Scene 7

[Enter Faustus and Mephistophilis.]

Having now, my good Mephistophilis,
Passed with delight the stately town of Trier,
Environed round with airy mountain-tops,
With walls of flint, and deep entrenched lakes,
Not to be won by any conquering prince;(5)
From Paris next, coasting the realm of France,
We saw the river Maine fall into Rhine,
Whose banks are set with groves of fruitful vines;
Then up to Naples, rich Campania,
Whose buildings fair and gorgeous to the eye,(10)
The streets straight forth, and paved with finest brick,
Quarter the town in four equivalents:
There saw we learned Maro's golden tomb,
The way he cut, an English mile in length,
Thorough a rock of stone, in one night's space;(15)
From thence to Venice, Padua, and the rest,
In one of which a sumptuous temple stands,
That threats the stars with her aspiring top.
Thus hitherto hath Faustus spent his time:
But tell me, now, what resting-place is this?(20)
Hast thou, as erst I did command,
Conducted me within the walls of Rome?
Faustus, I have; and because we will not be unprovided,
I have taken up his Holiness' privy-chamber for our use.(25)
I hope his Holiness will bid us welcome.
Tut, 'tis no matter; man, we'll be bold with his good cheer.
And now, my Faustus, that thou may'st perceive
What Rome containeth to delight thee with,(30)
Know that this city stands upon seven hills
That underprop the groundwork of the same:
Just through the midst runs flowing Tiber's stream
With winding banks that cut it in two parts:
Over the which four stately bridges lean,(35)
That make safe passage to each part of Rome:
Upon the bridge called Ponte Angelo
Erected is a castle passing strong,
Within whose walls such store of ordnance are,
And double cannons formed of carved brass,(40)
As match the days within one complete year;
Besides the gates, and high pyramides,
Which Julius Cæsar brought from Africa.
Now, by the kingdoms of infernal rule,
Of Styx, of Acheron, and the fiery lake(45)
Of ever-burning Phlegethon, I swear
That I do long to see the monuments
And situation of bright-splendent Rome
Come, therefore, let's away.
Nay, Faustus, stay: I know you'd see the Pope,(50)
And take some part of holy Peter's feast,
Where thou shalt see a troop of bald-pate friars,
Whose summum bonum is in belly-cheer.
Well, I'm content to compass them some sport,(55)
And by their folly make us merriment.
Then charm me, Mephistophilis, that I
May be invisible, to do what I please
Unseen of any whilst I stay in Rome.
[Casts spell on him] So, Faustus, now do what thou wilt,
thou shalt not be discerned. (60)

[Sound a trumpet. Enter the Pope and the Cardinal of Lorraine to the banquet, with Friars attending.]

My Lord of Lorrain, wilt please you draw near?
Fall to, and the Devil choke you an you spare!
How now! Who's that which spake?—Friars, look about.(65)
Here's nobody, if it like your Holiness.
My lord, here is a dainty dish was sent me from the
Bishop of Milan.

[Faustus snatches the dish.]

I thank you, sir.
How now! Who's that which snatched the meat from(70)
me? Will no man look? My lord, this dish was sent me
from the Cardinal of Florence.

[Faustus snatches the dish.]

You say true; I'll ha't.
What, again! My lord, I'll drink to your grace.

[Faustus snatches the cup.]

I'll pledge your grace.(75)
My lord, it may be some ghost newly crept out
of purgatory, come to beg a pardon of your Holiness.
It may be so. Friars, prepare a dirge to lay the fury
of this ghost. Once again, my Lord, fall to.

[The Pope crosses himself.]

What, are you crossing of yourself?(80)
Well, use that trick no more I would advise you.

[The Pope crosses himself again.]

Well, there's the second time. Aware the third,
I give you fair warning.

[The Pope crosses himself again. Faustus hits him a box of the ear; and they all run away.]

Come on, Mephistophilis, what shall we do?

Nay, I know not. We shall be cursed with bell,(85)
book, and candle.
How! bell, book, and candle,—candle, book, and bell,
Forward and backward to curse Faustus to hell!
Anon you shall hear a hog grunt, a calf bleat, an ass bray, (90)
Because it is Saint Peter's holy day.

