The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus

By Christopher Marlowe.


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Editor’s Note

The earliest known edition of The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus is that of 1604; there is a second edition with date of 1609, agreeing in almost every particular with the first; a third edition with new scenes and many alterations, was published in 1616. The text here given is that of 1604, with some readings adopted from the edition of 1616, in general agreement with the texts of Dyce and Bullen. It is very doubtful if any of the additions in the edition of 1616 are by Marlowe; Mr. Bullen thinks that some of them are. They are often ingenious, and sometimes they are improvements. They appear to be written by a clever and facile imitator of Marlowe’s style. The comic additions are taken from the prose History of the Damnable Life and Deserved Death of Dr. John Faustus; the serious additions are closely moulded on Marlowe’s early work. We know that in 1602 William Bride and Samuel Rowley received four pounds for making “adicyones” to Faustus. I have retained the excellent plan, introduced by Professor Ward and adopted by Mr. Bullen, of dividing the play into scenes only: it is a dramatic poem rather than a regular drama.

—Havelock Ellis

Dramatis Personae

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus

Chorus Reads.

Not marching now in fields of Thrasymene,
Where Mars did mate1 the Carthaginians;
Nor sporting in the dalliance of love,
In courts of kings where state is overturned;
Nor in the pomp of proud audacious deeds,
Intends our Muse to vaunt her heavenly verse:
Only this, gentlemen⁠—we must perform
The form of Faustus’ fortunes, good or bad:
To patient judgments we appeal our plaud,
And speak for Faustus in his infancy.
Now is he born, his parents base of stock,
In Germany, within a town called Rhodes;2
Of riper years to Wertenberg he went,
Whereas his kinsmen3 chiefly brought him up.
So soon he profits in divinity,
The fruitful plot of scholarism graced,
That shortly he was graced with doctor’s name,
Excelling all whose sweet delight disputes
In heavenly matters of theology;
Till swollen with cunning4 of a self-conceit,
His waxen wings did mount above his reach,
And, melting, heavens conspired his overthrow;
For, falling to a devilish exercise,
And glutted now with learning’s golden gifts,
He surfeits upon cursed necromancy;
Nothing so sweet as magic is to him,
Which he prefers before his chiefest bliss.
And this the man that in his study sits!


Scene I

Faustus discovered5 in his study.

Settle thy studies, Faustus, and begin
To sound the depth of that thou wilt profess;
Having commenced, be a divine in show,
Yet level at the end of every art,
And live and die in Aristotle’s works.
Sweet Analytics, ’tis thou hast ravished me,
Bene disserere est finis logices.
Is to dispute well logic’s chiefest end?
Affords this art no greater miracle?
Then read no more; thou hast attained that end;
A greater subject fitteth Faustus’ wit:
Bid on cai me on6 farewell; Galen come,
Seeing, Ubi desinit Philosophus, ibi incipit Medicus;
Be a physician, Faustus, heap up gold,
And be eternised for some wondrous cure.
Summum bonum medicinae sanitas,
The end of physic is our body’s health.
Why, Faustus, hast thou not attained that end?
Is not thy common talk found Aphorisms?7
Are not thy bills8 hung up as monuments,
Whereby whole cities have escaped the plague,
And thousand desperate maladies been eased?
Yet art thou still but Faustus and a man.
Couldst thou make men to live eternally,
Or, being dead, raise them to life again,
Then this profession were to be esteemed.
Physic, farewell.⁠—Where is Justinian?


Si una eademque res legatur duobus, alter rem, alter valorem rei, etc.

A pretty case of paltry legacies!


Ex hoereditare filium non potest pater nisi, etc.

Such is the subject of the Institute,
And universal Body of the Law.
This study fits a mercenary drudge,
Who aims at nothing but external trash;
Too servile and illiberal for me.
When all is done, divinity is best;
Jerome’s Bible, Faustus, view it well.


Stipendium peccati mors est. Ha! Stipendium, etc.

The reward of sin is death. That’s hard.


Si peccasse negamus fallimur et nulla est in nobis veritas;

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there’s no truth in us. Why then, belike we must sin, and so consequently die.

Ay, we must die an everlasting death.
What doctrine call you this, Che sera, sera,9
What will be shall be? Divinity, adieu!
These metaphysics of magicians
And necromantic books are heavenly:
Lines, circles, scenes, letters, and characters;
Ay, these are those that Faustus most desires.
O, what a world of profit and delight,
Of power, of honour, of omnipotence
Is promised to the studious artisan!
All things that move between the quiet poles
Shall be at my command: emperors and kings
Are but obeyed in their several provinces,
Nor can they raise the wind or rend the clouds;
But his dominion that exceeds in this
Stretcheth as far as doth the mind of man,
A sound magician is a mighty god:
Here, Faustus, tire thy brains to gain a deity.

Enter Wagner.

Commend me to my dearest friends,
The German Valdes and Cornelius;
Request them earnestly to visit me.


I will, sir.


Their conference will be a greater help to me
Than all my labours, plod I ne’er so fast.

Enter Good Angel and Evil Angel.
Good Angel

O, Faustus! lay that damned book aside,
And gaze not on it lest it tempt thy soul,
And heap God’s heavy wrath upon thy head.
Read, read the Scriptures: that is blasphemy.

Evil Angel

Go forward, Faustus, in that famous art,
Wherein all Nature’s treasure is contained:
Be thou on earth as Jove is in the sky,
Lord and commander of these elements.

Exeunt Angels.

How am I glutted with conceit of this!
Shall I make spirits fetch me what I please,
Resolve me of all ambiguities,
Perform what desperate enterprise I will?
I’ll have them fly to India for gold,
Ransack the ocean for orient pearl,
And search all corners of the newfound world
For pleasant fruits and princely delicates;
I’ll have them read me strange philosophy,
And tell the secrets of all foreign kings;
I’ll have them wall all Germany with brass,
And make swift Rhine circle fair Wertenberg;
I’ll have them fill the public schools with silk,
Wherewith the students shall be bravely clad;
I’ll levy soldiers with the coin they bring,
And chase the Prince of Parma from our land,
And reign sole king of all the provinces;
Yea, stranger engines for the brunt of war
Than was the fiery keel at Antwerp’s bridge,10
I’ll make my servile spirits to invent.

Enter Valdes and Cornelius.11

Come, German Valdes, and Cornelius,
And make me blest with your sage conference.
Valdes, sweet Valdes, and Cornelius,
Know that your words have won me at the last
To practice magic and concealed arts:
Yet not your words only, but mine own fantasy,
That will receive no object; for my head
But ruminates on necromantic skill.
Philosophy is odious and obscure,
Both law and physic are for petty wits;
Divinity is basest of the three,
Unpleasant, harsh, contemptible, and vile:
’Tis magic, magic, that hath ravished me.
Then, gentle friends, aid me in this attempt;
And I, that have with concise syllogisms
Gravelled the pastors of the German church,
And made the flowering pride of Wertenberg
Swarm to my problems, as the infernal spirits
On sweet Musaeus12 when he came to hell,
Will be as cunning as Agrippa13 was,
Whose shadow made all Europe honour him.


Faustus, these books, thy wit, and our experience
Shall make all nations to canonise us.
As Indian Moors obey their Spanish lords,
So shall the spirits of every element
Be always serviceable to us three;
Like lions shall they guard us when we please;
Like Almain rutters14 with their horsemen’s staves
Or Lapland giants,15 trotting by our sides;
Sometimes like women, or unwedded maids,
Shadowing more beauty in their airy brows
Than have the white breasts of the queen of love:
From Venice shall they drag huge argosies,
And from America the golden fleece
That yearly stuffs old Philip’s treasury;
If learned Faustus will be resolute.


Valdes, as resolute am I in this
As thou to live; therefore object it not.


The miracles that magic will perform
Will make thee vow to study nothing else.
He that is grounded in astrology,
Enriched with tongues, well seen in minerals,
Hath all the principles magic doth require.
Then doubt not, Faustus, but to be renowned,
And more frequented for this mystery
Than heretofore the Delphian Oracle.
The spirits tell me they can dry the sea,
And fetch the treasure of all foreign wrecks,
Ay, all the wealth that our forefathers hid
Within the massy entrails of the earth;
Then tell me, Faustus, what shall we three want?


Nothing, Cornelius! O this cheers my soul!
Come, show me some demonstrations magical,
That I may conjure in some lusty grove,
And have these joys in full possession.


Then haste thee to some solitary grove,
And bear wise Bacon’s and Albertus’16 works,
The Hebrew Psalter, and New Testament;
And whatsoever else is requisite
We will inform thee ere our conference cease.


Valdes, first let him know the words of art;
And then, all other ceremonies learned,
Faustus may try his cunning by himself.


First I’ll instruct thee in the rudiments,
And then wilt thou be perfecter than I.


