere the advantage. 
At the bar, he makes a fool of the judge; on the bench, he takes 
pleasure in convicting the accused. I have had to copy out a protocol, 
where the commissary was handsomely rewarded by the court, both 
with praise and money, because through his cross-examination, an 
honest devil, against whom they had a grudge, was made out to be 
a rogue. 

Carpenter. Why, that again is a downright lie. What can they 
want to get out of a man if he is innocent? 

Vansen. Oh, you blockhead! When nothing can be worked out of 
a man by cross-examination, they work it into him. Honesty is rash 
and withal somewhat presumptuous; at first they question quiedy 
enough, and the prisoner, proud of his innocence, as they call it, 
comes out with much that a sensible man would keep back! then, 
from these answers the inquisitor proceeds to put new questions, and 
is on the watch for the slightest contradiction; there he fastens his 
line; and, let the poor devil lose his self-possession, say too much 
here, or too little there, or. Heaven knows from what whim or other, 
let him withhold some trifling circumstance, or at any moment give 
way to fear — then we're on the right track, and, I assure you, no 
beggar-woman seeks for rags among the rubbish with more' care 
than such a fabricator of rogues, from trifling, crooked, disjointed, 
misplaced, misprinted, and concealed facts and information, ac- 
knowledged or denied, endeavours at length to patch up a scare- 
crow, by means of which he may at least hang his victim in effigy; 
and the poor devil may thank Heaven if he is in a condition to see 
himself hanged. 



EGMONT 301 

Jetter. He has a ready tongue o£ his own. 

Carpenter. This may serve well enough with flies. Wasps laugh 
at your cunning web. 

Vansen. According to the kind of spider. The tall duke, now, has 
just the look of your garden spider; not the large-bellied kind, they 
are less dangerous; but your long-footed, meagre-bodied gentleman, 
that does not fatten on his diet, and whose threads are slender indeed, 
but not the less tenacious. 

Jetter. Egmont is knight of the Golden Fleece, who dare lay hands 
on him ? He can be tried only by his peers, by the assembled knights 
of his order. Your own foul tongue and evil conscience betray you 
into this nonsense. 

Vansen. Think you that I wish him ill.? I would you were in the 
right. He is an excellent gentleman. He once let off, with a sound 
drubbing, some good friends of mine, who would else have been 
hanged. Now take yourselves off! begone, I advise you! Yonder I 
see the patrol again commencing their round. They do not look as 
if they would be willing to fraternize with us over a glass. We must 
wait, and bide our time. I have a couple of nieces and a gossip of a 
tapster; if after enjoying themselves in their company, they are not 
tamed, they are regular wolves. 

Scene II. — The Palace of Eulenberg, Residence of the Duke of Alva 
SiLVA and Gomez {meeting) 

Silva. Have you executed the duke's commands? 

Gomez. Punctually. All the day-patrols have received orders to 
assemble at the appointed time, at the various points that I have 
indicated. Meanwhile, they march as usual through the town 
to maintain order. Each is ignorant respecting the movements of the 
rest, and imagines the command to have reference to himself alone; 
thus in a moment the cordon can be formed, and all the avenues to 
the palace occupied. Know you the reason of this command? 

Silva. I am accustomed blindly to obey; and to whom can one 
more easily render obedience than to the duke, since the event always 
proves the wisdom of his commands? 

Gomez. Well! Well! I am not surprised that you are become 



302 GOETHE 

as reserved and monosyllabic as the duke, since you are obliged to 
be always about his person; to me, however, who am accustomed 
to the lighter service of Italy, it seems strange enough. In loyalty 
and obedience, I am the same old soldier as ever; but I am wont to 
indulge in gossip and discussion; here, you are all silent, and seem 
as though you knew not how to enjoy yourselves. The duke, me- 
thinks, is like a brazen tower without gates, the garrison of which 
must be furnished with wings. Not long ago I heard him say at the 
table of a gay, jovial fellow that he was like a bad spirit-shop, with 
a brandy sign displayed, to allure idlers, vagabonds, and thieves. 

Silva. And has be not brought us hither in silence ? 

Gomez. Nothing can be said against that. Of a truth, we, who 
witnessed the address with which he led the troops hither out of 
Italy, have seen something. How he advanced warily through 
friends and foes; through the French, both royalists and heretics; 
through the Swiss and their confederates; maintained the strictest 
discipUne, and accomplished with ease, and without the slightest 
hindrance, a march that was esteemed so perilous! — We have seen 
and learned something. 

Silva. Here too! Is not everything as still and quiet as though 
there had been no disturbance? 

Gomez. Why, as for that, it was tolerably quiet when we arrived. 

Silva. The provinces have become much more tranquil; if there is 
any movement now, it is only among those who wish to escape; 
and to them, methinks, the duke will speedily close every outlet. 

Gomez. This service cannot fail to win for him the favour of the 
king. 

Silva. And nothing is more expedient for us than to retain his. 
Should the king come hither, the duke doubdess and all whom he 
recommends will not go without their reward. 

Gomez. Do you really believe then that the king will come? 

Silva. So many preparations are being made, that the report 
appears highly probable. 

Gomez. I am not convinced, however. 

Silva. Keep your thoughts to yourself then. For if it should not be 
the king's intention to come, it is at least certain that he wishes the 
rumour to be believed. 



EGMONT 303 

Enter Ferdinand 

Ferdinand. Is my father not yet abroad ? 

Silva. We are waiting to receive his commands. 

Ferdinand. The princes will soon be here. 

Gomez. Are they expyected to-day ? 

Ferdinand. Orange and Egmont. 

Gomez {aside to Silva). A light breaks in upon me. 

Silva. Well, then, say nothing about it. 

Enter the Duke of Alva {as he advances the rest draw bac/0 

Alva. Gomez. 

Gomez {steps forward). My lord. 

Alva. You have distributed the guards and given them their 
instructions? 

Gomez, Most accurately. The day-patrols — 

Alva. Enough. Attend in the gallery. Silva will announce to you 
the moment when you are to draw them together, and to occupy 
the avenues leading to the palace. The rest you know. 

Gomez. I do, my lord. [Exit. 

Alva. Silva. 

Silva. Here my lord. 

Alva. I shall require you to manifest to-day all the qualities which 
I have hitherto prized in you: courage, resolve, unswerving execu- 
tion. 

Silva. I thank you for affording me an opportunity of showing that 
your old servant is unchanged. 

Alva. The moment the princes enter my cabinet, hasten to arrest 
Egmont's private secretary. You have made all needful preparations 
for securing the others who are specified ? 

Silva. Rely upon us. Their doom, like a well-calculated eclipse, 
will overtake them with terrible certainty. 

Alva. Have you had them all narrowly watched ? 

Silva. All. Egmont especially. He is the only one whose de- 
meanour, since your arrival, remains unchanged. The live-long day 
he is now on one horse and now on another; he invites guests as 
usual, is merry and enteruining at table, plays at dice, shoots, and at 



304 GOETHE 

night steals to his mistress. The others, on the contrary, have made 
a manifest pause in their mode of life; they remain at home, and, 
from the outward aspect of their houses, you would imagine that 
there was a sick man within. 

Alt/a. To work then, ere they recover in spite of us. 

Silt/a. I shall bring them without fail. In obedience to your com- 
mands we load them with officious honours; they are alarmed; 
cautiously, yet anxiously, they tender us their thanks, feel that flight 
would be the most prudent course, yet none venture to adopt it; they 
hesitate, are unable to work together, while the bond which unites 
them prevents their acting boldly as individuals. They are anxious to 
withdraw themselves from suspicion, and thus only render them- 
selves more obnoxious to it. I already contemplate with joy the 
successful realization of your scheme. 

Alva. I rejoice only over what is accomplished, and not lighdy 
over that; for there ever remains ground for serious and anxious 
thought. Fortune is capricious; the common, the worthless, she 
oft-times ennobles, while she dishonours with a contemptible issue 
the most maturely considered schemes. Await the arrival of the 
princes, then order Gomez to occupy the streets, and hasten yourself 
to arrest Egmont's secretary, and the others who are specified. This 
done, return, and announce to my son that he may bring me the 
tidings in the council. 

Silt/a. I trust this evening I shall dare to appear in your presence. 
(Alva approaches his son who has hitherto been standing in the 
gallery.) I dare not whisper it even to myself; but my mind misgives 
me. The event will, I fear, be different from what he anticipates. I 
see before me spirits, who, still and thoughtful, weigh in ebon scales 
the doom of princes and of many thousands. Slowly the beam moves 
up and down; deeply the judges appear to ponder; at length one scale 
sinks, the other rises, breathed on by the caprice of destiny, and all 
is decided. [Exit. 

Alva {advancing with his son). How did you find the town? 

Ferdinand. All is again quiet. I rode as for pastime, from street 
to street. Your well-distributed patrols hold Fear so tightly yoked, 
that she does not venture even to whisper. The town resembles a 
plain when the lightning's glare announces the impending storm: 



EGMONT 305 

no bird, no beast is to be seen, that is not stealing to a place of 
shelter. 

All/a. Has nothing further occurred? 

Ferdinand. Egmont, with a few companions, rode into the market- 
place; we exchanged greetings; he was mounted on an unbroken 
charger, which excited my admiration. "Let us hasten to break in 
our steeds," he exclaimed; "we shall need them ere long!" He said 
that he should see me again to-day; he is coming here, at your desire, 
to deliberate with you. 

Alva. He will see you again. 

Ferdinand. Among all the knights whom I know here, he pleases 
me the best. I think we shall be friends. 

Alva. You are always rash and inconsiderate. I recognize in you 
the levity of your mother, which threw her unconditionally into 
my arms. Appearances have already allured you precipitately into 
many dangerous connections. 

Ferdinand. You will find me ever submissive. 

Alva. I pardon this inconsiderate kindness, this heedless gaiety, in 
consideration of your youthful blood. Only forget not on what mis- 
sion I am sent, and what part in it I would assign to you. 

Ferdinand. Admonish me, and spare me not, when you deem it 
needful. 

Alva (after a pause). My soni 

Ferdinand. My father! 

Alva. The princes will be here anon; Orange and Egmont. It 
is not mistrust that has withheld me till now from disclosing to you 
what is about to take place. They will not depart hence. 

Ferdinand. What do you purpose? 

Alva. It has been resolved to arrest them. — ^You are astonished! 
Learn what you have to do; the reasons you shall know when all is 
accomplished. Time fails now to unfold them. With you alone I 
wish to deliberate on the weightiest, the most secret matters; a power- 
ful bond holds us linked together; you are dear and precious to me; 
on you I would bestow everything. Not the habit of obedience 
alone would I impress upon you; I desire also to implant within 
your mind the power to realize, to command, to execute; to you I 
would bequeath a vast inheritance, to the king a most useful servant; 



306 GOETHE 

I would endow you with the noblest of my possessions, that you may 
not be ashamed to appear among your brethren. 

Ferdinand. How deeply am I indebted to you for this love, which 
you manifest for me alone, while a whole kingdom trembles before 
you I 

Alva. Now hear what is to be done. As soon as the princes have 
entered, every avenue to the palace will be guarded. This duty is 
confided to Gomez. Silva will hasten to arrest Egmont's secretary, 
together with those whom we hold most in suspicion. You, mean- 
while, will take the command of the guards stationed at the gates 
and in the courts. Before all, take care to occupy the adjoining apart- 
ment with the trustiest soldiers. Wait in the gallery till Silva returns, 
then bring me any unimportant paper, as a signal that his commis- 
sion is executed. Remain in the ante<hamber till Orange retires, 
follow him; I will detain Egmont here as though I had some further 
communication to make to him. At the end of the gallery demand 
Orange's sword, summon the guards, secure promptly the most 
dangerous man; I meanwhile will seize Egmont here. 

Ferdinand. I obey, my father — for the first time wath a heavy and 
an anxious heart. 

Alva. I pardon you; this is the first great day of your Hfe. 

Enter Silva 

Silva. A courier from Antwerp. Here is Orange's letter. He does 
not come. 

Alva. Says the messenger so? 

Silva. No, my own heart tells me. 

Alva. In thee speaks my evil genius. (After reading the letter, he 
ma\es a sign to the two, and they retire to the gallery. Alva remains 
alone in front of the stage.) He comes not! Till the last moment he 
delays declaring himself. He ventures not to come! So then, the 
cautious man, contrary to all expectations, is for once cautious 
enough to lay aside his wonted caution. The hour moves on! Let 
the finger travel but a short space over the dial, and a great work 
is done or lost — irrevocably lost; for the opportunity can never be 
retrieved, nor can our intention remain concealed. Long had I ma- 
turely weighed everything, foreseen even this contingency, and firmly 



EGMONT 307 

resolved in my own mind what, in that case, was to be done; and 
now, when I am called upon to act, I can with difSculty guard my 
mind from being again distracted by conflicting doubts. Is it expedi- 
ent to seize the others if he escape me? Shall 1 delay, and suffer 
Egmont to elude my grasp, together with his friends, and so many 
others who now, and perhaps for to-day only, are in my hands? 
How! Does destiny control even thee — the uncontrollable? How 
long matured! How well prepared! How great, how admirable 
the plan! How nearly had hope attained the goal! And now, at the 
decisive moment, thou art placed between two evils; as in a lottery, 
thou dost grasp in the dark future; what thou hast drawn remains 
still unrolled, to thee unknown whether it is a prize or a blank! 
(He becomes attentive, lil^e one who hears a noise, and steps to the 
window.) 'Tis he! Egmont! Did thy steed bear thee hither so 
lightly, and started not at the scent of blood, at the spirit with the 
naked sword who received thee at the gate? Dismount! Lo, now 
thou hast one foot in the grave! And now both! Ay, caress him, 
and for the last time stroke his neck for the gallant service he has 
rendered thee. And for me no choice is left. The delusion, in which 
Egmont ventures here to-day, cannot a second time deliver him into 
my hands! Hark! (Ferdinand and Silva enter hastily.) Obey my 
orders! I swerve not from my purpose. I shall detain Egmont here 
as best I may, till you bring me tidings from Silva. Then remain at 
hand. Thee, too, fate has robbed of the proud honour of arresting 
with thine own hand the king's greatest enemy. {To Silva.) Be 
prompt! (To Ferdinand.) Advance to meet him. 

(Alva remains some moments alone, pacing the chamber in 
silence.) 

Enter Egmont 

Egmont. I come to learn the king's commands; to hear what 
service he demands from our loyalty, which remains eternally 
devoted to him. 

Alva. He desires, before all, to hear your counsel. 

E^OTon/. Upon what subject? Does Orange come also? I thought 
to find him here. 

Alva. I regret that he fails us at this important crisis. The king 



308 GOETHE 

desires your counsel, your opinion as to the best means of tranquil- 
lizing these states. He trusts indeed that you will zealously co-operate 
with him in quelling these disturbances, and in securing to these 
provinces the benefit of complete and permanent order. 

Egmont. You, my lord, should know better than I, that tranquillity 
is already sufficiently restored, and was still more so, till the appear- 
ance of fresh troops again agitated the public mind, and filled it 
anew with anxiety and alarm. 

Alva. You seem to intimate that it would have been more advis- 
able if the king had not placed me in a position to interrogate you. 

Egmont. Pardon me! It is not for me to determine whether the 
king acted advisedly in sending the army hither, whether the might 
of his royal presence alone would not have operated more powerfully. 
The army is here, the king is not. But we should be most ungrateful 
were we to forget what we owe to the Regent. Let it be acknowl- 
edged! By her prudence and valour, by her judicious use of authority 
and force, of persuasion and finesse, she pacified the insurgents, and, 
to the astonishment of the world, succeeded, in the course of a few 
months, in bringing a rebellious people back to their duty. 

Alva. I deny it not. The insurrection is quelled; and the people 
appear to be already forced back within the bounds of obedience. 
But does it not depend upon their caprice alone to overstep these 
bounds? Who shall prevent them from again breaking loose? 
Where is the power capable of restraining them? Who will be 
answerable to us for their future loyalty and submission? Their 
own good-will is the sole pledge we have. 

Egmont. And is not the good-will of a people the surest, the noblest 
pledge? By heaven! when can a monarch hold himself more secure, 
ay, both against foreign and domestic foes, than when all can stand 
for one, and one for all ? 

Alva. You would not have us believe, however, that such is the 
case here at present ? 

Egmont. Let the king proclaim a general pardon; he will thus 
tranquillize the public mind; and it will be seen how speedily 
loyalty and affection will return, when confidence is restored. 

Alva. How! And suffer those who have insulted the majesty of the 
king, who have violated the sanctuaries of our religion, to go abroad 



EGMONT 309 

unchallenged I living witnesses that enormous crimes may be per- 
petrated with impunity! 

Egmont. And ought not a crime of frenzy, of intoxication, to be 
excused, rather than horribly chastised? Especially when there is the 
sure hope, nay, more, where there is positive certainty that the evil 
will never again recur? Would not sovereigns thus be more secure? 
Are not those monarchs most extolled by the world and by posterity, 
who can pardon, pity, despise an offense against their dignity? Are 
they not on that account likened to God himself, who is far too 
exalted to be assailed by every idle blasphemy ? 

Alfa. And therefore, should the king contend for che honour of 
God and of religion, we for the authority of the king. What the 
supreme power disdains to avert, it is our duty to avenge. Were I to 
counsel, no guilty person should live to rejoice in his impunity. 

Egmont. Think you that you will be able to reach them all? Do 
we not daily hear that fear is driving them to and fro, and forcing 
them out of the land ? The more wealthy will escape to other coun- 
tries with their property, their children, and their friends; while the 
poor will carry their industrious hands to our neighbours. 

Alva. They will, if they cannot be prevented. It is on this account 
that the king desires counsel and aid from every prince, zealous co- 
operation from every stadtholder; not merely a description of the 
present posture of affairs, or conjectures as to what might take place 
were events suffered to hold on their course without interruption. 
To contemplate a mighty evil, to flatter oneself with hope, to trust 
to time, to strike a blow, like the clown in a play, so as to make a 
noise and appear to do something, when in fact one would fain do 
nothing; is not such conduct calculated to awaken a suspicion that 
those who act thus contemplate with satisfaction a rebellion, which 
they would not indeed excite, but which they are by no means 
unwilling to encourage? 

Egmont (about to brea/(^ forth, restrains himself, and after a brief 
pause, speak^s with composure). Not every design is obvious, and 
many a man's design is misconstrued. It is widely rumoured, how- 
ever, that the object which the king has in view is not so much 
to govern the provinces according to uniform and clearly defined 
laws, to maintain the majesty of religion, and to give his people 



310 GOETHE 

universal peace, as unconditionally to subjugate them, to rob them 
of their ancient rights, to appropriate their possessions, to curtail the 
fair privileges of the nobles, for whose sake alone they are ready to 
serve him with life and limb. Religion, it is said, is merely a 
splendid device, behind which every dangerous design may be 
contrived with the greater ease; the prostrate crowds adore the 
sacred symbols pictured there while behind lurks the fowler ready 
to ensnare them. 

Alva. This must I hear from you? 

Egmont. I speak not my own sentiments! I but repeat what is 
loudly rimioured, and uttered now here and now there by great 
and by humble, by wise men and fools. The Netherlanders fear a 
double yoke, and who will be surety to them for their liberty ? 

Alva. Liberty! A fair word when rightly understood. What 
liberty would they have? What is the freedom of the most free? 
To do right! And in that the monarch will not hinder them. No! 
No! They imagine themselves enslaved, when they have not the 
power to injure themselves and others. Would it not be better to 
abdicate at once, rather than rule such a people? When the country 
is threatened by foreign invaders, the burghers, occupied only with 
their immediate interests, bestow no thought upon the advancing 
foe, and when the king requires their aid, they quarrel among them- 
selves, and thus, as it were, conspire with the enemy. Far better is it 
to circumscribe their power, to control and guide them for their 
good, as children are controlled and guided. Trust me, a people 
grows neither old nor wise, a people remains always in its infancy. 

Egmont. How rarely does a king attain wisdom! And is it not fit 
that the many should confide their interests to the many rather than 
to the one ? And not even to the one, but to the few servants of the 
one, men who have grown old under the eyes of their master. To 
grow wise, it seems, is the exclusive privilege of these favoured 
individuals. 

Alva. Perhaps for the very reason that they are not left to them- 
selves. 

Egmont. And therefore they would fain leave no one else to his 
own guidance. Let them do what they like, however; 1 have replied 
to your questions, and I repeat, the measures you propose will never 



EGMONT 311 

succeed! They cannot succeed! I know my countrymen. They are 
men worthy to tread God's earth; each complete in himself, a little 
king, steadfast, active, capable, loyal, attached to ancient customs. 
It may be difficult to win their confidence, but it is easy to retain 
it. Firm and unbending! They may be crushed, but not sub- 
dued. 

Alva {who during this speech has looked round several times). 
Would you venture to repeat what you have uttered, in the king's 
presence? 

Egmont. It were the worse, if in his presence I were restrained by 
fear! The better for him and for his people, if he inspired me with 
confidence, if he encouraged me to give yet freer utterance to my 
thoughts. 

Alva. What is profitable, I can listen to as well as he. 

Egmont. I would say to him — "Tis easy for the shepherd to drive 
before him a flock of sheep; the ox draws the plough without opposi- 
tion; but if you would ride the noble steed, you must study his 
thoughts, you must require nothing unreasonable, nor unreasonably, 
from him. The burgher desires to retain his ancient constitution; to 
be governed by his own countrymen; and why? Because he knows 
in that case how he shall be ruled, because he can rely upon their 
disinterestedness, upon their sympathy with his fate. 

Alva. And ought not the Regent to be empowered to alter these 
ancient usages? Should not this constitute his fairest privilege? 
What is permanent in this world? And shall the constitution of a 
state alone remain unchanged? Must not every relation alter in 
the course of time, and on that very account, an ancient constitution 
become the source of a thousand evils, because not adapted to the 
present condition of the people ? These ancient rights afford, doubt- 
less, convenient loopholes, through which the crafty and the power- 
ful may creep, and wherein they may lie concealed, to the injury 
of the people and of the entire community; and it is on this account, 
I fear, that they are held in such high esteem. 

Egmont. And these arbitrary changes, these unlimited encroach- 
ments of the supreme power, are they not indications that one will 
permit himself to do what is forbidden to thousands? The monarch 
would alone be free, that he may have it in his power to gratify 



312 GOETHE 

his every wish, to realize his every thought. And though we should 
confide in him as a good and virtuous sovereign, will he be answer- 
able to us for his successor? That none who come after him shall rule 
without consideration, without forbearance! And who would deliver 
us from absolute caprice, should he send hither his servants, his 
minions, who, without knowledge of the country and its require- 
ments, should govern according to their own good pleasure, meet 
with no opposition, and know themselves exempt from all responsi- 
biUty? 

Alva (who has meanwhile again lool{ed round). There is nothing 
more natural than that a king should choose to retain the power in 
his own 'hands, and that he should select as the instruments of his 
authority, those who best understand him, who desire to understand 
him, and who will unconditionally execute his will. 

Egmont. And just as natural is it, that the burgher should prefer 
being governed by one born and reared in the same land, whose 
notions of right and wrong are in harmony with his own, and whom 
he can regard as his brother. 

Alva. And yet the noble, methinks, has shared rather unequally 
with these brethren of his. 

Egmont. That took place centuries ago, and is now submitted to 
without envy. But should new men, whose presence is not needed 
in the country, be sent, to enrich themselves a second time, at the 
cost of the nation; should the people see themselves exposed to their 
bold, unscrupulous rapacity, it would excite a ferment that would 
not soon be quelled. 

