Apology for the Second Part - Christiana and Mercy - Slough
of Despond - knocking at the gate - the Dog - talk between the Pilgrims
COURTEOUS companions, some time since,
to tell you my dream that I had of CHRISTIAN the pilgrim, and of his
dangerous journey towards the Celestial Country, was pleasant to me, and
profitable to you. I told you then also what I saw concerning his wife and
children, and how unwilling they were to go with him on pilgrimage: insomuch
that he was forced to go on his progress without them; for he durst not run
the danger of that destruction which he feared would come by staying with
them in the city of Destruction: wherefore, as I then showed you, he left
them and departed.
Now it hath so happened, through the
multiplicity of business, that I have been much hindered and kept back from
my wonted travels into those parts whence he went, and so could not till now
obtain an opportunity to make further inquiry after whom he left behind,
that I might give you an account of them. But having had some concerns that
way of late, I went down again thitherward. Now, having taken up my lodgings
in a wood about a mile off the place, as I slept I dreamed again.
News of Christian, Christiana and Their Children
as I was in my dream,
behold, an aged gentleman came by where I lay; and because he was to go some
part of the way that I was travelling, methought I got up and went with him.
So as we walked, and as travellers usually do, we fell into discourse; and
our talk happened to be about CHRISTIAN and his travels, for thus I began
with the old man:
"Sir," said I, "what town is that there below, that lies on
the left hand of our way?"
Then said Mr. SAGACITY--for that was his name: "It is the city of
a populous place, but possessed with a very ill conditioned and idle sort of
"I thought that was that city,"
quoth I; "I went once myself through that town, and therefore know that
this report you give of it is true."
Too true; I wish I could speak truth in speaking better of them that dwell
"Well, sir," quoth I, "then
I perceive you to be a well-meaning man, and so one that takes pleasure to
hear and tell of that which is good: pray did you never hear what happened
to a man some time ago in this town (whose name was CHRISTIAN), that went on
pilgrimage up towards the higher regions?"
Hear of him! aye, and I also heard of the molestations, troubles, wars,
captivities, cries, groans, frights, and fears, that he met with and had in
his journey. Besides, I must tell you, all our country rings of him; there
are but few houses that have heard of him and his doings, that have sought
after and got the records of his pilgrimage. Yea, I think I may say, that
his hazardous journey has got a many well-wishers to his ways; for though
when he was here he was fool in every man's mouth, yet now he is gone he is
highly commended of all: for 't is said he lives bravely where he is; yea,
many of them that are resolved never to run his hazards, yet have their
mouths water at his gains.
"They may," quoth I, "well
think, if they think anything that is true, that he lives well where he is;
for he now lives at and in the fountain of life, and has what he has without
labour and sorrow, for there is no grief mixed therewith."
Talk! the people talk strangely about him. Some say that he now walks in
white; that he has a chain of gold about his neck; and that he has a crown
of gold beset with pearls upon his head:
hast a few names even in
which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white:
for they are worthy." Revelation 3:4
white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them,
that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants
also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should
be fulfilled." Revelation 6:11
others say that the Shining Ones that
sometimes showed themselves to him in his journey are become his companions;
and that he is as familiar with them in the place where he is, as here one
neighbour is with another.
saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep
my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my
courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by."
Besides, 't is confidently affirmed
concerning him, that the King of the place where he is has bestowed upon him
already a very rich and pleasant dwelling at court; and that he every day
eats and drinks, and walks and talk with him, and receives of the smiles and
favours of him that is Judge of all there.
when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto
him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the
Moreover, it is expected of some, that his
Prince, the Lord of that country, will shortly come into these parts, and
will know the reason, if they can give any, why his neighbours set so little
by him, and had him so much in derision, when they perceived that he would
be a pilgrim.
Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the
Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all,
and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds
which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches
which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Jude 1:14, 15
For they say, that now he is so in the
affections of his Prince, and that his Sovereign is so much concerned with
the indignities that were cast upon CHRISTIAN when he became a pilgrim, that
he will look upon all as if done unto himself; and no marvel, for 't was for
the love that he had to his Prince that he ventured as he did.
that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he
that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me." Luke 10:16
"I dare say,"
"I am glad of it; I am glad for the poor man's sake. For that now he
has rest from his labour;
I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the
dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they
may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."
and for that he now reaps the benefit of
his tears with joy;
that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth,
bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing
his sheaves with him." Psalms 126:5, 6
and for that he has got beyond the gunshot
of his enemies, and is out of the reach of them that hate him. I also am
glad for that a rumour of these things is noised abroad in this country. Who
can tell but that it may work some good effect on some that are left behind!
