Talk:Faust (Goethe)/Scene V

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V


AUERBACH'S CELLAR IN LEIPZIG CAROUSAL OF JOLLY COMPANIONS

FROSCH

I no one laughing? no one drinking? I'll teach you how to grin, I'm thinking. To-day you're like wet straw, so tame; And usually you're all aflame.

BRANDER

Now that's your fault; from you we nothing see, No beastliness and no stupidity.

FROSCH

(_Pours a glass of wine over_ BRANDER'S _head_.) There's both together!

BRANDER

Twice a swine!

FROSCH

You wanted them: I've given you mine.

SIEBEL

Turn out who quarrels--out the door! With open throat sing chorus, drink and roar! Up! holla! ho!

ALTMAYER

Woe's me, the fearful bellow! Bring cotton, quick! He's split my ears, that fellow.

SIEBEL

When the vault echoes to the song, One first perceives the bass is deep and strong.

FROSCH

Well said! and out with him that takes the least offence! _Ah, tara, lara da_!

ALTMAYER

_Ah, tara, lara, da_!

FROSCH

The throats are tuned, commence! (_Sings_.) _The dear old holy Roman realm, How does it hold together_?

BRANDER

A nasty song! Fie! a political song-- A most offensive song! Thank God, each morning, therefore, That you have not the Roman realm to care for! At least, I hold it so much gain for me, That I nor Chancellor nor Kaiser be. Yet also we must have a ruling head, I hope, And so we'll choose ourselves a Pope. You know the quality that can Decide the choice, and elevate the man.

FROSCH (_sings_)

    _Soar up, soar up, Dame Nightingale!
    Ten thousand times my sweetheart hail!_

SIEBEL

No, greet my sweetheart not! I tell you, I'll resent it.

FROSCH

My sweetheart greet and kiss! I dare you to prevent it!

           (_Sings_.)
    _Draw the latch! the darkness makes:
    Draw the latch! the lover wakes.
    Shut the latch! the morning breaks_.

SIEBEL

Yes, sing away, sing on, and praise, and brag of her! I'll wait my proper time for laughter: Me by the nose she led, and now she'll lead you after. Her paramour should be an ugly gnome, Where four roads cross, in wanton play to meet her: An old he-goat, from Blocksberg coming home, Should his good-night in lustful gallop bleat her! A fellow made of genuine flesh and blood Is for the wench a deal too good. Greet her? Not I: unless, when meeting, To smash her windows be a greeting!

BRANDER (_pounding on the table_)

Attention! Hearken now to me! Confess, Sirs, I know how to live. Enamored persons here have we, And I, as suits their quality, Must something fresh for their advantage give. Take heed! 'Tis of the latest cut, my strain, And all strike in at each refrain!

    (_He sings_.)
    There was a rat in the cellar-nest,
    Whom fat and butter made smoother:
    He had a paunch beneath his vest
    Like that of Doctor Luther.
    The cook laid poison cunningly,
    And then as sore oppressed was he
    As if he had love in his bosom.
    CHORUS (_shouting_)
    As if he had love in his bosom!
    BRANDER
    He ran around, he ran about,
    His thirst in puddles laving;
    He gnawed and scratched the house throughout.
    But nothing cured his raving.
    He whirled and jumped, with torment mad,
    And soon enough the poor beast had,
    As if he had love in his bosom.
    CHORUS
    As if he had love in his bosom!
    BRANDER
    And driven at last, in open day,
    He ran into the kitchen,
    Fell on the hearth, and squirming lay,
    In the last convulsion twitching.
    Then laughed the murderess in her glee:
    "Ha! ha! he's at his last gasp," said she,
    "As if he had love in his bosom!"

CHORUS

    As if he had love in his bosom!

SIEBEL

How the dull fools enjoy the matter! To me it is a proper art Poison for such poor rats to scatter.

BRANDER

Perhaps you'll warmly take their part?

ALTMAYER

The bald-pate pot-belly I have noted: Misfortune tames him by degrees; For in the rat by poison bloated His own most natural form he sees.

FAUST AND MEPHISTOPHELES

MEPHISTOPHELES

Before all else, I bring thee hither Where boon companions meet together, To let thee see how smooth life runs away. Here, for the folk, each day's a holiday: With little wit, and ease to suit them, They whirl in narrow, circling trails, Like kittens playing with their tails? And if no headache persecute them, So long the host may credit give, They merrily and careless live.

BRANDER

The fact is easy to unravel, Their air's so odd, they've just returned from travel: A single hour they've not been here.

FROSCH

You've verily hit the truth! Leipzig to me is dear: Paris in miniature, how it refines its people!