Alva. You utter words to which I ought not to listen; — I, too, am 
a foreigner. 

Egmont. That they are spoken in your presence is a sufficient 
proof that they have no reference to you. 

Alva. Be that as it may, I would rather not hear them from you. 
The king sent me here in the hope that I should obtain the support 
of the nobles. The king wills, and will have his will obeyed. After 
profound deliberation, the king at length discerns what course will 
best promote the welfare of the people; matters cannot be permitted 
to go on as heretofore; it is the king's intention to limit their power 
for their own good; if necessary, to force upon them their salvation: 



EGMONT 313 

to sacrifice the more dangerous burghers in order that the rest may 
find repose, and enjoy in peace the blessing of a wise government. 
This is his resolve; this I am commissioned to announce to the 
nobles; and in his name I require from them advice, not as to the 
course to be pursued — on that he is resolved — but as to the best means 
of carrying his purpose into effect. 

Egmont. Your words, alas, justify the fears of the people, the 
universal fear! The king has then resolved as no sovereign ought to 
resolve. In order to govern his subjects more easily, he would crush, 
subvert, nay, ruthlessly destroy, their strength, their spirit, and their 
self-respect! He would violate the inmost core of their individuality, 
doubtless with the view of promoting their happiness. He would 
annihilate them, that they may assume a new, a different form. Oh! 
if his purpose be good, he is fatally misguided! It is not the king 
whom we resist; — we but place ourselves in the way of the monarch, 
who, unhappily, is about to take the first rash step in a wrong 
direction. 

Alva. Such being your sentiments, it were a vain attempt for us 
to endeavour to agree. You must indeed think poorly of the king, 
and contemptibly of his counsellors, if you imagine that everything 
has not already been thought of and maturely weighed. I have no 
commission a second time to balance conflicting arguments. From 
the people I demand submission; — and from you, their leaders and 
princes, I demand counsel and support, as pledges of this uncondi- 
tional duty. 

Egmont. Demand our heads, and your object is attained; to a 
noble soul it must be indifferent whether he stoop his neck to such 
a yoke, or lay it upon the block. I have spoken much to litde purpose. 
I have agitated the air, but accomplished nothing. 

Enter Ferdinand 

Ferdinand. Pardon my intrusion. Here is a letter, the bearer of 
which urgently demands an answer. 

Alva. Allow me to peruse its contents. (Steps aside.) 

Ferdinand (to Egmont). "Tis a noble steed that your people have 
brought, to carry you away. 

Egmont. I have seen worse. I have had him some time; I think 



314 GOETHE 

of parting with him. If he pleases you we shall probably soon agree 
as to the price. 

Ferdinand. We will think about it. 
(Alva motions to his son, who retires to the bac^-ground.) 

Egmont. Farewell! Allow me to retire; for, by heaven, I know not 
what more I can say. 

Alva. Fortunately for you, chance prevents you from making a 
fuller disclosure of your sentiments. You incautiously lay bare the 
recesses of your heart, and your own lips furnish evidence against 
you, more fatal than could be produced by your bitterest adversary. 

Egmont. This reproach disturbs me not. I know my own heart; 
I know with what honest zeal I am devoted to the king; I know that 
my allegiance is more true than that of many who, in his service, 
seek only to serve themselves. I regret that our discussion should 
terminate so unsatisfactorily, and trust that in spite of our opposing 
views, the service of the king, our master, and the welfare of our 
country, may speedily unite us; another conference, the presence of 
the princes who to-day are absent, may, jjerchance, in a more pro- 
pitious moment, accomplish what at present appears impossible. In 
this hope I take my leave. 

Alt/a (ivho at the same time maizes a sign to Ferdinand). Hold, 
Egmont! — Your sword! — {The centre door opens and discloses the 
gallery, which is occupied with guards, who remain motionless.) 

Egmont {after a pause of astonishment). This was the intention? 
For this thou hast summoned me? {Grasping his sword as if to 
defend himself.) Am I then weaponless? 

Aha. The king commands. Thou art my prisoner. {At the same 
time guards enter from both sides.) 

Egmont {after a pause). The king? — Orange! Orange! {after a 
pause, resigning his sword). Take it! It has been employed far 
oftener in defending the cause of my king than in protecting this 
breast. 

{He retires by the centre door, followed by the guard and Alva's 
son. Alva remains standing while the curtain falls.) 



EGMONT 315 

ACT V 

Scene I. — A Street. Twilight 

Clara, Bracken burg, Burghers 

Bracl(enburg. Dearest, for Heaven's sake, what wouldst thou do? 

Clara. Come with me, Brackenburg! Thou canst not know the 
people, we are certain to rescue him; for what can equal their love 
for him? Each feels, I could swear it, the burning desire to deliver 
him, to avert danger from a life so precious, and to restore freedom 
to the most free. Come! A voice only is wanting to call them 
together. In their souls the memory is still fresh of all they owe him, 
and well they know that his mighty arm alone shields them from 
destruction. For his sake, for their own sake, they must peril every- 
thing. And what do we peril? At most, our lives, which if he 
perish, are not worth preserving. 

Bracl{enburg. Unhappy girl! Thou seest not the power that holds 
us fettered as with bands of iron. 

Clara. To me it does not appear invincible. Let us not lose time 
in idle words. Here comes some of our old, honest, valiant burghers! 
Hark ye, friends! Neighbours! Hark! — Say, how fares it with 
Egmont ? 

Carpenter. What does the girl want? Tell her to hold her peace. 

Clara. Step nearer, that we may speak low, till we are united and 
more strong. Not a moment is to be lost! Audacious tyranny, that 
dared to fetter him, already lifts the dagger against his life. Oh, 
my friends! With the advancing twilight my anxiety grows more 
intense. I dread this night. Come! Let us disperse; let us hasten 
from quarter to quarter, and call out the burghers. Let every one 
grasp his ancient weapons. In the market-place we meet again, and 
every one will be carried onward by our gathering stream. The 
enemy will see themselves surrounded, overwhelmed, and be com- 
pelled to yield. How can a handful of slaves resist us? And he will 
return among us, he will see himself rescued, and can for once thank 
us, us, who are already so deeply in his d^t. He will behold, per- 
chance, ay doubtless, he will again behold the morn's red dawn in 
the free heavens. 



3l6 GOETHE 

Carpenter. What ails thee, maiden? 

Clara. Can ye misunderstand me? I speak of the Count! I speak 
of Egmont. 

fetter. Speak not the name! 'tis deadly. 

Clara. Not speak his name? How? Not Egmont's name? Is it 
not on every tongue? Where stands it not inscribed? Often have I 
read it emblazoned with all its letters among these stars. Not utter 
it? What mean ye? Friends! good, kind neighbours, ye are dream- 
ing; collect yourselves. Gaze not upon me with those fixed and 
anxious looks! Cast not such timid glances on every side! I but 
give utterance to the wish of all. Is not my voice the voice of your 
own hearts? Who, in this fearful night, ere he seeks his restless 
couch, but on bended knee will, in earnest prayer, seek to wrest his 
life as a cherished boon from heaven ? Ask each other! Let each ask 
his own heart! And who but exclaims with me, — "Egmont's liberty, 
or death!" 

fetter. God help us! This is a sad business. 

Clara. Stay! Stay! Shrink not away at the sound of his name, to 
meet whom ye were wont to press forward so joyously! — When 
rumour announced his approach, when the cry arose, "Egmont 
comes! He comes from Ghent!" — 'then happy indeed were those 
citizens who dwelt in the streets through which he was to pass. 
And when the neighing of his steed was heard, did not every one 
throw aside his work, while a ray of hope and joy, like a sunbeam 
from his countenance, stole over the toil-worn faces that peered from 
every window? Then, as ye stood in the doorways, ye would lift up 
your children in your arms, and pointing to him, exclaim: "See, 
that is Egmont, he who towers above the rest! 'Tis from him that 
ye must look for better times than those your poor fathers have 
known." Let not your children inquire at some future day, "Where 
is he? Where are the better times ye promised us?" — Thus we 
waste the time in idle words! do nothing, — betray him. 

Soest. Shame on thee, Brackenburg! Let her not run on thus! 
Prevent the mischief! 

Bracf(^enburg. Dear Chrzl Let us go! What will your mother say ? 
Perchance — 

Clara. Thinkest thou I am a child, or frantic? What avails per- 



EGMONT 317 

chance? — With no vain hope canst thou hide from me this dreadful 
certainty ... Ye shall hear me and ye will : for I see it, ye are over- 
whelmed, ye cannot hearken to the voice of your own hearts. 
Through the present peril cast but one glance into the past, — the 
recent past. Send your thoughts forward into the future. Could ye 
live, would ye live, were he to perish? With him expires the last 
breath of freedom. What was he not to you ? For whose sake did he 
expose himself to the direst perils? His blood flowed, his wounds 
were healed for you alone. The mighty spirit, that upheld you all, a 
dungeon now confines, while the horrors of secret murder are 
hovering around. Perhaps he thinks of you — perhaps he hopes in 
you, — he who has been accustomed only to grant favours to others 
and to fulfil their prayers. 

Carpenter. Come, gossip. 

Clara. I have neither the arms, nor the vigour of a man; but I 
have that which ye all lack — courage and contempt of danger. O 
that my breath could kindle your souls! That, pressing you to this 
bosom, I could arouse and animate you! Come! I will march in your 
midst! — As a waving banner, though weaponless, leads on a gallant 
army of warriors, so shall my spirit hover, like a flame, over your 
ranks, while love and courage shall unite the dispersed and wavering 
multitude into a terrible host. 

Jetter. Take her away; I pity her, poor thing! 

[Exeunt Burghers. 

Bracl^enburg. Clara! Seest thou not where we are? 

Clara. Where? Under the dome of heaven, which has so often 
seemed to arch itself more gloriously as the noble Egmont passed 
beneath it. From these windows I have seen them look forth, four or 
five heads one above the other; at these doors the cowards have stood, 
bowing and scraping, if he but chanced to look down upon them! 
Oh, how dear they were to me, when they honoured him. Had he 
been a tyrant they might have turned with indifference from his 
fall! But they loved him! O ye hands, so prompt to wave caps in his 
honour, can ye not grasp a sword? Brackenburg, and we? — do we 
chide them ? These arms that have so often embraced him, what do 
they for him now? Stratagem has accomplished so much in the 
world. Thou knowest the ancient castle, every passage, every secret 



3l8 GOETHE 

way. — ^Nothing is impossible, — suggest some plan— 

Bracl{enburg. That we might go home! 

Clara. Well. 

Bracl{enburg. There at the corner I see Alva's guard; let the voice 
of reason penetrate to thy heart I Dost thou deem me a coward? 
Dost thou doubt that for thy sake I would peril my life? Here we 
are both mad, I as well as thou. Dost thou not perceive that thy 
scheme is impracticable ? Oh, be calm! Thou art beside thyself. 

Clara. Beside myself! Horrible. You, Brackenburg, are beside 
yourself. When you hailed the hero with loud acclaim, called him 
your friend, your hope, your refuge, shouted vivats as he passed; — 
then I stood in my corner, half opened the window, concealed myself 
while I listened, and my heart beat higher than yours who greeted 
him so loudly. Now it again beats higher! In the hour of peril you 
conceal yourselves, deny him, and feel not, that if he perish, you are 
lost. 

Brackenburg. Come home. 

Clara. Home? 

Brackenburg. Recollect thyself! Look around thee! These are the 
streets in which thou wert wont to appear only on the Sabbath-day, 
when thou didst walk modestly to church; where, over-decorous 
perhaps, thou wert displeased if I but joined thee with a kindly 
greeting. And now thou dost stand, speak, and act before the 
eyes of the whole world. Recollect thyself, love! How can this 
avail us? 

Clara. Home! Yes, I remember. Come, Brackenburg, let us go 
home! Knowest thou where my home lies? [Exeunt. 

Scene II. — A Prison 
Lighted by a lamp, a couch in the bac\-ground 

Egmont (alone). Old friend! Ever faithful sleep, dost thou too 
forsake me, like my other friends? How wert thou wont of yore to 
descend unsought upon my free brow, cooling my temples as with a 
myrtle wreath of love! Amidst the din of battle, on the waves of 
life, I rested in thine arms, breathing lightly as a growing boy. When 
tempests whistled through the leaves and boughs, when the summits 



EGMONT 319 

of the lofty trees swung creaking in the blast, the inmost core of 
my heart remained unmoved. What agitates thee now? What 
shakes thy firm and steadfast mind ? I feel it, 'tis the sound of the 
murderous axe, gnawing at thy root. Yet I stand erect, but an in- 
ward shudder runs through my frame. Yes, it prevails, this treach- 
erous power; it undermines the firm, the lofty stem, and ere the 
bark withers, thy verdant crown falls crashing to the earth. 

Yet wherefore now, thou who hast so often chased the weightiest 
cares like bubbles from thy brow, wherefore canst thou not dissipate 
this dire foreboding which incessantly haunts thee in a thousand 
different shapes? Since when hast thou trembled at the approach of 
death, amid whose varying forms, thou wert wont calmly to dwell, 
as with the other shapes of this familiar earth. But 'tis not he, the 
sudden foe, to encounter whom the sound bosom emulously pants; 
— 'tis the dungeon, emblem of the grave, revolting alike to the hero 
and the coward. How intolerable I used to feel it, in the stately 
hall, girt round by gloomy walls, when, seated on my cushioned 
chair, in the solemn assembly of the princes, questions, which 
scarcely required deliberation, were overlaid with endless discus- 
sions, while the rafters of the ceiling seemed to stifle and oppress 
me. Then I would hurry forth as soon as possible, fling myself 
upon my horse with deep-drawn breath, and away to the wide 
champaign, man's natural element, where, exhaling from the earth, 
nature's richest treasures are poured forth around us, while, from 
the wide heavens, the stars shed down their blessings through the 
still air; where, like earth-born giants, we spring aloft, invigorated 
by our mother's touch; where our entire humanity and our human 
desires throb in every vein; where the desire to press forward, to 
vanquish, to snatch, to use his clenched fist, to possess, to conquer, 
glows through the soul of the young hunter; where the warrior, 
with rapid stride, assumes his inborn right to dominion over the 
world; and, with terrible liberty, sweeps like a desolating hailstorm 
over the field and grove, knowing no boundaries traced by the 
hand of man. 

Thou art but a shadow, a dream of the happiness I so long pos- 
sessed; where has treacherous fate conducted thee? Did she deny 
thee to meet the rapid stroke of never-shunned death, in the open 



320 GOETHE 

face of day, only to prepare for thee a foretaste of the grave, in the 
midst of this loathsome corruption ? How revolting its rank odour 
exhales from these damp stones! Life stagnates, and my foot 
shrinks from the couoh as from the grave. 

Oh care, care! Thou who dost begin prematurely the work of 
murder, — forbear; — Since when has Egmont been alone, so utterly 
alone in the world? 'Tis doubt renders thee insensible, not happi- 
ness. The justice of the king, in which through life thou hast con- 
fided, the friendship of the Regent, which, thou mayst confess it, 
was akin to love, — have these suddenly vanished, like a meteor of 
the night, and left thee alone upon thy gloomy path? Will not 
Orange, at the head of thy friends, contrive some daring scheme? 
Will not the people assemble, and with gathering might, attempt 
the rescue of their faithful friend? 

Ye walls, which thus gird me round, separate me not from the 
well-intentioned zeal of so many kindly souls. And may the 
courage %vith which my glance was wont to inspire them, now 
return again from their hearts to mine. Yes! they assemble in thou- 
sands! they come! they stand beside me! their pious wish rises 
urgently to heaven, and implores a miracle; and if no angel stoops for 
my deliverance, I see them grasp eagerly their lance and sword. The 
gates are forced, the bolts are riven, the walls fall beneath their 
conquering hands, and Egmont advances joyously, to hail the free- 
dom of the rising morn. How many well-known faces receive 
me with loud acclaim! O Clara! wert thou a man, I should see thee 
here the very first, and thank thee for that which it is galling to 
owe even to a king — liberty. 

Scene III. — Clara's House 

Clara {enters from her chamber with a lamp and a glass of 
water; she places the glass upon the table and steps to the window). 
Brackenburg, is it you? What noise was that? No one yet? No 
one! I will set the lamp in the window, that he may see that I am 
still awake, that I still watch for him. He promised me tidings. 
Tidings? horrible certainty! — Egmont condemned! — what tribunal 
has the right to summon him? — And they dare to condemn him! — 
Does the king condemn him, or the duke? And the Regent with- 



EGMONT 321 

draws herself! Orange hesitates, and all his friends! — Is this the 
world, of whose fickleness and treachery I have heard so much, 
and as yet experienced nothing? Is this the world? — Who could 
be so base as to bear malice against one so dear? Could villainy 
itself be audacious enough to overwhelm with sudden destruction 
the object of a nation's homage? Yet so it is — it is — O Egmont, I 
held thee safe before God and man, safe as in my arms! What 
was I to thee? Thou hast called me thine, my whole being was 
devoted to thee. What am I now? In vain I stretch out my hand 
to the toils that environ thee. Thou helpless and I free! — Here is 
the key that unlocks my chamber door. My going out and my 
coming in, depend upon my own caprice; yet, alas; to aid thee I 
am powerless! — Oh, bind me that I may not despair; hurl me into 
the deepest dungeon, that I may dash my head against the damp 
walls, groan for freedom, and dream how I would rescue him if 
fetters did not hold me bound. — Now I am free, and in freedom 
lies the anguish of impotence. — Conscious of my own existence, yet 
unable to stir a limb in his behalf, alas! even this insignificant 
portion of thy being, thy Clara, is, like thee, a captive, and, separated 
from thee, consumes her expiring energies in the agonies of death. 
— I hear a stealthy step, — a cough — Brackenburg, — 'tis he! — Kind, 
unhappy man, thy destiny remains ever the same; thy love opens to 
thee the door at night, alas! to what a doleful meeting. (Enter 
Brackenburg.) Thou com'st so pale, so terrified! Brackenburg! 
What is it? 

Brac/^enburg. I have sought thee through perils and circuitous 
paths. The principal streets are occupied wdth troops; — through 
lanes and by-ways have I stolen to thee! 

Clara. Tell me, how is it? 

Bract{enburg (seating himself). O Clara, let me weep. I loved 
him not. He was the rich man who lured to better pasture the 
poor man's solitary lamb. I have never cursed him, God has 
created me with a true and tender heart. My life was consumed in 
anguish, and each day I hoped would end my misery. 

Clara. Let that be forgotten, Brackenburg! Forget thyself. Speak 
to me of him! Is it true? Is he condemned? 

Bracl^enburg. He is! I know it. 



322 GOETHE 

Clara. And still lives? 

Bracl{enburg. Yes, he still lives. 

Clara. How canst thou be sure of that? Tyranny murders the 
hero in the night! His blood flows concealed from every eye. The 
people stunned and bewildered, lie buried in sleep, dream of de- 
liverance, dream of the fulfilment of their impotent wishes, while, 
indignant at our supineness, his spirit abandons the world. He is 
no more! Deceive me not; deceive not thyself! 

Bracf{enburg. No, — he lives! and the Spaniards, alas, are preparing 
for the people, on whom they are about to trample, a terrible 
spectacle, in order to crush for ever, by a violent blow, each heart 
that yet pants for freedom. 

Clara. Proceed! Calmly pronounce my death-warrant also! Near 
and more near I approach that blessed land, and already from 
those realms of peace, I feel the breath of consolation. Say on. 

Bracf^enburg. From casual words, dropped here and there by 
the guards, I learned that secretly in the market-place they were 
preparing some terrible spectacle. Through by-ways and familiar 
lanes I stole to my cousin's house, and from a back window, looked 
out upon the market-place. Torches waved to and fro, in the hands 
of a wide circle of Spanish soldiers. I sharpened my unaccustomed 
sight, and out of the darkness there arose before me a scaffold, 
black, spacious, and lofty! The sight filled me with horror. Sev- 
eral persons were employed in covering with black cloth such 
portions of the wood-work as yet remained white and visible. The 
steps were covered last, also with black; — I saw it all. They seemed 
preparing for the celebration of some horrible sacrifice. A white 
crucifix, that shone like silver through the night, was raised on 
one side. As I gazed the terrible conviction strengthened in my 
mind. Scattered torches still gleamed here and there; gradually 
they flickered and went out. Suddenly the hideous birth of night 
returned into its mother's womb. 

Clara. Hush, Brackenburg! Be still! Let this veil rest upon my 
soul. The spectres are vanished; and thou, gentle night, lend thy 
mantle to the inwardly fermenting earth, she will no longer endure 
the loathsome burden, shuddering, she rends open her yawning 
chasms, and with a crash swallows the murderous scaffold. And 



EGMONT 323 

that God, whom in their rage they have insulted, sends down His 
angel from on high; at the hallowed touch of the messenger bolts 
and bars fly back; he pours around our friend a mild radiance, 
and leads him gently through the night to liberty. My path leads 
also through the darkness to meet him. 

Brackenburg {detaining her). My child, whither wouldst thou 
go? What wouldst thou do? 

Clara. Softly, my friend, lest some one should awake! Lest we 
should awake ourselves! Know'st thou this phial, Brackenburg? 
I took it from thee once in jest, when thou, as was thy wont, 
didst threaten, in thy impatience, to end thy days. — And now my 
friend — 

Bracl{enburg. In the name of all the saints! 

Clara. Thou canst not hinder me. Death is my portion! Grudge 
me not the quiet and easy death which thou hadst prepared for 
thyself. Give me thine hand! — At the moment when I unclose that 
dismal portal through which there is no return, I may tell thee, 
with this pressure of the hand, how sincerely I have loved, how 
deeply I have pitied thee. My brother died young; I chose thee to 
fill his place; thy heart rebelled, thou didst torment thyself and me, 
demanding with ever increasing fervour that which fate had not 
destined for thee. Forgive me and farewell! Let me call thee brother! 
'Tis a name that embraces many names. Receive, with a true heart, 
the last fair token of the departing spirit — take this kiss. Death unites 
all, Brackenburg — us too it will unite! 

Brac/(enburg. Let me then die with thee! Share it! oh, share it! 
There is enough to extinguish two lives. 

Clara. Hold! Thou must live, thou canst live. — Support my 
mother, who, without thee, would be a prey to want. Be to her 
what I can no longer be, live together, and weep for me. Weep 
for our fatherland, and for him who could alone have upheld it. 
The present generation must still endure this bitter woe; vengeance 
itself could not obliterate it. Poor souls, live on, through this gap in 
time, which is time no longer. To-day the world suddenly stands 
still, its course is arrested, and my pulse will beat but for a few 
minutes longer. Farewell. 

Bracl{enburg. Oh, live with us, as we live only for thy sake! In 



324 GOETHE 

taking thine own life, thou wilt take ours also; still live and suffer. 
We will stand by thee, nothing shall sever us from thy side, and 
love, with ever-watchful solicitude, shall prepare for thee the sweetest 
consolation in its loving arms. Be ours! Ours! I dare not say, 
mine. 

Clara. Hush, Brackenburg! Thou feelest not what chord thou 
touchest. Where hope appears to thee, I see only despair. 

Bracf{enburg. Share hope with the living! Pause on the brink of 
the precipice, cast one glance into the gulf below, and then look 
back on us. 

Clara. I have conquered; call me not back to the struggle. 

