The Tragical History

Earlier this year a previously unknown play by the great Elizabethan poet and dramaturge Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) was discovered in a storeroom of the Bodleian Library in Oxford. “The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Fauci” is a remarkably prescient work that seems to look ahead to our own time with ominous insightfulness.

The full script is too long to reproduce here, so I’ll just present a few relevant excerpts from the text.

First, from the Chorus and Doctor Fauci’s first soliloquy in Act I, Scene 1:

Only this, gentlemen: we must perform
The form of Fauci’ fortunes, good or bad:
To patient judgments we appeal our plaud,
And speak for Fauci in his infancy.
Now is he born, his parents base of stock,
In New York, within a town call’d Brooklyn:
Of riper years, to Manhattan he went,
Whereas the Jesuits chiefly brought him up.
So soon he profits in quackery,
The fruitful plot of scholarism grac’d,
That shortly he was grac’d with doctor’s name,
Excelling all whose sweet delight disputes
In heavenly matters of medicaments;
Till swoln with cunning, of a self-conceit,
His waxen wings did mount above his reach,
And, melting, heavens conspir’d his overthrow;
For, falling to a devilish exercise,
And glutted now with learning’s golden gifts,
He surfeits upon cursed charlatanism;
Nothing so sweet as power is to him,
Which he prefers before his chiefest bliss:
And this the man that in his study sits.

(FAUCI discovered in his study.)

FAUCI. Settle thy studies, Fauci, and begin
To sound the depth of that thou wilt profess:
Having commenc’d, be a divine in shew,
Yet level at the end of every art,
And live and die in Machiavelli’s works…

These metaphysics of physicians,
And sycophantic books are heavenly;
Lines, circles, scenes, letters, and characters;
Ay, these are those that Fauci most desires.
O, what a world of profit and delight,
Of power, of honour, of omnipotence,
Is promis’d to the studious artizan!
All things that move between the quiet poles
Shall be at my command: emperors and kings
Are but obeyed in their several provinces,
Nor can they raise the wind, or rend the clouds;
But his dominion that exceeds in this,
Stretcheth as far as doth the mind of man;
A sound physician is a mighty god:
Here, Fauci, tire thy brains to gain a sinecure.

In Scene 3 the learned Doctor, by practicing the black arts, calls up Mephistophilis, servant to mighty Lucifer:

MEPHISTOPHILIS. Now, Fauci, what wouldst thou have me do?

FAUCI. I charge thee wait upon me whilst I live,
To do whatever Fauci shall command,
Be it to make the merchants shut their doors,
Or lockdowns to overwhelm the world.

The great Doctor pledges his soul to Lucifer, and Mephistophilis meets the renowned physician’s demands, and then some, for the next three acts.

Through practicing his physick the Doctor exploits the Great Plague of Wuhan and causes the Emperor to impose an unprecedented tyranny on his subjects throughout the realm, forcing them to lock themselves in their homes and wear ignominious garments which he insists are necessary to preserve their lives.

Through his actions the illustrious Chirurgeon proceeds to amass great power and wealth as he dazzles all the kings and princes of the world, while serfs are reduced to the mean estate of mere beasts. Full of arrogance and pride, he thinks to exceed God Himself in stature.

But the bill comes due for the erudite Doctor, as it always must for anyone so foolish as to treat with Lucifer. In Act V, Scene 2 the end arrives:

FAUCI. …Ugly hell, gape not! come not, Lucifer!
I’ll burn my books! Ah, Mephistophilis!

[Exeunt DEVILS with FAUCI.]

[Enter CHORUS.]

CHORUS. Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,
And burned is Apollo’s laurel-bough,
That sometime grew within this learned man.
Fauci is gone: regard his hellish fall,
Whose fiendful fortune may exhort the wise,
Only to wonder at unlawful things,
Whose deepness doth entice such forward wits
To practice more than heavenly power permits.

There are lessons in this gloomy play for all of us, the shallow jesters and rash bavin wits of the third decade of the 21st century.

13 thoughts on “The Tragical History

  1. Well, I don’t know what to make of this. Color me stupid, if you must, but is this a parody on our current Dr. Fauci or is it something that actually existed in medieval times? I have a dark feeling that I am being somewhat stupid here. But that’s okay. Nobody is perfect.

    So this is either a parody or a comment on our modern-day Fauchi (I do not like thee, Dr. Fauci… Why I cannot tell, which is a take-off on “I do not like thee, Doctor Fell, but why I cannot tell).

