HISTORIA & TALE OF
DOCTOR JOHANNES FAUSTUS
The sorcerer, wherein is described specifically and veraciously:
His entire life and death,
How he did oblige himself for a certain time unto the Devil,
And what happened to him,
And how he at last got his well-deserved reward
Rare revelations are
also included, for these examples are most useful
and efficacious as a highly essential Christian warning and admonition,
that the laity, in order to protect themselves from similar maculations
of the most shameful sort, have especial cause to heed and to avoid
a desperate fate.
Of His Parentage and Youth
Doctor Faustus, the son of a husbandman, was born in Roda in the Province of Weimar. His parents were godfearing and Christian people with many connections in Wittemberg. A kinsman who dwelt there was a citizen and possessed of considerable wealth. He reared Faustus for the parents and kept him as his own child, for, being himself without issue, he adopted this Faustus, made him his heir, and sent him to school to study theology. Faustus, however, strayed from this godly purpose and used God's Word vainly.
Therefore we shall blame neither his parents nor his patrons, who desired only the best (as do all pious parents), nor shall we mix them into this Historia. For they neither witnessed nor experienced the abominations of their godless child. One thing is certain: that these parents, as was generally known in Wittemberg, were quite heartily delighted that their kinsman adopted him. When they later perceived in Faustus his excellent ingenium and memoria, it did most assuredly trouble them, just as Job in the first chapter of that Book was concerned for his children, lest they sin against the Lord. Therefore pious parents do sometimes have godless, naughty children, and I point this out because there have been many who imputed great guilt and calumny to these parents whom I would herewith pardon. Such distortions are not merely abusive. If they imply that Faustus had been taught such things by his parents, they are also slanderous. Indeed, certain charges are alleged--to wit: that his parents had permitted wantonness in his youth, and that they had not diligently held him to his studies. It is charged that, so soon as his cleverness--together with his lack of inclination to theology--was perceived, it being further public hue and cry that he was practicing magic, his family should have prevented it betimes. All such rumors are somnia, for the parents, being without guilt, should not be slandered. But now ad propositum.
Faustus was a most percipient and adroit fellow, qualified and inclined toward study, and he performed so well at his examination that the rectors also examined him for the Magister Degree. There were sixteen other candidates, to whom he proved in address, composition, and competence so superior that it was immediately concluded he had studied sufficiently, and he became Doctor Theologiæ. For the rest, he was also a stupid, unreasonable and vain fellow, whom, after all, his companions always called the speculator. He came into the worst company, for a time laid the Holy Scriptures behindst the door and under the bench, did not revere God's Word but lived crassly and godlessly in gluttony and lust (as the progress of this Historia will sufficiently manifest). Surely the proverb is true: what is inclined to the Devil will go to the Devil.
Faustus found his ilk, who dealt in Chaldean, Persian,
Arabian and Greek words, figuræ, characteres, coniurationes,
and these things recounted were pure Dardaniæ artes,
carmina, veneficii, vaticini, incantationes, and whatever you care
to call such books, words and names for conjuring and sorcery. They
pleased Doctor Faustus, he speculated and studied night and day in
Soon he refused to be called a Theologus, but waxed a worldly
called himself a Doctor Medicinæ, became an
Mathematicus--and, for respectability, a physician. At
he helped many people with medicaments, herbs, roots, waters, receipts,
and clisters. He became learned besides, well versed in the Holy
and he knew quite accurately the Laws of Christ: he who knoweth the
of the Lord and doeth it not, he is doubly smitten. Likewise, thou
not tempt the Lord thy God. All this he threw in the wind and put his
away for a time above the door sill, wherefore there shall for him be
How Doctor Faustus Did Achieve
and Acquire Sorcery
As was reported above, Doctor Faustus' complexion was such that he loved what ought not be loved, and to the which his spirit did devote itself day and night, taking on eagle's wings and seeking out the very foundations of Heaven and Earth. For his prurience, insolence and folly so pricked and incited him that he at last resolved to utilize and to prove certain magical vocabula, figuræ, characteres and coniurationes in the hope of compelling the Devil to appear before him. Hence (as others also report and as indeed Doctor Faustus himself later made known) he went into a great dense forest which is called the Spesser Wald and is situated near Wittemberg. Toward evening, at a crossroad in these woods, he described certain circles with his staff, so that, beside twain, the two which stood above intersected a large circle. Thus in the night between nine and ten o'clock he did conjure the Devil.
