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 Main Index : Writings : John Bunyan : Holy War Index : The Holy War - Part 18
The Holy War - Part 17 | Index | The Holy War - Part 19



Now the townsmen began to perceive what interest the captain had, both with the court, and also with the Lord Secretary in Mansoul; for no man before could speed when sent, nor bring such good news from Emmanuel as he. Wherefore what do they, after some lamentation that they made no more use of him in their distresses, but send by their subordinate preacher to the Lord Secretary, to desire him that all that ever they were and had might be put under the government, care, custody, and conduct of Captain Credence.

So their preacher went and did his errand, and received this answer from the mouth of his Lord: that Captain Credence should be the great doer in all the King's army, against the King's enemies, and also for the welfare of Mansoul. So he bowed to the ground, and thanked his Lordship, and returned and told his news to the townsfolk. But all this was done with all imaginable secrecy, because the foes had yet great strength in the town. But to return to our story again.

When Diabolus saw himself thus boldly confronted by the Lord Mayor, and perceived the stoutness of Mr. Godly-Fear, he fell into a rage, and forthwith called a council of war, that he might be revenged on Mansoul. So all the princes of the pit came together, and old Incredulity at the head of them, with all the captains of his army. So they consult what to do. Now the effect and conclusion of the council that day was how they might take the castle, because they could not conclude themselves masters of the town so long as that was in the possession of their enemies.

So one advised this way, and another advised that; but when they could not agree in their verdict, Apollyon, that president of the council, stood up, and thus he began: 'My brotherhood,' quoth he, 'I have two things to propound unto you; and my first is this. Let us withdraw ourselves from the town into the plain again, for our presence here will do us no good, because the castle is yet in our enemies' hands; nor is it possible that we should take that, so long as so many brave captains are in it, and that this bold fellow, Godly-Fear, is made the keeper of the gates of it. Now, when we have withdrawn ourselves into the plain, they, of their own accord, will be glad of some little ease; and it may be, of their own accord, they again may begin to be remiss, and even their so being will give them a bigger blow than we can possibly give them ourselves. But if that should fail, our going forth of the town may draw the captains out after us; and you know what it cost them when we fought them in the field before. Besides, can we but draw them out into the field, we may lay an ambush behind the town, which shall, when they are come forth abroad, rush in and take possession of the castle.'

But Beelzebub stood up, and replied, saying: 'It is impossible to draw them all off from the castle; some, you may be sure, will lie there to keep that; wherefore it will be but in vain thus to attempt, unless we were sure that they will all come out.' He therefore concluded that what was done must be done by some other means. And the most likely means that the greatest of their heads could invent, was that which Apollyon had advised to before, namely, to get the townsmen again to sin. 'For,' said he, 'it is not our being in the town, nor in the field, nor our fighting, nor our killing of their men, that can make us the masters of Mansoul; for so long as one in the town is able to lift up his finger against us, Emmanuel will take their parts; and if he shall take their parts, we know what time of day it will be with us. Wherefore, for my part,' quoth he, 'there is, in my judgment, no way to bring them into bondage to us, like inventing a way to make them sin. Had we,' said he, 'left all our doubters at home, we had done as well as we have done now, unless we could have made them the masters and governors of the castle; for doubters at a distance are but like objections refelled with arguments. Indeed, can we but get them into the hold, and make them possessors of that, the day will be our own. Let us, therefore, withdraw ourselves into the plain, (not expecting that the captains in Mansoul should follow us,) but yet, I say, let us do this, and before we so do, let us advise again with our trusty Diabolonians that are yet in their holds of Mansoul, and set them to work to betray the town to us; for they indeed must do it, or it will be left undone for ever.' By these sayings of Beelzebub, (for I think it was he that gave this counsel,) the whole conclave was forced to be of his opinion, namely, that the way to get the castle was to get the town to sin. Then they fell to inventing by what means they might do this thing.

