« НазадПродовжити »
fore, roving and ranging in much fury from place to place, if, perhaps, they might find something that was the King's, by spoiling of that, to revenge themselves on him ; at last they happened into this spacious country of Universe, and steer their course towards the town of Mansoul; and considering that that town was one of the chief.works and delights of King Shaddai, what do they but, after counsel taken, make an assault upon that. I say, they knew that Mansoul belonged unto Shaddai; for they were there when he built it and beautified it for himself. So, when they had found the place, they shouted horribly for joy, and roared on it as a lion upon the prey, saying, “Now we have found the prize, and how to be revenged on
King Shaddai for what he hath done to us.” So A council of they sat down and called a council of war, and tvar held by
considered with themselves what ways and methods and his felst they had best to engage in for the winning to them
against the town of selves this famous town of Mansoul; and these four
things were then propounded to be considered of:-Proposals.
First, Whether they had best all of them to shew themselves in this design to the town of Mansoul.
Secondly, Whether they had best to go and sit down against Mansoul in their now ragged and beggarly guise.
Thirdly, Whether they had best shew to Mansoul their intentions, and what design they came about, or whether to assault it with words and ways of deceit.
Fourthly, Whether they had not best, to some of their companions, to give out private orders to
take the advantage, if they see one or more of the principal townsmen, to shoot them, if thereby they shall judge their cause and design will the better be promoted. 1. It was answered to the first of these proposals The first
proposal. in the negative—to wit, that it would not be best that all should shew themselves before the town, because the appearance of many of them might alarm and frighten the town; whereas a few or but one of them was not so likely to do it.
And to enforce this advice to take place it was added further, that if Mansoul was frighted, or did take the alarm, “It is impossible," said Diabolus, (for Diabolus. he spake now,) “that we should take the town: for that none can enter into it without its own consent. Let, therefore, but few, or but one, assault Mansoul; and in mine opinion,” said Diabolus, "let me be he.” Wherefore to this they all agreed. 2. And then to the second proposal they came— The second
proposal namely, Whether they had best to go and sit down before Mansoul in their now ragged and beggarly guise. To which it was answered also in the negative, By no means; and that because, though the town of Mansoul had been made to know, and to have to do, before now, with things that are invisible, they did never as yet see any of their fellow-creatures in so sad and rascally condition as they; and this was the advice of that fierce Alecto. Then said Apollyon,
“ The advice is per- Alecto.
Apollyon. tinent; for even one of us appearing to them as we are now, must needs both beget and multiply such thoughts in them as will both put them into a consternation of spirit, and necessitate them to
put themselves upon their guard. And if so,"
3. Whether they had best to shew their inten-
Gen. 3. 1.
The third proposal
This also was answered in the negative, because of the weight that was in the former reasons: to wit, for that Mansoul were a strong people, a strong people in a strong town, whose wall and gates were impregnable, (to say nothing of their castle,) nor can they by any means be won but by their own consent. “Besides," said Legion, Legion (for he gave answer to this,)“ a discovery of our intentions may make them send to their King for aid ; and if that be done, I know quickly what time of day it will be with us. Therefore let us assault them in all pretended fairness, covering our intentions with all manner of lies, flatteries, delusive words; feigning things that never will be, and promising that to them that they shall never find.
This is the way to win Mansoul, and to make them of themselves open their gates to us; yea, and to desire us too to come in to them. And the reason why I think that this project will do, is because the people of Mansoul now are, every one, simple and innocent, all honest and true ; nor do they as yet know what it is to be assaulted with fraud, guile, and hypocrisy. They are strangers to lying and dissembling lips; wherefore we cannot, if thus we be disguised, by them at all be discerned ; our lies shall go for true sayings, and our dissimulations for upright dealings. What we promise them they will in that believe us, especially if, in all our lies and feigned words, we pretend great love to them, and that our design is only their advantage and honour." Now there was not one bit of a reply against this; this went as current down, as doth the water down
a steep descent. Wherefore they go to consider of
the last proposal, which wasThe fourth 4. Whether they had not best to give out proposal.
orders to some of their company to shoot some one or more of the principal of the towsmen, if they judge that their cause may be promoted thereby. This was carried in the affirmative, and the man that was designed by this stratagem to be destroyed
was one Mr Resistance, otherwise called Captain Of Captain Resistance. And a great man in Mansoul this Resistance.
Captain Resistance was, and a man that the giant Diabolus and his band more feared than they feared the whole town of Mansoul besides. Now
who should be the actor to do the murder ? That Tisiphone. was the next, and they appointed one Tisiphone,
a fury of the lake, to do it.
They thus having ended their council of war, of their
rose up, and essayed to do as they had determined ; they marched towards Mansoul, but all in a manner invisible, save one, only one; nor did he approach the town in his own likeness, but under the shape, and in the body of the dragon.
So they drew up, and sat down before Ear-gate, for that was the place of hearing for all without the town, as Eye-gate was the place of perspection. So, as I said, he came up with his train to the
gate, and laid his ambuscado for Captain Resistance Diabolus within bow-shot of the town. This done, the giant marches up to the town, ascended up close to the gate, and called to the for audi
town of Mansoul for audience. Nor took he