Brackenburg. Thou art stunned; enveloped in night, thou seek- 
est the abyss. Every light is not yet extinguished, yet many days! — 

Clara. Alas! Alas! Cruelly thou dost rend the veil from before 
mine eyes. Yes, the day will dawn! Despite its misty shroud it 
needs must dawn. Timidly the burgher gazes from his window, 
night leaves behind an ebon speck ; he looks, and the scaffold looms 
fearfully in the morning light. With re-awakened anguish the 
desecrated image of the Saviour lifts to the Father its imploring eyes. 
The sun veils his beams, he will not mark the hero's death-hour. 
Slowly the fingers go their round — one hour strikes after another — 
hold! Now is the time. The thought of the morning scares me into 
the grave. 

{She goes to the window as if to loo/^ out, and drinf^s secretly.) 

Brackenburg. Clara! Clara! 

Clara {goes to the table, and drinks water) . Here is the remainder. 
I invite thee not to follow me. Do as thou wilt; farewell. Ex- 
tinguish this lamp silently and without delay; I am going to rest. 
Steal quietly away, close the door after thee. Be still! Wake not 
my mother! Go, save thyself, if thou wouldst not be taken for 
my murderer. [Exit. 

Brackenburg. She leaves me for the last time as she has ever done. 
What human soul could conceive how cruelly she lacerates the 
heart that loves her? She leaves me to myself, leaves me to choose 
between life and death, and both are alike hateful to me. To die 
alone! Weep, ye tender souls! Fate has no sadder doom than mine. 
She shares with me the death-potion, yet sends me from her side! 



EGMONT 325 

She draws me after her, yet thrusts me back into life! Oh, Egmont, 
how enviable a lot falls to thee! She goes before thee! The crown 
of victory from her hand is thine, she brings all heaven to meet 
thee! — And shall I follow? Again to stand aloof? To carry this 
inextinguishable jealousy even to yon distant realms? Earth is no 
longer a tarrying place for me, and hell and heaven offer equal 
torture. Now welcome to the wretched the dread hand of an- 
nihilation! [Exit. 
(The scene remains some time unchanged. Music sounds, indi- 
cating Clara's death; the lamp, which Brackenburg had for- 
gotten to extinguish, flares up once or twice, and then suddenly 
expires. The scene changes to 

Scene IV. — A Prison 

Egmont is discovered sleeping on a couch. A rustling of l^eys is 
heard; the door opens; servants enter with torches; Ferdinand 
and SiLVA follow, accompanied by soldiers. Egmont starts from 
his sleep. 

Egmont. Who are ye that thus rudely banish slumber from my 
eyes? What mean these vague and insolent glances? Why this 
fearful procession? With what dream of horror come ye to delude 
my half awakened soul? 

Silva. The duke sends us to announce your sentence, 

Egmont. Do ye also bring the headsman who is to execute it? 

Silva. Listen, and you will know the doom that awaits you. 

Egmont. It is in keeping with the rest of your infamous pro- 
ceedings. Hatched in night and in night achieved, so would this 
audacious act of injustice shroud itself from observation! — Step 
boldly forth, thou who dost bear the sword concealed beneath thy 
mantle; here is my head, the freest ever severed by tyranny from 
the trunk. 

Silva. You err! The righteous judges who have condemned you 
will not conceal their sentence from the light of day. 

Egmont. Then does their audacity exceed all imagination and 
belief. 

Silva {ta\es the sentence from an attendant, unfolds it, and reads). 



326 GOETHE 

"In the King's name, and invested by his Majesty with authority to 
judge all his subjects of whatever rank, not excepting the knights of 
the Golden Fleece, we declare — " 

Egmont. Can the king transfer that authority ? 

Silva. "We declare, after a strict and legal investigation, thee, 
Henry, Count Egmont, Prince of Gaure, guilty of high treason, and 
pronounce thy sentence: — That at early dawn thou be led from this 
prison to the market-place, and that there, in sight of the people, and 
as a warning to all traitors, thou with the sword be brought from 
life to death. Given at Brussels." (Date and year so indistinctly read 
as to be imperfectly heard by the audience.) "Ferdinand, Duke of 
Alva, President of the Tribunal of Twelve." Thou knowest now 
thy doom. Brief time remains for thee to prepare for the imp)ending 
stroke, to arrange thy affairs, and to take leave of thy friends. 

[Exit SiLVA with followers. Ferdinand remains with two 
torch-bearers. The stage is dimly lighted. 

Egmont (stands for a time as if buried in thought, and allowt 
Silva to retire without holding round. He imagines himself alone, 
and, on raising his eyes, beholds Alva's son). Thou tarriest here.' 
Wouldst thou by thy presence augment my amazement, my horror? 
Wouldst thou carry to thy father the welcome tidings that in un- 
naanly fashion I despair.? Go. Tell him that he deceives neither 
the world nor me. At first it will be whispered cautiously behind 
his back, then spoken more and more loudly, and when at some 
future day the ambitious man descends from his proud eminence, 
a thousand voices will proclaim — ^that 'twas not the welfare of the 
state, not the honour of the king, not the tranquillity of the provinces, 
that brought him hither. For his own selfish ends he, the warrior, 
has counselled war, that in war the value of his services might be 
enhanced. He has excited this monstrous insurrection that his 
presence might be deemed necessary in order to quell it. And I fall a 
victim to his mean hatred, his contemptible envy. Yes, I know it, 
dying and mortally wounded I may utter it; long has the proud 
man envied me, long has he meditated and {banned my ruin. 

Even then, when still young, we played at dice together, and 
the heaps of gold, one after the other, passed rapidly from his 
side to mine; he would look on with affected composure, while 



EGMONT 327 

inwardly consumed with rage, more at my success than at his own 
loss. Well do I remember the fiery glance, the treacherous pallor 
that overspread his features when, at a public festival, we shot for a 
wager before assembled thousands. He challenged me, and both 
nations stood by; Spaniards and Netherlanders wagered on either 
side; I was the victor; his ball missed, mine hit the mark, and the 
air was rent by acclamations from my friends. His shot now hits 
me. Tell him that I know this, that I know him, that the world 
despises every trophy that a paltry spirit erects for itself by base 
and surreptitious arts. And thou! If it be possible for a son to 
swerve from the manners of his father, practise shame betimes, 
while thou art compelled to feel shame for him whom thou wouldst 
fain revere with thy whole heart. 

Ferdinand. I listen without interrupting thee! Thy reproaches 
fall like blows upon a helmet. I feel the shock, but I am armed. 
They strike, they wound me not; I am sensible only to the anguish 
that lacerates my heart. Alas! Alas! Have I lived to witness such 
a scene? Am I sent hither to behold a spectacle like this? 

Egmont. Dost thou break out into lamentations? What moves, 
what agitates thee thus? Is it a late remorse at having lent thyself 
to this infamous conspiracy? Thou art so young, thy exterior is so 
prepossessing? Thy demeanour towards me was so friendly, so 
unreserved! So long as I beheld thee, I was reconciled with thy 
father; and crafty, ay, more crafty than he, thou hast lured me into 
the toils. Thou art the wretch! The monster! Whoso confides in 
him, does so at his own peril; but who could apprehend danger in 
trusting thee? Go! Go! rob me not of the few moments that are 
left me! Go, that I may collect my thoughts, the world forget, and 
first of all thyself! 

Ferdinand. What can I say? I stand and gaze on thee, yet see 
thee not; I am scarcely conscious of my own existence. Shall I seek 
to excuse myself? Shall I assure thee that it was not till the last 
moment that I was made aware of my father's intentions? That I 
acted as a constrained, a passive instrument of his will? What 
signifies now the opinion thou mayst entertain of me? Thou art 
lost; and I, miserable wretch, stand here only to assure thee of it, 
only to lament thy doom. 



328 GOETHE 

Egmont. What strange voice, what unexpected consolation comes 
thus to cheer my passage to the grave? Thou, the son of my first, of 
almost my only enemy, thou dost pity me, thou art not associated 
with my murderers? Speak! In what light must I regard thee? 

Ferdinand. Cruel father! Yes, I recognize thy nature in this 
command. Thou didst know my heart, my disposition, which thou 
hast so often censured as the inheritance of a tender-hearted mother. 
To mould me into thine own likeness thou hast sent me hither. 
Thou dost compel me to behold this man on the verge of the yawn- 
ing grave, in the grasp of an arbitrary doom, that I may experience 
the profoundest anguish; that thus, rendered callous to every fate, 
I may henceforth meet every event with a heart unmoved. 

Egmont. I am amazed! Be calm! Act, speak like a man. 

Ferdinand. Oh, that I were a woman! That they might say — 
what moves, what agitates thee? Tell me of a greater, a more 
monstrous crime, make me the spectator of a more direful deed; I 
will thank thee, I will say: this was nothing. 

Egmont. Thou dost forget thyself. Consider where thou art! 

Ferdinand. Let this passion rage, let me give vent to my anguish! 
I will not seem composed when my whole inner being is convulsed. 
Thee must I behold here? Thee? It is horrible! Thou under- 
standest me not! How shouldst thou understand me? Egmontl 
Egmont! {Falling on his nec\.) 

Egmont. Explain this mystery. 

Ferdinand. It is no mystery. 

Egmont. How can the fate of a mere stranger thus deeply move 
thee? 

Ferdinand. Not a stranger! Thou art no stranger to me. Thy 
name it was that, even from my boyhood, shone before me like a 
star in heaven! How often have I made inquiries concerning thee, 
and listened to the story of thy deeds! The youth is the hope of the 
boy, the man of the youth. Thus didst thou walk before me, ever 
before me; I saw thee without envy, and followed after, step by 
step; at length I hoped to see thee — I saw thee, and my heart flew to 
thy embrace. I had destined thee for myself, and when I beheld 
thee, I made choice of thee anew. I hoped now to know thee, to live 
with thee, to be thy friend, — thy — 'tis over now and I see thee here! 



EGMONT 329 

Egmont. My friend, if it can be any comfort to thee, be assured 
that the very moment we met my heart was drawn towards thee. 
Now Hsten! Let us exchange a few quiet words. Tell me: is it the 
stern, the settled purpose of thy father to take my life ? 

Ferdinand. It is. 

Egmont. This sentence is not a mere empty scarecrow, designed 
to terrify me, to punish me through fear and intimidation, to 
humiliate me, that he may then raise me again by the royal favour ? 

Ferdinand. Alas, no! At first I flattered myself with this delusive 
hope; and even then my heart was filled with grief and anguish to 
behold thee thus. Thy doom is real! Is certain! No, I cannot com- 
mand myself. Who will counsel, who will aid me, to meet the 
inevitable ? 

Egmont. Hearken then to me! If thy heart is impelled so power- 
fully in my favour, if thou dost abhor the tyranny that holds me 
fettered, then deliver me! The moments are precious. Thou art the 
son of the all-powerful, and thou hast power thyself. Let us fly! I 
know the roads; the means of effecting our escape cannot be un- 
known to thee. These walls, a few short miles, alone separate me 
from my friends. Loose these fetters, conduct me to them; be ours. 
The king, on some future day, will doubtless thank my deliverer. 
Now he is taken by surprise, or perchance he is ignorant of the whole 
proceeding. Thy father ventures on this daring step, and majesty, 
though horror-struck at the deed, must needs sanction the irrevocable. 
Thou dost deliberate? Oh, contrive for me the way to freedom! 
Speak; nourish hope in a living soul. 

Ferdinand. Cease! Oh, cease! Every word deepens my despair. 
There is here no outlet, no counsel, no escape. — 'Tis this thought 
that tortures me, that seizes my heart, and rends it as with talons. 
I have myself spread the net; I know its firm, inextricable knots; I 
know that every avenue is barred alike to courage and to stratagem. 
I feel that I too, like thyself, like all the rest, am fettered. Think'st 
thou that I should give way to lamentation if any means of safety 
remained untried? I have thrown myself at his feet, remonstrated, 
implored. He has sent me hither, in order to blast in this fatal 
moment, every remnant of joy and happiness that yet survived 
within my heart. 



330 GOETHE 

Egmont. And is there no deliverance? 

Ferdinand. None! 

Egmont (^stamping his joot). No deliverancel — Sweet life! 
Sweet, pleasant habitude of existence and of activity! from thee must 
I part! So calmly part! Not in the tumult of battle, amid the din 
of arms, the excitement of the fray, dost thou send me a hasty fare- 
well; thine is no hurried leave; thou dost not abridge the moment 
of separation. Once more let me clasp thy hand, gaze once more ' 
into thine eyes, feel with keen emotion, thy beauty and thy worth, 
then resolutely tear myself away, and say; — depart! 

Ferdinand. Must I stand by, and look passively on; unable to 
save thee, or to give thee aid! What voice avails for lamentation! 
What heart but must break under the pressure of such anguish? 

Egmont. Be calm! 

Ferdinand. Thou canst be calm, thou canst renounce, led on by 
necessity, thou canst advance to the direful struggle, with the courage 
of a hero. What can I do? What ought I to do? Thou dost 
conquer thyself and us; thou art the victor; I survive both myself 
and thee. I have lost my light at the banquet, my banner on the 
field. The future lies before me, dark, desolate, perplexed. 

Egmont. Young friend, whom by a strange fatality, at the same 
moment, I both win and lose, who dost feel for me, who dost suffer 
for me the agonies of death, — look on me; — 'thou wilt not lose me. 
If my life was a mirror in which thou didst love to contemplate 
thyself, so be also my death. Men are not together only when in 
each other's presence; — the distant, the departed, also live for us. 
I shall live for thee, and for myself I have lived long enough. I 
have enjoyed each day; each day, I have performed, with prompt 
activity, the duties enjoined by my conscience. Now my life ends, 
as it might have ended, long, long, ago, on the sands of Gravelines. 
I shall cease to live; but I have lived. My friend, follow in my steps, 
lead a cheerful and a joyous life, and dread not the approach of 
death. 

Ferdinand. Thou shouldst have saved thyself for us, thou couldst 
have saved thyself. Thou art the cause of thine own destruction. 
Often have I listened when able men discoursed concerning thee; 
foes and friends, they would dispute long as to thy worth; but on 



EGMONT 331 

one point they were agreed, none ventured to deny, every one con- 
fessed, that thou wert treading a dangerous path. How often have 
I longed to warn thee! Hadst thou then no friends? 

Egmont. I was warned. 

Ferdinand. And when I found all these allegations, point for 
point, in the indictment, together with thy answers, containing 
much that might serve to palliate thy conduct, but no evidence 
weighty enough fully to exculpate thee — 

Egmont. No more of this. Man imagines that he directs his life, 
that he governs his actions, when in fact his existence is irresistibly 
controlled by his destiny. Let us not dwell upon this subject; these 
reflections I can dismiss with ease — not so my apprehensions for 
these provinces; yet they too will be cared for. Could my blood 
flow for many, bring peace to my people, how freely should it flow! 
Alas! This may not be. Yet it ill becomes a man idly to speculate, 
when the power to act is no longer his. If thou canst restrain or 
guide the fatal power of thy father; do so. Alas, who can.'' — Fare- 
well! 

Ferdinand. I cannot leave thee. 

Egmont. Let me urgently recommend my followers to thy care! 
I have worthy men in my service; let them not be dispersed, let 
them not become destitute! How fares it with Richard, my secre- 
tary? 

Ferdinand. He is gone before thee. They have beheaded him, as 
thy accomplice in high treason. 

Egmont. Poor soul! — Yet one word, and then farewell, I can no 
more. However powerfully the spirit may be stirred, nature at 
length irresistibly asserts her rights; and like a child, who, en- 
veloped in a serpent's folds, enjoys refreshing slumber, so the 
weary one lays himself down to rest before the gates of death, and 
sleeps soundly, as though a toilsome journey yet lay before him. — 
One word more, — I know a maiden; thou wilt not despise her be- 
cause she was mine. Since I can recommend her to thy care, I shall 
die in peace. Thy soul is noble; in such a man, a woman is sure to 
find a protector. Lives my old Adolphus? Is he free? 

Ferdinand. The active old man, who always attended thee on 
horseback ? 



332 GOETHE 

Egmont. The same. 

Ferdinand. He lives, he is free. 

Egmont. He knows her dwelling; let him guide thy steps thither, 
and reward him to his dying day, for having shown thee the way 
to this jewel. — Farewell! 

Ferdinand. I cannot leave thee. 

Egmont (urging him towards the door). Farewell! 

Ferdinand. Oh, let me linger yet a moment. 

Egmont. No leave-taking, my friend. 

(He accompanies Ferdinand to the door, and then tears himself 
away; Ferdinand, overwhelmed tvith grief, hastily retires.) 

Egmont {alone) 
Egmont. Cruel man! Thou didst not think to render me this 
service through thy son. He has been the means of relieving my 
mind from the pressure of care and sorrow, from fear and every 
anxious feeling. Gently, yet urgently, nature claims her final tribute. 
'Tis past! — Tis resolved! And the reflections which, in the suspense 
of last night, kept me wakeful on my couch, now with resisdess 
certainty lull my senses to repose. 

(He seats himself upon the couch; music) 
Sweet sleep! Like the purest happiness, thou comest most will- 
ingly, uninvited, unsought. Thou dost loosen the knots of earnest 
thoughts, dost mingle all images of joy and of sorrow, unimpeded 
the circle of inner harmony flows on, and wrapped in fond delusion, 
we sink into oblivion, and cease to be. 

(He sleeps; music accompanies his slumber. Behind his couch 
the wall appears to open and discovers a brilliant apparition. 
Freedom, in a celestial garb, surrounded by a glory, reposes 
on a cloud. Her features are those of Clara and she inclines 
towards the sleeping hero. Her countenance betol{ens com- 
passion, she seems to lament his fate. Quicl^ly she recovers 
herself and with an encouraging gesture exhibits the symbols 
of freedom, the bundle of arrows, with the staff and cap. 
She encourages him to be of good cheer, and while she^ 
signifies to him that his death will secure the freedom of the 
provinces, she hails him as a conqueror, and extends to him a 



EGMONT 333 

laurel crown. As the wreath approaches his head, Egmont 

moves li\e one asleep, and reclines with his face towards her. 

She holds the wreath suspended over his head; — martial 

music is heard in the distance, at the first sound the vision 

disappears. The music grows louder and louder. Egmont 

awakes. The prison is dimly illuminated by the dawn. — His 

first impulse is to lift his hand to his head, he stands up, and 

gazes round, his hand still upraised.) 

The crown is vanished! Beautiful vision, the hght of day has 

frighted thee! Yes, they revealed themselves to my sight uniting in 

one radiant form the two sweetest joys of my heart. Divine Liberty 

borrowed the mien of my beloved one; the lovely maiden arrayed 

herself in the celestial garb of my friend. In a solemn moment 

they appeared united, with aspect more earnest than tender. With 

blood-stained feet the vision approached, the waving folds of her 

robe also were tinged with blood. It was my blood, and the blood 

of many brave hearts. No! It shall not be shed in vain! Forward! 

Brave p)eople! The goddess of liberty leads you on! And as the 

sea breaks through and destroys the barriers that would opfxjse its 

fury, so do ye overwhelm the bulwark of tyranny, and with your 

impetuous flood sweep it away from the land which it usurps. 

(^Drums.) 
Hark! Hark! How often has this sound summoned my joyous 
steps to the field of battle and of victory! How bravely did I tread, 
with my gallant comrades, the dangerous path of fame! And now, 
from this dungeon I shall go forth, to meet a glorious death; I die 
for freedom, for whose cause I have lived and fought, and for whom 
I now offer myself up a sorrowing sacrifice. 

{The background is occupied by Spanish soldiers with halberts.) 
Yes, lead them on! Close your ranks, ye terrify me not. I am 
accustomed to stand amid the serried ranks of war, and environed 
by the threatening forms of death, to feel, with double zest, the 
energy of life. {Drums.) 

The foe closes round on every side! Swords are flashing; courage, 
friends! Behind are your parents, your wives, your children! 

(Pointing to the guard.) 
And these are impelled by the word of their leader, not by their 



334 GOETHE 

own free will. Protect your homes! And to save those who are 

most dear to you, be ready to follow my example, and to fall with joy. 

(Drums. As he advances through the guards towards the door in 

the backjground, the curtain falls. The music joins in, and the 

scene closes with a symphony of victory. 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 



BY 
GOETHE 

TRANSLATED BY 
ELLEN FROTHINGHAM 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE 

There are few modern poems of any country so perfect in their kind 
as the "Hermann and Dorothea" of Goethe. In clearness of character- 
ization, in unity of tone, in the adjustment of background and fore- 
ground, in the conduct of the narrative, it conforms admirably to the 
strict canons of art; yet it preserves a freshness and spontaneity in its 
emotional appeal that are rare in works of so classical a perfection in form. 

The basis of the poem is a historical incident. In the year 1731 the 
Archbishop of Salzburg drove out of his diocese a thousand Protestants, 
who took refuge in South Germany, and among whom was a girl who 
became the bride of the son of a rich burgher. The occasion of the girl's 
exile was changed by Goethe to more recent times, and in the poem she 
is represented as a German from the west bank of the Rhine fleeing from 
the turmoil caused by the French Revolution. The political element is 
not a mere background, but is woven into the plot with consummate 
skill, being used, at one point, for example, in the characterization of 
Dorothea, who before the time of her appearance in the poem has been 
deprived of her first betrothed by the guillotine; and, at another, in 
furnishing a telling contrast between the revolutionary uproar in France 
and the settled peace of the German village. 

The characters of the father and the minister Goethe took over from 
the original incident, the mother he invented, and the apothecary he 
made to stand for a group of friends. But all of these persons, as well 
as the two lovers, are recreated, and this so skilfully that while they are 
made notably familiar to us as individuals, they are no less significant 
as permanent tyjjes of human nature. The hexameter measure which he 
employed, and which is retained in the present translation, he handled 
with such charm that it has since seemed the natural verse for the 
domestic idyl — witness the obvious imitation of this, as of other features 
of the [xjem, in Longfellow's "Evangeline." 

Taken as a whole, with its beauty of form, its sentiment, tender yet 
restrained, and the compelling pathos of its story, "Hermann and 
Dorothea" appeals to a wider public than perhaps any other product of 
its author. 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 

CALLIOPE 

FATE AND SYMPATHY 

'h ■ *RULY, I never have seen the market and street so desertedl 
I How as if it were swept looks the town, or had perished! 
.1. Not fifty 

Are there, methinks, of all our inhabitants in it remaining. 
What will not curiosity do I here is every one running. 
Hurrying to gaze on the sad procession of pitiful exiles. 
Fully a league it must be to the causeway they have to pass over, 
Yet all are hurrying down in the dusty heat of the noonday. 
I, in good sooth, would not stir from my place to witness the sorrows 
Borne by good, fugitive people, who now, with their rescued pos- 
sessions, 
Driven, alas! from beyond the Rhine, their beautiful country, 
Over to us are coming, and through the prosperous corner 
Roam of this our luxuriant valley, and traverse its windings. 
Well hast thou done, good wife, our son in thus kindly dispatching. 
Laden with something to eat and to drink, and with store of old 

linen, 
'Mongst the poor folk to distribute; for giving belongs to the wealthy. 
How the youth drives, to be sure! What control he has over the 

horses! 
Makes not our carriage a handsome appearance, — the new one? 

With comfort. 
Four could be seated within, with a place on the box for the coach- 
man. 
This time, he drove by himself. How lightly it rolled round the 

corner!" 
Thus, as he sat at his ease in the porch of his house on the market, 
Unto his wife was speaking mine host of the Golden Lion. 

