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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 363 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Oh yes! one grave and solemn prayer;
Let them for him three hundred masses sing! 
But in my pockets, I have nothing there.

MARTHA

No trinket! no love-token did he send! 
What every journeyman safe in his pouch will hoard
There for remembrance fondly stored,
And rather hungers, rather begs than spend!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Madam, in truth, it grieves me sore,
But he his gold not lavishly hath spent. 
His failings too he deeply did repent,
Ay! and his evil plight bewail’d still more.

MARGARET

Alas!  That men should thus be doomed to woe! 
I for his soul will many a requiem pray.

MEPHISTOPHELES

A husband you deserve this very day;
A child so worthy to be loved.

MARGARET

Ah no,
That time hath not yet come for me.

MEPHISTOPHELES

If not a spouse, a gallant let it be. 
Among heaven’s choicest gifts, I place,
So sweet a darling to embrace.

MARGARET

Our land doth no such usage know.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Usage or not, it happens so.

MARTHA

Go on, I pray!

MEPHISTOPHELES

I stood by his bedside. 
Something less foul it was than dung;
’Twas straw half rotten; yet, he as a Christian died. 
And sorely hath remorse his conscience wrung. 
“Wretch that I was,” quoth he, with parting breath,
“So to forsake my business and my wife! 
Ah! the remembrance is my death. 
Could I but have her pardon in this life!”—­

MARTHA (weeping)

Dear soul!  I’ve long forgiven him, indeed!

MEPHISTOPHELES

“Though she, God knows, was more to blame than I.”

MARTHA

He lied!  What, on the brink of death to lie!

MEPHISTOPHELES

If I am skill’d the countenance to read,
He doubtless fabled as he parted hence.—­
“No time had I to gape, or take my ease,” he said,
“First to get children, and then get them bread;
And bread, too, in the very widest sense;
Nor could I eat in peace even my proper share.”

MARTHA

What, all my truth, my love forgotten quite? 
My weary drudgery by day and night!

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