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Faustus: Scene 8

in Faustus's study
[Enter Faustus and Old Man.]

An Old Man visits Faustus
Old.
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 sins
As no commiseration may expel,
But mercy, Faustus, of thy Saviour sweet,
Whose blood alone must wash away thy guilt.
Faust.
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.
Old.
Ah 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.
Faust.
Ah, my sweet friend, I feel
Thy words do comfort my distressed soul.
Leave me a while to ponder on my sins.
If I live till morning, I'll visit you:
if not--Faustus is gone to hell.
Old.
I go, sweet Faustus, but with heavy cheer,
Fearing the ruin of thy hopeless soul.
[Exit Old Man.]

Faust.
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?
[Enter Mephistopheles.]

Meph.
Thou traitor, Faustus, I arrest thy soul
For disobedience to my sovereign lord;
Revolt, or I'll in piecemeal tear thy flesh.
Faust.
Sweet Mephistopheles, entreat thy lord
To pardon my unjust presumption.
One thing, good servant, let me crave of thee,
To glut the longing of my heart's desire,--
That I might have a tender counterpart,
Whose sweet embracings may extinguish clean
These thoughts that do dissuade me from my vow,
And keep mine oath I made to Lucifer.
Meph.
Faustus, this or what else thou shalt desire
Shall be perform'd in twinkling of an eye.
[Mephistopheles conjures Faustus's image as partner. Faustus and image embrace. The clock strikes eleven.]

Faust.
Ah, Faustus,
Now hast thou but one bare hour to live,
And then thou must be damn'd 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!
"Run softly, softly, horses of the night." (Ovid's Amores)
The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike,
The Devil will come, and Faustus must be damn'd.
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!
Mountain 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 reign'd 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 they vomit forth into the air,
My limbs may issue from their smoky mouths,
So that my soul may but ascend to Heaven.
[The clock strikes half hour.]

The Double Faustus at the End
Faust.
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 ransom'd me,
Impose some end to my incessant pain;
Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years--
A hundred thousand, and at last be sav'd!
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 chang'd
Unto some brutish beast! All beasts are happy,
For, when they die,
Their souls are soon dissolv'd in elements;
But mine must live, still to be plagu'd in hell.
Curst be the parents that engend'red me!
No, Faustus: curse thyself: curse Lucifer
That hath depriv'd thee of the joys of Heaven.
[The clock strikes twelve.]

Faust.
O, it strikes, it strikes! Now, body, turn to air,
Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell.
O soul, be chang'd into little water-drops,
And fall into the ocean--ne'er be found.
My God! my God! look not so fierce on me!
[Enter Devils.]

Faust.
Adders and serpents, let me breathe awhile!
Ugly hell, gape not! come not, Lucifer!
I'll burn my books!--Ah Mephistopheles.
[Exit Devils with Faustus. Exit Mephistopheles. Enter Narrator.]

The Narrator Concludes
Nar.
Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,
And burned is Apollo's laurel bough,
That sometimes 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 practise more than heavenly power permits.
The hour ends the day; thus, we end this play.
[Exit Narrator.]