Now the Devil feigned he would not willingly appear at the spot designated, and he caused such a tumult in the forest that everything seemed about to be destroyed. He blew up such a wind that the trees were bent to the very ground. Then it seemed as were the wood with devils filled, who rode along past Doctor Faustus' circle; now only their coaches were to be seen; then from the four corners of the forest something like lightning bolts converged on Doctor Faustus' circle, and a loud explosion ensued. When all this was past, it became light in the midst of the forest, and many sweet instruments, music and song could be heard. There were various dances, too, and tourneys with spears and swords. Faustus, who thought he might have tarried long enough now, considered fleeing from his circle, but finally he regained his godless and reckless resolve and persisted in his former intention, come whatever God might send. He continued to conjure the Devil as before, and the Devil did mystify him with the following hoax. He appeared like a griffon or a dragon hovering and flattering above the circle, and when Doctor Faustus then applied his spell the beast shrieked piteously. Soon thereafter a fiery star fell right down from three or four fathoms above his head and was transformed into a glowing ball. This greatly alarmed Faustus, too. But his purpose liked him so well, and he so admired having the Devil subservient to him that he took courage and did conjure the star once, twice, and a third time, whereupon a gush of fire from the sphere shot up as high as a man, settled again, and six little lights became visible upon it. Now one little light would leap upward, now a second downward until the form of a burning man finally emerged. He walked round about the circle for a full seven or eight minutes. The entire spectacle, however, had lasted until twelve o'clock in the night. Now a devil, or a spirit, appeared in the figure of a gray friar, greeted Doctor Faustus, and asked what his desire and intent might be. Hereupon Doctor Faustus commanded that he should appear at his house and lodging at a certain hour the next morning, the which the devil for a while refused to do. Doctor Faustus conjured him by his master, however, compelling him to fulfill his desire, so that the spirit at last consented and agreed.
Here Followeth the Disputatio Held
by Faustus and the Spirit
Doctor Faustus returned home and later the same morning commanded the spirit into his chamber, who indeed appeared to hear what Doctor Faustus might desire of him (and it is most astounding that a spirit, when God withdraws his hand, can so deceive mankind). Doctor Faustus again commenced his machinations, conjured him anew, and laid before the spirit these several articles, to wit:
Firstly, that the spirit should be subservient and obedient to him in all that he might request, inquire, or expect of him, throughout Faustus' life and death.
Secondly, that the spirit would withhold no information which Faustus, in his studies, might require.
Thirdly, that the spirit would respond nothing untruthful to any of his interrogationes.
The spirit immediately rejected the articles, refused Faustus, and explained his reason: that he had not complete authority except in so far as he could obtain it from his lord who ruled over him. He spake: Sweet Fauste, it standeth neither within my election nor authority to fulfill thy desires, but is left to the Hellish god.
Faustus replied: What? How am I to understand thee? Art thou not thine own master?
The spirit answered: Nay.
Faustus then said to him: Sweet spirit, explain it to me then.
Now thou shalt know, Fauste, said the spirit, that among us there is a government and sovereignty, just as on earth, for we have our rulers and governors and servants--of whom I am one--and we call our kingdom Legion. For although the banished devil Lucifer brought about his own fall through vanity and insolence, he raised up a Legion, nevertheless, and a government of devils, and we call him the Oriental Prince, for he had his sovereignty in Ascension. It is thus a sovereignty in Meridie, Septentrione and Occidente as well. Therefore, inasmuch as Lucifer the fallen angel now hath his sovereignty and principality beneath the Heavens, we must, on account of this transformation, betake ourselves unto mankind and serve them. But with all his power and arts man could not make Lucifer subservient, except that a spirit be sent, as I am sent. Certainly we have never revealed to men the real fundament of our dwelling place, nor our rule and sovereignty. No one knoweth what doth occur after the death of the damned human--who learneth and experienceth it.