Then come and dine with me, and after meat,
We’ll canvass every quiddity thereof;
For ere I sleep, I’ll try what I can do:
This night I’ll conjure, though I die therefore.


Scene II

Enter two Scholars.17
First Scholar I wonder what’s become of Faustus, that was wont to make our schools ring with sic probo?
Second Scholar That shall we know, for see here comes his boy.
Enter Wagner.
First Scholar How now, sirrah! Where’s thy master?
Wagner God in Heaven knows!
Second Scholar Why, dost not thou know?
Wagner Yes, I know. But that follows not.
First Scholar Go to, sirrah! leave your jesting, and tell us where he is.
Wagner That follows not necessary by force of argument, that you, being licentiates, should stand upon: therefore acknowledge your error and be attentive.
Second Scholar Why, didst thou not say thou knewest?
Wagner Have you any witness on’t?
First Scholar Yes, sirrah, I heard you.
Wagner Ask my fellow if I be a thief.
Second Scholar Well, you will not tell us?
Wagner Yes, sir, I will tell you: yet if you were not dunces, you would never ask me such a question; for is not he corpus naturale? and is not that mobile? then wherefore should you ask me such a question? But that I am by nature phlegmatic, slow to wrath, and prone to lechery (to love, I would say), it were not for you to come within forty foot of the place of execution, although I do not doubt to see you both hanged the next sessions. Thus having triumphed over you, I will set my countenance like a precisian, and begin to speak thus:⁠—Truly, my dear brethren, my master is within at dinner, with Valdes and Cornelius, as this wine, if it could speak, would inform your worships; and so, the Lord bless you, preserve you, and keep you, my dear brethren, my dear brethren.
First Scholar Nay, then, I fear he is fallen into that damned Art for which they two are infamous through the world.
Second Scholar Were he a stranger, and not allied to me, yet should I grieve for him. But, come, let us go and inform the Rector, and see if he by his grave counsel can reclaim him.
First Scholar O, but I fear me nothing can reclaim him.
Second Scholar Yet let us try what we can do.

Scene III

Enter Faustus to conjure.18

Now that the gloomy shadow of the earth
Longing to view Orion’s drizzling look,
Leaps from th’ antartic world unto the sky,
And dims the welkin with her pitchy breath,19
Faustus, begin thine incantations,
And try if devils will obey thy hest,
Seeing thou hast prayed and sacrificed to them.
Within this circle is Jehovah’s name,
Forward and backward anagrammatized,
The breviated names of holy saints,
Figures of every adjunct to the Heavens,
And characters of signs and erring20 stars,
By which the spirits are enforced to rise:
Then fear not, Faustus, but be resolute,
And try the uttermost magic can perform.

Sint mihi Dei Acherontis propitii! Valeat numen triplex Jehovoe! Ignei, aerii, aquatani spiritus, salvete! Orientis princeps Belzebub, inferni ardentis monarcha, et Demogorgon, propitiamus vos, ut appareat et surgat Mephistopheles. Quid tu moraris?21 per Jehovam, Gehennam, et consecratam aquam quam nunc spargo, signumque crucis quod nunc facio, et per vota nostra, ipse nunc surgat nobis dicatus Mephistopheles!

Enter Mephistopheles.

I charge thee to return, and change thy shape;
Thou art too ugly to attend on me.
Go, and return an old Franciscan friar;
That holy shape becomes a devil best.

Exit Mephistopheles.

I see there’s virtue in my heavenly words;
Who would not be proficient in this art?
How pliant is this Mephistopheles,
Full of obedience and humility!
Such is the force of magic and my spells:
Now Faustus, thou art conjuror laureat,
That canst command great Mephistopheles:
Quin regis Mephistopheles fratris imagine.

Re-enter Mephistopheles like a Franciscan Friar.22

Now, Faustus, what wouldst thou have me do?


I charge thee wait upon me whilst I live,
To do whatever Faustus shall command,
Be it to make the moon drop from her sphere,
Or the ocean to overwhelm the world.


I am a servant to great Lucifer,
And may not follow thee without his leave
No more than he commands must we perform.


Did not he charge thee to appear to me?


No, I came hither of mine own accord.


Did not my conjuring speeches raise thee?


That was the cause, but yet per accidens;
For when we hear one rack the name of God,
Abjure the Scriptures and his Saviour Christ,
We fly, in hope to get his glorious soul;
Nor will we come, unless he use such means
Whereby he is in danger to be damned:
Therefore the shortest cut for conjuring
Is stoutly to abjure the Trinity,
And pray devoutly to the Prince of Hell.


So Faustus hath
Already done; and holds this principle,
There is no chief but only Belzebub,
To whom Faustus doth dedicate himself.
This word “damnation” terrifies not him,
For he confounds hell in Elysium;
His ghost be with the old philosophers!
But, leaving these vain trifles of men’s souls,
Tell me what is that Lucifer thy lord?


Arch-regent and commander of all spirits.


Was not that Lucifer an angel once?


Yes, Faustus, and most dearly loved of God.


How comes it, then, that he is Prince of devils?


O, by aspiring pride and insolence;
For which God threw him from the face of Heaven.


And what are you that live with Lucifer?


Unhappy spirits that fell with Lucifer,
Conspired against our God with Lucifer,
And are forever damned with Lucifer.


Where are you damned?


In hell.


How comes it then that thou art out of hell?


Why this is hell, nor am I out of it:
Think’st thou that I who saw the face of God,
And tasted the eternal joys of Heaven,
Am not tormented with ten thousand hells,
In being deprived of everlasting bliss?
O Faustus! leave these frivolous demands,
Which strike a terror to my fainting soul.


What, is great Mephistopheles so passionate
For being deprived of the joys of Heaven?
Learn thou of Faustus manly fortitude,
And scorn those joys thou never shalt possess.
Go bear these tidings to great Lucifer:
Seeing Faustus hath incurred eternal death
By desperate thoughts against Jove’s deity,
Say, he surrenders up to him his soul,
So he will spare him four and twenty years,
Letting him live in all voluptuousness;
Having thee ever to attend on me;
To give me whatsoever I shall ask,
To tell me whatsoever I demand,
To slay mine enemies, and aid my friends,
And always be obedient to my will.
Go and return to mighty Lucifer,
And meet me in my study at midnight,
And then resolve23 me of thy master’s mind.


I will, Faustus.


Had I as many souls as there be stars,
I’d give them all for Mephistopheles.
By him I’ll be great Emperor of the world,
And make a bridge thorough the moving air,
To pass the ocean with a band of men:
I’ll join the hills that bind the Afric shore,
And make that country continent to Spain,
And both contributory to my crown.
The Emperor shall not live but by my leave,
Nor any potentate of Germany.
Now that I have obtained what I desired,
I’ll live in speculation of this art,
Till Mephistopheles return again.


Scene IV

Enter Wagner and Clown.24
Wagner Sirrah boy, come hither.
Clown How, boy! Swowns, boy! I hope you have seen many boys with such pickadevaunts25 as I have; boy, quotha!
Wagner Tell me, sirrah, hast thou any comings in?
Clown Ay, and goings out too. You may see else.
Wagner Alas, poor slave! see how poverty jesteth in his nakedness! the villain is bare and out of service, and so hungry that I know he would give his soul to the devil for a shoulder of mutton, though ’twere blood-raw.
Clown How! My soul to the Devil for a shoulder of mutton, though ’twere blood-raw! Not so, good friend. By’r lady, I had need have it well roasted and good sauce to it, if I pay so dear.
Wagner Well, wilt thou serve us, and I’ll make thee go like Qui mihi discipulus?26
Clown How, in verse?
Wagner No, sirrah; in beaten silk and stavesacre.27
Clown How, how, Knaves acre!28 I, I thought that was all the land his father left him. Do you hear? I would be sorry to rob you of your living.
Wagner Sirrah, I say in stavesacre.
Clown Oho! Oho! Stavesacre! Why, then belike if I were your man I should be full of vermin.
Wagner So thou shalt, whether thou beest with me or no. But, sirrah, leave your jesting, and bind yourself presently unto me for seven years, or I’ll turn all the lice about thee into familiars, and they shall tear thee in pieces.
Clown Do you hear, sir? You may save that labour: they are too familiar with me already: swowns! they are as bold with my flesh as if they had paid for their meat and drink.
Wagner Well, do you hear, sirrah? Hold, take these guilders. Gives money.
Clown Gridirons! what be they?
Wagner Why, French crowns.
Clown Mass, but for the name of French crowns, a man were as good have as many English counters. And what should I do with these?
Wagner Why, now, sirrah, thou art at an hour’s warning, whensoever or wheresoever the Devil shall fetch thee.
Clown No, no. Here, take your gridirons again.
Wagner Truly I’ll none of them.
Clown Truly but you shall.
Wagner Bear witness I gave them him.
Clown Bear witness I give them you again.
Wagner Well, I will cause two devils presently to fetch thee away⁠—Baliol and Belcher!
Clown Let your Baliol and your Belcher come here, and I’ll knock them, they were never so knocked since they were devils! Say I should kill one of them, what would folks say? “Do ye see yonder tall fellow in the round slop29⁠—he has killed the devil.” So I should be called Kill-devil all the parish over.
Enter two Devils: the Clown runs up and down crying.
Wagner Baliol and Belcher! Spirits, away!
Exeunt Devils.
Clown What, are they gone? A vengeance on them, they have vile long nails. There was a he-devil and a she-devil! I’ll tell you how you shall know them; all he-devils has horns, and all she-devils has clifts and cloven feet.
Wagner Well, sirrah, follow me.
Clown But, do you hear⁠—if I should serve you, would you teach me to raise up Banios and Belcheos?
Wagner I will teach thee to turn thyself to anything, to a dog, or a cat, or a mouse, or a rat, or anything.
Clown How! a Christian fellow to a dog, or a cat, a mouse, or a rat! No, no, sir. If you turn me into anything, let it be in the likeness of a little pretty frisking flea, that I may be here and there and everywhere: Oh, I’ll tickle the pretty wenches’ plackets; I’ll be amongst them, i’faith.
Wagner Well, sirrah, come.
Clown But, do you hear, Wagner?
Wagner How! Baliol and Belcher!
Clown O Lord! I pray, sir, let Banio and Belcher go sleep.
Wagner Villain⁠—call me Master Wagner, and let thy left eye be diametarily fixed upon my right heel, with quasi vestigiis nostris insistere.
Clown God forgive me, he speaks Dutch fustian. Well, I’ll follow him: I’ll serve him, that’s flat.

