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The Pilgrim's Progress from this world to that
which is to come, in the similitude of a dream

THE SECOND PART

by John Bunyan
 

Retold for Children and Adapted to School Reading, by James Baldwin, 1913

(Editor's note: a superb audio recording of this book (Parts 1 & 2) by James Baldwin, can be downloaded for just $5.98)


Some time ago, I told you of my dream about Christian the Pilgrim, and of his dangerous journey to the Celestial Country; and the telling of it was pleasing to me and I hope profitable to you. Now, not long ago, I went down again towards that place wherein there is a Den; and having taken up my lodgings in a forest near by I slept and dreamed again!

 

THE DEPARTURE

I thought that I saw in my dream the little house in the City of Destruction, which had once been Christian's home. In that house sat Christian's wife, her eyes full of brinish tears and her mind burdened with many grievous thoughts.

Then, as she moaned and wept, she said to her children, "Sons, we are all undone! Your father is gone to the Celestial Land. He would have had us with him but I would not go. And now we are left alone in this place with no one to comfort us."

With that the boys fell all into tears, and cried out to go after their father.

"Oh, that we had gone with him!" cried CHRISTIANA, for that was her name. "Oh. that we had shared his burden and his perils for then had it fared well with us."

Then all wept and cried out, "Oh, woe worth the day!"

In the morning when they were up and still feeling very sorrowful, they heard someone knocking hard at the door.

"If you come in God's name, come in," said Christiana.

So he opened the door and came in, saying, "Peace be to this house!"

Christiana saw that he was a messenger, and her heart waxed warm, for she hoped that he brought news of her husband.

Then he said to her, "My name is SECRET, and I dwell with those that are high. I have come from the Lord of the Celestial Land to tell you that he is willing to receive you. He invites you to come to his table, and he will feed you with the fat of his house. Your husband is already there, and he will be glad to hear the sound of your feet."

At this the good woman was quite overcome, and she cried out, "Sir, I am ready to go. Will you carry me and my children with you?"

Then answered the messenger, "Christiana, the bitter is before the sweet. You must pass through troubles, as Christian did before you can enter the Celestial City. Follow the light which you see dimly in the distance. Go to the wicket gate. Keep to the straight and narrow way."

Having said this, the messenger bade her farewell, and Christiana called her sons together.

"Come, my children," she said, "let us pack up and be off to the gate that leads to the Celestial Land!"

When the children heard this, they danced for joy, for they longed to follow in the footsteps of their father. So all made haste to get ready for the journey.

But just as they were about to be gone, two women who were neighbors of Christiana came up to the house and knocked at the door. And when they saw the mother and the boys all ready to set out from their home, they were much surprised.

"Indeed, indeed, what is the meaning of this?" asked one of them, whose name was Mrs. TIMOROUS.

"We are going on a journey," answered Christiana.

"A journey! Where to, I pray you?" cried Mrs. Timorous.

"Even to go after my good husband," said Christiana; and with that she began to weep.

"I'm afraid you'll be sorry for it," said Mrs. Timorous. "Only think of the perils in your way. Think of your four little boys, and remember that the safest place is at home."

"Tempt me not, my neighbor," answered Christiana. "I have fully made up my mind, and nothing can turn me back."

"Fool! fool!" said Mrs. Timorous, and she mocked Christiana and spoke many bitter words to her. Then she turned to the other young woman and said," Come, MERCY, let us go home. She will have her own way, and so let her suffer as she deserves."

But Mercy's kind heart was touched at the thought of parting with Christiana. So she answered Mrs. Timorous, and said, "Nay, I think I will walk a little way with her and the boys. The day is bright and fair, and I will help them to get well started on their journey."

"Ha!" said Mrs. Timorous. "You want to go a fooling, too, do you? But take heed in time, and be wise. While we are out of danger, we are out; but when we are in, we are in."

Then Mrs. Timorous returned to her own house. And Christiana and her boys went out hopefully and began their journey. And the sweet-faced maiden whose name was Mercy went with them.

"I will be your companion even to the wicket gate and as much farther as the King will permit me to go," she said.

 

AT THE WICKET GATE

Now I saw in my dream, that they went onward over the plain in the way which Christian had gone before them. The way was rough and uneven, and they often grew tired; but Mercy was ever at hand to cheer and comfort them, and oftentimes she took the youngest child in her arms and carried him.

They came, by and by, to the great bog, the Slough of Despond, and it was even more miry than it had been when Christian fell into it. But they must needs get across it; and Christiana sank deep in the mud more than once or twice. Mercy also came near sticking in the oozy mire. But the boys, being quick of feet and light of heart, went over without knowing that any bog was there.

So they went on until presently they came to the wicket gate. Then as they stood before it they began to wonder how they should get through. They saw the words written above it, "Knock and it shall be opened unto you." But which of them should do the knocking?

At last Christiana ventured to knock. She knocked and knocked and knocked, just as her poor husband had done. Then, from within, they heard a dog barking. It was a large dog, too, and the women and children were much afraid.

What should they do? They were afraid to knock again. They were afraid to run back, lest they should offend the King. They were afraid to stand still and wait.

After a time, Christiana went up, trembling, and knocked again. Then the keeper of the gate came, and having opened the wicket, he asked, "Who is there?"

Christiana answered him truthfully, "I am the wife of Christian who once did pass this way, and these are his children and mine. We would gladly journey onward, through this gate, to the Celestial City."

