APOL. There is no Prince that will thus lightly lose his Subjects, neither will I as yet lose thee: but since thou complainest of thy service and wages, be content to go back; what our country will afford, I do here promise to give thee.
CHR. But I have let myself to another, even to the King of Princes, and how can I with fairness go back with thee?
APOL. Thou hast done in this, according to the Proverb, changed a bad for a worse; but it is ordinary for those that have professed themselves his Servants, after a while to give him the slip, and return again to me: Do thou so too, and all shall be well.
CHR. I have given him my faith, and sworn my allegiance to him; how then can I go back from this, and not be hanged as a Traitor?
APOL. Thou didst the same to me, and yet I am willing to pass by all, if now thou wilt yet turn again and go back.
CHR. What I promised thee was in my non-age; and besides, I count that the Prince under whose Banner now I stand is able to absolve me; yea, and to pardon also what I did as to my compliance with thee; and besides, O thou destroying _Apollyon_, to speak truth, I like his Service, his Wages, his Servants, his Government, his Company and Country, better than thine; and therefore leave off to persuade me further; I am his Servant, and I will follow him.
APOL. Consider again when thou art in cool blood, what thou art like to meet with in the way that thou goest. Thou knowest that for the most part, his Servants come to an ill end, because they are transgressors against me and my ways: How many of them have been put to shameful deaths; and besides, thou countest his service better than mine, whereas he never came yet from the place where he is to deliver any that served him out of our hands; but as for me, how many times, as all the World very well knows, have I delivered, either by power or fraud, those that have faithfully served me, from him and his, though taken by them; and so I will deliver thee.
CHR. His forbearing at present to deliver them is on purpose to try their love, whether they will cleave to him to the end; and as for the ill end thou sayest they come to, that is most glorious in their account; for present deliverance, they do not much expect it, for they stay for their Glory, and then they shall have it, when their Prince comes in his and the Glory of the Angels.
APOL. Thou hast already been unfaithful in thy service to him, and how dost thou think to receive wages of him?
CHR. Wherein, O _Apollyon_, have I been unfaithful to him?
APOL. Thou didst faint at first setting out, when thou wast almost choked in the Gulf of _Dispond_; thou didst attempt wrong ways to be rid of thy Burden, whereas thou shouldest have stayed till thy Prince had taken it off; thou didst sinfully sleep and lose thy choice thing; thou wast also almost persuaded to go back, at the sight of the Lions; and when thou talkest of thy Journey, and of what thou hast heard and seen, thou art inwardly desirous of vain-glory in all that thou sayest or doest.
CHR. All this is true, and much more which thou hast left out; but the Prince whom I serve and honor is merciful, and ready to forgive; but besides, these infirmities possessed me in thy Country, for there I sucked them in, and I have groaned under them, been sorry for them, and have obtained Pardon of my Prince.
APOL. Then _Apollyon_ broke out into a grievous rage, saying, I am an enemy to this Prince; I hate his Person, his Laws, and People; I am come out on purpose to withstand thee.
CHR. _Apollyon_, beware what you do, for I am in the King's High-way, the way of Holiness, therefore take heed to yourself.
APOL. Then _Apollyon_ straddled quite over the whole breadth of the way, and said, I am void of fear in this matter; prepare thyself to die; for I swear by my infernal Den, that thou shalt go no further; here will I spill thy soul.
And with that he threw a flaming Dart at his breast, but _Christian_ had a Shield in his hand, with which he caught it, and so prevented the danger of that.
Then did _Christian_ draw, for he saw 'twas time to bestir him: and _Apollyon_ as fast made at him, throwing Darts as thick as Hail; by the which, notwithstanding all that _Christian_ could do to avoid it, _Apollyon_ wounded him in his _head,_ his _hand,_ and _foot:_ This made _Christian_ give a little back; _Apollyon_ therefore followed his work amain, and _Christian_ again took courage, and resisted as manfully as he could. This sore Combat lasted for above half a day, even till _Christian_ was almost quite spent; for you must know that _Christian,_ by reason of his wounds, must needs grow weaker and weaker.
Then _Apollyon_ espying his opportunity, began to gather up close to _Christian,_ and wrestling with him, gave him a dreadful fall; and with that _Christian's_ Sword flew out of his hand. Then said _Apollyon, I am sure of thee now:_ and with that he had almost pressed him to death, so that _Christian_ began to despair of life: but as God would have it, while _Apollyon_ was fetching of his last blow, thereby to make a full end of this good man, _Christian_ nimbly stretched out his hand for his Sword, and caught it, saying, _Rejoice not against me, O mine Enemy! when I fall I shall arise;_ and with that gave him a deadly thrust, which made him give back, as one that had received his mortal wound: _Christian,_ perceiving that, made at him again, saying, _Nay, in all these things we are more than Conquerors through him that loved us._ And with that _Apollyon_ spread forth his Dragon's wings, and sped him away, that _Christian_ for a season saw him no more.
