Excerpts From The Medical Tragedy of Dr. Bartholomew Artz, Author Unknown
rating: +93+x

Act Primus, Scene Secundus
An Office in Berlin
[Enter The Doctor Bartholomew Artz]

The Doctor:
Alack! Plague is too common in this time
And skin is feasted as it festers, boiled
And young babes die, mouths mewling, caked in grime.
By Caduceus, is this world all spoiled?
By winter, some say, this world will be gone!
Ye Elder Gods of Greece, guide my wise Way.
Hermes, kind runner, see my will is done,
Deliver unto Zeus as I shall pray.
Bestow upon me, healthful, magic staves,
The holy spice within them shall save life,
And with them, fill this world's diseased caves,
They hold the thing to end all this world's strife.
My god, to end this horrible disease,
"If I'd that chance, it instantly I'd seize!

[Enter Facade]

Facade:
Lord Doctor.

The Doctor:
Ah, Young Facade! Young, beautiful Facade!
Thine face unmarked by the treacherous pus!
Returned from the Italian lands,
What tidings doth thou bring?

Facade:
Venice has been taken by boils.
Spices have been scattered,
Doors have been cross'd and all thresholds twice-cross'd.

The Doctor:
Methinks a threshold twice-cross'd makes for a poor barrier.

Facade:
Indeed, my lord.

The Doctor:
Tell me, what of the children?

Facade:
Babes and monsieur of all kinds lay in the streets,
Clinging to corpses as they expire.
Some e'en cling as they are thrown into flames.

The Doctor:
O Lord!

Facade:
Some in Venice are saying that the Lord has forsaken us,
And that we are now at the whims of some fey creatures.
Some have poisoned the wells,
So that fewer suffer.

[He Coughs]
Ugh! Ugh Ugh! Ugh!

The Doctor:
What is this cough!

Facade:
It is naught, my lord.
A simple choke.

The Doctor:
Facade, show me thine under-arm.

Facade:
Nay, my lord, I cannot.

The Doctor:
I pray command thee, show me at once,
Or be dismissed!

Facade:
I crave of thou, my lord, thou shall be mad.

The Doctor:
And I say that madness will wrought me
If thou does not show me thine underarm!

[Facade lifts his shirt]

The Doctor:
Oh, young Facade… thou hath the Pox.

Facade:
And I have twice-cross'd thine threshold.
Thou as good as have it now, Lord Doctor.

The Doctor:
Facade, why!

Facade:
I simply wanted thou to see me once more,
Before I became unto a corpse.

[He draws a knife]

And thus, Lord, I say-

The Doctor:
Facade! Desist!

Facade:
Adieu, to this long, dying world,
And adieu to this plague.

[He stabs himself]

Marry, Forgive Me!

[He dies]

The Doctor:
O, what a fright this is!
How putrid this plague!
How rank this disease that touches me!
My heart, it weakens.
O cruel fate! Cruel, cruel fate!
I feel the boils upon my heart!

From thine bosom, I shall wrest thine dagger,
And plunge it into the heart of the plague itself!

[Exit, with body in a cart]


Act Secundus, Scene Tribus
A Hill in the Dark Forest
[Enter The Doctor and Antiquas with spades]

Antiquas:
Soft, Sir Doctor.
We have arrived.

The Doctor:
What be this damned place?

Antiquas:
This was once a fey hill.
The fair folk gathered here,
To partake in merriment,
To have endless, lust-filled nights
With human companions,
And devour them in the morn.

The Doctor:
Wherefore have thou brought me to such a pagan place?

Antiquas:
We could hardly mount such an expedition in the city, m'lord.

The Doctor:
Aye, but a fair hill?

Antiquas:
The hill simply looks fair, m'lord.
Inside of it, there are tunnels innumerable,
Caves infinite,
Where the fair folk capered nimbly,
Making love and luring foolish men and women
Into their orgiastic deaths.

The Doctor:
Aye, but why have I been brought here?
I mean to stop the plague,
Not find a wife.

Antiquas:
Stand at the Hill-Top,
And crow as a hen does
When eating seed.
Do this thrice,
And thine way shall be wrought,
My Lord.

