Chapter Fourteen

   Now, as Diabolus was busy and industrious in preparing to make his assault upon the town of Mansoul without, so the captains and soldiers in the corporation were as busy in preparing within; they mounted their slings, they set up their banners, they sounded their trumpets, and put themselves in such order as was judged most for the annoyance of the enemy, and for the advantage of Mansoul, and gave to their soldiers orders to be ready at the sound of the trumpet for war. The Lord Willbewill also, he took the charge of watching against the rebels within, and to do what he could to take them while without, or to stifle them within their caves, dens, and holes in the town-wall of Mansoul. And, to speak the truth of him, ever since he took penance for his fault, he has showed as much honesty and bravery of spirit as any he in Mansoul; for he took one Jolly, and his brother Griggish, the two sons of his servant Harmless-Mirth (for to that day, though the father was committed to ward, the sons had a dwelling in the house of my lord),-I say, he took them, and with his own hands put them to the cross. And this was the reason why he hanged them up: after their father was put into the hands of Mr. True-Man the gaoler, they, his sons, began to play his pranks, and to be ticking and toying with the daughters of their lord; nay, it was jealoused that they were too familiar with them, the which was brought to his lordship’s ear. Now his lordship being unwilling unadvisedly to put any man to death, did not suddenly fall upon them, but set watch and spies to see if the thing was true; of the which he was soon informed, for his two servants, whose names were Find-Out and Tell-All, catched them together in uncivil manner more than once or twice, and went and told their lord. So when my Lord Willbewill had sufficient ground to believe the thing was true, he takes the two young Diabolonians (for such they were, for their father was a Diabolonian born), and has them to Eye-gate, where he raised a very high cross, just in the face of Diabolus and of his army, and there he hanged the young villains, in defiance to Captain Past-Hope, and of the horrible standard of the tyrant.

Now this Christian act of the brave Lord Willbewill did greatly abash Captain Past-Hope, discouraged the army of Diabolus, put fear into the Diabolonian runagates in Mansoul, and put strength and courage into the captains that belonged to Emmanuel, the Prince; for they without did gather, and that by this very act of my lord, that Mansoul was resolved to fight, and that the Diabolonians within the town could not do such things as Diabolus had hopes they would. Nor was this the only proof of the brave Lord Willbewill’s honesty to the town, nor of his loyalty to his Prince, as will afterwards appear.

Now, when the children of Prudent-Thrifty, who dwelt with Mr. Mind, (for Thrift left children with Mr. Mind, when he was also committed to prison, and their names were Gripe and Rake-All; these he begat of Mr. Mind’s bastard daughter, whose name was Mrs. Hold-fast-Bad),-I say, when his children perceived how the Lord Willbewill had served them that dwelt with him, what do they but, lest they should drink of the same cup, endeavour to make their escape. But Mr. Mind, being wary of it, took them and put them in hold in his house till morning (for this was done over night); and remembering that by the law of Mansoul all Diabolonians were to die (and to be sure they were at least by father’s side such, and some say by mother’s side too), what does he but takes them and puts them in chains, and carries them to the selfsame place where my lord hanged his two before, and there he hanged them.

The townsmen also took great encouragement at this act of Mr. Mind, and did what they could to have taken some more of these Diabolonian troublers of Mansoul; but at that time the rest lay so squat and close, that they could not be apprehended; so they set against them a diligent watch, and went every man to his place.

I told you a little before, that Diabolus and his army were somewhat abashed and discouraged at the sight of what my Lord Willbewill did, when he hanged up those two young Diabolonians; but his discouragement quickly turned itself into furious madness and rage against the town of Mansoul, and fight it he would. Also the townsmen and captains within, they had their hopes and their expectations heightened, believing at last the day would be theirs; so they feared them the less. Their subordinate preacher, too, made a sermon about it; and he took that theme for his text, ‘Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.’ Whence he showed, that though Mansoul should be sorely put to it at the first, yet the victory should most certainly be Mansoul’s at the last.