Then Lucifer stood up, and said: 'The counsel of Beelzebub is pertinent. Now, the way to bring this to pass, in mine opinion, is this: let us withdraw our force from the town of Mansoul; let us do this, and let us terrify them no more, either with summons, or threats, or with the noise of our drum, or any other awakening means. Only let us lie in the field at a distance, and be as if we regarded them not; for frights, I see, do but awaken them, and make them more stand to their arms. I have also another stratagem in my head: you know Mansoul is a market-town, and a town that delights in commerce; what, therefore, if some of our Diabolonians shall feign themselves far-country men, and shall go out and bring to the market of Mansoul some of our wares to sell; and what matter at what rates they sell their wares, though it be but for half the worth? Now, let those that thus shall trade in their market be those that are witty and true to us, and I will lay my crown to pawn it will do. There are two that are come to my thoughts already, that I think will be arch at this work, and they are Mr. Penny-wise-pound-foolish, and Mr. Get-i'the-hundred-and-lose-i'the-shire; nor is this man with the long name at all inferior to the other. What, also, if you join with them Mr. Sweet-world and Mr. Present-good; they are men that are civil and cunning, but our true friends and helpers. Let these, with as many more, engage in this business for us, and let Mansoul be taken up in much business, and let them grow full and rich, and this is the way to get ground of them. Remember ye not that thus we prevailed upon Laodicea, and how many at present do we hold in this snare? Now, when they begin to grow full, they will forget their misery; and if we shall not affright them, they may happen to fall asleep, and so be got to neglect their town watch, their castle watch, as well as their watch at the gates.

'Yea, may we not, by this means, so cumber Mansoul with abundance, that they shall be forced to make of their castle a warehouse, instead of a garrison fortified against us, and a receptacle for men of war. Thus, if we get our goods and commodities thither, I reckon that the castle is more than half ours. Besides, could we so order it that it shall be filled with such kind of wares, then if we made a sudden assault upon them, it would be hard for the captains to take shelter there. Do you not know that of the parable, "The deceitfulness of riches choke the word"? and again, "When the heart is over-charged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life," all mischief comes upon them at unawares?

'Furthermore, my lords,' quoth he, 'you very well know that it is not easy for a people to be filled with our things, and not to have some of our Diabolonians as retainers to their houses and services. Where is a Mansoulian that is full of this world, that has not for his servants and waiting-men, Mr. Profuse, or Mr. Prodigality, or some other of our Diabolonian gang, as Mr. Voluptuous, Mr. Pragmatical, Mr. Ostentation, or the like? Now these can take the castle of Mansoul, or blow it up, or make it unfit for a garrison for Emmanuel, and any of these will do. Yea, these, for aught I know, may do it for us sooner than an army of twenty thousand men. Wherefore, to end as I began, my advice is, that we quietly withdraw ourselves, not offering any further force, or forcible attempts, upon the castle, at least at this time; and let us set on foot our new project, and let us see if that will not make them destroy themselves.'

This advice was highly applauded by them all, and was accounted the very masterpiece of hell, namely, to choke Mansoul with a fulness of this world, and to surfeit her heart with the good things thereof. But see how things meet together! Just as this Diabolonian council was broken up, Captain Credence received a letter from Emmanuel, the contents of which were these: That upon the third day he would meet him in the field in the plains about Mansoul. 'Meet me in the field!' quoth the Captain; 'what meaneth my lord by this? I know not what he meaneth by meeting me in the field.' So he took the note in his hand, and did carry it to my Lord Secretary, to ask his thoughts thereupon; for my Lord was a seer in all matters concerning the King, and also for the good and comfort of the town of Mansoul. So he showed my Lord the note, and desired his opinion thereof. 'For my part,' quoth Captain Credence, 'I know not the meaning thereof.' So my lord did take and read it and, after a little pause, he said, 'The Diabolonians have had against Mansoul a great consultation to-day; they have, I say, this day been contriving the utter ruin of the town; and the result of their council is, to set Mansoul into such a way which, if taken, will surely make her destroy herself. And, to this end, they are making ready for their own departure out of the town, intending to betake themselves to the field again,' and there to lie till they shall see whether this their project will take or no. But be thou ready with the men of thy Lord, (for on the third day they will be in the plain,) there to fall upon the Diabolonians; for the Prince will by that time be in the field; yea, by that it is break of day, sun-rising, or before, and that with a mighty force against them. So he shall be before them, and thou shalt be behind them, and betwixt you both their army shall be destroyed.'

When Captain Credence heard this, away goes he to the rest of the captains, and tells them what a note he had a while since received from the hand of Emmanuel. 'And,' said he, 'that which was dark therein hath my lord the Lord Secretary expounded unto me.' He told them, moreover, what by himself and by them must be done to answer the mind of their Lord. Then were the captains glad; and Captain Credence commanded that all the King's trumpeters should ascend to the battlements of the castle, and there, in the audience of Diabolus and of the whole town of Mansoul, make the best music that heart could invent. The trumpeters then did as they were commanded. They got themselves up to the top of the castle, and thus they began to sound. Then did Diabolus start, and said, 'What can be the meaning of this? they neither sound Boot-and-saddle, nor Horse-and-away, nor a charge. What do these madmen mean that yet they should be so merry and glad?' Then answered one of themselves and said, 'This is for joy that their Prince Emmanuel is coming to relieve the town of Mansoul; and to this end he is at the head of an army, and that this relief is near.'