337 



338 GOETHE 

Thereupon answered and said the prudent, intelligent housewife: 
"Father, I am not inclined to be giving away my old linen: 
Since it serves many a purpose; and cannot be purchased for money, 
When we may want it. To-day, however, I gave, and with pleasure, 
Many a piece that was better, indeed, in shirts and in bedclothes; 
For I was told of the aged and children who had to go naked. 
But wilt thou pardon me, father? thy wardrobe has also been 

plundered. 
And, in especial, the wrapper that has the East-Indian flowers, 
Made of the finest of chintz, and lined with delicate flannel. 
Gave I away: it was thin and old, and quite out of the fashion." 

Thereupon answered and said, with a smile, the excellent land- 
lord: 
"Faith! I am sorry to lose it, my good old calico wrapper, 
Real East-Indian stuf?: I never shall get such another. 
Well, I had given up wearing it: nowadays, custom compels us 
Always to go in surtout, and never appear but in jacket; 
Always to have on our boots; forbidden are night<ap and slippers." 

"See!" interrupted the wife; "even now some are yonder re- 
turning, 
Who have beheld the procession : it must, then, already be over. 
Look at the dust on their shoes! and see how their faces are glowing! 
Every one carries his kerchief, and with it is wiping the sweat off. 
Not for a sight like that would I run so far and so suffer, 
Through such a heat; in sooth, enough shall I have in the telling." 

Thereupon answered and said, with emphasis, thus, the good 
father: 
"Rarely does weather like this attend such a harvest as this is. 
We shall be bringing our grain in dry, as the hay was before it. 
Not the least cloud to be seen, so perfectly dear is the heaven; 
And, with delicious coolness, the wind blows in from the eastward. 
That is the weather to last! over-ripe are the cornfields already; 
We shall begin on the morrow to gather our copious harvest." 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 339 

Constantly, while he thus spoke, the crowds of men and of women 
Grew, who their homeward way were over the market-place wend- 
ing; 
And, with the rest, there also returned, his daughters beside him, 
Back to his modernized house on the opposite side of the market, 
Foremost merchant of all the town, their opulent neighbor, 
Rapidly driving his op)en barouche, — ^it was builded in Landau. 
Lively now grew the streets, for the city was handsomely fjeopled. 
Many a trade was therein carried on, and large manufactures. 
Under their doorway thus the affectionate couple were sitting. 
Pleasing themselves with many remarks on the wandering people. 
Finally broke in, however, the worthy housewife, exclaiming: 
"Yonder our pastor, see! is hitherward coming, and with him 
Comes our neighbor the doctor, so they shall every thing tell us; 
All they have witnessed abroad, and which 'tis a sorrow to look on." 

Cordially then the two men drew nigh, and saluted the couple; 
Sat themselves down on the benches of wood that were placed in 

the doorway, 
Shaking the dust from their feet, and fanning themselves with their 

kerchiefs. 
Then was the doctor, as soon as exchanged were the mutual greet- 
ings. 
First to begin, and said, almost in a tone of vexation: 
"Such is mankind, forsooth! and one man is just like another. 
Liking to gape and to stare when ill-luck has befallen his neighbor. 
Every one hurries to look at the flames, as they soar in destruction; 
Runs to behold the poor culprit, to execution conducted: 
Now all are sallying forth to gaze on the need of these exiles. 
Nor is there one who considers that he, by a similar fortune, 
May, in the future, if not indeed next, be likewise o'ertaken. 
Levity not to be pardoned, I deem; yet it lies in man's nature." 

Thereupon answered and said the noble, intelligent pastor; 
Ornament he of the town, still young, in the prime of his manhood. 
He was acquainted with life, — with the needs of his hearers ac- 
quainted; 



340 GOETHE 

Deeply imbued he was with the Holy Scriptures' importance, 
As they reveal man's destiny to us, and man's disposition; 
Thoroughly versed, besides, in best of secular writings. 
"I should be loath," he replied, "to censure an innocent instinct, 
Which to mankind by good mother Nature has always been 

given. 
What understanding and reason may sometimes fail to accompUsh, 
Oft will such fortunate impulse, that bears us resistlessly with it. 
Did curiosity draw not man with its potent attraction, 
Say, would he ever have learned how harmoniously fitted together 
Worldly experiences are? For first what is novel he covets; 
Then with unwearying industry follows he after the useful; 
Finally longs for the good by which he is raised and ennobled. 
While he is young, such lightness of mind is a joyous companion, 
Traces of pain-giving evil effacing as soon as 'tis over. 
He is indeed to be praised, who, out of this gladness of temper, 
Has in his ripening years a sound understanding developed; 
Who, in good fortune or ill, with zeal and activity labors: 
Such an one bringeth to pass what is good, and repaireth the evil." 

Then broke familiarly in the housewife impatient, exclaiming: 
"Tell us of what ye have seen; for that I am longing to hear of!" 

"Hardly," with emphasis then the village doctor made answer, 
"Can I find spirits so soon after all the scenes I have witnessed. 
Oh, the manifold miseries! who shall be able to tell them? 
E'en before crossing the meadows, and while we were yet at a dis- 
tance. 
Saw we the dust; but still from hill to hill the procession 
Passed away out of our sight, and we could distinguish but little. 
But when at last we were come to the street that crosses the valley, 
Great was the crowd and confusion of persons on foot and of wagons. 
There, alas! saw we enough of these poor unfortunates passing, 
And could from some of them learn how bitter the sorrowful flight 

was. 
Yet how joyful the feeling of life thus hastily rescued. 
Mournful it was to behold the most miscellaneous chattels, — 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 34 1 

All those things which are housed in every well-furnished dwelling, 
All by the house-keeper's care set up in their suitable places, 
Always ready for use; for useful is each and important. — 
Now these things to behold, piled up on all manner of wagons. 
One on the top of another, as hurriedly they had been rescued. 
Over the chest of drawers were the sieve and wool coverlet lying; 
Thrown in the kneading-trough lay the bed, and the sheets on the 

mirror. 
Danger, alas! as we learned ourselves in our great conflagration 
Twenty years since, will take from a man all power of reflection. 
So that he grasps things worthless and leaves what is precious be- 
hind him. 
Here, too, with unconsidering care they were carrying with them 
Pitiful trash, that only encumbered the horses and oxen; 
Such as old barrels and boards, the pen for the goose, and the bird- 
cage. 
Women and children, too, went toiling along with their bundles. 
Panting 'neath baskets and tubs, full of things of no manner of value: 
So unwilling is man to relinquish his meanest possession. 
Thus on the dusty road the crowded procession moved forward. 
All confused and disordered. The one whose beasts were the weaker, 
Wanted more slowly to drive, while faster would hurry another. 
Presently went up a scream from the closely squeezed women and 

children, 
And with the yelping of dogs was mingled the lowing of cattle, 
Cries of distress from the aged and sick, who aloft on the wagon. 
Heavy and thus overpacked, uf)on beds were sitting and swaying. 
Pressed at last from the rut and out to the edge of the highway, 
Slipped the creaking wheel; the cart lost its balance, and over 
Fell in the ditch. In the swing the people were flung to a distance, 
Far off into the field, with horrible screams; by good fortune 
Later the boxes were thrown and fell more near to the wagon. 
Verily all who had witnessed the fall, expected to see them 
Crushed into pieces beneath the weight of trunks and of presses. 
So lay the cart all broken to fragments, and helpless the people. 
Keeping their onward way, the others drove hastily by them. 
Each thinking only of self, and carried away by the current. 



342 GOETHB 

Then we ran to the spot, and found the sick and the aged, — 
Those who at home and in bed could before their hngering ailments 
Scarcely endure, — lying bruised on the ground, complauiing and 

groaning, 
Choked by the billowing dust and scorched by the heat of the noon- 
day." 

Thereupon answered and said the kind-hearted landlord, with 
feeling: 
"Would that our Hermann might meet them and give them refresh- 
ment and clothing! 
Loath should I be to behold them: the looking on suffering pains me. 
Touched by the earliest tidings of their so cruel afflictions, 
Hastily sent we a mite from out of our super-abundance, 
Only that some might be strengthened, and we might ourselves be 

made easy. 
But let us now no longer renew these sorrowful pictures 
Knowing how readily fear steals into the heart of us mortals 
And anxiety, worse to me than the actual evil. 
Come with me into the room behind, our cool little parlor, 
Where no sunbeam e'er shines, and no sultry breath ever enters 
Through its thickness of wall. There mother will bring us a flagon 
Of our old eighty-three, with which we may banish our fancies. 
Here 'tis not cosey to drink: the flies so buzz round the glasses." 
Thither adjourned they then, and all rejoiced in the coolness. 

Carefully brought forth the mother the clear and glorious vintage, 
Cased in a well-polished flask, on a waiter of glittering pewter. 
Set round with large green glasses, the drinking cups meet for the 

Rhine wine. 
So sat the three together about the highly waxed table, 
Gleaming and round and brown, that on mighty feet was supported. 
Joyously rang at once the glasses of landlord and pastor. 
But his motionless held the third, and sat lost in reflection, 
Until with words of good-humor the landlord challenged him, say- 
ing— 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 343 

"Come, sir neighbor, empty your glass, for God in his mercy 
Thus far has kept us from evil, and so in the future will keep us. 
For who acknowledges not, that since our dread conflagration. 
When he so hardly chastised us, he now is continually blessing, 
Constantly shielding, as man the apple of his eye watches over. 
Holding it precious and dear above all the rest of his members ? 
Shall he in time to come not defend us and furnish us succor ? 
Only when danger is nigh do we see how great is his power. 
Shall he this blooming town which he once by industrious burghers 
Built up afresh from its ashes, and afterwards blessed with abun- 
dance. 
Now demolish again, and bring all the labor to nothing?" 

Cheerfully said in reply the excellent pastor, and kindly: 
"Keep thyself firm in the faith, and firm abide in this temper; 
For it makes steadfast and wise when fortune is fair, and when evil, 
Furnishes sweet consolation and animates hopes the sublimest." 

Then made answer the landlord, with thoughts judicious and 
manly: 
"Often the Rhine's broad stream have I with astonishment greeted, 
As I have neared it again, after travelling abroad upon business. 
Always majestic it seemed, and my mind and spirit exalted. 
But I could never imagine its beautiful banks would so shortly 
Be to a rampart transformed, to keep from our borders the French- 
man, 
And its wide-spreading bed be a moat all passage to hinder. 
See! thus nature protects, the stout-hearted Germans protect us. 
And thus protects us the Lord, who then will be weakly despondent ? 
Weary already the combatants, all indications are peaceful. 
Would it might be that when that festival, ardently longed for, 
Shall in our church be observed, when the sacred Te Deum is rising, 
Swelled by the pealing of organ and bells, and the blaring of trum- 
pets,— 
Would it might be that that day should behold my Hermann, sir 
pastor. 



344 GOETHE 

Standing, his choice now made, with his bride before thee at the 

altar, 
Making that festal day, that through every land shall be honored. 
My anniversary, too, henceforth of domestic rejoicing! 
But I observe with regret, that the youth so efficient and active 
Ever in household affairs, when abroad is timid and backward. 
Little enjoyment he finds in going about among others; 
Nay, he will even avoid young ladies' society wholly; 
Shuns the enlivening dance which all young persons delight in." 

Thus he spoke and listened; for now was heard in the distance 
Clattering of horses' hoofs drawing near, and the roll of the wagon. 
Which, with furious haste, came thundering under the gateway. 



TERPSICHORE 

HERMANN 

NOW when of comely mien the son came into the chamber, 
Turned with a searching look the eyes o£ the preacher 
upon him, 
And, with the gaze of the student, who easily fathoms expression, 
Scrutinized well his face and form and his general bearing. 
Then with a smile he spoke, and said in words of affection: 
"Truly a different being thou comest! I never have seen thee 
Cheerful as now, nor ever beheld I thy glances so beaming. 
Joyous thou comest, and happy: 'tis plain that among the poor 

people 
Thou hast been sharing thy gifts, and receiving their blessings upon 
thee." 

Quietly then, and with serious words, the son made him answer: 
"If I have acted as ye will commend, I know not; but I followed 
That which my heart bade me do, as I shall exactly relate you. 
Thou wert, mother, so long in rummaging 'mong thy old pieces. 
Picking and choosing, that not until late was thy bundle together; 
Then too the wine and the beer took care and time in the packing. 
When I came forth through the gateway at last, and out on the high- 
road. 
Backward the crowd of citizens streamed with women and children. 
Coming to meet me; for far was already the band of the exiles. 
Quicker I kept on my way, and drove with speed to the village, 
Where they were meaning to rest, as I heard, and tarry till morning. 
Thitherward up the new street as I hasted, a stout-timbered wagon. 
Drawn by two oxen, I saw, of that region the largest and strongest; 
While, with vigorous steps, a maiden was walking beside them, 
And, a long staff in her hand, the two powerful creatures was guid- 
ing, 

M5 



346 GOETHE 

Urging them now, now holding them back; with skill did she drive 

them. 
Soon as the maiden perceived me, she calmly drew near to the horses. 
And in these words she addressed me: 'Not thus deplorable always 
Has our condition been, as to-day on this journey thou seest. 
1 am not yet grown used to asking gifts of a stranger, 
Which he will often unwiUingly give, to be rid of the beggar. 
But necessity drives me to speak; for here, on the straw, lies 
Newly delivered of child, a rich land-owner's wife, whom I scarcely 
Have in her pregnancy, safe brought off with the oxen and wagon. 
Naked, now in her arms the new-born infant is lying, 
And but litde the help our friends will be able to furnish, 
If in the neighboring village, indeed, where to-day we would rest us. 
Still we shall find them; though much do I fear they already have 

passed it. 
Shouldst thou have linen to spare of any description, provided 
Thou of this neighborhood art, to the poor in charity give it.' 

"Thus she spoke, and the pale-faced mother raised herself feebly 
Up from the straw, and towards me looked. Then said I in answer: 
'Surely unto the good, a spirit from heaven oft speaketh, 
Making them feel the distress that threatens a suffering brother. 
For thou must know that my mother, already presaging thy sorrows. 
Gave me a bundle to use it straightway for the need of the naked.' 
Then I untied the knots of the string, and the wrapper of father's 
Unto her gave, and gave her as well the shirts and the linen. 
And she thanked me with joy, and cried: 'The happy believe not 
Miracles yet can be wrought: for only in need we acknowledge 
God's own hand and finger, that leads the good to show goodness. 
What unto us he has done through thee, may he do to thee also!' 
And I beheld with what pleasure the sick woman handled the linens, 
But with especial delight the dressing-gown's delicate flannel. 
'Let us make haste,' the maid to her said, 'and come to the village, 
Where our people will halt for the night and already are resting. 
There these clothes for the children I, one and all, straightway will 

fxjrtion.' 
Then she saluted again, her thanks most warmly expressing. 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 347 

Started the oxen; the wagon went on; but there I still lingered, 
Still held the horses in check; for now my heart was divided 
Whether to drive with speed to the village, and there the provisions 
Share 'mong the rest of the people, or whether I here to the maiden 
All should deliver at once, for her discreetly to portion. 
And in an instant my heart had decided, and quiedy driving 
After the maiden, I soon overtook her, and said to her quickly : 
'Hearken, good maiden; — my mother packed up not Unenstuffs 

only 
Into the carriage, that I should have clothes to furnish the naked; 
Wine and beer she added besides, and supply of provisions: 
Plenty of all these things I have in the box of the carriage. 
But now 1 feel myself moved to deliver these offerings also 
Into thy hand; for so shall I best fulfil my commission. 
Thou wilt divide them with judgment, while I must by chance be 

directed.' 
Thereupon answered the maiden: 'I will with faithfulness portion 
These thy gifts, that all shall bring comfort to those who are needy.' 
Thus she spoke, and quickly the box of the carriage I opened. 
Brought forth thence the substantial hams, and brought out the 

breadstuff s. 
Bottles of wine and beer, and one and all gave to the maiden. 
Willingly would I have given her more, but the carriage was empty. 
All she packed at the sick woman's feet, and went on her journey. 
I, with my horses and carriage, drove rapidly back to the city." 

Instantly now, when Hermann had ceased, the talkative neighbor 
Took up the word, and cried: "Oh happy, in days like the present, 
Days of flight and confusion, who lives by himself in his dwelling. 
Having no wife nor child to be clinging about him in terror! 
Happy I feel myself now, and would not for much be called father; 
Would not have wife and children to-day, for whom to be anxious. 
Oft have I thought of this flight before; and have packed up together 
All my best things already, the chains and old pieces of monev 
That were my sainted mother's, of which not one has been sold yet. 
Much would be left behind, it is true, not easily gotten. 
Even the roots and the herbs, that were with such industry gathered. 



348 GOETHE 

1 should be sorry to lose, though the worth of the goods is but 

trifling. 
If my purveyor remained, I could go from my dwelling contented. 
When my cash I have brought away safe, and have rescued my 

person, 
All is safe: none find it so easy to fly as the single." 

"Neighbor," unto his words young Hermann with emphasis 
answered: 
"I can in no wise agree with thee here, and censure thy language. 
Is he indeed a man to be prized, who, in good and in evil, 
Takes no thought but for self, and gladness and sorrow with others 
Knows not how to divide, nor feels his heart so impel him ? 
Rather than ever to-day would I make up my mind to be married: 
Many a worthy maiden is needing a husband's protection. 
And the man needs an inspiriting wife when ill is impending." 

Thereupon smiling the father replied: "Thus love I to hear theel 
That is a sensible word such as rarely I've known thee to utter." 

Straightway, however, the mother broke in with quickness, ex- 
claiming: 
"Son, to be sure, thou art right! we parents have set the example; 
Seeing that not in our season of joy did we choose one another; 
Rather the saddest of hours it was that bound us together. 
Monday morning — I mind it well; for the day that preceded 
Came that terrible fire by which our city was ravaged — 
Twenty years will have gone. The day was a Sunday as this is; 
Hot and dry was the season; the water was almost exhausted. 
All the people were strolling abroad in their holiday dresses, 
'Mong the villages partly, and part in the mills and the taverns. 
And at the end of the city the flames began, and went coursing 
Quickly along the streets, creating a draught in their passage. 
Burned were the barns where the copious harvest already was gar- 
nered; 
Burned were the streets as far as the market; the house of my father, 
Neighbor to this, was destroyed, and this one also fell with it. 
Little we managed to save. I sat, that sorrowful night through, 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 349 

Outside the town on the common, to guard the beds and the boxes. 
Sleep overtook me at last, and when I again was awakened, 
Feeling the chill of the morning that always descends before sun- 
rise, 
There were the smoke and the glare, and the walls and chimneys in 

ruins. 
Then fell a weight on my heart; but more majestic than ever 
Came up the sun again, inspiring my bosom with courage. 
Then I rose hastily up, with a yearning the place to revisit 
Whereon our dwelling had stood, and to see if the hens had been 

rescued, 
Which I especially loved, for I still was a child in my feelings. 
Thus as I over the still-smoking timbers of house and of court-yard 
Picked my way, and beheld the dwelling so ruined and wasted, 
Thou camest up to examine the place, from the other direction. 
Under the ruins thy horse in his stall had been buried; the rubbish 
Lay on the spot and the glimmering beams; of the horse we saw 

nothing. 
Thoughtful and grieving we stood there thus, each facing the other, 
Now that the wall was fallen that once had divided our court-yards. 
Thereupon thou by the hand didst take me, and speak to me, say- 
ing,— 
'Lisa, how camest thou hither? Go back! thy soles must be burning; 
Hot the rubbish is here: it scorches my boots, which are stronger.' 
And thou didst lift me up, and carry me out through thy court- 
yard. 
There was the door of the house left standing yet with its archway. 
Just as 'tis standing now, the one thing only remaining. 
Then thou didst set me down and kiss me; to that I objected; 
But thou didst answer and say with kindly significant language: 
'See! my house lies in ruins: remain here and help me rebuild it; 
So shall my help in return be given to building thy father's.' 
Yet did I not comprehend thee until thou sentest thy mother 
Unto my father, and quick were the happy espousals accomplished. 
E'en to this day I remember with joy those half-consumed timbers. 
And I can see once more the sun coming up in such splendor; 
For 'twas the day that gave me my husband; and, ere the first season 
Passed of that wild desolation, a son to my youth had been given. 



350 GOETHE 

Therefore I praise thee, Hermann, that thou, with an honest assur- 
ance, 
Shouldst, in these sorrowful days, be thinking thyself of a maiden, 
And amid ruins and war shouldst thus have the courage to woo 
her." 

Straightway, then, and with warmth, the father replied to her, 
saying: 
"Worthy of praise is the feeling, and truthful also the story, 
Mother, that thou hast related; for so indeed everything happened. 
Better, however, is better. It is not the business of all men 
Thus their life and estate to begin from the very foundation: 
Every one needs not to worry himself as we and the rest did. 
Oh, how happy is he whose father and mother shall give him, 
Furnished and ready, a house which he can adorn with his increase. 
Every beginning is hard; but most the beginning a household. 
Many are human wants, and every thing daily grows dearer, 
So that a man must consider the means of increasing his earnings. 
This I hope therefore of thee, my Hermann, that into our dwelling 
Thou wilt be bringing ere long a bride who is handsomely dowered; 
For it is meet that a gallant young man have an opulent maiden. 
Great is the comfort of home whene'er, with the woman eleaed, 
Enter the useful presents, besides, in box and in basket. 
Not for this many a year in vain has the mother been busy 
Making her daughter's linens of strong and delicate texture; 
God-parents have not in vain been giving their vessels of silver, 
And the father laid by in his desk the rare pieces of money; 
For there a day will come when she, with her gifts and possessions, 
Shall that youth rejoice who has chosen her out of all others. 
Well do I know how good in a house is a woman's position. 
Who her own furniture round her knows, in kitchen and chamber; 
Who herself the bed and herself the table has covered. 
Only a well-dowered bride should I like to receive to my dwelling. 
She who is poor is sure, in the end, to be scorned by her husband; 
And will as servant be held, who as servant came in with her bundle. 
Men will remain unjust when the season of love is gone over. 
Yes, my Hermann, thy father's old age thou greatly canst gladden. 
If thou a daughter-in-law will speedily bring to my dwelling. 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 35 1 

Out of the neighborhood here, — from the house over yonder, the 

green one. 
Rich is the man, I can tell thee. His manufactures and traffic 
Daily are making him richer; for whence draws the merchant not 

profit? 
Three daughters only he has, to divide his fortune among them. 
True that the eldest already is taken; but there is the second 
Still to be had, as well as the third; and not long so, it may be. 
I would never have lingered till now, had I been in thy place; 
But had fetched one of the maidens, as once I bore off thy dear 

mother." 

Modestly then did the son to the urgent father make answer: 
"Truly 'twas my wish too, as well as thine own, to have chosen 
One of our neighbor's daughters, for we had been brought up to- 
gether; 
Played, in the early days, about the market-place fountain; 
And, from the other boys' rudeness, 1 often have been their defender. 
That, though, is long since past: the girls, as they grew to be older, 
Properly stayed in the house, and shunned the more boisterous 

pastimes. 
Well brought up are they, surely! I used sometimes to go over. 
Partly to gratify thee, and because of our former acquaintance: 
But no pleasure I ever could take in being among them; 
For I was always obliged to endure their censures upon me. 
Quite too long was my coat, the cloth too coarse, and the color 
Quite too common; my hair was not cropped, as it should be, and 

frizzled. 
I was resolved, at last, that I, also, would dress myself finely, 
Just as those office-boys do who always are seen there on Sundays, 
Wearing in summer their half-silken flaps, that dangle about them; 
But I discovered, betimes, they made ever a laughing-stock of me. 
And I was vexed when I saw it, — it wounded my pride; but more 

deeply 
Felt I aggrieved that they the good-will should so far misinterpret 
That in my heart I bore them, — especially Minna the youngest. 
It was on Easter-day that last I went over to see them; 
Wearing my best new coat, that is now hanging up in the closet. 



