has each one of us signed with the blood of his human nature….

“…has each one of us signed with the blood of his human nature a compact with some such spiritual power, with the demonic element within him, with that spirit of negation, of cynicism, of cold unideal utilitarian worldly-wisdom which mocks at faith and love and every high and tender impulse…?”

The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Faust-Legend and Goethe’s “Faust,” (p. 64), by H. B. Cotterill. (Commentary on Goethe’s Faust)

The contract-stories differ from one another as to the objects

[Why doesn’t Faust repent? Is it impossible? Contrary to faith? Where is God?]

“The contract-stories differ from one another as to the objects which in the several instances the human party to the bargain designed to secure by it ; but they all adhere to the fundamental idea, that the obligation is invalid against the interposition of the Divine Mercy on behalf of the repentant sinner. Such is the significance of one of the earliest, which also became one of the most widely-spread of these legends and which no commentator on the Faust-legend has failed to notice.”

Old English Drama. Select Plays. By A.W. Ward


Continental Reformation Attitudes to Witchcraft

Continental Reformation Attitudes to Witchcraft

(Protestantism has fewer defences against sorcery than Catholicism so the Protestant Reformation increased fear of witchcraft)

“In Germany, even more largely than in other continental Germany, countries, the popular belief in the infernal origin of practices of sorcery in this age found expression in wild scandals and uncontrollable fictions. It attached itself to a wide variety of personages from the scholastici vagantes, of whom Hans Sachs had already brought an example on the stage, to an Elector of the Empire such as Joachim II of Brandenburg (1535-1571). In France charges of this kind were even brought against a king (Henry III) and his royal mother (Catharine de’ Medici). But if princes were the patrons of necromancy (as they were more especially of alchemy), they likewise persecuted its practice with the utmost severity ; thus we find an edict of the Elector Augustus of Saxony (of the year 1572), proclaiming the penalty of death by fire against whosoever ‘in forgetfulness of his Christian faith shall have entered into a compact, or hold converse or intercourse, with the Devil, albeit such person by magic may do no harm to any one‘ The clause I have italicised strikes me as particularly significant. In vain did a writer such as Johannes Wierus (Wier, Weiher or Weyer) seek, in the spirit of Reginald Scot, to stem the tide of popular prejudice, and to vindicate the memory of those whose fame, like that of Cornelius Agrippa, had by that prejudice been converted into infamy. Wierus’ noble effort (I583 2 ) in the cause of reason, and the partial protest of his contemporary Augustine Lercheimer 3 (1585), were outclamoured by eager witnesses to the truth of the popular superstitions and of the narratives by which they were supported, such as above all Bodin (l59i 4 ), whom Fischart translated into German, and Hondorff (i572 5 ). Thus fostered, these beliefs flourished in Germany through the sixteenth and part of the seventeenth century, the troubles of which furnished them with new new materials. But of these all notice must be left aside. The neighbouring countries were not in advance of Germany ; the last personage widely believed to have entered into a compact with the Evil One was the French Marshal Luxembourg (1628-1695), whose Dialogues in the Kingdom of the Dead with Doctor Faustus were a catchpenny of the year 1733; and if Germany had its Faustus in the sixteenth century, Bohemia had had its Zytho in the fifteenth (in the age of Charles IV), and Poland had its Twardowski, said to have been a contemporary of the German magician, of whose legend his is a reflexion or a singularly close parallel . How the story of Faustus found a ready welcome in the Netherlands and in France, as it did in England, will be immediately shown.”

Old English Drama. Select Plays. By A.W. Ward


“The origins of the Faust legend are of very great

“The origins of the Faust legend are of very great antiquity. The essentials underlying the story are the pact with Satan, and the supposed vicious character of purely human learning. The idea of the pact with Satan belongs to both Jewish and Christian magico-religious belief, but is probably more truly Kabalistic than anything else, and can scarcely be traced further back; unless it resides in the savage idea that a sacrificed person takes the place of the deity, to which he is immolated during the period of life remaining to him before his execution, and afterwards becomes one with the god. The wickedness of believing in the al-sufficiency of human knowledge is a favourite theme with the early Lutherans, whose beliefs strongly coloured the Faust legend; but vivid hues and wondrously carven outlines are also afforded its edifice by the thought of the age in which it finally took shape; and in the ancient Faust- books we find tortuous passages of thought and quaintnesses of conception which recall to our minds the artistry of the Renaissance.”

