Page images

of his majesty's surveyors, have been employed for above this sixteen hundred years about this patch of ground, if perhaps it might have been mended: yea, and to my knowledge, said he, here have been swallowed up at least twenty thousand, yea millions, of cart loads of wholesome instructions, which have, åt all seasons, been brought from all places of the king's dominions (and those who can tell, do say, that these are the best materials to make good ground of the place), if so be it might have been mended; but, it is the Slough of Defpond still; and so will be, when they have done all they can do.----True, there are, by the direction of the lawgiver, certain good and fubftantial steps, placed even through the very midst of this 'slough; but at the time when this place doth much fpue out its filth, as it doth against change of weather, these steps are hardly seen; or, if they be, men, through the dizziness of their heads, step beside ; and then they are bemired to purpose, notwithstanding the steps be there. But the ground is good when they are once got in at the gate.

Now I saw, in my dream, that by this time Pliable was got home to his house. So his neighbours came to visit him; and some of them called hiin wise man for coming back; and some called him fool for hazarding himself with Christian; others again did mock at his cowardliness; saying, Surely, since you began to venture, I would not have been so base as to have given out for a few difficulties.


So Pliable fat sneaking among them. But at last he got more confidence, and then they all turned their tales, and began to deride poor Christian behind his back". Thus much concerning Pliable.

Now, as Christian was walking solitarily by himself, he espied one afar off, crossing over the field to meet him, and their hap was to meet just as they were crossing the way to each other. The gentleman's name who met him was Mr. Worldly Wiseman; he dwelt in the town of Carnal Policy, a very great town, and hard by that from whence Christian came. This man then, meeting with Christian, and having some knowledge of him by report (for Christian's setting forth from the city of Destruction was much noised abroad, not only in the town where he dwelt, but also it began to be the town-talk in some other places); therefore Mr. Worldly Wiseman, having some guess of him, by beholding his laborious going, by observing his fighs and groans, and the like, began thus to enter into some talk with Christian !.

• Pliable, on his return home, is at first scouted by his neighbours; but he soon gets more bold, and joins in the laugh against Christian :-thus the last state of that man is worse than the beginning.

P In this discourse between Christian and Worldly Wiseman we see the spirit of the world, and the doctrine which is most plealing to the flesh. It is a most bewitching doctrine; the Galatians were bewitched by it,—we see that Christian was bewitched by it. This is that way which appears right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. 3


World. How now, good fellow, whither away after this burdened manner?

Chr. Burdened indeed, as ever, I think, poor creature was! Whereas you ask me, “ Whither away?” I tell you, Sir, I am going to yonder wicket gate before me ; for there, as I am informed, I shall be

put in a way to be rid of my heavy burden.
World. Haft thou a wife and children?

Chr. Yes; but I am so laden with this burden, that I cannot take that pleasure in them as formerly: methinks I am as though I had none.

World. Wilt thou hearken to me if I give thee counsel!

Chr. If it be good, I will: I stand in need of good counsel.

World. I would advise thee then, with all speed, to get rid of thy burden; thou wilt never be settled in thy mind till then: nor canst thou enjoy the benefits of the blessings which God hath bestowed upon thee till then.

Chr. That is what I seek for, to be rid of this heavy burden ; but get it off myself I cannot; nor is there a man in our own country who can take it off my shoulders ; therefore am I going this way, as I told you, that I may be rid of my burden.

World. Who bid thee go this way to be rid of thy burden?

Chr. A man who appeared to me to be a very great and honourable person; his name, as I remember, is Evangelist.


[ocr errors]

World. Beshrew him for his counsel; there is not a more dangerous and troublesome way in the world, than this is to which he hath directed thee; and that thou shalt find, if thou wilt be ruled by his counsel. Thou hast met with something, I perceive, already ; I see the dirt of the Slough of Despond upon thee; that Slough is the beginning of those sorrows which do attend those who go on in that way. Hear me ; I am older than thou: in the way which thou goest, thou art like to meet with wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, sword, lions, draĝons, darkness, and, in a word, death; and what not? These things are certainly true, having beeri confirmed by many testimonies. Why should a man so carelessly cast away himself, by giving heed, to a stranger ?

Chr. This burden, Sir, upon my back is more ter: rible to me than are all these things which you

have mentioned. Methinks, I care not what I meet with in my way, if fo be I can also meet with deliverance from my burden.

World. How camest thou by the burden at first? : Chr. By reading this book in my hand ?

World. I thought so: it has happened unto thee as to other weak men; who, meddling with things too high for them, do suddenly fall into thy distractions; which distractions do not only unman men (as thine I perceive have done thee), but they run them upon desperate ventures, to obtain they know

[ocr errors]

not what.


Chr. I know what I would obtain; it is ease from my heavy burden.

World. But why wilt thou seek for ease this way, seeing so many dangers attend it? especially, since (hadft thou but patience to hear me) I could direct thee to the obtaining of what thou desirest, with= out the dangers which in this way thou wilt run thyself into. Yea, and the remedy is at hand. Befides, I will add, that, inftead of these dangers, thou shalt meet with much safety, friendship, and content.

Chr. Pray, Sir, open this secret to me?

World. Why, in yonder village, the village is named Morality, there dwells a gentleman, whose name is Legality, a very judicious man, and a man of a very good name, who has skill to help men cff with such burdens as thine from their shoulders; yea, to my knowledge, he has done a great deal of good this way. Besides, he hath skill to cure those who are somewhat crazed in their wits with their burden. To him, as I said, thou mayest go, and be helped presently: his house is not quite a mile from this place; and if he should not be at home himself, he hath a son, a pretty young man, whose name is Civility, he can do it as well as the old

gentleman himself: there, I say, thou mayest be eased of thy burden: and, if thou art not minded to go back to thy former habitation, as indeed I would not with thee to do, thou mayest send for thy wife and chil



« PreviousContinue »