(Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress. part 10)
of his hand; wherefore he withdrew, and left them as before, to consider
what to do. Then did the prisoners consult between themselves
whether it was best to take his counsel or no; and thus they began
CHR. Brother, said Christian, what shall we do? The life that
we now live is miserable. For my part I know not whether is best,
to live thus, or to die out of hand. "My soul chooseth strangling
rather than life", and the grave is more easy for me than this dungeon.
[Job 7:15] Shall we be ruled by the Giant?
HOPE. Indeed, our present condition is dreadful, and death would be
far more welcome to me than thus for ever to abide; but yet,
let us consider, the Lord of the country to which we are going
hath said, Thou shalt do no murder: no, not to another man's person;
much more, then, are we forbidden to take his counsel to kill ourselves.
Besides, he that kills another, can but commit murder upon his body;
but for one to kill himself is to kill body and soul at once.
And, moreover, my brother, thou talkest of ease in the grave;
but hast thou forgotten the hell, for certain the murderers go?
"For no murderer hath eternal life," &c. And let us consider, again,
that all the law is not in the hand of Giant Despair. Others,
so far as I can understand, have been taken by him, as well as we;
and yet have escaped out of his hand. Who knows, but the God
that made the world may cause that Giant Despair may die? or that,
at some time or other, he may forget to lock us in? or that he may,
in a short time, have another of his fits before us, and may lose
the use of his limbs? and if ever that should come to pass again,
for my part, I am resolved to pluck up the heart of a man,
and to try my utmost to get from under his hand. I was a fool
that I did not try to do it before; but, however, my brother,
let us be patient, and endure a while. The time may come
that may give us a happy release; but let us not be our own murderers.
With these words Hopeful at present did moderate the mind
of his brother; so they continued together (in the dark) that day,
in their sad and doleful condition.
Well, towards evening, the Giant goes down into the dungeon again,
to see if his prisoners had taken his counsel; but when he came there
he found them alive; and truly, alive was all; for now,
what for want of bread and water, and by reason of the wounds
they received when he beat them, they could do little but breathe.
But, I say, he found them alive; at which he fell into a grievous rage,
and told them that, seeing they had disobeyed his counsel,
it should be worse with them than if they had never been born.
At this they trembled greatly, and I think that Christian
fell into a swoon; but, coming a little to himself again,
they renewed their discourse about the Giant's counsel; and whether yet
they had best to take it or no. Now Christian again seemed to be
for doing it, but Hopeful made his second reply as followeth:--
HOPE. My brother, said he, rememberest thou not how valiant
thou hast been heretofore? Apollyon could not crush thee,
nor could all that thou didst hear, or see, or feel,
in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. What hardship, terror,
and amazement hast thou already gone through! And art thou now
nothing but fear! Thou seest that I am in the dungeon with thee,
a far weaker man by nature than thou art; also, this Giant has wounded
me as well as thee, and hath also cut off the bread and water
from my mouth; and with thee I mourn without the light.
But let us exercise a little more patience; remember how thou
playedst the man at Vanity Fair, and wast neither afraid of the chain,
nor cage, nor yet of bloody death. Wherefore let us (at least
to avoid the shame, that becomes not a Christian to be found in)
bear up with patience as well as we can.
Now, night being come again, and the Giant and his wife being in bed,
she asked him concerning the prisoners, and if they had taken
his counsel. To which he replied, They are sturdy rogues,
they choose rather to bear all hardship, than to make away themselves.
Then said she, Take them into the castle-yard to-morrow, and show them
the bones and skulls of those that thou hast already despatched,
and make them believe, ere a week comes to an end, thou also wilt
tear them in pieces, as thou hast done their fellows before them.
So when the morning was come, the Giant goes to them again,
and takes them into the castle-yard, and shows them, as his wife
had bidden him. These, said he, were pilgrims as you are, once,
and they trespassed in my grounds, as you have done;
and when I thought fit, I tore them in pieces, and so, within ten days,
I will do you. Go, get you down to your den again; and with that
he beat them all the way thither. They lay, therefore,
all day on Saturday in a lamentable case, as before. Now,
when night was come, and when Mrs. Diffidence and her husband,
the Giant, were got to bed, they began to renew their discourse
of their prisoners; and withal the old Giant wondered,
that he could neither by his blows nor his counsel bring them to an end.