Scene V

Faustus discovered in his Study.

Now, Faustus, must
Thou needs be damned, and canst thou not be saved:
What boots it then to think of God or Heaven?
Away with such vain fancies, and despair:
Despair in God, and trust in Belzebub;
Now go not backward; no, Faustus, be resolute:
Why waver’st thou? O, something soundeth in mine ears
“Abjure this magic, turn to God again!”
Ay, and Faustus will turn to God again.
To God?⁠—he loves thee not⁠—
The god thou serv’st is thine own appetite,
Wherein is fixed the love of Belzebub;
To him I’ll build an altar and a church,
And offer lukewarm blood of newborn babes.

Enter Good Angel and Evil Angel.
Good Angel

Sweet Faustus, leave that execrable art.


Contrition, prayer, repentance! What of them?

Good Angel

O, they are means to bring thee unto Heaven!

Evil Angel

Rather, illusions⁠—fruits of lunacy,
That make men foolish that do trust them most.

Good Angel

Sweet Faustus, think of Heaven, and heavenly things.

Evil Angel

No, Faustus, think of honour and of wealth.

Exeunt Angels.

Of wealth!
Why the signiory of Embden shall be mine.
When Mephistopheles shall stand by me,
What god can hurt thee? Faustus, thou art safe:
Cast no more doubts. Come, Mephistopheles,
And bring glad tidings from great Lucifer;⁠—
Is’t not midnight? Come, Mephistopheles;
Veni, veni, Mephistophile!

Enter Mephistopheles.

Now tell me, what says Lucifer thy lord?


That I shall wait on Faustus whilst he lives,
So he will buy my service with his soul.


Already Faustus hath hazarded that for thee.


But, Faustus, thou must bequeath it solemnly,
And write a deed of gift with thine own blood,
For that security craves great Lucifer.
If thou deny it, I will back to hell.


Stay, Mephistopheles! and tell me, what good
Will my soul do thy lord.


Enlarge his kingdom.


Is that the reason why he tempts us thus?


Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris.


Why, have you any pain that torture30 others?


As great as have the human souls of men.
But tell me, Faustus, shall I have thy soul?
And I will be thy slave, and wait on thee,
And give thee more than thou hast wit to ask.


Ay, Mephistopheles, I give it thee.


Then, Faustus, stab thine arm courageously,
And bind thy soul, that at some certain day
Great Lucifer may claim it as his own;
And then be thou as great as Lucifer.


Stabbing his arm. Lo, Mephistopheles, for love of thee,
I cut mine arm, and with my proper blood
Assure my soul to be great Lucifer’s,
Chief lord and regent of perpetual night!
View here the blood that trickles from mine arm,
And let it be propitious for my wish.


But, Faustus, thou must
Write it in manner of a deed of gift.


Ay, so I will. Writes. But, Mephistopheles,
My blood congeals, and I can write no more.


I’ll fetch thee fire to dissolve it straight.


What might the staying of my blood portend?
Is it unwilling I should write this bill?
Why streams it not that I may write afresh?
Faustus gives to thee his soul. Ah, there it stayed!
Why should’st thou not? Is not thy soul shine own?
Then write again, Faustus gives to thee his soul.

Re-enter Mephistopheles with a chafer of coals.

Here’s fire. Come, Faustus, set it on.31


So, now the blood begins to clear again;
Now will I make an end immediately. Writes.


O what will not I do to obtain his soul. Aside.


Consummatum est; this bill is ended,
And Faustus hath bequeathed his soul to Lucifer
But what is this inscription on mine arm?
Homo, fuge! Whither should I fly?
If unto God, he’ll throw me down to hell.
My senses are deceived; here’s nothing writ:⁠—
I see it plain; here in this place is writ,
Homo, fuge! Yet shall not Faustus fly.


I’ll fetch him somewhat to delight his mind.

Re-enter Mephistopheles with Devils, who give crowns and rich apparel to Faustus, dance, and then depart.

Speak, Mephistopheles, what means this show?


Nothing, Faustus, but to delight thy mind withal,
And to show thee what magic can perform.


But may I raise up spirits when I please?


Ay, Faustus, and do greater things than these.


Then there’s enough for a thousand souls.
Here, Mephistopheles, receive this scroll,
A deed of gift of body and of soul:
But yet conditionally that thou perform
All articles prescribed between us both.


Faustus, I swear by hell and Lucifer
To effect all promises between us made!

Faustus Then hear me read them. Reads. On these conditions following. First, that Faustus may be a spirit in form and substance. Secondly, that Mephistopheles shall be his servant, and at his command. Thirdly, shall do for him and bring him whatsoever he desires.32 Fourthly, that he shall be in his chamber or house invisible. Lastly, that he shall appear to the said John Faustus, at all times, in what form or shape soever he please. I, John Faustus, of Wertenberg, Doctor, by these presents do give both body and soul to Lucifer, Prince of the East, and his minister, Mephistopheles: and furthermore grant unto them, that, twenty-four years being expired, the articles above-written inviolate, full power to fetch or carry the said John Faustus, body and soul, flesh, blood, or goods, into their habitation wheresoever. By me, John Faustus.

Speak, Faustus, do you deliver this as your deed?


Ay, take it, and the Devil give thee good on’t!


Now, Faustus, ask what thou wilt.


First will I question with thee about hell.
Tell me, where is the place that men call hell?


Under the Heavens.


Ay, but whereabout?


Within the bowels of these elements,
Where we are tortured and remain forever:
Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscribed
In one self place; for where we are is hell,
And where hell is, there must we ever be:
And, to conclude, when all the world dissolves,
And every creature shall be purified,
All places shall be hell that are not Heaven.


Come, I think hell’s a fable.


Ay, think so still, till experience change thy mind.


Why, think’st thou, then that Faustus shall be damned?


Ay, of necessity, for here’s the scroll
Wherein thou hast given thy soul to Lucifer.


Ay, and body too; but what of that?
Think’st thou that Faustus is so fond33 to imagine
That, after this life, there is any pain?
Tush; these are trifles, and mere old wives’ tales.


But, Faustus, I am an instance to prove the contrary,
For I am damned, and am now in hell.


How! now in hell?
Nay, an this be hell, I’ll willingly be damned here;
What? walking, disputing, etc.?
But, leaving off this, let me have a wife,
The fairest maid in Germany;
For I am wanton and lascivious,
And cannot live without a wife.


How⁠—a wife?
I prithee, Faustus, talk not of a wife.


Nay, sweet Mephistopheles, fetch me one, for I will have one.


Well⁠—thou wilt have one. Sit there till I come: I’ll fetch thee a wife in the Devil’s name.

Re-enter Mephistopheles with a Devil dressed like a woman, with fireworks.

Tell me, Faustus, how dost thou like thy wife?

Faustus A plague on her for a hot whore!

Tut, Faustus,
Marriage is but a ceremonial toy;
If thou lovest me, think no more of it.
I’ll cull thee out the fairest courtesans,
And bring them every morning to thy bed;
She whom thine eye shall like, thy heart shall have,
Be she as chaste as was Penelope,
As wise as Saba,34 or as beautiful
As was bright Lucifer before his fall.
Hold, take this book, peruse it thoroughly: Gives book.
The iterating35 of these lines brings gold;
The framing of this circle on the ground
Brings whirlwinds, tempests, thunder and lightning;
Pronounce this thrice devoutly to thyself,
And men in armour shall appear to thee,
Ready to execute what thou desir’st.

