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Ch 20

The Third Flight of Beelzebub to the Planet Earth
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After a brief pause Beelzebub continued to speak further
as follows:
“This time I remained at home, that is, on the planet
Mars, only a short while, just long enough to see and talk
with those who had newly arrived, and to give certain directions
of a common tribal character.
“Having disposed of the said affairs, I descended again
to your planet with the intention of continuing the pursuit
of my aim, that is, the uprooting among these strange
three-centered beings of their terrifying custom of doing
as it were Divine work by destroying the existence of beings
of other brain-systems.
“On this third descent of mine to the planet Earth our
ship Occasion did not alight on the sea Kolhidious, which
is now called there Caspian Sea, but on the sea called at
that period the ‘Sea of Beneficence.’
“We decided to alight on this sea because I wished this
time to go to the capital of the beings of the second group
of the continent Ashhark, then named the City Gob,
which was situated on the southeastern shore of that sea.
“At that time, the City Gob was already a large city, and
was well known over the whole planet for its production
of the best ‘fabrics’ and the best what are called ‘precious-ornaments.’
“The City Gob was situated on both banks of the
mouth of a large river called the ‘Keria-chi’ which flowed
into the Sea of Beneficence and which had its rise in the
eastern heights of this country.
“Into this Sea of Beneficence, on its western side, another
large river flowed called the ‘Naria-chi.’
“And it was in the valleys of these two large rivers that
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the beings of the second group of the continent Ashhark
chiefly existed.
“If you wish, my dear boy, I shall also tell you a little
of the history of the rise of this group of beings of the
continent Ashhark,” Beelzebub said to Hassein.
“Yes, Grandfather, yes. I shall listen to you with great
interest and much gratitude,” replied his grandson.
Then Beelzebub began:
“A long, long time before that period to which my present
tale relates, namely, long before that second great catastrophe
to that ill-fated planet, while the continent
Atlantis was still existing and at the height of its splendor,
one of the ordinary three-centered beings of that continent
‘invented’—as my latest detailed investigations and
researches cleared up—that the powdered horn of a being
of that particular exterior form then called a ‘Pirmaral’
was very effective against what they call ‘diseases’ of every
kind. His ‘invention’ was afterwards widely spread by various
‘freaks’ on your planet, and also there was gradually
crystallized in the Reason of the ordinary beings there an
illusory directing factor, from which, by the way, there is
formed in the whole of the presence of each of your favorites,
especially of the contemporary ones, the Reason
of what is called their ‘waking-existence,’ which factor is
the chief cause of the frequent change in convictions accumulated
in them.
“Owing to just this factor, crystallized in the presences
of the three-brained beings of your planet of that period,
it became the rule that anyone, as they say, who ‘fell ill’
of some disease or other invariably had to be given this
powdered horn to swallow.
“It is not without interest to remark that Pirmarals
breed there at the present time also; but, since contemporary
beings take them merely for one of the species of
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being they collectively call ‘deer,’ they have no special name
for them.
“So, my boy, as the beings of the continent Atlantis destroyed
very many beings of that form for the sake of
these horns, they very soon became extinct.
“Then a number of beings of that continent, who had by
this time already made a profession of hunting these beings,
went hunting for them on other continents and islands.
“This hunting was very difficult, because for the capture
of these Pirmarals a great many of these hunter-beings
were required; so these professional hunters always
took their whole families with them for assistance.
“Once several of these hunter families joined together
and set off to hunt the Pirmarals on a very remote continent
then called ‘Iranan,’ which later, after having been
changed owing to the second catastrophe, was called ‘the
continent Ashhark.’
“This was the same continent your contemporary favorites
now call Asia.’
“For my further tales concerning these three-brained
beings who have taken your fancy, it will be very useful
for you, I think, if I emphasize here that on account of
various disturbances during the second terrestrial catastrophe,
several parts of the continent Iranan entered
within the planet, and other terra firmas emerged in their
place and attached themselves to this continent, which in
consequence became considerably changed and became in
size almost what the continent Atlantis had been for the
planet Earth before the catastrophe.
