Chorus 1

[Enter Chorus (Wagner).]

Not marching now in fields of Thrasimene,
Where Mars did mate the Carthaginians;
Nor sporting in the dalliance of love,
In courts of kings where state is overturned;
Nor in the pomp of proud audacious deeds,(5)
Intends our Muse to vaunt her heavenly verse:
Only this, gentlemen,—we must perform
The form of Faustus' fortunes, good or bad:
To patient judgments we appeal our plaud,
And speak for Faustus in his infancy.(10)
Now is he born, his parents base of stock,
In Germany, within a town called Rhodes:
Of riper years, to Wertenberghe went,
Whereas his kinsmen chiefly brought him up.
So soon he profits in divinity,(15)
The fruitful plot of scholarism graced,
That shortly he was graced with doctor's name,
Excelling all whose sweet delight disputes
In heavenly matters of theology;
Till swollen with cunning, of a self-conceit,(20)
His waxen wings did mount above his reach,
And, melting, Heavens conspired his overthrow;
For, falling to a devilish exercise,
And glutted now with learning's golden gifts,
He surfeits upon cursed necromancy;(25)
Nothing so sweet as magic is to him,
Which he prefers before his chiefest bliss:
And this the man that in his study sits!

[Exit Wagner.]

Notes : 1.Wertenberg is the university where Martin Luther, an influential figure in the Protestant Reformation, was educated. In this allusion, Faustus is implicitly equated with radical theological thought.