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SOME ACCOUNT OF THOMAS, THE MAGICIAN.
1. AND it came to pass, fell out, or happened, somewhat before the time at which our history begins, that there arose a mighty man in the land, called Thomas, the Magician, on account of his great skill and cunning in dark and mysterious projects.
2. This man when in his full strength, was a mighty man of valor, and withal very tender hearted; insomuch that in the first notable quarrel between John Bull and Uncle Sam, he betook himself to a huge cav ern lest his great strength and valor might do overmucli violence to his enemies.
3. Here he studied magie Necromancy and all the curious arts that serve to make a man great in the eyes of the multitude.
4. This Thomas was moreover, of a religious turn of mind for, whereas Uncle Sam acknowledged only one God, Thomas professed to believe in twenty or none as occasion required: Whence it came to pass that the multitude for the space of many years, cried out "great is Thomas the Magician."
5. And it fell out that in process of time, Thomas fixed his eye on the chief steward ship; for thus he reasoned with himself, Behold now the multitude of the people crieth after me, and although George who is now chief steward, is greatly beloved by the people yet he now governeth the household of Samuel by a new cove-nant unto which divers of them have not willingly con
sented; therefore I will listen diligently, and whensoever I hear a murmuring, I will say unto the people, Would it not have been better thus ? Behold did I not forewarn thee?
6. And so it came to pass, that he began to take the servants by the hand, and say unto them, "O that I were made judge in the Land, that any man having a matter, should come to me and I would do him justice."
7. Nevertheless the people were not minded to hearken to him for this time, so that John became chief steward.
8. Yet during the stewardship of Johr, which was fifty and two moons, Thomas ceased not to vex the understanding of the multitude and to cause them to find much fault with the conduct of John and the wife of Samuel, and caused many grievous and sore complaints to be brought against them:
9. Behold said Thomas, how mine Uncle Samuel hath fought in times past against John Bull and hath prevailed, nevertheless he oweth at this time, many talents of silver;
10. Yet John ceaseth not to build ships and to have bowmen and spearmen not a few, and to lay many grievous burthens on the people and crieth out "the Philistines," when no enemy is near, and the whole Land is in peace.
11. And see ye not this woman, in whom the heart of mine Uncle Samuel is bound up, how she walketh in the pride of her imagination, and hath bought many costly ornaments of silk and of purple, and delighteth in hoods and ear-rings and bracelets and nose-jewels and saith I sit a Queen."
12. Moreover, she whispereth in secret and backbi teth and mocketh at all who walk not in her ways and approve not of her evil doings.
13. And thus did Thomas stir up the minds of the people against John and they waxed wroth against John and they thrust him out of the stewardship and said unto Thomas "Reign thou over us." And unto Samuel they said, The counsel of this woman is not good, for she wasteth thy substance
14. Lo! now put her away, and take unto thee the Damsel which Thomas hath provided, for he hath proved her. So Samuel hearkened unto the people and put away his wife, and the thing grieved George sore.
15. Howbeit he put her away and took the damsel, even the woman which Thomas had appointed; and he went in unto her and She became his wife.
16. Now Thomas had instructed her aforetime and said, whenever it shall come to pass that thou shalt rule in the house of Samuel, whatsoever I shall bid you to do, that shalt thou do without gainsaying; and she said, I will.
17. Moreover, Thomas reasoned with himself and said, I have obtained the stewardship by means of deceiving the people, and speaking many things against the acts of all those that have gone before me. Now I will consider not what is wise and just to be done; but what George and John have done, and as they have done, so will I not do.
18. So he straightway thrust out all the servants of the Kitchen and of the household, even the chief Butler and chief Baker, (for he said, lest they make known my deeds) and put others in their stead. And unto
the Publicans and Tax-Gatherers he said, What do ye, oppressing the people? and he cast them out.
19 And unto the Bowmen and Spearmen he said, What mean ye by this armor? Wist ye not that the Land is in peace? And why are there such mighty ships on the great waters? peradventure John Bull shall steal upon them unawares, and take them away, for he loveth treachery and deceit. And he said unto them, ye shall even take them and the price shall be what seemeth good unto you. And they did so.
20. And Thomas said unto the wife of Samuel, forasmuch as we have spoken against costly attire, ye shall put off your ornaments.
21. The wages of our servants shall be made less for even this we have promised unto the people, inasmuch as we have spoken loudly against John for all his extravagance in the household of Samuel; wherefore, ye shall speak unto the servants, and he that aforetime hath received ten talents, shall receive five, and he that received two, shall receive one.
22. Howbeit, the woman communed with the ser vants and said, Hear ye what Thomas saith? Now the wages ye receive are not too much, ye shall even keep them, for behold, Thomas himself, now he hath obtained the chief-stewardship, receiveth twenty-five talents, the same that hath been aforetime. And they said unto her, Thy counsel is good.
23. Moreover when Thomas first came into the stewardship he assembled all the people together, and spake smoothly unto them, and whereas he knew that there was a division amongst the people, which himself had caused, he said, ye are all brethren, wot ye not that ye are all Jews, ye are all Samaritans, therefore strive
not one against another. Your affairs prosper and your gold overfloweth, Therefore be ye not dismayed, for I will render equal and exact justice unto all, and I will give unto Labor the bread it has earned.
24. And the people rejoiced exceedingly, howbeit, some doubted.
25. And in those days, certain evil minded men rose up against Thomas and said, Thou hast broken down the defences wherein we trusted and hast sold the ships wherein we went down upon the Great waters, and the spearmen are driven away and scattered to and fro, and peradventure John Bull, or Apollyon the king of the Assyrians, shall come and shall war against us, and we shall be devoured before them.
26. And Thomas said I will build boats a great multitude, the price whereof shall be but few talents; and when the enemy seeth them he shall be afraid, and shall depart from our borders.
27. Moreover, I have made a parchment roll, wherein I have said many grievous things against John and his servants, and when they see it and read the matter that is written, they shall be afraid and their knees shall smite together."
28. Nevertheless the servants of Bull appeared full of haughtiness and with swelling words, had the boats of Thomas in derision; and even the parchment roll they regarded not, and being exceedingly puffed up, blasphemed against the magic and wisdom of Thomas by which he divined.
29. Moreover, the servants of Apollyon came and possessed the wilderness of Sin, which lieth on the brook Hiddekel, to the South and to the West of the plains of Samuel. And the servants of Apollyon became ex