H. (Henri) Gourdon de Genouillac.

Dramatic masterpieces by Greek, Spanish, French, German, and English dramatists; (Volume 2) online

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^ausit anb Jfil^rgaret

Photogravure from the original painting by Carl Becktr

THE handsome Faust, whose mind had hitherto been filled
with only a scholar's ideas and ambitions, meets the beautiful
Margaret retuming^ from church with a heart attuned to sacred
emotions. They are mutually attracted, on observing which Mephis-
topheles, the Devil, who has taken human shape to beguile Fawst,
smiles *o himself in the background.

Dramatic Masterpieces









Copyright, 1900
By the colonial PRESS

f in




Faust i

The Rivals 151

Mary Stuart 239

A Doll's House 369

Les Pattes de Mouche 443

1— Classics. Vol. 37




[Translated into English verse by James Stuart Blackie]













Minor speaking characters include Students, Spirits, Wom-
en, Angels, Servants, Beggars, Soldiers, Peasants, Cat-Apes,
Witches, Director of the Theatre, Leader of the Orchestra,
Idealist, Realist, Sceptic, etc.


Prefixed to the Later Editions of Faust,

Ye hover nigh, dim-floating shapes again,
That erst the misty eye of Fancy knew !
Shall I once more your shadowy flight detain,
And the fond dreamings of my youth pursue?
Ye press around ! — resume your ancient reign —
As from the hazy past ye rise to view ;
The magic breath that wafts your airy train
Stirs in my breast long-slumbering chords again.

Ye raise the pictured forms of happy days,
And many a dear loved shade comes up with you ;
Like the far echo of old-memoried lays,
First love and early friendship ye renew.
Old pangs return ; life's labyrinthine maze
Again the plaint of sorrow wanders through,
And names the loved ones who from Fate received
A bitter call, and left my heart bereaved.

They hear no more the sequel of my song,
Who heard my early chant with open ear;
Dispersed forever is the favoring throng.
Dumb the response from friend to friend so dear.
My sorrow floats an unknown crowd among,
Whose very praise comes mingled with strange fear;
And they who once were pleased to hear my lay,
If yet they live, have drifted far away.


And I recall with long-unfelt desire

The realm of spirits, solemn, still, serene;

My faltering lay, like the ^olian lyre,

Gives wavering tones with many a pause between ;

The stern heart glows with youth's rekindled fire,

Tear follows tear, where long no tear hath been ;

The thing I am fades into distance gray ;

And the pale Past stands out a clear to-day.


Manager. — Ye twain, in good and evil day
So oft my solace and my stay,
Say, have ye heard sure v^ord, or v^^andering rumor
How our new scheme affects the public humor?
Without the multitude we cannot thrive,
Their maxim is to live and to let live.
The posts are up, the planks are fastened, and
Each man's agog for something gay and grand.
With arched eyebrows they sit already there,
Gaping for something new to make them stare.
I know the public taste, and profit by it ;
But still to-day I've fears of our succeeding:
'Tis true they're customed to no dainty diet,
But they've gone through an awful breadth of reading.
How shall we make our pieces fresh and new.
And with some meaning in them, pleasing too?
In sooth, I like to see the people pouring
Into our booth, like storm and tempest roaring.
While, as the waving impulse onward heaves them,
The narrow gate of grace at length receives them.
When, long ere it be dark, with lusty knocks
They fight their way on to the money-box,
And like a starving crowd around a baker's door,
For tickets as for bread they roar.
So wonder-working is the poet's sway
O'er every heart — so may it work to-day !

Poet. — O mention not that motley throng to me.

Which only seen makes frighted genius pause ;
Hide from my view that wild and whirling sea
That sucks me in, and deep and downward draws.
No ! let some noiseless nook of refuge be


My heaven, remote from boisterous rude applause,
Where Love and Friendship, as a God inspires.
Create and fan the pure heart's chastened fires.
Alas ! what there the shaping thought did rear,
And scarce the trembling lip might lisping say.
To Nature's rounded type not always near,
The greedy moment rudely sweeps away.
Ofttimes a work, through many a patient year
Must toil to reach its finished fair display;
The glittering gaud may fix the passing gaze.
But the pure gem gains Time's enduring praise.

