Granted, this play drops knowledge so casually, it would be fit to transcribe the entire play into this blog post. The excerpts below are passages that struck me from what I read this afternoon:
I’m glad to know it.
But one thing bothers me. Since time
Is short and art is long you should
I think, take some instruction.
Seek the society of a poet
And let that gentleman’s imagination run
And heap pon your honourable dome
Every noble quality:
The lion’s bravery,
The deer’s fleetfootedness,
The Italian’s fiery blood,
Let him teach you how to marry
Being generous with being sly
And fall in love like a young man
Warmly, impulsively, after a plan.
I wish some such person would come
My way. I’d call him Mr. Microcosm.
What am I then if I can never
Get the crown of the human race
After which all the senses chase?
You are in the end…the thing you are.
Pile wig on curly wig upon your pate
And sock on comic sock beneath your feet
You are the thing you are, still and for ever.
To be honest, I wish I was gone again.
These walls and halls are not at all
A world where I feel comfortable.
I’m cramped and cabined. I never see
Anything green and never a tree.
I sit in lecture rooms and feel
My hearing, sight and thinking fail.
(STUDENT AND MEPHISTO DIALOGUE CONT.)
Use your time, it hurries off so fast.
But Organization makes it last.
You should accordingly attend
Collegium Logicum first, my friend.
There you mind will be put to rights
And fitted tightly in Scotch boots
So that in a more considered fashion
It creeps the thought-road from then on
And does not for example flit
Like a will-o’-the-wisp this way and that.
Day by day they’ll teach you how
The things you’ve done just so till now
Heedlessly, like eating and drinking,
You can’t till logic’s put to use.
Though in the factory of thinking
It’s like a weaver’s masterpiece:
One kick and a thousand threads awake,
The shuttles shoot to and fro,
The threads invisibly flow,
Thousandfold and interlinking at a stroke-
Then enter the Philosopher
And prooves these things must be as they are:
The first being thus, the second thus
Therefore the third and fourth are thus
And were the first and second not there
Not would the third and fourth be, ever.
And students marvel everywhere
At this, but none becomes a weaver.
To know a living thing and describe it
First they drive out the vital bit
And hold the parts but not the soul,
Alas, that made the parts a whole.
The Chemists call it encheiresis naturae,
Makes a fool of himself and can’t see why.