But pray, sir, while it is fresh in my mind, do you hear anything of his
wife and children? Poor hearts! I wonder in my mind what they do."
Who? CHRISTIANA and her sons! They are like to do as well as did CHRISTIAN
himself; for though they all played the fool at the first, and would by no
means be persuaded by either the tears or entreaties of CHRISTIAN, yet
second thoughts have wrought wonderfully with them; so they have packed up,
and are also gone after him.
"Better and better,"
"But what! Wife and children and all?"
'Tis true. I can give you an account of the matter; for I was upon the spot
at the instant, and was thoroughly acquainted with the whole affair.
"Then," said I, "a man, it
seems, may report it for a truth?"
You need not fear to affirm it. I mean, that they are all gone on
pilgrimage, both the good woman and her four boys; and being we are, as I
perceive, going some considerable way together, I will give you an account
of the whole of the matter.
How Christiana Decided to Become a
(for that was her name from the day that she, with her children, betook
themselves to a pilgrim's life), after her husband was gone over the river,
and she could hear of him no more, her thoughts began to work in her mind:
first, for that she had lost her husband, and for that the loving bond of
that relation was utterly broken betwixt them; for you know," said he
to me, "nature can do no less but entertain the living with many a
heavy cogitation in the remembrance of the loss of loving relations. This,
therefore, of her husband did cost her many a tear. But this was not all;
for CHRISTIANA did also begin to consider with herself, whether her
unbecoming behaviour towards her husband was not one cause that she saw him
no more, and that in such sort he was taken away from her. And upon this
came into her mind by swarms all her unkind, unnatural, and ungodly
carriages to her dear friend, which also clogged her conscience, and did
load her with guilt. She was, moreover, much broken with calling to
remembrance the restless groans, brinish tears, and self-bemoanings of her
husband; and how she did harden her heart against all his entreaties and
loving persuasions (of her and her sons) to go with him; yea, there was not
anything that CHRISTIAN either said to her, or did before her, all the while
that his burden did hang on his back, but it returned upon her like a flash
of lightning, and rent the caul of her heart in two. Specially, that bitter
outcry of his, 'What must I do to be saved?' did ring in her ears most
"Then said she to her children, 'Sons,
we are all undone. I have sinned away your father, and he is gone; he would
have had us with him, but I would not go myself; I also have hindered you of
life.' With that the boys fell all into tears, and cried out to go after
their father. 'Oh,' said CHRISTIANA, 'that it had been but our lot to go
with him; then had it fared well with us beyond what 'tis like to do now!
For though I formerly foolishly imagined concerning the troubles of your
father, that they proceeded of a foolish fancy that he had, or for that he
was overrun with melancholy humours; yet now 't will not out of my mind, but
that they sprang from another cause, to wit, for that the light of light was
given him; by the help of which, as I perceive, he has escaped the snares of
if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man
beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth
his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso
looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he
being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be
blessed in his deed." James 1:23-25
Then they all wept again; and cried out,
'Oh, woe worth the day!'
"The next night CHRISTIANA had a
dream; and behold, she saw as if a broad parchment was opened before her, in
which were recorded the sum of her ways; and the times, as she thought,
looked very black upon her. Then she cried out aloud in her sleep, 'Lord,
have mercy upon me, a sinner!';
the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his
eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a
sinner." Luke 18:13
and the little children heard her.
"After this she thought she saw two
very ill favoured ones standing by her bedside, and saying, 'What shall we
do with this woman; for she cries out for mercy waking and sleeping? If she
be suffered to go on as she begins, we shall lose her as we have lost her
husband. Wherefore we must, by one way or other, seek to take her off from
the thoughts of what shall be hereafter; else all the world cannot help it
but she will become a pilgrim.'
"Now she awoke in a great sweat, also
a trembling was upon her; but after awhile she fell to sleeping again. And
then she thought she saw CHRISTIAN her husband in a place of bliss, among
many immortals, with a harp in his hand, standing and playing upon it before
One that sat on a throne, with a rainbow about his head. She saw also as if
he bowed his head with his face to the paved work that was under the
Prince's feet, saying, 'I heartily thank my Lord and King for bringing of me
into this place.' Then shouted a company of them that stood around about,
and harped with their harps; but no man living could tell what they said but
CHRISTIAN and his companions.
"Next morning, when she was up, and
had prayed to God, and talked with her children awhile, one knocked hard at
the door; to whom she spake out saying, 'If thou comest in God's name, come
in.' So he said, 'Amen,' and opened the door, and saluted her with, 'Peace
be to this house!' The which when he had done, he said, 'CHRISTIANA, knowest
thou wherefore I am come?' Then she blushed and trembled; also her heart
began to wax warm with desires to know whence he came, and what was his
errand to her. So he said unto her, 'My name is SECRET: I dwell with those
that are high. It is talked of where I dwell as if thou hadst a desire to go
thither; also there is a report that thou art aware of the evil thou hast
formerly done to thy husband in hardening of thy heart against his way, and
in keeping of these thy babes in their ignorance. CHRISTIANA, the merciful
One has sent me to tell thee that he is a God ready to forgive; and that he
takes delight to multiply pardon to offences. He also would have thee know
that he inviteth thee to come into his presence; to his table; and that he
will feed thee with the fat of his house, and with the heritage of Jacob thy
"'There is CHRISTIAN, thy husband that
was, with legions more, his companions, ever beholding that face that doth
minister life to beholders; and they will all be glad when they shall hear
the sound of thy feet step over thy Father's threshold.'
"CHRISTIANA at this was greatly
abashed in herself; and bowed her head to the ground, this visitor
proceeded, and said, 'CHRISTIANA, here is also a letter for thee, which I
have brought from thy husband's King.' So she took it and opened it; but it
smelt after the manner of the best perfume,
of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured
forth, therefore do the virgins love thee." Song of Solomon 1:3
also it was written in letters of gold. The
contents of the letter was, 'That the King would have her do as did
CHRISTIAN her husband; for that was the way to come to his City, and to
dwell in his presence with joy for ever.' At this the good woman was quite
overcome. So she cried out to her visitor. 'Sir, will you carry me and my
children with you, that we also may go and worship this King?'
"Then said the visitor, 'CHRISTIANA!
the bitter is before the sweet. Thou must through troubles, as did he that
went before thee, enter this
Wherefore I advise thee to do as did CHRISTIAN thy husband: go to the wicket
gate yonder, over the plain, for that stands in the head of the way up which
thou must go; and I wish thee all good speed. Also I advise that thou put
this letter in thy bosom. That thou read therein to thyself and to thy
children, until you have got it by heart. For it is one of the songs that
thou must sing while thou art in this house of thy pilgrimage.
statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage." Psalms
Also this thou must deliver in at the
Now I saw in my dream, that this old
gentleman, as he told me this story, did himself seem to be greatly affected
therewith. He moreover, proceeded and said, "So CHRISTIANA called her
sons together, and began thus to address herself unto them, 'My sons, I
have, as you may perceive, been of late under much exercise in my soul about
the death of your father; not for that I doubt at all of his happiness for I
am satisfied now that he is well. I have also been much affected with the
thoughts of mine own state and yours, which I verily believe is by nature
miserable. My carriages also to your father in his distress is a great load
to my conscience; for I hardened both my own heart and yours against him,
and refused to go with him on pilgrimage.
"'The thoughts of these things would
now kill me outright, but that for a dream which I had last night, and but
that for the encouragement that this stranger has given me this morning.
Come, my children, let us pack up, and be gone to the gate that leads to the
celestial country; that we may see your father, and be with him and his
companions in peace, according to the laws of that land.'
"Then did her children burst out into
tears for joy that the heart of their mother was so inclined. So their
visitor bade them farewell: and they began to prepare to set out for their
A Visit From Mrs. Timorous and Mercy
while they were thus
about to be gone, two of the women that were CHRISTIANA'S neighbours came up
to her house, and knocked at her door. To whom she said, as before, 'If you
come in God's name, come in.' At this the women were stunned; for this kind
of language they used not to hear, or to perceive to drop from the lips of
CHRISTIANA. Yet they came in; but behold, they found the good woman
preparing to be gone from her house.
"So they began, and said, 'Neighbour, pray what is your meaning by
"CHRISTIANA answered and said to the
eldest of them, whose name was Mrs. TIMOROUS, 'I am preparing for a
journey.' (This TIMOROUS was daughter to him that met CHRISTIAN upon the
Hill Difficulty, and would have had him go back for fear of the lions.)
"Timorous. For what journey, I pray you?
Even to go after my good husband. And with that she fell a-weeping.
I hope not so, good neighbour. Pray, for your poor children's sakes, do not
so unwomanly cast away yourself.
Nay, my children shall go with me; not one of them is willing to stay
"Tim. I wonder, in my very heart, what or who has brought you
into this mind.
Oh, neighbour, knew you but as much as I do, I doubt not but that you would
go with me.
