Now all this time the good King, the King Shaddai, was preparing to send an army to recover the town of Mansoul again from under the tyranny of their pretended king Diabolus; but he thought good, at first, not to send them by the hand and conduct of brave Emmanuel his Son, but under the hand of some of his servants, to see first by them the temper of Mansoul, and whether by them they would be won to the obedience of their King. The army consisted of above forty thousand, all true men, for they came from the King’s own court, and were those of his own choosing.
They came up to Mansoul under the conduct of four stout generals, each man being a captain of ten thousand men, and these are their names and their ensigns. The name of the first was Boanerges, the name of the second was Captain Conviction, the name of the third was Captain Judgment, and the name of the fourth was Captain Execution. These were the captains that Shaddai sent to regain Mansoul.
These four captains, as was said, the King thought fit, in the first place, to send to Mansoul, to make an attempt upon it; for indeed generally in all his wars he did use to send these four captains in the van, for they were very stout and rough-hewn men, men that were fit to break the ice, and to make their way by dint of sword; and their men were like themselves.
To each of these captains the King gave a banner, that it might be displayed, because of the goodness of his cause, and because of the right that he had to Mansoul.
First, to Captain Boanerges, for he was the chief, to him, I say, were given ten thousand men. His ensign was Mr. Thunder; he bare the black colours, and his scutcheon was the three burning thunderbolts.
The second captain was Captain Conviction; to him also were given ten thousand men.
His ensign’s name was Mr. Sorrow; he did bear the pale colours, and his scutcheon was the book of the law wide open, from whence issued a flame of fire.
The third captain was Captain Judgment; to him were given ten thousand men. His ensign’s name was Mr. Terror; he bare the red colours, and his scutcheon was a burning fiery furnace.
The fourth captain was Captain Execution; to him were given ten thousand men. His ensign was one Mr. Justice; he also bare the red colours, and his scutcheon was a fruitless tree, with an axe lying at the root thereof.
These four captains, as I said, had every one of them under his command ten thousand men, all of good fidelity to the King, and stout at their military actions.
Well, the captains and their forces, their men and under officers, being had upon a day by Shaddai into the field, and there called all over by their names, were then and there put into such harness as became their degree and that service which now they were going about for their King.
Now, when the King had mustered his forces (for it is he that mustereth the host to the battle), he gave unto the captains their several commissions, with charge and commandment in the audience of all the soldiers, that they should take heed faithfully and courageously to do and execute the same. Their commissions were, for the substance of them, the same in form, though, as to name, title, place, and degree of the captains, there might be some, but very small variation. And here let me give you an account of the matter and sum contained in their commission.
‘A commission from the great Shaddai, King of Mansoul, to his trusty and noble Captain, the Captain Boanerges, for his making War upon the town of Mansoul.
‘O, thou Boanerges, one of my stout and thundering captains over one ten thousand of my valiant and faithful servants, go thou in my name, with this thy force, to the miserable town of Mansoul; and when thou comest thither, offer them first conditions of peace; and command them that, casting off the yoke and tyranny of the wicked Diabolus, they return to me, their rightful Prince and Lord. Command them also that they cleanse themselves from all that is his in the town of Mansoul, and look to thyself, that thou hast good satisfaction touching the truth of their obedience. Thus when thou hast commanded them (if they in truth submit thereto), then do thou, to the uttermost of thy power, what in thee lies to set up for me a garrison in the famous town of Mansoul; nor do thou hurt the least native that moveth or breatheth therein, if they will submit themselves to me, but treat thou such as if they were thy friend or brother; for all such I love, and they shall be dear unto me; and tell them that I will take a time to come unto them, and to let them know that I am merciful.
‘But if they shall, notwithstanding thy summons and the producing of thy authority, resist, stand out against thee, and rebel, then do I command thee to make use of all thy cunning, power, might, and force, to bring them under by strength of hand. Farewell.’
Thus you see the sum of their commissions; for, as I said before, for the substance of them, they were the same that the rest of the noble captains had.
Wherefore they, having received each commander his authority at the hand of their King, the day being appointed, and the place of their rendezvous prefixed, each commander appeared in such gallantry as became his cause and calling. So, after a new entertainment from Shaddai, with flying colours they set forward to march towards the famous town of Mansoul. Captain Boanerges led the van, Captain Conviction and Captain Judgment made up the main body, and Captain Execution brought up the rear. They then, having a great way to go (for the town of Mansoul was far off from the court of Shaddai), marched through the regions and countries of many people, not hurting or abusing any, but blessing wherever they came. They also lived upon the King’s cost in all the way they went.