And with that his wife replied, I fear, said she, that they live in hope
that some will come to relieve them, or that they have picklocks
about them, by the means of which they hope to escape.
And sayest thou so, my dear? said the Giant; I will, therefore,
search them in the morning.
Well, on Saturday, about midnight, they began to pray,
and continued in prayer till almost break of day.
Now, a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed,
brake out in this passionate speech:-- What a fool, quoth he, am I,
thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty!
I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded,
open any lock in Doubting Castle. Then said Hopeful,
That is good news, good brother; pluck it out of thy bosom, and try.
Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try
at the dungeon door, whose bolt (as he turned the key) gave back,
and the door flew open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful
both came out. Then he went to the outward door that leads into
the castle-yard, and, with his key, opened that door also.
After, he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too;
but that lock went damnable hard, yet the key did open it.
Then they thrust open the gate to make their escape with speed,
but that gate, as it opened, made such a creaking, that it waked
Giant Despair, who, hastily rising to pursue his prisoners,
felt his limbs to fail, for his fits took him again,
so that he could by no means go after them. Then they went on,
and came to the King's highway, and so were safe, because they were
out of his jurisdiction.
Now, when they were over the stile, they began to contrive
with themselves what they should do at that stile to prevent those
that should come after from falling into the hands of Giant Despair.
So they consented to erect there a pillar, and to engrave upon
the side thereof this sentence--"Over this stile is the way
to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant Despair,
who despiseth the King of the Celestial Country, and seeks to destroy
his holy pilgrims." Many, therefore, that followed after
read what was written, and escaped the danger. This done,
they sang as follows:--
Out of the way we went, and then we found
What 'twas to tread upon forbidden ground;
And let them that come after have a care,
Lest heedlessness makes them, as we, to fare.
Lest they for trespassing his prisoners are,
Whose castle's Doubting, and whose name's Despair.
They went then till they came to the Delectable Mountains,
which mountains belong to the Lord of that hill of which
we have spoken before; so they went up to the mountains,
to behold the gardens and orchards, the vineyards and fountains
of water; where also they drank and washed themselves,
and did freely eat of the vineyards. Now there were on the tops of these mountains
Shepherds feeding their flocks, and they stood by the highway side.
The Pilgrims therefore went to them,
and leaning upon their staves, (as is common with weary pilgrims
when they stand to talk with any by the way), they asked,
Whose Delectable Mountains are these? And whose be the sheep
that feed upon them?
Mountains delectable they now ascend,
Where Shepherds be, which to them do commend
Alluring things, and things that cautious are,
Pilgrims are steady kept by faith and fear.
SHEP. These mountains are Immanuel's Land, and they are within sight
of his city; and the sheep also are his, and he laid down his life
for them. [John 10:11]
CHR. Is this the way to the Celestial City?
SHEP. You are just in your way.
CHR. How far is it thither?
SHEP. Too far for any but those that shall get thither indeed.
CHR. Is the way safe or dangerous?
SHEP. Safe for those for whom it is to be safe; but the transgressors
shall fall therein. [Hos. 14:9]
CHR. Is there, in this place, any relief for pilgrims
that are weary and faint in the way?
SHEP. The Lord of these mountains hath given us a charge not to be
forgetful to entertain strangers, therefore the good of the place
is before you. [Heb. 13:1-2]
I saw also in my dream, that when the Shepherds perceived
that they were wayfaring men, they also put questions to them,
to which they made answer as in other places; as, Whence came you?
and, How got you into the way? and, By what means have you
so persevered therein? For but few of them that begin to come hither
do show their face on these mountains. But when the Shepherds heard
their answers, being pleased therewith, they looked very lovingly
upon them, and said, Welcome to the Delectable Mountains.
The Shepherds, I say, whose names were Knowledge, Experience, Watchful,
and Sincere, took them by the hand, and had them to their tents,
and made them partake of that which was ready at present.
