John Bunyan (16281688). The Pilgrims Progress. The Harvard Classics. 190914.
The Pilgrims Progress, in the Similitude of a Dream; The Second Part
Now I saw still in my Dream, that they went on until they were come to the place that Simple and Sloth and Presumption lay and slept in, when Christian went by on Pilgrimage. And behold they were hanged up in irons, a little way off on the other side.
Great-heart. These three men were men of very bad qualities, they had no mind to be Pilgrims themselves, and whosoever they could they hindered. They were for sloth and folly themselves, and whoever they could persuade with, they made so too, and withal taught them to presume that they should do well at last. They were asleep when Christian went by, and now you go by they are hanged.
Behold here how the slothful are a sign,
Hung up cause holy ways they did decline.
See here too how the child doth play the man,
And weak grow strong when Great-heart leads the van.
Great-heart. Yes, they turned several out of the way. There was Slow-pace that they persuaded to do as they. They also prevailed with one Short-wind, with one No-heart, with one Linger-after-lust, and with one Sleepy-head, and with a young woman her name was Dull, to turn out of the way and become as they. Besides they brought up an ill report of your Lord, persuading others that he was a Task-master. They also brought up an evil report of the good Land, saying twas not half so good as some pretend it was. They also began to vilify his Servants, and to count the very best of them meddlesome troublesome busy-bodies. Further, they would call the Bread of God Husks, the Comforts of his Children Fancies, the Travel and Labour of Pilgrims things to no purpose.
Chris. Nay, said Christiana, if they were such, they shall never be bewailed by me. They have but what they deserve, and I think it is well that they hang so near the High-way that others may see and take warning. But had it not been well if their crimes had been engraven in some plate of iron or brass, and left here, even where they did their mischiefs, for a caution to other bad men?
Mercy. No, no, let them hang, and their names rot, and their crimes live for ever against them. I think it a high favour that they were hanged afore we came hither, who knows else what they might a done to such poor women as we are? Then she turned it into a Song saying,
Thus they went on, till they came at the foot of the Hill Difficulty, where again their good Friend Mr Great-heart, took an occasion to tell them of what happened there when Christian himself went by. So he had them first to the Spring. Lo, saith he, this is the Spring that Christian drank of before he went up this Hill, and then twas clear and good, but now tis dirty with the feet of some that are not desirous that Pilgrims here should quench their thirst. Thereat Mercy said, And why so envious, tro? But said the Guide, It will do, if taken up, and put into a vessel that is sweet and good; for then the dirt will sink to the bottom, and the water will come out by itself more clear. Thus therefore Christiana and her Companions were compelled to do. They took it up, and put it into an earthen pot, and so let it stand till the dirt was gone to the bottom, and then they drank thereof.
It is difficult getting of good doctrine in erroneous times
Next he shewed them the two by-ways that were at the foot of the Hill, where Formality and Hypocrisy lost themselves. And said he, these are dangerous Paths. Two were here cast away when Christian came by; and although, as you see, these ways are since stopped up with chains, posts and a ditch, yet there are that will chuse to adventure here, rather than take the pains to go up this Hill.
Great-heart. They will venture; yea, if at any time any of the Kings servants doth happen to see them, and doth call unto them, and tell them that they are in the wrong ways, and do bid them beware the danger, then they will railingly return them answer and say, As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the King, we will not hearken unto thee; but we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth out of our own mouths, &c. Nay if you look a little farther, you shall see that these ways are made cautionary enough, not only by these posts and ditch and chain, but also by being hedged up; yet they will chuse to go there.
Chris. They are idle, they love not to take pains, uphill way is unpleasant to them. So it is fulfilled unto them as it is written, The way of the slothful man is a Hedge of Thorns. Yea, they will rather chuse to walk upon a Snare, than to go up this Hill, and the rest of this way to the City.
Then they set forward, and began to go up the Hill, and up the Hill they went; but before they got to the top, Christiana began to pant, and said, I dare say this is a breathing Hill. No marvel if they that love their ease more than their souls, chuse to themselves a smoother way. Then said Mercy, I must sit down; also the least of the Children began to cry. Come, come, said Great-heart, sit not down here, for a little above is the Princes Arbor. Then took he the little Boy by the hand, and led him up thereto.
When they were come to the Arbor, they were very willing to sit down, for they were all in a pelting heat. Then said Mercy, How sweet is rest to them that labour. And how good is the Prince of Pilgrims to provide such resting-places for them. Of this Arbor I have heard much, but I never saw it before. But here let us beware of sleeping; for as I have heard, for that it cost poor Christian dear.
Then said Mr Great-heart to the little ones, Come my pretty Boys, how do you do? What think you now of going on Pilgrimage? Sir, said the least, I was almost beat out of heart, but I thank you for lending me a hand at my need. And I remember now what my Mother has told me, namely, That the way to Heaven is as up a Ladder, and the way to Hell is as down a Hill. But I had rather go up the Ladder to Life, than down the Hill to Death.
