Page images

ceedingly troublesome, and strove with them, saying, Ye shall not wash in the brook, nor lay your stuff by the side thereof.

30. And these tidings amazed Thomas, and he said, What shall I do? I will even buy the wilderness for a price, even the wilderness of Sin. And he bought it for fifteen talents of Gold.

31. For he said, The Country stretcheth even to the going down of the sun, and now this woman which Samuel hath taken unto him, betokeneth to have many Children.

32. Moreover I will send into the far countries, towards the sun rising, even over the great waters, and I will bring over the blind, the halt and the lame, and even him that parteth the hoof and cheweth not the cud, I will not refuse.

33. And those that have committed any manner of abomination and have been thrust out of their habitations, shall be received within our gates and shall even bear rule in our household.

34. For, inasmuch as I have received wisdom of twenty gods, it is no marvel if I shall cause them to refrain from their evil doings, and they shall establish me in mine office. And the thing pleased the wife of Samuel insomuch that her heart leaped within her for joy.

35. And it came to pass that John Bull warred with Apollyon on the great waters, and prevailed; but on the Land Apollyon prevailed, and the nations were discomfited and fled like Grasshoppers before him.

36. And they each of them questioned with Samuel and said "join with me, join with me." And Samuel smote upon his forehead, and was perplexed.

87. And the servants of Bull took the merchandize of Samuel and of his Merchants. And in like manner did the servants of Apollyon.

38. And the chief steward said, what shall I do ?and he said I will even do this. I will send forth a decree that none of the servants of Samuel shall henceforth trade upon the great waters, even from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same.

39. And he published the decree and gave charge to his servants saying, If ye find any one using the trade of a Merchant, or carrying his stuff upon the great waters, ye shall take them, and take away their stuff and the ship wherewith they dealt.

40. And the people cried out, and said unto the chief steward, Thou hast done us great mischief, for divers of us have no other means of providing food for our little ones, save that we traffic on the great waters, and Lo, now our Ships have become food for worms.

41. Moreover they said our fathers did not thus, when the Assyrians did us mischief aforetime, they resisted unto blood and prevailed.

42. And Thomas was wroth and chode with them saying, "What mean ye to find fault always and to vex mine heart; behold now, for these many years, ye have dealt on the great waters and have increased your substance, and have waxed fat and have kicked. When your substance was wasted by the enemy, ye complained and lo now I have commanded you to keep yourselves in safety, and still ye complain."

43. And the people answered and said, when our foes destroyed our substance we asked for protection; Yea, we had a right to demand it, inasmuch as we pay every year, into the treasury, many talents. Albeit we

have only insisted on the privilege of defending ourselves.

44. And moreover thou art kind and forbearing toward this wicked Apollyon, even now while he doeth us much evil, he burneth our ships, and casteth our men into his prison, and saith unto us, Ye are a feeble and contemptible people, ye are as women.

45. Then Thomas lifted up his voice and said, Ye are a very foolish people, inasmuch as ye know not your own good; What need ye go upon the great waters? keep at home, and ye shall be out of danger, see ye not the fields? are they not sufficient to afford sustenance for yourselves and your little ones.

46. It is not wise that ye have built ships; it is a very foolish thing, and whereas ye pretend that all knowledge is with you ye know nothing at all.

47. And as for this Apollyon of whom ye complain, in that he hath destroyed your substance, burned your ships, and cast your young men into prison, he meaneth you not evil, but good in that he hath done this, for he seeth ye are fools to have ships, and knoweth that ye ought to be keepers of flocks and craftsmen ; but as for Bull he meaneth you evil, and his heart is fully set in him to do wickedly. But as for this Apollyon hath he not declared that he loveth us?

48. So Thomas regarded not the cry of the people, for he said, Wisdom is with me.

49. And it came to pass, that at the end of every year, even at the full moon, Thomas made a speech unto the people, "ye have Gold in abundance and your substance is increasing; Wot ye not that I have done this by my wisdom ?”

50. And as the time drew nigh when Thomas must depart from the stewardship, he said, Lo now these many years have I served you, I have not ceased to build you up and to make you a great people and even now your Gold overfloweth; now consider what ye shall do with it, for ye have not where to bestow it and if ye have much treasure laid up, behold it bringeth forth pride, and begetteth wars.

51. (Albeit, certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, rose up and said, the burden of too much treasure, will not be numbered among the cares of those who come after thee.)

52. And Thomas did that which was right in the sight of his own eyes, and brought many from far countries to dwell in the land of Samuel; even Thomas the high priest, from the Land of Apollyon, to burn incense upon his altars, and wrote a letter unto him with his own hand.

53. And it fell out in the Stewardship of John, that he made a decree saying thou shalt not speak evil of the rulers of thy people; thou shalt not lie. And the thing displeased Thomas and he said the decree is not good, So he destroyed the decree and said thou mayest lie; but thou shalt not speak the truth against the rulers of thy people.

54. And he searched and found a certain man whom John had cast into prison for speaking falsely, and he took him thence and spake kindly unto him, and restored to him the two hundred pieces of silver which he had paid for his evil speaking.

55. And whereas John had warred againt Apollyon, and had taken from him a great ship, even a ship of war, Thomas caused the damage of the ship to be

made up, and the price of it was thirty and two thousand pieces of Silver, and he restored the ship to the servants of Apollyon, for he said we are all brethren and Apollyon loveth us.

56. And Thomas excelled in wisdom all that went before him, insomuch that it is a common saying unto this day, There is none like him.

57. And he wrote a book containing many wise sayings, and much wisdom; for he spake of mountains and rivers and fishes; and of trees from the Oak that maketh the beams of ships, to the Tobacco plant that burneth before the nostrils.

58. And he spake moreover of men, from the man of fair and ruddy complexion to the red man of the forest, and even to the Etheopian whose wool is upon his head. And he spake of them wisely, even from the color of the skin, to that which pertaineth to the foreskin, and which remaineth within the loins, and behind the kidneys.

59. And he spake also of beasts, from the Mammoth that browzeth on the tops of the mountains, to the dog of the meadow, even the Prairie dog; and also of the frog, even the horned frog that leapeth in the mud.

60. And he declared moreover unto the people, that in the wilderness of Sin there was salt, even a mountain of salt, in so great abundance that although much of it should be taken away, yet it should not seem to be wasted.

61. And the time drew nigh, when Thomas must leave the stewardship, he retired within his own importance. And the rest of the acts of Thomas, and all the wise things which he said, and the foolish things

« PreviousContinue »