UPON that planet Earth,” Beelzebub began to relate, “I descended for the first time on account of a young being of our tribe who had had the misfortune to become deeply involved with a three-brained being there, as a consequence of which he had got himself mixed up in a very stupid affair.
“There once came to my house on the planet Mars a number of beings of our tribe, also dwelling there on Mars, with the following request:
“They told me that one of their young kinsmen, 350 Martian years before, had migrated to exist on the planet Earth, and that a very disagreeable incident for all of us, his kinsmen, had recently occurred to him there.
“They told me further:
“‘We, his kinsmen, both those existing there on the planet Earth and those existing here on the planet Mars, intended at first to deal with the unpleasant incident ourselves, with our own resources. But notwithstanding all our efforts and the measures we have adopted we have been unable so far to accomplish anything.
“‘And being now finally convinced that we are unable to settle this unpleasant affair by ourselves independently, we venture to trouble you, your Right Reverence, and urgently beseech you to be so kind as not to withhold from us your wise advice how we may find a way out of our unhappy situation.’
“They told me further in detail in what the misfortune which had befallen them consisted.
“From all they told me I saw that the incident was disagreeable not only for this young being’s kinsmen, but that it might also prove disagreeable for the beings of all our tribe.
[15. First descent upon Earth, p. 110]
“So I could not help deciding at once to undertake to help them to settle this difficulty of theirs.
“At first I tried to help them while remaining on the planet Mars, but when I became certain that it would be impossible to do anything effective from the planet Mars, I decided to descend to the planet Earth and there, on the spot, to find some way out. The next day after this decision of mine, I took with me everything necessary which I had at hand and flew there on the ship Occasion.
“I may remind you that the ship Occasion was the ship on which all the beings of our tribe were transported to that solar system and as I have already told you, it was left there for the use of the beings of our tribe for the purpose of interplanetary communication.
“The permanent port of this ship was on the planet Mars; and its supreme direction had been given me from Above.
“Thus it was on this same ship Occasion that I made my first descent to the planet Earth.
“Our ship landed on this first visit of mine, on the shores of just that continent which during the second catastrophe to this planet, disappeared entirely from its surface.
“This continent was called ‘Atlantis’ and most of the three-brained beings and likewise most of the beings of our tribe then existed only upon it.
“Having descended, I went straight from the ship Occasion to the city named ‘Samlios,’ situated on the said continent, where that unfortunate being of our tribe, who was the cause of this descent of mine, had the place of his existence.
“The city ‘Samlios’ was then a very large city, and was the capital of the largest community then on the planet Earth.
[15. First descent upon Earth, p. 111]
“In this same city the head of this large community existed who was called ‘King Appolis.’
“And it was with just this same King Appolis that our young, inexperienced countryman had become involved.
“And it was in this city of ‘Samlios’ itself that I learned all the details of this affair.
“I learned, namely, that before this incident our unfortunate countryman had for some reason been on friendly terms with this king Appolis, and was often at his house.
“As it transpired, our young countryman once, in the course of conversation, during a visit to the house of King Appolis, made a ‘wager’ which was just the cause of all that followed.
“You must first of all know that both the community of which King Appolis was the head, and the city of Samlios where he existed were at that period the greatest and richest of all the communities and cities then existing on the Earth.
“For the upkeep of all this wealth and grandeur King Appolis certainly needed both a great deal of what is called ‘money’ and a great deal of labor from the ordinary beings of that community.
“It is necessary to premise just here that at the period of my first descent in person on to this planet, the organ Kundabuffer was no longer in the three-brained beings who interest you.
“And it was only in some of the three-brained beings there that various consequences of the properties of that for them maleficent organ had already begun to be crystallized.