Having travelled thus for many days, at last they came within sight of Mansoul; the which when they saw, the captains could for their hearts do no less than for a while bewail the condition of the town; for they quickly saw how that it was prostrate to the will of Diabolus, and to his ways and designs.
Well, to be short, the captains came up before the town, march up to Ear -gate, sit down there (for that was the place of hearing). So, when they had pitched their tents and entrenched themselves, they addressed themselves to make their assault.
Now the townsfolk at first, beholding so gallant a company, so bravely accoutred, and so excellently disciplined, having on their glittering armour, and displaying of their flying colours, could not but come out of their houses and gaze. But the cunning fox Diabolus, fearing that the people, after this sight, should, on a sudden summons, open the gates to the captains, came down with all haste from the castle, and made them retire into the body of the town, who, when he had them there, made this lying and deceivable speech unto them: ‘Gentlemen,’ quoth he, ‘although you are my trusty and well-beloved friends, yet I cannot but a little chide you for your late uncircumspect action, in going out to gaze on that great and mighty force that but yesterday sat down before, and have now entrenched themselves in order to the maintaining of a siege against the famous town of Mansoul. Do you know who they are, whence they come, and what is their purpose in sitting down before the town of Mansoul? They are they of whom I have told you long ago, that they would come to destroy this town, and against whom I have been at the cost to arm you with capa-pie for your body, besides great fortifications for your mind. Wherefore, then, did you not rather, even at the first appearance of them, cry out, Fire the beacons, and give the whole town an alarm concerning them, that we might all have been in a posture of defence, and been ready to have received them with the highest acts of defiance? Then had you showed yourselves men to my liking; whereas, by what you have done, you have made me half afraid-I say, half afraid-that when they and we shall come to push a pike, I shall find you want courage to stand it out any longer. Wherefore have I commanded a watch, and that you should double your guards at the gates? Wherefore have I endeavoured to make you as hard as iron, and your hearts as a piece of the nether millstone? Was it, think you, that you might show yourselves women, and that you might go out like a company of innocents to gaze on your mortal foes? Fie, fie! put yourselves into a posture of defence, beat up the drum, gather together in warlike manner, that our foes may know that, before they shall conquer this corporation, there are valiant men in the town of Mansoul.
‘I will leave off now to chide, and will not further rebuke you; but I charge you, that henceforwards you let me see no more such actions. Let not henceforward a man of you, without order first obtained from me, so much as show his head over the wall of the town of Mansoul. You have now heard me; do as I have commanded, and you shall cause me that 1 dwell securely with you, and that I take care, as for myself, so for your safety and honour also. Farewell.’
Now were the townsmen strangely altered; they were as men stricken with a panic fear; they ran to and fro through the streets of the town of Mansoul, crying out, ‘Help, help! the men that turn the world upside down are come hither also.’ Nor could any of them be quiet after; but still, as men bereft of wit, they cried out, ‘The destroyers of our peace and people are come.’ This went down with Diabolus. ‘Ah,’ quoth he to himself, ‘this I like well: now it is as I would have it; now you show your obedience to your prince. Hold you but here, and then let them take the town if they can.’
Well, before the King’s forces had sat before Mansoul three days, Captain Boanerges commanded his trumpeter to go down to Ear-gate, and there, in the name of the great Shaddai, to summon Mansoul to give audience to the message that he, in his Master’s name, was to them commanded to deliver. So the trumpeter, whose name was Take-heed-what-you-hear, went up, as he was commanded to Ear-gate, and there sounded his trumpet for a hearing; but there was none that appeared that gave answer or regard, for so had Diabolus commanded. So the trumpeter returned to his captain, and told him what he had done, and also how he had sped; whereat the captain was grieved, but bid the trumpeter go to his tent.
Again Captain Boanerges sendeth his trumpeter to Ear-gate, to sound as before for a hearing; but they again kept close, came not out, nor would they give him an answer, so observant were they of the command of Diabolus their king.
Then the captains and other field officers called a council of war, to consider what further was to be done for the gaining of the town of Mansoul; and, after some close and thorough debate upon the contents of their commissions, they concluded yet to give to the town, by the hand of the forenamed trumpeter, another summons to hear; but if that shall be refused, said they, and that the town shall stand it out still, then they determined, and bid the trumpeter tell them so, that they would endeavour, by what means they could to compel them by force to the obedience of their King
So Captain Boanerges commanded his trumpeter to go up to Ear-gate again, and, in the name of the great King Shaddai, to give it a very loud summons to come down without delay to Ear-gate, there to give audience to the King’s most noble captains. So the trumpeter went, and did as he was commanded: he went up to Ear-gate, and sounded his trumpet, and gave a third summons to Mansoul. He said, moreover, that if this they should still refuse to do, the captains of his Prince would with might come down upon them, and endeavour to reduce them to their obedience by force.