Faustus Thanks, Mephistopheles; yet fain would I have a book wherein I might behold all spells and incantations, that I might raise up spirits when I please.

Here they are, in this book. Turns to them.

Faustus Now would I have a book where I might see all characters and planets of the heavens, that I might know their motions and dispositions.

Here they are too. Turns to them.

Faustus Nay, let me have one book more⁠—and then I have done⁠—wherein I might see all plants, herbs, and trees that grow upon the earth.

Here they be.

Faustus O, thou art deceived.

Tut, I warrant thee.

Turns to them. Exeunt.

Scene VI

Enter Faustus and Mephistopheles.36

When I behold the heavens, then I repent,
And curse thee, wicked Mephistopheles,
Because thou hast deprived me of those joys.


Why, Faustus,
Thinkest thou Heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee ’tis not half so fair as thou,
Or any man that breathes on earth.


How prov’st thou that?


’Twas made for man, therefore is man more excellent.


If it were made for man, ’twas made for me;
I will renounce this magic and repent.

Enter Good Angel and Evil Angel.
Good Angel

Faustus, repent; yet God will pity thee.

Evil Angel

Thou art a spirit; God cannot pity thee.


Who buzzeth in mine ears I am a spirit?
Be I a devil, yet God may pity me;
Ay, God will pity me if I repent.

Evil Angel

Ay, but Faustus never shall repent.

Exeunt Angels.

My heart’s so hardened I cannot repent.
Scarce can I name salvation, faith, or heaven,
But fearful echoes thunder in mine ears
“Faustus, thou art damned!” Then swords, and knives,
Poison, gun, halters, and envenomed steel
Are laid before me to despatch myself,
And long ere this I should have slain myself,
Had not sweet pleasure conquered deep despair.
Have not I made blind Homer sing to me
Of Alexander’s love and Oenon’s death?
And hath not he that built the walls of Thebes
With ravishing sound of his melodious harp,
Made music with my Mephistopheles?
Why should I die then, or basely despair?
I am resolved; Faustus shall ne’er repent⁠—
Come, Mephistopheles, let us dispute again,
And argue of divine astrology.
Tell me, are there many heavens above the moon?
Are all celestial bodies but one globe,
As is the substance of this centric earth?


As are the elements, such are the spheres
Mutually folded in each other’s orb,
And, Faustus,
All jointly move upon one axletree
Whose terminine is termed the world’s wide pole;
Nor are the names of Saturn, Mars, or Jupiter
Feigned, but are erring stars.

Faustus But tell me, have they all one motion, both situ et tempore.
Mephistopheles All jointly move from east to west in twenty-four hours upon the poles of the world; but differ in their motion upon the poles of the zodiac.

These slender trifles Wagner can decide;
Hath Mephistopheles no greater skill?
Who knows not the double motion of the planets?
The first is finished in a natural day;

The second thus; as Saturn in thirty years; Jupiter in twelve; Mars in four; the Sun, Venus, and Mercury in a year; the moon in twenty eight days. Tush, these are freshmen’s suppositions. But tell me, hath every sphere a dominion or intelligentia?




How many heavens, or spheres, are there?

Mephistopheles Nine: the seven planets, the firmament, and the empyreal heaven.
Faustus Well, resolve me in this question: why have we not conjunctions, oppositions, aspects, eclipses, all at one time, but in some years we have more, in some less?

Per inoequalem motum respectu totius.


Well, I am answered. Tell me who made the world?


I will not.


Sweet Mephistopheles, tell me.


Move me not, for I will not tell thee.


Villain, have I not bound thee to tell me anything?


Ay, that is not against our kingdom; but this is. Think thou on hell, Faustus, for thou art damned.


Think, Faustus, upon God that made the world.


Remember this.


Ay, go, accursed spirit, to ugly hell.
’Tis thou hast damned distressed Faustus’ soul.
Is’t not too late?

Re-enter Good Angel and Evil Angel.
Evil Angel

Too late.

Good Angel

Never too late, if Faustus can repent.

Evil Angel

If thou repent, devils shall tear thee in pieces.

Good Angel

Repent, and they shall never raze thy skin.

Exeunt Angels.

Ah, Christ, my Saviour,
Seek to save distressed Faustus’ soul!

Enter Lucifer, Belzebub, and Mephistopheles.

Christ cannot save thy soul, for he is just;
There’s none but I have interest in the same.


O, who art thou that look’st so terrible?


I am Lucifer,
And this is my companion-prince in hell.


O Faustus! they are come to fetch away thy soul!


We come to tell thee thou dost injure us;
Thou talk’st of Christ contrary to thy promise;
Thou should’st not think of God: think of the Devil.37


Nor will I henceforth: pardon me in this,
And Faustus vows never to look to Heaven,
Never to name God, or to pray to him,
To burn his Scriptures, slay his ministers,
And make my spirits pull his churches down.

Lucifer Do so, and we will highly gratify thee. Faustus, we are come from hell to show thee some pastime: sit down, and thou shalt see all the Seven Deadly Sins appear in their proper shapes.

That sight will be as pleasing unto me,
As Paradise was to Adam, the first day
Of his creation.

Lucifer Talk not of Paradise nor creation; but mark this show: talk of the Devil, and nothing else: come away!
Enter the Seven Deadly Sins.
Now, Faustus, examine them of their several names and dispositions.
Faustus What art thou⁠—the first?
Pride I am Pride. I disdain to have any parents. I am like to Ovid’s flea:38 I can creep into every corner of a wench; sometimes, like a periwig, I sit upon her brow; or like a fan of feathers, I kiss her lips; indeed I do⁠—what do I not? But, fie, what a scent is here! I’ll not speak another word, except the ground were perfumed, and covered with cloth of arras.
Faustus What art thou⁠—the second?
Covetousness I am Covetousness, begotten of an old churl in an old leathern bag; and might I have my wish I would desire that this house and all the people in it were turned to gold, that I might lock you up in my good chest: O, my sweet gold!
Faustus What art thou⁠—the third?
Wrath I am Wrath. I had neither father nor mother: I leapt out of a lion’s mouth when I was scarce half an hour old; and ever since I have run up and down the world with this case39 of rapiers, wounding myself when I had nobody to fight withal. I was born in hell; and look to it, for some of you shall be my father.
Faustus What art thou⁠—the fourth?
Envy I am Envy, begotten of a chimney sweeper and an oyster-wife. I cannot read, and therefore wish all books were burnt. I am lean with seeing others eat. O that there would come a famine through all the world, that all might die, and I live alone! then thou should’st see how fat I would be. But must thou sit and I stand! Come down, with a vengeance!
Faustus Away, envious rascal! What art thou⁠—the fifth?
Gluttony Who I, sir? I am Gluttony. My parents are all dead, and the devil a penny they have left me, but a bare pension, and that is thirty meals a day and ten bevers,40⁠—a small trifle to suffice nature. O, I come of a royal parentage! my grandfather was a Gammon of Bacon, my grandmother a Hogshead of Claret-wine; my godfathers were these, Peter Pickle-herring and Martin Martlemas-beef;41 O, but my godmother, she was a jolly gentlewoman, and well-beloved in every good town and city; her name was Mistress Margery March-beer.42 Now, Faustus, thou hast heard all my progeny, wilt thou bid me to supper?
Faustus No, I’ll see thee hanged: thou wilt eat up all my victuals.
Gluttony Then the Devil choke thee!
Faustus Choke thyself, glutton! What art thou⁠—the sixth?
Sloth I am Sloth. I was begotten on a sunny bank, where I have lain ever since; and you have done me great injury to bring me from thence: let me be carried thither again by Gluttony and Lechery. I’ll not speak another word for a king’s ransom.
Faustus What are you, Mistress Minx, the seventh and last?
Lechery Who I, sir? I am one that loves an inch of raw mutton better than an ell of fried stock-fish; and the first letter of my name begins with L.43
Lucifer Away to hell, to hell! Now, Faustus, how dost thou like this?
Exeunt the Sins.
Faustus O, this feeds my soul!
Lucifer Tut, Faustus, in hell is all manner of delight.
Faustus O might I see hell, and return again, How happy were I then!

Thou shalt; I will send for thee at midnight.
In meantime take this book; peruse it throughly,
And thou shalt turn thyself into what shape thou wilt.

Faustus Great thanks, mighty Lucifer! This will I keep as chary as my life.
Lucifer Farewell, Faustus, and think on the Devil.
Faustus Farewell, great Lucifer.
Exeunt Lucifer and Belzebub.
Come, Mephistopheles.

Scene VII

Enter Chorus.