Then the keeper took her by the hand and led her in. He also lifted the boys over the threshold and brought them through the gate.

"Suffer little children to come unto me," he said, and with that, he shut the wicket.

Now all this while, Mercy stood outside, trembling and crying; neither did she venture to make herself known. When Christiana saw that the maiden had been left behind, she began to intercede for her. "I have a dear friend who is waiting outside," she said. "She is on the same errand as myself; but she had not the courage to come in, seeing that no one has invited her."

At that moment a sudden knocking at the gate was heard. It was so loud that it startled those who were within.

"Who is there?" cried the keeper.

And Christiana answered, "It must be my friend."

So he opened the gate and looked out. But Mercy had fainted and had fallen upon the ground; for she was afraid that no gate would be opened to her, and the barking of the dog filled her with alarm.

Then the keeper took her by the hand and lifted her up. And when she had revived a little, he led her gently in and welcomed her to the place. So now all were safe on the safe side of the wicket gate; and while the keeper was going about his duties, they began to rejoice.

"How glad I am that we are here!" said Christiana.

"So may we all well be," said Mercy, "but I have indeed cause to leap for joy!"

"When I heard that savage dog, I feared that we were indeed lost," said Christiana. "I had scarcely strength enough to knock."

"It was the same way with myself," said Mercy. "I came near losing all hope."

"I marvel in my heart why the keeper has such an ugly cur," said Christiana. "Had I known it, I would never have had the courage to come near the gate. But now that we are in, we are in, and I am glad."

"Well, the next time he comes near us, I will ask him why he keeps such a filthy beast in his yard," said Mercy.

"Yes, do!" cried all the boys; "and persuade him to kill the ugly thing. We are afraid he will bite us when we go out."

So, presently, when the keeper came again by the place where they were resting, Mercy asked him, "Good sir, why do you keep that cruel dog in your yard? We are all much afraid of him."

The keeper answered, "The dog is not mine, neither is he in my yard. He belongs to the castle which you see near by, and the castle yard comes quite close to the gate. He has frightened many honest pilgrims by his barking; but he cannot get to them to harm them."

"We are glad of that," said the boys.

Then Christiana began to talk of their journey, and to inquire after the way. So the keeper of the gate brought them water to wash their feet; he set a table before them and gave them nourishing food; and when they had eaten and were refreshed, he showed them the narrow way which Christian had followed before them.

"This is the King's highway," he said. "Be sure that you do not wander from it!"

So they thanked him for all his kindness, and he bade them Godspeed on their journey.

 

THE HOUSE OF THE INTERPRETER

Now I saw in my dream that Christiana and Mercy, with the four boys, went onward in the way they had been shown, and the weather was very comfortable to them.

They had gone only a little distance from the wicket gate when they saw a pleasant orchard on one side of the road. It was full of trees bearing all manner of beautiful fruit, and some of these trees grew so close to the highway, that their branches overhung the wall.

So, as they were walking along, they saw on the ground many ripe apples which had fallen from the branches. These apples being mellow and sweet, the boys picked up not a few, and did eat some of them as they went. But soon they began to feel sick, and all day long they suffered pain and were sorry.

"Well, my sons," said Christiana, "the fruit was not yours, and you should not have touched it." But she did not know that the orchard belonged to the giant owner of the castle. If she had, she would have been filled with fear.

So they went on until they came to the Interpreter's house, and there Christiana knocked as she had done at the gate before. Now when she had knocked, there came to the door a maid whose name was INNOCENT. The maid opened the door and looked; and behold two women were there.

"What is it that you wish here?" she asked.

Christiana answered, "We are pilgrims, and we have been told we would find a friendly welcome here. The day, as you see, is far spent, and we cannot well go farther tonight."

"Pray, what is your name, that I may tell it to my master?" said Innocent.

"My name is Christiana, and I am the wife of Christian, who passed this way some time ago. These four boys are his sons and mine, and this maiden is my young friend, Mercy, who is going with us on this pilgrimage."

Then Innocent ran joyfully into the house and cried out, "Only think who is at the door! It is Christiana and her children and her companion, and they wait to be lodged and entertained here tonight."

Then the Interpreter himself went to the door and welcomed them.

"Come in, faithful one," he said. "Come, children, come in. Come, maiden, come in."

So he led them into the great room of the house, and bade them sit down and rest. And all who were of the household came in to see them and one smiled, and another smiled, and all smiled for joy.

Now, while supper was being made ready, the Interpreter took them into the different rooms and showed them the moving pictures and the other wonderful things which he had shown to Christian some time before. They saw the two children, Patience and Passion, and the man in the cage, and the man and his dream, and other instructive and curious things.

The Interpreter took them also into a room where there was a man with his eyes always turned towards the ground. This man had a muck rake in his hands, and he did nothing but rake to himself the straws and the sticks and the dust of the earth. But above his head there was a golden crown, which he might have taken and worn had he only looked upward and desired the best gifts.

"Straws and sticks and dust are the great things which many people now spend their time in raking together," said the Interpreter.

Then he led them into the largest room of the house, and a very brave room it was. "Tell me what you see here," he said.

They looked round and round but there was nothing to be seen but a big spider on the wall.

"I see nothing," said Mercy.

"Look again," said the Interpreter.

"Well, I see an ugly spider hanging on the wall," answered Mercy.

"Yes, and this spider teaches us a lesson," said the Interpreter. "For is it not written, 'The spider takes hold with her hands, and is in kings palaces'? So there are bad and loathly things even in the highest places."