Merryfellow. — Pshaw ! Time will reap his own ; but in our
The moment lies, and we must use the hour.
The Future, no doubt, is the Present's heir,
But we who live must first enjoy our share.
Methinks the present of a goodly boy
Has something that the wisest might enjoy.
Whose ready lips with easy Hghtness brim,
The people's humor need not trouble him ;
He courts a crowd the surer to impart
The quickening word that stirs the kindred heart.
Quit ye like men, be honest bards and true,
Let Fancy with her many-sounding chorus.
Reason, Sense, Feeling, Passion, move before us.
But, mark me well — a spice of folly too!

Manager. — Give what you please, so that you give but plenty ;
They come to see, and you must feed their eyes ;
Scene upon scene, each act may have its twenty.
To keep them gaping still in fresh surprise :
This is the royal road to public favor ;
You snatch it thus, and it is yours forever.
A mass of things alone the mass secures ;
Each comes at last and culls his own from yours.
Bring much, and every one is sure to find.
In your rich nosegay, something to his mind.
You give a piece, give it at once in pieces ;
Such a ragout each taste and temper pleases,
And spares, if only they were wise to know it,
Much fruitless toil to player and to poet.


In vain into an artful whole you glue it ;

The public in the long run will undo it.
Poet. — What? feel you not the vileness of this trade?

How much the genuine artist ye degrade ?

The bungling practice of our hasty school

You raise into a maxim and a rule.
Manager. — All very well ! — but when a man

Has forged a scheme, and sketched a plan

He must have sense to 'ise the tool

The best that for the job is fit.

Consider what soft wood you have to split,

And who the people are for whom you write.

One comes to kill a few hours o' the night ;

Another, with his drowsy wits oppressed,

An over-sated banquet to digest ;

And not a few, whom least of all we choose,

Come to the play from reading the " Reviews."

They drift to us as to a masquerade ;

Mere curiosity wings their paces;

The ladies show themselves, and show their silks and

And play their parts well, though they are not paid.

What dream you of, on your poetic height ?

A crowded house, forsooth, gives you delight ! "

Look at your patrons as you should.

You'll find them one-half cold, and one-half crude.

One leaves the play to spend the night

Upon a wench's breast in wild delight ;

Another sets him down to cards, or calls

For rattling dice, or clicking billiard balls.

For such like hearers, and for ends like these

Why should a bard the gentle Muses tease?

I tell you, give them more, and ever more, and still

A little more, if you would prove your skill.

And since they can't discern the finer quality,

Confound them with broad sweep of triviality—
. But what's the matter ? — pain or ravishment ?
Poet. — If such your service, you must be content

With other servants who will take your pay!

Shall then the bard his noblest right betray ?


The right of man, which Nature's gift imparts.
For brainless plaudits basely jest away ?
What gives him power to move all hearts,
Each stubborn element to sway.
What but the harmony, his being's inmost tone,
That charms all feelings back into his own?
Where listless Nature, her eternal thread,
The unwilling spindle twists around,
And hostile shocks of things that will not wed
With jarring dissonance resound.
Who guides with living pulse the rhythmic flow
Of powers that make sweet music as they go?
Who consecrates each separate limb and soul
To beat in glorious concert with the whole?
Who makes the surgy-swelling billow
Heave with the wildly heaving breast,
And on the evening's rosy pillow.
Invites the brooding heart to rest?
Who scatters spring's most lovely blooms upon
The path of the beloved one ?
Who plaits the leaves that unregarded grow
Into a crown to deck the honored brow ?
Who charms the gods? who makes Olympos yield?
The power of man in poet's art revealed.
Merryfellow. — Then learn such subtle powers to wield.
And on the poet's business enter
As one does on a love-adventure.
They meet by chance, are pleased, and stay
On being pressed, just for a day;
Then hours to hours are sweetly linked in chain,
Till net-caught by degrees, they find retreat is vain.
At first the sky is bright, then darkly lowers ;
To-day, fine thrilling rapture wnngs the hours,
To-morrow, doubts and anguish have their chance.
And, ere one knows, they're deep in a romance.
A play like this both praise and profit brings.
Plunge yourself boldly in the stream of things—
What's lived by all, but known to few —
And bring up something fresh and new,
No matter what ; just use your eyes,


And all will praise what all can prize;

Strange motley pictures in a misty mirror,

A spark of truth in a thick cloud of error;

'Tis thus we brew the genuine beverage,

To edify and to refresh the age.

The bloom of youth in eager expectation,

With gaping ears drinks in your revelation ;

Each tender sentimental disposition

Sucks from your art sweet woe-be-gone nutrition ;

Each hears a part of what his own heart says,

While over all your quickening sceptre sways.

These younglings follow where you bid them go.

Lightly to laughter stirred, or turned to woe,

They love the show, and with an easy swing.