The men of Mansoul also were greatly concerned at this melodious charm of the trumpets; they said, yea, they answered one another, saying, 'This can be no harm to us; surely this can be no harm to us.' Then said the Diabolonians, 'What had we best to do?' and it was answered, 'It was best to quit the town;' and 'that,' said one, 'ye may do in pursuance of your last counsel, and by so doing also be better able to give the enemy battle, should an army from without come upon us. So, on the second day, they withdrew themselves from Mansoul, and abode in the plains without; but they encamped themselves before Eye-gate, in what terrene and terrible manner they could. The reason why they would not abide in the town (besides the reasons that were debated in their late conclave) was, for that they were not possessed of the stronghold, and 'because,' said they, 'we shall have more convenience to fight, and also to fly, if need be, when we are encamped in the open plains.' Besides, the town would have been a pit for them rather than a place of defence, had the Prince come up and inclosed them fast therein. Therefore they betook themselves to the field, that they might also be out of the reach of the slings, by which they were much annoyed all the while that they were in the town.

Well, the time that the captains were to fall upon the Diabolonians being come, they eagerly prepared themselves for action; for Captain Credence had told the captains over night, that they should meet their Prince in the field to- morrow. This, therefore, made them yet far more desirous to be engaging the enemy; for 'You shall see the Prince in the field to-morrow' was like oil to a flaming fire, for of a long time they had been at a distance: they therefore were for this the more earnest and desirous of the work. So, as I said, the hour being come, Captain Credence, with the rest of the men of war, drew out their forces before it was day by the sally-port of the town. And, being all ready, Captain Credence went up to the head of the army, and gave to the rest of the captains the word, and so they to their under- officers and soldiers: the word was 'The sword of the Prince Emmanuel, and the shield of Captain Credence;' which is, in the Mansoulian tongue, 'The word of God and faith.' Then the captains fell on, and began roundly to front, and flank, and rear Diabolus's camp.

Now, they left Captain Experience in the town, because he was yet ill of his wounds, which the Diabolonians had given him in the last fight. But when he perceived that the captains were at it, what does he but, calling for his crutches with haste, gets up, and away he goes to the battle, saying, 'Shall I lie here, when my brethren are in the fight, and when Emmanuel, the Prince, will show himself in the field to his servants?' But when the enemy saw the man come with his crutches, they were daunted yet the more; 'for,' thought they, 'what spirit has possessed these Mansoulians, that they fight us upon their crutches?' Well, the captains, as I said, fell on, and did bravely handle their weapons, still crying out and shouting, as they laid on blows, 'The sword of the Prince Emmanuel, and the shield of Captain Credence!'

Now, when Diabolus saw that the captains were come out, and that so valiantly they surrounded his men, he concluded that, for the present, nothing from them was to be looked for but blows, and the dints of their 'two-edged sword.'

Wherefore he also falls on upon the Prince's army with all his deadly force: so the battle was joined. Now who was it that at first Diabolus met with in the fight, but Captain Credence on the one hand, and the Lord Willbewill on the other: now Willbewill's blows were like the blows of a giant, for that man had a strong arm, and he fell in upon the election doubters, for they were the life-guard of Diabolus, and he kept them in play a good while, cutting and battering shrewdly. Now when Captain Credence saw my lord engaged, he did stoutly fall on, on the other hand, upon the same company also; so they put them to great disorder. Now Captain Good- Hope had engaged the vocation doubters, and they were sturdy men; but the captain was a valiant man: Captain Experience did also send him some aid; so he made the vocation doubters to retreat. The rest of the armies were hotly engaged, and that on every side, and the Diabolonians did fight stoutly. Then did my Lord Secretary command that the slings from the castle should be played; and his men could throw stones at an hair's breadth. But, after a while, those that were made to fly before the captains of the Prince, did begin to rally again, and they came up stoutly upon the rear of the Prince's army: wherefore the Prince's army began to faint; but, remembering that they should see the face of their Prince by- and-by, they took courage, and a very fierce battle was fought. Then shouted the captains, saying, 'The sword of the Prince Emmanuel, and the shield of Captain Credence!' and with that Diabolus gave back, thinking that more aid had been come. But no Emmanuel as yet appeared. Moreover, the battle did hang in doubt; and they made a little retreat on both sides. Now, in the time of respite, Captain Credence bravely encouraged his men to stand to it; and Diabolus did the like, as well as he could. But Captain Credence made a brave speech to his soldiers, the contents whereof here follow:-

'Gentlemen soldiers, and my brethren in this design, it rejoiceth me much to see in the field for our Prince, this day, so stout and so valiant an army, and such faithful lovers of Mansoul. You have hitherto, as hath become you, shown yourselves men of truth and courage against the Diabolonian forces; so that, for all their boast, they have not yet much cause to boast of their gettings. Now take to yourselves your wonted courage, and show yourselves men even this once only; for in a few minutes after the next engagement, this time, you shall see your Prince show himself in the field; for we must make this second assault upon this tyrant Diabolus, and then Emmanuel comes.'