Doctor Faustus became alarmed at this and said: Then I will not be damned for thy sake.
The spirit answered: Wilt not agree? For thee no plea. If there be no plea, thou must come with me. Thou wost it not when we hold thee. Yet come thou must with me, nor helpeth any plea: an insolent heart hath damned thee.
Then Doctor Faustus said: A pox take thee! Hence! Begone !
Even in the moment when the spirit was about to withdraw, Doctor Faustus did change his vacillating mind. He conjured the spirit to appear at the same place at vespers to hear what else he would require. The spirit granted this and disappeared from before him.
The Second Disputatio with the Spirit
At Vespers, or at four 0' clock in the evening, the flying spirit again appeared unto Faustus and proffered his obedience and subservience in all things, if so be that Faustus would tender certain articles to him in return. Would he do that, then his desires would know no want. These following were the several articles required by the spirit:
Firstly, that he, Faustus, would agree to a certain number of years, at the expiration of which he would promise and swear to be his, the spirit's, own property.
Secondly, that he would, to the further confirmation thereof, give himself over with a writ to this effect authenticated in his own blood.
Thirdly, that he would renounce the Christian Faith and defy all believers.
Should he observe all
such points, every lust of his heart would be
fulfilled, And (spake the spirit) thou shalt immediately be possessed
a spirit's form and powers. Puffed up with pride and arrogance, Doctor
Faustus (although he did consider for a space) had got so proud and
that he did not want to give thought to the weal of his soul, but came
to terms with the evil spirit, promised to observe all his articles,
to obey them. He supposed that the Devil might not be so black as they
use to paint him, nor Hell so hot as the people say.
Doctor Faustus' Third Colloquium with the Spirit,
Which Was Called Mephostophiles--
Concerning Also the Pact Which
These Two Made
Now as for the Pact, it came about on this wise. Doctor Faustus required the spirit to come before him on the next morning, commanding him to appear, so often as he might be called, in the figure, form and raiment of a Franciscan Monk,and always with a little bell to give certain signals withal, in order that by the sound it might be known when he was approaching. Then he asked the spirit his name, and the spirit answered: Mephostophiles. --Even in this hour did the godless man cut himself off from his God and Creator to become a liege of the abominable Devil, whereto pride, arrogance and transgression did bring and seduce him.
Afterwards, in audacity and trangression, Doctor Faustus executed a written instrument and document to the evil spirit. This was a blasphemous and horrible thing, which was found in his lodging after he had lost his life. I will include it as a warning to all pious Christians, lest they yield to the Devil and be cheated of body and soul (as afterward his poor famulus was by Doctor Faustus to this devilish work seduced).
When these two wicked
parties contracted with one another , Doctor Faustus
took a penknife, pricked open a vein in his left hand (and it is the
truth that upon this hand were seen graven and bloody the words: o
homo fuge--id est: o mortal fly from him and do what is right),
drained his blood into a crucible, set it on some hot coals and wrote
Doctor Faustus' Instrumentum,
or Devilish and Godless Writ
I, JOHANN FAUSTUS, Dr.,
Do publicly declare with mine own hand in covenant & by power of these presents:
Whereas, mine own spiritual faculties having been exhaustively explored (including the gifts dispensed from above and graciously imparted to me), I still cannot comprehend;
And whereas, it being my wish to probe further into the matter, I do propose to speculate upon the Elementa;
And whereas mankind doth not teach such things;
Now therefore have I summoned the spirit who calleth himself Mephostophiles, a servant of the Hellish Prince in Orient, charged with informing and instructing me, and agreeing against a promissory instrument hereby transferred unto him to be subservient and obedient to me in all things.