Follow the lordly wafture of your wing ;

Your made-up man looks cold on everything.

But growing minds take in what makes them grow.
Poet.*— Then give me back the years again,

When mine own spirit too was growing.

When my whole being was a vein

Of thronging songs within me flowing 1

Then slept the world in misty blue,

Each bud the nascent wonder cherished.

And all for me the flowerets grew.

That on each meadow richly flourished.

Though I had nothing then, I had a treasure,

The thirst for truth, and in illusion pleasure.

Give me the free, unshackled pinion.

The height of joy, the depth of pain.

Strong hate, and stronger love's dominion ;

O give me back my youth again !
Merryfellow. — The fire of youth, good friend, you need, of

Into the hostile ranks to break,

Or, when the loveliest damsels hang by force,

With amorous clinging, from your neck.

When swift your winged steps advance

To where the racer's prize invites you,

Or, after hours of whirling dance,

The nightly deep carouse invites you.



But to awake the well-known lyre
With graceful touch that tempers fire,
And to a self-appointed goal,
With tuneful rambling on to roll,
Such are your duties, aged sirs ; nor we
Less honor pay for this, nor stint your fee ;
Old age, not childish, makes the old ; but they
Are genuine children of a mellower day.
Manager. — Enough of words : 'tis time that we

Were come to deeds; while you are spinning

Fine airy phrases, fancy-free,

We might have made some good beginning.

What stuff you talk of being in the vein !

A lazy man is never in the vein.

If once your names are on the poet's roll,

The Muses should be under your control.

You know our want ; a good stiff liquor

To make their creeping blood flow quicker ;

Then brew the brews without delay ;

What was not done to-day, to-morrow

Will leave undone for greater sorrow.

Don't stand, and stare, and block the way,

But with a firm, set purpose lay

Hold of your bright thoughts as they rise to view,

And bid them stay ;
Once caught, they will not lightly run away,
Till they have done what in them lies to do.

Among the sons of German play,
Each tries his hand at what he may ;
Therefore be brilliant in your scenery,
And spare no cost on your machinery.
Let sun and moon be at your call.
And scatter stars on stars around ;
Let water, fire, and rocky wall,
And bird and beast and fish abound.
Thus in your narrow booth mete forth
The wide creation's flaming girth,
And wing your progress, pondered well.
From heaven to earth, from earth to hell.


Raphael. — The Sun doth chime his ancient music
'Mid brothered spheres' contending song.
And on his fore-appointed journey
With pace of thunder rolls along.
Strength drink the angels from his glory,
Though none may throughly search his way:
God's works rehearse their wondrous story
As bright as on Creation's day.

Gabriel. — And swift and swift beyond conceiving
The pomp of earth is wheeled around,
Alternating Elysian brightness
With awful gloom of night profound.
Up foams the sea, a surging river.
And smites the steep rock's echoing base,
And rock and sea, unwearied ever,
Spin their eternal circling race.

Michael. — And storm meets storm with rival greeting,
From sea to land, from land to sea.
While from their war a virtue floweth,
That thrills with life all things that be.
The lightning darts his fury, blazing
Before the thunder's sounding way ;
But still thy servants. Lord, are praising
The gentle going of thy day.

The Three. — Strength drink the angels from thy glory,
Though none may search thy wondrous way;
Thy works repeat their radiant story,
As bright as on Creation's day.

Mephistopheles. — Sith thou, O Lord, approachest near,
And how we fare wouldst fain have information.
And thou of old wert glad to see me here,
I stand to-day amid the courtly nation.



Pardon ; no words of fine address I know,

Nor could, though all should hoot me down with sneers ;

My pathos would move laughter, and not tears,

Wert thou not weaned from laughter long ago.

Of suns and worlds I've nought to say,

I only see how men must fret their lives away.

The little god o' the world jogs and jogs on, the same

As when from ruddy clay he took his name ;

And, sooth to say, remains a riddle, just

As much as when you shaped him from the dust.

Perhaps a little better he had thriven,

Had he not got the show of glimmering light from
heaven :

He calls it reason, and it makes him free

To be more brutish than a brute can be ;

He is, methinks, with reverence of your grace,

Like one of the long-legged race

Of grasshoppers that leap in the air, and spring,

And straightway in the grass the same old song they

'Twere well that from the grass he never rose,

Oh every stubble he must break his nose !
The Lord. — Hast thou then nothing more to say?