“Well, then, my boy, while this said group of hunters
were once with their families pursuing a herd of these Pirmarals,
they reached the shores of the water-space which
was later called the Sea of Beneficence.
“Both the sea itself and its rich and fertile shores so
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greatly pleased this group of hunters that they did
not wish to return to the continent Atlantis, and
from that time on they remained to exist there, on those
shores.
“That country was at that time indeed so excellent and
so ‘Sooptaninalnian’ for ordinary being-existence that no
being who could think at all could help liking it.
“On that ‘terra firma part of the surface of your planet,
not only did there exist at that period multitudes of two-brained
beings of the said exterior form, namely, Pirmarals,
but around this water-space were also multitudes of
various kinds of ‘fruit trees,’ whose fruit then still served
for your favorites as the principal product for their ‘first
being-food.’
“There were then also so many of the one-brained and
two-brained beings which your favorites call ‘birds’ that
when they flew in droves it became, as your favorites say,
’quite dark.’
“The water-space situated in the middle of that country
and then named the Sea of Beneficence so abounded
with fish that they could almost be caught, as they also
say, with one’s bare hands.
“As for the soil of the shores of the Sea of Beneficence
and also of the valleys of the two large rivers flowing into
it, any part of them could be adapted for growing anything
you like.
“In short, both the climate of this country and everything
else so delighted the hunters and their families that
none of them, as I have already said, had any desire to return
to the continent Atlantis, and from that time on they
remained there, and soon adapting themselves to everything,
multiplied and existed, as is said, ‘on-a-bed-of-roses.’
“At this place in my tale I must tell you about an extraordinary
coincidence which later had great consequences
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both for the first beings of this second group and for their
descendants of most recent times.
“It seems that at the time when the said hunters from
the continent Atlantis reached the Sea of Beneficence and
decided to settle there, there was already existing on the
shores of the same sea a being from the continent Atlantis
who was at that time very important and who belonged
to the sect of Astrosovors’ and who was a member of a
learned society, the like of which has never since appeared
on that planet Earth and probably never will.
“This learned society then existed under the name of
Akhaldan.’
“And this member of the Akhaldans reached the shores
of the Sea of Beneficence on account of the following:
“Just before the second great catastrophe those genuine
learned beings then existing on the continent Atlantis,
who had organized that truly great learned society there,
somehow became aware that something very serious had
to happen in Nature, so they began to observe very carefully
all the natural phenomena of their continent; but
however hard they tried, they could in no way find out
what precisely had to happen.
“A little later on and with the same aim, they sent some
of their members to other continents and islands, in order,
by means of these common observations, perhaps to
be able to find out what was impending.
“The members sent were to observe not only Nature on
the planet Earth, but also every kind of, as they then expressed
themselves there, ‘heavenly-phenomena.’
“One of these members, namely, the mentioned important
being, had chosen the continent Iranan for his
observations and, having migrated there with his servants,
had settled on the shores of the said water-space later
called the Sea of Beneficence.
“It was just this same learned member of the society
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Akhaldan who once chanced to meet certain of the mentioned
hunters on the shores of the said Sea of Beneficence,
and having learned that they had also come from
the continent Atlantis, was naturally very glad, and began
to establish relations with them.
“And when, shortly afterwards, the continent Atlantis
entered within the planet and this learned Akhaldan
member had no longer any place to return to, he remained
to exist with these hunters in that future Maralpleicie.
“A little later this group of hunters chose this learned
being, as the cleverest, to be their chief, and still later . . .
this member of the great society Akhaldan married the
daughter named Rimala of one of the hunters, and afterwards
shared fully in the lives of the founders of the beings
of that second group of the continent Iranan, or, as
it is called at the present time, Asia.’
“A long time passed.
“The beings of this place on the planet Earth were also
born and were again destroyed; and the general level of the
psyche of this kind of Earth-beings was thereby changed,
of course at times for the better, at times for the worse.
“Multiplying, these beings gradually spread over this
country more and more widely, although always preferring
the shores of the Sea of Beneficence and the valleys
of those two large rivers which flowed into it.
