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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01 eBook

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.

Thou art and dost remain liar and sophist too.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Ay, if one did not take a somewhat deeper view! 
Tomorrow, in all honor, thou
Poor Gretchen wilt befool, and vow
Thy soul’s deep love, in lover’s fashion.

FAUST

And from my heart.

MEPHISTOPHELES

All good and fair! 
Then deathless constancy thou’lt swear;
Speak of one all o’ermastering passion—­
Will that too issue from the heart?

FAUST

Forbear! 
When passion sways me, and I seek to frame
Fit utterance for feeling, deep, intense,
And for my frenzy finding no fit name,
Sweep round the ample world with every sense,
Grasp at the loftiest words to speak my flame,
And call the glow, wherewith I burn,
Quenchless, eternal, yea, eterne—­
Is that of sophistry a devilish play?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Yet am I right!

FAUST

Mark this, my friend,
And spare my lungs; who would the right maintain,
And hath a tongue wherewith his point to gain,
Will gain it in the end. 
But come, of gossip I am weary quite;
Because I’ve no resource, thou’rt in the right.

GARDEN

MARGARET on FAUST’s arm.  MARTHA with MEPHISTOPHELES walking up and down.

MARGARET

I feel it, you but spare my ignorance,
The gentleman to blame me stoops thus low.

[Illustration:  FAUST AND MARGARET From the Painting by Carl Becker]

A traveler from complaisance
Still makes the best of things; I know
Too well, my humble prattle never can
Have power to entertain so wise a man.

FAUST

One glance, one word from thee doth charm me more
Than the world’s wisdom or the sage’s lore.

[He kisses her hand.]

MARGARET

Nay! trouble not yourself!  A hand so coarse,
So rude as mine, how can you kiss! 
What constant work at home must I not do perforce! 
My mother too exacting is.

[They pass on.]

MARTHA

Thus, sir, unceasing travel is your lot?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Traffic and duty urge us!  With what pain
Are we compelled to leave full many a spot,
Where yet we dare not once remain!

MARTHA

In youth’s wild years, with vigor crown’d,
’Tis not amiss thus through the world to sweep;
But ah, the evil days come round! 
And to a lonely grave as bachelor to creep
A pleasant thing has no one found.

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