The Tragedy of Dr Faustus
While Faustus was waiting for Mephostophilis to return, he thought more closely1 about what he was doing. One part of him was afraid. He knew that he was turning away from God for ever. He knew that he would lose his soul. But another part of him was thrilled at the thought of the power that Lucifer would give him. He struggled2 with his conscience.
As he was arguing with himself, the good angel and bad angel came back into the study.
‘Go forward, Faustus,’ the bad angel whispered to him. ‘You’ll soon be famous and rich.’
‘Stop, Faustus!’ the good angel cried. ‘You’ll lose your soul. ‘
The two angels looked at him for a moment and then they left the study. ‘I’ll be rich,’ Faustus said to himself. ‘And Mephostophilis will be my servant.’
Suddenly he put his doubts aside. It was nearly midnight.
He stood inside the magic circle and raised his arms.
‘Mephostophilis,’ he cried, ‘come here!’ Mephostophilis suddenly appeared in the study.
‘What did Lucifer say?’ Faustus asked impatiently. ‘Did he agree to everything?’
‘He agreed,’ Mephostophilis said quietly. ‘I’ll be your servant for twenty-four years and you will then give Lucifer your soul. But there’s one condition,’ he added softly. ‘Lucifer wants a proper contract with you.
1 more closely:更仔细的。
You must write the agreement in your own blood. Lucifer insists on it. If you don’t give him a proper contract, I’ll go straight back to him and you won’t see me any more.’
‘I’ll do it,’ Faustus said.
Faustus took a knife and cut his arm. It was a deep cut, and blood poured out.
‘Now write the contract,’ commanded Mephostophilis sternly. He handed Faustus a pen.
Faustus dipped the pen into his blood and began to write.
As he was writing, the blood in the pen suddenly dried. He shook the pen, but it was blocked.
‘What does this mean?’ he asked himself. He felt afraid again.
‘Why can’t I write?’ he asked Mephostophilis anxiously.
‘Don’t worry,’ Mephostophilis said reassuringly. ‘I’ll heat the pen with some coal. It’ll work then.’
Mephostophilis took the pen and warmed it over some coal. The blood was soon flowing once more and Faustus began to write the contract.
Faustus shall be a spirit in body and soul.
Mephostophilis will be his servant.
Mephostophilis will do everything that Faustus commands
Mephostophilis will be invisible when he comes to Faustus’ house.
Mephostophilis shall appear in the shape that Faustus commands.
At the bottom of this document Faustus wrote:
I, John Faustus, agree that Lucifer and his servants can come and carry me away with them after twenty-four years.
Then he signed his name on the contract.
‘It’s done!’ he cried triumphantly.
‘But there’s something written on my arm!’ cried Faustus in alarm. ‘Homo fuge!’ All his fear came back to him in a rush. ‘But where can run to? God will throw me down to hell.’
Mephostophilis could see that Faustus was regretting what he had done. He decided to offer him a little distraction1 from the terrible signing of the contract.
He made a discreet2 sign with his hand, and a group of devils entered the study. They were richly dressed and they began a ceremonial3 dance around the room.
‘What’s this for?’ Faustus asked curiously.
‘It’s nothing. I just thought it would amuse you,’ Mephostophilis said.
‘Can I raise spirits like these when I want to?’ Faustus asked.
‘Of course you can,’ Mephostophilis said. ‘You can do much more than that.
But give me the contract,’ he ordered.
Faustus handed it to him. Mephostophilis read it quickly.
There was a gleam4 in his eye as he folded the piece of paper away carefully. Then he turned to Faustus with a smile.
‘Now you can ask me anything you want,’ he informed him.
Faustus asked Mephostophilis to tell him about hell. ‘Where exactly is it?’ he wanted to know.
‘Hell is everywhere,’ replied Mephostophilis. ‘Wherever we devils are, that is hell. It’s the place where we suffer and are tortured. ‘
‘I don’t believe in hell,’ Faustus announced firmly. ‘I think hell’s a fable.’
‘Wait until you get there,’ Mephostophilis said quietly. ‘Then you’ll change your mind.’
‘Do you really think I’ll go to hell?’ Faustus asked uneasily.
‘Of course you will,’ Mephostophilis told him. ‘I’ve got the contract. You’ve promised to give Lucifer your soul after twenty-four years.’
‘It’s a fable,’ Faustus repeated.
‘Then how do you explain me?’ Mephostophilis asked softly. ‘I am damned and I am in hell.’
Faustus laughed scornfully.
‘You can walk around and eat and enjoy yourself. If you can do all of that in hell, I don’t mind being damned! But let’s not talk about that,’ he decided. ‘Bring me a wife, Mephostophilis! I want the most beautiful girl in Germany for my wife!’ he said excitedly.
Mephostophilis made another discreet sign and a female devil appeared. She was old and terribly ugly. Faustus looked at her in disgust. He shrank3 back against the wall. Mephostophilis watched Faustus with amusement.
‘Don’t talk about wives!’ he said. ‘Marriage is just an empty ceremony. I’ll bring you the most beautiful girl — a different one each day. But don’t think about marriage if you want me to be your servant. And now I have a present for you,’ he said. He gave Faustus a book.
‘This book contains all kinds of magic spells,’ he told him. ‘There are spells for gold, spells for controlling the wind, and all sorts of other magic.’ Faustus took the book gratefully. He turned the pages quickly. ‘Thanks, Mephostophilis,’ he said.
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