“The Encyclopedia of the Occult” (Faust) by Lewis Spence

The Encyclopedia of the Occult: A Compendium of Information on the Occult Sciences, Occult Personalities, Psychic Science, Magic, Spiritism and Mysticism. Lewis Spence.
Bracken Books, 1988

Pasted from <http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Encyclopedia_of_the_Occult.html?id=jRJ7QgAACAAJ&redir_esc=y>

What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Jesus says:

“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”


The Legend of Bluesman Robert Johnson Animated

The Legend of Bluesman Robert Johnson Animated

http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0″> name=”movie” value=”http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1” />http://admin.brightcove.com” />http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1” bgcolor=”#FFFFFF” flashVars=”videoId=2517547243001&playerID=2513628667001&playerKey=AQ~~,AAACK2FgrRk~,zMYAvvLCUEnwf6PiJylzLIv2R3ooD-Fl&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true” base=”http://admin.brightcove.com” name=”flashObj” width=”500″ height=”315″ seamlesstabbing=”false” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowFullScreen=”true” allowScriptAccess=”always” swLiveConnect=”true” pluginspage=”http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash”>>

“During his short life (1911-1938), Johnson recorded 29 individual songs. But they could not have been more influential. “

Pasted from <

(Mmm, the sun goin’ down, boy dark gon’ catch me here)

Devil’s Trill Sonata

Devil’s Trill Sonata

Tartini’s Dream by Louis-Léopold Boilly (1824)

Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770):

“One night, in the year 1713 I dreamed I had made a pact with the devil for my soul. Everything went as I wished: my new servant anticipated my every desire. Among other things, I gave him my violin to see if he could play. How great was my astonishment on hearing a sonata so wonderful and so beautiful, played with such great art and intelligence, as I had never even conceived in my boldest flights of fantasy. I felt enraptured, transported, enchanted: my breath failed me, and – I awoke. I immediately grasped my violin in order to retain, in part at least, the impression of my dream. In vain! The music which I at this time composed is indeed the best that I ever wrote, and I still call it the “Devil’s Trill”, but the difference between it and that which so moved me is so great that I would have destroyed my instrument and have said farewell to music forever if it had been possible for me to live without the enjoyment it affords me.”

Pasted from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_Trill_Sonata>

Listen to Tartini Violin Sonata in G minor ”Devil’s Trill Sonata” :

Simplicissimus the vagabond

Simplicissimus the vagabond
that is – the life of a strange adventurer named Melchior Sternfels von Fuchshaim … given forth by German Schleifheim von Sulsfort in the year MDCLXIX translated by A.T.S. Goodrick; with an introd. by William Rose.
Published 1912 by Routledge in London .

Pasted from <https://openlibrary.org/books/OL23332527M/Simplicissimus_the_vagabond>

p. xxix



The original (1592*) P. F. Gent. English-language translation. Shown are the understanding Faustus and Mephostophiles came to, and Faustus’ subsequent signed letter and deed.

The Understanding:

The second time of the Spirits appearing to Faustus in his house, and of their parley. Chap. 4.
Faustus continuing in his diuelish cogitations, neuer mouing out of the place where the Spirit left him (such was his feruent loue to the diuel) the night approching, this swift flying Spirit appeared to Faustus, offering himself with al submissiô to his seruice, with ful authority from his Prince to doe whatsoeuer he would request, if so be Faustus would promise to be his: this answere I bring thee, and an answere must thou make by me againe, yet will I heare what is thy desire, because thou hast sworne me to be here at this time. Doctor Faustus gaue him this answere, though faintly (for his soules sake) That his request was none other but to become a Diuel, or at the least a limme of him, and that the Spirit should agree vnto these Articles as followeth.
1 That he might be a Spirite in shape and qualitie.
2 That Mephostophiles should be his seruant, and at his commandement.
3 That Mephostophiles should bring him any thing, and doo for him whatsoeuer.
4 That at all times he should be in his house, inuisible to all men, except onely to himselfe, and at his commandement to shew himselfe.
5 Lastly, that Mephostophiles should at all times appeare at his command, in what forme or shape soeuer he would.
Vpon these poynts the Spirit answered Doctor Faustus, that
all this should be granted him and fulfilled, and more if he would agree vnto him vpon certaine Articles as followeth.
First, that Doctor Faustus should giue himselfe to his Lord Lucifer, body and soule.
Secondly, for confirmation of the same, he should make him a wri- ting, written with his owne blood.
Thirdly, that he would be an enemie to all Christian people.
Fourthly, that he would denie his Christian beleefe.
Fiftly, that he let not any man change his opinion, if so bee any man should goe about to disswade, or withdraw him from it.
Further, the spirit promised Faustus to giue him certaine yeares to liue in health and pleasure, and when such yeares were expired, that then Faustus should be fetched away, and if he should holde these Articles and conditions, that then he should haue all whatsoeuer his heart would wish or desire; and that Faustus should quickly perceiue himself to be a Spirit in all maner of actions whatsoeuer. Hereupon Doctor Faustus his minde was so inflamed, that he forgot his soule, and promised Mephostophiles to hold all things as hee had mentioned them: he thought the diuel was not so black as they vse to paynt him, nor hell so hote as the people say, &c.