So Diabolus commanded that his drummer should beat a charge against the town; and the captains also that were in the town sounded a charge against them, but they had no drum: they were trumpets of silver with which they sounded against them. Then they which were of the camp of Diabolus came down to the town to take it, and the captains in the castle, with the slingers at Mouth-gate, played upon them amain. And now there was nothing heard in the camp of Diabolus but horrible rage and blasphemy; but in the town good words, prayer, and singing of psalms. The enemy replied with horrible objections, and the terrible-ness of their drum; but the town made answer with the slapping of their slings, and the melodious noise of their trumpets. And thus the fight lasted for several days together, only now and then they had some small intermission, in the which the townsmen refreshed themselves, and the captains made ready for another assault.

The captains of Emmanuel were clad in silver armour, and the soldiers in that which was of proof; the soldiers of Diabolus were clad in iron which was made to give place to Emmanuel’s engine-shot. In the town some were hurt, and some were greatly wounded.

Now, the worst of it was, a chirurgeon was scarce in Mansoul, for that Emmanuel at present was absent. Howbeit, with the leaves of a tree the wounded were kept from dying; yet their wounds did greatly putrefy, and some did grievously stink. Of the townsmen, these were wounded, namely, my Lord Reason; he was wounded in the head. Another that was wounded was the brave Lord Mayor; he was wounded in the eye. Another that was wounded was Mr. Mind; he received his wound about the stomach. The honest subordinate preacher also, he received a shot not far off the heart; but none of these were mortal.

Many also of the inferior sort were not only wounded, but slain outright.

Now, in the camp of Diabolus were wounded and slain a considerable number; for instance, Captain Rage, he was wounded, and so was Captain Cruel. Captain Damnation was made to retreat, and to entrench himself farther off of Mansoul. The standard also of Diabolus was beaten down, and his standard-bearer, Captain Much-Hurt, had his brains beat out with a sling-stone, to the no little grief and shame of his prince Diabolus.

Many also of the Doubters were slain outright, though enough of them were left alive to make Mansoul shake and totter. Now the victory that day being turned to Mansoul, did put great valour into the townsmen and captains, and did cover Diabolus’s camp with a cloud, but withal it made them far more furious. So the next day Mansoul rested, and commanded that the bells should be rung; the trumpets also joyfully sounded, and the captains shouted round the town.

My Lord Willbewill also was not idle, but did notable service within against the domestics, or the Diabolonians that were in the town, not only by keeping them in awe, for he lighted on one at last whose name was Mr. Anything, a fellow of whom mention was made before; for it was he, if you remember, that brought the three fellows to Diabolus, whom the Diabolonians took out of Captain Boanerges’s companies, and that persuaded them to list themselves under the tyrant, to fight against the army of Shaddai. My Lord Willbewill did also take a notable Diabolonian, whose name was Loose-Foot: this Loose-Foot was a scout to the vagabonds in Mansoul, and that did use to carry tidings out of Mansoul to the camp, and out of the camp to those of the enemies in Mansoul. Both these my lord sent away safe to Mr. True-Man, the gaoler, with a commandment to keep them in irons; for he intended then to have them out to be crucified, when it would be for the best to the corporation, and most for the discouragement of the camp of the enemies.

My Lord Mayor also, though he could not stir about so much as formerly, because of the wound that he lately received, yet gave he out orders to all that were the natives of Mansoul, to look to their watch, and stand upon their guard, and, as occasion should offer, to prove themselves men.

Mr. Conscience, the preacher, he also did his utmost to keep all his good documents alive upon the hearts of the people of Mansoul.

Well, a while after, the captains and stout ones of the town of Mansoul agreed and resolved upon a time to make a sally out upon the camp of Diabolus, and this must be done in the night; and there was the folly of Mansoul (for the night is always the best for the enemy, but the worst for Mansoul to fight in), but yet they would do it, their courage was so high; their last victory also still stuck in their memories.

