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Faust

XXIII

SCENE XXIII. DREARY DAY. Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). Illustrated by Engelbert Seibertz (1813–1905)

DREARY DAY

A FIELD

FAUST MEPHISTOPHELES

FAUST

In misery! In despair! Long wretchedly astray on the face
of the earth, and now imprisoned! That gracious, ill-starred
creature shut in a dungeon as a criminal, and given
up to fearful torments! To this has it come! to this!-Treacherous,
contemptible spirit, and thou hast concealed it from
me!-Stand, then,-stand! Roll the devilish eyes wrathfully in
thy head! Stand and defy me with thine intolerable presence!
Imprisoned! In irretrievable misery! Delivered up to evil
spirits, and to condemning, unfeeling Man! And thou hast
lulled me, meanwhile, with the most insipid dissipations, hast
concealed from me her increasing wretchedness, and suffered
her to go helplessly to ruin!

MEPHISTOPHELES

She is not the first.

FAUST

Dog! Abominable monster! Transform him, thou Infinite
Spirit! transform the reptile again into his dog-shape? in which
it pleased him often at night to scamper on before me, to roll
himself at the feet of the unsuspecting wanderer, and hang
upon his shoulders when he fell! Transform him again into
his favorite likeness, that he may crawl upon his belly in the
dust before me,-that I may trample him, the outlawed, under
foot! Not the first! O woe! woe which no human soul can
grasp, that more than one being should sink into the depths
of this misery,-that the first, in its writhing death-agony
under the eyes of the Eternal Forgiver, did not expiate the
guilt of all others! The misery of this single one pierces to the
very marrow of my life; and thou art calmly grinning at the
fate of thousands!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Now we are already again at the end of our wits, where the
understanding of you men runs wild. Why didst thou enter
into fellowship with us, if thou canst not carry it out? Wilt fly,
and art not secure against dizziness? Did we thrust ourselves
upon thee, or thou thyself upon us?

FAUST

Gnash not thus thy devouring teeth at me? It fills me with
horrible disgust. Mighty, glorious Spirit, who hast vouchsafed
to me Thine apparition, who knowest my heart and my soul,
why fetter me to the felon-comrade, who feeds on mischief and
gluts himself with ruin?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Hast thou done?

FAUST

Rescue her, or woe to thee! The fearfullest curse be upon
thee for thousands of ages!

MEPHISTOPHELES

I cannot loosen the bonds of the Avenger, nor undo his bolts.
Rescue her? Who was it that plunged her into ruin? I, or thou?

(FAUST looks around wildly.)

Wilt thou grasp the thunder? Well that it has not been
given to you, miserable mortals! To crush to pieces the innocent
respondent-that is the tyrant-fashion of relieving one′s
self in embarrassments.

FAUST

Take me thither! She shall be free!

MEPHISTOPHELES

And the danger to which thou wilt expose thyself? Know
that the guilt of blood, from thy hand, still lies upon the town!
Avenging spirits hover over the spot where the victim fell, and
lie in wait for the returning murderer.

FAUST

That, too, from thee? Murder and death of a world upon
thee, monster! Take me thither, I say, and liberate her!

MEPHISTOPHELES

I will convey thee there; and hear, what I can do! Have I
all the power in Heaven and on Earth? I will becloud the
jailer′s senses: get possession of the key, and lead her forth with
human hand! I will keep watch: the magic steeds are ready,
I will carry you off. So much is in my power.

FAUST

Up and away!

Up and away! Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). Illustrated by Engelbert Seibertz (1813–1905)

SCENE XXIII. DREARY DAY. THE END. Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). Illustrated by Engelbert Seibertz (1813–1905)

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