In this Combat no man can imagine, unless he had seen and heard as I did, what yelling and hideous roaring _Apollyon_ made all the time of the fight, he spake like a Dragon; and on the other side, what sighs and groans burst from _Christian's_ heart. I never saw him all the while give so much as one pleasant look, till he perceived he had wounded _Apollyon_ with his two- edged Sword; then indeed he did smile, and look upward; but 'twas the dreadfullest sight that ever I saw.
So when the Battle was over, _Christian_ said, I will here give thanks to him that hath delivered me out of the mouth of the Lion, to him that did help me against _Apollyon_. And so he did, saying, Great _Beelzebub_, the Captain of this Fiend, Design'd my ruin; therefore to this end He sent him harness'd out: and he with rage That hellish was, did fiercely me engage: But blessed _Michael_ helped me, and I By dint of Sword did quickly make him fly. Therefore to him let me give lasting praise, And thank and bless his holy name always. Then there came to him a hand, with some of the leaves of the Tree of Life, the which _Christian_ took, and applied to the wounds that he had received in the Battle, and was healed immediately. He also sat down in that place to eat Bread, and to drink of the Bottle that was given him a little before; so being refreshed, he addressed himself to his Journey, with his Sword drawn in his hand; for he said, I know not but some other Enemy may be at hand. But he met with no other affront from _Apollyon_ quite through this Valley.
CHRISTIAN AND HOPEFUL ARE CAPTIVES IN DOUBTING CASTLE
By John Bunyan
I saw then that they went on their way to a pleasant River, which _David_ the King called the _River of God_, but _John_, _the River of the Water of Life_. Now their way lay just upon the bank of the River; here therefore _Christian_ and his Companion walked with great delight; they drank also of the water of the River, which was pleasant and enlivening to their weary spirits; besides, on the banks of this River on either side were _green Trees_, that bore all manner of Fruit; and the Leaves of the Trees were good for Medicine; with the Fruit of these Trees they were also much delighted; and the Leaves they ate to prevent Surfeits, and other Diseases that are incident to those that heat their blood by Travels. On either side of the River was also a Meadow, curiously beautified with Lilies; and it was green all the year long. In this Meadow they lay down and slept, for here they might _lie down safely._ When they awoke, they gathered again of the Fruit of the Trees, and drank again of the water of the River, and then lay down again to sleep.
Thus they did several days and nights, and when they were disposed to go on they eat and drank, and departed.
Now I beheld in my Dream, that they had not journeyed far, but the River and the way for a time parted; at which they were not a little sorry, yet they durst not go out of the way. Now the way from the River was rough, and their feet tender by reason of their Travels; _so the soul of the Pilgrims was much discouraged because of the way._ Now a little before them, there was on the left hand of the road a _Meadow_, and a Stile to go over into it, and that Meadow is called _By-path-Meadow_. Then said _Christian_ to his fellow, If this Meadow lieth along by our way-side, let's go over into it. Then he went to the Stile to see, and behold a Path lay along by the way on the other side of the fence. 'Tis according to my wish, said _Christian_, here is the easiest going; come good Hopeful, and let us go over.
HOPE. But how if this Path should lead us out of the way?
CHR. That's not like, said the other; look, doth it not go along by the way-side? So _Hopeful_, being persuaded by his fellow, went after him over the Stile. When they were gone over, and were got into the Path, they found it very easy for their feet: and withal, they looking before them, espied a man walking as they did, (and his name was _Vain-confidence_) so they called after him, and asked him whither that way led? He said, To the Coelestial Gate. Look, said _Christian_, did I not tell you so? by this you may see we are right. So they followed, and he went before them. But behold the night came on, and it grew very dark, so that they that were behind lost the sight of him that went before.
He therefore that went before (_Vain-confidence_ by name) not seeing the way before him, fell into a deep Pit, which was on purpose there made by the Prince of those grounds, to catch _vain-glorious_ fools withal, and was dashed in pieces with his fall.
Now _Christian_ and his fellow heard him fall. So they called to know the matter, but there was none to answer, only they heard a groaning. Then said _Hopeful_, Where are we now? Then was his fellow silent, as mistrusting that he had led him out of the way; and now it began to rain, and thunder, and lighten in a very dreadful manner, and the water rose amain.
Then _Hopeful_ groaned in himself, saying, _Oh that I had kept on my way!_
CHR. Who could have thought that this Path should have led us out of the way?
HOPE. I was afraid on't at the very first, and therefore gave you that gentle caution. I would have spoken plainer, but that you are older than I.
CHR. Good Brother be not offended; I am sorry I have brought thee out of the way, and that I have put thee into such imminent danger; pray my Brother forgive me, I did not do it of an evil intent.
HOPE. Be comforted my brother, for I forgive thee; and believe too that this shall be for our good,
CHR. I am glad I have with me a merciful Brother; but we must not stand thus, let's try to go back again.
HOPE. But good Brother let me go before.
CHE. No, if you please, let me go first, that if there be any danger, I may be first therein, because by my means we are both gone out of the way.
HOPE. No, said Hopeful, you shall not go first; for your mind being troubled may lead you out of the way again. Then for their encouragement, they heard the voice of one saying, _Let thine heart be towards the High-way, even the way that thou wentest, turn again._ But by this time the waters were greatly risen; by reason of which the way of going back was very dangerous. (Then I thought that it is easier going out of the way when we are in, than going in when we are out.) Yet they adventured to go back; but it was so dark, and the flood was so high, that in their going back they had like to have been drowned nine or ten times.
Neither could they, with all the skill they had, get again to the Stile that night. Wherefore at last, lighting under a little shelter, they sat down there till the day brake; but being weary, they fell asleep. Now there was not far from the place where they lay, a Castle called _Doubting Castle_, the owner whereof was Giant _Despair_, and it was in his grounds they were now sleeping: wherefore he, getting up in the morning early, and walking up and down in his fields, caught _Christian_ and _Hopeful_ asleep in his grounds. Then with a _grim_ and _surly_ voice he bid them awake, and asked them whence they were? and what they did in his grounds? They told him they were Pilgrims, and that they had lost their way. Then said the Giant, You have this night trespassed on me, by trampling in and lying on my grounds, and therefore you must go along with me. So they were forced to go, because he was stronger than they. They also had but little to say, for they knew themselves in a fault. The Giant therefore drove them before him, and put them into his Castle, into a very dark Dungeon, nasty and stinking to the spirits of these two men. Here then they lay from _Wednesday_ morning till _Saturday_ night, without one bit of bread, or drop of drink, or light, or any to ask how they did; they were therefore here in evil case, and were far from friends and acquaintance. Now in this place _Christian_ had double sorrow, because 'twas through his unadvised haste that they were brought into this distress.
Now Giant _Despair_ had a Wife, and her name was _Diffidence_. So when he was gone to bed, he told his Wife what he had done, to wit, that he had taken a couple of Prisoners and cast them into his Dungeon, for trespassing on his grounds.
Then he asked her also what he had best do further to them. So she asked him what they were, whence they came, and whither they were bound; and he told her. Then she counselled him that when he arose in the morning he should beat them without any mercy. So when he arose, he getteth him a grievous Crab-tree Cudgel, and goes down into the Dungeon to them, and there first falls to rating of them, as if they were dogs, although they gave him never a word of distaste. Then he falls upon them, and beats them fearfully, in such sort, that they were not able to help themselves, or to turn them upon the floor. This done, he withdraws and leaves them, there to condole their misery, and to mourn under their distress: so all that day they spent the time in nothing but sighs and bitter lamentations. The next night she talking with her Husband about them further, and understanding that they were yet alive, did advise him to counsel them to make away themselves. So when morning was come, he goes to them in a surly manner as before, and perceiving them to be very sore with the stripes that he had given them the day before, he told them, that since they were never like to come out of that place, their only way would be forthwith to make an end of themselves, either with Knife, Halter, or Poison; For why, said he, should you chuse life, seeing it is attended with so much bitterness? But they desired him to let them go. With that he looked ugly upon them, and rushing to them had doubtless made an end of them himself, but that he fell into one of his Fits, (for he sometimes in Sun-shine weather fell into Fits) and lost for a time the use of his hand; wherefore he withdrew, and left them as before, to consider what to do. Then did the Prisoners consult between themselves, whether 'twas best to take his counsel or no; and thus they began to discourse:
[Illustration: CHRISTIAN NIMBLY STRETCHED OUT HIS HAND FOR HIS SWORD _From the etching by William Strang_]
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 chuseth strangling rather than life,_ and the Grave is more easy for me than this Dungeon. 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. 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 that 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 but he may in 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's 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 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's 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 chuse rather to bear all hardship, than to make away themselves.
Then said she, Take them into the Castle-yard to-morrow, and shew them the Bones and Skulls of those that thou hast already dispatch'd, and make them believe, e'er a week comes to an end, thou also wilt tear them in pieces, as thou hast done their fellows before them.