[Re-enter the Friars to sing the dirge.]

Come, brethren, let's about our business with good devotion.
[Sings] Cursed be he that stole away his holiness' meat from the table!
       Maledicat Dominus!(95)
Cursed be he that struck his holiness a blow on the face!
       Maledicat Dominus!
Cursed be he that took Friar Sandelo a blow on the pate!
       Maledicat Dominus!(100)
Cursed be he that disturbeth our holy dirge!
       Maledicat Dominus!
Cursed be he that took away his holiness' wine!
       Maledicat Dominus! Et omnes sancti! Amen!(105)

[Mephistophilis and Faustus beat the Friars, and fling fireworks among them, and so Exeunt.]


  1. This means "And all the saints also curse him." This list of curses seems extreme against the spirit. This can be read as a subtle criticism or mockery of the Catholic Church. Rather than greeting the "spirit" with love and forgiveness, they greet him with curses.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  2. This Latin phrase means "May the Lord curse him." A "dirge," which the Pope asked these Friars to perform, is a requiem mass that honors the dead and lays them to rest. However, the friars instead launch into this deluge of curses against the spirit.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  3. In Christian theology, purgatory was a place a soul went to after its physical death where it would undergo punishment to cleanse it of the sins it had committed on Earth. The soul would remain in purgatory until it had been redeemed by prayer, penance, or its family's monetary contribution to the church on Earth. After the soul was cleansed it would be allowed to go to heaven.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  4. Notice that Faustus did not actually gain any power himself, but instead relies on Mephistophilis to perform magic on his behalf. The deal that Faustus made was not what he expected.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  5. Compass in this context means to take part in. Notice how Faustus's grand plans of world domination and power have been reduced to playing practical jokes on monks.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  6. "Summum bonum" means the greatest good. This is usually a religious saying that refers to the grace or presence of God. However, here Mephistophilis manipulates the words to refer to "belly-cheer," or indulgence in food and feasting. Mephistophilis mocks religion by using it's pious terms to refer to bodily pleasures.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  7. Notice that Faustus is now swearing by the underworld and the places ruled by the Devil rather than God or paradigms of Christianity. Faustus has undergone a change between this scene and the last time we saw him: he obeyed the Devil and thinks only of him.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  8. Phlegethon was one of the five main rivers in the Underworld of Greek mythology. Plato defined it as a stream of fire that flowed around the earth and into the depths of the underworld. It lay parallel to the River Styx.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  9. The River Acheron is one of the five main rivers of the Underworld in Greek Mythology. It was the river of woe in which souls were cleansed of their earthly sins.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  10. The River Styx is the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld in Greek mythology. It is one of the five main rivers in the mythological underworld that converge on the great marsh, also sometimes referred to as Styx. Newly dead souls would cross this River to reach the Underworld and signify their departure from the world of the living.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  11. By this, Mephistophilis means obelisks. Obelisks are tall stone pillars with a pyramid at the top. The Egyptians used to put them outside the doors of their temples in honor of their sun god. Mephistophilis uses these images in order to show the vast earthly power of Rome, which he is now offering up to Faustus to play with.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  12. Ponte Angelo is a bridge in Rome that was built in AD 134. The bridge is lined with marble statues of angels and is a walking footpath to get to St. Peter's Basilica.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  13. Julius Caesar was a Roman politician and leader from 49-44BC. His military and political campaigns were critical to transforming the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Through a series of wars, Caesar expanded Rome's territory to the English Channel and the Rhine, then invaded both Britain and Germany by crossing both great rivers.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  14. Maro's golden tomb refers to the tomb of Virgil, the poet who wrote the Roman epic the Aeneid. In medieval legends, it was believed that Virgil was a a magician who was able to cut a tunnel in the rock surrounding his tomb in Naples.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  15. The Maine River is one of the largest tributaries of the Rhine, Germany's largest river in Germany. It was the boundary of the Roman Empire and a convenient, vital trade route. for both the Romans and the Germans. Faustus is using this list of what he did in order to show that he has seen the wonders of the world.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff