Devil's garden - two ill-favoured ones assault them - the Reliever - entertainment
at the Interpreter's house - the Significant Rooms - Supper
with the Interpreter
I saw in my dream
that they walked on in their way, and had the weather very comfortable to
CHRISTIANA began to sing, saying:
"Blest be the day that I began
A pilgrim for to be;
And blessed also be that man
That thereto moved me.
'Tis true, 't was long ere I began
To seek to live for ever:
But now I run fast as I can-
'T is better late, than never.
Our tears to joy, our fears to faith,
Are turned, as we see:
Thus our beginning (as one saith)
Shows what our end will be."
Now there was on the other side of the wall that fenced in way up which
CHRISTIANA and her companions were to go, garden; and that garden belonged
to him whose was that barking dog of whom mention was made before. And some
of the fruit trees that grew in that garden shot their branches over the
wall; and being mellow, they that found them did gather them up, and oft ate
of them to their hurt. So CHRISTIANA'S boys--as boys are apt to do--being
pleased with the trees, and with the fruit that did hang thereon, did pluck
them, and began to eat. Their mother did also chide them for so doing; but
still the boys went on.
said she, "my sons, you transgress; for that fruit is none of
ours." But she did not know that they did belong to the enemy; I'll
warrant you if she had, she would have been ready to die for fear. But that
passed, and they went on their way. Now by that they were gone about two
bows' shot from the place that let them into the way, they espied two very
ill favoured ones coming down apace to meet them. With that CHRISTIANA, and
MERCY her friend, covered themselves with their veils; and so kept on their
journey. The children also went on before; so that at last they met
together. Then they that came down to meet them came just up to the women as
if they would embrace them; but CHRISTIANA said, "Stand back, or go
peaceably by, as you should." Yet these two, as men that are deaf,
regarded not CHRISTIANA'S words; but began to lay hands upon them. At that
CHRISTIANA, waxing very wroth, spurned at them with her feet. MERCY also, as
well as she could, did what she could to shift them. CHRISTIANA again said
to them, "Stand back, and be gone; for we have no money to lose, being
pilgrims, as ye see, and such too as live upon the charity of our
Ones. Then said one
of the two men, "We make no assault upon you for money; but are come
out to tell you, that if you will but grant one small request which we shall
ask, we will make women of you for ever."
Now CHRISTIANA, imagining what they should mean, made answer again, "We
will neither hear, nor regard, nor yield to what you shall ask. We are in
haste,---cannot stay; our business is a business of life and death." So
again, she and her companions made a fresh essay to go past them: but they
hindered them in their way.
Ones. "We intend
no hurt to your lives; 'tis another thing we would have."
"Aye," quoth CHRISTIANA, "you would have us body and soul,
for I know 'tis for that you are come; but we will die rather upon the spot
than suffer ourselves to be brought into such snares as shall hazard our
wellbeing hereafter." And with that they both shrieked out, and cried,
"Murder! murder!" and so put themselves under those laws that are
provided for the protection of women.
a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man
find her in the city, and lie with her; But unto the damsel thou shalt do
nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as
when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is
this matter: For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel
cried, and there was none to save her." Deuteronomy 22:23-27
the men still made their approach upon them, with design to prevail against
them; they therefore cried out again.
they being, as I said, not far from the gate in at which they came, their
voice was heard from where they were, thither: wherefore some of the house
came out, and knowing that it was CHRISTIANA'S tongue, they made haste to
her relief; but by that they were got within sight of them, the women were
in a very great scuffle, the children also stood crying by. Then did he that
came in for their relief call out to the ruffians, saying, "What is
that thing that you do? Would you make my Lord's people to transgress?"
He also attempted to take them; but they did make their escape over the wall
into the garden of the man to whom the great dog belonged: so the dog became
their protector. This RELIEVER then came up to the women, and asked them how
they did. So they answered, "We thank thy Prince, pretty well, only we
have been somewhat affrighted; we thank thee also for that thou camest into
our help, for otherwise we had been overcome."
So after a few more words, this RELIEVER said as follows: "I marvelled
much when you were entertained at the gate above, seeing ye knew that ye
were but weak women, that you petitioned not the Lord there for a conductor.
Then might you have avoided these troubles and dangers; for he would have
granted you one."
"Alas," said CHRISTIANA, "We were so taken with our present
blessing, that dangers to come were forgotten by us; besides, who could have
thought that so near the King's palace there should have lurked such naughty
ones? Indeed, it had been well for us had we asked our Lord for one; but
since our Lord knew 'twould be for our profit, I wonder he sent not one
along with us."
It is not always necessary to grant things not asked for, lest by so doing,
they become of little esteem; but when the want of a thing is felt, it then
comes under, in the eyes of him that feels it, that estimate that properly
is its due, and so consequently will be thereafter used. Had my Lord granted
you a conductor, you would not neither so have bewailed that oversight of
yours in not asking for one as now you have occasion to do. So all things
work for good, and tend to make you more wary.
Shall we go back again to my Lord, and confess our folly, and ask for one?
Your confession of your folly I will present him with; to go back again, you
need not. For in all places where you shall come, you will find no want at
all; for in everyone of my Lord's lodgings which he has prepared for the
reception of his pilgrims, there is sufficient to furnish them against all
attempts whatsoever. But, as I said, he will be inquired of by them to do it
saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house
of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a
flock." Ezekiel 36:37
'tis a poor thing that is not worth asking for.
he had thus said, he went back to his place; and the pilgrims went on their
Then said MERCY, "What a sudden blank is here! I made account we had
now been past all danger, and that we should never see sorrow more."
"Thy innocency, my sister," said CHRISTIANA to MERCY, "may
excuse thee much; but as for me, my fault is so much the greater, for that I
saw this danger before I came out of the doors, and yet did not provide for
it, where provision might have been had. I am, therefore, much to be
Then said MERCY, "How knew you this before you came from home? Pray
open to me this riddle."
Why, I will tell you. Before I set foot out of doors, one night, as I lay in
my bed, I had a dream about this; for methought I saw two men, as like these
as ever the world they could look, stand at my bed's feet, plotting how they
might prevent my salvation. I will tell you their very words. They said
('twas when I was in my troubles), "What shall we do with this woman;
for she cries out, waking and sleeping, for forgiveness? If she be suffered
to go on as she begins, we shall lose her as we have lost her husband."
This, you know, might have made me take heed and have provided when
provision might have been had.
"Well," said MERCY, "as by this neglect we have an occasion
ministered unto us to behold our own imperfections, so our Lord has taken
occasion thereby to make manifest the riches of his grace. For he, as we
see, has followed us with unasked kindness; and has delivered us from their
hands that were stronger than we of his mere good pleasure."
Pilgrim's Progress - Entertainment at the Interpreter's house
Pilgrim's Progress - Contents