No sooner had the captain made this speech to his soldiers, but one Mr. Speedy came post to the captain from the Prince, to tell him that Emmanuel was at hand. This news when the captain had received, he communicated to the other field- officers, and they again to their soldiers and men of war. Wherefore, like men raised from the dead, so the captains and their men arose, made up to the enemy, and cried as before, 'The sword of the Prince Emmanuel, and the shield of Captain Credence!'

The Diabolonians also bestirred themselves, and made resistance as well as they could; but in this last engagement the Diabolonians lost their courage, and many of the doubters fell down dead to the ground. Now, when they had been in heat of battle about an hour or more, Captain Credence lift up his eyes and saw, and, behold, Emmanuel came; and he came with colours flying, trumpets sounding, and the feet of his men scarce touched the ground, they hasted with that celerity towards the captains that were engaged. Then did Credence wind with his men to the townward, and gave to Diabolus the field: so Emmanuel came upon him on the one side, and the enemies' place was betwixt them both. Then again they fell to it afresh; and now it was but a little while more but Emmanuel and Captain Credence met, still trampling down the slain as they came.

But when the captains saw that the Prince was come, and that he fell upon the Diabolonians on the other side, and that Captain Credence and his Highness had got them up betwixt them, they shouted, (they so shouted that the ground rent again,) saying, 'The sword of Emmanuel, and the shield of Captain Credence!' Now, when Diabolus saw that he and his forces were so hard beset by the Prince and his princely army, what does he, and the lords of the pit that were with him, but make their escape, and forsake their army, and leave them to fall by the hand of Emmanuel, and of his noble Captain Credence: so they fell all down slain before them, before the Prince, and before his royal army; there was not left so much as one doubter alive; they lay spread upon the ground dead men, as one would spread dung upon the land.

When the battle was over, all things came into order in the camp. Then the captains and elders of Mansoul came together to salute Emmanuel, while without the corporation: so they saluted him, and welcomed him, and that with a thousand welcomes, for that he was come to the borders of Mansoul again. So he smiled upon them, and said, 'Peace be to you.' Then they addressed themselves to go to the town; they went then to go up to Mansoul, they, the Prince, with all the new forces that now he had brought with him to the war. Also all the gates of the town were set open for his reception, so glad were they of his blessed return. And this was the manner and order of this going of his into Mansoul:

First. As I said, all the gates of the town were set open, yea, the gates of the castle also; the elders, too, of the town of Mansoul placed themselves at the gates of the town, to salute him at his entrance thither: and so they did; for, as he drew near, and approached towards the gates, they said, 'Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.' And they answered again, 'Who is the King of glory?' and they made return to themselves, 'The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors,' etc.

Secondly. It was ordered also, by those of Mansoul, that all the way from the town gates to those of the castle, his blessed Majesty should be entertained with the song, by them that had the best skill in music in all the town of Mansoul: then did the elders, and the rest of the men of Mansoul, answer one another as Emmanuel entered the town, till he came at the castle gates, with songs and sound of trumpets, saying, 'They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary. So the singers went before, the players on instruments followed after, and among them were the damsels playing on timbrels.'

Thirdly. Then the captains, (for I would speak a word of them,) they in their order waited on the Prince, as he entered into the gates of Mansoul. Captain Credence went before, and Captain Good-Hope with him; Captain Charity came behind with other of his companions, and Captain Patience followed after all; and the rest of the captains, some on the right hand, and some on the left, accompanied Emmanuel into Mansoul. And all the while the colours were displayed, the trumpets sounded, and continual shoutings were among the soldiers. The Prince himself rode into the town in his armour, which was all of beaten gold, and in his chariot - the pillars of it were of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it was of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love for the daughters of the town of Mansoul.