Then he led them into the barnyard and showed the boys a brood of chickens drinking at a trough. And he told them how the mother hen cared for them and called them as she had need.

"She has a common call, when she gives them nothing," he said. "She has a special call, when she has something good for them. She has a brooding call, when she would gather them under her wings. And she has a call of alarm to warn them of danger. Even so does our King call us, his children."

Then he led them into his garden and showed them his flowers.

"See how different these flowers are," he said. "Some are tall, some are short; some have one color, some another; some are better than the rest, some worse. But they stand where the gardener planted them, and do not complain of their lot."

At length he took them again into the house; and when supper was ready they all sat down to a bounteous feast. And while they ate, one of the household played sweet music, and another sang. Thus the evening passed pleasantly; and that night the pilgrims rested from their weariness and were greatly refreshed.

In the morning they rose with the sun, and were soon ready to renew their journey. But the Interpreter would not let them go until they had bathed themselves in a fountain in his garden.

So they went and washed, the women and the boys also. And they came out of that bath not only sweet and clean but much enlivened and strengthened. And they looked fairer and much more beautiful than they had ever looked before.

Then the Interpreter bade his servants give them new clothing, fine linen, white and clean. And when they were clad in these garments they stood amazed, each looking at the others and wondering because of their beauty.

Finally, the Interpreter called for a man-servant of his whose name was GREAT-HEART.

"Great-heart," said he, "arm yourself with sword and shield. Put on your helmet and your coat of mail. Then go forth with these my daughters and these noble boys, and protect them on their way. Lead them to the House Beautiful, which will be their next resting place."

So Great-heart took his weapons and went out before them. The Interpreter bade them Godspeed, and they went on their way rejoicing.

 

GREAT-HEART

Now I saw in my dream that they went on, and Great-heart walked before them. The way was narrow and sometimes steep but they were refreshed and strong, and so they felt no weariness.

They passed the place where Christian's burden had fallen from his back; and they saw the tomb into which it had tumbled.

They passed also by the cliff where Christian had seen Simple, Sloth, and Presumption lying asleep.

Thus they went on till they came to the foot of the Hill Difficulty; and there Great-heart showed them everything that would interest them to see.

"Here," said he, "is the spring that Christian drank from, before he went up the hill. And here are the two byways where Formality and Hypocrisy lost themselves. These are very dangerous paths. They have lately been stopped up with posts and chains, as you see but still there are many who venture into them, rather than take the pains to climb the hill."

After they had rested a little while, they set forward to go up the hill; and Great-heart led the way. But before they got to the top, Christiana began to pant for very weariness.

"Surely, this is a difficult hill," she said; "I don't wonder that some people try to go around it."

Mercy, too, was very tired, and the youngest of the boys began to cry.

"Come, come," said Great-heart, "be brave a little longer. There is an arbor a little above, and there you may sit down and rest."

Then he took the little boy by the hand and led him the rest of the way; and at the hardest places he lifted him and carried him.

"Well, how do you like being a pilgrim?" he asked, when they had reached the top.

"Very well, sir, and I thank you," answered the boy. "It is like going up a ladder; but I would rather climb a ladder, than fall into a pit."

So they went on till they came in sight of the lions.

Now Great-heart was a strong man and was not afraid of the beasts; but the boys cringed behind him, and were much alarmed.

"Well, well!" said Great-heart. "You boys were brave when there was no danger; but now you wish someone else to be brave."

Then he drew his sword and went forward to meet the lions; but suddenly an ugly giant stood in the road before him. The name of this giant was GRIM, and it was his custom to waylay pilgrims who were going through this lonely place.

"How now?" he cried to Great-heart. "What are you doing here?"

Then answered the brave guide, "These women and children are going on a pilgrimage. This is the way they must go, and I will lead them safe through, in spite of giants and lions."

"Indeed, you shall not," roared Grim. "You shall not go past me and my lions."

But Great-heart was not afraid. He said not another word but rushed upon the giant with his sword. The big fellow drew back, and defended himself with his club.

"Ha! Do you think you will slay me here on my own ground?" he cried.

"We are on the King's highway," answered Great-heart. "You shall not hinder these pilgrims from passing."

And with that he gave the giant a blow which brought him to his knees. With that same blow he broke his helmet, and with the next he cut off his arm.

The giant roared so hideously that the women and children were greatly frightened. But when they saw him sprawling on the ground they were glad.

Now the lions were all the time roaring, and tugging at their chains; and the noise was so great and fearful that the pilgrims would have fled in terror, had it not been for their guide. But he, taking the little boy by the hand, said to the others, "Come, now, and follow me. No hurt shall happen to you from the lions."

So they went on but the women trembled as they passed the raging beasts. The boys looked as if they would die of fear; but they clung close to their guide, and all got by in safety.

And now, looking up, they saw the House Beautiful not far ahead of them; and going on with haste, they soon came to the porter's lodge. Night was already come, and all was dark and silent within. But Great-heart went up to the gate and knocked loudly.

Who is there?" cried the porter.

"It is I," answered Great-heart.

The porter knew his voice, for the brave guide had been there many times before. He hurried down and opened the gate; and when he saw Great-heart standing there, he said, "How now, Mr. Great-heart? What is your business here so late at night?" For he did not see the women and children who were behind him in the darkness.

"I have brought some pilgrims," answered the guide. "They wish to lodge here and rest for a while."