352 GOETHE 

And having frizzled my hair, like that of the other young fellows. 

Soon as I entered, they tittered; but that not at me, as I fancied. 

Minna before the piano was seated; the father was present, 

Hearing his daughters sing, and full of delight and good-humor. 

Much I could not understand of all that was said in the singing; 

But of Pamina I often heard, and oft of Tamino: 

And I, besides, could not stay there dumb; so, as soon as she ended, 

Something about the words I asked, and about the two persons. 

Thereupon all were silent and smiled; but the father made answer: 

'Thou knowest no one, my friend, I believe, but Adam and Eve?' 

No one restrained himself longer, but loud laughed out then the 
maidens, 

Loud laughed out the boys, the old man held his sides for his laugh- 
ing. 

I, in embarrassment, dropped my hat, and the giggling continued, 

On and on and on, for all they kept playing and singing. 

Back to the house here I hurried, o'ercome with shame and vexation, 

Hung up my coat in the closet, and pulled out the curls with my 
fingers. 

Swearing that never again my foot should cross over that threshold. 

And I was perfectly right; for vain are the maidens, and heartless. 

E'en to this day, as I hear, I am called by them ever 'Tamino.' " 

Thereupon answered the mother, and said: "Thou shouldest not, 

Hermann, 
Be so long vexed with the children: indeed, they are all of them 

children. 
Minna, believe me, is good, and was always disposed to thee kindly. 
*Twas not long since she was asking about thee. Let her be thy 

chosen!" 

Thoughtfully answered the son: "I know not. That mortification 
Stamped itself in me so deeply, I never could bear to behold her 
Seated before the piano or listen again to her singing." 

Forth broke the father then, and in words of anger made answer: 
"Little of joy will my life have in thee! I said it would be so 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 353 

When I perceived that thy pleasure was solely in horses and farming: 
Work which a servant, indeed, performs for an opulent master. 
That thou doest; the father meanwhile must his son be deprived of, 
Who should appear as his pride, in the sight of the rest of the towns- 
men. 
Early with empty hopes thy mother was wont to deceive me, 
When in the school thy studies, thy reading and writing, would 

never 
As with the others succeed, but thy seat would be always the lowest. 
That comes about, forsooth, when a youth has no feeling of honor 
Dwelling within his breast, nor the wish to raise himself higher. 
Had but my father so cared for me as thou hast been cared for; 
If he had sent me to school, and provided me thus with instructors, 
I should be other, I trow, than host of the Golden Lion!" 

Then the son rose from his seat and noiselessly moved to the door- 
way. 
Slowly, and speaking no word. The father, however, in passion 
After him called, "Yes, go, thou obstinate fellow! I know thee! 
Go and look after the business henceforth, that I have not to chide 

thee; 
But do thou nowise imagine that ever a f)easant-born maiden 
Thou for a daughter-in-law shall bring into my dwelling, the hussy! 
Long have I lived in the world, and know how mankind should be 

dealt with; 
Know how to entertain ladies and gentlemen so that contented 
They shall depart from my house, and strangers agreeably can flatter. 
Yet I'm resolved that some day I one will have for a daughter. 
Who shall requite me in kind and sweeten my manifold labors; 
Who the piano shall play to me, too; so that there shall with pleasure 
All the handsomest f)eople in town and the finest assemble, 
As they on Sundays do now in the house of our neighbor." Here 

Hermann 
Softly pressed on the latch, and so went out from the chamber. 



THALIA 

THE CITIZENS 

THUS did the modest son slip away from the angry upbraid- 
ing; 
But in the tone he had taken at first, the father continued: 
"That comes not out of a man which he has not in him ; and hardly 
Shall the joy ever be mine of seeing my dearest wish granted: 
That my son may not as his father be, but a better. 
What would become of the house, and what of the city if each one 
Were not with pleasure and always intent on maintaining, renewing, 
Yea, and improving, too, as time and the foreigner teach us! 
Man is not meant, forsooth, to grow from the ground like a mush- 
room. 
Quickly to perish away on the spot of ground that begot him, 
Leaving no trace behind of himself and his animate action! 
As by the house we straightway can tell the mind of the master. 
So, when we walk through a city, we judge of the persons who 

rule it. 
For where the towers and walls are falling to ruin; where offal 
Lies in heaps in the gutters, and alleys with offal are littered; 
Where from its place has started the stone, and no one resets it; 
Where the timbers are rotting away, and the house is awaiting 
Vainly its new supports, — that place we may know is ill governed. 
Since if not from above work order and cleanliness downward. 
Easily grows the citizen used to untidy postponement; 
Just as the beggar grows likewise used to his ragged apparel. 
Therefore I wished that our Hermann might early set out on some 

travels; 
That he at least might behold the cities of Strasburg and Frankfort, 
Friendly Mannheim, too, that is cheerful and evenly builded. 
He that has once beheld cities so cleanly and large, never after 
Ceases his own native city, though small it may be, to embellish. 

354 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 355 

Do not the strangers who come here commend the repairs in our 

gateway, 
Notice our whitewashed tower, and the church we have newly re- 

builded ? 
Are not all praising our pavement ? the covered canals full of water, 
Laid with a wise distribution, which furnish us profit and safety. 
So that no sooner does fire break out than 'tis promptly arrested ? 
Has not all this come to pass since the time of our great conflagra- 
tion? 
Builder I six times was named by the council, and won the approval. 
Won moreover the heartfelt thanks of all the good burghers. 
Actively carrying out what I planned, and also fulfilling 
What had by upright men been designed, and left uncompleted. 
Finally grew the same zeal in every one of the council; 
All now labor together, and firmly decided already 
Stands it to build the new causeway that shall with the highroad 

connect us. 
But I am sorely afraid that will not be the way with our children. 
Some think only of pleasure and perishable apparel; 
Others will cower at home, and behind the stove will sit brooding. 
One of this kind, as I fear, we shall find to the last in our Hermann." 

Straightway answered and said the good and intelligent mother: 

"Why wilt thou always, father, be doing our son such injustice.? 

That least of all is the way to bring thy wish to fulfilment. 

We have no power to fashion our children as suiteth our fancy; 

As they are given by God, we so must have them and love them; 

Teach them as best we can, and let each of them follow his na- 
ture. 

One will have talents of one sort, and different talents another. 

Every one uses his own; in his own individual fashion. 

Each must be happy and good. I will not have my Hermann found 
fault with; 

For he is worthy, I know, of the goods he shall one day inherit; 

Will be an excellent landlord, a pattern to burghers and builders; 

Neither in council, as I can foresee, will he be the most backward. 

But thou keepest shut up in his breast all the poor fellow's spirit, 



356 GOETHE 

Finding such fault with him daily, and censuring as thou but now 

hast." 
And on the instant she quitted the room, and after him hurried. 
Hoping she somewhere might find him, and might with her words 

of affection 
Cheer him again, her excellent son, for well he deserved it. 

Thereupon when she was gone, the father thus smiling continued: 
"What a strange folk, to be sure, are these women; and just like the 

children; 
Both of them bent upon living according as suiteth their pleasure, 
While we others must never do aught but flatter and praise them. 
Once for all time holds good the ancients' trustworthy proverb : 
'Whoever goes not forward comes backward.' So must it be always." 

Thereupon answered and said, in a tone of reflection, the doctor: 
"That, sir neighbor, I willingly grant; for myself I am always 
Casting about for improvement, — things new, so they be not too 

costly. 
But what profits a man, who has not abundance of money, 
Being thus active and stirring, and bettering inside and outside? 
Only too much is the citizen cramped: the good, though he know it, 
Has he no means to acquire because too slender his purse is. 
While his needs are too great; and thus is he constantly hampered. 
Many the things I had done; but then the cost of such changes 
Who does not fear, especially now in this season of danger? 
Long since my house was smiling upon me in modish apparel! 
Long since great panes of glass were gleaming in all of the windows! 
But who can do as the merchant does, who, with his resources, 
Knows the methods as well by which the best is arrived at ? 
Look at that house over yonder, — the new one; behold with what 

splendor 
'Gainst the background of green stand out the white spirals of stucco! 
Great are the panes in the windows; and how the glass sparkles and 

glitters, 
Casting quite into the shade the rest of the market-place houses! 
Yet just after the fire were our two houses the finest. 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 357 

This of the Golden Lion, and mine of the sign of the Angel. 
So was my garden, too, throughout the whole neighborhood famous: 
Every traveller stopped and gazed through the red palisadoes, 
Caught by the beggars there carved in stone and the dwarfs of 

bright colors. 
Then whosoever had coffee served in the beautiful grotto, — 
Standing there now all covered with dust and partly in ruins, — 
Used to be mightily pleased with the glimmering light of the mussels 
Spread out in beautiful order; and even the eye of the critic 
Used by the sight of my corals and potter's ore to be dazzled. 
So in my parlor, too, they would always admire the painting, 
Where in a garden are gaily dressed ladies and gentlemen walking, 
And with their taper fingers are plucking and holding the flowers. 
But who would look at it now! In sooth, so great my vexation 
Scarcely I venture abroad. All now must be other and tasteful, 
So they call it; and white are the laths and benches of wood-work; 
Everything simple and smooth; no carving longer or gilding 
Can be endured, and the woods from abroad are of all the most 

costly. 
Well, I too should be glad could I get for myself something novel; 
Glad to keep up with the times, and be changing my furniture often; 
Yet must we all be afraid of touching the veriest trifle. 
For who among us has means for paying the work-people's wages? 
Lately I had an idea of giving the Archangel Michael, 
Making the sign of my shop, another fresh coating of gilding. 
And to the terrible dragon about his feet that is winding; 
But I e'en let him stay browned as he is: I dreaded the charges." 



EUTERPE 

MOTHER AND SON 

THUS entertaining themselves, the men sat talking. The 
mother 
Went meanwhile to look for her son in front of the dwell- 
ing, 
First on the settle of stone, whereon 'twas his wont to be seated. 
When she perceived him not there, she went farther to look in the 

stable, 
If he were caring perhaps for his noble horses, the stallions. 
Which he as colts had bought, and whose care he intrusted to no one. 
And by the servant she there was told: He is gone to the garden. 
Then with a nimble step she traversed the long, double court-yards, 
Leaving the stables behind, and the well-builded barns, too, behind 

her; 
Entered the garden, that far as the walls of the city extended; 
Walked through its length, rejoiced as she went in every thing 

growing; 
Set upright the supports on which were resting the branches 
Heavily laden with apples, and burdening boughs of the pear-tree. 
Next some caterpillars removed from a stout, swelling cabbage; 
For an industrious woman allows no step to be wasted. 
Thus was she come at last to the end of the far-reaching garden. 
Where stood the arbor embowered in woodbine; nor there did she 

find him, 
More than she had hitherto in all her search throiieh the garden. 
But the wicket was standing ajar, which out of the arbor. 
Once by particular favor, had been through the walls of the city 
Cut by a grandsire of hers, the worshipful burgomaster. 
So the now dried-up moat she next crossed over with comfort, 
Where, by the side of the road, direct the well-fenced vineyard, 
Rose with a steep ascent, its slope exposed to the sunshine. 

358 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 359 

Up this also she went, and with pleasure as she was ascending 
Marked the wealth of the clusters, that scarce by their leafage were 

hidden. 
Shady and covered the way through the lofty middlemost alley, 
Which upon steps that were made of unhewn blocks you ascended. 
There were the Muscatel, and there were the Chasselas hanging 
Side by side, of unusual size and colored with purple. 
All set out with the purpose of decking the visitor's table; 
While with single vine-stocks the rest of the hillside was covered, 
Bearing inferior clusters, from which the delicate wine comes. 
Thus up the slope she went, enjoying already the vintage, 
And that festive day on which the whole country, rejoicing. 
Picks and tramples the grapes, and gathers the must into vessels: 
Fireworks, when it is evening, from every direction and corner 
Crackle and blaze, and so the fairest of harvests is honored. 
But more uneasy she went, her son after twice or thrice calling, 
And no answer receiving, except from the talkative echo. 
That with many repeats rang back from the towers of the city. 
Strange it was for her to seek him; he never had gone to a distance 
That he told her not first, to spare his affectionate mother 
Every anxious thought, and fear that aught ill had befallen. 
Still did she constantly hope that, if further she went, she should 

find him; 
For the two doors of the vineyard, the lower as well as the upper, 
Both were alike standing open. So now she entered the cornfield. 
That with its broad expanse the ridge of the hill covered over. 
Still was the ground that she walked on her own; and the crops she 

rejoiced in, — 
All of them still were hers, and hers was the proud-waving grain, 

too, 
Over the whole broad field in golden strength that was stirring. 
Keeping the ridgeway, the footpath, between the fields she went 

onward. 
Having the lofty pear-tree in view, which stood on the summit. 
And was the boundary-mark of the fields that belonged to her 

dwelling. 
Who might have planted it, none could know, but visible was it 



360 GOETHE 

Far and wide through the country; the fruit of the pear-tree was 
famous. 

'Neath it the reapers were wont to enjoy their meal at the noon-day, 

And the shepherds were used to tend their flocks in its shadow. 

Benches of unhewn stones and of turf they found set about it. 

And she had not been mistaken, for there sat her Hermann, and 
rested, — 

Sat with his head on his hand, and seemed to be viewing the land- 
scape 

That to the mountains lay: his back was turned to his mother. 

Towards him softly she crept, and lightly touched on the shoulder; 

Quick he turned himself round: there were tears in his eyes as he 
met her. 

"Mother, how hast thou surprised me!" he said in confusion; and 
quickly 

Wiped the high-spirited youth his tears away. But the mother, 

"What! do I find thee weeping, my son?" exclaimed in amazement. 

"Nay, that is not like thyself: I never before have so seen thee! 

Tell me, what burdens thy heart? what drives thee here, to be sit- 
ting 

Under the pear-tree alone? These tears in thine eyes, what has 
brought them?" 

Then, collecting himself, the excellent youth made her answer: 
"Truly no heart can that man have in his bosom of iron, 
Who is insensible now to the needs of this emigrant people; 
He has no brains in his head, who not for his personal safety. 
Not for his fatherland's weal, in days like the present is anxious. 
Deeply my heart had been touched by the sights and sounds of the 

morning; 
Then I went forth and beheld the broad and glorious landscape 
Spreading its fertile slopes in every direction about us, 
Saw the golden grain inclining itself to the reapers, 
And the promise of well-filled barns from the plentiful harvest. 
But, alas, how near is the foe! The Rhine with its waters 
Guards us, indeed; but, ah, what now are rivers and mountains 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 361 

'Gainst that terrible people that onward bears like a tempest! 
For they summon their youths from every quarter together, 
Call up their old men too, and press with violence forward. 
Death cannot frighten the crowd: one multitude follows another. 
And shall a German dare to linger behind in his homestead? 
Hopes he perhaps to escape the everywhere threatening evil? 
Nay, dear mother, I tell thee, to-day has made me regretful 
That I was lately exempt, when out of our townsmen were chosen 
Those who should serve in the army. An only son I am truly, 
Also our business is great, and the charge of our household is 

weighty. 
Yet were it better, I deem, in the front to offer resistance 
There on the border, than here to await disaster and bondage. 
So has my spirit declared, and deep in my innermost bosom 
Courage and longing have now been aroused to live for my country, 
Yea, and to die, presenting to others a worthy example. 
If but the strength of Germany's youth were banded together 
There on the frontier, resolved that it never would yield to the 

stranger. 
Ah, he should not on our glorious soil be setting his footsteps. 
Neither consuming before our eyes the fruit of our labor. 
Ruling our men, and making his prey of our wives and our daugh- 
ters. 
Hark to me, mother: for I in the depths of my heart am determined 
Quickly to do, and at once, what appears to me right and in reason; 
For he chooses not always the best who longest considers. 
Hearken, I shall not again return to the house; but directly 
Go from this spot to the city, and there present to the soldiers 
This right arm and this heart, to be spent in the fatherland's service. 
Then let my father say if there be no feeling of honor 
Dwelling within my breast, nor a wish to raise myself higher." 

Then with significant words spoke the good and intelligent 
mother, 
While from her eyes the quick-starting tears were silently falling: 
"Son, what change has come o'er thee to-day, and over thy temper, 
That thou speakest no more, as thou yesterday didst, and hast always, 



362 GOETHE 

Open and free, to thy mother, and tellest exactly thy wishes? 

Any one else, had he heard thee thus speak, would in sooth have 

commended, 
And this decision of thine would have highly approved as most 

noble, 
Being misled by thy tone and by thy significant language. 
Yet have I nothing but censure to speak; for better I know thee. 
Thou concealest thy heart, and thy thoughts are not such as thou 

tellest. 
Well do I know that it is not the drum, not the trumpet that calls 

thee: 
Neither in uniform wouldst thou figure in sight of the maidens; 
Since, for all thou art honest and brave, it is thy vocation 
Here in quiet to care for the farm and provide for the household. 
Tell me honestly, therefore, what goads thee to such a decision?" 

Earnestly answered the son: "Nay, thou art mistaken, dear 
mother: 
One day is not like another. The youth matures into manhood: 
Better in stillness oft ripening to deeds than when in the tumult 
Wildering and wild of existence, that many a youth has corrupted. 
And, for as still as I am and was always, there yet in my bosom 
Has such a heart been shaped as abhors all wrong and injustice; 
And I have learned aright between worldly things to distinguish. 
Arm and foot, besides, have been mightily strengthened by labor. 
All this, I feel, is true: I dare with boldness maintain it. 
Yet dost thou blame me with reason, O mother! for thou hast sur- 
prised me 
Using a language half truthful and half that of dissimulation. 
For, let me honestly own, — it is not the near danger that calls me 
Forth from my father's house; nor is it the lofty ambition 
Helpful to be to my country, and terrible unto the foeman. 
They were but words that I spoke: they only were meant for con- 
cealing 
Those emotions from thee with which my heart is distraaed; 
And so leave me, O mother! for, since the wishes are fruitless 
Which in my bosom I cherish, my life must go fruitlessly over. 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 363 

For, as I know, he injures himself who is singly devoted, 

When for the common cause the whole are not working together," 

"Hesitate not," replied thereupon the intelligent mother, 
"Every thing to relate me, the smallest as well as the greatest. 
Men will always be hasty, their thoughts to extremes ever running: 
Easily out of their course the hasty are turned by a hindrance. 
Whereas a woman is clever in thinking of means, and will venture 
E'en on a roundabout way, adroitly to compass her object. 
Let me know every thing, then; say wherefore so greatly excited 
As I ne'er saw thee before, why thy blood is coursing so hotly. 
Wherefore, against thy will, tears are filling thine eyes to o'erflow- 
ing." 

Then he abandoned himself, the poor boy, to liis sorrow, and 
weeping. 
Weeping aloud on his kind mother's breast, he brokenly answered: 
"Truly my father's words to-day have wounded me sorely, — 
Words which I have not deserved; not to-day, nor at any time have I: 
For it was early my greatest delight to honor my parents. 
No one knew more, so I deemed, or was wiser than those who 

begot me. 
And had with strictness ruled throughout the dark season of child- 
hood. 
Many the things, in truth, I with patience endured from my play- 
mates, 
When the good-will that I bore them they often requited with malice. 
Often I suffered their flings and their blows to pass unresented; 
But if they ventured to ridicule father, when he of a Sunday 
Home from Church would come, with his solemn and dignified 

bearing; 
If they made fun of his cap-string, or laughed at the flowers of the 

wrapper 
He with such stateliness wore, which was given away but this 

morning, — 
Threateningly doubled my fist in an instant; with furious passion 
Fell I upon them, and struck out and hit, assaiUng them blindly, 



364 GOETHE 

Seeing not where. They howled as the blood gushed out from their 

noses: 
Scarcely they made their escape from my passionate kicking and 

beating. 
Then, as I older grew, I had much to endure from my father; 
Violent words he oft vented on me, instead of on others. 
When, at the board's last session, the council had roused his dis- 
pleasure. 
And I was made to atone for the quarrels and wiles of his colleagues. 
Thou has pitied me often thyself; for much did I suffer, 
Ever remembering with cordial respect the kindness of parents, 
Solely intent on increasing for us their goods and possessions. 
Much denying themselves in order to save for their children. 
But, alas! saving alone, for the sake of a tardy enjoyment, — 
That is not happiness: pile upon pile, and acre on acre, 
Make us not happy, no matter how fair our estates may be rounded. 
For the father grows old, and with him will grow old the children. 
Losing the joy of the day, and bearing the care of tomorrow. 
Look thou below, and see how before us in glory are lying, 
Fair and abundant, the corn-fields; beneath them, the vineyard and 

garden; 
Yonder the stables and barns; our beautiful line of possessions. 
But when I look at the dwelling behind, where up in the gable 
We can distinguish the window that marks my room in the attic; 
When I look back, and remember how many a night from that 

window 
I for the moon have watched; for the sun, how many a morning! 
When the healthful sleep of a few short hours sufficed me, — 
Ah, so lonely they seem to me then, the chamber and courtyard, 
Garden and glorious field, away o'er the hill that is stretching; 
All so desert before me lie: 'tis the wife that is wanting." 

Thereupon spoke the good mother, and thus with intelligence 
answered : 
"Son, not greater thy wish to bring thee a bride to thy chamber. 
That thou mayst find thy nights a beautiful part of existence. 
And that the work of the day may gain independence and freedom. 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 365 

Than is thy father's wish too, and thy mother's. We always have 

counselled, — 
Yea, we have even insisted, — that thou shouldst elect thee a maiden. 
But I was ever aware, and now my heart gives me assurance, 
That till the hour appointed is come, and the maiden appointed 
Shall with the hour appear, the choice will be left for the future, 
While more strong than all else will be fear of grasping the wrong 

one. 
If I may say it, my son, I believe thou already hast chosen; 
For thy heart has been touched, and been made more than wontedly 

tender. 
Speak it out honestly, then; for my soul has told me beforehand: 
That same maiden it is, the exile, whom thou hast elected." 

"Thou has said, mother!" the son thereupon with eagerness an- 
swered. 
"Yes, it is she; and if I to-day as my bride do not bring her 
Home to our dwelling, she from me will go, perhaps vanish for 

ever, 
Lost in the war's confusion and sad movings hither and thither. 
Mother, for ever in vain would then our abundant possessions 
Prosper before me, and seasons to come be in vain to me fruitful. 
Yea, I should hold in aversion the wonted house and the garden: 
Even my mother's love, alas! would not comfort my sorrow. 
Every tie, so I feel in my heart, by love is unloosened 
Soon as she fastens her own; and not the maid is it only 
Leaves behind father and mother, to follow the man she has chosen. 
He too, the youth, no longer knows aught of mother and father. 
When he the maiden, his only beloved, sees vanishing from him. 
Suffer me, then, to go hence wherever despair shall impel me: 
Since by my father himself the decisive words have been spoken; 
Since his house can no longer be mine if he shut out the maiden. 
Her whom alone as my bride I desire to bring to our dwelling." 