“In the period to which this tale of mine refers, one of the consequences of the properties of this organ which had already become thoroughly crystallized in a number of beings there, was that consequence of the property which, while the organ Kundabuffer itself was still functioning in them had enabled them very easily and without any ‘remorse-of-conscience’ not to carry out voluntarily any duties taken upon themselves or given them by a superior. But every duty they fulfilled was fulfilled only from the fear and apprehension of ‘threats’ and ‘menaces’ from outside.
[15. First descent upon Earth, p. 112]
“It was just in this same consequence of this property already thoroughly crystallized in some beings of that period there, that the cause of this whole incident lay.
“And so, my boy, this is how it was. King Appolis who had been extremely conscientious in respect of the duties he had taken upon himself for the maintenance of the greatness of the community entrusted to him had spared neither his own labor nor wealth, and at the same time he demanded the same from all the beings of his community.
“But, as I have already said, the mentioned consequences of the organ Kundabuffer having by that time been thoroughly crystallized in certain of his subjects, he had to employ every possible kind of ‘threat’ and ‘menace’ in order to extract from everybody all that was required for the greatness of the community entrusted to him.
“His methods were so varied and at the same time so reasonable that even those of his ‘subjects-beings’ in whom the said consequences had already been crystallized could not help respecting him, although they added to his name, of course behind his back, the nickname ‘Arch-cunning.’
“And so, my boy, these means by which King Appolis then obtained what was necessary from his subjects for the maintenance of the greatness of the community entrusted to him seemed to our young countryman, for some reason or other, unjust, and, as it was said, he often became very indignant and restless whenever he happened to hear of some new device of King Appolis for getting what was necessary.
[15. First descent upon Earth, p. 113]
“And once, while talking with the King himself, our naive young countryman could not restrain himself, but expressed to his face his indignation and his views of this ‘unconscionable’ conduct of King Appolis towards his subjects.
“Not only did King Appolis not fly into a temper, as usually happens on the planet Earth when somebody pokes his nose where he has no business, nor did he pitch him out by the scruff of his neck, but he even talked it over with him and discussed the reasons for his ‘severity.’
“They talked a great deal and the result of the whole of their conversation was precisely a ‘wager,’ that is to say they made an agreement and set it down on paper, and each of them signed it with his own blood.
“Among other things there was included in this agreement that for the obtaining from his subjects of all that was necessary King Appolis should be obliged to employ thereafter only those measures and means which should be indicated by our countryman.
“And in the event that all his subjects should fail to contribute all that which according to custom was required, then our countryman would become responsible for everything, and he pledged himself to procure for the treasury of King Appolis as much as was necessary for the maintenance and further aggrandizement of the capital and of the whole community.
“And so, my boy, King Appolis did indeed, from the very next day, fulfill very honorably the obligation which according to the agreement he had assumed; and he conducted the whole government of the country exactly according to the indications of our young countryman. The results of a government of this kind, however, very soon proved to be quite the opposite of those expected by our simpleton.
[15. First descent upon Earth, p. 114]
“The subjects of that community – principally, of course, those in whom the said consequences of the properties of the organ Kundabuffer had already been crystallized – not only ceased to pay into King Appolis’ treasury what was required, but they even began gradually snatching back what had been put in before.
“As our countryman had undertaken to contribute what was needed and, furthermore, had signed his undertaking with his blood – and you know, don’t you, what the voluntary undertaking of an obligation, especially when signed with his blood, means to one of our tribe – he had of course soon to begin making up to the treasury all that was short.
“He first put in everything he had himself, and afterwards everything he could get from his nearest, dwelling also there on the planet Earth. And when he had drained dry his nearest there, he addressed himself for assistance to his nearests dwelling on the planet Mars.
“But soon on the planet Mars also everything ran dry and still the treasury of the city of Samlios demanded more and again more; nor was the end of its needs in sight.
“It was just then that all the kinsmen of this countryman of ours became alarmed and thereupon they decided to address themselves to me with the request to help them out of their plight.
“So, my boy, when we arrived in the said city I was met by all the beings of our tribe, both old and young, who had remained on that planet.