    If anyone is willing to enlighten me, I would greatly appreciate it.

    • I also had to think for a moment, it is such a well-executed prank. The Baron has sophisticated ways of expressing harsh opinions. Polite Anglo-Saxon understatements from a sunken era trumpet the End of the World here. GoV is one of the last islands of Western civilization with its noble style.

      To the point of the above ballad: Hell is absolutely appropriately dragged here. And I think it is not just about the almighty, like the chilling psychopath Fauci and his ilk: these are watershed-times for most ordinary peasants, where seemingly simple choices decide whether one causes great harm or great benefit to others and oneself. And such decisions then lead to states of minds that could be called Heaven or Hell:

      MASS PSYCHOSIS – How an Entire Population Becomes MENTALLY ILL

  2. Okay, when did the Dutch purchase Manhattan from the Indians for the proverbial chest of thrift store jewelry and make the port of Haarlem and the settlement of Brook Lynne?

    Other than that the “excerpt” sounds like a modern day rewrite of late Elizabethan dramaturge.

    • If you look up the the relevant parts of the text of “Dr. Faustus” (for example, here), you’ll see that I only changed about 20-25 words in the original to create the pastiche.

      • Actually, I think it’s even fewer. I went back and counted, and except for all the “Fauci”s, it looks like I changed a mere 18 words in the text.

  3. ‘Tis wonderfule to reade suche a plaey writtened bye my ancestre, Christophe. ‘Tis indede true that the Docteur Faucy is enleague wit the devile.

    John Marlow

  4. This is very good, it never even occurred to me, how close Fauci is to Faust, the name I mean. Truth is no Faust in drama, and its numerous iterations over the centuries, can match for such pervasive and powerful evil as that of Dr Fauci, for the first time a Faustian bargain of men is now truly global in its devilish reach, simply unprecedented. Fauci and his fellow Faustian goons around the world have a stranglehold over literally billions of lives. Lives that have been badly affected, in multiple ways, economically, socially, mentally, emotionally, and their physical health. Aside from the legal medical murder and legal medical torture, what with the severe adverse events from the vaccines. It is still unfolding and the long-term effects at every level have yet to come through.

    It is almost unbelievable, you simply cannot make it up. However given the crimes and the reach of Big Pharma medicine the last fifty years, it doesn’t actually surprise in hindsight. I should have seen it coming. I have known of Fauci as a mass murderer for about 20 years, his pushing of toxic AIDS drugs on the world, that are literally deadly and have maimed and murdered untold numbers. Literally nobody knows how many. I have seen estimates in the millions. This has been going on for about 35 years remember. It was a trial run for where we are now. And it told the Faucis of the world that they could get away with absolutely anything. So they knew that the public, governments, the bought and paid for media etc. would swallow the biggest whopper, and were well prepared for the COVID crime, they knew they could get away with anything. Nothing less than the greatest scam and whopper in history.

    • so this is how life in the “Faust” lane ends.
      Faust-er than a speeding bulletin, more powerful than the planet’s governments, able to leap tall questions with a single answer.
      Here he comes to save the day, that means that antichrist is in the way

  5. Well done Baron, at first I thought it was you that wrote in Elizabethian English, but then I noticed that I do know this.

    Oh what a Lovely Play.
    Very apt and one can hope, because I do love it when the evil villain gets his due.

    Any man who truly loves Power – or Hate – would risk his own Life for either, and types like Fauci, Gates, Schwab and all those others, with efforts strenuous and scrupulous, have not.
    They sit in their gilded chairs and sent others to kill and die, since their Livers are Lilly white.
    But that it nothing new in the history of Man.
    Every time the Devil runs free, thousands follow him, imitate him, and even try to exceed him, but in the End even they will have to pay his Fee.

    Let them all ride the Pale Mare, foaled by an acorn, and send them into the arms of their Master.

    Per me si va ne la citta dolente,
    per me si va ne l’etterno dolore,
    per me si va la perdua gente.

  6. Brilliant, Baron ! I love it.

    You may in humility claim you only adjusted 18 words … but where did that clever graphic come from ? An original work, and by YOU, I think.

    Makes my day !

    • Thank you, Frank.

      The graphic is adapted from a woodcut used in one of the editions of Dr. Faustus, but I don’t know which quarto — I’d have to look it up. I changed the word “Faustus’, the face, and what Faustus was holding in his hands — he had a book in his left hand, and a wand or something in his right.

      The text is taken from the quarto of 1604.

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