So you still have laws in Hell, in fact?
That’s good, since it allows a pact,
And one with you gentlemen truly binds?

What’s promised you’ll enjoy, and find,
There’s nothing mean that we enact.

Die Hölle selbst hat ihre Rechte?
Das find ich gut, da ließe sich ein Pakt,
Und sicher wohl, mit euch, ihr Herren, schließen?

Was man verspricht, das sollst du rein genießen,
Dir wird davon nichts abgezwackt.]

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, statesman, scientist
Faust: a Tragedy [eine Tragödie], Part 1, sc. 6 “The Study,” l. 1466ff (1808-1829) [tr. Kline (2003)]

Some translations (and this site) include the Declaration, Prelude on the Stage, and Prologue in Heaven as individual scenes; others do not, leading to their Part 1 scenes being numbered three lower.

(Source (German)). Alternate translations:

In Hell itself are some laws binding reckoned?
Bravo! then Sirs, with you one might contract
A bond, and ye would keep it to a tittle?

From what we promise, not a shred we whittle,
And unalloyed thou shalt enjoy the pact.

[tr. Latham (1790)]

Does Hell itself have its laws then?
that's fine! A compact in that case might be
Concluded safely with you gentlemen?

What's promised, you'll enjoy with naught subtracted,
With naught unduly snipped off or exacted.

[tr. Priest (1808)]

Hell then, it seems, has laws. I like it well:
With gentry so precise, a solemn compact
May, I presume, be made, and will be kept.

Whate'er we promise you may safely trust to;
We will not bate one jot of the agreement.

[tr. Coleridge (1821)]

E'en hell hath its peculiar laws, I see!
I'm glad of that! a pact may then be made,
The which you gentlemen will surely keep?

What e'er therein is promised thou shalt reap,
No tittle shall remain unpaid.

[tr. Swanwick (1950)]

FAUST: Hell itself has its laws ? I am glad of it; in that case a compact, a binding one, may be made with you gentlemen?

MEPHISTOPHELES: What is promised, that shalt thou enjoy to the letter; not the smallest deduction shall be made from it.

[tr. Hayward (1831)]

In hell itself, then, laws are reckoned?
Now that I like; so then, one may, in fact,
Conclude a binding compact with you gentry?

Whatever promise on our books finds entry,
We strictly carry into act.

[tr. Brooks (1868)]

In Hell itself, then, laws are reckoned?
That's well! So might a compact be
Made with you gentlemen -- and binding, -- surely?

All that is promised shall delight thee purely;
No skinflint bargain shalt thou see.

[tr. Taylor (1870)]

So so! then hell too has its laws and rights,
Thus might one profit by the powers of evil,
And make an honest bargain with the devil.

The devil, sir, makes no undue exaction,
And pays what he has promised to a fraction

[tr. Blackie (1880)]

For hell, too, laws have been ordained?
Superb! Then one could surely make a pact,
And one of you might enter my employ.

What we would promise you, you would enjoy.
And none of it we would subtract.

[tr. Kaufmann (1961)]

So Hell itself has its legalities?
This suits me fine, and I suppose
a pact might be concluded with you gentlemen?

The promises we make you shall enjoy in full;
We will not skimp or haggle.

[tr. Salm (1962)]

Is even Hell with statutes paved?
I am intrigued -- then with you gentlemen
A compact could, and safely too, be entered?

That which is promised shall be neatly rendered,
And nothing stinted or subtracted.

[tr. Arndt (1976)]

So even hell has laws? Good; in that case
One might conclude a pact with you
Gentlemen, and a guaranteed one too?

Whatever is promised, you shall have your due,
There'll be no quibbling, no tergiversation.

[tr. Luke (1987)]

So even in Hell there's law and order!
I'm glad, for then a man might sign
A contract with you gentlemen.

Whatever we promise, you get, full measure,
There's no cutting corners, no skulduggery.

[tr. Greenberg (1992)]

So hell has its own laws and regulations too?
That's very good! So tell me --
I daresay it's possible to make a pact with you?

Indeed; if you negotiate with us
, You'll find the offer tempting -- and we never cheat.

[tr. Williams (1999)]

Added on 4-Oct-22 | Last updated 4-Oct-22
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