The Doctor:
So be it.

[He walks to the hill top]

Pocks! Pocks! Pocks!

[Exit Antiquas, Enter Pocks]

O Lord! What art thou?

Pocks:
Why, I am the thing thy hast summoned.
I am Pocks, a simple goblin.
Thou hast summoned me, so I shall grant thee one wish,
And one wish alone.

The Doctor:
There is a plague upon this world.

Pocks:
Aye, it is known.
This plague has been present since creation.

The Doctor:
Since creation!

Pocks:
Indeed.

The Doctor:
Then I must cure it!
At once!
I wish to be the doctor that cures this horrid, horrid plague,
And save the planet for it once and for all!

Pocks:
A noble endeavour indeed.

Now firstly, take a doctor's wooden mask,
And bathe in argent, supple, melted soft.
This, the next part of this great, noble task,
This phrase say thrice, whil'st holding it aloft:
"O midwife of the blood-red, cursed king!
O pagan, horrible creatures of long yore!
My pleas be heard, from auld grimoires I sing!
Bestow to me knowledge of elder lore!"
Then, fill the beak with medical spices:
Carnations, roses, mint, cherry, a sponge,
A leaf of gold for a life, saved from vice.
The mask is done, all toxins are expung'd.
And so, this enchantment complete, this spell
Shall send this great plague straight into black hell.

The Doctor:
It shall be done!
Marry, this pagan, cursed rite,
Shall be done!
For the love of God!

Pocks:
Yes, for the love of god.
God'be'wi'ye.

[Exit Pocks]

The Doctor:
It shall be done.
I shall retrieve the mask,
And the spices,
And my cure will be most effective.

[Exit Doctor, enter Antiquas and Pocks]

Pocks:
Poor, foolish doctor.

Antiquas:
He had a good humour about him,
All fair and balanced,
'til his Facade was taken away.
'Tis a pity.

Pocks:
Aye, 'tis, for his sake.
Come, Sir Antiquas,
Let us follow him through the Way.
I wish to be present
When the Doctor cures his first patient.

[Exeunt]


Act Tribus, Scene Secundus
The Deathbed of Herr Arnold Bode, During a Storm

[Enter Bode, His wife Ylva, their servant Driscoll]

Bode:
I feel God close to me.
I fear I join him on this night,
And if I do, I fear it will not be heaven.

Ylva:
I have sent for a doctor, my love.
Thou shall not suffer.

[Bode coughs]

Love, pray rest thineself on the bed.

Driscoll:
Let thou end thine life as thou began it, lord.
Swaddled in bed clothes,
Surrounded by loved ones,
And servants.

Bode:
It is not my time.
It cannot be my time.

[A loud rapping is heard]

Who calls at this hour?
In such a tempest?

Ylva:
It is the doctor, most likely.
Driscoll, I crave thee, fetch him.

Driscoll:
(aside) She has craved me for many nights.
It is only now that she is saying it,
And it is in reference to fetching.
Ah, what a life.

[Exit Driscoll. Re-enter with The Doctor.]

Ylva:
Bode:
Ye Gods!

Bode:
Thine appearance is most striking, Lord Doctor.

The Doctor:
I pray thee be not afraid.
This is simply my garb.
I assurest thou,
Beneath this cloak,
I am as human as thee.

Who is ailed?

Bode:
I am, Lord Doctor.

The Doctor:
Then let the surgery commence.
(To Ylva and Driscoll)
Pray, leave us.
A doctor must work alone.

Ylva:
I must protest!
He is mine husband,
And I shall not leave his side should he die!

The Doctor:
He will not die, miss.
But I pray thee, we shall leave,
For this process is scarring,
Both to the mind and to the body.

[Exit Doctor with Bode]

Ylva:
So, we are alone.

Driscoll:
Aye.

Ylva:
Now that Herr Bode may die,
Perhaps we may be able to-

[A cry is heard]

What was that?

