Lucre - River of Life - Giant Despair killed - the
Delectable Mountains - entertainment by the Shepherds
THE HILL LUCRE
Well, the time grew on
that the pilgrims must go on their way; wherefore they prepared for their
journey. They sent for their friends; they conferred with them; they had
some time set apart, therein to commit each other to the protection of their
Prince. There were again those that brought them such things as they had,
that were fit for the weak and strong, for the women and the men; and so
laded them with such things as were necessary.
also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us
with such things as were necessary." Acts 28:10
Then they set forward on their way; and
their friends accompanying them so far as was convenient, they again
committed each other to the protection of their King, and parted.
They therefore that were of the pilgrims' company went on, and Mr.
GREAT-HEART went before them. Now the women and children being weakly, they
were forced to go as they could bear; by this means, Mr. READY-TO-HALT and
Mr. FEEBLE-MINDED had more to sympathise with their condition.
When they were gone from the townsmen, and
when their friends had bid them farewell, they quickly came to the place
where FAITHFUL was put to death. There, therefore, they made a stand, and
thanked him that had enabled him to bear his cross so well; and the rather,
because they now found that they had a benefit by such a manly suffering as
They went on, therefore, after this, a good way further, talking of
CHRISTIAN and FAITHFUL, and how HOPEFUL joined himself to CHRISTIAN after
that FAITHFUL was dead.
Now they were come up with the Hill Lucre, where the silver mine was which
took DEMAS off from his pilgrimage, and into which, as some think, BY-ENDS
fell and perished; wherefore they considered that. But when they were come
to the old monument that stood over against the Hill Lucre, to wit, the
pillar of salt that stood also within view of Sodom and its stinking lake,
they marvelled, as did CHRISTIAN before, that men of knowledge and ripeness
of wit, as they were, should be so blind as to turn aside here. Only they
considered again that nature is not affected with the harms that others have
met with; especially if that thing upon which they look has an attracting
virtue upon the foolish eye.
I saw now that they went on till they came to the river that was on this
side of the Delectable Mountains; to the river where the fine trees grow on
both sides, and whose leaves, if taken inwardly, are good against surfeits,
where the meadows are green all the year long, and where they might lie down
LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in
green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake."
By this riverside, in the meadow, there
were cotes and folds for sheep; a house built for the nourishing and
bringing up of those lambs, the babes of those women that go on pilgrimage.
Also there was here One that was intrusted with them, who could have
compassion; and that could gather these lambs with his arm; and carry them
in his bosom; and that could gently lead those that were with young.
can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way;
for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity." Hebrews 5:2
it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the
LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be
exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people
shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to
the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will
walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of
the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall
rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and
their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against
nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye,
and let us walk in the light of the LORD." Isaiah 2:2-5
ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem,
and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is
pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her
sins." Isaiah 40:1, 2
Now to the care of this Man, CHRISTIANA
admonished her four daughters to commit their little ones; that by these
waters they might be housed, harboured, succoured, and nourished; and that
none of them might be lacking in time to come. This Man, if any of them go
astray or be lost, he will bring them again; he will also bind up that which
was broken; and will strengthen them that are sick.
I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear
no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the
LORD." Jeremiah 23:4
thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my
sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day
that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my
sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been
scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the
people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own
land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all
the inhabited places of the country.
will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel
shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a
fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my
flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. I will seek
that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will
bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was
sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with
judgment." Ezekiel 34:11-16
Here they will never want meat, and drink,
and clothing; here they will be kept from thieves and robbers, for this Man
will die before one of those committed to his trust shall be lost. Besides,
here they shall be sure to have good nurture and admonition, and shall be
taught to walk in right paths; and that, you know, is a favour of no small
account. Also here, as you see, are delicate waters; pleasant meadows;
dainty flowers; variety of trees, and such as bear wholesome fruit. Fruit,
not like that which MATTHEW ate of, that fell over the wall out of
Beelzebub's garden: but fruit that procures health where there is none, and
that continues and increases it where it is.
So they were content to commit their little
ones to him; and that which was also an encouragement to them so to do was,
for that all this was to be at the charge of the King, and so was a hospital
to young children and orphans.
Demolishing Doubting Castle and Death
to Despair and Diffidence
Now they went on;
and when they were come to By-path meadow--to the stile over which CHRISTIAN
went with his fellow HOPEFUL, when they were taken by Giant DESPAIR and put
into Doubting Castle--they sat down and consulted what was best to be done:
to wit, now they were so strong, and had got such a man as Mr. GREAT-HEART
for their conductor, whether they had not best to make an attempt upon the
giant; demolish his castle; and if there were any pilgrims in it, to set
them at liberty before they went any further. So one said one thing, and
another said the contrary. One questioned if it was lawful to go upon
unconsecrated ground; another said they might, provided their end was good:
but Mr. GREAT-HEART said, "Though that assertion offered last cannot be
universally true, yet I have a commandment to resist sin; to overcome evil;
to fight the good fight of faith. And, I pray, with whom shall I fight this
good fight, if not with Giant DESPAIR? I will therefore attempt the taking
away of his life, and the demolishing of Doubting Castle." Then said
he, "Who will go with me?"