I do promise him in return that, when I be fully sated of that which I desire of him, twenty-four years also being past, ended and expired, he may at such a time and in whatever manner or wise pleaseth him order, ordain, reign, rule and possess all that may be mine: body, property, flesh, blood, etc., herewith duly bound over in eternity and surrendered by covenant in mine own hand by authority and power of these presents, as well as of my mind, brain, intent, blood and will.
I do now defy all living beings, all the Heavenly Host and all mankind, and this must be.
In confirmation and contract whereof I have drawn out mine own blood for certification in lieu of a seal.
Doctor Faustus, Adept
in the Elementa
and in Church Doctrine.
Concerning the Service that Mephostophiles
Used Toward Faustus
Doctor Faustus having with his own blood and in his own hand committed such an abomination unto the spirit, it is certainly to be assumed that God and the whole Heavenly Host did turn away from him. He dwelt in the house of his good Wittemberg kinsman, who had died and in his testament bequeathed it to Doctor Faustus. With him he had a young schoolboy as famulus, a reckless lout named Christoph Wagner. Doctor Faustus' game well pleased Wagner, and his lord also flattered him by saying he would make a learned and worthy man of him. A tune like that appealed to him (youth being always more inclined toward wickedness than toward goodness).
Now Doctor Faustus, as I said, had no one in his house save his famulus and his spirit Mephostophiles, who, in his presence, always went about in the form of a friar, and whom Doctor Faustus conjured in his study, a room which he kept locked at all times. Faustus had a superfluity of victuals and provisions, for when he desired a good wine the spirit brought it to him from whatever cellars he liked (the Doctor himself was once heard to remark that he made great inroads on the cellar of his Lord Elector of Saxony as well as those of the Duke of Bavaria and the Bishop of Saltzburg). He likewise enjoyed cooked fare every day, for he was so cunning in sorcery that when he opened a window and named some fowl he desired, it came flying right in through the window. His spirit also brought him cooked meat of a most princely sort from the courts of the nobility in all territories round about. The fabrics for his apparel and that of his boy (he went sumptuously attired) the spirit also had to buy or steal by night in Nuremberg, Augsburg or Frankfurt. A similar injury was done the tanners and cobblers. In sum, it was stolen, wickedly borrowed goods, so that Doctor Faustus' meat and clothing was very respectable, but godless. Indeed Christ our Lord doth through John call the Devil a thief and a murderer, and that is what he is.
The devil also promised
to give Faustus twenty-five Crowns a week, which
amounts to 1,300 Crowns a year, and that was his year's emolument.
Concerning Doctor Faustus' Intended
While he lived thus day in and day out like an Epicure--or like a sow--with faith neither in God, Hell nor the Devil, Doctor Faustus' aphrodisia did day and night so prick him that he desired to enter matrimony and take a wife. He questioned his spirit in this regard, who was to be sure an enemy of the matrimonial estate as created and ordained by God.
The spirit answered: Well, what is thy purpose with thyself? Viz., had Faustus forgot his commitment, and would he not hold to the promise wherein he had vowed enmity to God and mankind ? If so, then neither by chance nor by intent dare he enter matrimony.
For a man cannot serve two masters (spake the devil), God and us, too. Matrimony is a work of the Lord God. We, who take our profit from all that pertains to and derives from adultery and fornication, are opposed to it. Wherefore, Fauste, look thou to it: shouldst thou promise to wed, thou shalt then most assuredly be torn into little pieces by us. Sweet Fauste, judge for thyself what unquiet, antipathy, anger and strife result from matrimony.
Doctor Faustus considered various sides of the matter, his monk constantly presenting objections. At last he said: Well, I will wed, let come of it what may!
When Faustus had uttered this resolve, a storm wind did fall upon his house and seemed about to destroy it. All the doors leapt from their hooks, and at the same instant his house was quite filled with heat, just as if it were about to burn away into pure ashes. Doctor Faustus took to his heels down the stair, but a man caught him up and cast him back into the parlor with such a force that he could move neither hand nor foot. Round about him everywhere sprang up fire. He thought he would be burned alive, and he screamed to his spirit for help, promising to live in accordance with every wish, counsel and precept. Then the Devil himself appeared unto him, so horrible and malformed that Faustus could not look upon him.