So the night appointed being come, the Prince’s brave captains cast lots who should lead the van in this new and desperate expedition against Diabolus, and against his Diabolonian army; and the lot fell to Captain Credence, to Captain Experience, and to Captain Good-Hope, to lead the forlorn hope. (This Captain Experience the Prince created such when himself did reside in the town of Mansoul.) So, as I said, they made their sally out upon the army that lay in the siege against them; and their hap was to fall in with the main body of their enemies. Now Diabolus and his men being expertly accustomed to night-work, took the alarm presently, and were as ready to give them battle, as if they had sent them word of their coming. Wherefore to it they went amain, and blows were hard on every side; the hell drum also was beat most furiously, while the trumpets of the Prince most sweetly sounded. And thus the battle was joined; and Captain Insatiable looked to the enemy’s carriages, and waited when he should receive some prey.

The Prince’s captains fought it stoutly, beyond what indeed could be expected they should; they wounded many; they made the whole army of Diabolus to make a retreat. But I cannot tell how, but the brave Captain Credence, Captain Good-Hope, and Captain Experience, as they were upon the pursuit, cutting down, and following hard after the enemy in the rear, Captain Credence stumbled and fell, by which fall he caught so great a hurt, that he could not rise till Captain Experience did help him up, at which their men were put in disorder. The captain also was so full of pain, that he could not forbear but aloud to cry out: at this, the other two captains fainted, supposing that Captain Credence had received his mortal wound; their men also were more disordered, and had no list to fight. Now Diabolus being very observing, though at this time as yet he was put to the worst, perceiving that a halt was made among the men that were the pursuers, what does he but, taking it for granted that the captains were either wounded or dead, he therefore makes at first a stand, then faces about, and so comes up upon the Prince’s army with as much of his fury as hell could help him to; and his hap was to fall in just among the three captains, Captain Credence, Captain Good-Hope, and Captain Experience, and did cut, wound, and pierce them so dreadfully, that what through discouragement, what through disorder, and what through the wounds that now they had received, and also the loss of much blood, they scarce were able, though they had for their power the three best hands in Mansoul, to get safe into the hold again.

Now, when the body of the Prince’s army saw how these three captains were put to the worst, they thought it their wisdom to make as safe and good a retreat as they could, and so returned by the sally-port again; and so there was an end of this present action. But Diabolus was so flushed with this night’s work, that he promised himself, in few days, an easy and complete conquest over the town of Mansoul; wherefore, on the day following, he comes up to the sides thereof with great boldness, and demands entrance, and that forthwith they deliver themselves up to his government. The Diabolonians, too, that were within, they began to be somewhat brisk, as we shall show afterward.

But the valiant Lord Mayor replied, that what he got he must get by force; for as long as Emmanuel, their Prince, was alive (though he at present was not so with them as they wished), they should never consent to yield Mansoul up to another.

And with that the Lord Willbewill stood up, and said, ‘Diabolus, thou master of the den, and enemy to all that is good, we poor inhabitants of the town of Mansoul are too well acquainted with thy rule and government, and with the end of those things that for certain will follow submitting to thee, to do it. Wherefore, though while we were without knowledge we suffered thee to take us (as the bird that saw not the snare fell into the hands of the fowler), yet since we have been turned from darkness to light, we have also been turned from the power of Satan to God. And though through thy subtlety, and also the subtlety of the Diabolonians within, we have sustained much loss, and also plunged ourselves into much perplexity, yet give up ourselves, lay down our arms, and yield to so horrid a tyrant as thou, we shall not; die upon the place we choose rather to do. Besides, we have hopes that in time deliverance will come from court unto us, and therefore we yet will maintain a war against thee.’

This brave speech of the Lord Willbewill, with that also of the Lord Mayor, did somewhat abate the boldness of Diabolus, though it kindled the fury of his rage. It also succoured the townsmen and captains; yea, it was as a plaster to the brave Captain Credence’s wound; for you must know that a brave speech now (when the captains of the town with their men of war came home routed, and when the enemy took courage and boldness at the success that he had obtained to draw up to the walls, and demand entrance, as he did) was in season, and also advantageous.