They said, moreover, We would that ye should stay here awhile,
to be acquainted with us; and yet more to solace yourselves
with the good of these Delectable Mountains. They then told them,
that they were content to stay; so they went to their rest that night,
because it was very late.
Then I saw in my dream, that in the morning the Shepherds called up
to Christian and Hopeful to walk with them upon the mountains;
so they went forth with them, and walked a while,
having a pleasant prospect on every side. Then said the Shepherds
one to another, Shall we show these pilgrims some wonders?
So when they had concluded to do it,
they had them first to the top of a hill called Error,
which was very steep on the furthest side, and bid them look down
to the bottom. So Christian and Hopeful looked down,
and saw at the bottom several men dashed all to pieces by a fall
that they had from the top. Then said Christian, What meaneth this?
The Shepherds answered, Have you not heard of them that were made to err
by hearkening to Hymeneus and Philetus as concerning the faith
of the resurrection of the body? [2 Tim. 2:17,18] They answered, Yes.
Then said the Shepherds, Those that you see lie dashed in pieces
at the bottom of this mountain are they; and they have continued
to this day unburied, as you see, for an example to others
to take heed how they clamber too high, or how they come too near
the brink of this mountain.
Then I saw that they had them to the top of another mountain,
and the name of that is Caution, and bid them look afar off;
which, when they did, they perceived, as they thought,
several men walking up and down among the tombs that were there;
and they perceived that the men were blind, because they
stumbled sometimes upon the tombs, and because they could not get out
from among them. Then said Christian, What means this?
The Shepherds then answered, Did you not see a little below
these mountains a stile, that led into a meadow, on the left hand
of this way? They answered, Yes. Then said the Shepherds,
From that stile there goes a path that leads directly
to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant Despair, and these,
pointing to them among the tombs, came once on pilgrimage,
as you do now, even till they came to that same stile;
and because the right way was rough in that place, they chose to go
out of it into that meadow, and there were taken by Giant Despair,
and cast into Doubting Castle; where, after they had been a while
kept in the dungeon, he at last did put out their eyes,
and led them among those tombs, where he has left them to wander
to this very day, that the saying of the wise man might be fulfilled,
"He that wandereth out of the way of understanding, shall remain in
the congregation of the dead." [Pro. 21:16] Then Christian and Hopeful
looked upon one another, with tears gushing out, but yet said nothing
to the Shepherds.
Then I saw in my dream, that the Shepherds had them to another place,
in a bottom, where was a door in the side of a hill,
and they opened the door, and bid them look in. They looked in,
therefore, and saw that within it was very dark and smoky;
they also thought that they heard there a rumbling noise as of fire,
and a cry of some tormented, and that they smelt the scent of brimstone.
Then said Christian, What means this? The Shepherds told them,
This is a by-way to hell, a way that hypocrites go in at; namely,
such as sell their birthright, with Esau; such as sell their master,
with Judas; such as blaspheme the gospel, with Alexander;
and that lie and dissemble, with Ananias and Sapphira his wife.
Then said Hopeful to the Shepherds, I perceive that these had on them,
even every one, a show of pilgrimage, as we have now; had they not?
SHEP. Yes, and held it a long time too.
HOPE. How far might they go on in pilgrimage in their day,
since they notwithstanding were thus miserably cast away?
SHEP. Some further, and some not so far, as these mountains.
Then said the Pilgrims one to another, We have need to cry to the Strong
SHEP. Ay, and you will have need to use it, when you have it, too.
By this time the Pilgrims had a desire to go forward,
and the Shepherds a desire they should; so they walked together
towards the end of the mountains. Then said the Shepherds
one to another, Let us here show to the Pilgrims the gates
of the Celestial City, if they have skill to look through
our perspective glass. The Pilgrims then
lovingly accepted the motion; so they had them to the top
of a high hill, called Clear, and gave them their glass to look.
Then they essayed to look, but the remembrance of that last thing
that the Shepherds had shown them, made their hands shake;
by means of which impediment, they could not look steadily
through the glass; yet they thought they saw something like the gate,
and also some of the glory of the place. Then they went away,
and sang this song--
Thus, by the Shepherds, secrets are reveal'd,
Which from all other men are kept conceal'd.
