War

A RELATION OF THE HOLY WAR – Chapter V

CHAPTER V

[CONTENTS:—The captains resolve to give them battle—The town resolutely resists, and the captains retire to winter quarters—Tradition, Human-wisdom, and Man’s invention enlist under Boanerges, but are taken prisoners, and carried to Diabolus; they are admitted soldiers for him, under Captain Anything—Hostilities are renewed, and the town much molested—A famine and mutiny in Mansoul—The town sounds a parley—Propositions made and rejected—Understanding and Conscience quarrel with Incredulity—A skirmish ensues, and mischief is done on both sides.]

The captains resolve to give them battle

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 Highmind, 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 whiz, yet they did them no harm. By these two guns the towns-folk 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 town resolutely resists, and the captains retire to winter quarters

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 Will-be-will, 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:

Tradition, Human-wisdom, and Man’s invention enlist under Boanerges

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 services 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 Will-be-will’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 Will-be-will’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 Will-be-will’s men had done, and whom they had taken prisoners.

But are taken prisoners, and carried to Diabolus; they are admitted soldiers for him, under Captain Anything

Then Diabolus called for Will-be-will, to know the certainty of this matter. So he asked him, and he told him; then did the giant send for the prisoners, who, 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, with 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, 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 serjeants, but he made Mr. Man’s-invention his armour-bearer. But thus much for this, and now to return to the camp.

Hostilities are renewed, and the town much molested

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 Will-be-will 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.

A famine and mutiny in Mansoul

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 said 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 Will-be-will. 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.

First. The first time the trumpeter went, he went with words of peace, telling of 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.

Second. 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.’

Third. He went again the third time, and dealt with them yet more roughly; telling of 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.

The town sounds a parley

These three summons, and especially the two last, did so distress the town, that they presently called a consultation; the result of which was this, that my Lord Will-be-will 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 Will-be-will 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.

Propositions made and rejected

1. ‘If that those of their own company, as the now Lord Mayor and their Mr. Forget-good, with their brave Lord Will-be-will, 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 provisoes and foolish cavils, you laid the stumbling-block of your iniquity before your own faces, then 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 (2 Tim 2:19).123

‘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 of 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.

Now Diabolus had waited for his return, for he had heard that they had been at their points. So when he was come into the chamber of state, Diabolus saluted him with ‘Welcome, my Lord, how went matters betwixt you to-day?’ So the Lord Incredulity, with a low conge, told him the whole of the matter, saying, Thus and thus said the captains of Shaddai, and thus and thus said I. The which when it was told to Diabolus, he was very glad to hear it, and said, ‘My Lord Mayor, my faithful Incredulity, I have proved thy fidelity above ten times already, but never yet found thee false. I do promise thee, if we rub over this brunt, to prefer thee to a place of honour, a place far better than to be Lord Mayor of Mansoul. I will make thee my Universal Deputy, and thou shalt, next to me, have all nations under thy hand; yea, and thou shalt lay bands upon them that they may not resist thee, nor shall any of our vassals walk more at liberty, but those that shall be content to walk in thy fetters.’

Now came the Lord Mayor out from Diabolus, as if he had obtained a favour indeed; wherefore to his habitation he goes in great state, and thinks to feed himself well enough with hopes, until the time came that his greatness should be enlarged.

Understanding and Conscience quarrel with Incredulity

But now, though the Lord Mayor and Diabolus did thus well agree, yet this repulse to the brave captains put Mansoul into a mutiny. For while old Incredulity went into the castle to congratulate his Lord with what had passed, the old Lord Mayor that was so before Diabolus came to the town, to wit, my Lord Understanding, and the old Recorder, Mr. Conscience, getting intelligence of what had passed at Ear-gate, for you must know that they might not be suffered to be at that debate, lest they should then have mutinied for the captains. But, I say, they got intelligence what had passed there, and were much concerned therewith, wherefore, they, getting some of the town together, began to possess them with the reasonableness of the noble captains’ demands, and with the bad consequences that would follow upon the speech of old Incredulity, the Lord Mayor—to wit, how little reverence he showed therein, either to the captains, or to their King; also, how he implicitly charged them with unfaithfulness, and treachery: for what less, quoth they, could be made of his words, when he said he would not yield to their proposition, and added, moreover, a supposition that he would destroy us when before he had sent us word that he would show us mercy.

The multitude being now possessed with the conviction of the evil that old Incredulity had done, began to run together by companies in all places, and in every corner of the streets of Mansoul; and first they began to mutter, then to talk openly, and after that they run to and fro, and cried as they run, ‘O the brave captains of Shaddai! Would we were under the government of the captains, and of Shaddai their King.’ When the Lord Mayor had intelligence that Mansoul was in an uproar, down he comes to appease the people, and thought to have quashed their heat with the bigness and the show of his countenance. But when they saw him, they came running upon him, and had doubtless done him a mischief, had he not betaken himself to house. However, they strongly assaulted the house where he was, to have pulled it down about his ears; but the place was too strong, so they failed of that. So he taking some courage addressed himself, out at a window, to the people in this manner:

‘Gentlemen, what is the reason that there is here such an uproar to-day?’

