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THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS

   

Part II

 


Section 2

The Devil's garden - two ill-favoured ones assault them - the Reliever - entertainment at the Interpreter's house - the Significant Rooms - Supper with the Interpreter


 

 

SUPPER WITH THE INTERPRETER

Now supper was ready, the table spread, and all things set on the board. So they sat down, and did eat, when one had given thanks. And the INTERPRETER did usually entertain those that lodged with him with music at meals; so the minstrels played. There was also one that did sing; and a very fine voice he had.

His song was this:


"The Lord is only my support
And he that doth me feed:
How can I, then want anything
Where of I stand in need?.


When the song and music were ended, the INTERPRETER asked CHRISTIANA what it was that at first did move her to betake herself to a pilgrim's life?

CHRISTIANA answered, "First the loss of my husband came into my mind, at which I was heartily grieved; but all that was but natural affection. Then, after that, came the troubles and pilgrimage of my husband into my mind; and also how like a churl I had carried it to him as to that. So guilt took hold of my mind, and would have drawn me into the pond; but that opportunely I had a dream of the wellbeing of my husband, and a letter sent me by the King of that country where my husband dwells, to come to him. The dream and the letter together so wrought upon my mind, that they forced me to this way."

Inter. But met you with no opposition afore you set out of doors?

Chris. Yes; a neighbour of mine, one Mrs. TIMOROUS (she was akin to him that would have persuaded my husband to go back for fear of the lions). She all-to-befooled me for--as she called it--my intended desperate adventure. She also urged what she could to dishearten me to it,--the hardship and troubles that my husband met with in the way, but all this I got over pretty well. But a dream that I had, of two ill looking ones, that I thought did plot how to make me miscarry in my journey, that hath troubled me much; yea, it still runs in my mind, and makes me afraid of everyone that I meet, lest they should meet me to do me a mischief, and to turn me out of the way. Yea, I may tell my lord, though I would not have everybody know it, that between this and the gate by which we got into the way, we were both so sorely assaulted, that we were made to cry out "murder": and the two that made this assault upon us were like the two that I saw in my dream.

Inter. Then said the INTERPRETER, "Thy beginning is good; thy latter end shall greatly increase." So he addressed himself to MERCY, and said unto her, "And what moved thee to come hither, sweetheart?"

Then MERCY blushed and trembled; and for awhile continued silent.

Inter. Then said he, "Be not afraid; only believe, and speak thy mind."

Mer. So she began, and said, "Truly, sir, my want of experience is that that makes me covet to be in silence; and that also that fills me with fears of coming short at last. I cannot tell of visions and dreams, as my friend CHRISTIANA can; nor know I what it is to mourn for my refusing of the counsel of those that were good relations."

Inter. What was it, then, dear heart, that hath prevailed with thee to do as thou hast done?

Mer. Why, when our friend here was packing up to be gone from our town, I and another went accidentally to see her; so we knocked at the door and went in. When we were within, and seeing what she was doing, we asked what was her meaning. She said she was sent for to go to her husband; and then she up and told us how she had seen him in a dream, dwelling in a curious place among immortals, wearing a crown, playing upon a harp, eating and drinking at his Prince's table, and singing praises to him for bringing him thither, etc. Now, methought while she was telling these things unto us, my heart burned within me; and I said in my heart, if this be true, I will leave my father and my mother, and the land of my nativity, and will, if I may, go along with CHRISTIANA.

So I asked her further of the truth of these things, and if she would let me go with her; for I saw now that there was no dwelling, but with the danger of ruin, any longer in our town. But yet I came away with a heavy heart; not for that I was unwilling to come away, but for that so many of my relations were left behind. And I am come with all the desire of my heart; and will go, if I may, with CHRISTIANA unto her husband and his King.

Inter. Thy setting out is good; for thou hast given credit to the truth. Thou art a Ruth; who did, for the love that she bore to Naomi, and to the Lord her God, leave father and mother, and the land of her nativity, to come out, and go with a people that she knew not heretofore. "The Lord recompense thy work; and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel , under whose wings thou art come to truth".

"And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel , under whose wings thou art come to trust." Ruth 2:11, 12

Now supper was ended, and preparation was made for bed; the women were laid singly alone, and the boys by themselves. Now when MERCY was in bed, she could not sleep for joy, for that now her doubts of missing at last were removed farther from her than ever they were before; so she lay blessing and praising God, who had had such favour for her.



Cleaned, Sealed and Clothed

In the morning they arose with the sun, and prepared themselves for their departure; but the INTERPRETER would have them tarry awhile, "For," said he, "you must orderly go from hence." Then said he to the damsel that at first opened unto them, "Take them, and have them into the garden to the bath; and there wash them, and make them clean from the soil which they have gathered by travelling." Then INNOCENT, the damsel, took them, and had them into the garden, and brought them to the bath; so she told them that there they must wash and be clean, for so her master would have the women to do that called at his house as they were going on pilgrimage. Then they went in and washed, yea, they and the boys and all; and they came out of that bath, not only sweet and clean, but also much enlivened and strengthened in their joints: so when they came in, they looked fairer a deal than when they went out to the washing.

When they were returned out of the garden from the bath, the INTERPRETER took them, and looked upon them, and said unto them, "Fair as the moon." Then he called for the seal wherewith they used to be sealed that were washed in his bath. So the seal was brought, and he set his mark upon them, that they might be known in the places whither they were yet to go. Now the seal was the contents and sum of the Passover which the children of Israel did eat when they came out from the land of Egypt ,

"And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt . And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD'S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt . Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year." Exodus 13:8-10

and the mark was set between their eyes. This seal greatly added to their beauty, for it was an ornament to their faces; it also added to their gravity, and made their countenances more like those of angels.

Then said the INTERPRETER again to the damsel that waited upon these women, "Go into the vestry, and fetch out garments for these people." So she went, and fetched out white raiment, and laid it down before him; so he commanded them to put it on. It was fine linen, white and clean. When the women were thus adorned, they seemed to be a terror one to the other; for that they could not see that glory each one on herself which they could see in each other. Now therefore, they began to esteem each other better than themselves; "For you are fairer than I am," said one; "And you are more comely than I am," said another. The children also stood amazed to see into what fashion they were brought.

     

The Pilgrim's Progress - Great-Heart

 


 

The Pilgrim's Progress - Contents