“Only much later the center of their common existence
was formed on the southeastern shore of the sea; and this
place they called the city Gob. This city became the chief
place of existence for the head of this second group of beings
of the continent Ashhark, whom they called ‘king.’
“The duties of this king were here also hereditary and
this inheritance began with the first chosen chief, who was
the said learned member of the learned society Akhaldan.
“At the time to which the tale I began refers, the king
for the beings of that second group was the grandson of
his great grandson, and his name was ‘Konuzion.’
“My latest detailed investigations and researches
showed that there had been actualized by that same King
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Konuzion exceedingly wise and most beneficent measures
for uprooting a terrifying evil which had arisen among the
beings who by the will of Fate had become his subjects.
And he had actualized these said most wise and beneficent
measures for the following reason:
“This same King Konuzion once constated that the beings
of his community were becoming less and less capable
of work, and that crimes, robberies, and violence and
many other such things as had never occurred before were
on the increase among them, or, if they had occurred, had
seemed to be quite exceptional phenomena.
“These constatations surprised and at the same time
grieved King Konuzion, who after thinking deeply about
it, decided to find out the causes of this sorrowful phenomenon.
“After long observations he finally cleared up for himself
that the cause of the phenomenon was a new habit of
the beings of his community, namely, their habit of chewing
the seed of a plant then called ‘Gulgulian.’ This surplanetary
formation also arises on the planet Earth at the
present time, and those of your favorites who consider
themselves ‘educated’ call it ‘Papaveroon,’ but the ordinary
beings simply call it the ‘poppy.’
“Here it must without fail be noticed that the beings of
Maralpleicie then only had a passion for chewing those
seeds of the mentioned surplanetary formation which had
without fail to be gathered at the time of what is called
’ripeness.’
“In the course of his further close observations and impartial
investigations King Konuzion clearly understood that
these seeds contained a ‘something’ that could completely
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change, for the time being, all the established habits of the
psyche of those beings who introduced this something
into themselves, with the result that they saw, understood,
felt, sensed, and acted quite otherwise than they were previously
accustomed to see, sense, act, and so on.
“For instance, a crow would appear to them to be
a peacock; a trough of water, a sea; a harsh clatter, music;
good will, enmity; insults, love; and so on and so
forth.
“When King Konuzion became clearly convinced of all
this, he immediately dispatched everywhere trusted and
faithful subjects of his strictly to command in his name all
beings of his community to cease chewing the seeds of the
mentioned plant; he also arranged for the punishment
and fine of those beings who should disobey this order.
“Thanks to these measures of his, the chewing of the
said seeds seemed to diminish in the country of Maralpleicie;
but after a very short time it was discovered that
the number of those who chewed had only seemingly diminished;
in reality, they were even more than before.
“Having understood this, the wise King Konuzion
thereupon resolved to punish still more severely those who
should continue chewing; and at the same time he
strengthened the surveillance of his subjects and also the
strictness of the enforcement of the punishment of the
guilty.
“And he himself began going about everywhere in the
city of Gob, personally examining the guilty and impressing
them by various punishments, physical and moral.
“In spite of all this, however, the desired result was not
obtained, as the number of those who chewed increased
more and more in the city of Gob itself, and corresponding
reports from other places in the territories subject to
him also increased daily.
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“It then became clear that the number of those who
chewed had increased still more because many of the three-brained
beings who had never previously chewed now
began chewing merely out of what is called ‘curiosity,’
which is one of the peculiarities of the psyche of the three-brained
beings of that planet which has taken your fancy,
that is to say, curiosity to find out what effect those seeds
had, the chewing of which was prohibited and punished
by the king with such insistence and relentless severity.
“I must emphasize here, that though the said particularity
of their psyche began to be crystallized in your favorites
immediately after the loss of Atlantis, yet in none
of the beings of former epochs did it function so blatantly
as it does now in the contemporary three-brained beings
there; they have more of it perhaps, than there are hairs
on a ‘Toosook.’
“So, my boy . . .
“When the wise King Konuzion finally became quite
convinced that it was not possible by the described measures
to extirpate the passion for chewing the seeds of Gulgulian,
and saw that the only result of his measures was the
death of several who were punished, he abrogated all the
measures he had previously taken and again began to think
seriously about a search for some other real means for destroying
this evil, lamentable for his community.