Thereupon quickly made answer the good and intelligent mother: 
"How like to rocks, forsooth, two men will stand facing each otherf 
Proud and not to be moved, will neither draw near to his fellow; 



366 GOETHE 

Neither will stir his tongue to utter the first word of kindness. 
Therefore 1 tell thee, my son, a hope yet lives in my bosom, 
So she be honest and good, thy father will let thee espouse her, 
Even though poor, and against a poor girl so decisive his sentence. 
Many a thing he is wont to speak out in his violent fashion 
Which he yet never performs; and so what he denies will consent to. 
Yet he requires a kindly word, and is right to require it: 
He is the father! Besides we know that his wrath after dinner, — 
When he most hastily speaks, and questions all others' opinions, — 
Signifies naught; the full force of his violent wnll is excited 
Then by the wine, which lets him not heed the language of others; 
None but himself does he see and feel. But now is come evening, 
Talk upon various subjects has passed between him and his neigh- 
bors. 
Gentle, he is; I am sure now his little excitement is over, 
And he can feel how unjust his passion has made him to others. 
Come, let us venture at once: success is alone to the valiant! 
Further we need the friends, still sitting together there with him; 
And in especial the worthy pastor will give us assistance." 

Thus she hastily spoke, and up from the stone then arising, 
Drew from his seat her son, who willingly followed. In silence 
Both descended the hill, their important purpose revolving. 



POLYHYMNIA 

THE CITIZEN OF THE WORLD 

THERE the three men, however, still sat conversing together, 
With mine host of the Lion, the village doctor, and pastor; 
And their talk was still on the same unvarying subject. 
Turning it this way and that, and viewing from every direction. 
But with his sober judgment the excellent pastor made answer: 
"Here will I not contradict you. I know that man should be always 
Striving for that which is better; indeed, as we see, he is reaching 
Always after the higher, at least some novelty craving. 
But be careful ye go not too far, for with this disposition 
Nature has given us pleasure in holding to what is familiar; 
Taught us in that to delight to which we have long been accus- 
tomed. 
Every condition is good that is founded on reason and nature. 
Many are man's desires, yet little it is that he needeth; 
Seeing the days are short and mortal destiny bounded. 
Ne'er would I censure the man whom a restless activity urges. 
Bold and industrious, over all pathways of land and of ocean, 
Ever untiring to roam; who takes delight in the riches. 
Heaping in generous abundance about himself and his children. 
Yet not unprized by me is the quiet citizen also, 
Making the noiseless round of his own inherited acres. 
Tilling the ground as the ever-returning seasons command him. 
Not with every year is the soil transfigured about him; 
Not in haste does the tree stretch forth, as soon as 'tis planted. 
Full-grown arms towards heaven and decked with plenteous blos- 
soms. 
No: man has need of patience, and needful to him are also 
Calmness and clearness of mind, and a pure and ri?ht understanding. 
Few are the seeds he intrusts to earth's all-nourishing bosom; 
Few are the creatures he knows how to raise and bring to perfection. 

367 



368 GOETHE 

Centred are all his thoughts alone on that which is useful. 
Happy to whom by nature a mind of such temper is given, 
For he supports us all! And hail, to the man whose abode is 
Where in a town the country pursuits with the city are blended. 
On him lies not the pressure that painfully hampers the farmer. 
Nor is he carried away by the greedy ambition of cities; 
Where they of scanty possessions too often are given to aping, 
Wives and daughters especially, those who are higher and richer. 
Blessed be therefore thy son in his life of quiet employment; 
Blessed the wife, of like mind with himself, whom he one day shall 
choose him." 

Thus he spoke; and scarce had he ended when entered the mother. 
Holding her son by the hand, and so led him up to her husband. 
"Father," she said, "how oft when we two have been chatting to- 
gether, 
Have we rejoiced in the thought of Hermann's future espousal. 
When he should bring his bride to be the light of our dwelling! 
Over and over again the matter we pondered: this maiden 
Fixing upon for him first, and then that, with the gossip of parents. 
But that day is now come; and Heaven at last has the maiden 
Brought to him hither, and shown him; and now his heart has 

decided. 
Said we not always then he should have his own choice in the matter ? 
Was it not just now thy wish that he might with lively affection 
Feel himself drawn to some maiden? The hour is come that we 

hoped for. 
Yes; he has felt and has chosen and come to a manly decision. 
That same maiden it is that met him this morning, the stranger: 
Say he may have her, or else, as he swears, his life shall be single." 

"Give her me, father," so added the son: "my heart has elected 
Clear and sure; she will be to you both the noblest of daughters." 

But the father was silent. Then hastily rose the good pastor, 
Took up the word and said: "The moment alone is decisive; 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 369 

Fixes the life of man, and his future destiny settles. 

After long taking of counsel, yet only the work of a moment 

Every decision must be; and the wise alone seizes the right one. 

Dangerous always it is comparing the one with the other 

When we are making our choice, and so confusing our feelings. 

Hermann is pure. From childhood up I have known him, and 

never 
E'en as a boy was he wont to be reaching for this and the other: 
What he desired was best for him too, and he held to it firmly. 
Be not surprised and alarmed that now has appeared of a sudden, 
What thou hast wished for so long. It is true that the present 

appearance 
Bears not the form of the wish, exactly as thou hadst conceived it: 
For our wishes oft hide from ourselves the object we wish for; 
Gifts come down from above in the shapes appointed by Heaven. 
Therefore misjudge not the maiden who now of thy dearly be- 
loved, 
Good and intelligent son has been first to touch the affections: 
Happy to whom at once his first love's hand shall be given. 
And in whose heart no tenderest wish must secretly languish. 
Yes: his whole bearing assures me that now his fate is decided. 
Genuine love matures in a moment the youth into manhood; 
He is not easily moved; and I fear that if this be refused him, 
Sadly his years will go by, those years that should be the fairest." 

Straightway then in a thoughtful tone the doctor made answer, 
On whose tongue for a long time past the words had been trem- 
bling: 
"Pray let us here as before pursue the safe middle course only. 
Make haste slowly : that was Augustus the emperor's motto. 
Willingly I myself place at my well-beloved neighbor's disposal, 
Ready to do him what service I can with my poor understanding. 
Youth most especially stands in need of some one to guide it. 
Let me therefore go forth that I may examine the maiden, 
And may question the people among whom she lives and who know 
her. 



370 GOETHE 

Me 'tis not easy to cheat: I know how words should be valued." 

Straightway the son broke in, and with winged words made he 
answer: 
"Do so, neighbor, and go and make thine inquiries; but with thee 
I should be glad if our minister here were joined in the errand: 
Two such excellent men would be irreproachable judges. 

my father! believe me, she's none of those wandering maidens, 
Not one of those who stroll through the land in search of adventure. 
And who seek to ensnare inexperienced youth in their meshes. 
No: the hard fortunes of war, that universal destroyer, 

Which is convulsing the earth and has hurled from its deep founda- 
tions 
Many a structure already, have sent the poor girl into exile. 
Are not now men of high birth, the most noble, in misery roaming.? 
Princes fly in disguise and kings are in banishment living. 
So alas! also is she, the best among all of her sisters, 
Driven an exile from home; yet, her personal sorrows forgetting, 
She is devoted to others; herself without help, she is helpful. 
Great is the want and the suffering over the earth that are spreading: 
Shall not some happiness, too, be begotten of all this affliction. 
And shall not I in the arms of my wife, my trusted companion. 
Look back with joy to the war, as do ye to the great conflagration?" 

Outspoke the father then in a tone of decision, and answered : 
"Strangely thy tongue has been loosened, my son, which many a 

year past 
Seemed to have stuck in thy mouth, and only to move on com- 
pulsion! 

1 must experience to-day, it would seem, what threatens all fathers, 
That the son's headstrong will the mother with readiness favors, 
Showing too easy indulgence; and every neighbor sides with them 
When there is aught to be carried against the father and husband. 
But I will not oppose you, thus banded together: how could I? 
For I already perceive here tears and defiance beforehand. 

Go ye therefore, inquire, in God's name, bring me the daughter. 
But if not so, then the boy is to think no more of the maiden." 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 37I 

Thus the father. The son cried out with joyful demeanor, 
"Ere it is evening the noblest of daughters shall hither be brought 

you, 
Such as no man with sound sense in his breast can fail to be pleased 

with. 
Happy, I venture to hope, will be also the excellent maiden. 
Yes; she will ever be grateful for having had father and mother 
Given once more in you, and such as a child most delights in. 
Now I will tarry no longer, but straightway harness the horses, 
Drive forth our friends at once on the footsteps of my beloved. 
Leaving them then to act for themselves, as their wisdom shall dic- 
tate, 
Guide myself wholly, I promise, according to what they determine, 
And, until I may call her my own, ne'er look on the maiden." 
Thus he went forth: the others meanwhile remained in discussion, 
Rapid and earnest, considering deeply their great undertaking. 

Hermann hasted straightway to the stable, where quietly standing 
Found he the spirited stallions, the clean oats quickly devouring, 
And the well-dried hay that was cut from the richest of meadows. 
On them without delay the shining bits he adjusted. 
Hastily drew the straps through the buckles of beautiful plating. 
Firmly fastened then the long broad reins, and the horses 
Led without to the court-yard, whither the willing assistant 
Had with ease, by the pole, already drawn forward the carriage. 
Next to the whipple-tree they with care by the neatly kept traces 
Joined the impetuous strength of the freely travelling horses. 
Whip in hand took Hermann his seat and drove under the door- 
way. 
Soon as the friends straightway their commodious places had taken, 
Quickly the carriage rolled off, and left the pavement behind it. 
Left behind it the walls of the town and the fresh-whitened towers. 
Thus drove Hermann on till he came to the well-known causeway. 
Rapidly, loitering nowhere, but hastening up hill and down hill. 
But as he now before him perceived the spire of the village, 
And no longer remote the garden-girt houses were lying, 
Then in himself he thought that here he would rein up the horses. 



372 GOETHE 

Under the solemn shade of lofty linden^ees lying, 
Which for centuries past upon this spot had been rooted, 
Spread in front of the village a broad and grass-covered common, 
Favorite place of resort for the peasants and neighboring towns- 
folk. 
Here, at the foot of the trees, sunk deep in the ground was a well- 
spring; 
When you descended the steps, stone benches you found at the bot- 
tom. 
Stationed about the spring, whose pure, living waters were bubbling 
Ceaselessly forth, hemmed in by low walls for convenience of draw- 
ing. 
Hermann resolved that here he would halt, with his horses and 

carriage, 
Under the shade of the trees. He did so, and said to the others: 
"Here alight, my friends, and go your ways to discover 
Whether the maiden in truth be worthy the hand that I offer. 
That she is so, I believe; naught new or strange will ye tell me. 
Had I to act for myself, I should go with speed to the village, 
Where a few words from the maiden's own lips should determine 

my fortune. 
Ye will with readiness single her out from all of the others. 
For there can scarcely be one that to her may be likened in bearing. 
But I will give you, besides, her modest attire for a token: 
Mark, then, the stomacher's scarlet, that sets off the arch of her 

bosom. 
Prettily laced, and the bodice of black fitting close to her figure; 
Neatly the edge of her kerchief is plaited into a ruffle, 
Which with a simple grace her chin's rounded outline encircles; 
Freely and lightly rises above it the head's dainty oval; 
And her luxuriant hair over silver bodkins is braided; 
Down from under her bodice, the full, blue petticoat falling, 
Wraps itself, when she is walking, about her neatly shaped ankles. 
Yet one thing will I say, and would make it my earnest petition, — 
Sp)eak not yourselves with the maiden, nor let your intent be dis- 
covered; 
Rather inquire of others, and hearken to what they may tell you. 
When ye have tidings enough to satisfy father and mother, 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 373 

Then return to me here, and we will consider what further. 
So did I plan it all out in my mind while driving you hither." 

Thus he spoke. The friends thereupon went their way to the 
village, 
Where, in the houses and gardens and barns, the people were swarm- 
ing; 
Wagons on wagons stood crowded together along the broad high- 
way. 
Men for the harnessed horses and lowing cattle were caring. 
While the women were busy in drying their clothes on the hedges. 
And in the running brook the children were merrily splashing. 
Making their way through the pressure of wagons, of people and 

cattle. 
Went the commissioned spies, and to right and to left looked about 

them. 
If they a figure might see that answered the maiden's description; 
But not one of them all appeared the beautiful damsel. 
Denser soon grew the press. A contest arose round the wagons 
'Mongst the threatening men, wherein blended the cries of the 

women. 
Rapidly then to the spot, and with dignified step, came an elder, 
Joined the clamoring group, and straightway the uproar was silenced. 
As he commanded peace, and rebuked with a fatherly sternness. 
"Has, then, misfortune," he cried, "not yet so bound us together. 
That we have finally learned to bear and forbear one another. 
Though each one, it may be, do not measure his share of the labor ? 
He that is happy, forsooth, is contentious! Will suf?erings never 
Teach you to cease from your brawls of old between brother and 

brother? 
Grudge not one to another a place on the soil of the stranger; 
Rather divide what ye have, as yourselves ye would hope to find 
mercy." 

Thus spoke the man and all became silent: restored to good humor. 
Peaceably then the people arranged their cattle and wagons. 
But when the clergyman now had heard what was said by the 
stranger. 



374 GOETHB 

And had the steadfast mind of the foreign justice discovered, 

He to the man drew near and with words of meaning addressed 

him: 
"True it is, father, that when in prosperity people are Hving, 
Feeding themselves from the earth, which far and wide opens her 

bosom. 
And in the years and months renews the coveted blessings, — 
All goes on of itself, and each himself deems the wisest. 
Deems the best, and so they continue abiding together. 
He of greatest intelligence ranking no higher than others; 
All that occurs, as if of itself, going quietly forward. 
But let disaster unsettle the usual course of existence. 
Tear down the buildings about us, lay waste the crops and the gar- 
den. 
Banish the husband and wife from their old, familiar-grown dwell- 
ing, 
Drive them to wander abroad through nights and days of priva- 
tion, — 
Then, ah then! we look round us to see what man is the wisest. 
And no longer in vain his glorious words will be spoken. 
Tell me, art thou not judge among this fugitive people, 
Father, who thus in an instant canst bid their passions be quiet? 
Thou dost appear to-day as one of those earliest leaders. 
Who through deserts and wanderings guided the emigrant nations. 
Yea, I could even believe I were speaking with Joshua or Moses." 

Then with serious look the magistrate answered him, saying: 
"Truly our times might well be compared with all others in strange- 
ness, 
Which are in history mentioned, profane or sacred tradition; 
For who has yesterday lived and to-day in times like the present. 
He has already lived years, events are so crowded together. 
If I look back but a little, it seems that my head must be hoary 
Under the burden of years, and yet my strength is still active. 
Well may we of this day compare ourselves unto that people 
Who, from the burning bush, beheld in the hour of their danger 
God the Lord: we also in cloud and in fire have beheld him." 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 375 

Seeing the priest was inclined to speak yet more with the stranger, 
And was desirous of learning his story and that of his people, 
Privately into his ear his companion hastily whispered: 
"Talk with the magistrate further, and lead him to speak of the 

maiden. 
I, however, will wander in search, and as soon as I find her. 
Come and report to thee here." The minister nodded, assenting; 
And through the gardens, hedges, and barns, went the spy on his 

errand. 



CLIO 

THE AGE 

NOW when the foreign judge had been by the minister 
questioned 
As to his people's distress, and how long their exile had 
lasted, 
Thus made answer the man: "Of no recent date are our sorrows; 
Since of the gathering bitter of years our people have drunken, — 
Bitterness all the more dreadful because such fair hope had been 

blighted. 
Who will pretend to deny that his heart swelled high in his bosom, 
And that his freer breast with purer pulses was beating, 
When we beheld the new sun arise in his earliest splendor, 
When of the rights of men we heard, which to all should be common. 
Were of a righteous equality told, and inspiriting freedom? 
Every one hoped that then he should live his own life, and the 

fetters, 
Binding the various lands, appeared their hold to be loosing, — 
Fetters that had in the hand of sloth been held and self-seeking. 
Looked not the eyes of all nations, throughout that calamitous 

season. 
Towards the world's capital city, for so it had long been considered. 
And of that glorious title was now, more than ever, deserving? 
Were not the names of those men who first delivered the message, 
Names to compare with the highest that under the heavens are 

spoken ? 
Did not, in every man, grow courage and spirit and language? 
And, as neighbors, we, first of all, were zealously kindled. 
Thereupon followed the war, and armed bodies of Frenchmen 
Pressed to us nearer; yet nothing but friendship they seemed to be 

bringing; 
Ay, and they brought it too; for exalted the spirit within them: 

376 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 377 

They with rejoicing the festive trees of hberty planted, 
Promising every man what was his own, and to each his own ruling. 
High beat the heart of the youths, and even the aged were joyful; 
Gaily the dance began about the newly raised standard. 
Thus had they speedily won, these overmastering Frenchmen, 
First the spirits of men by the fire and dash of their bearing, 
Then the hearts of the women with irresistible graces. 
Even the pressure of hungry war seemed to weigh on us lightly, 
So before our vision did hope hang over the future. 
Luring our eyes abroad into newly opening pathways. 
Oh, how joyful the time when with her beloved the maiden 
Whirls in the dance, the longed-for day of their union awaiting! 
But more glorious that day on which to our vision the highest 
Heart of man can conceive seemed near and attainable to us. 
Loosened was every tongue, and men — the aged, the stripling — 
Spoke aloud in words that were full of high feeling and wisdom. 
Soon, however, the sky was o'ercast. A corrupt generation 
Fought for the right of dominion, unworthy the good to establish; 
So that they slew one another, their new-made neighbors and 

brothers 
Held in subjection, and then sent the self-seeking masses against us. 
Chiefs committed excesses and wholesale plunder upon us. 
While those lower plundered and rioted down to the lowest: 
Every one seemed but to care that something be left for the 

morrow. 
Great past endurance the need, and daily grew the oppression: 
They were the lords of the day; there was none to hear our com- 
plaining. 
Then fell trouble and rage upon even the quietest spirit. 
One thought only had all, and swore for their wrongs to have 

vengeance, 
And for the bitter loss of their hope thus doubly deluded. 
Presently Fortune turned and declared on the side of the German, 
And with hurried marches the French retreated before us. 
Ah! then as never before did we feel the sad fortunes of warfare: 
He that is victor is great and good, — or at least he appears so, — 
And he, as one of his own, will spare the man he has conquered. 



378 GOETHE 

Him whose service he daily needs, and whose property uses. 

But no law the fugitive knows, save of self-preservation, 

And, with a reckless greed, consumes all the possessions about 
him; 

Then are his passions also inflamed : the despair that is in him 

Out of his heart breaks forth, and takes shape in criminal action. 

Nothing is further held sacred; but all is for plunder. His craving 

Turns in fury on woman, and pleasure is changed into horror. 

Death he sees everywhere round him, and madly enjoys his last 
moments. 

Taking delight in blood, in the shriekings of anguish exulting. 

Thereupon fiercely arose in our men the stern resolution 

What had been lost to avenge, and defend whate'er was remaining. 

Every man sprang to his arms, by the flight of the foeman en- 
couraged. 

And by his blanching cheeks, and his timorous, wavering glances. 

Ceaselessly now rang out the clanging peal of the tocsin. 

Thought of no danger to come restrained their furious anger. 

Quick into weapons of war the husbandman's peaceful utensils 

All were converted; dripped with blood the scythe and the plough- 
share. 

Quarter was shown to none: the enemy fell without mercy. 

Fury everywhere raged and the cowardly cunning of weakness. 

Ne'er may I men so carried away by injurious passion 

See again! the sight of the raging wild beast would be better. 

Let not man prattle of freedom, as if himself he could govern! 

Soon as the barriers are torn away, then all of the evil 

Seems let loose, that by law had been driven deep back into corners." 

"Excellent man!" thereupon with emphasis answered the pastor: 
"Though thou misjudgest mankind, yet can I not censure thee for it. 
Evil enough, I confess, thou hast had to endure from man's passions. 
Yet wouldst thou look behind over this calamitous season. 
Thou wouldst acknowledge thyself how much good thou also hast 

witnessed. 
How many excellent things that would in the heart have Iain 

hidden. 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 379 

Had not clanger aroused them, and did not necessity's pressure 
Bring forth the angel in man, and make him a god of deliv'rance." 

Thereupon answered and said the reverend magistrate, smiling: 
"There thou remindest me aptly of how we console the poor fellow, 
After his house has been burned, by recounting the gold and the 

silver 
Melted and scattered abroad in the rubbish, that still is remaining. 
Little enough, it is true; but even that little is precious. 
Then will the poor wretch after it dig and rejoice if he find it. 
Thus I likewise with happier thoughts will gratefully turn me 
Towards the few beautiful deeds of which I preserve the re- 
membrance. 
Yes, I will not deny, I have seen old quarrels forgotten, 
111 to avert from the state; I also have witnessed how friendship. 
Love of parent and child, can impossibilities venture; 
Seen how the stripling at once matured into man; how the aged 
Grew again young; and even the child into youth was developed. 
Yea, and the weaker sex too, as we are accustomed to call it. 
Showed itself brave and strong and ready for every emergence. 
Foremost among them all, one beautiful deed let me mention, 
Bravely performed by the hand of a girl, an excellent maiden; 
Who, with those younger than she, had been left in charge of a 

farmhouse, 
Since there, also, the men had marched against the invader. 
Suddenly fell on the house a fugitive band of marauders. 
Eager for booty, who crowded straightway to the room of the 

women. 
There they beheld the beautiful form of the fully grown maiden. 
Looked on the charming young girls, who rather might still be called 

children. 
Savage desire possessed them; at once with merciless passion 
They that trembling band assailed and the high-hearted maiden. 
But she had snatched in an instant the sword of one from its scab- 
bard. 
Felled him with might to the ground, and stretched him bleeding 
before her. 



380 GOETHE 

Then with vigorous strokes she bravely deUvered the maidens, 
Smiting yet four of the robbers; who saved themselves only by 

flying. 
Then she bolted the gates, and, armed, awaited assistance." 

Now when this praise the minister heard bestowed on the maiden, 
Rose straightway for his friend a feeling of hope in his bosom, 
And he had opened his lips to inquire what further befell her, 
If on this mournful flight she now with her people were present; 
When with a hasty step the village doctor approached them, 
Twitched the clergyman's coat, and said in his ear in a whisper: 
"I have discovered the maiden at last among several hundreds; 
By the description I knew her, so come, let thine own eyes behold 

herl 
Bring too the magistrate with thee, that so we may hear him yet 

further." 
But as they turned to go, the justice was summoned to leave them, 
Sent for by some of his people by whom his counsel was needed. 
Straightway the preacher, however, the lead of the doctor had 

followed 
Up to a gap in the fence where his finger he meaningly pointed. 
"Seest thou the maiden?" he said: "she has made some clothes for 

the baby 
Out of the well-known chintz, — I distinguish it plainly; and further 
There are the covers of blue that Hermann gave in his bundle. 
Well and quickly, forsooth, she has turned to advantage the 

presents. 
Evident tokens are these, and all else answers well the description. 
Mark how the stomacher's scarlet sets off the arch of her bosom. 
Prettily laced, and the bodice of black fits close to her figure; 
Neatly the edge of her kerchief is plaited into a ruffle. 
Which, with a simple grace, her chin's rounded outline encircles; 
Freely and lightly rises above it the head's dainty oval. 
And her luxuriant hair over silver bodkins is braided. 
Now she is sitting, yet still we behold her majestical stature. 
And the blue petticoat's ample plaits, that down from her bosom 
Hangs in abundant folds about her neatly shaped ankles, 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 381 

She without question it is; come, therefore, and let us discover 
Whether she honest and virtuous be, a housewifely maiden." 

