The Tragedy of Dr Faustus
At last the twenty-four years that Lucifer had given Faustus came to an end. Lucifer, Beelzebub and Mephostophilis came up from hell to witness 1 the death of the man who had given them his soul.
‘Faustus is ours at midnight,’ Lucifer said triumphantly. ‘His soul is damned for ever.’
The two scholars whom Faustus had entertained happened to2 call on3 him during the evening, and they found Faustus in a gloomy4 mood.
‘Why didn’t I stay here in Wittenberg with you?’ Faustus asked them sadly. ‘My life would have been different, and I would not have been damned.’
‘He must be ill,’ one of the scholars said. ‘Let’s fetch a doctor for him.’
‘It’s a moral sickness,’ Faustus said, ‘and there’s no doctor in the world who can cure me.’
‘If that’s really true,’ one of the scholars said, ‘pray to God for help.’
Faustus smiled grimly at the mention of God. Then he told his visitors about the secret of his life. He explained about the agreement he had made with Lucifer, and how the twenty-four years were at an end. He told them there could be no forgiveness for him.
‘Pray to God,’ the scholar repeated.
‘How can I pray to God?’ Faustus cried desperately, ‘when I turned away from Him all those years ago? God will never forgive me! Besides,’ he went on, ‘they stop me praying – they hold my hands when I want to pray!’
‘Who does, Faustus?’ one of the scholars cried. ‘Who stops you praying?’
2 happen to:碰巧。
3 call on:拜访。
‘Lucifer and Mephostophilis stop me praying. I gave them my soul for my cunning 1,’ Faustus said.
The two scholars were very sorry for their old friend. They did not know what they could do to help him. They promised to pray for him.
‘The time has nearly come,’ Faustus whispered. ‘You must go. It might be dangerous for you to stay here!’
The scholars did not want to leave him alone, so they went into the room next to the study. They began to pray for their friend’s soul.
When Faustus was alone again in the study, Mephostophilis appeared. He seemed very cheerful at the thought of Faustus’ death.
‘It’s all your fault!’ Faustus told him. ‘You tempted me and I listened to you. You’ve robbed me of the happiness I could have had in heaven.’
‘It’s true,’ Mephostophilis admitted with a cruel smile. ‘I was there right from the start. Do you remember that evening you were looking through your books on the desk? Do you remember the page you opened in the Bible — “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and there is no truth in us”? It was me that turned the pages of the Bible to find those lines. It was I, Faustus!’
The good angel and the bad angel now entered the study.
‘You should have listened to me, Faustus,’ the good angel told him sadly. ‘You loved the pleasures of the world too much.’
‘And now you must try the pains 2 of hell!’ the bad angel mocked him. The clock struck eleven.
‘Just one hour!’ Faustus thought with horror. ‘And then my soul goes to hell for ever. If only the time would go slowly,’ he thought. ‘I wish the sun would rise in the sky, so that it would never be midnight!’
The clock struck the half-hour.
‘Time won’t stand still1 for me,’ Faustus thought desperately. ‘Then, God, don’t let me stay in hell for ever. A thousand years, a hundred thousand years — but save me in the end!’
Slowly the hands of the clock moved towards midnight. At last the moment had come. There was a crash of thunder outside the house, and Lucifer and his devils entered the study. They moved towards him, grinning and sneering at his suffering.
‘No, Lucifer, no! Give me one more minute!’ Faustus cried in horror.
When the scholars came into Faustus’ study a few hours later, they were sure that something dreadful had happened to their friend. They had heard the thunder during the night, and they were nervous. What they saw as they came into the study horrified them. Faustus had been torn to pieces by the devils.
1 stand still:停下来。
Leave a Comment