“As I learned much later—owing to a very ancient surviving
monument—the great King Konuzion then returned
to his chamber and for eighteen days neither ate
nor drank but only very seriously thought and thought.
“It must in any case be noticed here, that those latest
researches of mine showed that King Konuzion was then
particularly anxious to find a means of uprooting this evil,
because all the affairs of his community were going from
bad to worse.
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“The beings who were addicted to this passion almost
ceased to work; the flow of what is called money into the
communal treasury entirely ceased and the ultimate ruin
of the community seemed to be inevitable.
“Finally the wise king decided to deal with this evil
indirectly, namely, by playing on the weaknesses in the
psyche of the beings of his community. With this aim he
invented a very original ‘religious doctrine’ corresponding
to the psyche of the beings of that time; and this invention
of his he spread broadcast among all his subjects by
every means at his disposal.
“In this religious doctrine it was said, among other
things, that far from our continent Ashhark was a larger
island where existed our ‘Mister God.’
“I must tell you that in those days not one of the ordinary
beings knew that, besides their planet Earth, other
cosmic concentrations existed.
“The beings of the planet Earth of those days were even
certain that the scarcely visible ‘white-points’ far away in
space were nothing more than the pattern on the Veil’ of
the ‘world,’ that is to say, just of their planet; as, in their
notions then, the ‘whole-world’ consisted, as I have said,
of their planet alone.
“They were also convinced that this veil was supported
like a canopy on special pillars, the ends of which rested
on their planet.
“In that ingeniously original ‘religious doctrine’ of the
wise King Konuzion it was said that Mister God had intentionally
attached to our souls the organs and limbs we
now have to protect us against our environment, and to
enable us efficiently and profitably to serve both himself
personally and the ‘souls’ already taken to that island of His.
“And when we die and our soul is liberated from all
these specially attached organs and limbs, it becomes
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what it should really be, and is then immediately taken
just to this island of His, where our Mister God, in accordance
with how our soul with its added parts has existed
here on our continent Ashhark, assigns to it an
appropriate place for its further existence.
“If the soul has fulfilled its duties honestly and conscientiously,
Mister God leaves it, for its further existence,
on His island; but the soul that here on the continent
Ashhark has idled or discharged its duties indolently and
negligently, that has in short, existed only for the gratification
of the desires of the parts attached to it, or finally,
that has not kept His commandments—such a soul our
Mister God sends for its further existence to a neighboring
island of smaller size.
“Here, on the continent Ashhark, exist many ‘spirits’
attendant upon Him, who walk among us in ‘caps-of-invisibility,’
thanks to which they can constantly watch us
unnoticed and either inform our Mister God of all our
doings or report them to Him on the ‘Day-of-Judgment.’
“We cannot in any way conceal from them, either any
of our doings, or any of our thoughts.
“It was still further said that just like our continent
Ashhark, all the other continents and islands of the world
had been created by our Mister God and now existed as I
have said, only to serve Him and the deserving ‘souls’ already
dwelling on His island.
“The continents and islands of the world are all places,
as it were, for preparation, and storehouses for everything
necessary for this island of His.
“That island on which Mister God Himself and the deserving
souls exist is called ‘Paradise,’ and existence there
is just ‘Roses, Roses.’
“All its rivers are of milk, their banks of honey; nobody
needs to toil or work there; everything necessary for a
happy, carefree, and blissful existence is there, because
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everything requisite is supplied there in superabundance
from our own and the other continents and islands of the
world.
“This island Paradise is full of young and lovely women,
of all the peoples and races of the world; and each of them
belongs for the asking to the ‘soul’ that desires her.
“In certain public squares of that superb island, mountains
of various articles of adornment are always kept,
from the most brilliant diamonds to the deepest turquoise;
and every ‘soul’ can take anything he likes, also
without the least hindrance.
“In other public squares of that beatific island are piled
huge mountains of sweetmeats specially prepared with
essence of ‘poppy’ and ‘hemp’; and every ‘soul’ may take
as much as he pleases at any time of the day or night.
