« AnteriorContinuar »
might find somewhere hereabouts something that might give us an account why Christian was so hardly beset in this place.
Then said James to his mother, lo! yonder stands a pillar, and it looks as if something was written thereon : let us go and see what it is. So they went, and found there written, “Let Christian's slip, before he came hither, and the battles that he met with in this place, be a warning to those that come after.” Lo! said their guide, did not I tell you there was something hereabouts that would give intimation of the reason why Christian was so hard beset in this place? Then turning himself to Christiana, he said, no disparagement to Christian more than to many others whose hap and lot it was; for it is easier going up than down this hill, and that can be said but of few hills in all these parts of the world. But we will leave the good man; he is at rest; he also had a brave victory over his enemy; let Him grant, that dwelleth above, that we fare no worse, when we come to be tried, than he !
But we will come again to this valley of humiliation. It is the best and most fruitful piece of ground in all these parts. It is fat ground, and, as you see, consisteth much in meadows; and if a man was to come here in summer-time, as we do now, if he knew not anything before thereof, and if he also delighted himself in the sight of his eyes, he might see that which would be delightful to him. Behold how green this valley is! also how beautified with lilies ! I have known many labouring men that have got good estates in this valley of humiliation. “For God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble;" for indeed it is a very fruitful soil, and doth bring forth by handfuls. Some also have wished that the next way to their Father's house were here, that they might be troubled no more with either hills or mountains to go over ; but the way is the way, and there's an end.
Now, as they were going along and talking, they espied a boy feeding his father's sheep. The boy was in very mean clothes, but of a fresh and well-favoured countenance, and as he sat by himself
Hark,” said Mr. Greatheart, “to what the shepherd's boy saith;" so they hearkened, and he said,
He that is down needs fear no fall;
He that is low no pride ;
Have God to be his guide.
Little be it or much;
Because thou savest such,
That go on pilgrimage :
Is best from age to age.
Then said their guide, do you hear him? I will dare to say this boy lives a merrier life and wears more of that herb called hearts-ease in his bosom than he that is clad in silk and velvet! but we will proceed in our discourse.
THE GOLDEN CITY. Now I saw in my dream that by this time the pilgrims were got over the Enchanted Ground, and entering into the country of Beulah, whose air was very sweet and pleasant, the way lying directly through it, they solaced them there for a season. Yea, here they heard continually the singing of birds, and saw every day the flowers appear in the earth, and heard the voice of the turtle in the land. In this country the sun shineth night and day; wherefore it was beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and also out of reach of the Giant Despair ; neither could they from this place so much as see Doubting Castle. Here they were within sight of the city they were going to, also here met them some of the inhabitants thereof, for in this land the shining ones commonly walked, because it was upon the borders of Heaven. In this land, also, the contract between the bride and bridegroom was renewed ; yea, here, as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so did their God rejoice over them.” Here they had no want of corn and wine ; for in this place they met abundance of what they had sought for in all their pilgrimage. Here they heard voices from out of the city-loud voices-saying, “ Say ye to the daughter of Zion, behold thy salvation cometh. Behold, his reward is with him !” Here all the inhabitants of the country called them “ the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, sought out,” &c.
Now, as they walked in this land, they had more rejoicing than in parts more remote from the kingdom to which they were bound; and drawing nearer to the city yet, they had a more perfect view thereof: it was built of pearls and precious stones; also the streets thereof were paved with gold; so that, by reason of the natural glory of the city, and the reflections of the sunbeams upon it, Christian with desire fell sick; Hopeful also had a fit or two of the same disease : wherefore here they lay by it for a little while, crying out, because
“ If you see my beloved, tell him that I am sick of love."
But being a little strengthened, and better able to bear their sickness, they walked on their way, and came yet nearer and nearer, where were orchards, vineyards, and gardens; and their gates opened into the highway. Now as they came up to these places, behold the gardener stood in the way, to whom the pilgrims said : Whose goodly vineyards and gardens are these ? He answered, They are the king's, and are planted here for his own delight, and also for the
of their pangs,
solace of pilgrims : so the gardener had them into the vineyards, and bid them refresh themselves with dainties ; he also showed them there the king's walks and arbours, where he delighted to be; and here they tarried and slept.
Now, I beheld in my dream that they talked more in their sleep at this time than ever they did in all their journey; and being in a muse thereabout, the gardener said even to me, Wherefore musest thou on the matter? It is the nature of the fruit of the grapes of these vineyards to go down so sweetly, as to cause the lips of them that are asleep to speak.
So I saw that when they awoke, they addressed themselves to go up to the great city. But, as I said, the reflection of the sun upon the city, for the city was of pure gold, was so extremely glorious, that they could not as yet with open face behold it, but through an instrument made for that purpose. So I saw that, as they went on, there met them two men in raiment that shone like gold; also their faces shone as the light.
These men asked the pilgrims whence they came. They also asked them where they had lodged, what difficulties and dangers, what comforts and pleasures, they had met with in the way ? and they told them. Then said the men that met them, You have but two difficulties more to meet with, and then you are in the city.
Christian and his companion then asked the men to go along with them; so they told them that they would. But, said they, you must obtain it by your own faith. So I saw in my dream that they went on together till they came in sight of the gate.