Satan said: Now tell me, of what purpose art thou?
Doctor Faustus gave him short answer, admitting that he had not fulfilled his promise in that he had not deemed it to extend so far, and he did request Grace.
Satan answered him equally curtly: Then be henceforth steadfast. I tell thee, be steadfast
After this, the spirit Mephostophiles came to him and said unto him: If thou are henceforth steadfast in thy commitment, then will I tickle thy lust otherwise, so that in thy days thou wilt wish naught else than this--namely: if thou canst not live chastely, then will I lead to thy bed any day or night whatever woman thou seest in this city or elsewhere. Whosoever might pleasethy lust, and whomever thou might desire in lechery, she shall abide with thee in such a figure and form.
Doctor Faustus was so intrigued by this that his heart trembled
joys and his original proposal rued him. And he did then come into such
libidinousness and debauchery that he yearned day and night after the
of the beautiful women in such excellent forms, dissipating today with
one devil and having another on his mind tomorrow.
of his Spirit Mephostophiles
Now after Doctor Faustus had for a time carried on such a very fine matrimony with the Devil (as was reported above), his spirit committed unto him a great book containing all manner of sorcery and nigromantia, wherein he indulged himself in addition to his devilish wedlock (these dardaniæ artes later being found with his famulus and son Christoph Wagner). Soon his curiosity did prick him and he summoned his spirit Mephostophiles, with whom he desired to converse and to whom he said : Tell me, my servant, what manner of spirit art thou?
The spirit answered and spake: This disputatio and question, if I am to elucidate it for thee, my Lord Fauste, will move thee somewhat to discontent and to contemplation. Moreover, thou ought not have asked such of me, for it toucheth on our arcana. But I must obey thee.
Thou shalt know therefore that the Banished Angel at the time of his fall was still graciously and kindly disposed toward man, who had just been created. But soon the leaf did turn and Lucifer, become enemy to God and all mankind, presumed to work all manner of tyranny upon men--as is every day manifest when someone falleth to his death; another hangeth, drowneth or stabbeth himself; a third is stabbed, driven mad, and the like other cases which thou might have observed. Because the first man was created so perfect by God, the Devil begrudged it him. He beset Adam and Eve and brought them with all their seed into sin, and out of the Grace of God. Such, sweet Fauste, is the onslaught and tyranny of Satan. Likewise did he unto Cain: He caused the people of Israel to worship him, to sacrifice unto strange gods and to go lustfully in unto the heathen women. It was one of our spirits who pursued Saul and drave him into madness, pricking him on til he took his own life. Another spirit is amongst us, Asmodeus, who slew seven men in lechery. Then there is the spirit Dagon, who caused 30,000 men to fall way from God, so that they were slain and the Ark of God was captured. And Belial, who did so prick David's heart that he began to number the people, and 60,000 perished. It was one of us who sent Solomon awhoring after false gods. Without number are our spirits that do insinuate themselves among men and bring them to fall. To this very day we still distribute ourselves over all the world, using every sort of guile and rascality, driving men away from the Faith and urging them on to sin and wickedness, that we may strengthen ourselves as best we can against Jesus by plaguing his followers unto death. We possess of course the hearts of all kings and rulers of this world, hardening them against the teachings of Jesus and of his apostles and followers.
Doctor Faustus answered and spake: So hast thou possessed me also? Sweet fellow, tell me the truth.