"They are indeed welcome," said the porter. "But why are you so late?"

"We should have come much earlier," said Great-heart, "but we were hindered by old Giant Grim who has often waylaid pilgrims and helped the lions. I had a long and hard fight with him, and I guess he will give no further trouble."

"Well, well! That is good news," said the porter. "Now come in and stay till morning."

"The pilgrims will go in," answered Great-heart, "but I must return at once to my master."

Then Christiana spoke up and thanked him. "You have been so loving and faithful, and you have fought so stoutly for us. How can we go on without you?"

"Yes," said Mercy, "we would have perished if you had not led us. Oh, that we might have your company to our journey's end!"

Then the little boy took him by the hand and said, "Oh, sir, won't you go on with us and help us? We are so weak, and the way is so rough and dangerous!"

"I must obey my master," answered Great-heart. "Tonight I must return to him. But if he shall afterwards bid me be your guide I will gladly come and wait on you. And so I bid you adieu."

And with that he turned and went back through the darkness.

 

AT THE HOUSE BEAUTIFUL

Now I saw in my dream, that the porter led the pilgrims into the House Beautiful. He said to those who were within, "Here is the wife of Christian, with her children and her young friend Mercy. They have come hither on a pilgrimage."

Then Prudence and Piety and Charity, the good women of the house, hastened to welcome her.

"Come in, Christiana," they said. "Come in, wife of that good man. Come in, blessed woman. Come in, with all that are with you."

So she went in, and the rest followed her. And they were very weary of their journey, and it was late; also they were faint with the fright they had been in because of the giant and the lions. So they desired, as soon as might be, to be shown to their rooms.

"Nay," said Charity and Prudence, "you must first refresh yourselves with a morsel of food."

Then they were led to a table where food was offered them in plenty; and they ate and were refreshed. When they had supped, they were taken to their places of rest; and Christiana and Mercy were given the same room in which Christian had slept when he was there before them; and the name of that room was Peace.

Now as they lay composing themselves to sleep, Mercy suddenly cried out, "Hark! Do you hear that sound?"

"Yes," said Christiana; "I do believe it is the sound of music. They are having music for joy that we are here."

"Wonderful!" said Mercy. "Music in the house, music in the heart, music everywhere for joy!"

So they lay quietly and listened, and soon fell asleep.

Now when the morrow was come, the sisters of the house would in no wise consent that the pilgrims should go forward. "Tarry with us for awhile," they said. "The summer is yet long, and there is no haste that you should finish your pilgrimage."

They, therefore, abode in the House Beautiful, not only one day but two and many more. And every day they saw some new sight or learned some new and striking truth; and their hearts were filled with joy and peace.

It so chanced that a young man whose name was Mr. BRISK came often to the house to see the sisters and to talk with them about the many things that were of interest to them all. He was a very busy little man, bustling hither and thither, and making believe that he was serving the King.

The maidens of the house had some doubts of him, and Prudence and Piety treated him quite coldly. But Charity said, "Let us think no wrong of him;" and so his visits were continued, and everyone hoped that he might prove to be as good as he pretended.

Now when Mr. Brisk saw Mercy, how fair and gentle she was, he began to admire her very much. He cared no more for the company of Piety or of Charity; but every day he came to see the sweet face of Mercy and to listen to her pleasant voice. But most of all, he took notice that she was never idle; and he said to himself, "A maiden so diligent would make the best wife in the world."

But Mercy's mind was full of thoughts for the good of others; and when she had nothing to do for herself she would be knitting or sewing and making garments for the needy.

One day when she was alone, Mr. Brisk came in and found her at her old work, making things for the poor.

"What! always at it?" he asked.

"Yes," she answered, "either for myself or for others."

"And how much can you earn in a day?" he asked.

"I make these things for the love of others and not for pay," she answered.

"What do you do with them?" said he.

"I give them to those who are most in need," she said, simply. "It is better to clothe the naked and feed the hungry, than to lay up treasures."

With that, the young man's countenance fell, and he soon took his leave.

Some days afterward, Prudence said to him, "We do not see you at the house any more. Has Mercy no more charms for you?"

"Well, indeed," he answered, "I think Mercy is a pretty girl but her habits are not such as a busy man can admire."

And that was the last of his visits to the House Beautiful.

About this time Matthew, the eldest of the four boys, fell sick. He was so sick that his mother feared he would die; and so a doctor was called in. The name of the doctor was SKILL; and when he saw the boy he knew at once what ailed him.

"What kind of food has Matthew been eating?" asked Dr. Skill.

"The food that is set before us here by the sisters of the House Beautiful," answered Christiana. "He has had only that which is most wholesome."

"But he is sick of something that he ate before he came to this place," said the doctor. "He has something in his stomach that won't digest, and it has been there a long time."

Then Samuel, the second son, spoke up and said, "Mother, don't you remember the orchard we passed just this side of the Wicket Gate? The trees hung over the wall, and we picked up some of the fruit that had fallen on the highway."

"True, my child," said Christiana. "And I scolded you all for eating of those apples."

"I took only a bite," said Samuel, "but Matthew ate more than one."

"There!" said Dr. Skill. "I knew the symptoms, and it is that fruit that has made him sick. That was Beelzebub's orchard, and the fruit which grows on his trees is very poisonous."

Then the physician made up some pills which he gave to Matthew, and the boy, though he made wry faces and cried bitterly, was forced to swallow them. The next day the sickness began to leave him, and soon he was able to walk about the house and the garden.