Then stood up my Lord Willbewill, who was the governor of the town (this Willbewill was that apostate of whom mention was made before), and the keeper of the gates of Mansoul.
He therefore, with big and ruffling words, demanded of the trumpeter who he was, whence he came, and what was the cause of his making so hideous a noise at the gate, and speaking such insufferable words against the town of Mansoul.
The trumpeter answered, ‘I am servant to the most noble captain, Captain Boanerges, general of the forces of the great King Shaddai, against whom both thyself, with the whole town of Mansoul, have rebelled, and lift up the heel; and my master, the captain, hath a special message to this town, and to thee, as a member thereof; the which if you of Mansoul shall peaceably hear, so; and if not, you must take what follows.’
Then said the Lord Willbewill, ‘I will carry thy words to my lord, and will know what he will say.’
But the trumpeter soon replied, saying, ‘Our message is not to the giant Diabolus, but to the miserable town of Mansoul; nor shall we at all regard what answer by him is made, nor yet by any for him. We are sent to this town to recover it from under his cruel tyranny, and to persuade it to submit, as in former times it did, to the most excellent King Shaddai.’
Then said the Lord Willbewill, ‘I will do your errand to the town.’
The trumpeter then replied, ‘Sir, do not deceive us, lest, in so doing, you deceive yourselves much more.’ He added, moreover, ‘For we are resolved, if in peaceable manner you do not submit yourselves, then to make a war upon you, and to bring you under by force. And of the truth of what I now say, this shall be a sign unto you,—you shall see the black flag, with its hot, burning thunderbolts, set upon the mount to-morrow, as a token of defiance against your prince, and of our resolutions to reduce you to your Lord and rightful King.’
So the said Lord Willbewill returned from off the wall, and the trumpeter came into the camp. When the trumpeter was come into the camp, the captains and officers of the mighty King Shaddai came together to know if he had obtained a hearing, and what was the effect of his errand. So the trumpeter told, saying, ‘When I had sounded my trumpet, and had called aloud to the town for a hearing, my Lord Willbewill, the governor of the town, and he that hath charge of the gates, came up when he heard me sound, and, looking over the wall, he asked me what I was, whence I came, and what was the cause of my making this noise. So I told him my errand, and by whose authority I brought it. “Then,” said he, “I will tell it to the governor and to Mansoul;” and then I returned to my lords.’
Then said the brave Boanerges, ‘Let us yet for a while lie still in our trenches, and see what these rebels will do.’
Now when the time drew nigh that audience by Mansoul must be given to the brave Boanerges and his companions, it was commanded that all the men of war throughout the whole camp of Shaddai should as one man stand to their arms, and make themselves ready, if the town of Mansoul shall hear, to receive it forthwith to mercy; but if not, to force a subjection. So the day being come, the trumpeters sounded, and that throughout the whole camp, that the men of war might be in a readiness for that which then should be the work of the day. But when they that were in the town of Mansoul heard the sound of the trumpets throughout the camp of Shaddai, and thinking no other but that it must be in order to storm the corporation, they at first were put to great consternation of spirit; but after they a little were settled again, they also made what preparation they could for a war, if they did storm; else, to secure themselves.
Well, when the utmost time was come, Boanerges was resolved to hear their answer; wherefore he sent out his trumpeter again to summons Mansoul to a hearing of the message that they had brought from Shaddai. So he went and sounded, and the townsmen came up, but made Ear-gate as sure as they could. Now when they were come up to the top of the wall, Captain Boanerges desired to see the Lord Mayor; but my Lord Incredulity was then Lord Mayor, for he came in the room of my Lord Lustings. So Incredulity came up and showed himself over the wall; but when the Captain Boanerges had set his eyes upon him, he cried out aloud, ‘This is not he: where is my Lord Understanding, the ancient Lord Mayor of the town of Mansoul? for to him I would deliver my message.’
Then said the giant (for Diabolus was also come down) to the captain, ‘Mr. Captain, you have by your boldness given to Mansoul at least four summonses to subject herself to your King, by whose authority I know not, nor will I dispute that now. I ask, therefore, what is the reason of all this ado, or what would you be at if you knew yourselves?’
Then Captain Boanerges, whose were the black colours, and whose scutcheon was the three burning thunderbolts, taking no notice of the giant or of his speech, thus addressed himself to the town of Mansoul: ‘Be it known unto you, O unhappy and rebellious Mansoul, that the most gracious King, the great King Shaddai, my Master, hath sent me unto you with commission’(and so he showed to the town his broad seal) ‘to reduce you to his obedience; and he hath commanded me, in case you yield upon my summons, to carry it to you as if you were my friends or brethren; but he also hath bid, that if, after summons to submit, you still stand out and rebel, we should endeavour to take you by force.’