“There are no diseases there; and of course, none of
those ‘lice’ or ‘flies’ that give us all no peace here, and
blight our whole existence.
“The other, smaller island, to which our Mister God
sends for their further existence the ‘souls’ whose temporary
physical parts have been idle here and have not existed
according to His commandments, is called ‘Hell.’
“All the rivers of this island are of burning pitch; the
whole air stinks like a skunk at bay. Swarms of horrible
beings blow police-whistles in every square; and all the
’furniture,’ ‘carpets,’ ‘beds,’ and so on there, are made of
fine needles with their points sticking out.
“One very salted cake is given once a day to every ‘soul’
on this island; and there is not a single drop of drinking
water there. Many other things are also there of a kind
that the beings of Earth not only would not like to encounter,
but not even experience in thought.
“When I first came to the country of Maralpleicie, all
the three-brained beings of that country were followers
of a ‘religion’ based on the just-mentioned ingenious
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‘religious-doctrine,’ and this ‘religion’ was then in full
bloom.
“To the inventor himself of this ingenious ‘religious-doctrine,’
namely, the wise King Konuzion, the sacred
’Rascooarno’ had occurred long before this time, that is to
say, he had long previously ‘died.’
“But of course owing once again to the strangeness of
the psyche of your favorites, his invention had taken such
a strong hold there that not a single being in the whole
country of Maralpleicie then doubted the truth of its peculiar
tenets.
“Here also in the city Gob, from the first day of my arrival,
I began visiting the ‘Kaltaani,’ which were already
called ‘Chaihana.’
“It must be noticed that although the custom of Sacrificial-
Offerings was also flourishing at that period in the
country of Maralpleicie, it was not on the large scale on
which it had flourished in the country Tikliamish.
“There in the city Gob I began deliberately looking for
a corresponding being, in order to make friends with him,
as I had in the city Koorkalai.
“And indeed I soon found such a friend here also, but
this time he was not a ‘priest’ by profession.
“My friend here turned out to be the proprietor of a
large Chaihana; and although I became, as it is said there,
on very good terms with him, nevertheless I never had
that strange ‘tie’ with him which arose in my essence towards
the priest Abdil in the city Koorkalai.
“Although I had already existed a whole month in the
city Gob, I had neither decided upon nor undertaken anything
practical for my aim. I simply wandered about the
city Gob, visiting first the various Chaihana, and only
later the Chaihana of my new friend there.
“During this time I became familiar with many of the
manners and customs of this second group and also with
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the fine points of their religion; and at the end of the
month I decided to attain my aim here also, through their
religion.
“After serious pondering I found it necessary to add
something to the ‘religious-doctrine’ existing there, and I
counted on being able, like the wise King Konuzion, to
spread this addition of mine effectively among them.
“Just then I invented that those spirits in ‘caps-of-invisibility’
who, as it was said in that great religion,
watch our deeds and thoughts in order to report them
later to our Mister God, are none other than just the beings
of other forms, which exist among us.
“It is just they who watch us and report everything to
our Mister God.
“But we people not only fail to pay them their due
honor and respect, but we even destroy their existences for
our food as well as for our Sacrificial-Offerings.
“I particularly emphasized in my preaching that not
only ought we not to destroy the existence of the beings
of other forms in honor of Mister God, but that, on the
contrary, we ought to try to win their favor and to beseech
them at least not to report to Mister God those little evil
acts of ours which we do involuntarily.
“And this addition of mine I began to spread by every
possible means; of course, very cautiously.
“At first, I spread this invention of mine through my
new friend there, the proprietor of the Chaihana.
“I must tell you that his Chaihana was almost the
largest in the whole city Gob; and it was very famous for
its reddish liquid, of which the beings of the planet Earth
are very fond.
“So there were always a great many customers there,
and it was open day and night.
“Not only did the inhabitants of the city itself go there,
but also all the visitors from the whole of Maralpleicie.
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“I soon became quite expert in talking with and persuading
individual customers as well as all those present
in the Chaihana.