And now the time was about come for the pilgrims to renew their journey; but, just as they were getting ready to depart, someone knocked on the door.

The porter opened it, and behold, there was Great-heart, the guide, standing on the threshold. He had on his armor, and his sword and shield were at his side. How joyful the pilgrims were to see him!

"I have come to guide and protect you during the rest of your journey," he said. "And here is a bottle of wine and some parched corn which my master has sent for each of you. He has also sent the boys some figs and raisins, to refresh them on the way."

Soon they were ready to depart. They thanked the porter for his kindness, and again set their feet on the King's highway. And Piety, Prudence, and Charity walked a little way with them.

 

THROUGH THE VALLEY OF HUMILIATION

Now I saw in my dream, that the pilgrims began to go down the hill into the Valley of Humiliation. It was a steep hill, and the way was slippery; but they were very careful, and so got down pretty well.

There the sisters of the House Beautiful bade them farewell. "It was in this valley," said they, "that Christian met the foul fiend, Apollyon. But be of good courage. You have Mr. Great-heart to defend you." So they commended the pilgrims to the care of their guide, and returned to their home.

Then Great-heart walked on before them, and as he walked he talked to them about the beauty and fruitfulness of the valley.

'We need not be afraid," said he, "for here is nothing to hurt us unless we bring it upon ourselves. The Valley of Humiliation is as fruitful a place as any the crow flies over. It is fat ground, and is covered with green meadows. And see how these are beautified with lilies!"

As they were thus going along and talking, they saw a boy watching his father's sheep. The boy was very poorly dressed but his face was fresh and rosy; and as he sat by himself, he sang.

"Hark!" said Great-heart. "Be still and listen to his song."

So they stood and listened; and these are the words they heard

"He that is down needs fear no fall,
He that is low, no pride;
He that is humble ever shall
Have God to be his guide.

"I am content with what I have,
Little be it or much:
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
Because you lovest such."

"Hear him," said Great-heart. "I will dare say that this boy is merrier, and wears more of the herb called hearts-ease than many a person who is clad in silk and velvet."

Then they walked on, and all were happy because of the beauties of the place.

"This valley suits me well," said Mercy; "for here there is no rattling with coaches nor rumbling with wheels. Here one may walk in quiet, and think about things that are beautiful and true."

"Yes," answered Great-heart, "this is a valley that nobody walks in but those who love a pilgrim's life. Here one is free from noise and the hurryings of business. It was here that our Prince once loved to walk; for the meadows are very beautiful and the air is pleasant."

Soon they came to the place where Christian had fought the fiend Apollyon; and Great-heart pointed out to the boys each noted spot in that field of battle.

"Here is where your father stood when he first saw Apollyon coming. Here is where the fiend fell upon him, and on these stones you may still see the marks of his blood. Here are some of the splinters of Apollyon's broken darts. And see here, how they did beat the ground with their feet as they fought to make good their places against each other. And here is where Apollyon turned his back and fled from the valley. Verily, your father did play the man here."

Then he led them a little farther, and showed them a monument that had been set up there in honor of Christian's victory. They stood around it and rejoiced, and one of the boys read aloud the writing that was engraved upon it:

"Hard by here, was a battle fought,
Most strange and yet most true;
Christian and Apollyon sought
Each other to subdue.

"The man so bravely played the man
He made the fiend to fly;
Of which a monument I stand,
The same to testify."

 

THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH

Now I saw in my dream, that the pilgrims had come upon the borders of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. This valley was longer than the other, and it was strangely haunted with evil things. But the women and children went into it the more bravely because they had Great-heart for their guide.

The first sound they heard was a great groaning, which seemed to fill the whole place. Then they heard strange shouts and screams; and as they went farther, they felt the ground to shake under them, as if some hollow place was there.

"Oh, when shall we get through this doleful place?" asked one of the boys.

Then the guide took the two younger ones by the hand to lead them. "Be of good courage," he said to those behind. "Look well to your feet, lest you step in some snare."

When they had come to about the middle of the valley, Christiana stopped suddenly.

"I see something in the road before us," she said. "It is a strange shape, unlike anything I have seen before."

"What is it, mother?" asked James, the little boy.

"An ugly thing, child; an ugly thing."

"But, mother, what is it like?"

"I cannot tell what it is like. Now it is near; now it is far off; now it is near again."

"Well, well!" said Great-heart. "Let all keep close to me."

Then he went forward with his sword drawn. The strange shape came on, and he struck it a fierce blow. Then the shape vanished and was seen no more.

So they went on more bravely. But Mercy, looking behind her, saw a great lion following after them; and now it gave a roar so deep and loud that all the valley echoed with the sound.

The hearts of all ached with fear. But Great-heart went behind, and set them in the road before him. Then he stood his ground to give battle to the lion.

The beast paused; it roared once again at the brave man who dared stand against it; and then it drew back and came no farther.

They went on again, and Great-heart led them as before. And now a vast pit yawned before them and seemed to cover the whole road; and a great mist and darkness fell around them!

"Stand still, and wait," said Great-heart. And as they stood and trembled, a light shone through the darkness, and they saw their way clearly past the mouth of the pit.

So on they went; and one of the boys said, "When shall we see the end of this valley?"

"Look well to your feet," said the guide; "for you are among the snares and the pitfalls."

They looked to their feet, and went on; but they were much troubled by the snares.

