“Aye, and there you are right,” rejoined Goneti, “for to my own knowledge, the king of Tutack ordered a priest hung, and his spirit came back and so haunted the kingdom, that it has not prospered since.”
“You see then that I have looked well into the thing, and offer you sound logic;” resumed the ready Potter. “Hear me, sir! for I have a better punishment in my head. Spare these holy men the hanging, and let each be mounted on an ass, so that his robes cover the animal’s hinder parts. And when you have them thus conditioned, let it be ordered that they ride three hours during the day, for not less than ten days, making a circle in the plaza, and offering up such prayers as our souls may stand in need of.” This so delighted Don Goneti that he marvelled at the breadth of his compatriot’s intellect, and not only set him down for a man of prodigious resources, but at once fell in with his opinion, forthwith issuing an order that it be carried out to the letter, as will appear in the next chapter.
Which treats of how the priests bore the punishment; and also A description of the ever-memorable battle of the miracle.
With great reverence be it said of the priests, that they did penance, mounted after the style ordered in the foregoing chapter, for many days and with such fortitude as gained them the good will of many of their enemies in war. “The height of our perfection in grace,” said one of the priests, as his ass went the round of the circle, “may be measured by the ease with which we can humble ourselves. And while we are chanting to these filthy fellows, let us not despair, but commend ourselves to heaven, praying that it will so ordain that our country be soon rid of this scourge; for though these fellows make promises enough with their lips, their hearts are full of treachery.”