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     Literature Goethe: Faust V. Some verses

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Exercise: Goethe, Faust

  V. Some verses


31) ... Ihr habt das Recht, gesittet Pfui zu sagen ...

MEPHISTOPHELES: MEPHISTOPHELES
  Ihr habt das Recht, gesittet pfui zu sagen.
Man darf das nicht vor keuschen Ohren nennen,
Was keusche Herzen nicht entbehren können.
Und kurz und gut, ich gönn Ihm das Vergnügen,
Gelegentlich sich etwas vorzulügen;
Doch lange hält Er das nicht aus.
Du bist schon wieder abgetrieben
Und, währt es länger, aufgerieben
In Tollheit oder Angst und Graus.
  You have the moral right to cry out "Shame!
Before chaste ears one must not name
What chaste hearts can't dispense with, just the same!
In short, I grudge you not the pleasure of evasion,
Of lying to yourself upon occasion;
But you will not stick long to that, it's clear.
Again you are already spent,
And if this goes on longer, you'll be rent
To shreds by madness or by agony and fear.
     

It's strange that these verses are not as famous as the others, because these verses are close to many situations of the real life. In this situation we don't know who has the right, Mephistopheles or Faust. Faust has once in a while something of a hypocrite and this is what Mephistopheles is throwing him into his face.
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