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 the beings of the second group of the continent Ashhark chiefly existed.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 208]
“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 being they collectively call ‘deer,’ they have no special name for them.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 209]
“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 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.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 210]
“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 both for the first beings of this second group and for their descendants of most recent times.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 211]
“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 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.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 212]
“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.’
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 213]
“My latest detailed investigations and researches showed that there had been actualized by that same King 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 ‘Pavaveroon,’ 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 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.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 214]
“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.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 215]
“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 that 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.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 216]
“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 end 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 our soul is liberated from all these specially attached organs and limbs, it becomes 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.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 217]
“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 everything requisite is supplied there in superabundance from our own and the other continents and islands of the world.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 218]
“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 ‘religious-doctrine,’ and this ‘religion’ was then in full bloom.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 219]
“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 the fine points of their religion; and at the end of the month I decided to attain my aim here also, through their religion.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 220]
“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.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 221]
“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 of mine and persuading each other of it as an indubitable ‘truth’ that had suddenly been revealed.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 222]
“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 at sunrise, throw into the Sea of Beneficence every kind of food for the beings called ‘fishes.’
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 223]
“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 shut up in the kind of room which is usually infested by innumerable what are called ‘rats’ and ‘lice.’
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 224]
“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 goodnatured 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 were then, for some reason or other, a great many in the city Gob.
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 225]
“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 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.’
[20. Beelzebub’s third flight, p. 226]
“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.”