At length they drew towards the end of the valley; and there they saw a cave where in former times many giants dwelt. But now the worst of these giants had grown so old and feeble, that they could do nothing but sit in the door of the cave and grin at the pilgrims who were passing.

Suddenly, however, one giant who was younger than the others, came out to meet Great-heart and his company. The name of this giant was MAUL, and he had slain many pilgrims through his cunning.

"Hello, Great-heart!" he cried. "How many times have you been forbidden to do those things?"

"What things?" asked Great-heart.

"You know what things but I will put an end to your trade," roared the giant.

"Well," said Great-heart, "before we begin to fight, let us know what it is about."

Now the women and children stood trembling in the roadway, and knew not what to do. But Great-heart stood before them with his sword drawn. "Explain your words," he said to the giant.

"You rob the country," said Maul. "You rob it in the very worst way, and I have come out to punish you."

"Come, fellow," answered Great-heart, "speak plainly, and say what you mean."

"Well, then," said Maul, "you are a kidnapper. You kidnap women and children and take them into a strange country, as you are doing now."

But Great-heart answered, "It is false! I serve my master by protecting the weak, by lifting up those who are fallen, and by leading them in the right way. If you wish to fight with me I am ready for you!"

The giant came up, and Great-heart went to meet him; and as he went he lifted up his sword but the giant had a club.

So now they began; and at the first blow the giant struck Great-heart down upon one of his knees. With that the women and children cried out in great dismay but Great-heart soon recovered himself and was up again. Then he laid about him with skill and strength and gave the giant a wound in the arm. And thus they fought for a whole hour in the heat of the sun.

Then they sat down and rested awhile; and when they had taken breath, they leaped up and began fighting again. And Great-heart with a full blow, brought the giant down to the ground.

"Hold! hold!" cried Maul. "Give me a fair chance."

So Great-heart let him get up; and when they had breathed again they went at it even harder than before. The giant raised his club aloft and struck with full force at Great-heart's head; and had not the brave man leaped quickly aside, his skull would surely have been crushed.

But now Great-heart made a fierce thrust with his sword. It pierced the giant's huge body just under the fifth rib, and the blood rushed out. The fight was ended; for Giant Maul fell helpless to the ground, and his club dropped from his hands.

Then the women and children rejoiced because they had been delivered from so great peril. And they went on, following their guide, until they were safe on the farther side of the valley.

 

THE NEW TOWN OF VANITY

Then I saw in my dream, that the pilgrims journeyed through many scenes. They also met with or overtook many people who like themselves were bound for the Celestial City. They stopped also at divers places, where they were entertained by friendly folk who loved the King. They toiled through rough ways; they climbed steep hills; they encountered perils not a few. But they faltered not, neither were afraid; for Great-heart went before them and was their guide.

At last, on a summer evening, they came to the town of Vanity, where Vanity Fair was held. Here they were received at the house of a citizen who was friendly to pilgrims; and here they abode a long time.

For the town had changed much since Christian and Faithful were so shamefully handled there. Indeed, it seemed that the blood of Faithful had changed the hearts of many of the people, and pilgrims were no more annoyed in the streets.

Now while Christiana and her boys, with Mercy and Great-heart, tarried here there came a great monster out of the woods. It slew many of the people of the town, and carried away some of the children. No man dared face this monster; but everyone fled when the noise of his coming was heard.

This monster was like unto no other beast in the world. Its body was like that of a dragon, and it had seven heads and ten horns.

Now when Great-heart heard of this beast, he agreed with certain good men of the place, to go forth and give battle to it. For he wished to deliver the people from the paws and mouth of so dreadful a creature.

Then did he, with four companions good and true, go forth to meet the monster. You should have seen them with their armor and their well-made weapons.

When the fierce creature first beheld them, it lifted up its heads with great disdain. It would gladly have made way with them had they not boldly stood their ground. But, being sturdy men at arms, they so belabored it with their swords and clubs that it was glad to return to its lair.

Often, after this, did the monster come again into the town to carry away the children. But Great-heart and his valiant men were always on the watch, and drove it back with many blows. Soon it became so lame by reason of its wounds, that it could do no further harm; and some believe that it died of the hurts which it received.

Thus Great-heart became a person of great fame in the town; and many besought him to remain and make his home there. But he remembered the commands of his master; and when the time came that the pilgrims must go on their way, he girded on his armor and went before them.

 

DOUBTING CASTLE

I saw now in my dream, that they went on till they came to the river that was on this side of the Delectable Mountains. This was the river where fine trees grew on the banks; and the leaves of these trees were good for medicine. The meadows also were green all the year; and there were shady places where they might lie down and rest with safety.

In the meadows there were sheep pasturing, and folds for the sheep. There were also little houses for sheltering the lambs. And One was there who loved these lambs; he gathered them in his arms, he carried them in his bosom, he gently led them.

So as the pilgrims went on their way, they were filled with delight because of the delicious waters, the pleasant meadows, the dainty flowers, and the wholesome fruit. And they would have tarried there long, had not duty urged them to go onward.

Therefore, leaving the pleasant river, they came in due time to By-path Meadow; and there they saw the stile over which Christian and Hopeful went when they were taken by Giant Despair.

There they sat down, and consulted what they had best do.

"I have a mind," said Great-heart, "to go over and demolish the castle of old Giant Despair. He may have some pilgrims shut up in his dungeon, and I would be glad to set them free."