Learned Faustus,
To know the secrets of astronomy,
Graven in the book of Jove’s high firmament,
Did mount himself to scale Olympus’ top,
Being seated in a chariot burning bright,
Drawn by the strength of yoky dragons’ necks.
He now is gone to prove cosmography,
And, as I guess, will first arrive at Rome,
To see the Pope and manner of his court,
And take some part of holy Peter’s feast,
That to this day is highly solemnised.44

Enter Faustus and Mephistopheles.45

Having now, my good Mephistopheles,
Passed with delight the stately town of Trier,46
Environed round with airy mountain-tops,
With walls of flint, and deep-entrenched lakes,
Not to be won by any conquering prince;
From Paris next, coasting the realm of France,
We saw the river Maine fall into Rhine,
Whose banks are set with groves of fruitful vines;
Then up to Naples, rich Campania,
Whose buildings fair and gorgeous to the eye,
The streets straight forth, and paved with finest brick,
Quarter the town in four equivalents:
There saw we learned Maro’s golden tomb,
The way he cut, an English mile in length,
Thorough a rock of stone, in one night’s space;47
From thence to Venice, Padua, and the rest,
In one48 of which a sumptuous temple stands,
That threats the stars with her aspiring top.49
Thus hitherto hath Faustus spent his time:
But tell me now what resting-place is this?
Hast thou, as erst I did command,
Conducted me within the walls of Rome?

Mephistopheles Faustus, I have; and because we will not be unprovided, have taken up his Holiness’ privy-chamber for our use.
Faustus I hope his Holiness will bid us welcome.

Tut, ’tis no matter, man, we’ll be bold with his good cheer.
And now, my Faustus, that thou may’st perceive
What Rome containeth to delight thee with,
Know that this city stands upon seven hills
That underprop the groundwork of the same:
Just through the midst runs flowing Tiber’s stream,
With winding banks that cut it in two parts:
Over the which four stately bridges lean,
That make safe passage to each part of Rome:
Upon the bridge called Ponte Angelo
Erected is a castle passing strong,
Within whose walls such store of ordnance are,
And double50 cannons framed of carved brass,
As match the days within one complete year;
Besides the gates and high pyramides,51
Which Julius Caesar brought from Africa.


Now by the kingdoms of infernal rule,
Of Styx, of Acheron, and the fiery lake
Of ever-burning Phlegethon, I swear
That I do long to see the monuments
And situation of bright-splendent Rome:
Come therefore, let’s away.


Nay, Faustus, stay; I know you’d fain see the Pope,
And take some part of holy Peter’s feast,
Where thou shalt see a troop of baldpate friars,
Whose summum bonum is in belly-cheer.


Well, I’m content to compass then some sport,
And by their folly make us merriment.
Then charm me, Mephistopheles, that I
May be invisible, to do what I please
Unseen of any whilst I stay in Rome.

Mephistopheles charms him.

So, Faustus; now
Do what thou wilt, thou shalt not be discerned.

Sound a sonnet.52 Enter the Pope and the Cardinal of Lorrain to the banquet, with Friars attending.
Pope My Lord of Lorrain, wilt please you draw near?
Faustus Fall to, and the devil choke you an you spare!
Pope How now! Who’s that which spake?⁠—Friars, look about.
First Friar Here’s nobody, if it like your Holiness.
Pope My lord, here is a dainty dish was sent me from the Bishop Milan.
Faustus I thank you, sir. Snatches the dish.
Pope How now! Who’s that which snatched the meat from me? Will no man look? My lord, this dish was sent me from the Cardinal of Florence.
Faustus You say true; I’ll ha’t. Snatches the dish.
Pope What, again! My lord, I’ll drink to your grace.
Faustus I’ll pledge your grace. Snatches the cup.
Cardinal of Lorrain My lord, it may be some ghost, newly crept out of purgatory, come to beg a pardon of your Holiness.
Pope It may be so. Friars, prepare a dirge to lay the fury of this ghost. Once again, my lord, fall to. The Pope crosses himself.
Faustus What, are you crossing of yourself? Well, use that trick no more I would advise you.
The Pope crosses himself again.
Well, there’s the second time. Aware the third; I give you fair warning.
The Pope crosses himself again, and Faustus hits him a box of the ear; and they all run away.
Come on, Mephistopheles; what shall we do?
Mephistopheles Nay, I know not. We shall be cursed with bell, book, and candle.

How! bell, book, and candle⁠—candle, book, and bell,
Forward and backward to curse Faustus to hell!
Anon you shall hear a hog grunt, a calf bleat, and an ass bray,
Because it is Saint Peter’s holiday.

Re-enter the Friars to sing the Dirge.
1st Friar Come, brethren, let’s about our business with good devotion.
They sing.

Cursed be he that stole away his Holiness’ meat from the table! Maledicat Dominus!
Cursed be he that struck his Holiness a blow on the face! Maledicat Dominus!
Cursed be he that took Friar Sandelo a blow on the pate! Maledicat Dominus!
Cursed be he that disturbeth our holy dirge! Maledicat Dominus!
Cursed be he that took away his Holiness’ wine! Maledicat Dominus Et omnes sancti! Amen!

Mephistopheles and Faustus beat the Friars, and fling fireworks among them: and so exeunt.

Scene VIII

Enter Chorus.

When Faustus had with pleasure ta’en the view
Of rarest things, and royal courts of kings,
He stayed his course, and so returned home;
Where such as bear his absence but with grief,
I mean his friends, and near’st companions,
Did gratulate his safety with kind words,
And in their conference of what befell,
Touching his journey through the world and air,
They put forth questions of Astrology,
Which Faustus answered with such learned skill
As they admired and wondered at his wit.
Now is his fame spread forth in every land;
Amongst the rest the Emperor is one,
Carolus the Fifth, at whose palace now
Faustus is feasted ’mongst his noblemen.
What there he did in trial of his art,
I leave untold⁠—your eyes shall see performed.

Enter Robin the Ostler, with a book in his hand.53
Robin O, this is admirable! here I ha’ stolen one of Doctor Faustus’s conjuring books, and, i’faith I mean to search some circles for my own use. Now will I make all the maidens in our parish dance at my pleasure, stark naked before me; and so by that means I shall see more than e’er I felt or saw yet.
Enter Ralph, calling Robin.
Ralph Robin, prithee, come away; there’s a gentleman tarries to have his horse, and he would have his things rubbed and made clean: he keeps such a chafing with my mistress about it; and she has sent me to look thee out; prithee, come away.
Robin Keep out, keep out, or else you are blown up; you are dismembered, Ralph: keep out, for I am about a roaring piece of work.
Ralph Come, what doest thou with that same book? Thou canst not read?
Robin Yes, my master and mistress shall find that I can read, he for his forehead, she for her private study; she’s born to bear with me, or else my art fails.
Ralph Why, Robin, what book is that?
Robin What book! why, the most intolerable book for conjuring that e’er was invented by any brimstone devil.
Ralph Can’st thou conjure with it?
Robin I can do all these things easily with it; first, I can make thee drunk with ippocras54 at any tabern55 in Europe for nothing; that’s one of my conjuring works.
Ralph Our Master Parson says that’s nothing.
Robin True, Ralph; and more, Ralph, if thou hast any mind to Nan Spit, our kitchenmaid, then turn her and wind her to thy own use as often as thou wilt, and at midnight.
Ralph O brave Robin! shall I have Nan Spit, and to mine own use? On that condition I’ll feed thy devil with horsebread56 as long as he lives, of free cost.
Robin No more, sweet Ralph: let’s go and make clean our boots, which lie foul upon our hands, and then to our conjuring in the Devil’s name.

Scene IX

Enter Robin and Ralph with a silver goblet.
Robin Come, Ralph: did not I tell thee, we were forever made by this Doctor Faustus’ book? ecce signum, here’s a simple purchase57 for horsekeepers; our horses shall eat no hay as long as this lasts.
Ralph But, Robin, here comes the vintner.
Robin Hush! I’ll gull him supernaturally.
Enter Vintner.
Drawer, I hope all is paid: God be with you; come, Ralph.
Vintner Soft, sir; a word with you. I must yet have a goblet paid from you, ere you go.
Robin I a goblet, Ralph; I a goblet! I scorn you, and you are but a58 etc. I, a goblet! search me.
Vintner I mean so, sir, with your favour. Searches Robin.
Robin How say you now?
Vintner I must say somewhat to your fellow. You, sir!

Me, sir! me, sir! search your fill. Vintner searches him. Now, sir, you may be ashamed to burden honest men with a matter of truth.

