Translation of an Ancient Chaldee Manuscript, Found Near the Fish Ponds at Government House
Translation of an ancient Chaldee Manuscript, found near the Fish Ponds at Government House
Translation of an ancient Chaldee Manuscript, found near the Fish Ponds at Government House.
Now it came to pass in the eleventh year of the reign of the Queen, in the twelfth month, in the beginning of the month, that the Inhabitants of the Isles of the South murmured at their Governor and Chief Ruler.
2. For the Chief Ruler had caused a letter to be written unto the Queen, and the wise men, and the rulers of the land of our forefathers—saying,
3. The people who dwell in the isles of the south are a people whom the Queen should delight to honour, being without blemish, skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as ought to stand in the palace of the Chief Ruler, to advise and give Counsel, so that the land might prosper, and all the people who dwell therein.
4. Moreover the Chief Ruler caused the Chief Scribe to write to the Queen, saying: Behold I shall tell all the people to meet in the gates of the Temple, and in the Market-place to cast lots, and it shall come to pass that those upon whom the lots shall fall, I will cause to sit in Council with me, and the Captains and great Councillors, to consult page 2 together, and enact decrees for the welfare of all the people who dwell in the land.
5. And this saying pleased the Queen, and the wise men, and those who sat in the Council with her; and the Queen caused a letter to be written, sealed with the Queen's signet; the same was brought unto the Chief Ruler of the Isles of the south, wherein it was commanded unto him to do unto the people all that he had said, and to show favour unto the wise men and the elders of the land on whom the lots of the people should fall.
6. Now it came to pass that Satan hardened the heart of the Chief Ruler so that he despised the letter brought from the Queen, and sealed with the Queen's signet.
7. And the people murmured exceedingly, and cried with a loud voice, saying of a truth our Ruler hath dealt craftily with us; it is our birth-right which we demand, why is it that our rights are denied unto us? lo, we are like unto them that dwell in the land of bondage.
8. And the people did chide sharply with him.
¶9. Now the Chief Ruler despised the cries of the people, and Satan tempted him yet again, saying: make unto thyself a Council of Nominees, which in the Chaldee tongue signifieth Puppets.
10. Now the saying pleased the Chief Ruler, and he called unto him the chief men of the land, the money-changers, the merchants whose ships do business in the mighty waters, those who handle the pen of the cunning writer, and the mighty men of valour, of old, men of renown.
11. But they all cried out as with one accord, page 3 nay, we shall not sit in Council with thee until the days arrive when all the people shall cast lots so that it shall come to pass that they on whom the lots shall fall shall be deemed worthy to sit in Council with the Captains and the Councillors of the Chief Ruler.
12. Now when the Chief Ruler heard these sayings, he was wroth and gnashed his teeth.
13. And he called unto him a young man, a scribe, whose name was Tommy, and he commanded him saying: unto him that handleth the pen of the cunning writer and say that I will visit the iniquity of all who have refused to sit in Council with me, upon this people; Behold I will cause labour and employment to cease on the highways, I will cause the Keeper of the Queen's purse to stay his hand, so that the cry for bread shall be great throughout all the land.
14. Behold, I shall also speak unto Donald the Queen's Interpreter, so that he shall purchase no more land from the Heathen for a possession to those who have flocks and herds amongst you.
15. And it came to pass when all these thing's were told unto him that handleth the pen of the cunning writer, that he smiled and said unto Tommy,
16. Go unto thy master, the Chief Ruler, and say unto him that the thing which we have done is right in the sight of God and our country, and moreover we have the recompense of a good conscience; peradventure the day may arrive when the eyes of the Chief Ruler shall be opened to see the evil that he hath done in despising the Queen's letter, which was sealed with the Queen's signet.page 4
17. Now when the Chief ruler heard all these sayings, he was sore dismayed.
18. Howbeit, Satan hardened his heart, and again he called unto him Tommy the Scribe, and said, am I not the Chief Ruler of the land, he whom the Queen delighted to honour above all those who have ruled in the land before me.
19. It is for me to approve of those who shall sit in Council with me; name, I pay thee, unto me the names of the vain men and the crawlers in the land, that I may call them to sit in Council with me.
20. And the Scribe made answer and said: Behold there is Apollo of Bellvidere, he who is smitten with the charms of the fair daughter of the chief Rabbi.
21. The Luddite who rejoiceth in the shadow of the young Apollo, whose delight it is to sing the praises and to shew forth the doings of the great men of the land.
22. Hiki the Earpite, who rejoices in the feast of shells, and whose delight it is to eat of the flesh of the beasts of the field, and of the birds of the air, and of the fish of the sea.
23. The young man from the land of Nimrod, he who maketh a boast and sayeth, lo! have I not an old head placed upon young shoulders?