“In the evening of the same day a general meeting was called to confer together to find some way out of the situation that had arisen.
“To this conference of ours there was also invited King Appolis himself with whom our elder countrymen had already previously had many talks on this matter with this aim in view.
[15. First descent upon Earth, p. 115]
“At this first general conference of ours, King Appolis, addressing himself to all, said as follows:
“‘I personally am deeply sorry for what has occurred and what has brought about so many troubles for those assembled here; and I am distressed in all my being that it is beyond my power to extricate you from your prospective difficulties.
“‘You must know, indeed,’ King Appolis continued, ‘that the machinery of the government of my community which has been wound up and organized during many centuries, is at the present time already radically changed; and to revert to the old order is already impossible without serious consequences, namely, without those consequences which must doubtless evoke the indignation of the majority of my subjects. The present situation is such that I alone am not able to abolish what has been created without provoking the mentioned serious consequences, and I therefore beg you all in the name of Justice to help me to deal with it.
“‘Still further,’ he then added, ‘I bitterly reproach myself in the presence of you all, because I also am greatly to blame for all these misfortunes.
“‘And I am to blame because I ought to have foreseen what has occurred, since I have existed in these conditions longer than my opponent and your kinsman, namely, he with whom I made the agreement known to you.
“‘To tell the truth it was unpardonable of me to risk entering into such conditions with a being who, although me may be of much higher Reason than I, is, nevertheless, not so practiced in such affairs as I am.
“‘Once more I beg all of you, and your Right Reverence in particular, to forgive me and to help me out of this sad plight, and enable me to find some issue from the situation that has been created.
[15. First descent upon Earth, p. 116]
“‘With things as they now are, I can at present do only what you will indicate.’
“After King Appolis had left, we decided the same evening to select from among ourselves several experienced elderly beings who should weigh together, that same night, all the data and draw up a rough plan for further action.
“The rest of us then departed on the understanding that we should assemble the ensuing evening at the same place; but to this second conference of ours King Appolis was not invited.
“When we assembled the next day, one of the elder beings, elected the night before, first reported as follows:
“‘We pondered and deliberated the whole night upon all the details of this lamentable event, and as a result we have unanimously come to the conclusion first of all that there is no way out but to revert to the former conditions of government.
“‘Further, we all, and also unanimously, agree that to return to the former order of government must indeed inevitably provoke a revolt of the citizens of the community, and, of course, that there will certainly follow all those consequences of revolt which have already become inevitable in such circumstances during recent times on Earth.
“‘And of course, as has also become usual here, many of those so-called “power-possessing” beings of this community will suffer terribly, even possibly to the degree of their complete destruction; and above all, it seemed impossible that King Appolis could escape such a fate.
“‘Thereafter we deliberated in order, if possible, to devise some means of diverting the said unhappy consequences at least from King Appolis himself.
[15. First descent upon Earth, p. 117]
“‘And we had every wish to devise such a means because at our general conference yesterday evening King Appolis himself was very frank and friendly towards us, and we should all be extremely sorry if he himself should suffer.
“‘During our further prolonged deliberations we came to the conclusion that it would be possible to divert the blow from King Appolis only if during the said revolt the exhibition of the fury of the rebellious beings of this community was directed not against the King himself but against those around him, that is, those who are there called his “administration.”
“‘But then the question arose among us, would those near the King be willing to take upon themselves the consequences of all this?
“‘And we came to the categorical conclusion that they certainly would not agree, because they would assuredly consider that the King himself had been alone to blame for it all, and that therefore he himself should pay for it.
“‘Having come to all these aforesaid conclusions we finally also unanimously decided as follows:
“‘In order at least to save King Appolis from what is inevitably expected, we must with the consent of the King himself replace all the beings in this community who now hold responsible posts, by beings of our tribe, and each of these latter, during the climax of this “psychosis” of the masses must take upon himself a share of the consequences anticipated.’