"That is a good thought, Mr. Great-heart," said Matthew. "I will go with you."

But some of the others were timid and made excuses. "I very much doubt if we ought to leave the King's highway even though it be to destroy Doubting Castle," said one.

"We had better go on and leave well enough alone," said another.

Then Great-heart stood up and drew his sword. "My master has commanded me to fight the good fight," said he; "and with whom should I fight this good fight, if not with Giant Despair?"

So saying, he climbed right over the stile. "Who will go with me?" he said.

"I will," said one and another of Christiana's sons.

"I will," said another pilgrim who had joined them on the road; and soon, leaving the women in a safe place, the brave men and boys went straight up to Doubting Castle, to look for Giant Despair.

When they came to the castle gate they knocked with unusual noise.

The old giant heard them and came out; and his wife, Diffidence, was with him.

"Who dares to make that great noise on my gate?" he roared in anger.

"It is I, Great-heart," answered the guide. "Open this gate, and let me in."

"What is your business with me?" asked the giant.

"I am the servant of the King," answered Great-heart, "and I have come to demolish your Doubting Castle."

Now Giant Despair was not afraid of any man, for he was a giant. So he harnessed himself and went out. He had a cap of steel upon his head; a breastplate of fire was on his arm; and he came out in iron shoes, with a great club in his hand.

Then Great-heart and his helpers made up to him, and beset him behind and before. They fought for their lives. They struggled long and hard.

At length Giant Despair was brought to the ground; but he was loath to give up. He fought after he was down, and he would have been up again had not Great-heart given him one final stroke with his sword, and thus ended his cruel life.

Then all went through the gate and began to demolish Doubting Castle. But this was a great task, even though Giant Despair was dead. They toiled seven days, and left not one stone upon another.

In the dungeon they found two pilgrims, whom the giant had shut up. These were Despondency, almost starved to death, and Miss Much-afraid, who was his daughter. How glad these two people were to see the sunlight again!

Now when they had finished with the castle they went back to the highway, where they had left the women; and all rejoiced and were glad.

Christiana played a merry tune upon the violin, and Mercy joined her upon the lute. And since all were so merry, what should they do but dance right there in the road. Even the damsel, Much-afraid, joined them; and, I promise you, she footed it well.

As for Despondency, the music was not much to him. He was for feeding rather than dancing, for he was almost starved. So Christiana gave him a little wine and prepared him something to eat; and in a little while he came to himself and was finely revived.

Then the company of pilgrims went forward again. And Great-heart walked before them, and was their guide.

 

IN PERIL IN THE ENCHANTED GROUND

Now I saw in my dream, that the pilgrims, by and by, came to the Delectable Mountains, where Christian and Hopeful had aforetime refreshed themselves. There the shepherds met them and welcomed them, and there they rested themselves from their toilsome journey.

Then they went on, and in due time were got to the Enchanted Ground. There the air was heavy, and all who breathed it were filled with drowsiness. The ground also was, for the most part, overgrown with briers and brambles. But, here and there were enchanted arbors, in which were flowers and birds and rippling brooks and mossy beds inviting one to tarry and rest.

The flowers, however, were laden with deadly perfumes; the birds sang songs of witchery; and the tinkling of the brooks lulled the unwary to sleep. And he who gave himself up to slumber in these places was not likely to rise or wake again in this world.

Through this wilderness way they therefore went; and Great-heart went before them, for he was their guide. They went on here, each man with his sword drawn in his hand, for they knew it was a dangerous place!

Now, they had not gone far when a great mist fell upon them all, so that they could scarce see one another. They were therefore forced to grope their way, being guided by the voice of Great-heart; for they walked not by sight. Sorry going it was for the best of them all; but worse for the women and children, whose feet and hearts were tender.

Nor was there in all this wilderness way, any inn where they might lodge and refresh themselves. But there was much puffing and sighing and complaining. Now one would tumble over a bush, another would stick fast in the dirt, and still another would lose his shoes in the mire.

At length they came to an arbor, warm and shady, with pleasant mossy seats offering rest. Here, too, was a couch whereon they might lie; and here were all things that could tempt the weary traveler. But not one of the pilgrims would seek rest or loiter there a moment; for their guide had told them of the dangers of the place.

They therefore went on, and the way grew dark again so that they could not see. And here even the guide was apt to lose his way. But he had in his pocket a map of all the roads and paths leading to the Celestial City. Therefore, he drew his tinder box from his pocket and struck a light, that he might look at the map. He looked, and when he had found the place, he saw written over against it the words,

"Keep to the right."

So now he knew which way to turn. But if he had not looked at the map he would have taken the broader road and turned to the left, and all would have been smothered in the deep mud.

They went on, then, in this Enchanted Ground until they were well out of the darkness. And at length they came to another enticing bower built close by the roadside.

There they saw two men lying, whose names were HEEDLESS and TOO-BOLD.

These men were fast asleep with their heads pillowed on couches of moss and leaves. Great-heart and the pilgrims stood still and looked at them; and some shook their heads, not knowing what to do.

Then Mercy and Great-heart went to them to awaken them; that is, if they could. But each cautioned the other not to sit down or recline upon the tempting couches in the arbor, lest they too should in like manner fall asleep.

They spoke to the men. They called them by name. There was no answer. Then Great-heart shook them hard, and did what he could to arouse them. Heedless groaned and opened his eyes a little.