24. The Morite, who is one of the small merchants of the land, dealing in all sorts of things, red blankets, and broidered work, in chests of rich apparel, bound with cords and made of cedar, in the flesh of swine, and in bone knives,
25. The Bannatite, who has lately come to sojourn page 5 in the land, and to be one of the merchants thereof, dealing in Wheat, and Oil, and Wine, lo! the Scribes love the Bannatite, because of his wine, and because of his pleasant speech.
26. Now when the Scribe had made an end, and told the Chief Ruler the names of the vain men, and the crawlers, he sent his messenger, thy Scribe, to command them to come before him.
27. And it came to pass as the Scribe went forth to command them to come into the presence of the Chief Ruler, that the Ancient Mariner who sat in the gate of the palace, called unto him and said:
28. Verily, thou art like unto Saul, the Benjamite of old.
29. And the Scribe said, Why so?
30. Because thou goest in search of thy brother's asses.
31. Now this saying displeased the Scribe much.
32. And it came to pass that when the vain men and the crawlers came into the presence of the Chief Ruler, that he poured out upon them the oil of flattery, and spake unto them many precious words:
33. Unto Hiki the Earpite he said, I know that thou art fond of the good things of this life; thou rejoiceth in a lordly name, and lovest flattery; sit thou in my Council; I will cause thee to be called honourable for the space of four years; I shall write unto the Queen and those who sit in Council with her, peradventure they will send thee a purse of gold to repair thy ruined habitation.
34. Now Hiki the Earpite when he heard these saying, rolled them like a sweet morsel under his page 6 tongue, but his heart was smote within him when he thought of the Chief Physician, for of old he had made oath and said to the Chief Physician, I shall never become a Nominee, which in the Chaldee tongue, signifieth Puppet.
35. But when he looked up upon the face of the Chief Ruler, his fears died away, and he said unto himself, I will despise the Chief Physician, yea, should he upbraid me, I shall smite him.
36. So Hiki the Earpite sat in Council with the Chief Ruler.
37. The Chief Ruler said unto the young Apollo, sit thou in Council with me, I shall cause letters to be written unto the household wherein thou servest, peradventure they will make thee to rule over the household instead of the cunning man who refused to join with me in despising the letter of the Queen which was signed with the Queen's signet.
38. But great fear and doubt came upon the young Apollo;
39. So when the Chief Ruler saw that, he sent a messenger unto Jeroboam, the Chief Rabbi, and said unto him, desire the young Apollo to come and sit in Council with me; thou knowest the good things which I have in store for those who assist me, how I shall cause traffic to abound in the land, and steam ships to ply on the deep waters of the sea, so that thou and thy people shall be blessed in their baskets and their stores. So Jeroboam the Chief Rabbi did as he was commanded; and Apollo of Bellvidere sat in Council with the Chief Ruler because he was sere afraid of the circumcision.page 7
40. Unto the Luddite he said, sit thou in Council with me, although thy head be empty, and thy whole mind exceedingly barren, yet the seat thou shalt occupy will be filled up and this shall be sufficient unto me. So the Luddite sat in Council with the Chief Ruler.
¶41. Now when all the people heard that the Chief Ruler had called the Luddite to sit in Council with him, they were astonished; and they cried out with one accord, lo! is this not he who made bricks in the days of old, whom all the people call Spooney?
42. And unto the Morite he said, sit thou in Council with me; thou art wiser than thy brother merchants, and fit to become a law-maker unto thy brethren. But the Morite said unto the Chief Ruler, nay, let thy servant be excused from doing this thing; I know that I am wiser than my brother merchants, and that I am worthy to be one of the six who know, and believe they do know, what is suitable for the good of the people, yea, better than the people themselves.
43. But behold I must take heed to the out-goings and the incomings of my store, lo! if thy servant were permitted, he could tell thee of one who is worthy to sit in thy Council.
44. And the Chief Ruler said, Who is he? and the Morite said, It is Robert, whom men by reason of his suppleness, call the Flying Stationer; he is a writer of Chronicles, and fair of speech.
45. But the Chief Ruler said, of a truth this man shall not sit in my Council; he is a back-biter and a slanderer of the brethren: I know him of old.page 8
46. But the Morite continued his speech and said, when the Council of my Lord the Chief Ruler is formed, all the people shall point with the finger of scorn, saying, these be the men who deeming themselves wiser than all their brethren, have taken upon themselves to make laws for us;
47. Who made them rulers and judges over us?
48. Now, this is the counsel I would give unto my Lord the Chief Ruler—send thou for Robert the Chronicler, whom men by reason of his suppleness call the Flying Stationer; cause him to Write the praises of the men of thy Council, so that their hearts shall be revived within them, and the people shall be sore dismayed.
49. Moreover, he despiseth those who have refused to sit in thy Council; yea he hateth with a deadly hatred—the Money Changer, and him that handleth the pen of the cunning writer.