Then, as the seated figure he studied, the pastor made answer: 
"Truly, I find it no wonder that she so enchanted the stripling, 
Since, to a man's experienced eye, she seems lacking in nothing. 
Happy to whom Mother Nature a shape harmonious has given! 
Such will always commend him, and he can be nowhere a stranger. 
All approach with delight, and all are delighted to linger, 
If to the outward shape correspond but a courteous spirit. 
I can assure thee, in her the youth has found him a maiden. 
Who, in the days to come, his life shall gloriously brighten. 
Standing with womanly strength in every necessity by him. 
Surely the soul must be pure that inhabits a body so perfect. 
And of a happy old age such vigorous youth is the promise." 

Thereupon answered and said the doctor in language of caution : 
"Often appearances cheat; I like not to trust to externals. 
For I have oft seen put to the test the truth of the proverb: 
Till thou a bushel of salt with a new acquaintance hast eaten. 
Be not too ready to trust him; for time alone renders thee certain 
How ye shall fare with each other, and how well your friendship 

shall prosper. 
Let us then rather at first make inquiries among the good people 
By whom the maiden is known, and who can inform us about her." 

"Much I approve of thy caution," the preacher replied as he 
followed. 
"Not for ourselves is the suit, and 'tis delicate wooing for others." 

Towards the good magistrate, then, the men directed their foot- 
steps. 
Who was again ascending the street in discharge of his duties. 

Him the judicious pastor at once addressed and with caution. 
"Look! we a maiden have here descried in the neighboring garden, 
Under an apple-tree sitting, and making up garments for children 



382 GOETHE 

Out of second-hand stuff that somebody doubtless has given; 
And we were pleased with her aspect: she seems like a girl to be 

trusted. 
Tell us whatever thou knowest: we ask it with honest intentions." 

Soon as the magistrate nearer had come, and looked into the 

garden, 
"Her thou knowest already," he said; "for when I was telling 
Of the heroic deed performed by the hand of that maiden, 
When she snatched the man's sword, and delivered herself and her 

charges, 
This was the onel she is vigorous born, as thou seest by her stature; 
Yet she is good as strong, for her aged kinsman she tended 
Until the day of his death, which was finally hastened by sorrow 
Over his city's distress, and his own endangered possessions. 
Also, with quiet submission, she bore the death of her lover. 
Who a high-spirited youth, in the earliest flush of excitement. 
Kindled by lofty resolve to fight for a glorious freedom, 
Hurried to Paris, where early a terrible death he encountered. 
For as at home, so there, his foes were deceit and oppression." 

Thus the magistrate spoke. The others saluted and thanked him. 
And from his purse a gold-piece the pastor drew forth; — for the 

silver 
He had some hours before already in charity given. 
When he in mournful groups had seen the poor fugitives passing; — 
And to the magistrate handed it, saying: "Apportion the money 
'Mongst thy destitute people, and God vouchsafe it an increase." 
But the stranger declined it, and, answering, said: "We have rescued 
Many a dollar among us, with clothing and other possessions, 
And shall return, as I hope, ere yet our stock is exhausted." 

Then the pastor replied, and pressed the money upon him: 
"None should be backward in giving in days like the present, and 

no one 
Ought to refuse to accept those gifts which in kindness are offered. 
None can tell how long he may hold what in peace he possesses, 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 383 

None how much longer yet he shall roam through the land of the 

stranger, 
And of his farm be deprived, and deprived of the garden that 

feeds him." 

"Ay, to be sure!" in his bustling way interrupted the doctor: 
"If I had only some money about me, ye surely should have it. 
Little and big; for certainly many among you must need it. 
Yet I'll not go without giving thee something to show what my 

will is, 
Even though sadly behind my good-will must lag the performance." 
Thus, as he spoke, by its straps his embroidered pocket of leather, 
Where his tobacco was kept, he drew forth, — enough was now in it 
Several pipes to fill, — and daintily opened, and portioned. 
"Small is the gift," he added. The justice, however, made answer: 
"Good tobacco can ne'er to the traveller fail to be welcome." 
Then did the village doctor begin to praise his canaster. 

But the clergyman drew him away, and they quitted the justice. 
"Let us make haste," said the thoughtful man: "the youth's waiting 

in torture; 
Come! let him hear, as soon as he may, the jubilant tidings." 

So they hastened their steps, and came to where under the lindens 
Hermann against the carriage was leaning. The horses were 

stamping 
Wildly the turf; he held them in check, and, buried in musing, 
Stood, into vacancy gazing before him; nor saw the two envoys. 
Till, as they came, they called out and made to him signals of 

triumph. 
E'en as far off as they then were, the doctor began to address him; 
But they were presently nearer come and then the good pastor 
Grasped his hand and exclaimed, interrupting the word of his 

comrade: 
"Hail to thee, O young man! thy true eye and heart have well 

chosen; 
Joy be to thee and the wife of thy youth; for of thee she is worthy. 



384 GOETHE 

Come then and turn us the wagon, and drive straightway to the 
village, 

There the good maid to woo, and soon bring her home to thy dwell- 
ing." 

Still, however, the young man stood, without sign of rejoicing 
Hearing his messenger's words, though heavenly they were and 

consoling. 
Deeply he sighed as he said: "With hurrying wheels we came 

hither, 
And shall be forced, perchance, to go mortified homeward and 

slowly. 
For disquiet has fallen upon me since here I've been waiting, 
Doubt and suspicion and all that can torture the heart of a lover. 
Think ye we have but to come, and that then the maiden will follow 
Merely because we are rich, while she is f)oor and an exile .^ 
Poverty, too, makes proud, when it comes unmerited! Active 
Seems she to be, and contented, and so of the world is she mistress. 
Think ye a maiden like her, with the manners and beauty that she 

has, 
Can into woman have grown, and no worthy man's love have at- 
tracted ? 
Think ye that love until now can have been shut out from her 

bosom ? 
Drive not thither too rashly: we might to our mortification 
Have to turn softly homewards our horses' heads. For my fear is 
That to some youth already this heart has been given; already 
This brave hand has been clasped, has pledged faith to some fortu- 
nate lover. 
Then with my offer, alas! I should stand in confusion before her." 

Straightway the pastor had opened his lips to speak consolation, 
When his companion broke in, and said in his voluble fashion: 
"Years ago, forsooth, unknown had been such a dilemma. 
All such affairs were then conducted in regular fashion. 
Soon as a bride for their son had been by the parents selected. 
First some family friend they into their councils would summon. 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 385 

Whom they afterwards sent as a suitor to visit the parents 

Of the elected bride. Arrayed in his finest apparel, 

Soon after dinner on Sunday he sought the respectable burgher, 

When some friendly words were exchanged upon general subjects. 

He knowing how to direct the discourse as suited his purpose. 

After much circumlocution he finally mentioned the daughter. 

Praising her highly, and praising the man and the house that had 

sent him. 
Persons of tact perceived his intent, and the politic envoy 
Readily saw how their minds were disposed, and explained himself 

further. 
Then were the offer declined, e'en the 'no' brought not mortification; 
But did it meet with success, the suitor was ever thereafter 
Made the chief guest in the house on every festive occasion. 
For, through the rest of their lives, the couple ne'er failed to re- 
member 
That 'twas by his experienced hand the first knot had been gathered. 
All that, however, is changed, and, with many another good custom, 
Quite fallen out of the fashion; for every man woos for himself now. 
Therefore let every man hear to his face pronounced the refusal, 
If a refusal there be, and stand shamed in the sight of the maiden!" 

"Let that be as it may!" made answer the youth, who had scarcely 
Unto the words paid heed; but in silence had made his decision. 
"I will go thither myself, will myself hear my destiny spoken 
Out of the lips of a maiden in whom I a confidence cherish 
Greater than heart of man has e'er before cherished in woman. 
Say what she will, 'twill be good and wise; of that I am certain. 
Should I behold her never again, yet this once will I see her; 
Yet this once the clear gaze of those dark eyes will encounter. 
If I must press her ne'er to my heart, yet that neck and that bosom 
Will I behold once more, that my arm so longs to encircle; 
Once more that mouth will see, whose kiss and whose 'yes* would 

for ever 
Render me happy, from which a 'no' will for ever destroy me. 
But ye must leave me alone. Do not wait for me here; but return ye 
Back to my father and mother again, and give them the knowledge 



386 GOETHE 

That their son has not been deceived, that the maiden is worthy. 
So then leave me alone! I shall follow the footpath that crosses 
Over the hill by the pear-tree, and thence descends through our vine- 
yard, 
Taking a shorter way home. And oh, may I bring to our dwelling, 
Joyful and quick my beloved! but perhaps I alone may come creeping 
Over that path to the house, and ne'er again tread it with gladness." 

Thus he spoke, and gave up the reins to the hand of the pastor. 
Who understandingly grasped them, the foaming horses controlling, 
Speedily mounted the carriage, and sat in the seat of the driver. 

But thou didst hesitate, provident neighbor, and say in remon- 
strance: 
"Heart and soul and spirit, my friend, I willingly trust thee; 
But as for life and limb, they are not in the safest of keeping. 
When the temporal reins are usurped by the hand of the clergy." 

But thou didst laugh at his words, intelligent pastor, and answer: 
"Sit thee down, and contentedly trust me both body and spirit; 
For, in holding the reins, my hand grew long ago skilful. 
Long has my eye been trained in making the nicest of turnings; 
For we were practised well in driving the carriage in Strasburg, 
When I the youthful baron accompanied thither; then daily 
Rolled the carriage, guided by me, through the echoing gateway. 
Out over dusty roads till we reached the meadows and lindens, 
Steering through groups of the town's-folk beguiling the day there 
with walking." 

Thereupon, half-reassured, the neighbor ascended the wagon, 
Sat like one who for a prudent leap is holding him ready, 
And the stallions sped rapidly homeward, desiring their stable. 
Clouds of dust whirled up from under their powerful hoof-beats. 
Long the youth stood there yet, and saw the dust in its rising. 
Saw the dust as it settled again: he stood there unheeding. 



ERATO 

DOROTHEA 

I IKE as the traveller, who, when the sun is approaching its setting. 
Fixes his eyes on it once again ere quickly it vanish, 
^ Then on the sides of the rocks, and on all the darkening 
bushes. 
Sees its hovering image; whatever direction he look in 
That hastes before, and flickers and gleams in radiant colors, — 
So before Hermann's eyes moved the beautiful shape of the maiden 
Softly, and seeming to follow the path that led into the cornfield. 
But he aroused from his wildering dream and turned himself slowly 
Towards where the village lay and was wildered again; for again 

came 
Moving to meet him the lofty form of the glorious maiden. 
Fixedly gazed he upon her; herself it was and no phantom. 
Bearing in either hand a larger jar and a smaller. 
Each by the handle, with busy step she came on to the fountain. 
Joyfully then he hastened to meet her; the sight of her gave him 
Courage and strength; and thus the astonished girl he accosted: 
"Do I then find thee, brave-hearted maiden, so soon again busy, 
Rendering aid unto others, and happy in bringing them comfort? 
Say why thou comest alone to this well which Ues at such a distance. 
When all the rest are content with the water they find in the village? 
This has peculiar virtues, 'tis true; and the taste is delicious. 
Thou to that mother wouldst bring it, I trow, whom thy faithful- 
ness rescued." 

Straightway with cordial greeting the kindly maiden made answer: 
"Here has my walk to the spring already been amply rewarded. 
Since I have found the good friend who bestowed so abundantly 

on us; 
For a pleasure not less than the gifts is the sight of the giver. 

387 



388 GOETHE 

Come, I pray thee, and see for thyself who has tasted thy bounty; 

Come, and the quiet thanks receive of all it has solaced. 

But that thou straightway the reason mayst know for which I am 

hither 
Come to draw, where pure and unfailing the water is flowing. 
This I must tell thee, — that all the water we have in the village 
Has by improvident people been troubled with horses and oxen 
Wading direct through the source which brings the inhabitants 

water. 
And furthermore they have also made foul with their washings and 

rinsings 
All the troughs of the village, and all the fountains have sullied; 
For but one thought is in all, and that how to satisfy quickest 
Self and the need of the moment, regardless of what may come 

after." 

Thus she spoke, and the broad stone steps meanwhile had de- 
scended 
With her companion beside her, and on the low wall of the fountain 
Both sat them down. She bent herself over to draw, and he also 
Took in his hand the jar that remained, and bent himself over; 
And in the blue of the heavens, they, seeing their image reflected. 
Friendly greetings and nods exchanged in the quivering mirror. 

"Give me to drink," the youth thereupon in his gladness petitioned, 
And she handed the pitcher. Familiarly sat they and rested, 
Both leaning over their jars, till she presently asked her companion: 
"Tell me, why I find thee here, and without thy horses and wagon, 
Far from the place where I met thee at first? how camest thou 
hither?" 

Thoughtful he bent his eyes on the ground, then quietly raised 
them 
Up to her face, and, meeting with frankness the gaze of the maiden, 
Felt himself solaced and stilled. But then impossible was it, 
That he of love should speak; her eye told not of affection, 
Only of clear understanding, requiring intelligent answer. 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 389 

And he composed himself quickly, and cordially said to the maiden : 

"Hearken to me, my child, and let me reply to thy question. 

'Twas for thy sake that hither I came; why seek to conceal it? 

Know I live happy at home with both my affectionate parents, 

Faithfully giving my aid their house and estates in directing, 

Being an only son, and because our affairs are extensive. 

Mine is the charge of the farm; my father bears rule in the house- 
hold; 

While the presiding spirit of all is the diligent mother. 

But thine experience doubtless has taught thee how grievously 
servants. 

Now through deceit, and now through their carelessness, harass the 
mistress, 

Forcing her ever to change and replace one fault with another. 

Long for that reason my mother has wished for a maid in the 
household. 

Who not with hand alone, but with heart, too, will lend her assist- 
ance. 

Taking the daughter's place, whom, alas! she was early deprived of. 

Now when to-day by the wagon I saw thee, so ready and cheerful, 

Witnessed the strength of thine arms, and thy limbs of such healthful 
proportion, 

When thy intelligent speech I heard, I was smitten with wonder. 

Hastening homeward, I there to my parents and neighbors the 
stranger 

Praised as she well deserved. But I now am come hither to tell thee 

What is their wish as mine. — Forgive me my stammering language," 

"Hesitate not," she, answering, said, "to tell me what follows. 
Thou dost not give me offense; I have listened with gratitude to 

thee: 
Speak it out honestly therefore; the sound of it will not alarm me. 
Thou wouldst engage me as servant to wait on thy father and mother, 
And to look after the well-ordered house of which ye are the owners; 
And thou thinkest in me to find them a capable servant, 
One who is skilled in her work, and not of a rude disposition. 
Short thy proposal has been, and short shall be also my answer. 



390 GOETHE 

Yes, I will go with thee home, and the call of fate I will follow. 

Here my duty is done: I have brought the newly made mother 

Back to her kindred again, who are all in her safety rejoicing. 

Most of our people already are gathered; the others will follow. 

Ail think a few days more will certainly see them returning 

Unto their homes; for such is the exile's constant delusion. 

But by no easy hope do 1 suffer myself to be cheated 

During these sorrowful days which promise yet more days of sorrow. 

All the bands of the world have been loosed, and what shall unite 
them, 

Saving alone the need, the need supreme, that is on us? 

If in a good man's house I can earn my living by service. 

Under the eye of an excellent mistress, I gladly will do it; 

Since of doubtful repute, must be always a wandering maiden. 

Yes, I will go with thee, soon as I first shall have carried the pitchers 

Back to my friends, and prayed the good people to give me their 
blessing. 

Come thou must see them thyself, and from their hands must re- 
ceive me." 

Joyfully hearkened the youth to the willing maiden's decision, 
Doubtful whether he ought not at once to make honest confession. 
Yet it appeared to him best to leave her awhile in her error. 
Nor for her love to sue, before leading her home to his dwelling. 
Ah! and the golden ring he perceived on the hand of the maiden. 
Wherefore he let her speak on, and gave diligent ear to her language. 

"Come," she presently said, "Let us back to the village; for maidens 
Always are sure to be blamed if they tarry too long at the foun- 
tain. 
Yet how delightful it is to chat by the murmuring water!" 

Then from their seats they rose, and both of them turned to the 
fountain 
One more look behind, and a tender longing possessed them. 
Both of the water-jars then in silence she took by the handle. 
Carried them up the steps, while behind her followed her lover. 
One of the pitchers he begged her to give him to lighten the burden. 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 39 1 

"Nay, let it be!" she said: "1 carry them better so balanced. 
Nor shall the master, who is to command, be doing me service. 
Look not so gravely up)on me, as thinking my fortune a hard one. 
Early a woman should learn to serve, for that is her caUing; 
Since through service alone she finally comes to the headship. 
Comes to the due command that is hers of right in the household. 
Early the sister must wait on her brother, and wait on her parents; 
Life must be always with her a perpetual coming and going, 
Or be a fetching and carrying, making and doing for others. 
Happy for her be she wonted to think no way is too grievous. 
And if the hours of the night be to her as the hours of the daytime; 
If she find never a needle too fine, nor a labor too trifling; 
Wholly forgetful of self, and caring to live but in others! 
For she will surely, as mother, have need of every virtue. 
When, in the time of her illness, the cries of her infant arouse her 
Calling for food from her weakness, and cares are to suffering added. 
Twenty men bound into one were not able to bear such a burden; 
Nor is it meant that they should, yet should they with gratitude 
view it." 

Thus she spoke, and was come, meanwhile, with her silent com- 
panion. 
Far as the floor of the barn, at the furthermost end of the garden, 
Where was the sick woman lying, whom, glad, she had left with her 

daughters. 
Those late rescued maidens: fair pictures of innocence were they. 
Both of them entered the barn; and, e'en as they did so, the justice, 
Leading a child in each hand, came in from the other direction. 
These had been lost, hitherto, from the sight of their sorrowing 

mother; 
But in the midst of the crowd the old man now had descried them. 
Joyfully sprang they forward to meet their dear mother's embraces. 
And to salute with delight their brother, their unknown companion. 
Next upon Dorothea they sprang with affectionate greeting, 
Asking for bread and fruit, but more than all else for some water. 
So then she handed the water about; and not only the children 
Drank, but the sick woman too, and her daughters, and with them 
the justice. 



392 GOETHE 

All were refreshed, and highly commended the glorious water; 
Add it was to the taste, and reviving, and wholesome to drink of. 

Then with a serious face the maiden replied to them, saying: 
"Friends, for the last time now to your mouth have I hfted my 

pitcher; 
And for the last time by me have your lips been moistened with 

water. 
But henceforth in the heat of the day when the draught shall refresh 

you, 
When in the shade ye enjoy your rest beside a clear fountain. 
Think of me then sometimes and of all my affeaionate service, 
Prompted more by my love than the duty 1 owed you as kindred. 
I shall acknowledge as long as I live the kindness ye've shown me. 
'Tis with regret that 1 leave you; but every one now is a burden, 
More than a help to his neighbor, and all must be finally scattered 
Far through a foreign land, if return to our homes be denied us. 
See, here stands the youth to whom we owe thanks for the presents. 
He gave the cloak for the baby, and all these welcome provisions. 
Now he is come, and has asked me if I will make one in his dwelling. 
That I may serve therein his wealthy and excellent parents. 
And I refuse not the offer; for maidens must ahvays be serving; 
Burdensome were it for them to rest and be served in the household. 
Therefore I follow him gladly. A youth of intelligence seems he, 
And so will also the parents be, as becometh the wealthy. 
So then farewell, dear friend; and mayst thou rejoice in thy nursling. 
Living, and into thy face already so healthfully lookingl 
When thou shalt press him against thy breast in these gay-colored 

wrappings. 
Oh, then remember the kindly youth who bestowed them upon us, 
And who me also henceforth, thy sister, will shelter and nourish. 
Thou, too, excellent man!" she said as she turned to the justice; 
"Take my thanks that in many a need I have found thee a father." 

Then she knelt down on the floor by the side of the newly made 
mother. 
Kissing the weeping woman, and taking her low-whispered blessing. 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 393 

Thou, meanwhile, worshipful justice, wast speaking to Hermann 
and saying: 
"Justly mayst thou, my friend, be counted among the good masters, 
Careful to manage their household affairs with capable servants. 
For I have often observed how in sheep, as in horses and oxen, 
Men conclude never a bargain without making closest inspection, 
While with a servant who all things preserves, if honest and able, 
And who will every thing lose and destroy, if he set to work falsely, 
Him will a chance or an accident make us admit to our dweUing, 
And we are left, when too late, to repent an o'er hasty decision. 
Thou understandest the matter it seems; because thou hast chosen. 
Thee and thy parents to serve in the house, a maid who is honest. 
Hold her with care; for as long as thy household is under her keep- 
ing, 
Thou shalt not want for a sister, nor yet for a daughter thy parents." 

Many were come, meanwhile, near relatives all of the mother. 
Bringing her various gifts, and more suitable quarters announcing. 
All of them, hearing the maiden's decision, gave Hermann their 

blessing. 
Coupled with glances of meaning, while each made his special re- 
flections. 
Hastily one and another would say in the ear of his neighbor: 
"If in the master a lover she find, right well were she cared for." 
Hermann took her at last by the hand, and said as he did so: 
"Let us be going; the day is declining, and distant the city." 
Eager and voluble then the women embraced Dorothea. 
Hermann drew her away; but other adieus must be spoken: 
Lastly the children with cries fell upon her and terrible weeping, 
Clung to her garments, and would not their dear second mother 

should leave them. 
But in a tone of command the women said, one and another: 
"Hush now, children, she's going to the town, and will presently 

bring you 
Plenty of nice sweet cake that was by your brother bespoken 
When by the stork just now he was brought past the shop of the 
baker. 



394 GOETHE 

Soon you will see her come back with sugar-plums splendidly 

gilded." 
Then did the litde ones loose their hold, and Hermann, though 

hardly. 
Tore her from further embraces away, and far-waving kerchiefs. 



MELPOMENE 

HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 

TOWARDS the setting sun the two thus went on their 
journey : 
Close he had wrapped himself round with clouds portend- 
ing a tempest. 
Out from the veil, now here and now there, with fiery flashes. 
Gleaming over the field shot forth the ominous lightning. 
"May not these threatening heavens," said Hermann, "be presently 

sending 
Hailstones upon us and violent rains; for fair is the harvest." 
And in the waving luxuriant grain they delighted together: 
Almost as high it reached as the lofty shapes that moved through it. 

Thereupon spoke the maiden, and said to her guide and com- 
panion: 
"Friend, unto whom I soon am to owe so kindly a fortune, 
Shelter and home, while many an exile's exposed to the tempest, 
Tell me concerning thy parents, I pray thee, and teach me to know 

them. 
Them whom with all my heart I desire to serve in the future. 
Who understands his master, more easily gives satisfaction. 
Having regard to the things which to him seem chief in importance. 
And on the doing of which his firm-set mind is determined. 
Tell me therefore, I pray, how to win thy father and mother." 