Come to the Shepherds, then, if you would see
Things deep, things hid, and that mysterious be.
When they were about to depart, one of the Shepherds gave them a note
of the way. Another of them bid them beware of the Flatterer.
The third bid them take heed that they sleep not upon
the Enchanted Ground. And the fourth bid them God-speed.
So I awoke from my dream.
And I slept, and dreamed again, and saw the same two Pilgrims
going down the mountains along the highway towards the city.
Now, a little below these mountains, on the left hand,
lieth the country of Conceit; from which country there comes
into the way in which the Pilgrims walked, a little crooked lane.
Here, therefore, they met with a very brisk lad, that came out
of that country; and his name was Ignorance. So Christian asked him
from what parts he came, and whither he was going.
IGNOR. Sir, I was born in the country that lieth off there
a little on the left hand, and I am going to the Celestial City.
CHR. But how do you think to get in at the gate? for you may find
some difficulty there.
IGNOR. As other people do, said he.
CHR. But what have you to show at that gate, that may cause
that the gate should be opened to you?
IGNOR. I know my Lord's will, and I have been a good liver;
I pay every man his own; I pray, fast, pay tithes, and give alms,
and have left my country for whither I am going.
CHR. But thou camest not in at the wicket-gate that is at the head
of this way; thou camest in hither through that same crooked lane,
and therefore, I fear, however thou mayest think of thyself,
when the reckoning day shall come, thou wilt have laid to thy charge
that thou art a thief and a robber, instead of getting admittance
into the city.
IGNOR. Gentlemen, ye be utter strangers to me, I know you not;
be content and follow the religion of your country, and I will follow
the religion of mine. I hope all will be well. And as for the gate
that you talk of, all the world knows that that is a great way off
of our country. I cannot think that any man in all our parts
doth so much as know the way to it, nor need they matter
whether they do or no, since we have, as you see, a fine,
pleasant green lane, that comes down from our country,
the next way into the way.
When Christian saw that the man was "wise in his own conceit",
he said to Hopeful, whisperingly, "There is more hope of a fool than
of him." [Prov. 26:12] And said, moreover, "When he that is a fool
walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one
that he is a fool." [Eccl. 10:3] What, shall we talk further with him,
or out-go him at present, and so leave him to think of what
he hath heard already, and then stop again for him afterwards,
and see if by degrees we can do any good to him? Then said Hopeful--
Let Ignorance a little while now muse
On what is said, and let him not refuse
Good counsel to embrace, lest he remain
Still ignorant of what's the chiefest gain.
God saith, those that no understanding have,
Although he made them, them he will not save.
HOPE. He further added, It is not good, I think, to say all to him
at once; let us pass him by, if you will, and talk to him anon,
even as he is able to bear it.
So they both went on, and Ignorance he came after. Now when they had
passed him a little way, they entered into a very dark lane,
where they met a man whom seven devils had bound with
seven strong cords, and were carrying of him back to the door
that they saw on the side of the hill. [Matt. 12:45, Prov. 5:22]
Now good Christian began to tremble, and so did Hopeful his companion;
yet as the devils led away the man, Christian looked to see
if he knew him; and he thought it might be one Turn-away,
that dwelt in the town of Apostasy. But he did not perfectly see
his face, for he did hang his head like a thief that is found.
But being once past, Hopeful looked after him, and espied on his back
a paper with this inscription, "Wanton professor and damnable apostate".
Then said Christian to his fellow, Now I call to remembrance,
that which was told me of a thing that happened to a good man hereabout.
The name of the man was Little-faith, but a good man, and he dwelt
in the town of Sincere. The thing was this:-- At the entering in
at this passage, there comes down from Broad-way Gate,
a lane called Dead Man's Lane; so called because of
the murders that are commonly done there; and this Little-faith
going on pilgrimage, as we do now, chanced to sit down there, and slept.
