The Tragedy of Dr Faustus
The days after he signed the agreement with Lucifer were busy ones for Faustus.
Mephostophilis organised a variety of entertainment and a lot of journeys for him. They talked together about philosophy and science. Mephostophilis kept him amused and entertained, although sometimes Faustus noticed that his devil servant never fully answered the questions that he was asked.
At times Faustus was very unhappy and he blamed Mephostophilis for tempting him. But Mephostophilis mocked him.
‘It was your own doing,’ he reminded him. ‘You wanted to learn about magic, and to have power and money, remember? You wanted to astonish the world with your learning and your wit. You signed the agreement with Lucifer.’
‘I’m going to give up magic,’ Faustus said. ‘I want to repent.’
The good angel and the bad angel entered the study.
‘Give up this magic and God will forgive you,’ the good angel said. ‘You have become a devil,’ the bad angel said. ‘God cannot forgive you.’ ‘Even if I am a devil, God can still forgive me,’
Faustus said. ‘God will forgive me if I repent.’
‘You will never repent,’ the bad angel told him. The good and the bad angels left the study.
Faustus was in terrible agony now. He was terrified of what he had done and he tried to repent, but it was no good. He remembered the wonderful things that Mephostophilis had showed him and the places he had seen. He knew that the pleasures Mephostophilis gave him would prevent him from repenting.
Mephostophilis and Faustus had many intellectual discussions together, but Faustus did not learn very much from them. It seemed to him that Mephostophilis did not give him any new knowledge — he merely repeated things that Faustus already knew. And there were some questions that he refused to answer at all.
Once, they were having a discussion about the movement of the stars and planets. Faustus asked questions as usual and listened with irritation1 to the simple answers that his servant from hell gave him. At last he expressed his impatience.
‘You only tell me things that anyone with some education could tell me!’ he complained bitterly2. ‘I didn’t agree to give my soul to Lucifer so that I could hear things that any student might tell me. Let’s talk about something else. Tell me, Mephostophilis,’ he asked, ‘who made the world?’
Mephostophilis was silent for a moment. He avoided Faustus’ eyes.
‘I won’t tell you,’ he said at last.
‘Please,’ Faustus insisted. ‘Answer my question.’
‘Don’t ask me that again,’ Mephostophilis said menacingly3. Suddenly Faustus gave way to4 all the anger and frustration5 he had been feeling.
‘You promised to obey me,’ he said angrily. ‘That was our agreement! ‘
4 gave way to:表露。
‘I promised to tell you everything that I could,’ Mephostophilis replied. ‘But this question is against the rules of hell. I can’t answer it. Don’t think about it any more, Faustus. You’d be better to think about hell — you are damned.’
Faustus was disappointed in Mephostophilis, and all his bitterness1 and rage2 made him determined to outrage3 his servant.
‘I won’t think about hell!’ cried Faustus. ‘I want to think about God who made the world. I want to save my soul. Go away from me, you devil!’ he shouted. Mephostophilis left the room angrily.
‘It can’t be too late to save my soul!’ Faustus cried in misery4. The good angel and the bad angel entered the room when they heard these desperate words. The bad angel, who was the first to speak, whispered softly, ‘It is too late, Faustus. You cannot save your soul now. You’ve gone too far.’
‘It’s never too late, Faustus,’ the good angel said. ‘Repent, Faustus, and save your soul.’
‘If you repent, Faustus, devils will come and tear6 you to pieces!’ the bad angel threatened him.
‘Repent, and they will never touch you,’ the good angel said. The two angels left the room. Faustus decided to make one last effort to be free of Lucifer and Mephostophilis. He began to pray.
‘Christ, help me! Help to save my soul,’ he began.
5 gone too far:做得太过分。
Suddenly there was a great crash1 in the room and Lucifer, Beelzebub and Mephostophilis stood in front of him. They were angry and Faustus was afraid of what they were going to do to him.
‘Christ can’t help you,’ Lucifer said coldly. ‘You belong to me now, Faustus.’
‘Who are you?’ Faustus asked. He was trembling with fear because Lucifer and his devils were about to kill him and drag2 him off to hell with them, ‘I’m Lucifer and this is Beelzebub.’
Faustus looked at Lucifer in horror. He thought he was going to die.
‘You’ve come to take my soul!’ he cried. ‘You’ve come to carry me off to hell.’
Lucifer smiled reassuringly at Faustus and shook his head.
‘We’ve come to talk to you,’ he said. ‘That’s all. You’re breaking the agreement, Faustus.’
‘That’s right,’ Beelzebub said. ‘You shouldn’t be talking about God and Christ.’
‘You should be thinking about hell,’ Lucifer explained.
Faustus gazed in panic at the three devils that were standing in front of him. He was terrified.
‘I’ll never do it again,’ he promised. ‘I’ll never mention God or Christ again, I promise!’
‘We’ve come from hell to show you something amusing,’ Beelzebub announced. ‘Sit down and we’ll show you the Seven Deadly Sins. You’ll enjoy this, I promise you.’
‘Mephostophilis, bring them in,’ commanded Lucifer. The Seven Deadly Sins entered the room.
‘You can ask them anything,’ Beelzebub told Faustus airily1. ‘They’ll tell you anything you want to know about them.’
Faustus looked at the first Deadly Sin.
‘Who are you?’ he asked. ‘Tell me about yourself.’
‘I am Pride,’ the Deadly Sin replied haughtily.’Women love me.
Sometimes they put me on their heads and admire themselves. Sometimes they hang me round their necks, like a necklace. They adore me!’ The Deadly Sin paused and pulled an ugly face.
‘But what’s that terrible smell in here?’ he cried. ‘I won’t stay here a moment longer unless you sprinkle4 perfume on the ground and give me the finest carpet to walk on!’
Faustus laughed delightedly.
‘You’re proud all right, I can see that,’ he said. ‘But what about you?’ he asked, turning to the next Deadly Sin. ‘Who are you?’
‘I’m Covetousness,’ the Deadly Sin replied. ‘If I had my way5 you’d all be turned to gold and I’d lock you in my chest. Gold, gold, gold — that’s what I love!’
‘And what about you?’ Faustus asked the third Deadly Sin. ‘Who are you?’
‘I’m Envy,’ the Deadly Sin told him. ‘I can’t read and so I want to burn every book in the world. I hate to see other people happy.’
‘And you?’ Faustus asked the fourth Deadly Sin. ‘Who are you?’
5 If I had my way:如果我按自己地想法去做。
‘I’m Wrath. I was born in hell and I roam1 around the world with a sword.’
Faustus turned to the fifth Deadly Sin. ‘Who are you?’ he asked.
‘I’m Gluttony,’ the Deadly Sin replied. ‘My parents are dead and they left me just enough money for thirty meals and ten snacks a day. Will you ask me to stay for dinner, Faustus?’
Faustus laughed again and dismissed the Deadly Sin.
‘Who are you?’ he asked the sixth Deadly Sin.
‘I’m Sloth. I lie in the sun all day and I never do anything. Why have you disturbed me by bringing me here? I won’t say another word until you put me back in the place I came from.’
‘And you, the seventh?’ asked Faustus, ‘Who are you?’
‘I’m Lechery,’ the Deadly Sin told him. ‘All my pleasures are in the body.’ ‘That’s enough,’ Lucifer now announced. ‘Go away to hell!’ he commanded. The Deadly Sins left.
‘What a show,’ said Faustus, ‘but how I would love to see hell and come back again!’
‘We can arrange that,’ said Lucifer before he left.
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