The Lord Willbewill also did play the man within; for while the captains and soldiers were in the field, he was in arms in the town, and wherever by him there was a Diabolonian found, they were forced to feel the weight of his heavy hand, and also the edge of his penetrating sword: many therefore of the Diabolonians he wounded, as the Lord Cavil, the Lord Brisk, the Lord Pragmatic, and the Lord Murmur; several also of the meaner sort he did sorely maim; though there cannot at this time an account be given you of any that he slew outright. The cause, or rather the advantage that my Lord Willbewill had at this time to do thus, was for that the captains were gone out to fight the enemy in the field. ‘For now,’ thought the Diabolonians within, ‘is our time to stir and make an uproar in the town.’ What do they therefore but quickly get themselves into a body, and fall forthwith to hurricaning in Mansoul, as if now nothing but whirlwind and tempest should be there. Wherefore, as I said, he takes this opportunity to fall in among them with his men, cutting and slashing with courage that was undaunted; at which the Diabolonians with all haste dispersed themselves to their holds, and my lord to his place as before.

This brave act of my lord did somewhat revenge the wrong done by Diabolus to the captains, and also did let them know that Mansoul was not to be parted with for the loss of a victory or two; wherefore the wing of the tyrant was clipped again, as to boasting,-I mean in comparison of what he would have done if the Diabolonians had put the town to the same plight to which he had put the captains.

Well, Diabolus yet resolves to have the other bout with Mansoul: ‘For,’ thought he, ‘since I beat them once, I may beat them twice.’ Wherefore he commanded his men to be ready at such an hour of the night, to make a fresh assault upon the town; and he gave it out in special that they should bend all their force against Feel-gate, and attempt to break into the town through that. The word that then he did give to his officers and soldiers was Hell-fire. ‘And,’ said he, ‘if we break in upon them, as I wish we do, either with some or with all our force, let them that break in look to it, that they forget not the word. And let nothing be heard in the town of Mansoul but, “Hell-fire! Hell-fire! Hell-fire!”’ The drummer was also to beat without ceasing, and the standard-bearers were to display their colours; the soldiers, too, were to put on what courage they could, and to see that they played manfully their parts against the town.

So when night was come, and all things by the tyrant made ready for the work, he suddenly makes his assault upon Feel-gate, and after he had a while struggled there, he throws the gate wide open: for the truth is, those gates were but weak, and so most easily made to yield. When Diabolus had thus far made his attempt, he placed his captains (namely, Torment and No-Ease) there; so he attempted to press forward, but the Prince’s captains came down upon him, and made his entrance more difficult than he desired. And, to speak truth, they made what resistance they could; but the three of their best and most valiant captains being wounded, and by their wounds made much incapable of doing the town that service they would (and all the rest having more than their hands full of the Doubters, and their captains that did follow Diabolus), they were overpowered with force, nor could they keep them out of the town. Wherefore the Prince’s men and their captains betook themselves to the castle, as to the stronghold of the town: and this they did partly for their own security, partly for the security of the town, and partly, or rather chiefly, to preserve to Emmanuel the prerogative-royal of Mansoul; for so was the castle of Mansoul.

The captains therefore being fled into the castle, the enemy, without much resistance, possess themselves of the rest of the town, and spreading themselves as they went into every corner, they cried out as they marched, according to the command of the tyrant, ‘Hell-fire! Hell-fire! Hell-fire!’ so that nothing for a while throughout the town of Mansoul could be heard but the direful noise of ‘Hell-fire!’ together with the roaring of Diabolus’s drum. And now did the clouds hang black over Mansoul, nor to reason did anything but ruin seem to attend it. Diabolus also quartered his soldiers in the houses of the inhabitants of the town of Mansoul. Yea, the subordinate preacher’s house was as full of these outlandish Doubters as ever it could hold, and so was my Lord Mayor’s, and my Lord Willbewill’s also. Yea, where was there a corner, a cottage, a barn, or a hogstye, that now was not full of these vermin? Yea, they turned the men of the town out of their houses, and would lie in their beds, and sit at their tables themselves. Ah, poor Mansoul! now thou feelest the fruits of sin, yea, what venom was in the flattering words of Mr. Carnal-Security! They made great havoc of whatever they laid their hands on; yea, they fired the town in several places; many young children also were by them dashed in pieces; and those that were yet unborn they destroyed in their mother’s wombs: for you must needs think that it could not now be otherwise; for what conscience, what pity, what bowels of compassion can any expect at the hands of outlandish Doubters? Many in Mansoul that were women, both young and old, they forced, ravished, and beastlike abused, so that they swooned, miscarried, and many of them died, and so lay at the top of every street, and in all by-places of the town.