"I will pay you when I get my money," he muttered; and with that he turned over and was fast asleep again.

Then Great-heart shook the other one, whose name was Too-bold. He did not even so much as move; but he stammered, "I'll fight so long as I can hold my sword in my hand."

At this, one of the children laughed; but the guide looked sorrowful.

"What does all this mean?" asked Christiana.

"They talk in their sleep," answered Great-heart. "But no man can rouse them from this sleep. We have done what we could."

So now all desired to go onward, lest they too should be overcome. And as the way was growing darker, they begged the guide to strike a light. He therefore took his tinder box again, and lighted a little lantern which he had with him; and so they were helped on their way.

The children began soon to be sorely weary; and they cried unto the friend of pilgrims to make their way more comfortable. And behold, by the time they had gone a little farther, a wind arose that scattered the darkness; and the air became more clear. Then they went on to the borders of the Enchanted Ground.

At one place they caught glimpses of a tall and beautiful lady who flitted hither and thither in the shadowy bowers. She beckoned to them but would not come near. She called, and her voice was soft and sweet.

They saw that she was clad in beautiful garments, and she wore a large purse by her side. In this purse she kept one hand, fingering her money which was her heart's delight.

"Oh, see the beautiful lady!" cried the little boy. "Let us go to her, and rest in one of her bowers." And he began to run joyfully towards her.

"Nay, look not at her face, heed not her call," said the guide. "She is the queen of this Enchanted Ground, and her name is MADAM BUBBLE! Whoever goes into one of her bowers will never come out again. Let us hasten away from her enchantments!"

So they went forward, hand in hand, and were soon safely out of the Enchanted Ground.

 

REST IN THE LAND OF BEULAH

Now I saw in my dream, that Great-heart led the pilgrims onward till they came to the Land of Beulah, where the sun shines day and night. Here, because they were weary they betook themselves awhile to rest.

They sat under the sheltering vines and walked in the pleasant orchards. And they partook of the fruit as they had a mind for; for everything belonged to the King of the Celestial Land, and he desired that all pilgrims should partake of his bounty.

But here the bells did so ring, and the trumpets sounded so sweetly, that they could not sleep; yet they were as much refreshed as though they had slumbered peacefully.

Here, every little while, the cry was heard, "More pilgrims have arrived in the land!"

And the answer would be trumpeted back, "Many went over the water today, and were let in at the golden gates!"

At length Christiana and her children, being much refreshed, went a little farther on their way. And now their ears were filled with heavenly sounds, and their eyes were delighted with celestial visions. In this place they heard nothing, saw nothing, smelled nothing, tasted nothing but what was pleasing to their hearts and minds.

In this place the children went freely into the King's gardens and gathered sweet-smelling flowers. Here also grew all kinds of trees that are precious for their perfumes and their spices. So the rooms of the pilgrims, while they stayed there, lacked nothing for fragrance and beauty. And they bathed and anointed themselves, and kept themselves in readiness, for the call to go over the river.

Now, one day, as they were waiting for the good hour, a sound was heard as of music and voices. And someone who was watching cried, "A postman has come from the Celestial City, with matter of great importance for Christiana!"

She, therefore, went to the door to see what it was. The postman greeted her, and gave her the letter; and when she had broken the seal, she opened and read it:

"Hail, good woman! I bring you tidings that the Master calls you. Within these ten days, he expects you to come and stand before him, clothed in garments of immortality!"

When Christiana had read the letter, and knew that her time was come she called for Great-heart, the guide, and told him how matters were.

He answered that he was heartily glad of her good fortune, and that he would have been even more glad had the summons come for himself.

Then she asked how she should prepare for her journey, and what she should do while crossing the river.

Very kindly he told her, saying, "Thus and thus it must be; and we that are left behind will go with you to the riverside."

She called for her children and gave them her blessing. She told them how glad she was that they had kept their garments so white; and she cautioned them to be always faithful, waiting for the summons to go onward into the city. "Be watchful, and cast away fear; be sober, and hope to the end."

Now, at length, the day came on which Christiana must be gone. The road was full of people to see her take her journey; and the bank on the farther side of the river, was crowded with chariots and Shining Ones that had come to accompany her to the gates of the Celestial City.

So she came forth joyfully, and entered the river; and as she did so, she beckoned farewell to her children and friends who were left behind. And the last words which they heard her speak were, "Lord, I come to be with You!"

Then when she had gone out of their, sight, her children returned to their place. They returned weeping but Great-heart and some others that were with, them played upon the cymbal and the well-tuned harp of joy. And Christiana, with the host of Shining Ones, went up to the Celestial City. She called at the gate, and entered with all the ceremonies of joy that had greeted her husband before her.

Glorious indeed it was to see how the open region was filled with horses and chariots, with trumpeters and pipers, with singers and players on stringed instruments. These all welcomed her as she passed through the gate beautiful. And while her children wept on this side of the river, she was received with songs of triumph in the palace of the King.

And as I looked and listened, I awoke; and, behold this too was a dream!

 

Now may this little book a blessing be
To those who love this little book and me,
And may its buyer have no cause to say,
His money is but lost or thrown away;
Yea, may this Second Pilgrim yield that fruit,
As may with each good Pilgrim's fancy suit;
And may it persuade some that go astray,
To turn their feet and heart to the right way,
Is the hearty prayer of the Author,
John Bunyan


Downloaded from Grace Gems - A Treasury of Ageless, Sovereign Grace, Devotional Writings

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