Then stood forth Captain Conviction, and said (his were the pale colours, and for a scutcheon he had the book of the law wide open, etc.), ‘Hear, O Mansoul! Thou, O Mansoul, wast once famous for innocency, but now thou art degenerated into lies and deceit. Thou hast heard what my brother, the Captain Boanerges, hath said; and it is your wisdom, and will be your happiness, to stoop to, and accept of conditions of peace and mercy when offered, specially when offered by one against whom thou hast rebelled, and one who is of power to tear thee in pieces, for so is Shaddai, our King; nor, when he is angry can anything stand before him. If you say you have not sinned, or acted rebellion against our King, the whole of your doings since the day that you cast off his service (and there was the beginning of your sin) will sufficiently testify against you. What else means your hearkening to the tyrant, and your receiving him for your king? What means else your rejecting of the laws of Shaddai, and your obeying of Diabolus? Yea, what means this your taking up of arms against, and the shutting of your gates upon us, the faithful servants of your King? Be ruled, then, and accept of my brother’s invitation, and overstand not the time of mercy, but agree with thine adversary quickly. Ah! Mansoul, suffer not thyself to be kept from mercy, and to be run into a thousand miseries, by the flattering wiles of Diabolus. Perhaps that piece of deceit may attempt to make you believe that we seek our own profit in this our service; but know it is obedience to our King, and love to your happiness, that is the cause of this undertaking of ours.
‘Again I say to thee, O Mansoul, consider if it be not amazing grace that Shaddai should so humble himself as he doth: now he, by us, reasons with you, in a way of entreaty and sweet persuasions, that you would subject yourselves to him. Has he that need of you that we are sure you have of him? No, no; but he is merciful, and will not that Mansoul should die, but turn to him and live.’
Then stood forth Captain Judgment, whose were the red colours, and for a scutcheon he had the burning fiery furnace, and he said, ‘O ye, the inhabitants of the town of Mansoul, that have lived so long in rebellion and acts of treason against the King Shaddai, know that we come not to-day to this place, in this manner, with our message of our own minds, or to revenge our own quarrel; it is the King, my Master, that hath sent us to reduce you to your obedience to him; the which if you refuse in a peaceable way to yield, we have commission to compel you thereto. And never think of yourselves, nor yet suffer the tyrant Diabolus to persuade you to think, that our King, by his power, is not able to bring you down, and to lay you under his feet; for he is the former of all things, and if he touches the mountains, they smoke. Nor will the gate of the King’s clemency stand always open; for the day that shall burn like an oven is before him; yea, it hasteth greatly, it slumbereth not.
‘O Mansoul, is it little in thine eyes that our King doth offer thee mercy, and that after so many provocations? Yea, he still holdeth out his golden sceptre to thee, and will not yet suffer his gate to be shut against thee: wilt thou provoke him to do it? If so, consider of what I say: to thee it is opened no more forever. If thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him. Yea, because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke; then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. Will he esteem thy riches?
No, not gold, nor all the forces of strength. He hath prepared his throne for judgment, for he will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebukes with flames of fire. Therefore, O Mansoul, take heed lest, after thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked, justice and judgment should take hold of thee.’
Now while the Captain Judgment was making this oration to the town of Mansoul, it was observed by some that Diabolus trembled; but he proceeded in his parable and said, ‘O thou woful town of Mansoul, wilt thou not yet set open thy gate to receive us, the deputies of thy King, and those that would rejoice to see thee live? Can thine heart endure, or can thy hands be strong, in the day that he shall deal in judgment with thee? I say, canst thou endure to be forced to drink, as one would drink sweet wine, the sea of wrath that our King has prepared for Diabolus and his angels? Consider betimes, consider.’
Then stood forth the fourth captain, the noble Captain Execution, and said, ‘O town of Mansoul, once famous, but now like the fruitless bough, once the delight of the high ones, but now a den for Diabolus, hearken also to me, and to the words that I shall speak to thee in the name of the great Shaddai. Behold, the axe is laid to the root of the trees: every tree, therefore, that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down and cast into the fire.
‘Thou, O town of Mansoul, hast hitherto been this fruitless tree; thou bearest naught but thorns and briers. Thy evil fruit bespeaks thee not to be a good tree; thy grapes are grapes of gall, thy clusters are bitter. Thou hast rebelled against thy King; and, lo! we, the power and force of Shaddai, are the axe that is laid to thy root. What sayest thou? Wilt thou turn?
