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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.

  Room! wheel round!  They’re coming! lo! 
   Down sink the bending grasses. 
  Though spirits, yet their limbs, we know,
   Are huge substantial masses.

   PUCK

  Don’t stamp so heavily, I pray;
   Like elephants you’re treading! 
  And ’mong the elves be Puck today,
   The stoutest at the wedding!

  ARIEL

  If nature boon, or subtle sprite,
   Endow your soul with pinions;—­
  Then follow to you rosy height,
   Through ether’s calm dominions!

  ORCHESTRA (pianissimo)

  Drifting cloud and misty wreathes
   Are fill’d with light elysian;
  O’er reed and leaf the zephyr breathes—­
   So fades the fairy vision!

A GLOOMY DAY.  A PLAIN

FAUST and MEPHISTOPHELES

FAUST

In misery! despairing! long wandering pitifully on the face of the earth and now imprisoned!  This gentle hapless creature, immured in the dungeon as a malefactor and reserved for horrid tortures!  That it should come to this!  To this!—­Perfidious, worthless spirit, and this thou hast concealed from me!—­Stand! ay, stand! roll in malicious rage thy fiendish eyes!  Stand and brave me with thine insupportable presence!  Imprisoned!  In hopeless misery!  Delivered over to the power of evil spirits and the judgment of unpitying humanity!—­And me, the while, thou went lulling with tasteless dissipations, concealing from me her growing anguish, and leaving her to perish without help!

MEPHISTOPHELES

She is not the first.

FAUST

Hound!  Execrable monster!—­Back with him, oh thou infinite spirit! back with the reptile into his dog’s shape, in which it was his wont to scamper before me at eventide, to roll before the feet of the harmless wanderer, and to fasten on his shoulders when he fell!  Change him again into his favorite shape, that he may crouch on his belly before me in the dust, whilst I spurn him with my foot, the reprobate!—­Not the first!—­Woe!  Woe!  By no human soul is it conceivable, that more than one human creature has ever sunk into a depth of wretchedness like this, or that the first in her writhing death-agony should not have atoned in the sight of all-pardoning Heaven for the guilt of all the rest!  The misery of this one pierces me to the very marrow, and harrows up my soul; thou art grinning calmly over the doom of thousands!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Now we are once again at our wit’s end, just where the reason of you mortals snaps!  Why dost thou seek our fellowship, if thou canst not go through with it?  Wilt fly, and art not proof against dizziness?  Did we force ourselves on thee, or thou on us?

FAUST

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