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Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

translated by George Madison Priest
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A DISMAL DAY. A FIELD.

[FAUST, MEPHISTOPHELES.]

Faust. In misery! Despairing! Long pitiably astray upon the earth
and now imprisoned! That lovely, ill-starred creature locked up
in a prison as a criminal, to suffer horrible tortures. To that
has it come! to that! - Treacherous, contemptible spirit, and
that you have concealed from me! - Stay, then, stay! Roll your
devilish eyes ragingly in your head! Stay and defy me with your
intolerable presence! Imprisoned! In irreparable misery!
Delivered up to evil spirits and to condemning, feelingless
mankind! And me, meanwhile, you cradle in insipid diversions,
hide from me her increasing wretchedness, and let her, helpless,
go to ruin!
Mephistopheles. She's not the first one.
Faust. Dog! Detestable monster! Turn him, Thou Spirit Infinite,
turn the worm back into his dog's-form, as at night it often
pleased him to trot along before me, to roll in a heap before
the feet of the innocent wanderer, and as he fell, to spring
upon his shoulders. Turn him back into his favourite form, that
he may crawl on his belly, before me in the sand, that I may
trample him beneath my feet, the outcast! - Not the first one!
-Woe! Woe! that no human soul can grasp it, that more than one
creature has sunk down into the depths of this misery, that the
first one, in writhing, deathly agony, did not atone for the
guilt of all the others in the sight of the Eternal Pardoner!
The misery of this single one pierces the marrow of my life; and
you are calmly grinning at the fate of thousands!
Mephistopheles. Now we are again at our wits' end, there where the
reason of you mortals snaps from over-stretching. Why do you
enter into fellowship with us if you can not carry it through?
Will you fly and are not safe from dizziness? Did we force
ourselves on you, or you on us?
Faust. Bare not so your greedy fangs at me! It fills me with
loathing! Great, glorious Spirit, Thou who didst deign to
appear to me, Thou who knowest my heart and my soul, why fetter
me to the infamous comrade who feeds on mischief and slakes his
thirst in destruction?
Mephistopheles. Have you ended?
Faust. Save her! or woe to you! The most hideous curses be on you
for thousands of years!
Mephistopheles. I can not loose the bonds of the avenger, nor undo
his bolts. Save her! Who was it that plunged her into ruin? I or you?

[Faust looks around wildly.]

Mephistopheles. Will you reach for the thunder? 'Tis well that it
was not given to you miserable mortals! To smash to pieces the
man who blamelessly answers back, that is the tyrant's way of
venting himself when embarrassed.
Faust. Take me to her! She shall be free!
Mephistopheles. And the danger to which you will expose yourself?
Know that the guilt of blood, from your hand, still lies upon
the town. Over the spot where a man was slain, avenging spirits
hover and lie in wait for the returning murderer.
Faust. That too from you? The murder and death of a world be upon
you, monster! Lead me to her, I say, and set her free!
Mephistopheles. I will lead you, and what I can do, hear! Have I
All power in Heaven and on earth? The warder's senses I will
becloud; make yourself master of the keys and lead her forth
with human hand. I'll watch! The magic horses are ready, I will
carry you away. That I can do.
Faust. Up and away!

NIGHT. AN OPEN FIELD.

[FAUST and MEPHISTOPHELES storming along on black horses.]

Faust. What weaving are they round the Ravenstone?
Mephistopheles. I know not what they are brewing and doing.
Faust. Hovering up, hovering down, bending low, bowing down.
Mephistopheles. A witches' guild.
Faust. They strew and dedicate.
Mephistopheles. On! On!

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