Now there happened, at that time, to come down the lane,
from Broad-way Gate, three sturdy rogues, and their names
were Faint-heart, Mistrust, and Guilt, (three brothers),
and they espying Little-faith, where he was, came galloping up
with speed. Now the good man was just awake from his sleep,
and was getting up to go on his journey. So they came up all to him,
and with threatening language bid him stand. At this
Little-faith looked as white as a clout, and had neither power to fight
Then said Faint-heart, Deliver thy purse. But he making no haste to do it
(for he was loath to lose his money), Mistrust ran up to him,
and thrusting his hand into his pocket, pulled out thence
a bag of silver. Then he cried out, Thieves! Thieves! With that Guilt,
with a great club that was in his hand, struck Little-faith on the head,
and with that blow felled him flat to the ground, where he lay bleeding
as one that would bleed to death. All this while the thieves stood by.
But, at last, they hearing that some were upon the road,
and fearing lest it should be one Great-grace, that dwells in the city
of Good-confidence, they betook themselves to their heels,
and left this good man to shift for himself. Now, after a while,
Little-faith came to himself, and getting up, made shift
to scrabble on his way. This was the story.
HOPE. But did they take from him all that ever he had?
Chr. No; the place where his jewels were they never ransacked,
so those he kept still. But, as I was told, the good man
was much afflicted for his loss, for the thieves got most of
That which they got not (as I said) were jewels, also he had
a little odd money left, but scarce enough to bring him to
his journey's end [1 Peter 4:18]; nay, if I was not misinformed,
he was forced to beg as he went, to keep himself alive;
for his jewels he might not sell. But beg, and do what he could,
he went (as we say) with many a hungry belly the most part
of the rest of the way.
HOPE. But is it not a wonder they got not from him his certificate,
by which he was to receive his admittance at the Celestial Gate?
CHR. It is a wonder; but they got not that, though they missed it
not through any good cunning of his; for he, being dismayed with
their coming upon him, had neither power nor skill to hide anything;
so it was more by good Providence than by his endeavour,
that they missed of that good thing.
HOPE. But it must needs be a comfort to him, that they got not
his jewels from him.
CHR. It might have been great comfort to him, had he used it
as he should; but they that told me the story said, that he made
but little use of it all the rest of the way, and that because
of the dismay that he had in the taking away his money; indeed,
he forgot it a great part of the rest of his journey; and besides,
when at any time it came into his mind, and he began to be
comforted therewith, then would fresh thoughts of his loss come again
upon him, and those thoughts would swallow up all. [1 Peter 1:9]
HOPE. Alas! poor man! This could not but be a great grief to him.
CHR. Grief! ay, a grief indeed. Would it not have been so to any of us,
had we been used as he, to be robbed, and wounded too,
and that in a strange place, as he was? It is a wonder he did not
die with grief, poor heart! I was told that he scattered almost
all the rest of the way with nothing but doleful and bitter complaints;
telling also to all that overtook him, or that he overtook in the way
as he went, where he was robbed, and how; who they were that did it,
and what he lost; how he was wounded, and that he hardly escaped
with his life.
HOPE. But it is a wonder that his necessity did not put him upon
selling or pawning some of his jewels, that he might have wherewith
to relieve himself in his journey.
CHR. Thou talkest like one upon whose head is the shell
to this very day; for what should he pawn them, or to whom
should he sell them? In all that country where he was robbed,
his jewels were not accounted of; nor did he want that relief
which could from thence be administered to him. Besides,
had his jewels been missing at the gate of the Celestial City,
he had (and that he knew well enough) been excluded from
an inheritance there; and that would have been worse to him
than the appearance and villainy of ten thousand thieves.
HOPE. Why art thou so tart, my brother? Esau sold his birthright,
and that for a mess of pottage, and that birthright was
his greatest jewel; and if he, why might not Little-faith do so too?
CHR. Esau did sell his birthright indeed, and so do many besides,
and by so doing exclude themselves from the chief blessing,
as also that caitiff did; but you must put a difference betwixt
Esau and Little-faith, and also betwixt their estates.
Esau's birthright was typical,
but Little-faith's jewels were not so; Esau's belly was his god,
but Little-faith's belly was not so; Esau's want lay
in his fleshly appetite, Little-faith's did not so. Besides,
Esau could see no further than to the fulfilling of his lusts;
(continued in part 11...)