50. Now the thing pleased the Chief Ruler, and he sent a messenger unto Robert the Chronicler—and, lo, he sat in the door of his tent; and when he heard that the Chief Ruler desired to see him, his heart was glad within him: now, he exclaimed, shall I sit in Council, and shew to mine enemies that I am fit to be a Legislator and a great man amongst them.
51. And he shouted aloud, and cried ha! ha! ha!
52. Now it. came to pass, that after his spouse had decked him in fine linen and sable cloth, and placed his rod in his hand, that he went into the presence of the Chief Ruler and said, behold I am come to sit in thy Council, to give thee advice, and make laws for the people.page 9
53. But the countenance of the Chief Ruler was darkened when he saw the boldness of the man. Vain man, he exclaimed, think not that I sent for thee to sit in my Council: I know thee of old, how thou slanderest the people, and art a backbiter amongst them.
54. Come into my secret chamber, and I shall tell thee what thou art to do.
55. Now, what was said within the walls of the secret chamber, no man knoweth even unto this day. But when Robert the chronicler came forth from before the presence of the Chief Ruler, his face was glad, and shone as if anointed with oil, and a sound like unto the sound of gold was heard within his garment.
56. And the Ancient Mariner who sat at the gate of the palace of The Chief Ruler, saw him shake his rod, and cry out in the fulness of his heart—Now! it is given unto me to smite the Money Changer, and him who handleth the pen of the cunning writer.
57. And straightway the ancient Mariner saw him betake himself into the den of the Priest of Baal, whose habitation is in the cave of the Little Mountain.
58. Now it came to pass, after these things, that the Morite sat in the Council of the Chief Ruler.
59. The Chief Ruler spake unto the young man from the land of Nimrod—sit thou in my Council, for I am sore bestead—trouble not thyself because that thou art a young man, of few words and fewer ideas, the High Priest, and he who ministereth to the Congregation have spoken highly in thy praise, page 10 they will instruct thee in all that thou shalt have to do.
60. So the young man spake not a word, but went out from before the presence of the Chief Ruler, to attire himself to sit in the Council.
61. And as the young man went out from before the presence of the Chief Ruler, the Ancient Mariner who sat in the gate of the palace, exclaimed, verily! this youth ought to have tarried at Jericho until his heart grew.
62. Then the Chief Ruler called unto him the Bannatite, and said, thou also shalt sit in my Council, for it has been told unto me that thou worshippest none of the Heresies of the Money Changer, nor of him who handleth the pen of the cunning writer, but thy delight is to enjoy thyself with the Captains of the Armies of the Queen and the Captains of the Men-of-War that sail on the great deep.
63. But the Bannatite made answer and said, this thing may not be, I am a stranger in the land; moreover, I am the servant of the great Jonite, who dwells in the far south, and have much of his property in my charge. It will come to pass, that when he arrives in the land, peradventure he may strike me with his staff, or smite me on the cheek, lo, I am sore afraid.
64. So the Bannatite caused his Scribe to write a letter, refusing to sit in the Council of the Chief Ruler.
¶65. Now it came to pass that on the same day the great Jonite arrived from the far south, and went into the presence of the Chief Ruler, and spake un-page 11to him, saying—lo, I have taken unto myself great possessions in the far south; I have bought them with a great price from the Heathen who dwelt of old in the land; now, if thou wilt cause the Chief Scribe to write unto thy servant a letter, saying that the land shall be for a possession to my children, my grand children, and my great grand children, then shall my servant the Bannatite sit in thy Council, for I know that thou art sore bestead to make up thy number of six.
66. Now this saying pleased not the Chief Ruler, for he cared not for giving away the land, but being sore bestead, he said, lo, I will grant thy prayer.
67. Then the Chief Ruler burned the letter of the Bannatite with fire, and sent for him to sit in his Council.
68. So the Bannatite sat in the Council of the Chief Ruler.
69. Now it came to pass that the Chief Ruler caused a proclamation to be made by sound of trumpet, and of drum, and great shouting, saying, that the great Council of Nominees, which in the Chaldee tongue signifieth Puppets, should be held within the walls of the palace;
70. Moreover he sent unto the Morite, saying; deck thou the walls of my chamber with Scarlet tapestry, and fine hangings; and the heart of the Morite rejoiced within him, because of the red blankets.
71. Now the walls of the chamber were decorated therewith, so that the blushes of shame could not seen on the faces of those who sat in Council, because of the red blankets.page 12
¶72. Now all the acts, and deeds, and the foolish sayings of the Council, lo! are they not written in the book of Chronicles of Robert, whom men by reason of his suppleness call the Flying Stationer.
73. How the Morite spake unto them the parable of the bone knife; how Hiki the Earpite smote the Chief Physician on the right cheek; how he was carried before the Captain of the Guard, and had to do penance in sackcloth and ashes; also, how the Chief Ruler forgat the promise he made unto the great Jonite, lo! are they not all written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Chief Ruler's Council.