Doctor Faustus Contents
Enter EMPEROR, FAUSTUS, and a KNIGHT, with ATTENDANTS.
EMPEROR. Master Doctor Faustus, I have heard strange report
of thy knowledge in the black art, how that none in my empire
nor in the whole world can compare with thee for the rare effects
of magic: they say thou hast a familiar spirit, by whom thou canst
accomplish what 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 shalt be no ways prejudiced or endamaged.
KNIGHT. I'faith, he looks much like a conjurer.
FAUSTUS. My gracious sovereign, though I must confess myself far
inferior to the report men have published, and nothing answerable
to the honour of your imperial majesty, yet, for that love and duty
binds me thereunto, I am content to do whatsoever your majesty
shall command me.
EMPEROR. 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,
Got such riches, subdu'd 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 hear 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.
FAUSTUS. My gracious lord, I am ready to accomplish your request,
so far forth as by art and power of my spirit I am able to perform.
KNIGHT. I'faith, that's just nothing at all.
FAUSTUS. But, if it like your grace, it is not in my ability
to present before your eyes the true substantial bodies of those
two deceased princes, which long since are consumed to dust.
KNIGHT. Ay, marry, Master Doctor, now there's a sign of grace in
you, when you will confess the truth.
FAUSTUS. But such spirits as can lively resemble Alexander and
his paramour shall appear before your grace, in that manner that
they both lived in, in their most flourishing estate; which
I doubt not shall sufficiently content your imperial majesty.
EMPEROR. Go to, Master Doctor; let me see them presently.
KNIGHT. Do you hear, Master Doctor? you bring Alexander and his
paramour before the Emperor!
FAUSTUS. How then, sir?
KNIGHT. I'faith, that's as true as Diana turned me to a stag.
FAUSTUS. No, sir; but, when Actaeon died, he left the horns for
you.—Mephistophilis, be gone.
KNIGHT. Nay, an you go to conjuring, I'll be gone.
FAUSTUS. I'll meet with you anon for interrupting me so.
—Here they are, my gracious lord.
Re-enter MEPHISTOPHILIS with SPIRITS in the shapes of ALEXANDER
and his PARAMOUR.
EMPEROR. Master Doctor, I heard this lady, while she lived, had a
wart or mole in her neck: how shall I know whether it be so or no?
FAUSTUS. Your highness may boldly go and see.
EMPEROR. Sure, these are no spirits, but the true substantial
bodies of those two deceased princes.
FAUSTUS. Wilt please your highness now to send for the knight
that was so pleasant with me here of late?
EMPEROR. One of you call him forth.
Re-enter the KNIGHT with a pair of horns on his head.
How now, sir knight! why, I had thought thou hadst 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 dar'st thou thus abuse a gentleman?
Villain, I say, undo what thou hast done!
FAUSTUS. O, not so fast, sir! there's no haste: but, good, are
you remembered how you crossed me in my conference with the
Emperor? I think I have met with you for it.
EMPEROR. Good Master Doctor, at my entreaty release him: he hath
done penance sufficient.
FAUSTUS. My gracious lord, not so much for the injury he offered
me here in your presence, as to delight you with some mirth, hath
Faustus worthily requited this injurious knight; which being all
I desire, I am content to release him of his horns:—and,
sir knight, hereafter speak well of scholars.—Mephistophilis,
transform him straight. [MEPHISTOPHILIS removes the horns.]
—Now, my good lord, having done my duty, I humbly take my leave.
EMPEROR. Farewell, Master Doctor: yet, ere you go,
Expect from me a bounteous reward.
[Exeunt EMPEROR, KNIGHT, and ATTENDANTS.]
FAUSTUS. Now, Mephistophilis, the restless course
That time doth run with calm and silent foot,
Shortening my days and thread of vital life,
Calls for the payment of my latest years:
Therefore, sweet Mephistophilis, let us
Make haste to Wertenberg.
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