The spirit answered: Well why not? As soon as we looked upon thy heart and saw with what manner of thoughts thou didst consort, how thou couldst neither use nor get another than the Devil for such an intent and purpose, lo, we then made those thoughts and strivings yet more impious and bold, and so prurient that thou hadst no rest by day nor by night, all thine aspirations and endeavors being directed toward the accomplishment of sorcery. Even while thou didst conjure us, we were at making thee so wicked and so audacious that thou hadst let the very Devil fetch thee before thou hadst forsaken thy purpose. Afterward, we encouraged thee yet further until we had planted it into thy heart not to falter in thy cause until thou hadst a spirit subservient unto thee. In the end, we persuaded thee to yield thyself to us finally and with body and soul. All this, Lord Fauste, thou canst confirm in thine own heart.
It is true, quoth Doctor Faustus, there is no turning from my way now. I have ensnared myself. Had I kept god-fearing thoughts, and held to God in prayer, not allowing the Devil so to strike root within me, then had I not suffered such injury in body and soul. Ay, what have I done, etc.
The spirit made answer: Look thou to it.
Thus did Doctor Faustus
take his despondent leave.
A Disputatio Concerning the Prior State
of the Banished Angels
Doctor Faustus again undertook a discourse with his spirit, asking: How, then, did thy master, Lucifer, come to fall?
This time, Mephostophiles asked of him a three-day prorogation, but on the third day the spirit gave him this answer: My Lord Lucifer (who is so called on account of his banishment from the clear light of Heaven) was in Heaven an angel of God and a cherub. He beheld all works and creations of God in Heaven and was himself with such honor, title, pomp, dignity and prominence as to be the exemplary creature before God, in great perfection of wisdom, yea in such brilliance that he outshone all other creatures and was an ornament beyond all other works of God, gold and precious stones, even the sun and stars. For so soon as God created him He placed him upon the Mount of God as a sovereign prince, and he was perfect in all his ways.
But so soon as he rose up in insolence and vanity and would exalt himself above Orient he was driven out from the House of Heaven, thrust down into fiery brimstone which is eternally unextinguished and tormenteth him forever. He had been honored with the crown of all Heavenly pomp. But since he sat in spiteful council against God, God sat upon His Throne of Judgement and condemned him to Hell, whence he can never more rise up.
Doctor Faustus, having heard the spirit concerning these things, did now speculate upon many different tenets and justifications. He went in silence from the spirit into his chamber, laid himself upon his bed and began bitterly to weep and to sigh, and to cry out in his heart. For the account by the spirit caused him this time to consider how the Devil and Banished Angel had been so excellently honored of God, and how, if he had not been so rebellious and arrogant against God, he would have had an eternal Heavenly essence and residence, but was now by God eternally banished.
Faustus spake: O woe is me and ever woe! Even so will it come to pass with me also, nor will my fate be the more bearable, for I am likewise God's creature, and my insolent flesh and blood have set me body and soul into perdition, enticed me with my reason and mind so that I as a creature of God am strayed from Him and have let the Devil seduce me to bind myself unto him with body and soul, wherefore I can hope no more for Grace, but must needs be, like Lucifer, banished into perpetual damnation and lamentation. Ah woe and ever woe! To what perils I am exposing myself! What is my purpose with myself? 0, that I were never born!
Thus did Doctor Faustus
complain, but he would not take faith, nor hope
that he might be through penitence brought back to the Grace of God.
if he had thought: The Devil doth now take on such a color that I must
look up to Heaven. Lo, I will turn about again and call upon God for
and Forgiveness, for to sin no more is a great penance. Then Faustus
have betaken himself to church and followed Holy Doctrine, thereby
the Devil resistance. Even if he had been compelled to yield up his
here on earth, his soul would nevertheless have been saved. But he
doubtful in all his tenets and opinions, having no faith and little
A Disputatio Concerning Hell,
How It Was Created and Fashioned;
Concerning Also the Torments in Hell
Doctor Faustus felt, no doubt, contrition in his heart at all times. It was a concern for how he had endangered his own salvation when he plighted himself to the Devil for the sake of temporal things. But his contrition was the contrition and penance of Cain and Judas. Indeed there was contrition in his heart, but he despaired of the Grace of God, it seeming to him an impossibility to gain God's favor: like unto Cain, who also despaired, saying his sins were greater than could be forgiven him. It was the same with Judas.