And to her question made answer the good and intelligent Her- 
mann: 
"Ah, what wisdom thou showest, thou good, thou excellent maiden. 
Asking thus first of all concerning the tastes of my parents! 
Know that in vain hitherto I have labored in serving my father, 

395 



396 GOETHE 

Taking upon me as were it my own, the charge of the household; 
Early and late at work in the fields, and o'erseeing the vineyard. 
But my mother 1 fully content, who can vjilue my service; 
And thou wilt also appear in her eyes the worthiest of maidens, 
If for the house thou carest, as were it thine own thou wast keeping. 
Otherwise is it with father, who cares for the outward appearance. 
Do not regard me, good maiden, as one who is cold and unfeeling, 
That unto thee a stranger I straightway discover my father. 
Nay, I assure thee that never before have words such as these are 
Freely dropped from my tongue, which is not accustomed to prattle; 
But from out of my bosom thou lurest its every secret. 
Some of the graces of life my good father covets about him, 
Outward signs of affection he wishes, as well as of honor; 
And an inferior servant might possibly give satisfaction, 
Who could turn these to account, while he might be displeased with 
a better." 

Thereupon said she with joy, the while her hastening footsteps 
Over the darkening pathway with easy motion she quickened: 
"Truly I hope to them both I shall equally give satisfaction: 
For in thy mother's nature I find such an one as mine own is. 
And to the outward graces I've been from my childhood accustomed. 
Greatly was courtesy valued among our neighbors the Frenchmen, 
During their earlier days; it was common to noble and burgher, 
As to the peasant, and every one made it the rule of his household. 
So, on the side of us Germans, the children were likewise accustomed 
Daily to bring to their parents, with kissing of hands and with 

curtseys, 
Morning good-wishes, and all through the day to be prettily man- 
nered. 
Every thing thus that I learned, and to which I've been used from 

my childhood, 
All that my heart shall suggest, shall be brought into play for thy 

father. 
But who shall tell me of thee, and how thyself shouldst be treated. 
Thou the only son of the house, and henceforth my master.'" 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 397 

Thus she said, and e'en as she spoke they stood under the pear-tree. 
Down from the heavens the moon at her full was shedding her 

splendor. 
Night had come on, and wholly obscured was the last gleam of 

sunlight. 
So that contrasting masses lay side by side with each other, 
Clear and bright as the day, and black with the shadows of mid- 
night; 
Gratefully fell upon Hermann's ear the kindly asked question 
Under the shade of the glorious tree, the spot he so treasured. 
Which but this morning had witnessed the tears he had shed for 

the exile. 
And while they sat themselves down to rest them here for a little, 
Thus spoke the amorous youth, as he grasped the hand of the 

maiden : 
"Suffer thy heart to make answer, and follow it freely in all things." 
Yet naught further he ventured to say although so propitious 
Seemed the hour: he feared he should only haste on a refusal. 
Ah, and he felt besides the ring on her finger, sad token! 
Therefore they sat there, silent and still, beside one another. 

First was the maiden to speak : "How sweet is this glorious moon- 
light!" 
Said she at length: "It is as the light of the day in its brightness. 
There in the city I plainly can see the houses and courtyards, 
And in the gable — methinks I can number its panes — is a window." 

"What thou seest," the modest youth thereupon made her 
answer, — 

"What thou seest is our dwelling, to which I am leading thee down- 
ward, 

And that window yonder belongs to my room in the attic, 

Which will be thine prerhaps, for various changes are making. 

All these fields, too, are ours; they are ripe for the harvest to-morrow. 

Here in the shade we will rest, and partake of our noontide refresh- 
ment. 



398 GOETHE 

But it is time we began our descent through the vineyard and 
garden; 

For dost thou mark how yon threatening storm<loud comes nearer 
and nearer, 

Charged with lightning, and ready our fair full moon to ex- 
tinguish?" 

So they arose from their seats, and over the cornfields descended, 
Through the luxuriant grain, enjoying the brightness of evening, 
Until they came to the vineyard, and so entered into its shadow. 

Then he guided her down o'er the numerous blocks that were 

lying, 
Rough and unhewn on the pathway, and served as the steps of the 

alley. 
Slowly the maiden descended, and leaning her hands on his shoulder, 
While with uncertain beams, the moon through the leaves over- 
looked them, 
Ere she was veiled by the cloud, and so left the couple in darkness. 
Carefully Hermann's strength supported the maid that hung o'er 

him; 
But, not knowing the path and the rough-hewn steps that led 

down it. 
Missed she her footing, her ankle turned, and she surely had fallen. 
Had not the dexterous youth his arm outstretched in an instant, 
And his beloved upheld. She gently sank on his shoulder; 
Breast was pressed against breast, and cheek against cheek. Thus 

he stood there 
Fixed as a marble statue, the force of will keeping him steadfast. 
Drew her not to him more closely, but braced himself under her 

pressure. 
Thus he the glorious burden felt, the warmth of her bosom. 
And the perfume of her breath, that over his lips was exhaling; 
Bore with the heart of a man the majestic form of the woman. 

But she with playfulness said, concealing the pain that she suffered: 
"That is a sign of misfortune, so timorous persons would tell us, 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 399 

When on approaching a house we stumble not far from the thresh- 
old; 

And for myself, I confess, I could wish for a happier omen. 

Let us here linger awhile that thy parents may not have to blame 
thee, 

Seeing a Umpmg maid, and thou seem an incompetent landlord." 



URANIA 

PROSPECT 

MUSES, O ye who the course of true love so willingly favor, 
Ye who thus far on his way the excellent youth have 
conducted, 
Even before the betrothal have pressed to his bosom the maiden; 
Further your aid vouchsafe this charming pair in uniting. 
Straightway dispersing the clouds which over their happiness lower! 
Yet first of all declare what is passing meanwhile at the Lion. 

Now for the third time again the mother impatient had entered 
Where were assembled the men, whom anxious but now she had 

quitted; 
Spwke of the gathering storm, and the moonlight's rapid obscuring; 
Then of her son's late tarrying abroad and the dangers of nightfall; 
Sharply upbraided her friends that without having speech of the 

maiden, 
And without urging his suit, they had parted from Hermann so 

early. 

"Make it not worse than it is," the father replied with displeasure. 
"For, as thou seest, we tarry ourselves and are waiting the issue." 

Calmly, however, from where he was sitting the neighbor made 
answer: 
"Never in hours of disquiet like this do I fail to be grateful 
Unto my late, blessed father, who every root of impatience 
Tore from my heart when a child, and left no fibre remaining; 
So that I learned on the instant to wait as do none of your sages." 

"Tell us," the pastor returned, "what legerdemain he made use of." 
"That will I gladly relate, for all may draw from it a lesson;" 

400 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 4OI 

So made the neighbor reply. "When a boy I once stood of a Sunday 
Full of impatience, and looking with eagerness out for the carriage 
Which was to carry us forth to the spring that lies under the lindens. 
Still the coach came not. I ran, like a weasel, now hither, now 

thither, 
Up stairs and down, and forward and back, 'twixt the door and the 

window; 
Even my fingers itched to be moving; I scratched on the tables. 
Went about pounding and stamping, and hardly could keep me from 

weeping. 
All was observed by the calm-tempered man; but at last when my 

folly 
Came to be carried too far, by the arm he quietly took me. 
Led me away to the window, and spoke in this serious language: 
'Seest thou yonder the carpenter's shop that is closed for the Sunday? 
He will re-open to-morrow, when plane and saw will be started. 
And will keep on through the hours of labor from morning till 

evening. 
But consider you this, — a day will be presently coming 
When that man shall himself be astir and all of his workmen. 
Making a coffin for thee to be quickly and skilfully finished. 
Then that house of boards they will busily bring over hither. 
Which must at last receive alike the impatient and patient, 
And which is destined soon with close-pressing roof to be covered.' 
Straightway I saw the whole thing in my mind as if it were doing; 
Saw the boards fitting together, and saw the black color preparing, 
Sat me down patiently then, and in quiet awaited the carriage. 
Now when others I see, in seasons of anxious expectance. 
Running distracted about, I cannot but think of the coffin." 

Smiling, the pastor replied: "The affecting picture of death stands 
Not as a dread to the wise, and not as an end to the pious. 
Those it presses again into life, and teaches to use it; 
These by affliction it strengthens in hope to future salvation. 
Death becomes life unto both. Thy father was greatly mistaken 
When to a sensitive boy he death in death thus depicted. 
Let us the value of nobly ripe age, point out to the young man, 



402 GOETHE 

And to the aged the youth, that in the eternal progression 
Both may rejoice, and Ufe may in Ufe thus find its completion." 

But the door was now opened, and showed the majestical couple. 
Filled with amaze were the friends, and amazed the affectionate 

parents. 
Seeing the form of the maid so well matched with that of her lover. 
Yea, the door seemed too low to allow the tall figures to enter. 
As they together now appeared coming over the threshold. 

Hermann, with hurried words, presented her thus to his parents: 
"Here is a maiden," he said; "such a one as ye wish in the household. 
Kindly receive her, dear father : she merits it well ; and thou, mother. 
Question her straightway on all that belongs to a housekeeper's duty. 
That ye may see how well she deserves to ye both to be nearer." 

Quickly he then drew aside the excellent clergyman, saying: 
"Help me, O worthy sir, and speedily out of this trouble; 
Loosen, I pray thee, this knot, at whose untying I tremble. 
Know that 'tis not as a lover that 1 have brought hither the maiden; 
But she believes that as servant she comes to the house, and I tremble 
Lest in displeasure she fly as soon as there's mention of marriage. 
But be it straightway decided; for she no longer in error 
Thus shall be left, and I this suspense no longer can suffer. 
Hasten and show us in this a proof of the wisdom we honor." 

Towards the company then the clergyman instantly turned him; 
But already, alas! had the soul of the maiden been troubled, 
Hearing the father's speech; for he, in his sociable fashion. 
Had in these playful words, with the kindest intention addressed 

her: 
"Ay, this is well, my child! with delight I perceive that my Hermann 
Has the good taste of his father, who often showed his in his young 

days, 
Leading out always the fairest to dance, and brincing the fairest 
Finally home as his wife; our dear little mother here that was. 
For by the bride that a man shall elect we can judge what himself is, 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 403 

Tell what the spirit is in him, and whether he feel his own value. 
Nor didst thou need for thyself, I'll engage, much time for decision; 
For, in good sooth, methinks, he's no difficult person to follow." 

Hermann had heard but in part; his limbs were inwardly trem- 
bling. 
And of a sudden a stillness had fallen on all of the circle. 

But by these words of derision, for such she could not but deem 
them, 
Wounded, and stung to the depths of her soul, the excellent maiden. 
Stood, while the fugitive blood o'er her cheeks and e'en to her bosom 
Poured its flush. But she governed herself, and her courage col- 
lecting, 
Answered the old man thus, her pain not wholly conceaUng: 
"Truly for such a reception thy son had in no wise prepared me. 
When he the ways of his father described, the excellent burgher. 
Thou art a man of culture, I know, before whom I am standing; 
Dealest with every one wisely, according as suits his position; 
But thou hast scanty compassion, it seems, on one such as I am, 
Who, a poor girl, am now crossing thy threshold with purpose to 

serve thee; 
Else, with such bitter derision, thou wouldst not have made me re- 
member 
How far removed my fortune from that of thyself and thy son is. 
True, I come poor to thy house, and bring with me naught but my 

bundle 
Here where is every abundance to gladden the prosperous inmates. 
Yet I know well myself; I feel the relations between us. 
Say, is it noble, with so much of mockery straightway to greet me. 
That I am sent from the house while my foot is scarce yet on the 
threshold?" 

Anxiously Hermann turned and signed to his ally the pastor 
That he should rush to the rescue and straightway dispel the delusion. 
Then stepped the wise man hastily forward and looked on the 
maiden's 



404 GOETHE 

Tearful eyes, her silent pain and repressed indignation, 
And in his heart was impelled not at once to clear up the confusion. 
Rather to put to the test the girl's disquieted spirit. 
Therefore he unto her said in language intended to try her: 
"Surely, thou foreign-born maiden, thou didst not maturely consider. 
When thou too rashly decidedst to enter the service of strangers, 
All that is meant by the placing thyself 'neath the rule of a master; 
For by our hand to a bargain the fate of the year is determined. 
And but a single 'yea' compels to much patient endurance. 
Not the worst part of the service the wearisome steps to be taken. 
Neither the bitter sweat of a labor that presses unceasing; 
Since the industrious freeman must toil as well as the servant. 
But 'tis to bear with the master's caprice when he censures unjusdy. 
Or when, at variance with self, he orders now this, now the other; 
Bear with the petulance, too, of the mistress, easily angered. 
And with the rude, overbearing ways of unmannerly children. 
All this is hard to endure, and yet to go on with thy duties 
Quickly, without delay, nor thyself grow sullen and stubborn. 
Yet thou appearest ill-fitted for this, since already so deeply 
Stung by the father's jests: whereas there is nothing more common 
Than for a girl to be teased on account of a youth she may fancy." 

Thus he spoke. The .maiden had felt the full force of his language. 
And she restrained her no more; but with passionate outburst her 

feeUngs 
Made themselves way; a sob broke forth from her now heaving 

bosom. 
And, while the scalding tears poured down, she straightway made 

answer: 
"Ah, that rational man who thinks to advise us in sorrow. 
Knows not how little of power his cold words have in relieving 
Ever a heart from that woe which a sovereign fate has inflicted. 
Ye are prosperous and glad; how then should a pleasantry wound 

you? 
Yet but the lightest touch is a source of pain to the sick man. 
Nay, concealment itself, if successful, had profited nothing. 
Better show now what had later increased to a bitterer anguish. 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 405 

And to an inward consuming despair naight perhaps have reduced 

me. 
Let me go back! for here in this house 1 can tarry no longer. 
I will away, and wander in search of my hapless companions, 
Whom 1 forsook in their need; for myself alone choosing the better. 
This is my firm resolve, and 1 therefore may make a confession 
Which might for years perhaps have else lain hid in my bosom. 
Deeply indeed was I hurt by the father's words of derision; 
Not that I'm sensitive, proud beyond what is fitting a servant; 
But that my heart in truth had felt itself stirred with affection 
Towards the youth who to-day had appeared to my eyes as a savior. 
When he first left me there on the road, he still remained present, 
Haundng my every thought; I fancied the fortunate maiden 
Whom as a bride, perhaps, his heart had already elected. 
When at the fountain I met him again, the sight of him wakened 
Pleasure as great as if there had met me an angel from heaven; 
And wdth what gladness I followed, when asked to come as his 

servant. 
True, that I flattered myself in my heart, — I will not deny it, — 
While we were hitherward coming, I might peradventure deserve 

him, 
Should 1 become at last the important stay of the household. 
Now I, alas! for the first time see what risk I was running. 
When I would make my home so near to the secretly loved one; 
Now for the first time feel how far removed a poor maiden 
Is from an opulent youth, no matter how great her deserving. 
All this I now confess, that my heart ye may not misinterpret, 
In that 'twas hurt by a chance to which I owe my awaking. 
Hiding my secret desires, this dread had been ever before me, 
That at some early day he would bring him a bride to his dwelling; 
And ah, how could I then my inward anguish have suffered! 
Happily I have been warned, and happily now has my bosom 
Been of its secret relieved, while yet there is cure for the evil. 
But no more; I have spoken; and now shall nothing detain me 
Longer here in a house where I stay but in shame and confusion, 
Freely confessing my love and that foolish hope that I cherished. 
Not the night which abroad is covered with lowering storm clouds; 



406 GOETHE 

Not the roll of the thunder — I hear its peal — shall deter me; 
Not the pelt of the rain which without is beating in fury; 
Neither the blustering tempest; for all these things have I suffered 
During our sorrowful flight, and while the near foe was pursuing. 
Now I again go forth, as I have so long been accustomed, 
Carried away by the whirl of the times, and from every thing parted. 
Fare ye welll I tarry no longer; all now is over." 

Thus she spoke and back to the door she hastily turned her, 
Still bearing under her arm, as she with her had brought it, her 

bundle. 
But with both of her arms the mother seized hold of the maiden, 
Clasping her round the waist, and exclaiming, amazed and be- 

wnildered : 
"Tell me, what means all this? and these idle tears, say, what meaa 

they? 
I will not let thee depart: thou art the betrothed of my Hermann." 

But still the father stood, observing the scene with displeasure. 
Looked on the weeping girl, and said in a tone of vexation: 
"This then must be the return that I get for all my indulgence. 
That at the close of the day this most irksome of all things should 

happen! 
For there is naught I can tolerate less than womanish weeping. 
Violent outcries, which only involve in disorder and passion, 
What wdth a little of sense had been more smoothly adjusted. 
Settle the thing for yourselves: I'm going to bed; I've no patience 
Longer to be a spectator of these your marvellous doings." 
Quickly he turned as he spoke, and hastened to go to the chamber 
Where he was wonted to rest, and his marriage bed was kept stand- 
ing, 
But he was held by his son, who said in a tone of entreaty: 
"Father, hasten not from us, and be thou not wroth with the 

maiden. 
I, only I, am to blame as the cause of all this confusion. 
Which by his dissimulation our friend unexpectedly heightened. 
Speak, O worthy sir; for to thee my cause I intrusted. 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 407 

Heap not up sorrow and anger, but rather let all this be ended; 

For I could hold thee never again in such high estimation, 

If thou shouldst show but delight in pain, not superior wisdom." 

Thereupon answered and said the excellent clergyman, smiling: 

"Tell me, what other device could have drawn this charming con- 
fession 

Out of the good maiden's lips, and thus have revealed her affection ? 

Has not thy trouble been straightway transformed into gladness and 
rapture ? 

Therefore speak up for thyself; what need of the tongue of another?" 

Thereupon Hermann came forward, and spoke in these words of 
affection : 
"Do not repent of thy tears, nor repent of these passing distresses; 
For they complete my joy, and — may I not hope it — thine also ? 
Not to engage the stranger, the excellent maid, as a servant. 
Unto the fountain I came; but to sue for thy love I came thither. 
Only, alas! my timorous look could thy heart's inclination 
Nowise perceive; I read in thine eyes of nothing but kindness, 
As from the fountain's tranquil mirror thou gavest me greeting. 
Might I but bring thee home, the half of my joy was accomplished. 
But thou completest it unto me now; oh, blest be thou for it!" 
Then with a deep emotion the maiden gazed on the stripling; 
Neither forbade she embrace and kiss, the summit of rapture, 
When to a loving pair they come as the longed-for assurance. 
Pledge of a lifetime of bliss, that appears to them now never-ending. 

Unto the others, meanwhile, the pastor had made explanation. 
But with feeling and grace the maid now advanced to the father, 
Bent her before him, and kissing the hand he would fain have with- 

holden, 
Said: "Thou wilt surely be just and forgive one so startled as I was, 
First for my tears of distress, and now for the tears of my gladness. 
That emotion forgive me, and oh! forgive me this also. 
For I can scarce comprehend the happiness newly vouchsafed me. 
Yes, let that first vexation of which I, bewildered, was guilty 



408 GOETHE 

Be too the last. Whatever the maid of affectionate service 
Faithfully promised, shall be to thee now performed by the daugh- 
ter." 

Straightway then, concealing his tears, the father embraced her, 
Cordially, too, the mother came forward and kissed her with fervor, 
Pressing her hands in her own: the weeping W^omen were silent. 

Thereupon quickly he seized, the good and intelligent pastor. 
First the father's hand, and the wedding-ring drew from his finger, — 
Not so easily either: the finger was plump and detained it, — 
Next took the mother's ring also, and with them betrothed he the 

children, 
Saying: "These golden circlets once more their office performing 
Firmly a tie shall unite, which in all things shall equal the old one. 
Deeply is this young man imbued with love of the maiden. 
And, as the maiden confesses, her heart is gone out to him also. 
Here do I therefore betroth you and bless for the years that are 

coming, 
With the consent of the parents, and having this friend as a witness." 

Then the neighbor saluted at once, and expressed his good wishes; 
But when the clergyman now the golden circlet was drawing 
Over the maiden's hand, he observed with amazement the other. 
Which had already by Hermann been anxiously marked at the 

fountain. 
And with a kindly raillery thus thereupon he addressed her: 
"So, then thy second betrothal is this? let us hope the first bride- 
groom 
May not appear at the altar, and so prohibit the marriage." 

But she, answering, said : "Oh, let me to this recollection 
Yet one moment devote; for so much is due the good giver, 
Him who bestowed it at parting, and never came back to his kindred. 
All that should come he foresaw, when in haste the passion for 

freedom, 
When a desire in the newly changed order of things to be working, 



HERMANN AND DOROTHEA 4O9 

Urged him onward to Paris, where chains and death he encountered. 
'Fare thee well,' were his words; '1 go, for all is in motion 
Now for a time on the earth, and every thing seems to be parting. 
E'en in the firmest states fundamental laws are dissolving; 
Property falls away from the hand of the ancient possessor; 
Friend is parted from friend; and so parts lover from lover. 
Here 1 leave thee, and where I shall find thee again, or if ever, 
Who can tell? Perhaps these words are our last ones together. 
Man's but a stranger here on the earth, we are told and with 

reason; 
And we are each of us now become more of strangers than ever. 
Ours no more is the soil, and our treasures are all of them changing: 
Silver and gold are melting away from their time-honored patterns. 
All is in motion as though the already-shaped world into chaos 
Meant to resolve itself backward into night, and to shape itself over. 
Mine thou wilt keep thine heart, and should we be ever united 
Over the ruins of earth, it will be as newly made creatures, 
Beings transformed and free, no longer dependent on fortune; 
For can aught fetter the man who has lived through days such as 

these are! 
But if it is not to be, that, these dangers happily over. 
Ever again we be granted the bliss of mutual embraces, 
Oh, then before thy thoughts so keep my hovering image 
That with unshaken mind thou be ready for good or for evil! 
Should new ties allure thee again, and a new h.ibitation, 
Enter with gratitude into the joys that fate shall prepare thee; 
Love those purely who love thee; be grateful to them who show 

kindness. 
But thine uncertain foot should yet be planted but lightly. 
For there is lurking the twofold pain of a new separation. 
Blessings attend thy life; but value existence no higher 
Than thine other possessions, and all f)ossessions are cheating!' 
Thus spoke the noble youth, and never again I beheld him. 
Meanwhile I lost my all, and a thousand times thought of his 

warning. 
Here, too, I think of his words, when love is sweetly preparing 
Happiness for me anew, and glorious hopes are reviving. 



410 GOETHE 

Oh forgive me, excellent friend, that e'en while I hold thee 
Close to my side I tremble! So unto the late-landed sailor 
Seem the most solid foundations of firmest earth to be rocking." 

Thus she spoke, and placed the two rings on her finger together. 
But her lover replied with a noble and manly emotion: 
"So much the firmer then, amid these universal convulsions. 
Be, Dorothea, our union! We two will hold fast and continue, 
Firmly maintaining ourselves, and the right to our ample possessions. 
For that man, who, when times are uncertain, is faltering in spirit, 
Only increases the evil, and further and further transmits it; 
While he refashions the world, who keeps himself steadfastly 

minded. 
Poorly becomes it the German to give to these fearful excitements 
Aught of continuance, or to be this way and that way inclining. 
This is our own! let that be our word, and let us maintain it! 
For to those resolute peoples respect will be ever accorded. 
Who for God and the laws, for parents, women and children, 
Fought and died, as together they stood with their front to the 

foeman. 
Thou art mine own; and now what is mine, is mine more than 

ever. 
Not with anxiety will I preserve it, and trembling enjoyment; 
Rather with courage and strength. To-day should the enemy 

threaten, 
Or in the future, equip me thyself and hand me my weapons. 
Let me but know that under thy care are my house and dear parents, 
Oh! I can then with assurance expose my breast to the foeman. 
And were but every man minded like me, there would be an up- 

spring 
Might against might, and peace should revisit us all with its glad- 
ness."