SIEBEL

Who are the strangers, should you guess?

FROSCH

Let me alone! I'll set them first to drinking, And then, as one a child's tooth draws, with cleverness, I'll worm their secret out, I'm thinking. They're of a noble house, that's very clear: Haughty and discontented they appear.

BRANDER

They're mountebanks, upon a revel.

ALTMAYER

Perhaps.

FROSCH

Look out, I'll smoke them now!

MEPHISTOPHELES (_to_ FAUST)

Not if he had them by the neck, I vow, Would e'er these people scent the Devil!

FAUST Fair greeting, gentlemen!

SIEBEL

Our thanks: we give the same. (_Murmurs, inspecting_ MEPHISTOPHELES _from the side_.) In one foot is the fellow lame?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Is it permitted that we share your leisure? In place of cheering drink, which one seeks vainly here, Your company shall give us pleasure.

ALTMAYER

A most fastidious person you appear.


FROSCH

No doubt 'twas late when you from Rippach started? And supping there with Hans occasioned your delay?

MEPHISTOPHELES

We passed, without a call, to-day. At our last interview, before we parted Much of his cousins did he speak, entreating That we should give to each his kindly greeting.

(_He bows to_ FROSCH.)

ALTMAYER (_aside_)

You have it now! he understands.

SIEBEL

A knave sharp-set!

FROSCH

Just wait awhile: I'll have him yet.

MEPHISTOPHELES

If I am right, we heard the sound Of well-trained voices, singing chorus; And truly, song must here rebound Superbly from the arches o'er us.

FROSCH

Are you, perhaps, a virtuoso?

MEPHISTOPHELES

O no! my wish is great, my power is only so-so.

ALTMAYER

Give us a song!

MEPHISTOPHELES

If you desire, a number.

SIEBEL

So that it be a bran-new strain!

MEPHISTOPHELES

We've just retraced our way from. Spain, The lovely land of wine, and song, and slumber.

(_Sings_.)

There was a king once reigning, Who had a big black flea--

FROSCH

Hear, hear! A flea! D'ye rightly take the jest? I call a flea a tidy guest.

MEPHISTOPHELES (_sings_)

    There was a king once reigning,
    Who had a big black flea,
    And loved him past explaining,
    As his own son were he.
    He called his man of stitches;
    The tailor came straightway:
    Here, measure the lad for breeches.
    And measure his coat, I say!

BRANDER

But mind, allow the tailor no caprices: Enjoin upon him, as his head is dear, To most exactly measure, sew and shear, So that the breeches have no creases!

MEPHISTOPHELES

    In silk and velvet gleaming
    He now was wholly drest--
    Had a coat with ribbons streaming,
    A cross upon his breast.
    He had the first of stations,
    A minister's star and name;
    And also all his relations
    Great lords at court became.
    And the lords and ladies of honor
    Were plagued, awake and in bed;
    The queen she got them upon her,
    The maids were bitten and bled.
    And they did not dare to brush them,
    Or scratch them, day or night:
    We crack them and we crush them,
    At once, whene'er they bite.
    CHORUS (_shouting_)
    We crack them and we crush them,
    At once, whene'er they bite!

FROSCH Bravo! bravo! that was fine.

SIEBEL

Every flea may it so befall!

BRANDER

Point your fingers and nip them all!

ALTMAYER

Hurrah for Freedom! Hurrah for wine!

MEPHISTOPHELES

I fain would drink with you, my glass to Freedom clinking, If 'twere a better wine that here I see you drinking.

SIEBEL

Don't let us hear that speech again!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Did I not fear the landlord might complain, I'd treat these worthy guests, with pleasure, To some from out our cellar's treasure.

SIEBEL

Just treat, and let the landlord me arraign!

FROSCH

And if the wine be good, our praises shall be ample. But do not give too very small a sample; For, if its quality I decide, With a good mouthful I must be supplied.

ALTMAYER (_aside_)

They're from the Rhine! I guessed as much, before.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Bring me a gimlet here!

BRANDER

What shall therewith be done? You've not the casks already at the door?

ALTMAYER

Yonder, within the landlord's box of tools, there's one!

MEPHISTOPHELES (_takes the gimlet_)

(_To_ FROSCH.)

Now, give me of your taste some intimation.

FROSCH

How do you mean? Have you so many kinds?

MEPHISTOPHELES

The choice is free: make up your minds.

ALTMAYER (_to_ FROSCH)

Aha! you lick your chops, from sheer anticipation.

FROSCH

Good! if I have the choice, so let the wine be Rhenish! Our Fatherland can best the sparkling cup replenish.