“When this elected being of ours had finished his report, our opinion was quickly formed; and a unanimous resolution was carried to do just as the elder beings of our tribe had advised.
“And thereupon we first sent one of our elder beings to King Appolis to put our plan before him, to which the latter agreed, once more repeating his promise, namely, that he would do everything according to our directions.
[15. First descent upon Earth, p. 118]
“We then decided to delay no longer and from the following day to begin to replace all the officials by our own.
“But after two days it turned out that there were not sufficient beings of our tribe dwelling on the planet Earth to replace all the officials of that community; and we therefore immediately sent the Occasion back to the planet Mars for our beings there.
“And meanwhile King Appolis guided by two of our elder beings, began under different pretexts replacing various officials by our beings, at first in the capital of Samlios itself.
“And when several days later our ship Occasion arrived from the planet Mars with beings of our tribe, similar replacements were made in the provinces also, and soon everywhere in that community what are called the responsible posts were filled by the beings of our tribe.
“And when all had been changed in this way, King Appolis, always under the guidance of these elder beings of ours, began the restoration of the former code of regulations for the administration of the community.
“Almost from the very first days of the restoration of the old code, the effects upon the general psyche of the beings of that community in whom the consequences of the mentioned property of the maleficent organ Kundabuffer had already been thoroughly crystallized began, as it was expected, to manifest themselves.
“Thus the expected discontent grew thereupon from day to day, until one day, not long after, there occurred just that which has ever since been definitely proper to be present in the presence of the three-brained beings there of all ensuing periods, and that is, to produce from time to time the process which they themselves nowadays call ‘revolution.’
“And during their revolution of that time, as it has also become proper there to these three-brained phenomena of our Great Universe, they destroyed a great deal of the property which they had accumulated during centuries, much of what is called ‘knowledge’ which they had attained during centuries also was destroyed and lost forever, and the existence of those other beings similar to themselves who had already chanced upon the means of freeing themselves from the consequences of the properties of the organ Kundabuffer were also destroyed.
[15. First descent upon Earth, p. 119]
“It is extremely interesting to notice here one exceedingly astonishing and incomprehensible fact.
“And that is that during their later revolutions of this kind, almost all the three-brained beings there or at least the overwhelming majority who begin to fall into such a ‘psychosis,’ always destroy for some reason or other, the existence of just such other beings like themselves, as have, for some reason or other, chanced to find themselves more or less on the track of the means of becoming free from the crystallization in themselves of the consequences of the properties of that maleficent organ Kundabuffer which unfortunately their ancestors possessed.
“So, my boy, while the process of this revolution of theirs was running its course, King Appolis himself existed in one of his suburban palaces of the city of Samlios.
“Nobody laid a finger on him, because our beings had arranged by their propaganda that the whole blame should be placed not upon King Appolis but upon those surrounding him, that is, as they are called, his administration.
“Moreover, the beings who had fallen into the said psychosis even ‘suffered grief’ and really pitied their king, saying that it was because their ‘poor King’ had been surrounded by such unconscionable and ungrateful subordinates that these undesirable revolutions and occurred.
“And when the revolutionary psychosis had quite died down, King Appolis returned to the city of Samlios and again with the help of our elder beings, gradually began replacing our countrymen either by those of his old subordinates who were still alive, or by selecting absolutely new ones from among his other subjects.
[15. First descent upon Earth, p. 120]
“And when the earlier policy of King Appolis towards his subjects had been re-established, then the citizens of this community resumed filling the treasury with money as usual and carrying out the directions of their King, and the affairs of the community settled again into the former already established tempo.
“As for our naive, unfortunate countryman who was the cause of it all, it was so painful to him that he would no longer remain upon that planet that had proved so disastrous for him, but he returned with us to the planet Mars.
“And later on he became there an even excellent bailiff for all the beings of our tribe.”