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For the Druids amongst the old Celts were wont to be instructed for some years by demons in sub- terranean places, whereof it is established that it is still carried on in our day at Salamanca in Spain. From this school came those who are commonly called strolling scholars. However this may be, as the Faust- book seems at a later date undoubtedly to have grown out of rumours concerning this Georgius Sabellicus, the younger Faustus, there can be little doubt that in this charlatan we have the unworthv prototype of Goethe's immortal Faust: — " So that then was the poodle's kernel! On October 3, 151 3, Conradus Mutianus Ruf us [i.e., Conrad Mudt the Redhaired), the Canon of Gotha, in a letter breathing fire and flames against the monkish persecutors of the theologian Reuchlin, turns aside for a moment to mention one whom we can scarcely err in identifying with our hero. the figure's not completed ; Here, if you look but closely, it remains A little open at this outer angle. A lucky chance, the Devil thus to entangle I So thou'rt my captive for thy pains ? The first is open to us — we're bondsmen by the second.

The name Fust was xviii Introduction by no means rare, and Johannes Faust the graduate of Heidelberg may well have been a harmless individual who in Defoe's quaint words "knew no more of the Devil than another body." The importance in the investigation of the Faust-legend of the two documents quoted can- not be overestimated. well- nigh petty and cheating; yet hath he not been XX Introduction backward in the taking of money, and further- more, on his departure, he hath paid many with heel-money." The Protestant pastor of Basle, Johann Gast, in his Convivales Sermones (Table-talk) (1548), relates the following facts, already in a much more credulous spirit: — - " Concerning the Necromancer Faust. Here is the window, there the entrance, A chimney I can offer you. Let me confess — there is a trifling hindrance Which bars my course the doorway through — The wizard's foot upon your threshold.

The host asked him why, con- trary to his use and wont, he was so sad, for he was used to be a good-for-nothing losel, of a foul way of life, so that on divers occasions his debauchery had brought him to Death's door; whereupon he said unto the host in that village: ' See you be not affrighted this night.' And at dead of night the house quaked, and when Faust did not arise betimes and it was already on midday, the host took others to himself, went into his chamber and found him lying beside his bed with his face twisted round to his back, thus he had been destroyed of the devil. This same sorcerer Faust, an abominable beast and a sink of many devils, boasted of himself that all the victories won by the im- perial armies in Italy had been by him brought to pass with the aid of his magic. [^^s the mist clears, steps from behind the stove in the garb of a strolling scholar.

Whilst he still lived he had a dog with him, that was a devil. But that was altogether a vain lie." We pass over the references to Faust in the Chronicle of the Count Frohen Christof von Zimmern, which repeat the story of the Polter- geist with which the magician plagued the monks of Luxheim in the Vosges Mountains (for this time the name of the monastery is given), and also report his death at the hands of the Devil, with the addition that he had been accustomed during his lifetime to call his familiar spirit his " brother-in-law." The following account, drawn from the book De praestigiis Daemoniim (concerning the juggleries of demons), the work of a Dutch physician, Johannes Wier, published in 1568, adds yet further traits to those with which we are already familiar: — - " Johannes Faust, born in the little town of Kundling, studied ^lagic at Cracow, where it Wc LS aforetimes publicly taught, and with lies and manifold deceit practised it in divers parts of Germany for some years before 1540, mar- velled at of many.

Amongst these a certain Faust, who died quite recently, is in particular famous." The next piece of testimony, that of the Locorum conimunium collectanea of Johannes Manlius (1562), has especial interest inasmuch as it claims to rest upon the authority of his xxii Introduction mc Lster, Philip Melanchthon, the great reformer and friend of Luther. Melanchthon) know one by the name of Faust, from Kundling, a small town in the neighbourhood of my home.

Whilst this man was a student at Cracow he learnt the art of Magic, which art indeed was aforetimes greatly in vogue there, and of it there were public pro- fessorial courses.

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