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Chapter XXIV.—Electioneering Stratagems.

“He being absent in Egypt for the practice of magic, and John being killed, Dositheus desiring the leadership,937937    [Compare the varied account in Recognitions, ii. 8.—R.] falsely gave out that Simon was dead, and succeeded to the seat.  But Simon, returning not long after, and strenuously holding by the place as his own, when he met with Dositheus did not demand the place, knowing that a man who has attained power beyond his expectations cannot be removed from it.  Wherefore with pretended friendship he gives himself for a while to the second place, under Dositheus.  But taking his place after a few days among the thirty fellow-disciples, he began to malign Dositheus as not delivering the instructions correctly.  And this he said that he did, not through unwillingness to deliver them correctly, but through ignorance.  And on one occasion, Dositheus, perceiving that this artful accusation of Simon was dissipating the opinion of him with respect to many, so that they did not think that he was the Standing One, came in a rage to the usual place of meeting, and finding Simon, struck him with a staff.  But it seemed to pass through the body of Simon as if he had been smoke.  Thereupon Dositheus, being confounded, said to him, ‘If you are the Standing One, I also will worship you.’  Then Simon said that he was; and Dositheus, knowing that he himself was not the Standing One, fell down and worshipped; and associating himself with the twenty-nine chiefs, he raised Simon to his own place of repute; and thus, not many days after, Dositheus himself, while he (Simon) stood, fell down and died.


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