I say again, tell me, before the first blow is given, wilt thou turn? Our axe must first be laid tothy root before it be laid at thy root; it must first be laid tothy root in a way of threatening, before it is laid at thy root by way of execution; and between these two is required thy repentance, and this is all the time that thou hast. What wilt thou do? Wilt thou turn, or shall I smite? If I fetch my blow, Mansoul, down you go; for I have commission to lay my axe atas well as to thy roots, nor will anything but yielding to our King prevent doing of execution.
What art thou fit for, O Mansoul, if mercy preventeth not, but to be hewn down, and cast into the fire and burned?
‘O Mansoul, patience and forbearance do not act for ever: a year, or two, or three, they may; but if thou provoke by a three years’rebellion (and thou hast already done more than this), then what follows but, “Cut it down”? nay, “After that thou shalt cut it down.” And dost thou think that these are but threatenings, or that our King has not power to execute his words? Mansoul, thou wilt find that in the words of our King, when they are by sinners made little or light of, there is not only threatening, but burning coals of fire.
‘Thou hast been a cumber-ground long already, and wilt thou continue so still? Thy sin has brought this army to thy walls, and shall it bring it in judgment to do execution into thy town? Thou hast heard what the captains have said, but as yet thou shuttest thy gates. Speak out, Mansoul; wilt thou do so still, or wilt thou accept of conditions of peace?’
These brave speeches of these four noble captains the town of Mansoul refused to hear; yet a sound thereof did beat against Ear-gate, though the force thereof could not break it open. In fine, the town desired a time to prepare their answer to these demands. The captains then told them, that if they would throw out to them one Ill-Pause that was in the town, that they might reward him according to his works, then they would give them time to consider; but if they would not cast him to them over the wall of Mansoul, then they would give them none; ‘for,’ said they, ‘we know that, so long as Ill-Pause draws breath in Mansoul, all good consideration will be confounded, and nothing but mischief will come thereon.’
Then Diabolus, who was there present, being loath to lose his Ill-Pause, because he was his orator (and yet be sure he had, could the captains have laid their fingers on him), was resolved at this instant to give them answer by himself: but then changing his mind, he commanded the then Lord Mayor, the Lord Incredulity, to do it, saying, ‘My lord, do you give these runagates an answer, and speak out, that Mansoul may hear and understand you.’
So Incredulity, at Diabolus’ command, began and said, ‘Gentlemen, you have here, as we do behold, to the disturbance of our prince and the molestation of the town of Mansoul, camped against it: but from whence you come, we will not know; and what you are, we will not believe. Indeed, you tell us in your terrible speech that you have this authority from Shaddai; but by what right he commands you to do it, of that we shall yet be ignorant.
‘You have also, by the authority aforesaid, summoned this town to desert her lord, and, for protection, to yield up herself to the great Shaddai, your King; flatteringly telling her, that if she will do it, he will pass by and not charge her with her past offences.
‘Further, you have also, to the terror of the town of Mansoul, threatened with great and sore destructions to punish this corporation, if she consents not to do as your wills would have her.
‘Now, captains, from whencesoever you come, and though your designs be ever so right, yet know ye that neither my lord Diabolus, nor I, his servant, Incredulity, nor yet our brave Mansoul, doth regard either your persons, message, or the King that you say hath sent you.
His power, his greatness, his vengeance, we fear not; nor will we yield at all to your summons.
‘As for the war that you threaten to make upon us, we must therein defend ourselves as well as we can; and know ye, that we are not without wherewithal to bid defiance to you; and, in short (for I will not be tedious), I tell you, that we take you to be some vagabond runagate crew, that having shaken off all obedience to your King, have gotten together in tumultuous manner, and are ranging from place to place to see if, through the flatteries you are skilled to make on the one side, and threats wherewith you think to fright on the other, to make some silly town, city, or country, desert their place, and leave it to you; but Mansoul is none of them.
‘To conclude: we dread you not, we fear you not, nor will we obey your summons. Our gates we keep shut upon you, our place we will keep you out of. Nor will we long thus suffer you to sit down before us: our people must live in quiet: your appearance doth disturb them.
Wherefore arise with bag and baggage, and begone, or we will let fly from the walls against you.’
This oration, made by old Incredulity, was seconded by desperate Willbewill, in words to this effect: ‘Gentlemen, we have heard your demands, and the noise of your threats, and have heard the sound of your summons; but we fear not your force, we regard not your threats, but will still abide as you found us. And we command you, that in three days’time you cease to appear in these parts, or you shall know what it is once to dare offer to rouse the lion Diabolus when asleep in his town of Mansoul.’
