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century, and composed Christian dramas in a diction somewhat resembling the style of Terence, with the purpose of expelling by these compositions the profane comedies of the heathen poet from schools and monasteries. In the thirteenth century, the legend of Theophilus became a favourite subject of dramatic composition. The French trouvère Rutebeuf, who lived in the reign of St. Louis, was the author of a miracle-play on this subject, edited in the Théâtre français au moyen âge, par MM. Monmerqué et Francisque Michel.' In this play we meet for the first time with the important circumstance of Theophilus writing a warrant of his soul with his own blood, the words being - de son sanc les escrit. We further learn that in the year 1384 the inhabitants of the village of Aunay played the Miracle of Theophilus ou quel Jeu auoit un personnage de un qui deuoit getter d'un canon :' see Warton's History of English Poetry,' p. 164 (Murray's reprint, 1870). There are also two plays on the same subject in Low German, probably written in the fifteenth century; they have been edited by the poet and antiquarian Hoffmann von Fallersleben, Hanover, 1853–54. See also the work of Ettmüller, ' Theophilus, der Faust des Mittelalters. Schauspiel aus dem 14ten Jahrhundert. Quedlinburg, 1849.'
The main difference between the legends of Faustus and Theophilus lies in the salvation of the latter, while the first actually becomes the prey of the Evil Spirit. It is worthy of remark that the great poet, who has in this century written a world-famous drama on the legend of Faustus, has reverted to the
on ancient conception of the primary legend, by allowing he Faustus to be saved at the conclusion of his career.
Mr. G. H. Lewes has, in his Life of Goethe, analysed a drama by the Spanish playwright Calderon,
which was however written after Marlowe's 'Doctor tic
Faustus,' and has not therefore the slightest connecho
tion with the English drama. It may however be mentioned that in the Magico Prodigioso we find the same memorable trait, that Cyprian draws blood from his
arm, and writes with this the agreement by which he rst gives his soul to the Devil. This
may prove that the us
idea was very popular about the end of the sixteenth he century.
The legend of Faustus was formed in the latter gehalf of the same century on the basis of the ancient el tale of Theophilus, with an admixture of numerous
traits of magic lore derived from other sources. It Y; would indeed appear to have become a kind of
common receptacle of all the wonderful and superols
natural beliefs, which the superstition of the expiring times of the Middle Ages (not unjustly called the 00
| Further information as to the literature bearing on the erk
legend of Theophilus will be found in J. Grimm's Deutsche
Mythologie, vol. ii. p. 969 (sec. ed.) The reader will also find n there similar mediæval legends, of Pope Silvester II. (died
1003) and a certain Volprecht mentioned in the German poem o called Das Annolied.---See E. Kölbing's Beitrage zur vergleichen
den Geschichte der romanischen Poesie und Prosa des Mittelalters (Breslau, 1876), pp. 1-41, and the same writer's Englische Studien (Heilbronn, 1877) i. pp. 16–57, where two early English poems on this legend are published for the first time.
? See also Shelley's translations of some scenes of Calderon's Ex drama.
On the con: was L
'Dark' Ages in this respect) had produced. Yet th Fat legend, which plays such an important part in litermiss ature, is not entirely devoid of historical foundation. it H
The Doctor Faustus of the legend has been fr roba quently identified with the companion of Gutenber and the printer Fust. Though we do not mean to der mong that a somewhat vague conception of the startlindrsh and—to a certain extent-magic power of the nel set of art of printing, by which knowledge was spread an estua communicated at a rate never before imagined, maa che a have surrounded the name of the first printer with thequer halo of a magician, yet it cannot be proved that thered from exists a direct connection between the magicia: Mlaul Doctor Faustus and the printer Fust. trary, the legend does not assume a definite shappily me until more than a century after the invention of the It art of printing.
There actually existed in the first half of the six teenth century a Doctor Faustus who claimed an ac.. quaintance with magic arts. His existence is attested by many incontrovertible statements. The well-known scholar and friend of Hutten, Conradus Mutianus Rufus, canon at Gotha (died 1526), writes, Oct. 38 int of 1513, to his friend Henricus Urbanus :-'A week ago Faust there came hither from Erfurt a chiromant, called Georgius Faustus Helmitheus Hedebergensis,' a mere boaster and trickster. He is, however, greatly admired (a by the common herd. I myself heard him holding ppular forth in an inn, without deigning to reply to his boasts; for why should I trouble my head about such non
1 Düntzer would write Hemitheus, huldeos. gave himself this name, he was indeed insignis nebulo.
- consid minto inhoug
If Faustus comenta
t tense?'1 Faustus received from the University of lit Erfurt permission to lecture on Homer; and it is reionported that his vivid descriptions of the Homeric n fheroes (probably drawn from such writers as Dares berPhrygius and Dictys Cretensis, and not from Homer) derfexcited among the students a wish to see these heroes tlin a bodily shape. Faustus, who pretended to possess neithe
power of calling up the dead of former ages, inanvited the students into a dark room, where he exhibited mato them the apparitions they had been desirous to see. 1 th In consequence of such practices, Faustus was at last haiexpelled from Erfurt. In 1516, Faustus lived for some ciastime at Maulbronn in Würtemberg, 2 his native country, con as he was born at a place called Knittlingen. It is ape specially mentioned that he studied alchymy at Maulthe bronn.
It is further attested that Faustus remained for a considerable period at Wittenberg, and was there
thrown into company with Doctor Luther and Melanchif thon, though he did not enter into the views of those
great reformers. According to Melanchthon's own statement, Faustus escaped from Wittenberg, when orders had already been given for his apprehension on account of his magic practices.3
Faustus would thus appear to have led a restless and changeful life, wandering from place to place,
See Carl Engel's excellent Introduction to his edition of the popular play on Faustus (Oldenburg, 1874), p. 6.
? It is very curious, but at all events very noteworthy, that in the first two editions of Marlowe's play Wittenberg is constantly called Wertemberg or Wirtenberg. See our Critical Commentary.
$ Engel, p. 10.
always in pursuit of alchymistic knowledge, and pro tending to be in possession of the occult arts. V cannot therefore be surprised to find that he was sy pected of an undue familiarity with the Evil Spirit; ar no less an authority than Melanchthon seems to F responsible for the report of his violent death. TF passage has been quoted by Engel, p. 12, and we wi reproduce it here in English A few years ago th Doctor Faustus was sitting, on his last day, vei sorrowfully in a village belonging to the Duchy Würtemberg. His host inquired of him why he wa so downcast, very contrary to his wont, he being a other times a sad rogue, that led a disgraceful life, an was more than once near being killed on account his numerous love affairs. Faustus then told the hos that he should not allow himself to be frightened in thi night. About the hour of midnight the house wa violently shaken. As Faustus did not appear in the morning, the host, having waited until noon, went into his room, and there found him lying beside his bed with his face all wrenched awry, so that it was plain that the Devil had killed him.'
It is well known that the great reformers were by no means exempt from the superstitious beliefs of their time, but shared them quite unreservedly. Most of the statements concerning the real Faustus have come down to us either through them or their adherents, and, such as they are, their historical value is marred by an admixture of superstition and fiction. We do not believe that the real Faustus was killed by the Devil. We should say that he was one of the last of those alchymists who pretended to much obscure knowledge,