Scene twelve

Enter FAUSTUS with two or three SCHOLARS, and MEPHISTOPHILIS.

     FIRST SCHOLAR. Master Doctor Faustus, since our conference about
     fair ladies, which was the beautifulest in all the world, we have
     determined 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
     beholding unto you.

     FAUSTUS. Gentlemen,
     For that I know your friendship is unfeign'd,
     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 passeth over the stage.]

     SECOND SCHOLAR. Too simple is my wit to tell her praise,
     Whom all the world admires for majesty.

     THIRD SCHOLAR. No marvel though the angry Greeks pursu'd
     With ten years' war the rape of such a queen,
     Whose heavenly beauty passeth all compare.

     FIRST SCHOLAR. Since we have seen the pride of Nature's works,
     And only paragon of excellence,
     Let us depart; and for this glorious deed
     Happy and blest be Faustus evermore!

     FAUSTUS. Gentlemen, farewell:  the same I wish to you.
          [Exeunt SCHOLARS.]

          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 mayst 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 sin
     As no commiseration may expel,
     But mercy, Faustus, of thy Saviour sweet,
     Whose blood alone must wash away thy guilt.

     FAUSTUS. 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 thee 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.

     FAUSTUS. Ah, my sweet friend, I feel
     Thy words to 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.

     FAUSTUS. 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?

     MEPHIST. Thou traitor, Faustus, I arrest thy soul
     For disobedience to my sovereign lord:
     Revolt, or I'll in piece-meal tear thy flesh.

     FAUSTUS. Sweet Mephistophilis, entreat thy lord
     To pardon my unjust presumption,
     And with my blood again I will confirm
     My former vow I made to Lucifer.

     MEPHIST. Do it, then, quickly, with unfeigned heart,
     Lest greater danger do attend thy drift.

     FAUSTUS. Torment, sweet friend, that base and crooked age,
     That durst dissuade me from thy Lucifer,
     With greatest torments that our hell affords.

     MEPHIST. His faith is great; I cannot touch his soul;
     But what I may afflict his body with
     I will attempt, which is but little worth.

     FAUSTUS. One thing, good servant, let me crave of thee,
     To glut the longing of my heart's desire,—
     That I might have unto my paramour
     That heavenly Helen which I saw of late,
     Whose sweet embracings may extinguish clean
     Those thoughts that do dissuade me from my vow,
     And keep mine oath I made to Lucifer.

     MEPHIST. Faustus, this, or what else thou shalt desire,
     Shall be perform'd in twinkling of an eye.

          Re-enter HELEN.

     FAUSTUS. Was this the face that launch'd 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!—
     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.
     I will be Paris, and for love of thee,
     Instead of Troy, shall Wertenberg 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.
     O, 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 azur'd arms;
     And none but thou shalt be my paramour!

          Enter the OLD MAN.

     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!

          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 smile
     At your repulse, and laugh your state to scorn!
     Hence, hell! for hence I fly unto my God.
          [Exeunt,—on one side, DEVILS, on the other, OLD MAN.]

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