And it was the same with Doctor Faustus. I suppose he looked up to Heaven, but his eyes discerned naught therein. They say that he dreamt of the Devil and of Hell. That means that when he recalled his transgressions he could not help thinking that frequent and much disputation, inquiry, and discourse with the spirit would bring him to such a fear of the consequences of sin that he would be able to mend his ways, repent his sins, and sin no more.
Thus Doctor Faustus again decided to hold discourse and a colloquium with the spirit, asking him: What is Hell ; further, how Hell.was created and constituted; thirdly, about the manner of wailing and lamentation of the damned in Hell; and fourthly, whether the damned could come again into the favor of God and be released from Hell.
The spirit gave answer to none of these questions or articles, but spake: As concerns thy purpose, Lord Fauste, thy disputatio on Hell and Hell's effects on man, thy desire for elucidation--I say to thee: what is thy purpose with thyself?
If thou couldst ascend directly into Heaven, yet would I fling thee down into Hell again, for thou art mine, walking my path toward Hell even in thy many questions about Hell. Sweet Fauste, desist. Inquire of other matters. Believe me, my account will bring thee into such remorse, despondency, pensiveness, and anxiety that thou wilt wish thou hadst never posed this question. My judgement and advice remains: desist from this purpose.
Doctor Faustus spake: And I will know it or I will not live, and thou must tell it me.
Very well, quoth the spirit, I will tell thee. It costeth me little grief.
Thou wouldst know what Hell is, but the mortal soul is such that all thy speculations can never comprehend Hell, nor canst thou conceive the manner of place where the Wrath of God is stored. The origin and structure is God's Wrath, and it hath many titles and designations, as: House of Shame, Abyss, Gullet, Pit, also Dissensio. For the souls of the damned are so shamed, scorned and mocked by God and His Blessed Ones as to be confined in the House of the Abyss and Gullet. For Hell is an insatiate Pit and Gullet which ever gapeth after the souls which shall not be damned, desiring that they, too, might be seduced and damned. This is what thou must understand, good Doctor.
So soon as my master was fallen, and even in that moment, Hell was ready for him and received him. It is a Darkness where Lucifer is all banished and bound with chains of darkness, here committed that he may be held for Judgement. Naught may be found there but fumes, fire and the stench of sulphur. --But we devils really cannot know in what form and wise Hell is created, either, nor how it be founded and constructed by God, for it hath neither end nor bottom.
That is my first and second report, which thou hast required of me. For the third, thou didst conjure me and demand of me a report as to what manner of wailing and lamentation the damned will find in Hell. Perchance, my Lord Fauste, thou shouldst consult the Scriptures (they being withheld from me). But now even as the aspect and description of Hell is terrible, so to be in it is an unbearable, acute agony. Inasmuch as I have already given account of the former, thy hellish speculations on the latter will I also satisfy with a report. The damned will encounter all the circumstances which I recounted afore, for what I say is true:
The pit of Hell, like woman's womb and earth's belly, is never sated. Nevermore will an end or cessation occur. They will cry out and lament their sin and wickedness, the damned and hellish hideousness of the stench of their own afflictions. There will then be at last a calling out, a screaming and a wailing up unto God, with woe, trembling, whimpering, yelping, screaming and pain and affiiction, with howling and weeping. Well, should they not scream woe and tremble and whimper, being outcast, with all Creation and all the children of God against them, bearing perpetual ignominy while the blessed enjoy eternal honor? And the woe and trembling of some will be greater than that of others, for, as sins are not equal, neither are the torments and agonies the same.
We spirits shall be freed. We have hope of being saved. But the damned will lament the insufferable cold, the unquenchable fire, the unbearable darkness, stench, the aspect of the devils, and the eternal loss of anything good. Oh, they will lament with weeping of eyes, gnashing of teeth, stench in their noses, moaning in their throats, terror in their ears, trembling in their hands and feet. They will devour their tongues for great pain. They will wish for death, would gladly die, but cannot, for death will flee from them. Their torment and agony will wax hourly greater and acuter.
