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Doctor Faustus
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Act V, Scene i

Thunder and lightning. Enter DEVILS with covered dishes;
MEPHISTOPHILIS leads them into FAUSTUS'S study; then enter
WAGNER.
WAGNER. I think my master<229> means to die shortly; he has made
his will, and given me his wealth, his house, his goods,<230> and
store of golden plate, besides two thousand ducats ready-coined.
I wonder what he means: if death were nigh, he would not frolic
thus. He's now at supper with the scholars, where there's such
belly-cheer as Wagner in his life ne'er<231> saw the like: and,
see where they come! belike the feast is ended.<232>
[Exit.]
Enter FAUSTUS, MEPHISTOPHILIS, and two or three SCHOLARS.
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 so much 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,
It is not Faustus' custom to deny
The just request of those that wish him well:
You shall behold that peerless dame of Greece,
No otherwise for pomp or 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. MEPHISTOPHILIS brings in HELEN; she passeth
over the stage.
SECOND SCHOLAR. Was this fair Helen, whose admired worth
Made Greece with ten years' war<233> afflict poor Troy?
THIRD SCHOLAR. Too simple is my wit<234> to tell her worth,
Whom all the world admires for majesty.
FIRST SCHOLAR. Now we have seen the pride of Nature's work,
We'll take our leaves: and, for this blessed sight,
Happy and blest be Faustus evermore!
FAUSTUS. Gentlemen, farewell: the same wish I to you.
[Exeunt SCHOLARS.]
Enter an OLD MAN.:
OLD MAN. O gentle Faustus, leave this damned art,
This magic, that will charm thy soul to hell,
And quite bereave thee of salvation!
Though thou hast now offended like a man,
Do not persever in it like a devil:
Yet, yet thou hast an amiable soul,
If sin by custom grow not into nature;
Then, Faustus, will repentance come too late;
Then thou art banish'd from the sight of heaven:
No mortal can express the pains of hell.
It may be, this my exhortation
Seems harsh and all unpleasant: let it not;
For, gentle son, I speak it not in wrath,
Or envy of thee,<235> but in tender love,
And pity of thy future misery;
And so have hope that this my kind rebuke,
Checking thy body, may amend thy soul.
FAUSTUS. Where art thou, Faustus? wretch, what hast thou done?
Hell claims his 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. O, stay, good Faustus, stay thy desperate steps!
I see an angel hover 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. O friend, I feel
Thy words to comfort my distressed soul!
Leave me a while to ponder on my sins.
OLD MAN. Faustus, I leave thee; but with grief of heart,
Fearing the enemy of thy hapless soul.
[Exit.]
FAUSTUS. Accursed Faustus, wretch, what hast thou done?
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. I do repent I e'er offended him.
Sweet Mephistophilis, entreat thy lord
To pardon my unjust presumption,
And with my blood again I will confirm
The former vow I made to Lucifer.
MEPHIST.<236> Do it, then, Faustus, with unfeigned heart,
Lest greater dangers do attend thy drift.
FAUSTUS. Torment, sweet friend, that base and aged man,
That durst dissuade me from thy Lucifer,
With greatest torments<237> that our hell affords.
MEPHIST. His faith is great; I cannot touch his soul;
But what I may afflict<238> 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 may have unto my paramour
That heavenly Helen which I saw of late,
Whose sweet embraces may extinguish clean<239>
Those thoughts that do dissuade me from my vow,
And keep my oath<240> I made to Lucifer.
MEPHIST. This, or what else my Faustus shall desire,
Shall be perform'd in twinkling of an eye.
Re-enter HELEN, passing over the stage between two CUPIDS.
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 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.
O, thou art fairer than the evening<241> 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<242> arms;
And none but thou shalt<243> be my paramour!
[Exeunt.]
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