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HORÆ GERMANICÆ. NO. II.

Faust's curse-it will perhaps be recollected we left him uttering one—was an effusion which we might suppose had been dictated by the very breath of his companion, with the very sulphur of whose lungs it seems to be reeking, and resonant with the voice of the old Adam in his heart, an echo and a token to tell him the dispositions of the speaker are all he could desire. So we may reason-but so he reasons not-he is an indefatigable spirit who still thinks nothing done while aught remains to do. The vices and bad passions of solitude have indeed arrived at their lowest depths; but the world bath lower depths, and he must now plunge his victim into these. He loves, after his fashion of loving, a hermit much, but dissipation more; dissipation, that expressive word, that most pernicious thing, that compendium of all the ways by which a human being can possibly go to—Mephistopheles.

Dissipation! it is the consuming fire, which the fruits of genius, the results of thought and study, and the offspring of early hope and promise, have all passed through to Moloch; it is the category and definition which includes all that is not singleness of purpose, consistency, and perseverance; it is the sieve which we exhaust the springs of our youth to fill, and it divides their precious waters in a thousand streams, and wastes them irretrievably. Through all its varied forms and names it may be traced by its effects; sometimes it is loud and riotous and, so, speedily destructive; sometimes it is gay only, and wide outspread in a great round of unmeaning courtesies and vapid amusements; sometimes with a business-like or studious air, it is full of projects, longings sublime and aspirations high, and the beginnings of ten thousand things that end where they begin; but it is forever the same voracious quicksand swallowing up his life who has no fixed pursuit, who allows himself to mistake the meteor fires that cross his pathway, each in their turn, for pole stars.

În social or in solitary life, in all conditions and pursuits, religious or profane, we walk in this hourly danger; of frittering away our time on many objects, and failing of success in all ; for this temptation is a wind the devil blows with

al, and the energies of the mind are scattered. De profundis clamavi, I have cried out of its depths, with a voice of warning, a cry from its loud and hollow gulphs to those that shall come after: but they would not believe the warning, though one came to deliver it from the dead. To them the vortex is attractive, but not to Faust; he has been engaged in high pursuits; he has closed with the giants of mortal sense and intellect, wrestled with them, vanquished them, and proved them shadows, and shall he now be amused with a chase of butterflies? He listens scornfully to the proposal and assents to it recklessly; he has no faith in the results, but.then he has no fear, nor care for its consequences. The following is an attempt to translate this dialogue from the point where we left off, where a chorus of invisible spirits breaks in with a sort of reply and expostulatory comment to Faust's anathema.

Chorus. Wo-W0

Thou hast destroy'd it-
This beautiful world,
With powerful arm,
It yields, it shivers,
The demigod's word obeying,
We are conveying
Its fragments to annihilation,
And saying
A lament for the fair and ruined one.
Mighty,
Earth's mightiest son,
Brightly,
Out of its ruin,
Build it anew in thy breast,
And life with new zest
Rocommence,
Which thy gentler sense,
Song still renewing,

With joy shall invest.
Mephistopheles. These little ones

Are of mine, and their tones
How to action and joy they impel thee.
Sagely they tell thee
To fly to the busy haunts of men,
From this lonely den,
Where the blood and the spirit together grow
Stagnant and slow.
Harbour no more this lonely sorrow,

That vulture-like thy lifo devours ;
From men, though bad, thy soul may borrow

Some human thoughts and joyous hours.
Yet deem not that I would confound

With vulgar herds a soul like thine,

No lofty rank or name is mine,
But wilt thou troad with me life's round.
Unite with me, I'll strive to show
What mortals may enjoy below,

And presently engage to do
Thy hopes and wishes service true.
Nay, if but thus thou wilt agree,

Thy instrument and bondsman be.
Faust. And what conditions then must I fulfil?
Meph. Oh nothing-for a good long time at least.
Faust. No, no, the Devil is an egöiste,

And not so very prompt from pure good will,
For God's sake thus his neighbor to assist.
Tell the conditions, speak them fairly out,

With such a servant danger comes no doubt.
Meph. I bind myself to thy obedience here,

To know no pause nor rest in serving thee;
And should we meet again in yonder sphere,

Why thou in turn shalt do the same for me.
Faust. Small care for yonder sphere have I.

If this world once in fragments fly,

A new perchance the void may fill;
But let my joys from this their sources borrow,
This sun hath been the witness of my sorrow-
And when I part from these, the morrow

May even bring what chance it will.
I heed not that, nor care to hear

If men hereafter hate or love;
Or if there be in “ yonder sphere,"

A part below and part above.
Meph. With views like these what needs delay-

Accept my terms, and even to-day
I shall delight for thee my art to try,

For things unseen till now by mortal eye.
Faust. Poor devil, vain, how vain is all thy art.