There, my Lord Fauste, thou hast thy third answer, which is consonant with the first and second. Thy fourth question pertaineth to God: whether He will receive the damned into His Grace again. Thanks to thine other, related inquiries, and mine own views concerning Hell and its nature, how it was created of God's Wrath, we have been able to clarify certain fundamentals in advance. Thou shalt now receive one further, specific account (notwithstanding that it will be in direct violation of thy contract and vow).
Thy last question is whether the damned in Hell can ever come again into the favor and Grace of God, and mine answer is: No. For all who are in Hell are there because God banished them there, and they must therefore burn perpetually in God's Wrath and severity, must remain and abide in a place where no hope can be believed. Yea, if they could eventually gain the Grace of God (as we spirits, who always have hope and are in constant expectancy) they would take cheer, and sigh in anticipation. But the damned have even as little hope as have the devils in Hell of transcending their banishment and disgrace. They can have no more hope of salvation than can they hope for a twinkling of light in Hell's darkness, for refreshment with a drink of water in hellfire's heat and anguish, or for warmth in Hell's cold. Neither their pleading, nor their prayer, their crying nor their sighing will be heard, and their conscience will not let them forget.
Emperors, kings, princes, counts and other such regents will lament: had they but not lived all in violence and lust, then they might come into the favor of God. A rich man: had he but not been a miser. A frivolous man: had he but not been vainglorious. An adulterer and philanderer: had he but not indulged in lechery, adultery and fornication. A drunkard, glutton, gambler, blasphemer, perjurer, thief, highwayman, murderer, and their ilk: had I but not filled my belly daily with sumptuousness, pleasure and superfluity of drink and victual, had I but not cheated, blasphemed God in my heart, had I but not scolded wickedly and wantonly against God at every opportunity, had I but not borne false witness, stolen, sacked, murdered, robbed, then perhaps I could still hope for Grace. But my sins are too great and cannot be forgiven me, wherefore I must suffer this hellish torment. Hence may I, damned man, be sure that there is no Grace for me.
Let it be understood then, my Lord Fauste, that the damned man--or the soul, if you will--can no more attain Grace than can he hope for an end to his sufferings or a tide wherein he might perchance be removed from such anguish. Why, if they could be given the hope of dipping water day by day from the sea at the sea shore until the sea were dry, then that would be a redemption. Or if there were a sandheap as high as Heaven from which a bird coming every other year might bear away but one little grain at a time, and they would be saved after the whole heap were consumed, then that would be a hope. But God will never take any thought of them. They will lie in Hell like unto the bones of the dead. Death and their conscience will gnaw on them. Their firm belief and faith in God--oh they will at last acquire it--will go unheeded, and no thought will be taken of them. Thou thinkest perhaps that the damned soul might cover itself over and conceal itself in Hell until God's Wrath might at last subside, and thou hast the hope that there might come a release if thou but persist in the aim of hope that God might still take thought of thee--even then there will be no salvation. There will come a time when the mountains collapse, and when all the stones at the bottom of the sea are dry, and all the raindrops have washed the earth away. It is possible to conceive of an elephant or a camel entering into a needle's eye, or of counting all the raindrops. But there is no conceiving of a time for hope in Hell.
Thus, in short, my Lord Fauste, hast thou my fourth and last report. And thou shalt know that if thou ask me more of such things another time thou shalt get no audience from me, for I am not obligated to tell thee such things. Therefore leave me in peace with further such probings and disputationes.
Again Doctor Faustus
departed from the spirit all melancholy, confused
and full of doubt, thinking now this way now that, and pondering on
things day and night. But there was no constancy in him, for the Devil
had hardened his heart and blinded him. And indeed when he did succeed
in being alone to contemplate the Word of God, the Devil would dizen
in the form of a beautiful woman, embrace him, debauching with him, so
that he soon forgot the Divine Word and threw it to the wind.
His Almanacs and Horoscopes