The little boys answer to the guide, and also to Mercy
Then said Mercy, But the Proverb is, To go down the Hill is easy. But James said (for that was his name) The day is coming when in my opinion going down Hill will be the hardest of all. Tis a good Boy, said his Master, thou hast given her a right answer. Then Mercy smiled, but the little Boy did blush.
Chris. Come, said Christiana, will you eat a bit, a little to sweeten your mouths, while you sit here to rest your legs? For I have here a piece of Pomegranate, which Mr Interpreter put in my hand, just when I came out of his doors. He gave me also a piece of an Honey-comb, and a little Bottle of Spirits. I thought he gave you something, said Mercy, because he called you a to-side. Yes, so he did, said the other; but Mercy, it shall still be, as I said it should, when at first we came from home, thou shalt be a sharer in all the good that I have, because thou so willingly didst become my Companion. Then she gave to them, and they did eat, both Mercy and the Boys. And said Christiana to Mr Great-heart, Sir, will you do as we? But he answered, You are going on Pilgrimage, and presently I shall return: much good may what you have do to you, at home I eat the same every day. Now when they had eaten and drank, and had chatted a little longer, their Guide said to them, The day wears away, if you think good, let us prepare to be going. So they got up to go, and the little Boys went before. But Christiana forgat to take her Bottle of Spirits with her, so she sent her little Boy back to fetch it. Then said Mercy, I think this is a losing place. Here Christian lost his Roll, and here Christiana left her Bottle behind her. Sir, what is the cause of this? So their Guide made answer and said, The cause is sleep or forgetfulness: some sleep when they should keep awake, and some forget when they should remember; and this is the very cause, why often at the resting-places, some Pilgrims in some things come off losers. Pilgrims should watch, and remember what they have already received under their greatest enjoyment; but for want of doing so, oft-times their Rejoicing ends in Tears, and their Sun-shine in a Cloud: witness the story of Christian at this place.
When they were come to the place where Mistrust and Timorous met Christian to persuade him to go back for fear of the Lions, they perceived as it were a Stage, and before it towards the Road a broad plate with a Copy of Verses written thereon, and underneath, the reason of raising up of that Stage in that place rendered. The Verses were these:
The words underneath the Verses were, This Stage was built to punish such upon, who through timorousness or mistrust, shall be afraid to go further on Pilgrimage. Also on this Stage both Mistrust and Timorous were burned through the Tongue with an hot Iron, for endeavouring to hinder Christian in his Journey.
So they went on, till they came within sight of the Lions. Now Mr Great-heart was a strong man, so he was not afraid of a Lion; but yet when they were come up to the place where the Lions were, the Boys that went before were glad to cringe behind, for they were afraid of the Lions; so they stept back, and went behind. At this their Guide smiled, and said. How now, my Boys, do you love to go before when no danger doth approach, and love to come behind so soon as the Lions appear?
An emblem of those that go on bravely when there is no danger, but shrink when troubles come
Now as they went up, Mr Great-heart drew his Sword, with intent to make a way for the Pilgrims in spite of the Lions. Then there appeared one, that it seems, had taken upon him to back the Lions; and he said to the Pilgrims Guide, What is the cause of your coming hither? Now the name of that man was Grim, or Bloody-man, because of his slaying of Pilgrims, and he was of the race of the Giants.
Chris. Then said Christiana, Tho the High-ways have been un-occupied heretofore, and tho the Travellers have been made in time past to walk through by-paths, it must not be so now I am risen, now I am risen a Mother in Israel.
Great-heart. Tis the Kings High-way that we are in, and in his way it is that thou hast placed thy Lions; but these Women and these Children, tho weak, shall hold on their way in spite of thy Lions. And with that he gave him again a downright blow, and brought him upon his knees. With this blow he also broke his Helmet, and with the next he cut off an arm. Then did the Giant roar so hideously, that his voice frighted the Women, and yet they were glad to see him lie sprawling upon the ground. Now the Lions were chained, and so of themselves could do nothing. Wherefore when old Grim that intended to back them was dead, Mr Great-heart said to the Pilgrims, Come now and follow me, and no hurt shall happen to you from the Lions. They therefore went on, but the Women trembled as they passed by them; the Boys also looked as if they would die, but they all got by without further hurt.
Now then they were within sight of the Porters Lodge, and they soon came up unto it; but they made the more haste after this to go thither, because tis dangerous travelling there in the Night. So when they were come to the Gate, the Guide knocked, and the Porter cried, Who is there? But as soon as the Guide had said, It is I, he knew his voice, and came down (for the Guide had oft before that come thither as a Conductor of Pilgrims). When he was come down, he opened the Gate, and seeing the Guide standing just before it (for he saw not the Women, for they were behind him) he said unto him, How now, Mr Great-heart, what is your business here so late to-night? I have brought, said he, some Pilgrims hither, where by my Lords commandment they must lodge. I had been here some time ago, had I not been opposed by the Giant that did use to back the Lions but I after a long and tedious combat with him, have cut him off, and have brought the Pilgrims hither in safety.