Pasted from <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.03.0001%3Achapter%3D4>

Faustbook – The First Contract:

How Doctor Faustus set his blood in a saucer on warme ashes, and writ as followeth. Chap. 6
I Iohannes Faustus, Doctor, doe openly acknowledge with mine ownehand, to the greater force and strengthning of this Letter, that siththence I began to studie and speculate the course and order of the Elements, I haue not found through the gift that is giuen mee from aboue, any such learning and wisdome, that can bring mee to my desires: and for that I find, that men are vnable to instruct me any farther in the matter, now haue I Doctor John Faustus, vnto the hellish prince of Orient and his messenger Mephostophiles, giuen both bodie & soule, vpon such condition, that they shall learne me, and fulfill my desire in all things, as they haue promised and vowed vnto me, with due obedience vnto me, according vnto the Articles mentioned betweene vs.
Further, I couenant and grant with them by these presents, that at the end of 24. yeares next ensuing the date of this present Letter, they being expired, and I in the meane time, during the said yeares be serued of them at my wil, they accomplishing my desires to the full in al points as we are agreed, that then I giue them full power to doe with mee at their pleasure, to rule, to send, fetch, or carrie me or mine, be it either body, soule, flesh, blood, or goods, into their habitation, be it wheresoeuer: and herevpon, I defie God and his Christ, all the hoast of heauen, and all liuing creatures that beare the shape of God, yea all that liues; and againe I say it, and it shall be so. And to the more strengthning of this writing, I haue written it with mine owne hand and blood, being in perfect memory, and herevpon I subscribe to it with my name and title, calling all the infernall, middle, and supreme powers to witnesse of this my Letter and subscription.
Iohn Faustus, approued in the Elements1, and the spirituall Doctor.

Pasted from <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.03.0001%3Achapter%3D6>

Faustbook – The Second Contract:

How Doctor Faustus wrote the second time with his owne blood and gaue it to the Diuell. Chap. 49.
I Doctor John Faustus, acknowledge by this my deede and handwriting, that sith my first writing, which is seuenteene yeares, that I haue right willingly held, and haue been an vtter enemy vnto God and all men, the which I once againe confirme, and giue fully & wholly my selfe vnto the Diuel both body and soule, euen vnto the great Lucifer: and that at the ende of seuen yeares ensuing after the date of this letter, he shall haue to doe with me according as it pleaseth him, either to lengthen or shorten my life as liketh him: and herevpon I renounce 1 all perswaders that seeke to withdrawe mee from my purpose by the word of God, either ghostly or bodily. And further, I will neuer giue eare vnto any man, be he spirituall or temporall, that moueth any matter for the saluation of my soule. Of all this writing, and that therein contained, be witnesse, my own bloud, the which with mine own hands I haue begun, and ended.
Dated at Wittenberg the 25. of July.

Pasted from <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.03.0001%3Achapter%3D49>

Thoms, William John, ed. Early English Prose Romances. . London: Nattali and Bond, 1858.

Pasted from <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3atext%3a1999.03.0001>

(*) From the notes embedded in the XML download of the book:
“This edition is the oldest extant. It was printed between May and December, 1592.”