The Recorder, whose name was Forget-Good, he also added as followeth: ‘Gentlemen, my lords, as you see, have with mild and gentle words answered your rough and angry speeches: they have, moreover, in my hearing, given you leave quietly to depart as you came: wherefore, take their kindness and be gone. We might have come out with force upon you, and have caused you to feel the dint of our swords; but as we love ease and quiet ourselves, so we love not to hurt or molest others.’
Then did the town of Mansoul shout for joy, as if by Diabolus and his crew some great advantage had been gotten of the captains. They also rang the bells, and made merry, and danced upon the walls.
Diabolus also returned to the castle, and the Lord Mayor and Recorder to their place; but the Lord Willbewill took special care that the gates should be secured with double guards, double bolts, and double locks and bars; and that Ear-gate especially might the better be looked to, for that was the gate in at which the King’s forces sought most to enter. The Lord Willbewill made one old Mr. Prejudice, an angry and ill-conditioned fellow, captain of the ward at that gate, and put under his power sixty men, called deaf men; men advantageous for that service, forasmuch as they mattered no words of the captains, nor of the soldiers.
Now when the captains saw the answer of the great ones, and that they could not get a hearing from the old natives of the town, and that Mansoul was resolved to give the King’s army battle, they prepared themselves to receive them, and to try it out by the power of the arm. And, first, they made their force more formidable against Ear-gate; for they knew that, unless they could penetrate that, no good could be done upon the town. This done, they put the rest of their men in their places; after which, they gave out the word, which was, ‘YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.’ Then they sounded. the trumpet; then they in the town made them answer, with shout against shout, charge against charge, and so the battle began. Now they in the town had planted upon the tower over Ear-gate two great guns, the one called High-mind, and the other Heady. Unto these two guns they trusted much: they were cast in the castle by Diabolus’ founder, whose name was Mr. Puff-up, and mischievous pieces they were. But so vigilant and watchful, when the captains saw them, were they, that though sometimes their shot would go by their ears with a whizz, yet they did them no harm. By these two guns the townsfolk made no question but greatly to annoy the camp of Shaddai, and well enough to secure the gate; but they had not much cause to boast of what execution they did, as by what follows will be gathered.
The famous Mansoul had also some other small pieces in it, of the which they made use against the camp of Shaddai.
They from the camp also did as stoutly, and with as much of that as may in truth be called valour, let fly as fast at the town and at Ear-gate; for they saw that, unless they could break open Ear-gate, it would be but in vain to batter the wall. Now the King’s captains had brought with them several slings, and two or three battering-rams; with their slings, therefore, they battered the houses and people of the town, and with their rams they sought to break Ear-gate open.
The camp and the town had several skirmishes and brisk encounters, while the captains with their engines made many brave attempts to break open or beat down the tower that was over Ear-gate, and at the said gate to make their entrance; but Mansoul stood it out so lustily, through the rage of Diabolus, the valour of the Lord Willbewill, and the conduct of old Incredulity, the Mayor, and Mr. Forget-Good, the Recorder, that the charge and expense of that summer’s wars, on the King’s side, seemed to be almost quite lost, and the advantage to return to Mansoul. But when the captains saw how it was, they made a fair retreat, and entrenched themselves in their winter quarters. Now, in this war, you must needs think there was much loss on both sides, of which be pleased to accept of this brief account following.
The King’s captains, when they marched from the court to come up against Mansoul to war, as they came crossing over the country, they happened to light upon three young fellows that had a mind to go for soldiers: proper men they were, and men of courage and skill, to appearance. Their names were Mr. Tradition, Mr. Human-Wisdom, and Mr. Man’s-Invention. So they came up to the captains, and proffered their service to Shaddai. The captains then told them of their design, and bid them not to be rash in their offers; but the young men told them they had considered the thing before, and that hearing they were upon their march for such a design, came hither on purpose to meet them, that they might be listed under their excellencies. Then Captain Boanerges, for that they were men of courage, listed them into his company, and so away they went to the war.
Now, when the war was begun, in one of the briskest skirmishes, so it was, that a company of the Lord Willbewill’s men sallied out at the sally-port or postern of the town, and fell in upon the rear of Captain Boanerges’men, where these three fellows happened to be; so they took them prisoners, and away they carried them into the town, where they had not lain long in durance, but it began to be noised about the streets of the town what three notable prisoners the Lord Willbewill’s men had taken, and brought in prisoners out of the camp of Shaddai. At length tidings thereof were carried to Diabolus to the castle, to wit, what my Lord Willbewill’s men had done, and whom they had taken prisoners.