And art thou here again to-day

To vent thy grudge in peevish spite

Against the earth, still finding nothing right?
Mephistopheles. — True, Lord ; I find things there no better
than before ;

I must confess I do deplore

Man's hopeless case, and scarce have heart myself

To torture the poor miserable elf.
The Lord. — Dost thou know Faust?
Mephistopheles. — The Doctor?

The Lord. — Ay: my servant.

Mephistopheles. — Indeed ! and of his master's will observant.

In fashion quite peculiar to himself;

His food and drink are of no earthly taste,

A restless fever drives him to the waste.

Himself half seems to understand

How his poor wits have run astrand;


From heaven he asks each loveliest star,

Earth's chiefest joy must jump to his demand,

And all that's near, and all that's far,

Soothes not his deep-moved spirit's war.
The Lord. — Though for a time he blindly grope his way,

Soon will I lead him into open day ;

Well knows the gardener, when green shoots appear,

That bloom and fruit await the ripening year.
Mephistopheles. — What wager you? you yet shall lose that
soul !

Only give me full license, and you'll see

How I shall lead him softly to my goal.
The Lord. — As long as on the earth he lives

Thou hast my license full and free ;

Man still must stumble while he strives.
Mephistopheles. — My thanks for that ! the dead for me

Have little charm ; my humor seeks

The bloom of lusty life, with plump and rosy cheeks ;

For a vile corpse my tooth is far too nice,

I do just as the cat does with the mice.
The Lord. — So be it ; meanwhile, to tempt him thou are free ;

Go, drag this spirit from his native fount.

And lead him on, canst thou his will surmount,

Into perdition down with thee ;

But stand ashamed at last, when thou shalt see

An honest man, 'mid all his strivings dark.

Finds the right way, though lit but by a spark.
Mephistopheles. — Well, well ; short time will show ; into my

I'll draw the fish, and then I've won my bet ;

And when I've carried through my measure

Loud blast of trump shall blaze my glory ;

Dust shall he eat, and that with pleasure.

Like my cousin the snake in the rare old story.
The Lord. — And thou mayst show thee here in upper sky

Unhindered, when thou hast a mind ;

I never hated much thee or thy kind ;

Of all the spirits that deny.

The clever rogue sins least against my mind. _

For, in good sooth, the mortal generation,


When a soft pillow they may haply find,
Are far too apt to sink into stagnation ;
And therefore man for comrade wisely gets
A devil, who spurs, and stimulates, and whets.
But you, ye sons of heaven's own choice,
In the one living Beautiful rejoice !
The self-evolving Energy divine
Enclasp you round with love's embrace benign,
And on the floating forms of earth and sky
Stamp the fair type of thought that may not die.
Mephistopheles. — From time to time the ancient gentleman
I see, and keep on the best terms I can.
In a great Lord 'tis surely wondrous civil
So face to face to hold talk with the devil.



Scene I — Night

Faust discovered sitting restless at his desk, in a narroiv high-
vaulted Gothic chamber.

Faust. — There now, I've toiled my way quite through
Law, Medicine, and Philosophy,
And, to my sorrow, also thee.
Theology, with much ado;
And here I stand, poor human fool.
As wise as when I went to school.
Master, ay. Doctor, titled duly.
An urchin-brood of boys unruly
For ten slow-creeping years and mo.
Up and down, and to and fro,
I lead by the nose : and this I know,
That vain is all our boasted lore —
A thought that burns me to the core !
True, I am wiser than all their tribe,
Doctor, Master, Priest, and Scribe ;
No scruples nor doubts in my bosom dwell,
I fear no devil, believe no hell ;
But with my fear all joy is gone.
All rare conceit of wisdom won ;
All dreams so fond, all faith so fair,
To make men better than they are.
Nor gold have I, nor gear, nor fame.
Station, or rank, or honored name,
Here like a kennelled cur I lie!
Therefore the magic art I'll try,



From spirit's might and mouth to draw,

Mayhap, some key to Nature's law ;

That I no more, with solemn show,

May sweat to teach what I do not know ;

That I may ken the bond that holds

The world, through all its mystic folds ;

The hidden seeds of things explore.

And cheat my thought with words no more.

O might thou shine, thou full moon bright,

For the last time upon my woes,

Thou whom, by this brown desk alone.

So oft my wakeful eyes have known.

Then over books and paper rose

On me thy sad familiar light !

Oh, that beneath thy friendly ray.

On peaky summit I might stray.

Round mountain caves with spirits hover,

And flit the glimmering meadows over,

And from all fevered fumes of thinking free.

Bathe me to health within thy dewy sea.

