Ah, Faustus, now hast thou but one bare hour to live
And then thou must be damn’d perpetually!
Stand still, you ever moving spheres of heaven.
That time may cease, and midnight never come;
Fair nature’s eye, rise, rise again and make
Perpetual day; or let this hour be but
A year, a month, a week, a natural day,
That Faustus may repent and save his soul!
‘O lente, lente currite, noctis equi!’
The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike,
The devil will come and Faustus must be damn’d’

The tragical History of Dr Faustus, Philip Marlowe, 1604
(Thanks to Peter for this quote)

2 responses to “ClockQuotes

  1. One of my favorite speeches–an hour of fear framed by the chimes of the clock. The author, by the way, was the playwright, atheist, and spy Christopher Marlowe, not the fictional detective Philip Marlowe. Christopher died in 1593, and the play was certainly being performed in 1594, though not published until 1604. Dr. Faustus may have been written as early as 1589, though I believe 1592 is still the favored date.

  2. Ooops. Philip Marlowe had some pretty good lines too, but the mistake would make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window (P Marlowe ibid). I’ve recently been bingeing on pulp. The date from my facsimile of the first known edition in print. ‘As it hath bene Acted the the Right Honourable the Earl of Nottingham his seruants’. SBH is right, 1588-9 is the accepted date of writing.