Then Diabolus called for Willbewill, to know the certainty of this matter. So he asked him, and he told him. Then did the giant send for the prisoners, and, when they were come, demanded of them who they were, whence they came, and what they did in the camp of Shaddai; and they told him. Then he sent them to ward again. Not many days after, he sent for them to him again, and then asked them if they would be willing to serve him against their former captains. They then told him that they did not so much live by religion as by the fates of fortune; and that since his lordship was willing to entertain them, they should be willing to serve him. Now while things were thus in hand, there was one Captain Anything, a great doer, in the town of Mansoul; and to this Captain Anything did Diabolus send these men, and a note under his hand, to receive them into his company: the contents of which letter were thus:— ‘Anything, my darling,—The three men that are the bearers of this letter have a desire to serve me in the war: nor know I better to whose conduct to commit them than to thine.
Receive them, therefore, in my name, and, as need shall require, make use of them against Shaddai and his men. Farewell.’
So they came, and he received them; and he made of two of them sergeants; but he made Mr. Man’s-Invention his ancient-bearer. But thus much for this, and now to return to the camp.
They of the camp did also some execution upon the town; for they did beat down the roof of the Lord Mayor’s house, and so laid him more open than he was before. They had almost, with a sling, slain my Lord Willbewill outright; but he made a shift to recover again.
But they made a notable slaughter among the aldermen, for with one only shot they cut off six of them; to wit, Mr. Swearing, Mr. Whoring, Mr. Fury, Mr. Stand-to-Lies, Mr. Drunkenness, and Mr. Cheating.
They also dismounted the two guns that stood upon the tower over Ear-gate, and laid them flat in the dirt. I told you before that the King’s noble captains had drawn off to their winter quarters, and had there entrenched themselves and their carriages, so as with the best advantage to their King, and the greatest annoyance to the enemy, they might give seasonable and warm alarms to the town of Mansoul. And this design of them did so hit, that I may say they did almost what they would to the molestation of the corporation. For now could not Mansoul sleep securely as before, nor could they now go to their debaucheries with that quietness as in times past; for they had from the camp of Shaddai such frequent, warm, and terrifying alarms, yea, alarms upon alarms, first at one gate and then at another, and again at all the gates at once, that they were broken as to former peace. Yea, they had their alarms so frequently, and that when the nights were at longest, the weather coldest, and so consequently the season most unseasonable, that that winter was to the town of Mansoul a winter by itself. Sometimes the trumpets would sound, and sometimes the slings would whirl the stones into the town. Sometimes ten thousand of the King’s soldiers would be running round the walls of Mansoul at midnight, shouting and lifting up the voice for the battle. Sometimes, again, some of them in the town would be wounded, and their cry and lamentable voice would be heard, to the great molestation of the now languishing town of Mansoul. Yea, so distressed with those that laid siege against them were they, that, I dare say, Diabolus, their king, had in these days his rest much broken.
In these days, as I was informed, new thoughts, and thoughts that began to run counter one to another, began to possess the minds of the men of the town of Mansoul. Some would say, ‘There is no living thus.’ Others would then reply, ‘This will be over shortly.’ Then would a third stand up and answer, ‘Let us turn to the King Shaddai, and so put an end to these troubles.’ And a fourth would come in with a fear, saying, ‘I doubt he will not receive us.’
The old gentleman, too, the Recorder, that was so before Diabolus took Mansoul, he also began to talk aloud, and his words were now to the town of Mansoul as if they were great claps of thunder. No noise now so terrible to Mansoul as was his, with the noise of the soldiers and shoutings of the captains.
Also things began to grow scarce in Mansoul; now the things that her soul lusted after were departing from her. Upon all her pleasant things there was a blast, and burning instead of beauty. Wrinkles now, and some shows of the shadow of death, were upon the inhabitants of Mansoul. And now, O how glad would Mansoul have been to have enjoyed quietness and satisfaction of mind, though joined with the meanest condition in the world!
The captains also, in the deep of this winter, did send by the mouth of Boanerges’
trumpeter a summons to Mansoul to yield up herself to the King, the great King Shaddai.
They sent it once, and twice, and thrice; not knowing but that at some times there might be in Mansoul some willingness to surrender up themselves unto them, might they but have the colour of an invitation to do it under. Yea, so far as I could gather, the town had been surrendered up to them before now, had it not been for the opposition of old Incredulity, and the fickleness of the thoughts of my Lord Willbewill. Diabolus also began to rave; wherefore Mansoul, as to yielding, was not yet all of one mind; therefore they still lay distressed under these perplexing fears.
I told you but now that they of the King’s army had this winter sent three times to Mansoul to submit herself.