In vain ! still pines my prisoned soul

Within this curst dank dungeon-hole !

Where dimly finds ev'n heaven's blest ray,

Through painted glass, its struggling way.

Shut in by heaps of books up-piled,

All worm-begnawed and dust-besoiled.

With yellowed papers, from the ground

To the smoked ceiling, stuck around ;

Caged in with old ancestral lumber,

Cases, boxes, without number,

Broken glass, and crazy chair,

Dust and brittleness everywhere ;

This is thy world, a world for a man's soul to breathe in !

And ask I still why in my breast.

My heart beats heavy and oppressed ?

And why some secret unknown sorrow

Freezes my blood, and numbs my marrow?

*Stead of the living sphere of Nature,

Where man was placed by his Creator,

Surrounds thee mouldering dust alone.

The grinning skull and skeleton.


Arise! forth to the fields, arise!
And this mysterious magic page,
From Nostradamus' hand so sage,
Should guide thee well. Thy raptured eyes
Shall then behold what force compels
The tuneful spheres to chime together ;
When, taught by Nature's mightiest spells,
Thine innate spring of soul upwells,
As speaks one spirit to another.
In vain my thought gropes blindly here,
To make those sacred symbols clear ;
Ye unseen Powers that hover near me.
Answer, I charge ye, when ye hear me !
[He opens the book, and sees the sign of the Macrocosm.
Ha ! what ecstatic joy this page reveals.
At once through all my thrilling senses flowing!
Young holy zest of hfe my spirit feels
In every vein, in every nerve, new glowing !
Was it a God whose finger drew these signs.
That, with mild pulse of joy, and breath of rest,
Smooth the tumultuous heaving of my breast.
And with mysterious virtue spread the lines
Of Nature's cipher bare to mortal sight?
Am I a God ? so wondrous pure the light
Within me! in these tokens I behold
The powers by which all Nature is besouled.
Now may I reach the sage's words aright ;
" The world of spirits is not barred ;
Thy sense is shut, thy heart is dead !
Up, scholars, bathe your hearts so hard,
In the fresh dew of morning's red ! "

[He scans carefully the sign.
How mingles here in one the soul with soul.
And lives each portion in the living whole !
How heavenly Powers, ascending and descending.
From hand to hand their golden ewers are lending,
And bliss-exhaling swing from pole to pole !
From the high welkin to earth's centre bounding,
Harmonious all through the great All resounding!
What wondrous show ! but ah \ 'tis but a show !
Where erasp I thee, thou infinite Nature, where ?


And you, ye teeming breasts ? ye founts whence flow

All living influences fresh and fair?

Whereon the heavens and earth dependent hang,

Where seeks relief the withered bosom's pang?

Your founts still well, and I must pine in vain !
[He turns the book over impatiently, and beholds the sign of

the Spirit of the Earth.

What different working hath this sign?

Thou Spirit of the Earth, I feel thee nearer;

Already sees my strengthened spirit clearer;

I glow as I had drunk new wine.

New strength I feel to plunge into the strife,

And bear the woes and share the joys of life,

Buffet the blasts, and where the wild waves dash.

Look calmly on the shipwreck's fearful crash !

Clouds hover o'er me —

The moon is dim !

The lamp's flame wanes !

It smokes ! — Red beams dart forth

Around my head — and from the vaulted roof

Falls a cold shudder down,

And grips me ! — I feel

Thou hover'st near me, conjured Spirit, now;

Reveal thee !

Ha ! how swells with wild delight

My bursting heart !

And feelings, strange and new.

At once through all my ravished senses dart!

I feel my inmost soul made thrall to thee !

Thou must ! thou must ! and were my life the fee !
[He seizes the book, and pronounces zuith a mysterious air the

sign of the Spirit. A red Home darts forth, and the

Spirit appears in the flame.
Spirit. — Who calls me?
Faust [turning aivay'\. — Vision of affright!
Spirit. — Thou hast with mighty spell invoked me,

And to obey thy call provoked me,

And now

Faust. — Hence from my sight !

Spirit. — Thy panting prayer besought my might to view.

To hear my voice, and know mv semblance too :


Now bending from my native sphere to please thee,
Here am I ! — ha ! what pitiful terrors seize thee,
And overman thee quite ! where now the call
Of that proud soul, that scorned to own the thrall
Of earth, a world within itself created.

Online LibraryH. (Henri) Gourdon de GenouillacDramatic masterpieces by Greek, Spanish, French, German, and English dramatists; (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 36)