“My new friend himself, the proprietor of the Chaihana,
believed my invention so firmly that he didn’t know
what to do with himself, for repentance for his past.
“He was in constant agitation and bitterly repented his
previous disrespectful attitude and his treatment of the
various beings of other forms.
“Becoming day by day a more ardent preacher of my
invention, he thereby not only helped to spread it in his
own Chaihana, but he even began of his own accord to
visit other Chaihana in the city Gob, in order to spread
the truth which had so agitated him.
“He preached in the market places, and several times
made special visits to the holy places, of which there were
then already many in the outskirts of the city Gob, and
which had been established in honor or in memory of
somebody or something.
“It is very interesting to remark here that the information
that serves on the planet Earth for the rise of a holy
place is usually due to certain Earth beings called ‘Liars.’
“This disease of ‘lying’ is also very widespread there.
“On the planet Earth people lie consciously and unconsciously.
“And they consciously lie there when they can obtain
some personal material advantage by lying; and they unconsciously
lie there when they fall ill with the disease
called ‘Hysteria.’
“In addition to the proprietor of the Chaihana there in
the city Gob, a number of other beings very soon began
unconsciously to assist me, who, like the proprietor of the
Chaihana, had meanwhile become ardent supporters of
my invention; and all the beings of that second group of
Asiatic beings were soon eagerly spreading this invention
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of mine and persuading each other of it as an indubitable
’truth’ that had suddenly been revealed.
“The result of it all was that there in the country of
Maralpleicie, not only were Sacrificial-Offerings indeed
diminished, but they even began to treat the beings of
other forms with unprecedented attention.
“Such comical farces very soon began there that though
I myself was the author of the invention, I nevertheless
found it very difficult to refrain from laughter.
“Such comical farces occurred as, for instance, the following:
a highly respectable and wealthy merchant of the
city Gob would be riding in the morning on his donkey
to his own shop and on the way a motley crowd of beings
would drag this respectable merchant off his donkey and
thoroughly maul him because he had dared to ride on it;
and then the crowd, bowing low, would escort the donkey
on which the merchant had been riding, wherever it
chose to go.
“Or, what is called a ‘woodcutter’ would be hauling
wood to market with his own oxen from the forest to the
town.
“A mob of citizens would drag him also off his cart and
after mauling him, very gently unyoke the oxen and escort
them wherever they wished to go.
“And if the cart were seen in a part of the city where it
might hold up the traffic, the mob of citizens would
themselves drag the cart to the market and leave it there
to its fate.
“Thanks to this invention of mine, various quite new
customs were very soon created in the city Gob.
“As, for instance, the custom was established there of
placing troughs in all the squares, public places, and at the
crossroads of the town, where residents of the city Gob
could in the morning throw their choicest morsels of food
for dogs and other stray beings of various forms; and
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at sunrise, throw into the Sea of Beneficence every kind of
food for the beings called ‘fishes.’
“But the most peculiar of all was the custom of paying
attention to the voices of beings of various forms.
“As soon as they heard the voice of a being of any form,
they immediately began to praise the names of their gods
and to await their blessing.
“It might be the crowing of a cock, the barking of a
dog, the mewing of a cat, the squealing of an ape, or so
on. ... It would always startle them.
“Here it is interesting to notice that for some reason or
other they would always on these occasions raise their
heads and look upwards, even though, according to the
teaching of their religion, their god and his assistants were
supposed to exist on the same level as themselves, and not
where they directed their eyes and prayers.
“It was extremely interesting at these moments to
watch their faces.”
“Pardon me, your Right Reverence,” interrupted at that
moment Beelzebub’s old devoted servant Ahoon, who had
also been listening with great interest to his tales.
“Do you remember, your Right Reverence, how many
times in that same city Gob we ourselves had to flop
down in the streets during the cries of beings of different
forms?”
To this remark, Beelzebub said:
“Certainly I remember, dear Ahoon. How could I forget
such comical impressions?
“You must know,” he then continued, turning to Hassein
again, “that the beings of the planet Earth are inconceivably
proud and touchy. If someone does not share
their views or agree to do as they do, or criticizes their
manifestations, they are, oh, very indignant and offended.