MEPHISTOPHELES

(_boring a hole in the edge of the table, at the place where_ FROSCH _sits_)

Get me a little wax, to make the stoppers, quick!

ALTMAYER

Ah! I perceive a juggler's trick.

MEPHISTOPHELES (_to_ BRANDER)

And you?

BRANDER

Champagne shall be my wine, And let it sparkle fresh and fine!

MEPHISTOPHELES

(_bores: in the meantime one has made the wax stoppers, and plugged the holes with them_.)

BRANDER

What's foreign one can't always keep quite clear of, For good things, oft, are not so near; A German can't endure the French to see or hear of, Yet drinks their wines with hearty cheer.

SIEBEL

(_as_ MEPHISTOPHELES _approaches his seat_) For me, I grant, sour wine is out of place; Fill up my glass with sweetest, will you?

MEPHISTOPHELES (_boring_)

Tokay shall flow at once, to fill you!

ALTMAYER

No--look me, Sirs, straight in the face! I see you have your fun at our expense.

MEPHISTOPHELES

O no! with gentlemen of such pretence, That were to venture far, indeed. Speak out, and make your choice with speed! With what a vintage can I serve you?

ALTMAYER

With any--only satisfy our need.

(_After the holes have been bored and plugged_)

MEPHISTOPHELES (_with singular gestures_)

    Grapes the vine-stem bears,
    Horns the he-goat wears!
    The grapes are juicy, the vines are wood,
    The wooden table gives wine as good!
    Into the depths of Nature peer,--
    Only believe there's a miracle here!

Now draw the stoppers, and drink your fill!

ALL

(_as they draw out the stoppers, and the wine which has been desired flows into the glass of each)_

O beautiful fountain, that flows at will!

MEPHISTOPHELES

But have a care that you nothing spill!

(_They drink repeatedly_.)

ALL (_sing_)

    As 'twere five hundred hogs, we feel
    So cannibalic jolly!

MEPHISTOPHELES

See, now, the race is happy--it is free!

FAUST

To leave them is my inclination.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Take notice, first! their bestiality Will make a brilliant demonstration.

SIEBEL

(_drinks carelessly: the wine spills upon the earth, and turns to flame_)

Help! Fire! Help! Hell-fire is sent!

MEPHISTOPHELES (_charming away the flame)_

Be quiet, friendly element!

(_To the revellers_)

A bit of purgatory 'twas for this time, merely.

SIEBEL

What mean you? Wait!--you'll pay for't dearly! You'll know us, to your detriment.

FROSCH

Don't try that game a second time upon us!

ALTMAYER

I think we'd better send him packing quietly.

SIEBEL

What, Sir! you dare to make so free, And play your hocus-pocus on us!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Be still, old wine-tub.

SIEBEL

Broomstick, you! You face it out, impertinent and heady?

BRANDER

Just wait! a shower of blows is ready.

ALTMAYER

(_draws a stopper out of the table: fire flies in his face_.) I burn! I burn!

SIEBEL

'Tis magic! Strike-- The knave is outlawed! Cut him as you like! (_They draw their knives, and rush upon_ MEPHISTOPHELES.)

MEPHISTOPHELES (_with solemn gestures_)

    False word and form of air,
    Change place, and sense ensnare!
    Be here--and there!

(_They stand amazed and look at each other_.)

ALTMAYER

Where am I? What a lovely land!

FROSCH

Vines? Can I trust my eyes?

SIEBEL

And purple grapes at hand!

BRANDER

Here, over this green arbor bending, See what a vine! what grapes depending!

(_He takes_ SIEBEL _by the nose: the others do the same reciprocally, and raise their knives_.)

MEPHISTOPHELES (_as above_)

Loose, Error, from their eyes the band, And how the Devil jests, be now enlightened!

(_He disappears with_ FAUST: _the revellers start and separate_.)

SIEBEL

What happened?

ALTMAYER

How?

FROSCH

Was that your nose I tightened?

BRANDER (_to_ SIEBEL)

And yours that still I have in hand?

ALTMAYER

It was a blow that went through every limb! Give me a chair! I sink! my senses swim.

FROSCH

But what has happened, tell me now?

SIEBEL

Where is he? If I catch the scoundrel hiding, He shall not leave alive, I vow.

ALTMAYER

I saw him with these eyes upon a wine-cask riding Out of the cellar-door, just now. Still in my feet the fright like lead is weighing. (_He turns towards the table_.) Why! If the fount of wine should still be playing?

SIEBEL

'Twas all deceit, and lying, false design!

FROSCH

And yet it seemed as I were drinking wine.

BRANDER

But with the grapes how was it, pray?

ALTMAYER

Shall one believe no miracles, just say!

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