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Faust; a Tragedy.  Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Chapter 23. DREARY DAY, FIELD
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FAUST. MEPHISTOPHELES.

Faust.
In wretchedness! In despair! Long hunted up and down the earth, a
miserable fugitive, and caught at last! Locked up as a malefactor in
prison, to converse with horrible torments--the sweet, unhappy creature!
Even to this pass! even to this!--Treacherous, worthless spirit, and this
thou hast hidden from me!--Stand up here--stand up! Roll thy devilish eyes
round grimly in thy head! Stand and defy me with thy intolerable presence!
Imprisoned! In irretrievable misery! Given over to evil spirits and to the
judgment of unfeeling humanity, and me meanwhile thou lullest in insipid
dissipations, concealest from me her growing anguish, and leavest her
without help to perish!

Mephistopheles.
She is not the first!

Faust.
Dog! abominable monster! Change him, thou Infinite Spirit! change
the worm back into his canine form, as he was often pleased in the night
to trot before me, to roll before the feet of the harmless wanderer, and,
when he fell, to hang on his shoulders. Change him again into his favorite
shape, that he may crawl before me on his belly in the sand, and that I
may tread him under foot, the reprobate!--Not the first! Misery! Misery!
inconceivable by any human soul! that more than one creature ever sank
into the depth of this wretchedness, that the first in its writhing
death-agony did not atone for the guilt of all the rest before the eyes of
the eternally Forgiving! My very marrow and life are consumed by the
misery of this single one; thou grinnest away composedly at the fate of
thousands!

Mephistopheles.
Here we are again at our wits' ends already, where the
thread of sense, with you mortals, snaps short. Why make a partnership
with us, if thou canst not carry it through? Wilt fly, and art not proof
against dizziness? Did we thrust ourselves on thee, or thou on us?

Faust.
Gnash not so thy greedy teeth against me! It disgusts me!--Great
and glorious spirit, thou that deignedst to appear to me, who knowest my
heart and soul, why yoke me to this shame-fellow, who feeds on mischief
and feasts on ruin?

Mephistopheles.
Hast thou done?

Faust.
Rescue her! O woe be unto thee! The most horrible curse on thee
for thousands of years!

Mephistopheles.
I cannot loose the bonds of the avenger, nor open his
bolts.--Rescue her!--Who was it that plunged her into ruin? I or thou?
[FAUST looks wildly round.]
Grasp'st thou after the thunder? Well that it was not given to you
miserable mortals! To crush an innocent respondent, that is a sort of
tyrant's-way of getting room to breathe in embarrassment.

Faust.
Lead me to her! She shall be free!

Mephistopheles.
And the danger which thou incurrest? Know that the guilt
of blood at thy hand still lies upon the town. Over the place of the
slain, avenging spirits hover and lurk for the returning murderer.

Faust.
That, too, from thee? Murder and death of a world upon thee,
monster! Lead me thither, I say, and free her!

Mephistopheles.
I will lead thee, and hear what I can do! Have I all
power in heaven and on earth? I will becloud the turnkey's senses; possess
thyself of the keys, and bear her out with human hand. I will watch! The
magic horses shall be ready, and I will bear you away. So much I can do.

Faust.
Up and away!