Scene 2

[Enter two Scholars.]

FIRST SCHOLAR.
I wonder what's become of Faustus that
was wont to make our school ring with sic probo?
SECOND SCHOLAR.
That shall we know, for see here comes his boy.

[Enter Wagner.]

FIRST SCHOLAR.
How now, sirrah! Where's thy master?(5)
WAGNER.
God in heaven knows!
SECOND SCHOLAR.
Why, dost not thou know?
WAGNER.
Yes, I know. But that follows not.
FIRST SCHOLAR.
Go to, sirrah! leave your jesting, and tell us where he is.(10)
WAGNER.
That follows not necessary by force of argument,
that you, being licentiates, should stand upon: therefore
acknowledge your error and be attentive.
SECOND SCHOLAR.
Why, didst thou not say thou knewest?(15)
WAGNER.
Have you any witness on't?
FIRST SCHOLAR.
Yes, sirrah, I heard you.
WAGNER.
Ask my fellows if I be a thief.
SECOND SCHOLAR.
Well, you will not tell us?
WAGNER.
Yes, sir, I will tell you; yet, if you were not(20)
dunces, you would never ask me such a question; for
is not he corpus naturale? And is not that mobile? Then
wherefore should you ask me such a question? But
that I am by nature phlegmatic, slow to wrath, and
prone to lechery (to love, I would say), it were not for(25)
you to come within forty foot of the place of execution,
although I do not doubt to see you both hanged
the next sessions. Thus having triumphed over you, I
will set my countenance like a precisian, and begin
to speak thus:—Truly, my dear brethren, my master(30)
is within at dinner, with Valdes and Cornelius, as this
wine, if it could speak, would inform your worships;
and so, the Lord bless you, preserve you, and keep you,
my dear brethren, my dear brethren.

[Exit Wagner.]

FIRST SCHOLAR.
Nay, then, I fear he is fallen into that damned Art for (35)
which they two are infamous through the world.
SECOND SCHOLAR.
Were he a stranger, and not allied to me, yet should I
grieve for him. But come, let us go and inform the Rector,
and see if he by his grave counsel can reclaim him. (40)
FIRST SCHOLAR.
O, but I fear me nothing can reclaim him.
SECOND SCHOLAR.
Yet let us try what we can do.

[Exeunt.]

Footnotes

  1. The rector was the head of the university and a spiritual guide to students. This scene demonstrates that Faustus cannot be recovered by any earthly powers.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Editor
  2. The power of the four humors was a major medical philosophy in the Early Modern period. It was believed that four bodily fluids, phlegm, blood, black bile, and yellow bile, determined a person's disposition. "Phlegmatic" was a condition of the four humors that made someone unemotional and generally calm.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Editor
  3. "Corpus naturale et mobile" (matter that is natural and movable) was the scholastic definition of matter at this time. Wagner is making fun of both scholars by parodying academic language. He essentially states that the question of where Faustus is is silly because he is by nature moveable. This joke sets Wagner up to be the play's clown and comic relief.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Editor
  4. "Go to" was a colloquial way of saying get on with it, or modern day "come on." The First Scholar is angry with Wagner because he believes that he is paying a practical joke on him; however, ironically Wagner is telling the truth. Faustus's actions are so outrageous that the truth sounds like a ridiculous prank.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Editor
  5. "Sic probo" means "thus I prove." This was a common phrase in scholarly discourse that suggests Faustus's school is disputing his actions.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Editor
  6. People who have a degree or license to practice their profession, generally a doctorate. Similar to a modern day graduate student.

    — Owl Eyes Reader