Goethe – Faust: A tragedy

The devil is chatting with Wagner, Dr. Faust’s young assistant, who is in doubt about which career to follow. For jurisprudence – he says, I feel no special bent. The reply of the devil is extremely skeptical:

I scarcely blame you for the sentiment.

I know about this endeavor.

                 – We drag prerogatives and laws

                 – From place to place by slow degrees,

                 – Age handing age ancestral flaws,

                 – Like an inherited disease.

                 – Sense turns to nonsense, boon to plague.

                 – Woe to the grandson that you are!

                 – Our human birthright prior to the bar,

                 – On that, alas! the gentlemen are vague.

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