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A question put foorth by Doctor Faustus to his Spirit concerning Astronomie. Chap. 18.

DOctor Faustus falling to practise, and making his Prognostications, he was doubtfull in many poynts: wherefore hee called vnto him Mephostophiles his spirit, saying: I finde the ground of this science very difficult to attaine vnto: for that when I conferre1 Astronomie and Astrologia, as the Mathematicians and auncient writers haue left in memory, I finde them to vary and very much to disagree: wherefore I pray thee to teach me the truth in this matter. To whome his Spirit answered, Faustus, thou shalt know that the practioners or speculators, or at least the first inuentors of these Artes, haue done nothing of themselues certaine, whereupon thou mayst attaine to the true prognosticating or presaging of things concerning the heauens, or of the influence of the Planets: for if by chance some one Mathematician or Astronomer hath left behinde him any thing worthy of memorie: they haue so blinded it with ├ćnigmaticall wordes, blinde Characters, and such obscure figures; that it is vnpossible for an earthly man to attaine vnto the knowledge therof, without the ayde of some Spirit, or els the special gift of God; for such are the hidden works of God from men: yet doe we Spirits that flie and fleete in all Elements, knowe such, & there is nothing to be done, or by the Heauens pretended, but we know it, except onely the day of Dome. Wherefore (Faustus) learne of me, I will teach thee the course and recourse of XXX and XX 2 the cause of winter and summer, the exaltation and declination of the Sunne, the eclipse of the Moone, the distance and height of the Poles, and euery fixed Starre, the nature and operation of the elements, fire, ayre, water, and earth, and all that is contained in them, yea herein there is nothing hidden from me, but onely the fift essence3, which once thou hadst Faustus at liberty, but now Faustus thou hast lost it past recouery: wherfore leauing that which wil not be againe had, learne now of me to make thunder, lightening, hayle, snow, and raine: the cloudes to rent, the earth and craggie rockes to shake and split in sunder, the Seas to swell, and rore, and ouer-run4 their markes. Knowest not thou that the deeper the Sunne shines, the hotter he pearces': so, the more thy Arte is famous whilest thou art here, the greater shall be thy name when thou art gone. Knowest not thou that the earth is frozen cold and dry; the water running, colde and moyst; the ayre flying, hote and moist; the fire consuming, hote and drie? Yea Faustus, so must thy heart bee enflamed lik the fire to mount on high: learne, Faustus, to flie like my selfe, as swift as thought from one kingdome to another, to sit at princes tables, to eate their daintiest fare, to haue thy pleasure of their fayre Ladies, wiues, and concubines, to vse their iewels, and costly robes as things belonging to thee, and not vnto them: learne of mee, Faustus, to runne through wals, doores, and gates of stone and yron, to creepe into the earth like a worme, to swimme in the water like a fish, to flie in the ayre like a bird, and to hue and nourish thy selfe in the fire like a Salamander; so shalt thou be famous, renowmed, far-spoken of, and extolled for thy skill: going on kniues, not hurting thy feete; carying fire in thy bosome, and not burning thy shirt; seeing through the heauens as through a Christall, wherein is placed the Planets, with all the rest of the presaging Comets, the whole circuite of the worlde from the East to the West, North and South: there shalt thou know, Faustus, wherefore the fiery spheare aboue and the signes of the Zodiack doth not burne & consume the whole face of the earth, being hindered by placing the two moyst elements between them, the ayrie cloudes and the wauering waues of water: yea, Faustus, I will learne thee the secrets of na[t]ure, what the causes that the Sun in summer being at the highest, giueth all his heate downewards on the earth; and being in winter at the lowest, giueth all his heate vpward into the heauens: that the snow should be of so great vertue, as the honie; and the Lady Saturnia in Occulto, more hotter then the Sun in Manifesto. 5Come on my Faustus, I will make thee as perfect in these things as myselfe, I will learne thee to goe inuisible, to finde out the mines of golde and siluer, the fodines6 of precious stones, as the Carbuncle, the Diamond, Saphir, Emerald, Rubie, Topas, Iacinct7, Granat8, Iaspis9, Amathist, vse all these at thy pleasure, take thy hearts desire: thy time Faustus weareth away, then why wilt thou not take thy pleasure of the worlde': Come vp, we wil goe visite Kings at their owne courtes, and at their most sumptuous banquets be their guests, if willingly they inuite vs not, then perforce wee will serue our owne turne with their best meate and daintiest wine: Agreed quoth Faustus; but let mee pause a while vpon this thou hast euen now declared vnto me.

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