Then said old HONEST, "I will."
"And so will we too," said CHRISTIAN'S four SONS--MATTHEW, SAMUEL,
JAMES, and JOSEPH; for they were young men, and strong.
write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the
beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked
one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I
have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is
from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are
strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked
one." 1 John 2:13, 14
So they left the women in the road, and
with them Mr. FEEBLE-MIND and Mr. READY-TO-HALT, with his crutches, to be
their guard until they came back; for in that place, though Giant DESPAIR
dwelt so near, they keeping in the road, "a little child might lead
wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the
kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little
child shall lead them." Isaiah 11:6
So Mr. GREAT-HEART, old HONEST, and the
four young men, went to go up to Doubting Castle, to look for Giant DESPAIR.
When they came to the castle gate, they knocked for entrance with an unusual
noise. At that the old Giant came to the gate, and DIFFIDENCE his wife
followed: then said he, "Who and what is he that is so hardy as after,
his manner to molest the Giant DESPAIR?" Mr. GREAT-HEART replied,
"It is I, GREAT-HEART, one of the King of the celestial country's
conductors of pilgrims to their place; and I demand of thee that thou open
thy gates for my entrance; prepare thyself also to fight, for I am come to
take away thy head, and to demolish Doubting Castle."
Now Giant DESPAIR, because he was a giant,
thought no man could overcome him; and again, thought he, since heretofore I
have made a conquest of angels, shall GREAT-HEART make me afraid! So he
harnessed himself and went out. He had a cap of steel upon his head; a
breast plate of fire girded to him; and he came out in iron shoes, with a
great club in his hand. Then these six men made up to him, and beset him
behind and before; also when DIFFIDENCE the giantess came up to help him,
old Mr. HONEST cut her down at one blow. Then they fought for their lives;
and Giant DESPAIR was brought down to the ground, but was very loath to die.
He struggled hard, and had, as they say, as many lives as a cat; but
GREAT-HEART was his death, for he left him not till he had severed his head
from his shoulders.
Then they fell to demolishing Doubting
Castle, and that, you know, might with ease be done, since Giant DESPAIR was
dead. They were seven days in destroying of that: and in it of pilgrims they
found one Mr. DESPONDENCY, almost starved to death; and one MUCH-AFRAID, his
daughter; these two they saved alive. But it would have made you wonder to
have seen the dead bodies that lay here and there in the castle yard, and
how full of dead men's bones the dungeon was.
When Mr. GREAT-HEART and his companions had
performed this exploit, they took Mr. DESPONDENCY, and his daughter
MUCH-AFRAID into their protection; for they were honest people, though they
were prisoners in Doubting Castle to that tyrant Giant DESPAIR. They
therefore, I say, took with them the head of the giant (for his body they
had buried under a heap of stones); and down to the road and to their
companions they came, and showed them what they had done. Now when
FEEBLE-MIND and READY-TO-HALT saw that it was the head of Giant DESPAIR
indeed, they were very jocund and merry. Now CHRISTIANA, if need was, could
play upon the viol, and her daughter MERCY upon the lute; so, since they
were so merry disposed, she played them a lesson, and READY-TO-HALT would
dance. So he took DESPONDENCY'S daughter named MUCH-AFRAID by the hand, and
to dancing they went in the road. True, he could not dance without one
crutch in his hand; but, I promise you, he footed it well: also the girl was
to be commended: for she answered the music handsomely.
As for Mr. DESPONDENCY, the music was not
much to him; he was for feeding rather than dancing, for that he was almost
starved. So CHRISTIANA gave him some of her bottle of spirits for present
relief, and then prepared him something to eat; and in little time the old
gentleman came to himself, and began to be finely revived.
Now I saw in my dream, when all these
things were finished, Mr. GREAT-HEART took the head of Giant DESPAIR, and
set it upon a pole by the highway side, right over against the pillar that
CHRISTIAN erected for a caution to pilgrims that came after, to take heed of
entering into his grounds.
Then he wrote under it, upon a marble
stone, these verses following:
"This is the head of him whose name only,
In former times, did pilgrims terrify.
His castle's down; and DIFFIDENCE his wife
Brave Master GREAT-HEART has bereft of life.
DESPONDENCY, his daughter MUCH-AFRAID,
GREAT-HEART for them also the man has played.
Who hereof doubts, if he'll but cast his eye
Up hither, may his scruples satisfy!
This head, also when doubting cripples dance,
Doth show from fears they have deliverance."
Pilgrim's Progress - the Delectable Mountains
Pilgrim's Progress - Contents