Prithee, what new knowledge hast thou got that so worketh off thy mind from
thy friends, and that tempteth thee to go nobody knows where?
Then CHRISTIANA replied, 'I have been sorely afflicted since my husband's
departure from me; but specially since he went over the river. But that
which troubles me most is, my churlish carriages to him when he was under
his distress. Besides, I am now as he was then; nothing will serve me but
going on pilgrimage. I was dreaming last night that I saw him. Oh that my
soul was with him! He dwells in the presence of the King of the country; he
sits and eats with him at his table; he is become a companion of immortals;
and has a house now given him to dwell in, to which the best palaces on
earth if compared, seem to me to be but as a dunghill.
we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved,
we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the
heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with
our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be
found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being
burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that
mortality might be swallowed up of life." 2 Corinthians 5:1-4
"The Prince of the place has also sent
for me, with promise of entertainment if I shall come to him. His messenger
was here even now, and has brought me a letter, which invites me to come.'
And with that she plucked out her letter, and read it, and said to them,
'What now will you say to this?'
Oh, the madness that has possessed thee and thy husband, to run yourselves
upon such difficulties! You have heard, I am sure, what your husband did
meet with, even in a manner at the first step that he took on his way, as
our neighbour OBSTINATE, can yet testify; for he went along with him, yea,
and PLIABLE too, until they, like wise men, were afraid to go any farther.
We also heard, over and above, how he met with the lions, APOLLYON, the
Shadow of Death, and many other things. Nor is the danger that he met with
at Vanity Fair to be forgotten by thee. For if he, though a man, was so hard
put to it, what canst thou, being but a poor woman, do? Consider, also, that
these four sweet babes are thy children, thy flesh and thy bones. Wherefore,
though thou shouldst be so rash as to cast away thyself, yet, for the sake
of the fruit of thy body, keep thou at home.
"But CHRISTIANA said unto her, 'Tempt
me not, my neighbour; I have now a price put into mine hand to get gain, and
I should be a fool of the greatest size if I should have no heart to strike
in with the opportunity. And for that you tell me of all these troubles that
I am like to meet with in the way, they are so far off from being to me a
discouragement, that they show I am in the right. The bitter must come
before the sweet; and that also will make the sweet the sweeter. Wherefore,
since you came not to my house in God's name, as I said, I pray you to be
gone, and not to disquiet me further.'
"Then TIMOROUS also reviled her, and
said to her fellow, 'Come, neighbour MERCY, let's leave her in her own
hands, since she scorns our counsel and company.' But MERCY was at a stand,
and could not so readily comply with her neighbour; and that for a twofold
reason. First, her bowels yearned over CHRISTIANA; so she said within
herself, 'If my neighbour will needs be gone, I will go a little way with
her, and help her.' Secondly, her bowels yearned over her own soul (for what
CHRISTIANA had said had taken some hold upon her mind). Wherefore she said
within herself again, 'I will yet have more talk with this CHRISTIANA: and
if I find truth and life in what she shall say, myself with my heart shall
also go with her.' Wherefore MERCY began thus to reply to her neighbour
Neighbour, I did indeed come with you to see CHRISTIANA this morning; and
since she is, as you see, a taking of her last farewell of her country, I
think to walk this sunshiny morning a little way with her to help her on the
"But she told her not of her second
reason; but kept that to herself.
Well, I see you have a mind to go a-fooling too; but take heed in time, and
be wise: while we are out of danger we are out; but when we are in we are
"So Mrs. TIMOROUS returned to her
house, and CHRISTIANA betook herself to her journey. But when TIMOROUS was
got home to her house, she sent for some of her neighbours: to wit, Mrs.
BAT'S-EYES, Mrs. INCONSIDERATE, Mrs. LIGHT-MIND, and Mrs. KNOW-NOTHING. So
when they were come to her house, she fell to telling the story of
CHRISTIANA and of her intended journey. And thus she began her tale:
Neighbours, having had little to do this morning, I went to give CHRISTIANA
a visit; and when I came at the door I knocked, as you know 't is our
custom. And she answered, 'If you come in God's name, come in.' So in I
went, thinking all was well; but when I came in, I found her preparing
herself to depart the town, she and also her children. So I asked her what
was her meaning by that; and she told me, in short, that she was now of a
mind to go on pilgrimage, as did her husband. She told me also a dream that
she had, and how the King of the country where her husband was had sent her
an inviting letter to come thither.
"Mrs. Know-nothing. Then said Mrs. KNOW-NOTHING, 'And what, do
you think she will go?'