Vintner Well, t’one of you hath this goblet about you.
Robin You lie, drawer, ’tis afore me Aside. Sirrah you, I’ll teach you to impeach honest men;⁠—stand by;⁠—I’ll scour you for a goblet!⁠—stand aside you had best, I charge you in the name of Belzebub. Look to the goblet, Ralph Aside to Ralph.
Vintner What mean you, sirrah?
Robin I’ll tell you what I mean. Reads from a book. Sanctobulorum Periphrasticon⁠—Nay, I’ll tickle you, vintner.⁠—Look to the goblet, Ralph. Aside to Ralph.
Reads. Polypragmos Belseborams framanto pacostiphos tostu, Mephistopheles, etc.
Enter Mephistopheles, sets squibs at their backs, and then exit. They run about.
Vintner O, nomine Domini! what meanest thou, Robin? thou hast no goblet.
Ralph Peccatum peccatorum! Here’s thy goblet, good vintner. Gives the goblet to Vintner, who exit.
Robin Misericordia pro nobis! What shall I do? Good Devil, forgive me now, and I’ll never rob thy library more.
Re-enter Mephistopheles.

Monarch of hell, under whose black survey
Great potentates do kneel with awful fear,
Upon whose altars thousand souls do lie,
How am I vexed with these villains’ charms?
From Constantinople am I hither come
Only for pleasure of these damned slaves.

Robin How, from Constantinople! You have had a great journey: will you take sixpence in your purse to pay for your supper, and begone?
Mephistopheles Well, villains, for your presumption, I transform thee into an ape, and thee into a dog; and so begone!
Robin How, into an ape! that’s brave! I’ll have fine sport with the boys. I’ll get nuts and apples enow.
Ralph And I must be a dog.
Robin I’faith, thy head will never be out of the pottage pot.

Scene X

Enter Emperor, Faustus, and a Knight, with Attendants.59
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. Aside.
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.

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, subdued 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 preeminence,
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 entombed this famous conqueror,
And bring with him his beauteous paramour,
Both in their right shapes, gesture, and attire
They used 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. Aside.
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. Aside.
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. Mephistopheles, begone.
Exit Mephistopheles.
Knight Nay, an you go to conjuring, I’ll begone.
Faustus I’ll meet with you anon for interrupting me so. Here they are, my gracious lord.
Re-enter Mephistopheles 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.
Exeunt Spirits.
Faustus Will’t 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!
Exit Attendant.
Re-enter the Knight with a pair of horns on his head.
How now, sir knight! why, I had thought thou had’st 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.

Thou damned wretch and execrable dog,
Bred in the concave of some monstrous rock,
How darest 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. Mephistopheles, transform him straight. Mephistopheles removes the horns. Now, my good lord, having done my duty I humbly take my leave.

Farewell, Master Doctor; yet, ere you go,
Expect from me a bounteous reward.


Scene XI

Enter Faustus and Mephistopheles.60

Now, Mephistopheles, 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 Mephistopheles, let us
Make haste to Wertenberg.

Mephistopheles What, will you go on horseback or on foot?
Faustus Nay, till I’m past this fair and pleasant green, I’ll walk on foot.
Enter a Horse-Courser.61
Horse-Courser I have been all this day seeking one Master Fustian: mass, see where he is! God save you, Master Doctor!
Faustus What, horse-courser! You are well met.
Horse-Courser Do you hear, sir? I have brought you forty dollars for your horse.
Faustus I cannot sell him so: if thou likest him for fifty, take him.
Horse-Courser Alas, sir, I have no more.⁠—I pray you, speak for me.
Mephistopheles I pray you, let him have him: he is an honest fellow, and he has a great charge, neither wife nor child.
Faustus Well, come, give me your money. Horse-Courser gives Faustus the money. My boy will deliver him to you. But I must tell you one thing before you have him; ride him not into the water, at any hand.
Horse-Courser Why, sir, will he not drink of all waters?
Faustus O yes, he will drink of all waters, but ride him not into the water: ride him over hedge or ditch, or where thou wilt, but not into the water.
Horse-Courser Well, sir.⁠—Now am I made man forever: I’ll not leave my horse for forty: if he had but the quality of hey-ding-ding, hey-ding-ding, I’d make a brave living on him: he has a buttock as slick62 as an eel Aside.⁠—Well, God b’wi’ye, sir, your boy will deliver him me: but hark you, sir; if my horse be sick or ill at ease, if I bring his water to you, you’ll tell me what it is.
Faustus Away, you villain; what, dost think I am a horse-doctor?
Exit Horse-Courser.

What art thou, Faustus, but a man condemned to die?
Thy fatal time doth draw to final end;
Despair doth drive distrust into my thoughts:
Confound these passions with a quiet sleep:
Tush, Christ did call the thief upon the cross;
Then rest thee, Faustus, quiet in conceit.
Sleeps in his chair.

Re-enter Horse-Courser, all wet, crying.
Horse-Courser Alas, alas! Doctor Fustian, quoth a? mass, Doctor Lopus63 was never such a doctor: has given me a purgation has purged me of forty dollars; I shall never see them more. But yet, like an ass as I was, I would not be ruled by him, for he bade me I should ride him into no water: now I, thinking my horse had had some rare quality that he would not have had me know of, I, like a venturous youth, rid him into the deep pond at the town’s end. I was no sooner in the middle of the pond, but my horse vanished away, and I sat upon a bottle of hay, never so near drowning in my life. But I’ll seek out my Doctor, and have my forty dollars again, or I’ll make it the dearest horse!⁠—O, yonder is his snipper-snapper.⁠—Do you hear? you, hey-pass,64 where’s your master?
Mephistopheles Why, sir, what would you? You cannot speak with him.
Horse-Courser But I will speak with him.
Mephistopheles Why, he’s fast asleep. Come some other time.
Horse-Courser I’ll speak with him now, or I’ll break his glass windows about his ears.
Mephistopheles I tell thee, he has not slept this eight nights.
Horse-Courser An he have not slept this eight weeks I’ll speak with him.
Mephistopheles See where he is, fast asleep.
Horse-Courser Ay, this is he. God save you, Master Doctor, Master Doctor, Master Doctor Fustian Forty dollars, forty dollars for a bottle of hay!
Mephistopheles Why, thou seest he hears thee not.
Horse-Courser So-ho, ho!⁠—so-ho, ho! Hollows in his ear. No, will you not wake? I’ll make you wake ere I go. Pulls Faustus by the leg, and pulls it away. Alas, I am undone! what shall I do?
Faustus O my leg, my leg! Help, Mephistopheles! call the officers. My leg, my leg!
Mephistopheles Come, villain, to the constable.
Horse-Courser O Lord, sir, let me go, and I’ll give you forty dollars more.
Mephistopheles Where be they?
Horse-Courser I have none about me. Come to my ostry,65 and I’ll give them you.
Mephistopheles Begone quickly.
Horse-Courser runs away.
Faustus What, is he gone? Farewell he! Faustus has his leg again, and the horse-courser, I take it, a bottle of hay for his labour. Well, this trick shall cost him forty dollars more.
Enter Wagner.
How now, Wagner, what’s the news with thee?
Wagner Sir, the Duke of Vanholt66 doth earnestly entreat your company.
Faustus The Duke of Vanholt! an honourable gentleman, to whom I must be no niggard of my cunning. Come, Mephistopheles, let’s away to him.

Scene XII

Enter the Duke of Vanholt, the Duchess, and Faustus and Mephistopheles.67
Duke Believe me, Master Doctor, this merriment hath much pleased me.
Faustus My gracious lord, I am glad it contents you so well.⁠—But it may be, madam, you take no delight in this. I have heard that great-bellied women do long for some dainties or other: what is it, madam? tell me, and you shall have it.
Duchess Thanks, good Master Doctor; and for I see your courteous intent to pleasure me, I will not hide from you the thing my heart desires; and were it now summer, as it is January and the dead time of the winter, I would desire no better meat than a dish of ripe grapes.
Faustus Alas, madam, that’s nothing! Mephistopheles, begone. Exit Mephistopheles. Were it a greater thing than this, so it would content you, you should have it.
Re-enter Mephistopheles with grapes.
Here they be, madam; wilt please you taste on them?
Duke Believe me, Master Doctor, this makes me wonder above the rest, that being in the dead time of winter, and in the month of January, how you should come by these grapes.
Faustus If it like your grace, the year is divided into two circles over the whole world, that, when it is here winter with us, in the contrary circle it is summer with them, as in India, Saba, and farther countries in the East; and by means of a swift spirit that I have I had them brought hither, as you see.⁠—How do you like them, madam; be they good?
Duchess Believe me, Master Doctor, they be the best grapes that e’er I tasted in my life before.
Faustus I am glad they content you so, madam.
Duke Come, madam, let us in, where you must well reward this learned man for the great kindness he hath showed to you.
Duchess And so I will, my lord; and, whilst I live, rest beholding68 for this courtesy.
Faustus I humbly thank your grace.
Duke Come, Master Doctor, follow us and receive your reward.

Scene XIII

Enter Wagner.69

I think my master shortly means to die,
For he hath given to me all his goods:
And yet, methinks, if that death were so near,
He would not banquet, and carouse and swill
Amongst the students, as even now he doth,
Who are at supper with such belly-cheer
As Wagner ne’er beheld in all his life.
See where they come! belike the feast is ended.