“If one had the power, he would order whoever dared
not to do as he did, or who criticized his conduct, to be
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shut up in the kind of room which is usually infested by
innumerable what are called ‘rats’ and ‘lice.’
“And at times, if the offended one had greater physical
strength, and an important power-possessing being with
whom he was not on very good terms was not watching
him, he would simply maul the offender as the Russian
Sidor once mauled his favorite goat.
“Very well knowing this aspect also of their strange psyche,
I had no desire to offend them and to incur their
wrath; furthermore, I was always profoundly aware that
to outrage anybody’s religious feeling is contrary to all
morality, so, when existing among them, I always tried to
do as they did, in order not to be conspicuous and attract
their attention.
“Here it does no harm to notice that owing to the existing
abnormal conditions of ordinary existence there
among your favorites, the three-brained beings of that
strange planet Earth, especially during recent centuries,
only those beings who manifest themselves, not as the majority
of them do, but somehow or other, more absurdly,
become noticed and consequently honored by the rest; and
the more absurd their manifestations and the more stupid,
mean, and insolent the ‘tricks’ they play, the more noticed
and famous they become, and the greater is the number of
the beings on the given continent and even on other continents
who know them personally or at least by name.
“On the other hand, no honest being who does not
manifest himself absurdly will ever become famous among
other beings or even be simply noticed, however good-natured
and sensible he may be in himself.
“And so, my boy, what our Ahoon so mischievously reminded
me about concerned just that custom, which developed
there in the city Gob, of attaching significance to
the voices of beings of various forms and particularly to
the voice of what are called ‘donkeys,’ of which there
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were then, for some reason or other, a great many in the
city Gob.
“The beings of all other forms of that planet also manifest
themselves by voice, but at a definite time. For instance,
the cock cries at midnight, an ape in the morning
when it is hungry, and so on, but donkeys there bray
whenever it enters their heads to do so, and in consequence
you may hear the voice of that silly being there at
any time of the day or night.
“So, my boy, it was established there in the city Gob
that as soon as the sound of the voice of the donkey was
heard, all who heard it had to flop down immediately and
offer up prayers to their god and to their revered idols and,
I must add, these donkeys usually have a very loud voice
by nature and their voices carry a long way.
“Well, then, as we walked along the streets of the city
Gob and saw the citizens flopping down at the braying of
every donkey, we had to flop down likewise so as not to
be distinguished from the others; and it was just this
comical custom, I see now, that tickled our old Ahoon so
much.
“You noticed, my dear Hassein, with what venomous
satisfaction our old man reminded me, after so many centuries,
of that comical situation of mine.”
Having said this, Beelzebub, smiling, went on with the
tale he had begun.
“It is needless to say,” he continued, “that there also, in
this second center of culture of the three-brained beings
of your planet, breeding there on the continent of Ashhark,
the destruction of beings of other forms for Sacrificial-
Offerings entirely ceased; and, if isolated instances
occurred, the beings of that group themselves settled accounts
with the offenders without compunction.
“Having thus become convinced that there also, among
that second group of beings of the continent Ashhark, I
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had succeeded so easily in uprooting, for a long time, the
custom of Sacrificial-Offerings, I decided to leave; but I
had it in mind, in any event, to visit also the nearest large
points where the beings of the same second group were
breeding; and I chose for this purpose the region of the
course of the river ‘Naria-Chi.’
“Soon after this decision, I sailed with Ahoon to the
mouth of this river, and began to sail up against its current,
having become persuaded that there had already
passed from the beings of the city Gob to the beings of this
group populating these large centers the same new customs
and the same notions concerning Sacrificial-Offerings by
the destruction of the existence of other beings.
“We finally arrived at a small town called ‘Arguenia,’
which in those days was considered the most remote point
of the country Maralpleicie.
“Here also there existed a fair number of beings of this
second Asiatic group who were engaged chiefly in obtaining
from Nature what is called ‘turquoise.’
“There in the small town of Arguenia I began, as usual,
to visit their various Chaihana, and there also I continued
my usual procedure.”
Subpages (1): Ch 21
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