Was the brigh scope of an aspiring heart,

By such a spirit e'er embraced ?
Where are thy fruits that satiate not the taste ?
And thy red gold, whose ready haste
Quicksilver-like evades the hand ?
Thy games for losing only plann'd ?
Thy dames, that from our very arms,

Will wink to catch our neighbor's eye?
And Honor, whose ambitious charms,

Like transient meteors shine and fly ?
Show me the fruits that while we grasp them, rot;

And trees whose leaves each morning must renew. Meph. Reproaches such as these affect me not.

That I have gifts like these to give, is true;
But time brings fairer hours, my gentle friend,

Which we with joy and soft repose may crown
Faust. --When I lie joyful in corruption down,

May my existence on the instant end.
Canst thou once flatter me to deem

I do not hate myself, or cast
One instant o'er my soul a gleam

Of pleasure, be the next my last.

These are my terms. Meph.

Agreed. Faust.

'Tis done and fast. When I to any instant say

Nay, fleet not thus, thou art so bright,

Then let thy chains assert their prey,

And swift perdition claim her right.
Then sound the knell, prepare the pall,

From thy obedience then be free;
The clock may stop, the pointer fall,

And time forever cease for me.
Meph. Think of it well, we shall remember this.
Faust. "Tis just it should not be forgot.

But I am firm, your doubts dismiss,

Since slavery is at last my lot,

I caro not who my master is.
Meph. Well, henceforth your amusement is the task

To which my powers and talents I must bring

Only, since life is an uncertain thing,

Two lines in writing I'll be bold to ask.
Faust. What, Pedant, must thou have a writing too.

Unused with honest men to have to do,
Let it suffice thee that my spoken word

Shall bind my soul like a recorded vow;
Though in this reckless world it seems absurd

That forms of promise should appal me now.
Yet such a weakness still the heart retains,

So unresolv'd, enslav'd, our feeble minds.
Ah, happier those where stedfast Truth remains,

And late repentance no admission finds ;
But a sealed bond, in vulgar eyes, maintains

Its rank with bugbears and portentous signs.
Well, pens must supersede the word,
Which wax and parchment can record.
Come, demon, bring thy tablets on,
Thy paper, parchment, ore, or stone;
With chisel, pencil, or, with quill

I'll write, to me 'tis all the same.
Meph. Nay, thus your dazzling rhetoric still

Shoots far beyond its mark and aim-
Come, any scrap you please is good,

Just sign it with a drop of blood.
Faust. Well, well, I'm in the yielding mood,

So pray play out your silly game. Meph. 'Tis a strange juice this ink of ours. Faust. Well, fear not but I hold my vow.

The earnest aim of all my powers,

Is that which I have promis'd now.
Once I aspired, but now despair

To loftier rank than thine to rise-
The loftier spirit móck'd my prayer,

And nature's secrets mock my eyes.
My thread of thought is spapp'd in twain-
My sicken'd heart finds knowledge vain-
And now, let passion sound and try

The very inmost depths of feeling,

From mystery's secret veil revealing,
The wonders that beneath it lie.
Adown the stream, now rushing by,
Of time and change, our bark shall fly-
And so let joy and care,
And fortune and despair,
Succeed, and arrive, and depart as they can,
But action and change are existence for man.

Meph. No bounds nor limits you shall have,

But sip and nibble where you will,

Give each caprice in turn its fill,
And help yourself to what you crave,

Only, set to at once, I want employment-
Faust. Listen, I do not ask thee for enjoyment;

I ask for agitation, I would know
Pain, hate, and love, the stimulus of wo.
My love of science cured hath left a void,

Where every passion is a welcome guest,
And all man ever suffered or enjoyed,

I would embrace within my single breast.
His spirits heights and depths attain and sound

His joys concentrate, all his anguish bear,
Expand my soul to his extremest bound,

And wreck'd at last, his endless ruin share.
Meph. Oh, trust to me, for ages year by year

I've fed to fulness on these fruits unblest.
No man between the cradle and the bier

This ancient leaven ever can digest.
Believe me, friend, for God alone

Was this great universe design'd-
Eternal light surrounds his throne,

But we in darkness are contined,

Senseless of day and night and blind. It is worthy of remark, that the character of Mephistopheles is in general represented as absolutely passionless, and this exclamation, “oh trust to me,” &c. is the only instance in which he shows any thing like pathos or gentle feeling. This was the moment, perhaps, when goodness might have taken the evil one at advantage—might have breathed with a warm and kindly breath on his frozen sympathies, and favored the incipient thaw, by whispering in his ear those well known words of Nature's sweetest spokesman.

Old Nickie Ben
Oh wad ye tak a thot an men',
Ye aiblins might, I dinna ken,

Still hae a stake.
I'm wae to think upon yon den

Even for your sake. These ideas may be erroneous, but it is not amiss to indulge them, for with such grains of allowance should evil always be represented, and we ought not to admit into our minds even its abstract idea undiluted. Satan, in his own right, may be entitled to no indulgence; but for humanity's sake we ought to show him some; and if we must paint him, we should as much as possible flatter the resemblance. Southey's painter in this respect was decidedly wrong, who set him off for the multitude,

With his teeth and his grin, with his fangs and his scale,
And that, the identical curl of his tail,

Till he had the old wicked one quite.

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