A most eccentric chapter


From Project Gutenberg’s transcription of Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe’s ‘Faust’, translated by Bayard Taylor:

 

MEPHISTOPHELES

There is, to make thee young, a simpler mode and apter;

But in another book ’tis writ for thee,

And is a most eccentric chapter.

 

FAUST

Yet will I know it.

 

MEPHISTOPHELES

Good! the method is revealed

Without or gold or magic or physician.

Betake thyself to yonder field,

There hoe and dig, as thy condition;

Restrain thyself, thy sense and will

Within a narrow sphere to flourish;

With unmixed food thy body nourish;

Live with the ox as ox, and think it not a theft

That thou manur’st the acre which thou reapest;–

That, trust me, is the best mode left,

Whereby for eighty years thy youth thou keepest!

 

FAUST

I am not used to that; I cannot stoop to try it–

To take the spade in hand, and ply it.

The narrow being suits me not at all.

 

MEPHISTOPHELES

Then to thine aid the witch must call.

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