The first time the trumpeter went, he went with words of peace, telling them that the captains, the noble captains of Shaddai, did pity and bewail the misery of the now perishing town of Mansoul, and were troubled to see them so much to stand in the way of their own deliverance. He said, moreover, that the captains bid him tell them, that if now poor Mansoul would humble herself and turn, her former rebellions and most notorious treasons should by their merciful King be forgiven them, yea, and forgotten too. And having bid them beware that they stood not in their own way, that they opposed not themselves, nor made themselves their own losers, he returned again into the camp.
The second time the trumpeter went, he did treat them a little more roughly; for, after sound of trumpet, he told them that their continuing in their rebellion did but chafe and heat the spirit of the captains, and that they were resolved to make a conquest of Mansoul, or to lay their bones before the town walls.
He went again the third time, and dealt with them yet more roughly; telling them that now, since they had been so horribly profane, he did not know, not certainly know, whether the captains were inclining to mercy or judgment. ‘Only,’ said he, ‘they commanded me to give you a summons to open the gates unto them.’ So he returned, and went into the camp.
These three summonses, and especially the last two, did so distress the town that they presently call a consultation, the result of which was this—That my Lord Willbewill should go up to Ear-gate, and there, with sound of trumpet, call to the captains of the camp for a parley. Well, the Lord Willbewill sounded upon the wall; so the captains came up in their harness, with their ten thousands at their feet. The townsmen then told the captains that they had heard and considered their summons, and would come to an agreement with them, and with their King Shaddai, upon such certain terms, articles, and propositions as, with and by the order of their prince, they to them were appointed to propound; to wit, they would agree upon these grounds to be one people with them.
1. If that those of their own company, as the now Lord Mayor and their Mr. Forget-Good, with their brave Lord Willbewill, might, under Shaddai, be still the governors of the town, castle, and gates of Mansoul.
2. Provided that no man that now serveth under their great giant Diabolus be by Shaddai cast out of house, harbour, or the freedom that he hath hitherto enjoyed in the famous town of Mansoul.
3. That it shall be granted them, that they of the town of Mansoul shall enjoy certain of their rights and privileges; to wit, such as have formerly been granted them, and that they have long lived in the enjoyment of, under the reign of their king Diabolus, that now is, and long has been, their only lord and great defender.
4. That no new law, officer, or executioner of law or office, shall have any power over them, without their own choice and consent.
‘These be our propositions, or conditions of peace; and upon these terms,’ said they, ‘we will submit to your King.’
But when the captains had heard this weak and feeble offer of the town of Mansoul, and their high and bold demands, they made to them again, by their noble captain, the Captain Boanerges, this speech following:— ‘O ye inhabitants of the town of Mansoul, when I heard your trumpet sound for a parley with us, I can truly say I was glad; but when you said you were willing to submit yourselves to our King and Lord, then I was yet more glad; but when, by your silly provisos and foolish cavils, you laid the stumbling-block of your iniquity before your own faces, then was my gladness turned into sorrows and my hopeful beginnings of your return, into languishing fainting fears.
‘I count that old Ill-Pause, the ancient enemy of Mansoul, did draw up those proposals that now you present us with as terms of an agreement; but they deserve not to be admitted to sound in the ear of any man that pretends to have service for Shaddai. We do therefore jointly, and that with the highest disdain, refuse and reject such things, as the greatest of iniquities.
‘But, O Mansoul, if you will give yourselves into our hands, or rather into the hands of our King, and will trust him to make such terms with and for you as shall seem good in his eyes (and I dare say they shall be such as you shall find to be most profitable to you), then we will receive you, and be at peace with you; but if you like not to trust yourselves in the arms of Shaddai our King, then things are but where they were before, and we know also what we have to do.’
Then cried out old Incredulity, the Lord Mayor, and said, ‘And who, being out of the hands of their enemies, as ye see we are now, will be so foolish as to put the staff out of their own hands into the hands of they know not who? I, for my part, will never yield to so unlimited a proposition. Do we know the manner and temper of their King? It is said by some that he will be angry with his subjects if but the breadth of an hair they chance to step out of the way; and by others, that he requireth of them much more than they can perform.
Wherefore, it seems, O Mansoul, to be thy wisdom to take good heed what thou dost in this matter; for if you once yield, you give up yourselves to another, and so you are no more your own. Wherefore, to give up yourselves to an unlimited power, is the greatest folly in the world; for now you indeed may repent, but can never justly complain. But do you indeed know, when you are his, which of you he will kill, and which of you he will save alive; or whether he will not cut off every one of us, and send out of his own country another new people, and cause them to inhabit this town?’
This speech of the Lord Mayor undid all, and threw flat to the ground their hopes of an accord. Wherefore the captains returned to their trenches, to their tents, and to their men, as they were: and the Mayor to the castle and to his king.