And now did Mansoul seem to be nothing but a den of dragons, an emblem of hell, and a place of total darkness. Now did Mansoul lie almost like the barren wilderness; nothing but nettles, briars, thorns, weeds, and stinking things seemed now to cover the face of Mansoul. I told you before, how that these Diabolonian Doubters turned the men of Mansoul out of their beds, and now I will add, they wounded them, they mauled them, yea, and almost brained many of them. Many, did I say, yea, most, if not all of them. Mr. Conscience they so wounded, yea, and his wounds so festered, that he could have no ease day nor night, but lay as if continually upon a rack; but that Shaddai rules all, certainly they had slain him outright. Mr. Lord Mayor they so abused that they almost put out his eyes; and had not my Lord Willbewill got into the castle, they intended to have chopped him all to pieces; for they did look upon him, as his heart now stood, to be one of the very worst that was in Mansoul against Diabolus and his crew. And indeed he hath showed himself a man, and more of his exploits you will hear of afterwards.

Now, a man might have walked for days together in Mansoul, and scarcely have seen one in the town that looked like a religious man. Oh, the fearful state of Mansoul now! now every corner swarmed with outlandish Doubters; red-coats and black-coats walked the town by clusters, and filled up all the houses with hideous noises, vain songs, lying stories, and blasphemous language against Shaddai and his Son. Now also those Diabolonians that lurked in the walls, and dens, and holes that were in the town of Mansoul, came forth and showed themselves; yea, walked with open face in company with the Doubters that were in Mansoul.

Yea, they had more boldness now to walk the streets, to haunt the houses, and to show themselves abroad, than had any of the honest inhabitants of the now woful town of Mansoul.

But Diabolus and his outlandish men were not at peace in Mansoul; for they were not there entertained as were the captains and forces of Emmanuel: the townsmen did browbeat them what they could; nor did they partake or make stroy of any of the necessaries of Mansoul, but that which they seized on against the townsmen’s will: what they could, they hid from them, and what they could not, they had with an ill-will. They, poor hearts! had rather have had their room than their company; but they were at present their captives, and their captives for the present they were forced to be. But, I say, they discountenanced them as much as they were able, and showed them all the dislike that they could.

The captains also from the castle did hold them in continual play with their slings, to the chafing and fretting of the minds of the enemies. True, Diabolus made a great many attempts to have broken open the gates of the castle, but Mr. Godly-Fear was made the keeper of that; and he was a man of that courage, conduct, and valour, that it was in vain, as long as life lasted within him, to think to do that work, though mostly desired; wherefore all the attempts that Diabolus made against him were fruitless. I have wished sometimes that that man had had the whole rule of the town of Mansoul.

Well, this was the condition of the town of Mansoul for about two years and a half: the body of the town was the seat of war, the people of the town were driven into holes, and the glory of Mansoul was laid in the dust. What rest, then, could be to the inhabitants, what peace could Mansoul have, and what sun could shine upon it? Had the enemy lain so long without in the plain against the town, it had been enough to have famished them: but now, when they shall be within, when the town shall be their tent, their trench and fort against the castle that was in the town; when the town shall be against the town, and shall serve to be a defence to the enemies of her strength and life: I say, when they shall make use of the forts and town-holds to secure themselves in, even till they shall take, spoil, and demolish the this was terrible! and yet this was now the state of the town of Mansoul.