"Tim. Aye, go she will, whatever come on't; and methinks I know
it by this, for that which was my great argument to persuade her to stay at
home (to wit, the troubles she was like to meet with in the way), is one
great argument with her to put her forward on her journey. For she told me
in so many words, the bitter goes before the sweet. Yea, and for as much as
it so doth, it makes the sweet the sweeter.
'Oh, this blind and foolish woman,' said she; 'will she not take warning by
her husband's afflictions? For my part, I see, if he were here again, he
would rest him content in a whole skin, and never run so many hazards for
"Mrs. Inconsiderate also
replied, saying, 'Away with such fantastical fools from the town--a good
riddance, for my part, I say, of her. Should she stay where she dwells, and
retain this her mind, who could live quietly by her? for she will either be
dumpish or unneighbourly, or talk of such matters as no wise body can abide.
Wherefore, for my part, I shall never be sorry for her departure; let her
go, and let better come in her room: 't was never a good world since these
whimsical fools dwelt in it.'
"Then Mrs. Light-mind added as
follows: 'Come, put this kind of talk away. I was yesterday at Madam
WANTON'S, where we were as merry as the maids. For who do you think should
be there, but I, and Mrs. LOVE-THE-FLESH, and three or four more, with Mr.
LECHERY, Mrs. FILTH, and some others. So there we had music and dancing, and
what else was meet to fill up the pleasure. And I dare say, my lady herself
is an admirably well bred gentlewoman, and Mr. LECHERY is as pretty a
this time CHRISTIANA was got on her way; and MERCY went along
with her. So as they went, her children being there also, CHRISTIANA began
to discourse. And, 'MERCY,' said CHRISTIANA, 'I take this as an unexpected
favour that thou shouldst set foot out of doors with me, to accompany me a
little in my way.'
Then said young MERCY (for she was but young), 'If I thought it would be to
purpose to go with you, I would never go near the town any more.'
'Well, MERCY,' said CHRISTIANA, 'cast in thy lot with me. I well know what
will be the end of our pilgrimage: my husband is where he would not but be
for all the gold in the Spanish mines. Nor shalt thou be rejected, though
thou goest but upon my invitation. The King who hath sent for me and my
children is one that delights in mercy. Besides, if thou wilt, I will hire
thee, and thou shalt go along with me as my servant. Yet we will have all
things in common betwixt thee and me; only go along with me.'
But how shall I be ascertained that I also shall be entertained? Had I this
hope but from one that can tell, I would make no stick at all; but would go,
being helped by him that can help, though the way was never so tedious.
Well, loving MERCY, I will tell thee what thou shalt do. Go with me to the
wicket gate, and there I will further inquire for thee; and if there thou
shalt not meet with encouragement, I will be content that thou shalt return
to thy place. I also will pay thee for thy kindness which thou showest to me
and my children, in thy accompanying of us in our way as thou doest.
Then will I go thither, and will take what shall follow; and the Lord grant
that my lot may there fall even as the King of heaven shall have his heart
"CHRISTIANA then was glad in her
heart, not only that she had a companion, but also for that she had
prevailed with this poor maid to fall in love with her own salvation. So
they went on together; and MERCY began to weep. Then said CHRISTIANA,
'Wherefore weepest my sister so?'
'Alas!' said she, 'who can but lament that shall but rightly consider what a
state and condition my poor relations are in that yet remain in our sinful
town? and that which makes my grief the more heavy is, because they have no
instructor, nor any to tell them what is to come.'
"Chris. Bowels becomes pilgrims. And thou dost for thy friends
as my good CHRISTIAN did for me when he left me; he mourned for that I would
not heed nor regard him; but his Lord and ours did gather up his tears, and
put them into his bottle; and now both I, and thou, and these my sweet
babes, are reaping the fruit and benefit of them. I hope, MERCY, these tears
of thine will not be lost: for the truth hath said, that 'they that sow in
tears shall reap in joy, in singing. And he that goes forth and weeps,
bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing
his sheaves with him'.
that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth,
bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing
his sheaves with him." Psalms 126:5, 6
"Then said MERCY:
'Let the Most Blessed be my guide,
If it be his blessed will,
Unto his gate, into his fold,
Up to his holy hill.
And let him never suffer me
To swerve or turn aside
From his free grace and holy ways,
Whate'er shall me betide.
And let him gather them of mine
That I have left behind.
Lord, make them pray they may be Thine,
With all their heart and mind."'
Pilgrim's Progress - Slough of Despond
Pilgrim's Progress - Contents