Now, I further saw that betwixt them and the gate was a river, but there was no bridge to go over, and the river was very deep. At the sight, therefore, of this river, the pilgrims were much stunned ; but the men that went with them said, You must go through, or you cannot come to the gate. The pilgrims then began to inquire if there was no other way
to the gate? To which they answered, Yes, but there hath not any, save two, to wit, Enoch and Elijah, been permitted to tread that path since the foundation of the world, nor shall, until the last trumpet shall sound. The pilgrims then, especially Christian, began to despond in their minds, and looked this way and that; but no way could be found by them by which they might escape the river. Then they asked the men the waters were all of a depth? They said, No; yet they could not help them in that case ; for, said they, you shall find it deeper or shallower, as you believe in the king of the place.
They then addressed themselves to the water, and, entering, Christian began to sink, and crying out to his good friend Hopeful, he said, I sink in deep waters: the billows go over my head; all the waters go Then said the other, Be of good cheer, my brother ; I feel the bottom, and it is good. Then said Christian, Ah! my friend, the sorrow of death hath encompassed me about ; I shall not see the land that flows with milk and honey. And with that a great darkness and horror fell upon Christian, so that he could not see before him. Also here, in a great measure, he lost his senses, so that he could neither remember nor orderly talk of any of those sweet refreshments that he had met with in the way of his pilgrimage. * * * Then I saw in my dream that Christian was in a muse awhile. To whom, also, Hopeful added these words, Be of good cheer; Jesus Christ maketh thee whole : and with that Christian brake out with a loud voice, Oh! I see him again, and he tells me, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.” Then they both took courage ; and the enemy was after that as still as a stone, until they were gone over. Christian, therefore, presently found ground to stand upon, and so it followed that the rest of the river was but shallow, but thus they got over.
Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon. 1608-1674.
FROM THE HISTORY OF THE GREAT REBELLION.'
162. CHARACTER OF JOHN HAMPDEN.
Mr. Hampden was a man of much greater cunning, and it may be, of the most discerning spirit, and of the greatest address and insinuation to bring any thing to pass which he desired, of any man of that time, and who laid the design deepest. He was a gentleman of a good extraction, and a fair fortune; who, from a life of great pleasure and license, bad on a sudden retired to extraordinary sobriety and strictness, and yet retained his usual cheerfulness and affability; which, together with the opinion of his wisdom and justice, and the courage he had showed in opposing the ship-money, raised his reputation to a very great height, not only in Buckinghamshire, where he lived, but generally throughout the kingdom. He was not a man of many words, and rarely begun the discourse, or made the first entrance upon any business that was assumed ; but a very weighty speaker; and after he had heard a full debate, and observed how the house was like to be inclined, took up the argument, and shortly, and clearly, and craftily so stated it, that he commonly conducted it to the conclusion he desired ; and if he found he could not do that, he was never without the dexterity to divert the debate to another time, and to prevent the determining any thing in the negative, which might prove inconvenient in the
future. He made so great a show of civility, and modesty, and humility, and always of mistrusting his own judgment, and esteeming his with whom he conferred for the present, that he seemed to have no opinions or resolutions, but such as he contracted from the information and instruction he received upon the discourses of others; whom he had a wonderful art of governing, and leading into his principles and inclinations, whilst they believed that he wholly depended upon their counsel and advice. No man had ever a greater power over himself, or was less the man that he seemed to
which shortly after appeared to everybody, when he cared less to keep on the mask.
He was rather of reputation in his own country, than of public discourse, or fame in the kingdom, before the business of shipmoney; but then he grew the argument of all tongues, every man inquiring who and what he was, that durst, at his own charge, support the liberty and property of the kingdom, and rescue his country, as he thought, from being made a prey to the court. His carriage, throughout this agitation, was with that rare temper and modesty, that they who watched him narrowly to find some advantage against his person, to make him less resolute in his cause, were compelled to give him a just testimony. He was of that rare affability and temper in debate, and of that seeming humility and submission of judgment, as if he brought no opinion of his own with him, but a desire of information and instruction ; yet he had so subtle a way of interrogating, and under the notion of doubts, insinuating his objections, that he infused his own opinions into those from whom he pretended to learn and receive them. And even with them who were able to preserve themselves from his infusions, and discerned those opinions to be fixed in him, with which they could not comply, he always left the character of an ingenious and conscien
He was, indeed, a very wise man, and of great parts, and possessed with the most absolute spirit of popularity, and the most absolute faculties to govern the people, of any man I ever knew.
In the first entrance into the troubles, he undertook the command of a regiment of foot, and performed the duty of a colonel, upon all occasions, most punctually. He was very temperate in diet, and a supreme governor over all his passions and affections, and had thereby a great power over other men's. He was of an industry and vigilance not to be tired out, or wearied by the most laborious
; and of parts not to be imposed upon by the subtle or sharp ; and of a personal courage equal to his best parts : so that he was an enemy not to be wished, wherever he might have been made a friend; and as much to be apprehended where he was so, as any man could deserve to be. And therefore his death was no less pleasing to the one party, than it was condoled in the other.
SP, ENG. LIT.