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FAUST. MARGARET [passing over].

Faust.
My fair young lady, will it offend her
If I offer my arm and escort to lend her?

Margaret.
Am neither lady, nor yet am fair!
Can find my way home without any one's care.
[Disengages herself and exit.]

Faust.
By heavens, but then the child is fair!
I've never seen the like, I swear.
So modest is she and so pure,
And somewhat saucy, too, to be sure.
The light of the cheek, the lip's red bloom,
I shall never forget to the day of doom!
How me cast down her lovely eyes,
Deep in my soul imprinted lies;
How she spoke up, so curt and tart,
Ah, that went right to my ravished heart!
[Enter MEPHISTOPHELES.]

Faust.
Hark, thou shalt find me a way to address her!

Mephistopheles.
Which one?

Faust.
She just went by.

Mephistopheles.
What! She?
She came just now from her father confessor,
Who from all sins pronounced her free;
I stole behind her noiselessly,
'Tis an innocent thing, who, for nothing at all,
Must go to the confessional;
O'er such as she no power I hold!

Faust.
But then she's over fourteen years old.

Mephistopheles.
Thou speak'st exactly like Jack Rake,
Who every fair flower his own would make.
And thinks there can be no favor nor fame,
But one may straightway pluck the same.
But 'twill not always do, we see.

Faust.
My worthy Master Gravity,
Let not a word of the Law be spoken!
One thing be clearly understood,--
Unless I clasp the sweet, young blood
This night in my arms--then, well and good:
When midnight strikes, our bond is broken.

Mephistopheles.
Reflect on all that lies in the way!
I need a fortnight, at least, to a day,
For finding so much as a way to reach her.

Faust.
Had I seven hours, to call my own,
Without the devil's aid, alone
I'd snare with ease so young a creature.

Mephistopheles.
You talk quite Frenchman-like to-day;
But don't be vexed beyond all measure.
What boots it thus to snatch at pleasure?
'Tis not so great, by a long way,
As if you first, with tender twaddle,
And every sort of fiddle-faddle,
Your little doll should mould and knead,
As one in French romances may read.

Faust.
My appetite needs no such spur.

Mephistopheles.
Now, then, without a jest or slur,
I tell you, once for all, such speed
With the fair creature won't succeed.
Nothing will here by storm be taken;
We must perforce on intrigue reckon.

Faust.
Get me some trinket the angel has blest!
Lead me to her chamber of rest!
Get me a 'kerchief from her neck,
A garter get me for love's sweet sake!

Mephistopheles.
To prove to you my willingness
To aid and serve you in this distress;
You shall visit her chamber, by me attended,
Before the passing day is ended.

Faust.
And see her, too? and have her?

Mephistopheles.
Nay!
She will to a neighbor's have gone away.
Meanwhile alone by yourself you may,
There in her atmosphere, feast at leisure
And revel in dreams of future pleasure.

Faust.
Shall we start at once?

Mephistopheles.
'Tis too early yet.

Faust.
Some present to take her for me you must get.

[Exit.]

Mephistopheles.
Presents already! Brave! He's on the right foundation!
Full many a noble place I know,
And treasure buried long ago;
Must make a bit of exploration.

[Exit.]