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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dr. Tarrec and Michael Scot

I received another letter from my friend Dr. Tarrec today. His letters never fail to amuse me.

My dear Jefrey,

You know that I do not often watch the televised programs broadcast on television. I much prefer the study of books, and, in any case, I am usually far too busy with my alchemical experiments to waste time watching game shows or situational comedies or programs of the incredibly misnamed “reality” variety.

However, I have recently discovered a television program from several years ago that goes by the name of The Office. I do not know if you are aware of it. Perhaps you have seen it? It is an engaging and really quite humorous. But I was caught up into the program, not because of its laughter inducing antics, but because I know – or knew, rather – Michael Scot.

What must have been a lifetime or two ago, he and I travelled together through the Nomansland region of Italy, collecting material for his treatise on alchemy –De Sole et Luna. He was, in those days, the very tooth of wisdom. Together we turned a coven of witches into stone. There was not a doctor in all the realm who knew more about the urine of the Equus africanus asinus. We were imprisoned together, for a time, in a sweaty dungeon by Baron Ffouljakes. It was locked and forgotten in that oubliette that we worked out the details of what would become eventually become his Super Auctorem Spherae

I do not know how the Wizard of Balwearie escaped from the fourth Malebolge of the eighth circle of Hell, that pocket of the Inferno reserved for fraudulent practitioners of magic, wherein the damned have their heads twisted around backwards on their bodies. Master Durante degli Alighieri saw him there during his visionary travel. But that Scottish born mathematician, philosopher, necromancer, and astrologer was always incredibly clever. If anyone could have found a way to escape, it would have been Michael Scotus. Perhaps he stole a trick from those Italian mummers who would dress as the devil during the Gioco de Veglio, “the game of the old man,”  and slipped surreptitiously through the gates of hell.

I did not immediately recognize my old compatriot in the show, and do I understand why he pretends now to be this Steve Carrell figure. His disguise is consummate, portraying himself as the bumbler clown, but knowing him as I do, I can see through his dissimulation. There are flashes when his chemystical genius pierces through the veil of buffoonery. He once wrote that “every astrologer is worthy of praise and honor, since by such a doctrine he knows many of the secrets of God and things which few know,” and that is, my friend, what she said…

P.L. Tarrec

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