Fourthly. When the Prince was come to the entrance of Mansoul, he found all the streets strewed with lilies and flowers, curiously decked with boughs and branches from the green trees that stood round about the town. Every door also was filled with persons, who had adorned every one their fore-part against their house with something of variety and singular excellency, to entertain him withal as he passed in the streets: they also themselves, as Emmanuel passed by, did welcome him with shouts and acclamations of joy, saying, 'Blessed be the Prince that cometh in the name of his Father Shaddai.'

Fifthly. At the castle gates the elders of Mansoul, namely, the Lord Mayor, the Lord Willbewill, the subordinate preacher, Mr. Knowledge, and Mr. Mind, with other of the gentry of the place, saluted Emmanuel again. They bowed before him, they kissed the dust of his feet, they thanked, they blessed, and praised his Highness for not taking advantage against them for their sins, but rather had pity upon them in their misery, and returned to them with mercies, and to build up their Mansoul for ever. Thus was he had up straightway to the castle; for that was the royal palace, and the place where his honour was to dwell; the which was ready prepared for his Highness by the presence of the Lord Secretary, and the work of Captain Credence. So he entered in.

Sixthly. Then the people and commonalty of the town of Mansoul came to him into the castle to mourn, and to weep, and to lament for their wickedness, by which they had forced him out of the town. So when they were come, bowed themselves to the ground seven times; they also wept, they wept aloud, and asked forgiveness of the Prince, and prayed that he would again, as of old, confirm his love to Mansoul.

To the which the great Prince replied, 'Weep not, but go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions to them for whom nought is prepared; for the joy of your Lord is your strength. I am returned to Mansoul with mercies, and my name shall be set up, exalted, and magnified by it.' He also took these inhabitants, and kissed them, and laid them in his bosom.

Moreover, he gave to the elders of Mansoul, and to each town officer, a chain of gold and a signet. He also sent to their wives earrings and jewels, and bracelets, and other things. He also bestowed upon the true-born children of Mansoul many precious things.

When Emmanuel, the Prince, had done all these things for the famous town of Mansoul, then he said unto them, first, 'Wash your garments, then put on your ornaments, and then come to me into the castle of Mansoul.' So they went to the fountain that was set open for Judah and Jerusalem to wash in; and there they washed, and there they made their 'garments white,' and came again to the Prince into the castle, and thus they stood before him.

And now there was music and dancing throughout the whole town of Mansoul, and that because their Prince had again granted to them his presence and the light of his countenance; the bells also did ring, and the sun shone comfortably upon them for a great while together.

The town of Mansoul did also now more thoroughly seek the destruction and ruin of all remaining Diabolonians that abode in the walls, and the dens that they had in the town of Mansoul; for there was of them that had, to this day, escaped with life and limb from the hand of their suppressors in the famous town of Mansoul.

But my Lord Willbewill was a greater terror to them now than ever he had been before; forasmuch as his heart was yet more fully bent to seek, contrive, and pursue them to the death; he pursued them night and day, and did put them now to sore distress, as will afterwards appear.

After things were thus far put into order in the famous town of Mansoul, care was taken, and order given by the blessed Prince Emmanuel, that the townsmen should, without further delay, appoint some to go forth into the plain to bury the dead that were there, - the dead that fell by the sword of Emmanuel, and by the shield of the Captain Credence, - lest the fumes and ill savours that would arise from them might infect the air, and so annoy the famous town of Mansoul. This also was a reason of this order, namely, that, as much as in Mansoul lay, they might cut off the name, and being, and remembrance of those enemies from the thought of the famous town of Mansoul and its inhabitants.

So order was given out by the Lord Mayor, that wise and trusty friend of the town of Mansoul, that persons should be employed about this necessary business; and Mr. Godly-Fear, and one Mr. Upright, were to be overseers about this matter: so persons were put under them to work in the fields, and to bury the slain that lay dead in the plains. And these were their places of employment: some were to make the graves, some to bury the dead, and some were to go to and fro in the plains, and also round about the borders of Mansoul, to see if a skull, or a bone, or a piece of a bone of a doubter, was yet to be found above ground anywhere near the corporation; and if any were found, it was ordered, that the searchers that searched should set up a mark thereby, and a sign, that those that were appointed to bury them might find it, and bury it out of sight, that the name and remembrance of a Diabolonian doubter might be blotted out from under heaven; and that the children, and they that were to be born in Mansoul, might not know, if possible, what a skull, what a bone, or a piece of a bone of a doubter was. So the buriers, and those that were appointed for that purpose, did as they were commanded: they buried the doubters, and all the skulls and bones, and pieces of bones of doubters, wherever they found them; and so they cleansed the plains. Now also Mr. God's-Peace took up his commission, and acted again as in former days.

The Holy War - Part 17 | Index | The Holy War - Part 19

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