Scene XIV

Enter Faustus with two or three Scholars, and Mephistopheles.
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.


For that I know your friendship is unfeigned,
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 crossed 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 pursued
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 may’st 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.


Where art thou, Faustus? wretch, what hast thou done?
Damned art thou, Faustus, damned; 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 the right.
Mephistopheles 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.


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.


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?


Thou traitor, Faustus, I arrest thy soul
For disobedience to my sovereign lord;
Revolt, or I’ll in piecemeal tear thy flesh.


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


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

Faustus stabs his arm and writes on a paper with his blood.70

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


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.


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.


Faustus, this or what else thou shalt desire
Shall be performed in twinkling of an eye.

Re-enter Helen.

Was this the face that launched a thousand ships71
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 sacked:
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.
Oh, thou art fairer than the evening air
Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
When he appeared to hapless Semele:
More lovely than the monarch of the sky
In wanton Arethusa’s azured arms:
And none but thou shalt be my paramour!


Scene XV

Enter the Old Man.72
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.

Scene XVI

Enter Faustus, with Scholars.73
Faustus Ah, gentlemen!
First Scholar What ails Faustus?
Faustus Ah, my sweet chamber-fellow, had I lived with thee, then had I lived still! but now I die eternally. Look, comes he not, comes he not?
Second Scholar What means Faustus?
Third Scholar Belike he is grown into some sickness by being over solitary.
First Scholar If it be so, we’ll have physicians to cure him. ’Tis but a surfeit. Never fear, man.
Faustus A surfeit of deadly sin that hath damned both body and soul.
Second Scholar Yet, Faustus, look up to Heaven: remember God’s mercies are infinite.
Faustus But Faustus’ offence can never be pardoned: the serpent that tempted Eve may be saved, but not Faustus. Ah, gentlemen, hear me with patience, and tremble not at my speeches! Though my heart pants and quivers to remember that I have been a student here these thirty years, oh, would I had never seen Wertenberg, never read book! and what wonders I have done, all Germany can witness, yea, all the world: for which Faustus hath lost both Germany and the world, yea Heaven itself, Heaven, the seat of God, the throne of the blessed, the kingdom of joy; and must remain in hell forever, hell, ah, hell, forever! Sweet friends! what shall become of Faustus being in hell forever?
Third Scholar Yet, Faustus, call on God.
Faustus On God, whom Faustus hath abjured! on God, whom Faustus hath blasphemed! Ah, my God, I would weep, but the Devil draws in my tears. Gush forth blood instead of tears! Yea, life and soul! Oh, he stays my tongue! I would lift up my hands, but see, they hold them, they hold them!
All Who, Faustus?
Faustus Lucifer and Mephistopheles. Ah, gentlemen, I gave them my soul for my cunning!
All God forbid!
Faustus God forbade it indeed; but Faustus hath done it: for vain pleasure of twenty-four years hath Faustus lost eternal joy and felicity. I writ them a bill with mine own blood: the date is expired; the time will come, and he will fetch me.
First Scholar Why did not Faustus tell us of this before, that divines might have prayed for thee?
Faustus Oft have I thought to have done so: but the Devil threatened to tear me in pieces if I named God; to fetch both body and soul if I once gave ear to divinity: and now ’tis too late. Gentlemen, away! lest you perish with me.
Second Scholar Oh, what shall we do to save Faustus?
Faustus Talk not of me, but save yourselves, and depart.
Third Scholar God will strengthen me. I will stay with Faustus.
First Scholar Tempt not God, sweet friend; but let us into the next room, and there pray for him.
Faustus Ay, pray for me, pray for me! and what noise soever ye hear, come not unto me, for nothing can rescue me.
Second Scholar Pray thou, and we will pray that God may have mercy upon thee.
Faustus Gentlemen, farewell: if I live till morning I’ll visit you: if not⁠—Faustus is gone to hell.
All Faustus, farewell.
Exeunt Scholars. The clock strikes eleven.

Ah, Faustus,
Now hast thou but one bare hour to live,
And then thou must be damned perpetually!
Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of Heaven,
That time may cease, and midnight never come;
Fair Nature’s eye, rise, rise again and make
Perpetual day; or let this hour be but
A year, a month, a week, a natural day,
That Faustus may repent and save his soul!
O lente, lente, currite noctis equi!74
The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike,
The Devil will come, and Faustus must be damned.
O, I’ll leap up to my God! Who pulls me down?
See, see where Christ’s blood streams in the firmament!
One drop would save my soul⁠—half a drop: ah, my Christ!
Ah, rend not my heart for naming of my Christ!
Yet will I call on him: O spare me, Lucifer!⁠—
Where is it now? ’tis gone; and see where God
Stretcheth out his arm, and bends his ireful brows!
Mountains and hills come, come and fall on me,
And hide me from the heavy wrath of God!
No! no!
Then will I headlong run into the earth;
Earth, gape! O no, it will not harbour me!
You stars that reigned at my nativity,
Whose influence hath allotted death and hell,
Now draw up Faustus, like a foggy mist
Into the entrails of yon labouring clouds,
That, when you vomit forth into the air,
My limbs may issue from your smoky mouths,
So that my soul may but ascend to Heaven.

The clock strikes the half-hour.

Ah, half the hour is past! ’twill all be past anon!
O God!
If thou wilt not have mercy on my soul,
Yet for Christ’s sake whose blood hath ransomed me,
Impose some end to my incessant pain;
Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years⁠—
A hundred thousand, and⁠—at last⁠—be saved!
O, no end is limited to damned souls!
Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul?
Or why is this immortal that thou hast?
Ah, Pythagoras’ metempsychosis! were that true,
This soul should fly from me, and I be changed
Unto some brutish beast! all beasts are happy,
For, when they die,
Their souls are soon dissolved in elements;
But mine must live, still to be plagued in hell.
Cursed be the parents that engendered me!
No, Faustus: curse thyself: curse Lucifer
That hath deprived thee of the joys of Heaven.

The clock strikes twelve.

O, it strikes, it strikes! Now, body, turn to air,
Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell!

Thunder and lightning.

O soul, be changed into little water-drops,
And fall into the ocean⁠—ne’er be found!

Enter Devils.

My God! my God! look not so fierce on me!
Adders and serpents, let me breathe a while!
Ugly hell, gape not! come not, Lucifer!
I’ll burn my books!⁠—Ah, Mephistopheles!

Exeunt Devils with Faustus.
Enter Chorus.

Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,
And burned is Apollo’s laurel-bough,
That sometime grew within this learned man.
Faustus is gone; regard his hellish fall,
Whose fiendful fortune may exhort the wise
Only to wonder at unlawful things,
Whose deepness doth entice such forward wits
To practice more than heavenly power permits.



  1. Confound. The Carthaginians were, however, victorious at Lake Trasimenus.

  2. Roda, in the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. —⁠Bullen

  3. Whereas, i.e. where. Perhaps “kinsmen” should be “kinsman;” it is “uncle” in the prose History.

  4. I.e. Knowledge. The word occurs throughout the play in the sense of knowledge or skill.

  5. Dyce suggests that probably the Chorus, before going out, drew a curtain, and disclosed Faustus sitting in his study.

  6. This is Mr. Bullen’s emendation. Ed. 1604 reads “Oncaymaeon,” by which Marlowe meant the Aristotelian ὅν καὶ μὴ ὅν (“being and not being”). The later quartos give (with various spelling) “Œconomy,” which is nonsense.

  7. Maxims of medical practice.

  8. Prescriptions by which he had worked his cures. Professor Ward thinks the reference is rather to “the advertisements by which, as a migratory physician, he had been in the habit of announcing his advent, and perhaps his system of cures, and which were now ‘hung up as monuments’ in perpetuum.” —⁠Bullen

  9. The old form of spelling for “sarà.”

  10. This refers to an incident at the blockade of Antwerp by the Prince of Parma in 1585, which is thus described in Grimestone’s Generall Historie of the Netherlands, p. 875, ed. 1609:⁠—“They of Antuerpe knowing that the bridge and the Stocadoes were finished, made a great shippe, to be a meanes to breake all this work of the prince of Parmaes; this great shippe was made of mason’s worke within, in the manner of a vaulted caue: vpon the hatches there were layed myll-stones, graue-stones, and others of great weight; and within the vault were many barrels of powder, ouer the which there were holes; and in them they had put matches, hanging at a thred, the which burning vntill they came vnto the thred, would fall into the powder, and so blow vp all. And for that they could not haue anyone in this shippe to conduct it, Lanckhaer, a sea captaine of the Hollanders, being then in Antuerpe, gaue them counsell to tye a great beame at the end of it, to make it to keepe a straight course in the middest of the streame. In this sort floated this shippe the fourth of Aprill, vntill that it came vnto the bridge; where (within a while after) the powder wrought his effect, with such violence, as the vessell, and all that was within it, and vpon it, flew in pieces, carrying away a part of the Stocado and of the bridge. The marquesse of Roubay Vicont of Gant, Gaspar of Robles lord of Billy, and the Seignior of Torchies, brother vnto the Seignior of Bours, with many others, were presently slaine; which were torne in pieces, and dispersed abroad, both vpon the land and vpon the water.”

