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Read The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries Volume I Part 71

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And from my heart.

MEPHISTOPHELES

All good and fair!

Then deathless constancy thou’lt swear; Speak of one all o’ermastering pa.s.sion– Will that too issue from the heart?

FAUST

 

Forbear!

When pa.s.sion 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.

[Ill.u.s.tration: 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 coa.r.s.e, So rude as mine, how can you kiss!

What constant work at home must I not do perforce!

My mother too exacting is.

[_They pa.s.s 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.

MEPHISTOPHELES

The prospect fills me with dismay.

MARTHA

Therefore in time, dear sir, reflect, I pray.

[_They pa.s.s on._]

MARGARET

Ay, out of sight is out of mind!

Politeness easy is to you; Friends everywhere, and not a few, Wiser than I am, you will find.

FAUST

O dearest, trust me, what doth pa.s.s for sense Full oft is self-conceit and blindness!

MARGARET

How?

FAUST

Simplicity and holy innocence– When will ye learn your hallow’d worth to know!

Ah, when will meekness and humility, Kind and all-bounteous nature’s loftiest dower–

MARGARET

Only one little moment think of me!

To think of you I shall have many an hour.

FAUST

You are perhaps much alone?

MARGARET

———-

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Published inThe German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries