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The Tragicall Historie of President Faustus

A scene from Marlowe's canonical text

By Christopher Marlowe

Christopher Marlowe's classic 1588 tragedy, President Faustus, remains a landmark work of Renaissance literature. Telling the story of a brilliant but hubristic academic who sells her soul to the devil in return for 10 years of unlimited power, it has enchanted ExxonMobil CEOs and SEAS faculty alike for centuries. Satire V is proud to present Marlowe's original draft of the iconic last soliloquy.

Ah, Faustus,

Now hast thou but one bare year to be president,

And then thou must be damn'd perpetually!

Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven,

That time may cease, and the second Summers administration never come;

“Fair Harvard’s” last line, rise, rise again, and make

Puritans’ stock dead; or let this hour be but

Begun seven minutes after,

That Faustus may repent and save her soul!

O, I'll leap up to a senior fellowship—Who pulls me down?

See, see, where wealthy donors’ cash streams in the firmament!

One donation would save my soul, half a donation:

Ah, my capital campaign! O, spare me, Endowment!

Where is it now? 'tis gone: and see, where rich, old alums

Stretch out their arms, and bend their ireful brows

For sanctioning the final clubs. O Rakesh,

If thou wilt not have mercy on my soul,

Impose some end to my incessant pain;

Let Faustus live in Currier but a thousand years,

A hundred thousand, and at last be saved!

O, no end is limited to damned souls!

Cursed be the helicopter parents that engendered you little brats!

No, Faustus, curse thyself, curse the final clubs

That hath deprived thee of the joys of heaven.

O soul, be changed into little water-drops,

As the sea-levels rise due to fossil fuel companies.

My trustees, my trustees, look not so fierce on me!

Adders and serpents of HFAC, let me breathe a while!

Ugly hell, gape not! Come not to Harvard, first-gen students!

I'll burn my Pulitzer-nominated books—Ah, Mephistophilis!

© 2017