  11. This is the famous Cornelius Agrippa. German (possibly meant for “Hermann”) Valdes is not known. Various improbable persons have been brought forward. In Scene II it is said “they two are infamous through the world.” I can only suggest that Marlowe may have meant Paracelsus.

  12. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid, vi 667.

  13. I.e. Cornelius Agrippa whom he is addressing, here spoken of as another person. “In Book I of his work De Occulta Philosophia, Agrippa gives directions for the operations of sciomancy.” —⁠Ward

  14. Troopers. Germ. Reiters.

  15. On the contrary, Laplanders are almost dwarfs. Marlowe falls into a similar error in Tamburlaine.

  16. Düntzer suggests that Marlowe refers to Pietro d’Abano, an Italian physician and alchemist who narrowly escaped burning by the Inquisition. He was born about 1250 and died about 1316, and wrote a work called Conciliator Differentiarum Philosophoruni et Medicorum. “Albanus” was changed by Mitford into “Albertus,” the schoolman, whose works were considered to possess magical properties.

  17. It has been suggested that the scene is before Faustus’s house, as Wagner presently speaks of his master being within at dinner.

  18. The scene is supposed to be a grove. See the conversation between Faustus and Valdes towards the end of Scene I.

  19. Bullen points out that the above four lines are repeated verbatim in the first scene of Taming of a Shrew 1594.

  20. I.e. Wandering.

  21. Quid tu moraris?” preparatory to a weightier invocation, suggested by Mr. Fleay and Mr. Bullen, in place of “quod tumeraris.”

  22. In the prose History we read:⁠—“After Dr. Faustus had made his promise to the devill, in the morning betimes he called the spirit before him, and commanded him that he should alwayes come to him like a fryer after the order of Saint Francis, with a bell in his hand like Saint Anthony, and to ring it once or twice before he appeared, that he might know of his certaine coming.”

  23. I.e. Inform me.

  24. It is suggested by Dyce that the scene is probably a street.

  25. Beards cut to a sharp point (Fr. pic-d-devani).

  26. Dyce points out that these are the first words of W. Lily’s “Ad discipulos carmen de moribus.”

  27. A ranunculaceous plant (Delphinium staphisagria), still used for destroying lice.

  28. Knave’s Acre (Poultney Street) described by Strype as narrow, and chiefly inhabited by dealers in old goods and glass bottles.

  29. Wide breeches, trunk hose.

  30. “You” is of course the antecedent of “that.” —⁠Bullen

  31. The sixth chapter of the prose History is headed⁠—“How Dr. Faustus set his blood in a saucer on warme ashes and writ as followeth.”

  32. The words “he desires” are not in the old quartos. Dyce first pointed out that in the prose History of Dr. Faustus, the third article runs thus:⁠—“That Mephistopheles should bring him anything and do for him whatsoever”⁠—a later edition adding “he desired,” and another “he requireth.”

  33. Foolish.

  34. I.e. Sabaea, the Queen of Sheba.

  35. Repeating.

  36. The scene is supposed to be a room in Faustus’s house.

  37. I venture to relegate the meaningless line which follows: “And of his dam too,” for which no editor considers Marlowe responsible, to a footnote.

  38. An allusion to the medieval Carmen de Pulice, formerly ascribed to Ovid. —⁠Bullen

  39. A pair of rapiers worn in a single sheath, and used one in each hand.

  40. Refreshments taken between meals.

  41. Martlemas or Martinmas was the customary time for hanging up provisions, which had been previously salted, to dry. Our ancestors lived chiefly upon salted meat in the spring, owing to the winter-fed cattle not being fit for use. St. Martin’s day is November 11th.

  42. The March brewing was much esteemed in those days, as it is in Germany at the present time.

  43. All the quartos have “Lechery.” The change which was first proposed by Collier has been adopted by Dyce and other editors.

  44. In the edition of 1616 the speech of the Chorus is ingeniously expanded as follows:⁠—

    Chor. Learned Faustus, To find the secrets of Astronomy
    Graven in the book of Jove’s high firmament,
    Did mount him up to scale Olympus’ top;
    Where, sitting in a chariot burning bright,
    Drawn by the strength of yoked dragons’ necks,
    He views the clouds, the planets, and the stars,
    The tropic zones, and quarters of the sky,
    From the bright circle of the homed moon
    Even to the height of Primum Mobile;
    And, whirling round with this circumference,
    Within the concave compass of the pole,
    From east to west his dragons swiftly glide,
    And in eight days did bring him home again.
    Not long he stayed within his quiet house,
    To rest his bones after his weary toil;
    But new exploits do hale him out again:
    And, mounted then upon a dragon’s back,
    That with his wings did part the subtle air,
    He now is gone to prove cosmography,
    That measures coasts and kingdoms of the earth;
    And, as I guess, will first arrive at Rome,
    To see the Pope and manner of his court,
    And take some part of holy Peter’s feast,
    The which this day is highly solemnised.

    This represents the revisers of the play at their best.

  45. The scene is the Pope’s Privy Chamber.

  46. Treves.

  47. Virgil was regarded as a magician in the Middle Ages.

  48. The prose History shows the “sumptuous temple” to be St. Mark’s at Venice.

  49. In the edition of 1616 the two following lines are added:⁠—

    “Whose frame is paved with sundry coloured stones,
    And rooft aloft with curious work in gold.”

    The addition is an interesting example of the close fashion in which the revisers clung to the prose History wherein we read “how all the pavement was set with coloured stones, and all the rood or loft of the church double gilded over.”

  50. This may mean simply large cannons, or as Ward points out, cannon with double bores. Two cannons with triple bores were taken from the French at Malplaquet, and are now in the Woolwich Museum.

  51. Evidently obelisks are here meant, although the word “pyramides” was formerly applied to church spires.

  52. Written in half a dozen other forms⁠—Sennet, Senet, Synnet, Cynet, Signet and Signate. Nares defines it as “a particular set of notes on the trumpet or cornet, different from a flourish.”

  53. The scene is supposed to be an inn-yard.

  54. “Hippocrates, a medicated drink composed usually of red wine, but sometimes white, with the addition of sugar and spices.” —⁠Nares

  55. Tavern.

  56. It was a common practice among our ancestors to feed horses on bread. Nares quotes from Gervase Markham a recipe for making horse-loaves. —⁠Bullen

  57. Booty.

  58. The actor was at liberty to supply the abuse. Mr. Bullen mentions that in an old play, the Tryall of Chevalry (1605), the stage direction occurs, “Exit Clown, speaking anything.

  59. The scene is an apartment in the Emperor’s palace. Much of the text of this scene is closely borrowed from the prose History.

  60. The scene is “a fair and pleasant green,” presently alluded to by Faustus, and is supposed to change to a room in Faustus’s house where the latter falls asleep in his chair.

  61. Horse-dealer.

  62. Smooth.

  63. Dr. Lopez, physician to Queen Elizabeth. He was hanged in 1594 for having received a bribe from the court of Spain to poison the Queen; as Marlowe was dead before the doctor came into notoriety, he could hardly have written this.

  64. A juggler’s term, like “presto, fly!” Hence applied to the juggler himself. —⁠Bullen

  65. Hostelry.

  66. Anhalt in the Volksbuch, Anholt in the prose History.

  67. The scene is the Court of the Duke of Anhalt.

  68. Beholden.

  69. This and the following scene are inside Faustus’s house.

  70. This stage-direction is not in the early editions: it was suggested by Dyce.

  71. Shakespeare surely remembered this line when he wrote of Helen in Troilus and Cressida, ii 2:⁠—

    “Why, she is a pearl
    Whose price hath launched above a thousand ships.”


  72. Dyce supposes the scene to be a room in the Old Man’s house, and Bullen “a room of Faustus’s house, whither the Old Man has come to exhort Faustus to repentance.”

  73. The scene is a room in Faustus’s house,

  74. At si, quein malis. Cephalum complexa teoeres,
    Clamares ‘lente currite noctis equi.’

    Ovid’s Amores, i 13, ll 39⁠–⁠40.

    “By an exquisite touch of nature⁠—the brain involuntarily summoning words employed for other purposes in happier hours⁠—Faust cries aloud the line which Ovid whispered in Corinna’s arms.” —⁠J. A. Symonds


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The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
was published in 1604 by
Christopher Marlowe.

This ebook was produced for
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B. Timothy Keith,
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Gary R. Young and David Widger
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Absorbed in His Studies,
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May you do good and not evil.
May you find forgiveness for yourself and forgive others.
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