[Enter Housemaid, panicked]

Housemaid:
Monster! A monster in Herr Bode's room!
He was pecking out his eyes!
Through them, humour was being extracted.
I saw the monster drink his blood,
Consume his vitreous humour,
And smear black bile over its beak!

Driscoll:
Surely thou art mistaken.
Doctor Bartholemew is no monster,
He is a simple man.

Housemaid:
That is unlike any doctor I have ever seen!

[Enter Doctor]

See, he comes!

The Doctor:
He has been cured.
Come hither, Herr Bode.

[Enter Bode, blood over front, mask on face and exit Housemaid, crying out]

Ylva:
Oh dear God!

Driscoll:
What is the meaning of this?

Bode:
Fear not, loved ones.
I have been cured of the plague.
This cure shall be spread to you as well.

[Driscoll draws a dagger and attacks Bode.]

Driscoll:
Die, Abomination!

[They fight. Driscoll is struck down, and a mask, much like the Doctor's, is forced upon his face.]

Ylva:
Oh lord!

Driscoll:
The Doctor:
Bode:
Come. Our cure is most effective.

[Exit Ylva, pursued by Driscoll, The Doctor and Bode.]


Act Tribus, Scene Tribus
A Way between worlds

[Enter Pocks and Antiquas]

Pocks:
(Singing) Oh, the plague is dead and gone,
The plague is cured and done!
Soon humans will be overrun,
The plague is dead and done!

Antiquas:
Indeed, Lady Pocks.
It is done. Man's last hour is now.
Not even Abbadon could accomplish this.
He and all his demons fit in hell,
Seeing what the fair folk have wrought.

Pocks:
It is not us who shall rot.
Come, let us watch,
From a future-facing window.

[Exeunt]


Act Quartus, Scene Primus
A guard-house in Berlin

[Enter Grossman and Prachtman, Two Guards, Pursued by Abomination.]

Grossman:
Back, swine! Back!
[He thrusts a sword towards the Abomination. They fight. Abomination falls.]

Prachtman:
What foul creatures are these?

Grossman:
I know not, friend.
But I fear that this be the end-times.
The dead walk,
Their eyes eaten,
Their humours drained.

Practhman:
I was in good humour until a while ago.

Grossman:
What happened?

Practhman:
I soiled myself whilst we were chased.

Grossman:
These are hydrated, they are.

Practhman:
Hydrated how?

Grossman:
When one dies, two more rise in their place.
When two die, they come four more.
When twenty, four score rise.

Practhman:
Fetch the guns.
For the love of god, fetch the guns.

Grossman:
I do not believe we can hold out against the entirety of Berlintown
With simple guns.

Practhman:
All we will require is two bullets.

Grossman:
One for each of our mouths, then.

Practhman:
Aye.

[The Abomination rises]

Grossman:
O! Get back, Practhman! Fetch the rifles!

[Exit Grossman and Practhman, pursued by Abomination]


Act Quartus, Scene Tribus
The Doctor's Office
[Enter The Doctor]

The Doctor:
Oh, spite upon us all!
I am deceived!
The fair folk were naught!
Nay, the fair folk, those blasted beings!
They said this was a cure for a plague!

[Enter Pocks]

Pocks:
It was a cure for a plague, Herr Doctor.
The Plague of Humanity.
For far too long, thine kind has impugned upon this world
Horrors of all kinds.
And now, thou is the death of humanity.

The Doctor:
I am a healer!
Not the False Shepherd!

Pocks:
Thou art the best shepherd we could have asked for, Doctor.
Now, the world returns to the fey,
And nature shall once more bloom.
We thank thee.

The Doctor:
Nay! Nay I say!

[The Doctor draws a lancet and attacks Pocks. She falls]

Pocks:
Fool! We created thee!
Thou shall end humanity!
[Dies]

The Doctor:
God above and Devil below, Forgive!
I am witnessing the true, final end-times!
Tempted by a fae wretch, who I let live,
I must make much repentance for my crimes!
[He stabs himself]
Let this end with my blood spil't upon the stones of Berlin.
Forevermore, this Plague is done!
[Dies]

[Enter Abominations Several, who carry corpse out.]

Fin

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