Chris. Oh Sir, I know not how to be willing you should leave us in our Pilgrimage, you have been so faithful and so loving to us, you have fought so stoutly for us, you have been so hearty in counselling of us, that I shall never forget your favour towards us.
Great-heart. I am at my Lords commandment. If he shall allot me to be your Guide quite through, I will willingly wait upon you. But here you failed at first; for when he bid me come thus far with you, then you should have begged me of him to have gone quite through with you, and he would have granted your request. However at present I must withdraw, and so, good Christiana, Mercy, and my brave Children Adieu.
Then the Porter, Mr Watchful, asked Christiana of her Country, and of her Kindred. And she said, I came from the City of Destruction, I am a Widow woman, and my Husband is dead, his name was Christian the Pilgrim. How, said the Porter, was he your Husband? Yes, said she, and these are his Children; and this, pointing to Mercy, is one of my Towns-women. Then the Porter rang his bell, as at such times he is wont, and there came to the door one of the Damsels, whose name was Humble-mind. And to her the Porter said, Go tell it within that Christiana the Wife of Christian, and her Children, are come hither on Pilgrimage. She went in therefore and told it. But O what a noise for gladness was there within, when the Damsel did but drop that word out of her mouth.
Christiana makes herself known to the porter; he tells it to a damsel
Joy at the noise of the pilgrims coming
So they came with haste to the Porter, for Christiana stood still at the door. Then some of the most grave said unto her, Come in Christiana, come in thou Wife of that good man, come in thou blessed woman, come in with all that are with thee. So she went in, and they followed her that were her Children and her Companions. Now when they were gone in, they were had into a very large room, where they were bidden to sit down, so they sat down; and the Chief of the house was called to see and welcome the Guests. Then they came in, and understanding who they were, did salute each other with a kiss, and said, Welcome ye Vessels of the Grace of God, welcome to us your Friends.
Christians love is kindled at the sight of one another
Now because it was somewhat late, and because the Pilgrims were weary with their Journey, and also made faint with the sight of the Fight and of the terrible Lions, therefore they desired as soon as might be, to prepare to go to rest. Nay, said those of the Family, refresh your selves first with a morsel of Meat. For they had prepared for them a Lamb, with the accustomed Sauce belonging thereto; for the Porter had heard before of their coming, and had told it to them within. So when they had supped, and ended their Prayer with a Psalm, they desired they might go to rest. But let us, said Christiana, if we may be so bold as to chuse, be in that Chamber that was my Husbands when he was here. So they had them up thither, and they lay all in a room. When they were at rest, Christiana and Mercy entred into discourse about things that were convenient.
Now I had not sat there long, but methought many were gathered about me, to see me, and to hear what it was that I said. So they hearkened, and I went on be moaning the hardness of my Heart. At this some of them laughed at me, some called me Fool, and some began to thrust me about. With that, methought I looked up, and saw one coming with Wings towards me. So he came directly to me, and said, Mercy, what aileth thee? Now when he had heard me make my complaint, he said, Peace be to thee. He also wiped mine eyes with his Handkerchief, and clad me in Silver and Gold: he put a Chain about my Neck, and Ear-rings in mine Ears, and a beautiful Crown upon my Head. Then he took me by the Hand, and said Mercy, come after me. So he went up, and I followed, till we came at a Golden Gate. Then he knocked; and when they within had opened, the man went in, and I followed him up to a Throne, upon which one sat, and he said to me, Welcome Daughter. The place looked bright and twinkling like the Stars, or rather like the Sun, and I thought that I saw your Husband there. So I awoke from my Dream. But did I laugh?
Chris. Laugh: ay, and well you might, to see yourself so well. For you must give me leave to tell you, that I believe it was a good Dream, and that as you have begun to find the first part true, so you shall find the second at last. God speaks once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a Dream, in a Vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumbring upon the bed. We need not, when a-bed, lie awake to talk with God. He can visit us while we sleep, and cause us then to hear his voice. Our heart oft-times wakes when we sleep; and God can speak to that, either by words, by Proverbs, by Signs and Similitudes, as well as if one was awake.
Mercy. Pray, if they invite us to stay a while, let us willingly accept of the proffer. I am the willinger to stay a while here, to grow better acquainted with these Maids. Methinks Prudence Piety and Charity have very comely and sober countenances.
Char. Ay, and that with a very good will, said Charity. So they consented, and stayed there about a month or above, and became very profitable one to another. And because Prudence would see how Christiana had brought up her Children, she asked leave of her to catechise them. So she gave her free consent. Then she began at the youngest, whose name was James.
Then said Prudence to Christiana, You are to be commended for thus bringing up your Children. I suppose I need not ask the rest these questions, since the youngest of them can answer them so well. I will therefore now apply myself to the youngest next.
Matt. No, for God is eternal, nor is there anything excepting himself that had a being until the beginning of the first day. For in six days the Lord made Heaven and Earth, the Sea and all that in them is.