UND. Then answered my Lord Understanding: ‘It is even because that thou and thy master have carried it not rightly, and as you should, to the captains of Shaddai; for in three things you are faulty:—First, In that you would not let Mr. Conscience and myself be at the hearing of your discourse. Secondly, In that you propounded such terms of peace, to the captains, that by no means could be granted, unless they had intended that their Shaddai should have been only a titular prince, and that Mansoul should still have had power by law, to have lived in all lewdness and vanity before him, and so by consequence Diabolus should still here be king in power, and the other only king in name. Thirdly, For that thou didst thyself, after the captains had showed us upon what conditions they would have received us to mercy, even undo all again with thy unsavoury, and unseasonable, and ungodly speech.’

INCRED. When old Incredulity had heard this speech, he cried out, ‘Treason, treason: To your arms, to your arms, O ye, the trusty friends of Diabolus in Mansoul.’

UND. ‘Sir, you may put upon my words what meaning you please, but I am sure that the captains of such an high Lord as theirs is, deserves a better treatment at your hands.’

INCRED. Then said old Incredulity, ‘This is but little better. But, Sir,’ quoth he, ‘what I spake, I spake for my prince, for his government, and the quieting of the people, whom by your unlawful actions you have this day set to mutiny against us.’

CONS. Then replied the old Recorder, whose name was Mr. Conscience, and said, ‘Sir, you ought not thus to retort upon what my Lord Understanding hath said. It is evident enough that he hath spoken the truth, and that you are an enemy to Mansoul; be convinced, then, of the evil of your saucy and malapert language, and of the grief that you have put the captains to; yea, and of the damages that you have done to Mansoul thereby. Had you accepted of the conditions, the sound of the trumpet and the alarm of war had now ceased about the town of Mansoul; but that dreadful sound abides, and your want of wisdom in your speech has been the cause of it.’

INCRED. Then said old Incredulity: ‘Sir, If I live I will do your errand to Diabolus, and there you shall have an answer to your words. Meanwhile we will seek the good of the town, and not ask counsel of you.’

UND. ‘Sir, your prince and you are both foreigners to Mansoul, and not the natives thereof. And who can tell but that when you have brought us into greater straits, when you also shall see that yourselves can be safe by no other means than by flight, you may leave us and shift for yourselves, or set us on fire, and go away in the smoke, or by the light of our burning, and so leave us in our ruins.’

INCRED. ‘Sir, you forget that you are under a governor, and that you ought to demean yourself like a subject, and know ye, when my Lord the king shall hear of this day’s work, he will give you but little thanks for your labour.’

Now while these gentlemen were thus in their chiding words, down come, from the walls and gates of the town, the Lord Will-be-will, Mr. Prejudice, old Ill-pause, and several of the new-made aldermen and burgesses, and they asked the reason of the hubbub and tumult. And with that every man began to tell his own tale, so that nothing could be heard distinctly. Then was a silence commanded, and the old fox Incredulity began to speak. ‘My Lord,’ quoth he, ‘here are a couple of peevish gentlemen, that have, as a fruit of their bad dispositions, and, as I fear, through the advice of one Mr. Discontent, tumultuously gathered this company against me this day; and also attempted to run the town into acts of rebellion against our prince.’

A skirmish ensues, and mischief is done on both sides.

Then stood up all the Diabolonians that were present, and affirmed these things to be true.

Now when they that took part with my Lord Understanding, and with Mr. Conscience, perceived that they were like to come to the worst, for that force and power was on the other side, they came in for their help and relief. So a great company was on both sides. Then they on Incredulity’s side would have had the two old gentlemen presently away to prison; but they on the other side said they should not. Then they began to cry up parties again; the Diabolonians cried up old Incredulity, Forget-good, the new aldermen, and their great one Diabolus; and the other party, they as fast cried up Shaddai, the captains, his laws, their mercifulness, and applauded their conditions and ways. Thus the bickerment went awhile, at last they passed from words to blows, and now there were knocks on both sides.

The good old gentleman, Mr. Conscience, was knocked down twice by one of the Diabolonians, whose name was Mr. Benumbing. And my Lord Understanding had like to have been slain with an harquebus, but that he that shot wanted to take his aim aright. Nor did the other side wholly escape, for there was one Mr. Rashhead, a Diabolonian, that had his brains beaten out by Mr. Mind, the Lord Will-be-will’s servant; and it made me laugh to see how old Mr. Prejudice was kicked and tumbled about in the dirt. For though a while since he was made captain of a company of the Diabolonians, to the hurt and damage of the town; yet now they had got him under their feet; and I will assure you he had by some of the Lord Understanding’s party his crown soundly cracked to boot.

Mr. Anything also, he became a brisk man in the broil, but both sides were against him, because he was true to none. Yet he had for his malapertness one of his legs broken, and he that did it wished it had been his neck. Much harm more was done on both sides, but this must not be forgotten, it was now a wonder to see my Lord Will-be-will so indifferent as he was; he did not seem to take one side more than another, only it was perceived that he smiled to see how old Prejudice was tumbled up and down in the dirt. Also when Captain Anything came halting up before him, he seemed to take but little notice of him.

John Bunyan, The Holy War

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