[Enter a Horse-Courser.]
- I have been all this day seeking one(10)
Master Fustian: mass, see where he is! God save you,
- What, horse-courser! You are well met.
- Do you hear, sir? I have brought you(15)
forty dollars for your horse.
- I cannot sell him so: if thou likest him for fifty, take him.
- Alas, sir, I have no more!—I pray you speak for me.(20)
- I pray you let him have him: he is an honest fellow,
and he has a great charge, neither wife nor child.
- Well, come, give me your money.
My boy will deliver him to you.
But I must tell you one thing before you have him;(25)
ride him not into the water at any hand.
[Horse-Courser gives Faustus the money.]
- Why, sir, will he not drink of all waters?
- O yes, he will drink of all waters but ride him
not into the water: ride him over hedge or ditch, or(30)
where thou wilt, but not into the water.
- Well, sir.—Now am I made man for
ever: I'll not leave my horse for twice forty: if he had
but the quality of hey-ding-ding, hey-ding-ding, I'd
make a brave living on him: he has a buttock as slick(35)
as an eel. [Aside.] Well, God b'wi'ye, sir, your boy will
deliver him me: but hark you, sir if my horse be sick
or ill at ease, if I bring his water to you, you'll tell me
what it is.
- Away, you villain; what, dost think I am a horse-doctor?(40)
What art thou, Faustus, but a man condemned to die?
Thy fatal time doth draw to final end;
Despair doth drive distrust unto my thoughts:(45)
Confound these passions with a quiet sleep:
Tush, Christ did call the thief upon the cross;
Then rest thee, Faustus, quiet in conceit.
[Faustus sleeps in his chair. Re-enter Horse-Courser all wet, crying.]
- Alas, alas! Doctor Fustian, quotha?(50)
mass, Doctor Lopus was never such a doctor: has
given me a purgation has purged me of forty dollars;
I shall never see them more. But yet, like an ass I was, I
would not be ruled by him, for he bade me I should ride
him into no water: now I, thinking my horse had had(55)
some rare quality that he would not have had me known
of, I, like a venturous youth, rid him into the deep pond
at the town's end. I was no sooner in the middle of the
pond, but my horse vanished away, and I sat upon a bottle
of hay, never so near drowning in my life. But I'll seek out(60)
my Doctor, and have my forty dollars again, or I'll make it
the dearest horse!—O, yonder is his snipper-snapper.—
Do you hear? you, hey-pass, where's your master?
- Why, sir, what would you? You cannot speak with him.(65)
- But I will speak with him.
- Why, he's fast asleep. Come some other time.
- I'll speak with him now, or I'll break his
glass windows about his ears.
- I tell thee he has not slept this eight nights.(70)
- An he have not slept this eight weeks I'll speak with him.
- See where he is, fast asleep.
- Ay, this is he.—God save you, Master
Doctor, Master Doctor, Master Doctor Fustian!—Forty(75)
dollars, forty dollars for a bottle of hay!
- Why, thou seest he hears thee not.
- So ho, ho!—so ho, ho! [Hollers in his ear.]
No, will you not wake? I'll make you wake ere I go.
[Pulls Faustus by the leg, and pulls it away.]
Alas, I am undone! What shall I do? (80)
- O my leg, my leg!—Help, Mephistophilis! call the officers.—My leg, my leg!
- Come, villain, to the constable.
- O lord, sir, let me go, and I'll give you forty dollars more. (85)
- Where be they?
- I have none about me. come to my ostry and I'll give them you.
- Begone quickly.(90)
[Horse-Courser runs away.]
- What, is he gone? Farewell he! Faustus has his
leg again, and the horse-courser, I take it, a bottle of
hay for his labour. Well, this trick shall cost him forty
- How now, Wagner! what's the news with thee?(95)
- Sir, the Duke of Vanholt doth earnestly entreat
- The Duke of Vanholt! an honourable gentle-(100)
man, to whom I must be no niggard of my cunning.—
Come, Mephistophilis, let's away to him.
A "Horse-Courser" is a horse trader. Horse traders were known as tricky bargainers or cheats. They were considered disreputable people.— Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
Notice that the Horse-Courser mistakes Faustus's name. This either shows that the character is shady and suspicious or that he is of the low class and therefore illiterate. This character's speech and profession would have made him unsympathetic to Marlowe's audience.— Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
Notice that Faustus is squabbling with this low class character over a sum of ten dollars. This once again demonstrates the tragic waste of Faustus's ambitions and power. He is not stockpiling immense wealth or empire, he is arguing over an insignificant sum.— Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
This was a colloquial term that meant ability to breed. The Horse-courser muses on how much his fortunes would be if the horse were a stallion instead of a gelding. But promises that he will not sell him regardless.— Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
Faustus contemplates his eternal damnation with an air of seriousness—he seems worried about what will happen to him. Generally in Renaissance plays comedic scenes break up the tension between dramatic scenes. But here comedy and drama exist within the same scene suggesting that there is no respite from the damnation Faustus will suffer.— Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
Faustus's horse was conjured out of hay and returned to hay when he entered water. While this scene was intended to be humorous, it also demonstrates the ephemeral nature of Faustus's power. Just like the shiny and impressive horse, Faustus's power lacks real substance.— Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
Snipper-snapper was a colloquial phrase that meant insignificant youth, or whipper-snapper. The Horse-courser is looking for the "boy" who delivered the horse, who in reality is Mephistophilis.— Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
"Glass windows" in this context refers to spectacles or glasses. Glasses symbolically represent learning and wealth as they were expensive to buy and generally only necessary for reading.— Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
Lack of sleep in Marlowe's time would have suggested a deep spiritual or psychological problem. Just as Lady Macbeth stops sleeping and wandering in the night because she is haunted by her deeds, Faustus is haunted by his damnation. This lack of sleep demonstrates that Faustus is not as flippant about his eternal fate as he claimed to be at the beginning of the play.— Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
Trying to wake Faustus, the Horse-courser shakes Faustus's leg and is then horrified when the entire leg comes off. This can be read as a cruel joke on the Horse-courser or as a symbol of Faustus's decay. He is not sleeping, and now his body is falling apart. Faustus's damnation now manifests itself in his physical being.— Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
This is a low class pronunciation of hostelry, which is another term for an inn. Faustus uses his lost leg to blackmail the Horse-courser into giving him forty more dollars. Notice again that Faustus uses his powers for a measly sum; Faustus is wasting the power for which he sold is soul.— Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
This was a colloquial term that meant to be stingy or ungenerous. Essentially, Faustus means that he must generously display his skill to this nobleman.— Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff