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Chapter IX

1. THE hosts of the second resurrection were now conducted to the mansions previously created in Haraiti by Fragapatti; and they were provided with teachers and occupations, according to their development.

2. Fragapatti said: The marshals in chief will now send the builders of the fire-ships before me; I will speak to them. Now when the builders had come, and duly saluted before the throne, Fragapatti said:

3. Go build me an avalanza capable of carrying three thousand million angels, with as many rooms, capable of descent and ascent, and east and west and north and south motion, and prepare it with a magnet, that it may face to the north, whilst traveling.

4. The builders saluted, and then withdrew, and went and built the vessel. And it was two hundred thousand paces east and west, and the same north and south; its height was one thousand lengths, and the vesture around it was a thousand paces thick; and it was provided with etherean curtains, two hundred thousand; and with four hundred thousand banners, of all possible colors and shades and tints. Besides these were fifty thousand small flags and streamers. The floor was woven in copy of a spider's net, extending from the centre outward, and with circular bars at crosses; and the frame-work within was constructed with one million uprights, the entire height of the vessel; and yet across these were twenty millions of bars; within the whole, were the rooms and halls, and places for musicians.

5. When it was completed, the builders notified Fragapatti. He said: Athrava, come thou and sit on the throne. I promised to go and see Hoab and his colony, in Zeredho, when he should send me word regarding certain matters. Behold, messengers have notified me, and Hoab desireth to know how he can establish his colony, that he may never more fear to be annoyed by other Gods and angels.

6. Let fifty thousand musicians enter the ship with me, besides a sufficient number of captains and officers to p. 197a manage the ship. The marshals at once made the proper selections, and took them to the ship, when they all entered, Fragapatti with them, and they departed.

7. So, Fragapatti returned to Zeredho, the second highest lower heaven, of which the ambitious Hoab, with his colony, desired to be sole occupant forever.

8. Hoab was waiting to receive him, having aroused up a sufficient number of his indolent subjects to maintain the semblance of a heavenly Council. But what a surprise! He had expected only a small vessel, with a few attendants. And now, when he beheld the magnificence of the avalanza, and the majesty of the band of musicians, so far transcending anything he had ever seen, he feared, and was awe-stricken.

9. Fragapatti approached slowly, but with Avom lights, and when the ship was near at hand, the hosts aboard cast out hundreds of thousands of perfumed ovaries, which exploded with beautiful colors, filling the atmosphere around about with the most delightful perfume. Finally the avalanza came to anchor, and Fragapatti, without any ceremony, alighted, taking a thousand attendants with him, and came directly up to Hoab, who was abashed somewhat on account of his shabby appearance.

10. Fragapatti said: Friend and brother, peace and joy be unto thee and thy house! To which Hoab replied: All hail, great Chief! Happiness attend thee and thy hosts! And were it not that I had previously discovered thou wert a philosopher like myself, I would apologize for the vast difference betwixt the respective appearances of our hosts. But ye are welcome all the same!

11. Fragapatti said: A mere incident of conditions, most noble God. Thou art aware, when children go on a holiday excursion, they attire themselves in their best; so it is better that I find an apology than that thou shouldst.

12. Hoab said: Nay, Chief, there is a philosophy in this matter which hath worried me of late: A thousand years ago my colony was ambitious to retire itself in grandeur, and to build fine ships and go on excursions, also. Five hundred years later, they ceased building ships and going on excursions, saying: What is the use? Latterly, they are all utilitarians, doing just as little as possible. In fact, many of my subjects deny themselves comforts, on the plea that they can do without them.

p. 198a

13. Fragapatti said: Thou rememberest, when I was here before I said to thee that without contentment no people had attained to peace; and thou didst acquiesce. Why, then, shouldst thou not rejoice that thy people have thus subdued ambition and curiosity? Hast thy mind, in so short a time, lost its contentment? Thou knowest I came hither to impart to thee and thy people the great secret, that ye may so fortify yourselves that ye shall never fear for Gods or angels molesting you.

14. Hoab said: Hear me, O Chief: If my people lose all ambition for rites and ceremonies, and dancings, and excursions; and keep constantly striving to deny themselves of everything save what necessity calleth for; and if that necessity becometh smaller and smaller, where will be the end? Will not all inspiration die out? For, to tell the truth, since my people have given up rites and ceremonies, and prayers and singings, they have also given up rejoicings of soul, and are becoming like a dead people.

15. Fragapatti said: Then thou wouldst seem to prove that to hold on only to the useful in life would ultimately end in suicide to the state, to the family, to the individual, and even to the soul?

16. Hoab said: Many of my people are too lazy to clothe themselves; and because of shame, they seek secluded places, as they say, to live as they please. Do not such people commit suicide against the state? Hath a man a right to withdraw himself from his fellows, saying: It suiteth me better? We have been told that in the first age of mortals, they had no ambition to live together, being void of all talents, and that the Gods inspired them to language and to society, giving them rites and ceremonies as an inducement to make them harmonious and attractive to one another.

17. Fragapatti said: How shall I account for the difference betwixt thy arguments now and the other time I was with thee? Thou desiredst me to believe that thou and thy people were the highest, best, happiest of all people in the heavens. Why this change?

18. Hoab said: Thou didst promise me thou wouldst teach us some way of protection against being molested by other Gods and spirits from other kingdoms. Since then I have reasoned on the subject, and I perceive that if such a state of security could be given to my people, they would wander off into isolation, and even forget language and judgment. How, then, was it, p. 199a thou toldest me thou hadst been in heavens where such a state of seeming impossibility existeth.

19. Fragapatti said: Let not arguments sway thee, O Hoab. But rather, examine proofs for thyself. I mistrusted that my statement to thee was too extravagant to be believed without evidence. Behold, then, what I have done: I brought a vessel large enough for all thy people, desiring that ye go with me to my kingdom, new founded in Haraiti; and if thou shouldst find any further desire, at the end of a few years, I will take thee and thy people to still another kingdom, in a far-off world. After that, and thou desirest it, I will provide the same conveyance back to Zeredho, with power to rule over it to thy heart's content.

20. Hoab said: Fairest of Gods! I feared, indeed, thou hadst come with the same old story; to worship the All Light, the Unknowable Nothingness; with foolish ceremonies and rites, and prayers, and songs of praise; which, however good for the ignorant and superstitious, are worthless to a God as enlightened as I am. This thou perceivest with thine own judgment. Gladly will I go with thee, and I will persuade as many of my people as possible to go also. Thou art the first God that ever came to our heaven, that wanted not to circumscribe our liberties, which neither I nor my people can tolerate.

21. These things were then communicated to the people of Zeredho; and after a few days they gathered together, and went into the avalanza, every soul of them. Fragapatti signalled the commander not to go directly to Haraiti, but by way of Utza, one of the hells in the Aoasu mountains, inhabited by thousands of millions of spirits in darkness, many of whom knew not who they were, nor had they names, being infants, idiots, and chaotic and foul smelling.

Next: Chapter X