Faust, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A Street

XI

A Street

Faust, Mephistopheles

Faust

How is it? under way? and soon complete?

Mephistopheles

Ah, bravo! Do I find you burning?
Well, Margaret soon will still your yearning:
At Neighbor Martha’s you’ll this evening meet.
A fitter woman ne’er was made
To ply the pimp and gypsy trade!

Faust

Tis well.

Mephistopheles

   Yet something is required from us.

Faust

One service pays the other thus.

Mephistopheles

We’ve but to make a deposition valid
That now her husband’s limbs, outstretched and pallid,
At Padua rest, in consecrated soil.

Faust

Most wise! And first, of course, we’ll make the journey
thither?

Mephistopheles

Sancta simplicitas! no need of such a toil;
Depose, with knowledge or without it, either!

Faust

If you’ve naught better, then, I’ll tear your pretty plan!

Mephistopheles

Now, there you are! O holy man!
Is it the first time in your life you’re driven
To bear false witness in a case?
Of God, the world and all that in it has a place,
Of Man, and all that moves the being of his race,
Have you not terms and definitions given
With brazen forehead, daring breast?
And, if you’ll probe the thing profoundly,
Knew you so much — and you’ll confess it roundly! —
As here of Schwerdtlein’s death and place of rest?

Faust

Thou art, and thou remain’st, a sophist, liar.

Mephistopheles

Yes, knew I not more deeply thy desire.
For wilt thou not, no lover fairer,
Poor Margaret flatter, and ensnare her,
And all thy soul’s devotion swear her?

Faust

And from my heart.

Mephistopheles

      ’Tis very fine!

Thine endless love, thy faith assuring,
The one almighty force enduring —
Will that, too, prompt this heart of thine?

Faust

Hold! hold! It will! — If such my flame,
And for the sense and power intense
I seek, and cannot find, a name;
Then range with all my senses through creation,
Craving the speech of inspiration,
And call this ardor, so supernal,
Endless, eternal and eternal —
Is that a devilish lying game?

Mephistopheles

And yet I’m right!

Faust

         Mark this, I beg of thee!

And spare my lungs henceforth: whoever
Intends to have the right, if but his tongue be clever,
Will have it, certainly.
But come: the further talking brings disgust,
For thou art right, especially since I must.

ornament

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 19:14